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So COVID didn’t affect me too badly as it turns out. I took the antivirals and then had a clear lat flow at day 10. The kids and Jo were also clear. All plain sailing from there…

Or not. Two days later I got a sore throat (Sat). By Sunday swallowing was horrible and I had a bad ear ache. Monday was no better and I was struggling to take on fluids and swallow my own spit. I couldn’t sleep well as I’d wake myself up by swallowing and then the stabbing throat pain. I checked my ear but honestly the phone isn’t designed for that as you can see… Same goes for the throat.

Look an ear.

Jo talked to the GP for me but as is now the trend it was over the phone. He didn’t really appreciate how bad it was I think and prescribed some antibiotics and told me to get an over the counter throat spray. I had lost over half a stone in the four days from sat to Tuesday and really couldn’t eat.

None of that worked and by Tuesday I was in close to the worse pain I’d been on (along with wisdom teeth infection and bone marrow biopsy if your interested). Jo called the doctor who said they could see me Wednesday. So instead I ended up going into A and E.

Once processed they said I was badly dehydrated (they struggled with the cannula) and my throat was very swollen. My ear only partially so. It was nice to finally be getting some treatment and I’m not ashamed to say that the four day period of constant pain and no sleep had really gotten me down. So I had a little cry in the hospital. I think it’s important not to white wash these blogs. I often have people tell me they read it and are encouraged by them, that they are honest and helpful. It’s really important to know it’s ok to cry if you feel overwhelmed or in pain and that it just makes us human. Even middle age men. (Or more than middle age depending on life expectancy).

Anyway maybe it was the tears but they got me some morphine very quickly after that. They gave me the max allowable dose of 10ml iv. It didn’t stop the pain for a bit through, but when it did kick in. Well it was a dozy day from 2-6. My PCR tested positive for COVID still so I ended up in the red zone it was rammed and all the staff were talking about how short they were and how many patients they had. The room I got was a medical one but some of the others were waiting in what looked like an office hastily repurposed. Everything looked very stretched and I felt very sorry for them, although they were as great as always.

They had me on a high dose of steroids as well as an IV antibiotic and a bag of saline to combat the dehydration. I was a little hazy but managed to drink for the first time that day as the morphine was doing its job. I still hadn’t eaten all day though.

The pain had gone by this point, as had most of my lucid thoughts. Morphine is a fun drug. (don’t try it at home kids). They said they were letting me out and I asked for another dose for the road, which I got. Thoroughly high I got a lift from my kind sister Madelyn and went and had some good with no throat pain, and drunk a lot. I then enjoyed a 14 hour sleep to go with my five at the hospital and the throat pain has gone as if it was never there. A bit weird considering how bad it was. I do have a respiratory track infection again, but that it’s infinitely better with phlegm and coughing than not being able to talk or eat. Plus I’ve had one of these for about 15 weeks anyway. Interesting I did a lat flow and that was positive as well. So covid tests sure like to linger, this being day 21.

We had some other real heroes (other than Madelyn) help too. Peri picked up Grace from school, even though she hasn’t met her. Apparently they had a nice talk about whistling. Helen dropped me off a surprise good package, very kind. And my poor mum went to Colchester to get the drugs prescription, only to realise I had it at home (I assumed I had a copy). So she drove to witham, then back to Colchester then back to witham and then home. A real trooper. (In my defence about the prescription I was very high when they told me about it). So all in all an odd week, and I am so glad to be able to drink and eat again. It’s amazing how quickly you can drop if you aren’t getting fluids, so always be vigilant as a sore throat can seriously detail you.

Also if you need to cry, you should do so without shame or stigma. For many men it’s a sign of toxic masculinity that you aren’t allowed to or if you do it demeans you. It couldn’t be further from the truth. You feel better after it and sometimes it’s just the right response. (Also if you do it at the right time they might give you a ton of morphine). But if things get bad make sure you let your emotions out. I’ve tried to bottle them before and it never ends well. It just makes things worse. Anyway, fingers crossed that is that and I will just have a cold for a bit now. I’ve had enough of hospital trips in the last eighteen months…