The advantage of having a wife with a slightly lower immune system to you is that you tend to get a sneak preview of all of the illnesses that you're going to get. Anything you're likely to contract will hit her first and anything you normally wouldn't contract gets time to incubate in her, gather its strength and then assault you properly. Caroline always tries to insist that I stay away from her when she's sick, on the basis that she doesn't want me to be sick. I make the argument that if I'm gonna get sick, then I don't want to precede it with a week of no Caroline snuggles. And because she's weak and sickly, I tend to win the argument and get both my snuggles and the disease.
The bright side of this is that I tend to get a slightly lighter version of what Caroline had, the medicine needed will be in the house and everything will be prepared. So, when I woke up with a blocked nose and sore throat, I knew that I'd got the cold she'd had a few days back, and knew that I needed nothing more than Strepsils, Lemsip and loo roll.
It's not quite worked out like that.
I went to work, despite feeling like I'd been freshly exhumed, and attempted to be productive despite the sweltering heat and complete lack of functional air-conditioning for our metal-roofed sweatbox of a workplace, filled with plasma televisions and high-powered PCs. A sensible person would've made the sickness phone call and dealt with the emotional blackmail and guilt trips, over how much it'll screw over the rest of the team, that my work normally use to convince you to come in. A sane person would've told the manager that they needed to go home when they started feeling light-headed, even when sitting down in the ice-cold air-conditioned breakroom.
Sadly, I am neither sensible, nor sane. I stayed in until the fever hit properly and I started hallucinating and falling over.
There was a two minute lag on my conversations. I couldn't walk in a straight line. Wambling became my major conversational style. The nadir was when I walked up and down the shop for five minutes, waiting for someone to come off break so there'd be enough people on the shop floor for me to leave it. I suddenly realised that I was talking to myself, muttering out my train of thought in random burbles of phrases over and over again. Then, about two minutes after I realised that I was talking to myself, I suddenly realised that this was not socially acceptable or normal or a particularly good sign.
I told work that I needed to go home and stumbled out of the door. Despite knowing that I was still talking out loud, I couldn't stop it and walked home to a litany of, "Going home. Mmmgowanhoam. No, no, no. I aaaaam goooooing hoommmme.
See? It's fine. HoMeh. It's okay it's good really it's... it's gonna be okay. No problem. Noooo problem. Hee. Fine. Finefinefine. Hee. ... No! No. No. ... I feel... no! Bad. No talking. Noooooo. No! It's... it's fine."
Halfway home, I had a heated argument with myself as to whether to phone Caroline. I stated very firmly that she should know that I wasn't well, because I'd be upset if the roles were reversed and she didn't tell me. My reply to that was that it would worry her and I didn't want her to get worried. I said that I didn't care what I thought, I was phoning her anyway. I insisted that worrying her was bad, I was fine and that I didn't want to risk her pissing off her work if she decided to overreact and come home to look after me. However, by that point I had already ignored me and started dialling the number. I was pissed at me, but what could I do, the phone call was going? I made a last ditch effort to convince me that this was a bad idea, but then the answerphone kicked in and I had to try to start talking to somebody else for a while.
After leaving Caroline a five minute message, I stumbled on home, narrating about how this bit was downhill and I liked downhill because it was like falling forwards and it wasn't so bad and this journey was taking longer than normal and maybe passersby thought I was drunk but I wasn't drunk at all no no I wasn't drunk I was just ill, but I was going home and it was fine because I was going home.
I had the sudden thought that I looked like Jack Sparrow, complete with wamblings and floaty hand gestures, and found this so funny that I had to stop for a minute to let the laughter subside. I then thought that this kind of delirium is the kind of thing that ends up with people staring at trees and pronouncing them beautiful and went to find a tree just so I could complete the cliche. Halfway through my moment of self-awareness, I realised that I actually was staring at the tree and actually did find it kinda cool and it stopped being funny and self-aware and started being weird again. I decided that carrying on home was a good plan, good good good good, no no. No talking! Bad no talking! Yes... no! Bad.
When I got home, I went up the stairs on all fours, giggling because this was funny, then threw my jacket across the hall because it had annoyed me. I then yelled at the toilet, apologised and loudly told my legs that we were walking that way. To my surprise, they obeyed verbal commands and I managed to make it all the way into the bedroom through the power of my voice. Then I fell over. In a stroke of luck, our bedroom contains a bed, which I coincidentally landed on. I poked the bed, declared it to be both "soft" and "squishy!" and was very pleased with my discovery.
It was at this point that I received a text message from Doug. I made a considered decision that I wasn't in a fit state to converse sensibly, but then worried that it would look like I was ignoring him. None of this was internal thought, by the way. It was all being said out loud. I decided that I shouldn't talk to people and replied by describing my state using the third person and speaking aloud as I texted. I pressed send and then explained to the phone exactly why I'd sent that text, rather than one which actually replied to what Doug said. I got upset when the phone refused to understand. I think it was just being stubborn.
There was a voice which announced very loudly that chocolate was the answer. I was startled for a minute, but then realised that it was my voice and it was doing it again. It sounded very insistent. Perhaps I should do as it said. I went to the kitchen and started finding food, including the obligatory chocolate. I bumped into an open cupboard door and very politely informed it that I would appreciate it if it didn't do that again. I then swung my hand out in an expansive gesture, hit the cupboard door again and was very restrained in just saying, "Please!" rather than the implied, "Please fuck off!" I then realised I was being a bit of a dick, cause it was mostly my fault, so I mumbled an apology and left the kitchen with my food.
I then spoke to Emma and Louisa on MSN for a while, simply because I was fairly certain that, to someone who wasn't delirious, I would be really rather amusing and I've never been one to deprive people of humour at my expense. I had to speak out loud everything I typed, but that wasn't the end of the world. I also began reading Hyperbole and a Half
from the beginning. It made me feel better about my sanity and generally more sane. Which is quite an achievement when relating to someone who's just apologised to a cupboard.
Halfway through a sentence (which I believe was a ludicrous protestation to Emma that I didn't have a fever), I fell asleep. Not slowly, but like someone had tripped over the wire and pulled out the plug. I woke up about three hours later, feeling a little bit more compus mentus and decided that I needed to write some of this shit down before I forgot it.
And that's where you came in.
So, how are you guys?