BY DARREN HANDSCHUH
Like I said, it was just a matter of time.
I predicted the dreaded ailment that had popped up in my humble abode a couple of weeks ago would eventually get yours truly, and I was right.
With two of three kids down with a flu-like ailment, I knew I was on the list.
My wife fell ill, which rarely happens, so I resigned myself to the fact there was nothing I could do to stop the germs from invading my middle-aged body.
I had as much chance of dodging the bug as a Gordon Campbell does of getting thank you cards for bringing in the HST. It's just not going to happen.
And if you are gonna get a flu, you might as well get the big one. Yup, we were struck down by the much talked about swine flu.
Was it bad?
Yes, it has lasted longer than any ailment I have had (I am going on two weeks of feeling icky) but it wasn't as intense as other bugs.
I had a case of the Norwalk virus a decade or so ago and it was the only time in my life I have prayed for either healing or death – both of which would have been a relief from how I was feeling.
The Norwalk is the barfing, scooting, dear-God-whatever-I-did-to-deserve-this-I am-sorry kind of flu – which is the kind I hate the most.
But don't get me wrong, the pig ailment was no trip to the farm either. It had the everything-hurts quality to it, but at least you weren't barfing so hard your liver fell out.
Fever, aches, pains, being incredibly tired and a chest so tight it feels like a fat guy is sitting on it was what the swine brought to my home.
At the height of the viral invasion I missed a few days of work (you have to look at the bright side of things), during which time I realized daytime TV is really bad, like evening TV is a bastion of high-quality entertainment.
When I returned to work, the reaction from my co-workers looked like it was scripted.
“So, how are you feeling?”
“Oh, not too bad. Better than the last few days.”
“So was it the swine flu?”“Yup, the doc is pretty sure.”
At that point, everyone who engaged in the conversation would take a step backward, involuntary or not, several people did it.
According to the doc and my wife, who is a nurse, I was beyond the contagious stage of the ailment when I returned to work, but just admitting you had the swine is enough to drive people away.
Hmmm, I wonder if I called the in laws and mentioned...
Anyway, the H1N1 was not exactly a preferred way to spend my time. It is kind of weird because I know some people who had it and barely felt any ill effects at all.
Then there were others, like myself, who were knocked flat on their backs – literally – by the global virus.
I can see why the swine is so dangerous. For people with respiratory challenges, it could present a very serious problem.
I am not exactly the picture of health – unless the picture is a flabby, pasty white, bald guy – but I have been blessed with strong lungs and a fairly decent immune system, but still the H1N1 took a pretty good chunk out of my week.
But at least the worst is behind me, as far as the swine goes. I hope it is anyway.
I ingested enough flu medication to make an elephant loopy, but when war is declared, one must use every weapon available.
So for those who haven't got it yet, good luck and I hope the swine passes you by. For all my fellow pork ailment sufferers, think of how much you will appreciate being healthy when that day comes.