(My column for the January issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News)
When, like a less powerful cousin of the Grim Reaper, flu stalked the village before Christmas, I was one of its victims. The first half of December passed me by in a blur.
It’s only when you’re on the mend from a nasty bug that you realise how poorly you’ve been, and what bad decisions you’ve made while unwell, e.g. being fobbed off with an unnecessary prescription for penicillin by the GP’s triage system.
The older I get, the more suspicious I become of conventional medicines. I prefer my own remedies: tea, chocolate, and sleep, in unlimited quantities. None of these come with patient information leaflets full of scary warnings in small print, and each makes you feel better in its own way.
I also think I’m the best judge of my own recovery. When I find myself spoiling for a fight with the doctor’s receptionist over the phone, rather than meekly accepting whatever she tells me, I know I’m on the mend.
Another good measure is my tolerance of daytime television. Finding it scintillating entertainment means I need more bedrest and convalescent time. When I find myself shouting at its stupidity, I consider myself cured.
If you’ve been stricken with flu this winter, I hope you have a speedy recovery, and I wish a happy and health New Year to the Parish News team and all its readers.