This flu business is 'snow' joke

Patricia Feehily


Patricia Feehily

This flu business is 'snow' joke

TO be honest, I don’t know what hit me! I feel like I’ve just done 20 rounds in the ring with Conor McGregor and I couldn’t even lift a finger. I’m battered, bruised, nearly a stone lighter and, for the moment anyway, the fight is gone out of me.

“You’re not the only one who got the flu,” said hubby, with typical distaste for anything remotely resembling hypochondria once the crisis has passed. Only a week ago he was getting ready to order a helicopter to have me airlifted to hospital. In this house, it’s all drama, and I’m usually - though not always - the diva.

I know I’m not the only one who got the flu, but I think I’m the only one who actually asked for it. I certainly wasn’t afraid of the flu. I had it almost every year as a child and any year I didn’t get it, I felt cheated out of a week off school and the never failing childhood pick-me up - a bottle of Dwan’s lemonade with Marietta biscuits. Now, although I’m very much in the most vulnerable age group for flu complications, I turned down my doctor’s offer of the flu jab on three occasions since last November, and just a week before the vicious little virus struck, I also turned down an anti-pneumonia injection. “I hope you won’t regret this,” said the GP ominously.

But I thought I knew it all. “I’ll take my chances,” I said primly, feeling that I was being treated like an ‘auld wan’ whose immunity had gone into retirement and who needed all the help the multinational pharmaceutical industry could provide. I was so sceptical and so deluded that I even suspected that the flu had been created by the industry to help boost its own profits. Oh don’t mind me!

Now I’m a convert to vaccinations and I’m filled with all the fervour of a convert. My earnest advice to everyone now, even at this late stage, is to get the flu vaccine if you haven’t already got it. This is truly the worst plague to hit the world since 1918 – at least the strain that hit me was. As for me, I’ll be first in the queue next year for the injection. I’ll take arsenic if it helps keep the fiend at bay and for good measure I’ll wear a face mask every time I go out and a necklace of garlic cloves around my neck every day from October 1. Another round with Conor McGregor would finish me off.

Anyhow, I came through in the end and here I am. Thanks to everyone who sent messages of goodwill. I couldn’t reply to all your texts, because, as I said, I couldn’t lift a finger.

And then came the blizzard, for which I was totally unprepared. I hadn’t been completely oblivious of its approach but I was too busy fighting my own demons and wiping the egg off my face to concentrate on a snowstorm . The bedroom windows were covered with snow when I awoke on Friday morning and I couldn’t see out. I thought I was hallucinating. The slightly sunken driveway was no longer sunken; it was piled high with snow drifts from the field across the road and was threatening to engulf us.

“Get out and push it back from the front door,” I yelled. Hubby, who was fretting about the water supply to his cattle, said it would never reach up three steps, but when he opened the door, the snow piled into the hall. That’s when he told me to go back to bed, that the flu had gone to my head.

Naturally, we ran out of supplies. We used to be self-sufficient, with our own milk, bacon, potatoes, cabbage and home-made bread. Now, I have forgotten how to make a cake.

Even as I write, we are still pretty isolated and were down to our last three slices of stale sliced pan when my daughter and her husband braved the snowdrifts, dug a tunnel through the snow-filled driveway and arrived at the door with dinner and milk.

To add to the aftermath of the flu and storm Emma, I’ve now developed a severe fit of cabin fever. I’m watching telly round the clock, waiting for a miracle. The country is getting back to normal, but I don’t know if I ever will.

By the way, where was weathergirl, Joanna Donnelly during the blizzard? She kept me sane during Hurricane Ophelia and made the phenomenon appear normal. Bring her back, for God’s sake. At least the weather was never boring when Joanna was at the helm.