Thank you so much everyone for all your good wishes. I haven’t had access to the internets, but lil’sis has been relaying your comments & emails to me and it’s just been immensely cheering.
I have to say that I have learnt a valuable lesson about trying to battle on through when you are sick. This time I may have been slightly too gung ho on the oh I’ll get better soon front. After all, it wasn’t just that I felt a little bit under the weather.
When I wasn’t trying to force rice soup down my gagging gullet, I was busy heaving it up again. And when I wasn’t cursing in the bathroom, I was curled up in a foetal ball crying, with every muscle aching, aching. I became unable to walk up more than a flight of stairs without gasping for breath like a landed fish, and my chest crackled like a paper bag as I tried to draw breath.
Judy was utterly bloody wonderful. As the week went on, and it became increasingly obvious I wasn’t just a bit poorly, she cooked the toasted Korean rice that invalids eat, made tea, hunted out coconut electrolyte water to try to get some liquid down me and generally put up with me grouching around her boyfriend’s (who is also saint-like) apartment in lovely lacy Damart leggings and a cashmere sweater. (It was 80F outside.)
By last Saturday I was starting to be able to eat without throwing up. I pulled myself together just enough to be able to go forage in my storage container for travel adaptors & stuff, and to retrieve my overnight bag from the cloakroom at Soho House where it had been lurking since I spent the morning weeping with malaise on the floor of their disabled loo. (Well, there are worse loos to want to die in.)
I figured there was no point in not going to Spain that night – either I’d be better by Wednesday for the Mango event, or I’d get sick-erer, in which case I’d rather be in Europe than the US. So, I got myself to JFK in a cab and thence to Madrid on the red eye. I spent the next three days cocooned in just the most luxurious deluxe room in the Hotel InterContinental, working hard on the bed rest cure.
I managed to rally for the Mango show and party for a few hours on Wednesday, but as my breathing became worse, it became clear to me that I needed to see a doctor, and most likely go to hospital.
And so I changed my ticket to the first available flight to London, (I was supposed to be here for the weekend to attend Jackie & Matt’s wedding), and hopped it to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead on Friday morning, where I have had previous operations. I knew this was a good plan when I fainted on the way there.
And there I have been until today. I’m writing this from my bed on Monday afternoon, gleeful with the expectation that I am to be discharged imminently. (I begged to go home and, as home is 500 yards from the hospital, they’ve agreed I can go recuperate there.) Tomorrow I come back for a liver scan, and Thursday I am at the Infectious Diseases clinic for the first round of test results.
I am still officially a medical curiosity, (lots of charming specialists & consultants have been to see me) but the very raised levels of eosinophils in my blood, & liver abnormalities point most likely to a tropical parasite infection, (ooh my very own worm!), although there is a chance it could be connected to my existing auto-immune problems.
(What luck to be at a London teaching hospital with a brilliant Infectious Diseases unit. I LOVE the NHS.)
Photo: View over Hampstead Village & Heath from bed 30, Ward Seven West, Royal Free Hospital, London