We have forgotten how to be sick. No, scratch that. We have forgotten how to get better.
OPINION: In my current feverish haze, I seem to remember a time when people who were ill went to bed and didn't get up till they were cured.
My doctor and I laughed about this last Friday.
Well, he laughed; I wheezed and coughed and had to sit down.
I had dropped by so he could inspect my throat, listen to my chest and prescribe various medications that would make it possible for me to get in my car and drive three hours to another city where I would host an awards evening, grab a bit of kip in a hotel, get up the next morning for a business meeting and then drive the three hours home.
I'm a bit tired already, I told my doctor.
I'm not surprised, he said. That's a serious infection your body is fighting.
What I'd really like to do, I said, is go to bed with a book. I'm pretty sure we used to do that, right?
Simpler times, he said. Enjoy the drive.
I read somewhere - I'm in no state now to track the source - that one of the reasons flu strains are more virulent is that we take a pill and go back out in the world when, really, we should be confined to our sick bed where would heal faster and infect fewer.
Instead, we have all spent the last couple of decades taking tablets and soldiering on.
I survived, obviously, but I am the opposite of "better".
Now, I am attempting an old- school approach to recovery: Bed, pyjamas, vast quantities of liquid, ignoring each knock at the door and ring of the phone.
But I keep forgetting which pills I have taken. There are some which need to be taken eight hours apart, others to be taken two hours either side of that, another which has to be "with food" and another without.
I fill the remaining idle moments puffing on an inhaler.
Clearly, I need a better system for knowing where I'm up to. I tried stacking the pill boxes so the ones I need to take next are on top but, hot and muddled, I can never trust that I've moved the top box to the bottom after each dose.
I am constantly on the verge of either denying myself treatment or overdosing.
And yes, I've tried recording "type of pill" and "time taken" on a piece of paper but I can't find the list because I'm not well.
I read somewhere - again, no idea where and it may be the result of delirium - that cats purr because the vibration is healing for them.
In the event that I have totally cocked up my medical care, I may still make it because I am lying in bed, gently moaning like a small, broken kitten.
Stay away. Send soup.
- The Press