Away from work

This makes the fifth day in a row that I’m home, but the first official sick day.

I organised to have Friday off because I had an appointment across town. That appointment got cancelled, but by that time the idea of having the day off was so welcome that I didn’t change it. Chances are I would have taken a sick day anyway as by the time I got home on Thursday I was feeling pretty crook.

The last couple of weeks the trains on my line have been cancelled because of work being done up the line at South Yarra. In replacement, buses have been running to the nearest parallel line. It worked okay, but inevitably it was adding between 30-40 minutes of extra travel each way. Each morning I would do that in some of the frostiest, wettest weather we’ve had for ages. When the trains weren’t cancelled or delayed, I’d get onto a crowded train within 5-6 minutes and luckily find a seat. It was much the same going home, except the routes and timetable seemed much more capricious.

I haven’t felt the full bottle for a few weeks but been well enough to go on with. It was dark and frigid when I boarded the bus to come home on Thursday night. I was aching and feverish, and a persistent cough had developed. I had little energy and wanted only to be warm and rest. Something was coming on.

I slept for about 9 hours that night and woke Friday feeling better. I had a quiet, pleasant day being lazy. It was just what I needed.

I felt okay on Saturday, too. We had a long-standing lunching arranged in Richmond. Unbeknownst to me, the trainless timetable had changed for the weekend, and rather than the buses going to the nearest available train stop they instead zig-zagged through the suburbs until finally arriving at Caulfield. From there I caught the train to Richmond, walked up to Bridge road, then caught a train to the venue, the Bouzy Rouge. I was about 45 minutes late.

I used to live nearby, and I’d been to the Bouzy Rouge several times, most memorably with mum on one occasion before she got sick. It’s an opulent place right up my mum’s alley, with a Spanish menu that combined the traditional with the modern. We had a fine old time sharing tapas before tucking into main meals and dessert. We had a few beers, a couple of bottles of Rioja, before finishing with a sweet and sticky PX. We laughed often and loudly, and though I would cough occasionally, I was doing okay.

We walked back along Bridge Road, stopping at the Mt View where we had a cleansing ale on the rooftop and taunted the losing Collingwood supporters, feral one and all.

I caught the train back with Cheeseboy determined to get home differently to how I left it. At Moorabbin, we got out of the train and walked about 30 minutes to his home. As we went along, I began to slowly fade. Arthritis in my toe started to flare, and my dodgy knee began to ache. Not happy was I.

I rested for about 15 minutes before walking the final 15 minutes home. I arrived there done in. I lay on the couch, feeling both mildly intoxicated and increasingly unwell – a bad combo. Later I figured by the GPS I’d covered about 15 km by foot.

I slept long again, but the next day I woke up feeling poorly, as I did for the rest of the day. I realised the jaunt the previous day had been a mistake. I had been recovering perhaps, though not recovered. My reserves were low and the strenuous efforts of the day before had wholly depleted me, allowing for the infection to steal a march.

The aches and pains had gone, but in its place was a deep-seated cough that worried at me every ten minutes or so. Occasionally I would be wracked and bent by them. My chest felt heavy and congested. It felt bad as if I was on the verge of something serious. I took it easy all day. I needed antibiotics.

I had an appointment with a dermatologist yesterday and ended up having a biopsy done on a rash on my leg. I was feeling better than the day before and, to my surprise, my chest infection seemed better. I had a lazy day again but planned to go to work today – stupid, I know, but sick days make me guilty.

I slept longer than I intended – something that never happens. I got up and felt distant from myself and without strength. I went back to bed, hoping that it would pass. Ten minutes later I got up again, but I was no better. I went to bed again and called work.

Lazy day again today. It’s still cold out, but for the first time in days, it’s not raining.

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