I know exactly when it’s going to start… a delicate wheezing like a mosquito trapped in my upper respiratory tract, a distant burning sensation in my chest, just behind my breastbone.
Then, the spread… a sickly sheen of sweat that slithers across my brow and collects along my ribs – I wipe it away and am instantly left freezing cold and shivering. Needle trolls take up residence in my joints and ply their craft, red hot sparks of pain grinding and crunching every time I move.
And the cough – oh the cough. A convulsive hacking, mucus bubbling, throat burning, lung rattling retch of pain that leaves me breathless and clutching my chest.
A brief respite – hunched miserably in the shower, letting the warm water run on my aching back and the steam ease the clench of infection from around my labouring lungs.
Heavy and tired… body like leaden sand… so tired you feel like you could dissipate molecule by molecule and sink into the floor.
Then sleep – pressed upright, feverishly waking every so often to cough and thrash and when morning comes, feeling strangely light and pressed out, dries and cracking and baked in pain.
Thank goodness for the beneficence of Aunty Biotics… her calming touch soothing away the pain, mopping up the mucus and restoring me to something like myself…