Friday, 2 January 2009
The Action Plan...
After another really lousy night, I decided to go to the doctor. Several people (including my mother) told me that I should have gone much sooner... I didn't bother to explain that I wouldn't have been able to go any sooner, given that I wasn't actually at death's door (and so didn't need to get the emergency services out) and the fact that my GP's surgery was closed for New Year.
I got there just before 8am, to find that a sizable queue was waiting for the doors to open. My heart sank, as I didn't feel like exchanging whatever I had for the collection of viruses being incubated by the others. Fortunately, the majority of the other patients appeared to want to collect prescriptions and sick notes, and there were one or two appointments for the nurse. I was informed that there was only one GP in this morning, and that it was a case of sit and wait rather than the usual appointment system... and so I went and sat.
I told the doctor that I'd been ill already for about a week (thus establishing my credentials... GPs usually send you home with a flea in your ear if you dare to see them too quickly after the onset of whatever it is) and that I was coughing up some rather nasty gunk (yellowish-brown and sort-of solid-looking.) The stethoscope was duly whipped out and my lungs listened to. Apparently I was crackly and wheezy enough for a quick diagnosis: "Yes, there's more of it about than people realise, despite all the news reports," he opined. "I've had it already. The other doctor due on this morning has also got it... that's why he's not in. It's spreading. We're in for a bad bout of it."
Feeling slightly guilty, I asked if I should be staying away from other people, especially as I'm a teacher. "No, you should be fine on the antibiotics and the steroid inhaler... and anyway, if there is a flu epidemic, the schools will all be closed... that's the emergency action plan..."
So, there you have it. Parents, if your pride and joy tells you that he (or she) is feeling ill, don't ignore it and send him to school anyway, not unless you want lots of little horrors to catch the bug and all get sent home for a fortnight. Just remember: Christmas Holidays, round 2, without the distraction of presents.
Of course, speaking as a teacher, the idea of a two-week break in the interests of Public Health sounds quite appealing...