Bang. Throbbing surges through my body. In agony, I let out the most bloodcurdling scream until I run out of air. People crowd around me as I lie on the floor. Maybe one of them will put me out of my misery! I am not usually one to ask for help, but now I know I need it. I am ready to die. I’ve banged my bloody toe against the door!
My dad is a wizard. Mum nicknames him ‘Merlin’ but you may know him as a children’s entertainer called Magic Eric. You may just think he’s just plain old card tricks, balloon animals, kind of magician, but this isn’t true. He is so much more than that.
At my birthday party today, the weathermen said it was going to rain. It rained everywhere except our little village. He made the garden gnomes come to life. He made the cake last forever, I swear it kept growing back after a slice was taken. What a treat! I got to eat so much. We had a paddling pool, and pop music, and party games… I was sad to have to say goodbye to all those people when the day was over.
But Dad was so pale and tired, trying to make the party so fun for me.
Dad is now taking me down to my room, without saying much. He closes the door, and sits beside me on my bed.
“You know the price for all this magic, don’t you son?”
He looks me right in the eyes, like the time he told me that our dog Arthur had died. Do I? I look up at him blankly. He shakes his head.
“Of course, you forget every time. It’s your youth.”
He puts his hand on my shoulder. What? There’s a familiar jolt. As I get weaker and weaker, he grips me tighter and tighter. Why? Why can’t his magic be for free?
I can barely keep my eyes open! I look up at him. His face looks angry. Why is he angry with me? His eyes look numb and wet.
I wake up the next day, in my bed, with my pyjamas on. I didn’t fall asleep in these. I feel very groggy. I stumble down to the kitchen and Dad is eating fruit salad, chatting to Mum. He gives me an over-the-top smile: “How’s my great little apprentice doing? All tuckered out after the party last night?”
Mum is smiling innocently at me. Dad is looking at me, trying to figure out what I’m going to say. “Yeah, it was pretty fun. Thanks Dad.”
The sun shone through an open window. I could hear birds singing, people laughing and talking, ELO’s Mr Blue Sky playing. I was sitting on the toilet, holding a basin, wishing I would just throw up already. Today, I was sick. And not in the cool, hip-hop way either.
In fact, by this point, I’ve been ill for two weeks. This was the second round of antibiotics, as the first one Amoxicillin was just too mild-mannered to fight off this chest infection. The flem clung to my throat and ribcage like stubborn cobwebs, or like a weepy, creepy ex. My sinuses were clogged, making my head heavy in aching pain.
I had to watch from afar- or in other words my Facebook newsfeed- all the nights out, dinners out, days out and other people having an all-out great time. I had to cancel shifts with my Easter holiday work- all of them over two weeks; Burnsfest, Easter Sunday with my family, Easter Sunday with my boyfriend’s family and god knows what else.
Why? I was housebound with it. As in the Disturbed song, I was well and truly down with the sickness. It was like the poltergeist that just wouldn’t go away. It was named The Cough.
I could barely move without coughing violently. I could barely think without coughing violently. All I did for the next five or so weeks was cough. Sometimes, I coughed for so hard and so long I made myself throw up.
I tried everything to exorcise this demon that haunted my body.
At first I thought: it’ll only last three days at most. I’ll stay positive, guzzle as many vitamins as possible, rest up and maybe if I ignore it for long enough, it’ll go away. Right? And for three days, I was led to believe this.
But on the fourth day? Nope! The Cough decided to stay, and it decided to exhaust me. For the next three days after that, I was bedridden. Then for the next two weeks, I would be couch-ridden. The Cough took up all my energy. I could barely play video games, let alone write meaningful content.
My Easter holidays evaporated and any shred of positivity had gone along with it. The Cough’s hold upon me had weakened, but I couldn’t bring myself to do everything I could do before. Still zero energy.
Another four days and I dragged myself back to work. If I didn’t go back now, The Cough would win. So I went back. I’ve been back at work for a week or so now and I’m still fighting it. Just about.
It’s not just a bad excuse for not producing new content. I really have been so ill I’ve not been able to write. I’ve been so used to going at a hundred miles an hour every day, but this past month I’ve been barely moving at a snail’s pace. Maybe if I hadn’t been going so fast, The Cough wouldn’t have had such an ample target.
I’ve decided to pace myself as best I can. I have an unbearable urge to say yes to every new project that appears but I doubt that’s a sustainable practice. This little blog post is one small baby step into creating new, fresh content for the website. Be patient though: I’m still locked in mortal combat with The Cough and it’s still breathing.
Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for helping with the editing process. I’m still pretty new to blogging and wanted to make this one worth your while! x
Do you have any illness horror stories? Have you also been a victim of The Cough? Send me your stories in the comments! It’ll give me some goddamn perspective! 😀