Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Article excerpt


I SET a dangerous I precedent this week.

After a week of man flu, I was really struggling by Sunday night. It all started on the Tuesday, the morning after my usual Monday night football run out. My body was aching and my chest hurt a bit but I put that down to my over-exertions and general lack of full match fitness.

On the Wednesday, though, my aches had turned to shivers and my sore chest had been joined by a thumping headache.

Thursday was painful from start to finish. The virus had well-and-truly struck and it was like I had taken some sort of hallucinogenic drug. One minute sweat was pouring off my forehead, the next I was sat at my desk with my coat fully buttoned up and my scarf wrapped tightly round my neck.

I got home at night, feeling like I'd done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and I might have done because the whole day was a blur. What followed was three days of such severe chest pain, every time I coughed (which was, I can tell you, a lot) I found myself bent over double for a good five minutes.

It felt like I had swallowed a razor blade and it was stuck and each time I coughed, it dug a little further into my windpipe. I could taste blood after a while.

The most serious coughing bouts seemed to hit at night, meaning I was bereft of sleep for four days on the trot.

By Sunday, all I could think was that I couldn't face another day of exhaustion at work. Sat on my sofa, I glanced up just as the clock struck 7.30pm.

Before I could say the words (to myself) "Do I dare," the TV was off, front door locked and I was halfway up the stairs.

I flopped onto the mattress, just mustering up enough energy to get the old Superted PJs on.

Within a second of my cranium hitting the pillow, I was out like a light, as if someone had clubbed me.

Ten hours later, I woke, not fully cured of my illness but boy was I refreshed. …

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