Thursday 9 July 2009

No rides for you

As if the lousy weather of late is bad enough, I had to go and contract a cold this week. It's been raining on and off for days - frequently enough to make any ride a wet one, if it went on for more than an hour. I've had a lot of couch time over the last few days, alternatively reading Theodore Dalrymple and sleeping.

Since I started reading Life at the Bottom, I've been having rather nasty little nightmares. I blame the lack of oxygen reaching my brain due to a bunged up windpipe, rather than the contents of that book. Still, it doesn't make for a good night's sleep.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I was quickly gripped by the worst coughing and hacking spasms that I have ever experienced in my entire life. I had a lump of snot stuck in the back of my throat, and it was refusing to budge. It seemed to be quite elastic, but firmly tethered at the far end - like the inside of a golf ball attached to a rubber band. I'd cough the thing up to the back of my tongue, but it would then refuse to detach and go any further, and that would make me retch and almost vomit. It was terrible. I gargled with cold water and warm water and even hot coffee, but nothing would tempt it to depart from its lair.

The best description that I can give of its consistency is that of half congealed blood. You know what blood is like when you get a really big clot of it, and it is no longer wet and liquid on the inside, but it has become a large, malleable ball of goo. That's what the snot was like.

I had to give up on my attempts to hack it out when one cough produced a lightning bolt of pain that went across both shoulders and straight up the back of my neck and into my head. I've never felt anything like it - it was like an electric current that zapped across and up with the utmost speed. I was sure a force 10 headache would have followed that, but all that came on was the usual cold and flu stuff - lethargy, difficulty in breathing and very, very loud snoring. Which is odd, as my vocal cords were so thickly coated in goo, I could hardly talk at times.

Ah well, back to the couch. And I've been too stupid to tape the Tour de France each night, so I don't even have that on disk to while away the time.

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