Friday, December 21, 2007

Slow down, you're moving too fast, if you don't slow down you're gonna crash

When I was doing far more worthy, if less lucrative, work on social and health policy in the UK I once did some user testing for a new website for the NHS that would let people type in their symptoms and then make helpful suggestions as to potential self-treatment options, or advise when to panic and rush to your nearest hospital. The main problem with the website, other than encouraging woefully misplaced diagnosis and probably making people think they were worse than they actually were by suggesting symptoms they hadn't thought of, was that the NHS was so cautious in its diagnosis that pretty much any combination of symptoms directed you to your local doctor.

Being a bit mischievous, one of the first things I did was type in the symptoms of a hangover (nausea, fatigue, headache etc) and the combination of these symptoms, rather than suggesting a little lie down and some paracetamol, would give you a bright red warning telling you to immediately go to your local hospital.

Pregnancy is all about your body doing funny things and making you feel not quite your normal self. I hate being ill. Not that anyone likes it, but some (such as the Boy) take to it like a challenge to be overcome and dose themselves up with pills and potions in a well-formed strategy to dealing with what would probably get better with a bit of bed rest and a cup of tea. I, on the other hand, will usually ignore that I am ill until the point at which I become so debilitated that I am forced to slow down. Which is why I am finding my current state so annoying.

For the last three days I have developed all sorts of irritating symptoms. All my joints ache, my ankles are puffy, I have a bit of a headache, feel so horribly tired and sleep isn't making me less so, and I feel sick. All of which, according to my books, is perfectly normal for someone who is 37 weeks pregnant. Sadly, this means that my body is finally telling me that I can't go to the gym, spend the day on my feet Christmas shopping, and then out until 11 at friends for dinner (which is what I did yesterday on my day off). Much as I am sitting here moaning to the Boy about how miserable I feel, it really is my own fault and if I just slowed down a bit, I would probably feel a bit better.

Or, if the NHS website is to be believed, I have flu.

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