Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, July 7, 2005

And I thought that was as bad as it was going to get. I was so wrong. That little blip the other day was merely the calm before the storm. I woke on Monday and the life had totally been drained from my body. It had taken a proper hold of me. I never got out of bed for the whole day except to drag my feet along to the toilet. I must have looked like something straight out of 'Dawn of the Dead'. I lost all sense of time, space and my thoughts were all over the place. I spent Tuesday exactly the same, drifting in and out of sleep and strange dreams, waking up in cold sweats and then of course there was the coughing. Every inward breath past 'half-way' would generate sufficient 'tickle' to start a chain reaction of heaving that would cause the most immense pain in my chest and lungs. It was so painful I honestly expected to find blood all over the sheets.

To add to the difficulties I received a phone call on Monday afternoon. It was Barry. I let it ring out. If I were to speak to anyone, I would need to force out enough coughing as to ensure a good thirty seconds or so of conversation without exploding in to annoying fits. Plus there's half a bar of signal in bed which is probably the most annoying little detail in the whole world. If you've ever tried having a telephone conversation with someone on half a bar you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Friends and family almost come to blows. It's not the sort of conditions I want to speak to a prospective employer under, not to mention my current respiratory grace. So I waited a short while and checked the answerphone message. He'd got a job for me! A good one. I don't know how I did it, but I dragged myself from my tomb, got dressed and hauled myself to a spot on the park underneath a tree which is probably the best I was going to get it. This spot gives you full bar of signal for pristine conversation quality, then suddenly and completely randomly it will cut off to nothing, giving you a conversation arena that would conjure instantaneous violence in the mildest of people. Just as you're about to sling the damn thing across the tarmac, full signal shoots straight back up the phone giving you your conversation back. It's the best I was going to get. I stood there shivering and made the call.

It was all good. Not what I was expecting, but all good. He'd got me a job; seven days a week, 7pm till 7am, patrolling the new hotel complex in Queenstown until it's grand opening in September. It was to be started on Friday. Without hesitation I said I'd take it. I needed it. It wouldn't enable me to work on my travelogue or read loads like the other job but I'd get round that no problem. I'd re-arrange my days. I was dead keen. He was happy too and it was agreed, though he did say we'd make it six days instead of seven, as I'd be burned out. He said I should have a night off. Just six days is seventy two hours a week. So we were both happy. He said he'd tie up the contract with the hotel and call me back. I thanked him and shuffled back to the van, crouching in to bed like a wounded animal. I've been there ever since.

Until this morning. Having gained sufficient energy to sit upright, I've been able to sit in the kitchen and make tea. Around lunchtime I was sitting semi-comfortably, groaning with each breath as I sipped tea. Then Barry called. This time it was to apologise. The job was off. After all that, the hotel have withdrawn their request for his services.

Following the news and as I still felt like shit I decided to try a little healing. Having been pestered by 'mom-texts' recently telling me to take a whole array of medication, I did - at least out of curiosity - fancy my chances with one of her wild suggestions. Cider vinegar and honey was the solution of the day. So this evening, before going to bed I made myself a cup. It didn't taste all that bad and was sure to fix this horrendous cough so I nursed it down me slowly like I'd been told. Then I retired to bed.
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