In the last couple of days a smouldering cold has got the better of me, and I'm deep in its grip now. What a pity - for once it's fine sunny weather for Easter, and I'd otherwise be meeting up with friends and strolling about in the sunshine clad in a short summer dress and a floppy hat. Instead I'm keeping cool indoors, skulking in the shadows you might say, and I feel weak. I've had a sore throat for three days, a runny nose, a cough, and my eyes don't feel right. Ugh.
Last night I was up to cooking. Tonight it'll be soup and toast. But at least there's Monty Don at 9.00pm on BBC2, taking us through his favourite Italian Gardens - Florence tonight, where I've actually been! I rather like Monty Don, and thoroughly enjoyed his series on gardens around the world three years back. Note how he invariably sports a 'man bag'. What does he have in it? A camera, yes, and surely a notebook for plant jottings. I bet he doesn't carry panty liners, though!
Getting back to this cold. Some years ago I used to be able to throw these off in a couple of days. More recently, in a week or so. This one is going to knock me out for longer. I don't usually get such a sore throat, so it's definitely running a different course. My uneducated guess is that it's taking advantage of my enfeebled post-op state, with the body barely out of the immediate recovery phase, and having had no time to rally. The antibodies need to regroup.
I hope I'm all right for my trip up to London next Tuesday - my first long journey. I'm seeing Dr Richard Curtis, so it's not a trip I want to miss. The prospect of a tedious train journey with a ticklish throat and a headache isn't attractive, and I'm seriously considering driving all the way into central London and parking in, say, the Curzon Square underground car park. That'll mean paying the Congestion Charge on top of the car parking fee, but it might be a much more comfortable journey. By which I mean that I can choose my route, stop when I like, bring along whatever extra refreshments and cool wipes that I like, enjoy climate control, enjoy a comfortable seat, and avoid getting squashed to death on the Underground. I'll research the feasibilty of this.
One heartwarming little footnote. The results of last week's various medical tests were available yesterday. I was delighted to see that my post-op oestragen level has shot up to 427 pmol/L. That's by far the highest it's ever been, the next best figure being 289 back in July 2009, which dwindled to 176 by September 2010. Some plumpness and curves are coming back, although I suspect that's more to do with good eating combined with inactivity, because the waistline is now less pronounced! Unexpectedly, there's nary a tingling in the nipple department - I'll have to ask Dr Curtis about that.
On a darker note, although it's still very good news, the reading for my prostate has also lurched in the right direction: downwards this time, to be well under the figure of 3.0 ug/L that would trigger concern. Oldies dread prostate tests, not because of how they're done (the finger-up-the-bum method has been replaced by a straightforward blood test), but because it's a fact of life that male-bodied creatures may very easily get prostate cancer. And the genital surgery leaves the prostate gland in place. I was having routine tests every six months, but an annual test will now do. With no function left, my prostate ought to shrivel up and become a cool black dwarf instead of a hot red giant, if you get the stellar analogy!