Today I feel older than I did yesterday. A whole year older to be exact.
This sudden aging could be put down to the last few stressful months. First there were the 5 weeks without my vision, followed by a rather painful broken toe, followed by a rather yucky dose of the Winter Vomiting Virus. They’ve all come in quick succession and have left me longing for the day when every part of my body does what it should and no part of me hurts like it shouldn’t.
Of course the overnight aging could also be put down to my turning another year older. Yes, it’s my birthday and I’m now officially on the wrong side of 35.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually have an issue with getting older, but right this second I’m looking every inch my age, and to top it off, I’m also feeling like I’ve been flattened by a hay bale. One of those large, round ones that you see scattered precariously around the countryside, just waiting to roll down the hill and squash you. It can happen you know.
So why do I feel like Flat Stanley on my birthday you might wonder? That would be the revolting flu symptoms that have hijacked my body today. Oh did I forget to mention that 2 days after one lot of family came and went – with vomiting virus in tow – my mother then arrived by Ryan Air with a rather nasty Italian strain of flu. And that would be the full on, shaking, sweating, incredibly painful variety, not the ‘Oh, I’m sniffing and sneezing, I must have flu’ type of flu. Or the ‘man’ type either for that matter.
I knew things were amiss before I even woke up this morning. Every time I laid on my back it hurt so much I had to roll over. Whilst I was still asleep and dreaming the pain didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but when the alarm went off it all fell into place. I came to with every joint aching, my skin feeling like it was covered with exposed nerve endings and my bones feeling like they’d been treated to several rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. On the upside at least both my ears lobes were still attached.
Now I get that the above may sound a tad dramatic in description, but would you believe that for once I’m actually not exaggerating. Honest.
Getting both kids up, dressed and ready for school was definitely something of a painful mission. Trying to be excited about my birthday for their benefit required acting skills I never even knew I had. Having to melt the ice off the car windows, negotiate the school run and make it home in one piece used up my very last ounce of energy.
By the time I limped into the nearest Boots pharmacy, draped myself across the counter and pointed with a rather pathetic finger at the excessively large selection of cold and flu tablets on offer, I was definitely on my last leg.
I say ‘leg’ not ‘legs’, as by this stage one of them had already started to buckle under me slightly as I walked. God knows why, but something somewhere in my lower limb was twinging and there was bugger all I could do to stop it. Had I not already reached the ‘feeling like hell’ stage, and therefore been completely oblivious to everyone around me, I might have been more than a little embarrassed about how ridiculous (and incredibly rough) I looked.
No doubt as I wobbled through the doors I resembled an alcoholic Mr Jelly with a mild dose of epilepsy – never a good look to be sporting out in public, especially when entering the hallowed aisles of Waitrose. Of course if I’d been in Tesco I might just have got away with it. If I’d been in ASDA I’d probably have fitted right in. If I’d been In Lidl I might even have been offered a job.
So here I am at the end of a very strange day, waiting for the ‘Night’ Benylin pills to kick in. My normally comfortable memory foam mattress feels like concrete, my bones feel bruised and my chest feels like it’s wrapped up in a boa constrictor. I’m restless, over-tired and achy. My nose won’t stop dripping and I sound like I’ve got a nasty dose of Kennel Cough. Even the dog is eyeing me up in alarm, covering his nose and keeping his distance. Not that I really blame him of course, he’s seen all the humans in the house drop like skittles in the last few weeks and he’s probably worried he’s next.
I admit I’m probably feeling slightly sorry for myself right now, but it’s not because I’m particually bothered about having slept through my birthday. I’ve already reached the age when you realise that your birthday – like Christmas – is more about watching your kids get excited about handing over their homemade gifts and cards, not worrying about doing anything exciting yourself.
In fact the highlight of the day for my daughter was bringing in The Cake. A cake that had naturally involved a three act drama all of it’s own yesterday when being made.
As I stood behind both children as they broke the eggs, sifted the flour across the kitchen surfaces and beat the butter to within an inch of it’s life I’d congratulated myself on how well it was all going. Then the cake emerged from the oven and I noted that the sponge had risen to the impressive thickness of a rich tea biscuit and was still raw in the centre.
How that was even possible I’m not sure, but there you go. We had somehow managed to bake a Victoria Sponge cake in exactly the same shape as a frisbee. That takes skill you know. Needless to say it ended up in the bin and we ended up trotting down the hill in the rain to buy a replacement from Waitrose.
All in all, not the best birthday I think I’ve ever had but at least my kids thought it went well. I’m also the proud owner of a hand woven something from my daughter and a highly creative ‘monster’ card from my son.
Any mother knows you really can’t ask for more than that.