I’ve been fighting off a virus since Monday. Today it got the better of me.

I don’t know where it came from. Public transport, which I use regularly, is a Petrie dish, so that’s an option. A biological soup of all sorts of bacteria and viruses and fungi. Maybe I walked into someone’s cough or sneeze in the supermarket. Or touched something at work that was teeming with someone’s lurgy leftovers. I haven’t been as vigilant with hand sanitiser as I should.

It starts its life as a knife-point of pain just under my right ear. I can feel the sharp stab of an impending infection. I swallow paracetamol and ibuprofen in the vain hope of staving it off. Or at least delaying an onset. I soldier on, convincing myself I have it beat.

It progresses, though, over the course of a couple of days. I can feel its slow creep. The sharp point of pain travels down to my gut, and sits there as an uneasy reminder of its viral power. My stomach bloats and complains like a surly puffer fish. I swallow Vitamin C tablets that are the size of horse pills, and will them to perform their magic.

They fail, because today I wake with a raw and itchy throat, my stomach still queasy. I am defeated and capitulate, withdrawing to my bed to recover, allowing the troops of my immune system to recon around my lymph nodes. Butter menthol, Strepsils and Vitamin C are my weapons of choice. I drown myself in hot tea and antioxidants.

The cat snuggles in under the doona, keeping me company as I binge my way through an entire season of Sons of Anarchy. She loves it when I’m home, regardless of the reason. The fact that I am unwell is of little consequence to her. And she relishes the extra heat radiated by mildly feverish body.

As the day draws to a close, so does my virus. I think. Glands are not quite so swollen and sore, the queasiness in my stomach has eased, and my throat is less raw. I’m hungry, and I forage for food, glad that my appetite – which has been missing in action – has returned. And I’m tired. Dealing with drug cartels and drug running and club politics and sociopathic bikers is exhausting.

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