H1 eNi 1?


I spent the last couple of days agonising over whether or not I had the H1N1 virus.

It started with a short visit to the Post Office. The sun happened to peep out from under its covers on Wednesday, and so I strapped the (protesting) little one into his buggy and went out. Little did I know how deceptive the sunshine was. The outside temperature was a mere 4 degrees!

So, by nightfall, I felt drained and feverish. Thursday went by in pretty much the same vein. By Friday, unfortunately, I felt worse. It was theΒ nausea that prompted me to take the online swine flu symptoms checker. It advised me to go get my dose of Tamiflu!

I was quite crestfallen. But, I wasn’t convinced.

Until finally, it was this phone call with the flu service helpline that set all doubts aside.

Nurse: Are you normally active?

Me: Active? You mean, like doing active stuff? Ummm..! Hmm..! (finally) Yeah, somewhat. (Here, I was tempted to say ‘I surf’ (the net, dude!!) but sanity prevailed.)

Nurse: Do you haveΒ Diarrhoea?

Me: My tummy feels rather queasy today. Like I want to throw up.

Nurse: Awwwww, that’s really sad.

Much as I hate to digress, I absolutely must admire their scripts… they are so completely humane, unlike the scripts of our Indian call centres… which typically go ‘How may I help you? Interested in our Insurance product? No, Ok thank you. Can I do anything else?’ and SLAM the phone down before the person on the other line can blink his teary eyes!)

Anyway, she continues: Avoid eating fried things, or anything that could upset your stomach further.

Me: I didn’t have any fried stuff! (It was all baked or so. A packet of chilli chips, 3 Ferroro-rochers…)

Nurse (kindly ignores latter half of reply): Ok, but its alright if you don’t feel like eating anything.

Me (very emphatically!): No no, I DO feel like eating. Infact I’m hungry right now!

Nurse: (Persists very kindly): No, I completely understand, you probably just feel like having a bite of toast…

Me (thinking to myself): (What about the yummy Pav-Bhaji that I have just made?): ‘Ok’

Nurse: You must be quite dehydrated, due to the fever. You may have crushed ice.

Me: Sure (reflecting on my wise decision to gobble those mini-chocolate-ice-cones post lunch)

Nurse: Does your mind feel confused or so?

Me: Coming to think of it, YES! For instance, I was watching B4U Music yesterday, and I couldn’t remember this guy’s name… for the love of life, he is one helluva hunk, but the name completely slipped by me…

Nurse: And?

Me: (thinking of the Sarda* who laughs on Wednesday, for a joke that he heard the previous Monday) ‘It was Arjun Rampal’

Nurse (not impressed any longer with such frivolity): ‘So, I cannot confirm now, if you have a seasonal flu or swine flu’(Wow! What a revelation!!) ‘But if your symptoms take a turn for the worse, contact the swine flu helpline’

Me: Brrrr….

Nurse: And remember…

Me: (gasping again, thinking she is going to comment on my (non) diet and (non) exercise routine): ‘Yes?’

Nurse: ‘That you are not alone.. we are here 24 hours a day’

Me: How kind! (Right, 24 hours on a darn telephone line! How the hell does that help me or anyone else??)

Anyway, I am feeling better now. The aches and pains have gone, the fever resurfaces now and again, and I am certainly not as ‘active’ as before. But yeah, I’m kicking!!!!!

(P.S 1: Some of the above are fictional.. like the 3 ferroro-rochers & ice-creams .. it was, in fact, merely one!!)

(P.S 2: On a serious note, sickness is not a nice thing at all! When bones shiver, eyes ache, and the tummy feels like its on a roller coaster ride, it feels very weird. So, people, if you are coming down with the flu, watch out for the symptoms, and if they take a turn for the worse, go see a proper Doctor!)

Moral of the story: Live life well, and live it today!!

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38 thoughts on “H1 eNi 1?

  1. LOL! The swine flu helpline is quite helpful πŸ™‚ I called the NHS helpline the other day, because Poohi had a temp of 39.6 in the middle of the night. I called them at 3, and they called me back at 6:30 in the morning ,by when her, temp had subsided and I had just dropped back to sleep! I honestly don’t know what they asked and what I answered πŸ™‚ It is funny, how they reassure you that we can call them anytime, we want and then take ages to call us back!

    So Pallu, you are feeling queasy after eating crisps and chocolates πŸ™‚ Yes, that must be swine flu πŸ˜‰

    Hey, the header pic – is taken from Greenwich park, na?

    1. Smithu! You are invincible! One look at the header and you know the exact location. Man! You should be working for Scotland Yard or something πŸ˜‰

      Much as I dislike the panic spread by the Indian media on the swine flu, I do think atleast the Doctors there agree to doing a swab test. Here, that is completely ruled out! Isn’t it a pity that they would rather give Tamiflu (which could have serious side-effects) rather than take some time more to diagnose the exact problem?

      Oh, and I had the chocolate and mini-cone BECAUSE I was feeling ill (you know, as a placebo), and not the other way round πŸ˜‰

  2. Heee! U know what, I have a friend who goes hyper everytime an new epidemic is annouced n she thinks she has contracted it, n then starts the self medication, fretting n finally we take her to the doctor… and when they give a clean chit, she refuses to believe until the next epidemic is announced. Loved it

    Between I love ferroro-rochers, can have 2-5 at time

    Good day Pal:)

  3. How can ask help from someone stuck 24hrs. to the phone like a glue?
    but I guess there is really nothing much that you could do.
    You see I don’t have to worry much about this H1N1 viral flu
    for against a swine like me the virus doesn’t have any clue.

    They say you should stuff a cold and starve a fever.You seem to do it the other way. Guess it is ‘alternative medicine’for you. πŸ™‚

  4. Sometimes if I go through the symptoms guide for various diseases I feel at some point of time I had unknowingly almost all the diseases listed :p and miraculously surviving and then i realized am not the only “specimen” in this world when i came to know about my friend who is a doc now was very sure during his study days that he has all the diseases known to the mankind after going through the symptoms listed in the guide

    btw, Indian Call center guys dont have time to be “humane” on phone else his manager will make a log that he consumes too much of time and his productivity per hour is very low πŸ˜‰ :p

  5. Hilarious. LOL @ the reference to the Indian call-center scripts. You were bang on in your description ! πŸ˜€

    So how are you feeling now after having Paav Bhaji?? πŸ˜€

    1. @ Bones: πŸ™‚

      @ Pins N Ashes: Ha ha! Hope she isn’t studying to become a doctor. Yes, nothing to beat F-R!!! Slurp… And you have a lovely day too PnA πŸ™‚

      @ Roshmi: He he…even computers get virus…so maybe crocodiles can fly?!

      @ PRG: Long time no see?
      As for starve the fever…you see I also had a cold!!

      @ LR: Exactly!! And this reminds me of the dialogue in ‘Three Men in a Boat’.

      As for the ‘time factor’ influencing ‘humane-ness’ in call-centers, you do have a point there. Though, I think, as a community, we Indians are far less expressive/vocal than are westerners.

      @ Deeps: Thanki thanki. Feeling better today finally. The pav-bhaji did help a little.

      @ Prats: Thanki! Will be back with a bang real soon πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, do we have such swine flu helplines here in India ?? I would want to play a prank πŸ˜‰

    Seems like your discussion with the nurse was more like two women gossipping πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      1. @ Vimmu: Oh!! (gasps in horror)! Don’t ever play a prank. They will hunt you down and give you a dose of antiviral! LOL at your comment on ‘two women gossiping’! And thank you very much, feeling better today.

    1. Quirky, trust you to bring that up! Truth is, the appointment was on Thursday, but I had to cancel (thankfully) due to the flu! Honestly, dentists do more harm than good. Hang them all!!

  7. Yes, its a sick feeling to feel sick !!! And I dont like to be alone, when I am sick, which invariably I am. I want somebody to make a cup of hot chai for me, the way I want it to be done – pretty selfish while expecting favours, na ?????

    God, you wanted to eat all those, when you answering the help line to swine flu !!! ROFL…. Pal, u r the ultimate !!!! πŸ˜†

    Anyway, get well sooooon !!!!! Hugs to you !!!!!

    1. @ Ums – LOL at ‘chai my way’ Not selfish though, for a person who is ill needs pampering!
      Btw, I did not ‘want’ to eat them ‘while’ answering the helpline. I had already gobbled it up before I spoke to them πŸ˜‰ What if they said ‘no’ later. Back to normal now, thank you πŸ™‚
      Another BTW, are you a ‘chai’ person and not a ‘kaapi’ person?

      @ Ganga – Thank you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah !!! Its chai, chai and chai all the time !!!! πŸ™‚

        I used to have kaapi for some time – you know how they force kaapi when you deliver kids….then put a fullstop when I couldnt take it anymore….LOL πŸ™‚

  8. LOL Pals… πŸ˜† your obessession with the food while u r ill makes me to remember a famous vadivelu dialogue…

    ‘Indha ranagalathulayum ungalukku oru kilukilupu kaekthu’ πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜†

  9. Jokes apart.. hope are well now…

    and for call centres in India.. I think the reason for them being robotic is, however well we study English, not many can master it to a level in which one can converse easily and u r in a country where its the mother tongue….

    1. Hey thanks, K, am back to my normal ‘active, surfing’ self today. LOL at the Vadivelu dialogue πŸ™‚

      Reg. the callcenters, I have nothing against them being robotic, but they are just so insensitive. But I think that’s got to do with the fact that we Indians are , as a community, less expressive and less animated than others.

      For eg., if I went to see a nurse here, she would say 20 ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aahs..’ and ‘Tut..tut..I understand, it must be so difficult for you’. And at the end of it, she would say, very wisely, ‘take a paracetamol’.

      In India, on the other hand, the nurse would barely grunt when you tell her the symptoms, but would at the same time, very efficiently hand out the perfect prescription and make sure you get OK within two days.

      So, both communities have their pro’s and con’s. ‘Being empathatic AND expressive’ certainly, is not a quality most Indians possess πŸ™‚

  10. So the S… Flu did some good to you …U canceled the Dentist appointment πŸ˜€ because of it…otherwise we would have been reading your ‘Dentist’ post….

    1. LOL! Yes, otherwise you would have read about how the Crown that I got fixed two years back is now shaky, because of the wrong filling done two months back 😦

  11. “β€˜I surf’ (the net, dude!!)” ROFL :D. Glad to see we follow the same patterns in diet and exercise. Hope you are ok now and that the bones have stopped shivering!

  12. I took an entire dose of Tamiflu for a stomach infection! Can you beat that?

    Long story short, I had some symptoms. Visited the doc. He told I had H1N1. So start Tamiflu to be on safe side. In the meanwhile, we’ll do some more tests to confirm diagnosis. Go home for now. Will call you tomorrow when the test results come.

    I take Tamiflu nicely for a week, skip work, take all precautions (have a 9 month baby you see). And exactly a week later, the doc calls me.

    Doc: How are you feeling now?
    Me: I’m OK now. Back to work from tomorrow.
    Doc: Is your stomach OK?
    Me: Yes, its fine now.
    Doc: Actually as per your results, you had food poisoning due to a stomach infection. So just wanted to check….
    Me: ..that I am alive? Do you mean to say I never had H1N1?
    Doc: No, your tests came negative. It came positive for a bacteria $@%$%&*#@ which caused food poisoning.
    Me: Thanks, Doc!!! I am OK now…luckily!
    Doc: Good. Bye.

    Atleast you got all frustrated on the helpline. I had to deal with a real doc and this happens.

    1. OMG! Did they really give you Tamiflu as a precautionary measure? That’s crazy! I’ve heard (rumours?!) that people tend to become suicidal and confused after taking the medicine. I think you deserve a huge pat on the back for getting well πŸ™‚

  13. Get well soon babes!! πŸ™‚

    LOL@ the narration!
    No wonder your tummy was quesy after eating packet of chilli chips, 3 Ferroro-rochers, and ice cream and Pav Bhaji!!! :mrgreen:

    Hope you are feeling bettre now! {{{hugs}}}

    1. @ Pix: Alive and kicking, thanks πŸ™‚ Btw, I had to throw out most of the pav bhaji. Hubby didn’t want and I couldn’t 😦

      @ Yuva: LOL! Thanks for the link!

      @ Saurabh: Thank you very much. I enjoy reading your blog, so no ‘thanks vanks’ πŸ™‚

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