Dot writes: (in chronological order, starting a bit over two weeks ago)
1. My little son has just had an operation and is off playschool. I can’t leave him to go for a run.
2. I have a bad sore throat and feel seedy. It’s very cold and it would be silly to go for a run.
3. I have a bad sore throat and the shivers. I am too ill to go for a run.
4. My husband is home for the weekend. My throat is a bit better, but I’m too busy with family stuff to go for a run.
5. [Sunday night] I have an incredibly acute earache, it’s the middle of the night, I can only find children’s liquid neurofen to take the edge off the pain, the all-night doctor service can only offer an appointment at 4.30am when my husband is leaving for the airport at 4.40am, I will drive to Tesco in my pyjamas to buy paracetamol but you’re not getting me to run there. (Seriously, I’m trying to work out if this hurts more than childbirth.)
6. The doctor says I have a middle ear infection (otitis media) and has put me on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and decongestant spray, all with a wince of sympathy. Sounds have a buzzy edge to them and make odd harmonics. Running? **** off.
7. Now I have clear fluid draining from my ear. The pain is much less – wow, those drugs worked quickly – but I’m very, very tired. And mostly deaf.
8. Feeling a bit sedentary, so I’ll pick Hugh up from school and see how it goes. Pity this involves feelings of intermittent nausea and giddiness.
9. Ah. Doctor says I have a perforated eardrum (thus the fluid, which is now pink/yellow/gooey). Also, I have quite severe vertigo. If I tried to run I’d fall over. Actually, if I get out of bed too quickly I want to be sick. More antibiotics, anti-inflammatories stopped, anti-nausea pill started.
10. Getting better very slowly. Let’s hope by the time I stop wobbling my muscles haven’t atrophied.
Today (Saturday) we are going to have to cope without Julie, who has been a star but has a long-standing previous engagement with her boyfriend’s surprise birthday party. I’ve arranged a playdate for Hugh and some friends are coming round in the afternoon. With luck, between these arrangements and the magic of television I’ll manage to avoid running after the kids.