16 August 2009


Got up this morning (well, afternoon. It's Sunday and I was still stuck in a traffic jam at 00:30 last night/this morning) to find a text message from a friend I'd hung out with yesterday afternoon. She's got swine flu. Great. So I phoned NHS Direct for advice and the nurse I spoke to carried out an "assessment":

Her: Do you ache all over?

Me: I have Ostesogenesis Imperfecta.

Her: Do you have a blocked nose or difficulty breathing?

Me: I have severe chronic sinusitis.

Her: Are you fatigued?

Me: I take 4 times the standard daily adult dose of antihistamines so I'm always fatigued.

Her: Do you have a sore throat?

Me: I have a persistent sore throat from the Nasonex

Her: Do you have any muscle weakness?

Me: I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

And my favourite:

Her: Imagine the worst headache you could possibly have. Do you have that?

Me: I have severe chronic sinusitis. My normal headaches require morphine.



  1. TG's conversation with the advisor re my symptoms was rather similar...

    Hope you're OK & that I haven't infected you.

  2. And what did she recommend? Nothing?

  3. I don't usually have achiness from anything (okay, sometimes muscular pain from my myotonia, but that's not persistent). But I do have chronic nasal congestion 24/7/365 from allergies (dust and probably other things). This means I am probably slower than most people to realize that I have come down with a cold, unless it starts with an especially bad sore throat AND if the sore throat doesn't go away just by drinking fluids. Sometimes I don't realize I'm sick until I find myself becoming really fatigued.

    So, not quite as bad as your situation. But, still, try getting the ordinary person to understand how tricky it can be to tell the difference between "just more allergies" or "a bad allergy day" and a bona fide cold. Some people seem to have trouble grasping why it should be hard to tell. I imagine you encounter the same perplexity but double (or triple or quadruple)