As I mentioned in my last post, I was down and out with the flu the other week. I have not been really sick since arriving 11 months ago, but this was one of the worst flu’s I have ever had.
It started last Friday night with a scratchy throat after a 3-hour bus ride to Lille to visit Maxime’s parents. We both had it and I figured it was from the recycled air on the bus. On a side note, we took the iDBus which was a very comfortable bus with reclining seats, adjustable head rests, wifi, bathroom and foot rests and it was only 23€/round trip. They travel to Amsterdam, Milan, London, Brussels, Lyon and the prices won’t rise the closer to the trip so you can book last minute.
The following day we were heading to Bruges which I had been dying to visit since seeing IN BRUGES which is one of my favorite movies and absolutely hilarious. When we arrived, it was the coldest weather I had been in, I think ever. I had a huge wool pashmina wrapped around my neck and head, down gloves, wool socks with silk liners, wool sweater and a thick wool jacket. That was not enough to keep the cold out. As the day progressed, my mood became more foul and then around 4pm, I started getting achy all over. We stopped for hot tea and when I asked for a refill with my scratchy, sick voice, the woman said I would have to buy another tea because they do not give any sort of water for free at any time in Belgium, even when you sound as sick as me. That sent my mood over the edge and I was ready to leave.
We proceeded back to the car and with each step I felt worse. In the car, with the heat and seat warmers on full blast, I could not get warm and shook the entire 45 minute drive back to Lille. When we arrived at the apartment, snow started falling and I had to wait outside while Maxime parked. I thought at that point I was going to die from my freezing blood. Then, when we got to the elevator, it was stopped on the 6th floor so Maxime’s brother had to run up to ask the people to close the door. I thought: this is it, I’m never getting warm again. The elevator finally arrived and once inside the apartment, I was covered in blankets and that’s when my fever spiked. Maxime’s dad called the SOS doctor and he came about an hour later. Yes, a house-call which cost us 15.60€. I was given a prescription for a variety of medicine which Maxime was lucky enough to fill before the last pharmacy closed at 9pm. There is a downside to this country that late-night pharmacy’s are few and far between. But I’ll take a doctor house call over a 24-hour pharmacy, though I did think he’d have a few flu medicine basics in his classic black medical bag, but that was not the case. I finally fell asleep and had the weirdest flu and fever induced dreams and woke up to a low grade fever, achy limbs and a small appetite. We headed home on the iDBus and I proceeded to spend the next week sleeping and watching movies. I might have been a bit dramatic thinking I was going to die, but it was one of the worst flu bugs I have ever had and I hope that I’ve built up a resistance to the French Flu.