After days of feeling under the weather, I was forced to take a day off last Tuesday.
I visited the doctor and he confirmed that it was not the worst - no malaria and no H1N1. He suggested it was a mild viral influenza.
But then, the next morning, I developed quite a few hideous boils and rashes on my face, back and my chest. Something inside told me they were not the normal boils that I usually get with fever. They were bigger, redder and painful. Something inside me said it was chicken pox. Wikipedia confirmed my fears.
The next port of call was the doctor, early in the morning. He confirmed the worst - it was chicken pox. The doctor gave me a terse warning - to stay confined indoors, no contact with outsiders, complete rest and no bathing!
Yuck, no bathing?
Yes, no bathing.
I was advised to stay put at home till the last boil dries up, as during the drying up process, the infection can spread to others. That could take up to 2 weeks.
I was prescribed an antiviral and a tablet to curb itching.
Since that day I have been isolated in a room. No moving around, just lying in bed. If that sounds awfully boring, it isn't because the drugs that I have been prescribed make me sleep the whole day.
And when I sleep, which is like 16 hours of the day, I dream of being in the South Pacific, perhaps an isolated lagoon in Fiji or Tahiti, which is where I really want to be, someday, but when I wonder?
Or I dream of good yummy food, things like chicken, not the pox-kinds, but the feathered, two-legged kinds.
And when I am awake, I look out of the window to see the pigeons gallivanting around in balcony with some kind of serious purpose, the kind that you would find at office hours in the morning Churchgate, when the trains from the suburbs start rolling in. I try to check out my office emails on the Blackberry or the laptop, when my eyelids permit me, or listen to a bit of FM - Keisha was on air yesterday!
The good part was there were no restrictions placed on diet. I can, I can have anything that I want to, but low-mild in oil and spice content.
That has got poor Neeti into nursing action. Every morning I am woken up with a warm cup of milk with an assorted array of fruit neatly, attractively arranged on a plate - I guess attractiveness of food does build up an appetite. Then it's breakfast time, with eggs and bread or upma, poha with tea, our style.
The cook played truant on two evenings. So Neeti took the pain of getting vegetables from the market and cooking up a lovely baingan bhartha, which had an amazingly delicate smoky flavour, that I will always remember, The next day Neeti's menu featured a crisp Murthal-type aloo paratha with a dash of butter and a lot of cold curd, that's the way I love them!
That's Neeti way of nursing me back to health, or rather pampering and spoiling me to the hilt! I wonder how many kilos she's made me gain! But, in sickness it's the loving care besides the medicines that do the magic.
Every morning and evening, I get calls from home to lift up my spirits and with terse directives to listen to the diktats of "Dr. Neeti" of no television and complete rest, at all costs.
But it is really difficult to stay out of action for such a long time. There is quite a bit of work getting piled up in office. I am missing the crazed action, the rush, the conference calls, besides the tea-time discussions and the crazy drive to office. I never missed driving my Kingliner (that's what I call my riviera red Wagon R!!!) so much, before.
The boils are still there, drying up - till then I am instructed to stay put by all means. It will be sometime before I can be back in action, in full form. And I am raring to do that.
Till then I am trying to pox out the chicken pox at the earliest, after all its no tandoori chicken!!!!