Thursday, 1 April 2021

Chills and Fever

One of the earliest books that I can remember having a lasting effect on me was Rogue Male, a 1939 thriller by Geoffrey Household. I must have been around 10 years of age when I read it, along with the rest of my English class at junior school, but vivid elements of the story have stayed with me over the ensuing half century, in particular a tightly written chase scene around Aldwych tube station and the claustrophobic later chapters where our unnamed perpetrator hides underground in the hollowed out bank of a remote country lane in Dorset.

I had my first AstraZeneca jab one morning last week and for the following 6½ hours thought I'd got away with it, but then, over the course of just 45 minutes that evening, I went from feeling completely tickety-boo to suffering full-on flu symptoms. Shivering violently, sweating profusely and with my head thumping, I took myself to bed, where I stayed for much of the next 48 hours, phoning into work sick for only the second time ever. Firing up the BBC Sounds app on my phone to murmur away in the background for company as I drifted in and out of a fevered state of consciousness, I discovered that a fifteen part, 2004 serialisation of Rogue Male, read by Michael Jayston, had recently been repeated on Radio 4 Extra and was available to listen again, so I let the whole story go round and round on a continuous loop for most of the two days, missing great chunks when I sank into a fitful sleep and picking it up again when I came to. 

Feeling a bit better on the third day, I returned to work, but my head still wasn't quite right. Indiscriminate thoughts kept popping into my muddled brain throughout my nine hour shift, which seemed for all the world like hazy half forgotten memories of real events, but were actually random scenes from Rogue Male, absorbed while in my delirious state and now seeping out into my mind as I worked. For a while it took a real effort to separate fact from fiction - a very odd sensation indeed.

A mate, one month younger than me, had his first jab on the same day as me with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. My Aunt, at 91, thankfully sailed through both her jabs without issue. Conversely, another guy at work, fifteen years my junior, was rendered totally out of commission for five full days following his injection. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason. My second run-in with AstraZeneca is slated for the first week of June - I've already taken the precaution of booking a couple of days off work, just in case.

Teacho & the Students - Chills and Fever


Charity Chic said...

Bad one Swede
I had the Pzizer jab and had no adverse reaction

Swiss Adam said...

I had AZ but no side effects. Sorry you got it bad.

John Medd said...

Sorry to hear that, TS; luck of the draw, isn't it? I've never read Rogue Male - I'll add it to the list.

C said...

So sorry to hear about this. As you say, there seems to be no rhyme or reason behind the differing responses (likewise it seems with Covid itself). I was lucky to have no more than a bit of tiredness and headache the day after my AZ jab, but a friend the same age as me felt distinctly off-colour for a week. Wondering if the response to our second jabs will be better or worse now!
Rogue Male sounds good but I know what you mean about the way vivid passages can seep into a delirious mind. Some years ago during a particularly evil bout of 'flu, there were a couple of innocuous ads on TV which, in my desperate fevered state, morphed into something dark and twisted, never to be forgotten!

Martin said...

Sorry to hear this. I had a headache all day the day after my 1st (AZ) but that was all. Ąs you say, no rhyme or reason.

Going to look for Rogue Male on the Sounds app right now!

Brian said...

It’s nice to hear so many of you have been vaccinated. I think it will be another month for me as the state I live in is among the slowest to disperse the jab. We are on seniors age 60-64 right now. After reading your ordeal, Swede, maybe I’m not in such a hurry. These side effects that play with our mental health scare me more than feeling physically ill. Hope you’re feeling better by now. Take care.

Walter said...

Also sad to hear this Swede but what makes me happy is to hear that the side effects vanished. Over in Germany we are very slow in vaccination. As far as I know I have to wait until May for my first jab and I don't mind if it is AZ or something else

MARIE said...

Hi Mr. S,

It's been a long time! I'm very sorry that you had such a negative experience with AZ, but relieved to hear that you're back on your feet now. I had determined that I would wait as long as I had to for the Pfizer and received my first dose last week. All I had to content with was a very sore left arm for the rest of the day and the stress of lining up for it with people who don't seem to know what "distancing" means. ;-)

"Rogue Male" is one of my favourite books. I've read it four or five times. As we're going into another 4-week (half-assed) "lockdown" today, I think I'll read it again this weekend.

I hope everything else is going well for you and that you sail through your second jab.

MARIE said...

Clearly, I've become sloppy about proofreading - I meant to say "contenD", not contenT.

The Swede said...

Thanks for your kind words folks. There are a handful of vax-doubters at work, largely put off by the fear of side effects rather than the vaccine itself. I try to calm their worries by reminding them that it's a (possible) short term personal pain for a long term universal gain. We've had a significant number of actual cases among the staff over the past few months (fortunately none critical) and the stories they've shared of their horrible experiences should have everyone standing in line with their sleeve rolled up at the nearest available medical centre.

One thing I failed to mention in the post was the military-style organisation of the place where I got my jab. It was a superb testament to the NHS and the volunteers who funnelled us in, through and out of the building. The two injection rooms were crowded, but social distance was managed and observed throughout the experience. I didn't feel unsafe or anxious at any point.

(As of this writing, the first instalment of the 15 part radio adaptation of Rogue Male will drop off the BBC Sounds app in two days. I can't recommend Michael Jayston's clipped reading highly enough if you find yourself with a bit of time to spare.....even if I myself am in no great hurry to listen to it again for a while!

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