My relationship with WordPress is like with that one muse that you meet once a year or so in a different city whilst travelling only to hook up and never speak again – yes that’s pretty much it. I come here, woo it with a few words, paint a few pictures and exit without even a sign out.
Anymeh, this post isn’t about hook-ups or sex – I’ll leave that to E.L. James’ and Kate Pearce’s toilet paper scripts. I’m gona give you a detailed account into the origin of bird flu. Yes, that’s right. Now, you’re probably wondering – why bird flu? Well, I’ll escort you through the story with an intro:
Recently, I had been very sick for the past one month. Like tied to my bed for good sick and had all the following symptoms:
- Major cough
- 104 degree fever
- Extreme sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
All of the above persisted for over 10 days – I finally got over my ego and opinion that doctors are a bunch of pretentious quacks and decided to visit one. Walked in to the clinic, saw his stethoscope around his neck and went “Hey doc, how’s it hanging?” – okay, no I didn’t really do that but I know you guys will be tempted to do so the next time you visit one hehe.
He did the typical chest prod to “check my breathing and heartbeat” which I think is a sack of shit and just a formality that doctors use to validate themselves that their medical degrees still hold good. I’m pretty sure he diagnosed me before he even started feeling up my back and chest with his favorite toy. After a couple of interrogative questions, he prescribed a bunch of colorful pills and antibiotics (yay) for the rest of the week which I promptly bought from the medical store. Slipped the pharmacist a ₹500/- note, nodded my head just to feel like I’m scoring some good shit and he gave me back a “You’re fucking weird” slow head-shake.
So there I am, back in bed and not in the fun way – alone with my assortment of really badly flavored gems. Popping them for a week and on an Entourage marathon which was my only saving grace. I go back to the doc and he goes “Hmm, no progress. Let’s X-Ray and see what’s going on.” <— No typo there, that’s pretty much how he said it and yes you pronounced it the way he did “Let’s sex ray”.
I’m in the radiology room where a 30-something-probably-raped-someone guy walks in with a mustache heavy enough to prevent him from talking to much. He tells me to take off my tee-shirt, stand facing the wall and get this… ‘wait’. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to enjoy what’s coming next or just patiently bear what’s coming when thankfully he chimed “all done”. Spent the next five minutes nervous about the outcome – who wouldn’t when their lungs just got scanned through.
The doctor calls me in holding a sealed envelope – the contents of which will decide what’s wrong with my body. He places it up on a back-lit board in perfect view of him, my mum and me. As soon as he clicks the light on to illuminate the X-Ray, without a second’s breath he exclaims “Aha! I knew it! It’s pneumonia. All this while I feared you had Bird Flu. Are you a smoker my son? Or do you travel often?”
- Bhen ke lode, first of all you’re supposed to tell me if you suspect something like Bird Flu in my system right at the beginning. It’s my fucking body.
- How qualified are you really to guess that it’s bird flu at first glance and your doc toy?
- Just cause I’m a 20-something year old with a lung disease doesn’t mean I’m a smoker. (Okay, maybe I have had my share of it. Just a wee bit.)
- By the travelling often enquiry, you’re inferring that my lungs are infested with bacteria from someone else’s lungs in a different city who probably contracted from another person from some other city. God, that’s disgusting.
- Doctors never give good news. If you can tell someone they’re dying with a straight face and walk away, you’re already halfway there towards being a medical practitioner.
Here’s a quick snap of what my lungs look like. Note: They’re mine, not Mukesh’s.
The green circled patch is basically pneumonia. The black part is normal lungs – not tar – chill you guys. The other white part dead center extending to the base of my lungs is my heart because well you know, I’m a small guy with a big heart.
I was given a bigger bounty of medicine, antibiotics, effervescent, lozenges, cough syrups, loda, lasoon etc. and sent home with a ban from anything fun for the next 4-6 weeks. Time during which all I did was play dota, watch movies and throw up the end products of the effervescent from my lungs which was basically infected phlegm – picture it, thank you.
Anyphlegm, I spent the next couple of weeks researching Bird Flu out of sheer curiosity. The thought of having avian influenza really made me go what the duck and chicken out about death. Maybe if I did have the strain and met another bunch of people suffering from it I’d totally go “H5N1??” and reach out for a high five!
After much googling and reading up medical articles & blogs on the same topic, I found an old military story that dates back to the ‘Nam war in the 50s where the earliest sighting of Bird Flu was noticed. Apparently, a soldier with a bruised knee was trudging through the barracks of his US counterparts in the outskirts of Saigon. He was sick. Very sick. Yet, he moved on – his sole purpose being to succumb to the end of the war. He moved on like there was nothing. Coughing blood, leaving traces of his sickness in the vicinity of his footsteps. The other soldiers egged him on to have it checked at the infirmary nearby however ego took over(surprise surprise) and he didn’t heed. It gradually got worse.
During the heat of the battle, he took no notice of his condition. Not a cough when firing his gun; takes immense concentration. He couldn’t afford to do so however the nights were bad. He’d throw up the air he breathed and be warmer than a kettle of boiling water. He had the shivers and huddled up with the nearest gunny bag to keep warm through all the rain fed muck and grass. His conditioned worsened through these times and was immediately sent to the infirmary.
The doctors couldn’t pin down his sickness – he had the symptoms of a variety of potential candidates for disease. Pneumonia, diarrhea, the common flu aggravated among others. He was subject to tests and experiments. He lay there in the hospital bed, brooding over the fact he didn’t deserve this and had to go back to the battlefield. The painful coughs were a constant reminder that he had no choice.
The doctors probed into every detail over the last few weeks of his life including his diet. They figured out that it was definitely from something he had consumed and couldn’t have contracted it simply through mosquitoes or the environment as the tests negated anything even remotely close to dengue or malaria and the like. They brought back a gaggle of geese from a nearby river that had been hunted by the soldiers for food. A sample set including fully grown adults as well as babies.
The soldier watched over these tests from across the room through the window as he had nothing else in the world to do and observed the geese very patiently. About a month past, a half grown goose started being quite the arrogant one and extremely restless. He started flopping about with his newly grown set of wings in attempts to take to the skies but failed miserably. The soldier watched this with quite some amusement.
Days passed and the soldier wasn’t quite fully recovered but his fever had subsided. His diet had improved and so had his appetite – all signs of innate recovery of the body although his cough persisted. While walking out of his quarantined room, he walked past the room stocked with geese and noticed that a total of 14 geese were brought in initially – 4 males, 4 females and 6 goslings however his quick count gave him the number 13.
“Isn’t there one bird missing in that gaggle?” He asked the doctor. The doctor smiled to him and said, “One bird flew”.
And that’s the story of “bird flu”.
Maybe next time, when pigs fly, I’ll bullshit my way through a blog post to tell you the story of swine flu.