Sunday, May 18, 2008

KTWV 09 Issue 12: Never heard of the NOROVIRUS before Wednesday!

(Cross-posted on all my major blogs.)

I have been missing on the Blogosphere and in my Google Groups for a few weeks. It has been because of the sheer workload and also as I have found the Facebook experience quite fascinating. I found many relatives, even quite distant ones, many many friends, Cathedralites, Stephanians, CHAFF and many other groups, including my School House Group, SAVAGE, on Facebook, that I have been familarising myself to all what could be done by me on Facebook.

Although I am achieving quite a lot in creating my corner in Facebook, it is no match for the direct Blog or a Google group - and that is why I am back at blogging!

In my 24+ years in Finland I had never missed a days work or events because of any form of serious illness. I have been ill (including a bout of painful herpes inside the mouth), but it was always possible to get to work and work without having to take time off.

But this last week was different.

While at the funeral of a dear friend, Willie, Michelle's husband, I felt claustrophobic in the Small Chapel, which meant I had to go outside for some fresh air. Annikki and I went back inside to place the wreath from the whole MATTHAN Family on the coffin, but I continued to feel very weak.

Michelle (with Willie) owns the best Chinese / Indian Restaurant in town - the Royal Garden.

Michelle is from Calcutta and is a close friend of our daughter, Joanna, and consequently, a close family friend of ours. Any visitor to Oulu usually gets a treat at one of her restaurants. So Michelle is known by our family and friends around the world. (Cousins Chacko and Ammu, niece Nirupa, niece Preminda with husband Chris and Malayika, Cathedralites Sunil (and Kamal) Sahni, Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) Viney Sethi, Stephanians Ajay Verma, Prof. Ajeet Mathur, are just a few who have enjoyed the hospitality of Michelle and Willie.)

I suggested to Annikki that we go home and rest before attending the farewell reception for Willie at the Royal Garden Restaurant.

After getting home and resting for about half an hour I was violently ill and unable to lift my head. I did not know what had hit me. Annikki treated me all the best remedies that she has up her sleeve, Silica to line the stomach, magnesium tablets, and one pain-killer. I managed to retain a bit of everything to help me sleep off the next four to six hours, but the vomiting and diarrhoea did not abate. It was absolutely miserable.

Next morning Annikki read in the local newspaper about something known as the NOROVIRUS and the symptoms were exactly what I had been through.

A quick Google Search yielded all the important data and I was sure that absolute fasting with only liquids was the right answer.

By evening I was able to consume some of Annikki's great Fish Soup and it stayed in.

By the next morning the main symptoms had vanished, but at 5 am the Norovirus hit Annikki.

Despite her agony she took quick action to ensure that her mother, Hilja, who was supposed to be brought home that afternoon, was looked after while Annikki recovered from this virus. According to Jonana, who sent us a text message from Newcastle, it can be fatal for the elderly.

I had a good friend from Tampere, a town 500 km south of Oulu, coming to visit me on Friday evening / Saturday morning.

I did not want to disappoint Nadir or miss meeting him as his visits to Oulu are only once every two years. Rather than ask him to cancel, I booked Nadir in at a hotel across from the Railway Station, as the Norovirus is extremely contagious. I was clean but the house would have been disturbingly filled the virus.

We spent a few wonderful hours together and he was on his way on Saturday afternoon.

I would like to know which of my efforts you appreciate more - my blogs, my Facebook entries, my direct posts to you - or maybe I should just SHUT UP....

(OK Ubi, I know what you will say, but believe me you are not too old for Facebook. However, although it seems easy, it is quite complicated to work out all the ins and outs and it is not intuitive as it should be.)