Saturday, December 09, 2006

Was there radiation in my tea?

I have just woken from a 24 hour bout of something which I never want to experience again.

It could be blamed on yesterday's 5am start for an early train to Leeds, coupled with the same on Monday, a heavy week-end in Copenhagen and general December exhaustion. But it was a pretty extreme reaction to exhaustion alone. Perhaps it's something to do with very nearly being off my anti D's or drinking too much red wine to get me through the bad days. I don't know, but there was a moment or two on the 1.05 GNER train from Leeds to Kings Cross yesterday when I thought I wasn't going to make it.

Sipping a cup of Yorkshire Tea at the start of a meeting, the first meeting with a new client, at Leeds Art Gallery, I started to shiver and feel slightly sick. An hour later I was visibly shaking uncontrollably and convinced I was going to chunder imminently. We had a full day of meetings ahead and I wondered how on earth I was going to make it.

As we left the room to change location I muttered to my colleague that I wasn’t feeling too good. I went to the loo & the client followed, I could hardly chuck up in the cubicle next to her! I called time out and went to Browns, had a full fat coke and curled up on a sofa. The sugar might do the trick I thought. But I continued to shake and feel overwhelmed by nausea and I just wanted to be home in my bed.

So I called my colleague and told her I was leaving her to it, headed for the station to get the next train home. It was cancelled. So I waited an hour quivering like a junkie in cold turkey and restraining myself from groaning aloud. I needed more clothes to stop this insufferable chill but there was no-where to buy anything in the station and I was too cold to leave its enclosure. The train was packed with the passengers from the cancelled one and even First Class was hell. I wrapped myself up in my hat and my scarf and tried to go to sleep. This is when the alarm bells started to ring. Every time I drifted into sleep I felt even more nauseous and nearly passed out. So I spent the journey fighting off sleep, terrified of fainting and never waking up, I must have visited the loo over 20 times. People tried to hide their confused looks as this strange shaking woman walked passed again and locked herself in the smelly cubicle. By the time we hit Kings Cross there was nothing left to throw up. It was the longest journey of my life.

I crawled into a cab and finally made it home. I couldn’t get into bed quick enough. As soon as I slipped under my duvet the shivers subsided and were quickly replaced by the sweats. I have spent a fitful night in a drenched bed but this morning it seems to have gone. I’m exhausted and drained and dehydrated but whatever it was has passed.

I feel like I now have a better understanding of what poor Mr Litvinenko went through!