I have been feeling pretty exhausted over the last few days and can't shake off my cold and I was saying as much to mum on the phone. She mentioned seeing the Dr. I said that I thought I was more likely to catch something worse if I sat in the waiting room for hours, so she mentioned the NHS direct alternative.
So, later in the evening, when I noticed nasty spots on the back of my throat, the thought was already in my head. I know, I thought, I'll ring NHS Direct. So I did, and after some consultation the lovely lady, (She was not a nurse, I hadn't got that far into the system) on the end of the phone, directed me to the Pandemic Flu website.
'But I haven't got flu' I said.
'Try them anyway' she answered 'I think you should'.
At the website you have to fill in a questionnaire about symptoms. While I was doing it I was also on the phone, perhaps I should have concentrated a little more. At the end of the form I was told I had flu and it gave me a unique code to pick up some antivirals. 'I don't need antivirals!' I said to the screen, but under the code, in highlighted writing, it said that it if you didn't pick them up, you wouldn't be offered them a second time, naughty girl. Well it didn't say that exactly but...
Bum, I thought. So I rang the help line. The lovely man told me that if I didn't pick them up, but then needed them at a later date, I'd had my chips. Only one chance per person.
'Even though I don't need them now?'
'Even though you don't need them now' He repeated
So, next time you hear the news about the rapid rise in swine flu statistics, don't believe a word of it, anyone can self diagnose on the website and be counted in as squealing like a little piggy!!
Today I went off to my nearest collection point, driving licence in hand, to collect my Tamiflu. I felt a complete fraud. All I wanted was something for a sore throat! Although, I have to say, the hypochondriac in me is feeling very smug about being prepared! Black market Tamiflu anyone?!