A 2nd Is Always Followed By A 3rd

3 Oct
New Court from the Backs of the River Cam. Photos courtesy of St. John's College, Cambridge Official Website: www.joh.cam.ac.uk

New Court from the Backs of the River Cam.

” A 2nd is always followed by a 3rd”.

This was a popular mantra at St John’s College in Cambridge. The College I was lucky to call my home for the three years of my undergrad degree.

This notion was mostly applied to drinking games – a 2nd shot had to be followed by a 3rd; and sport wins – a 2nd double league and cup win by the college rugby team “The Red Boys”, of course had to be  (and was during my three years at St John’s) followed by a third double win completing the hat trick.

The Bridge of Sighs over the River Cam at St. John's College Cambridge. My final year room overlooked this beautiful sight.

The Bridge of Sighs over the River Cam at St. John’s College Cambridge. My final year room overlooked this beautiful sight.

I remember a friend of Mr B’s bumping into us as we went out of the college gate for a celebratory dinner date on our 2nd anniversary. He jokingly said, ‘you know a 2nd is always followed by a 3rd’ meaning we would be together for a third year; which, now approaching a decade together, we of course achieved with flying colours.

Luckily the sentiment was not applied to degree results i.e. a downhill slide from a 2nd class result one year to a failed 3rd the next was not encouraged and in the main avoided!

St. John's Collge's Great Gate.

St. John’s Collge’s Great Gate, the front entrance to College.

Anyway I’m waffling, caught up in happy college years memories.

In the spirit of a “2nd is always followed by a 3rd” this is my third (and I hope final) post about the flu jab. If you haven’t read my first two (they’re gripping reads do check them out!) here and here.

I am very happy to announce SUCCESS! On Tuesday afternoon I had my flu vaccination. Yippee! Hallelujah! This put an end to 48 hours of wondering, worrying and faffing about trying to get it done.

After the failed attempt on Monday, I spoke with my GP. He is wonderful and gave me the advice I needed to hear (despite him being on leave at the moment). He assured me fludrocortisone (the tiny half pill I take each day to stop my blood pressure plummeting on standing up) was not a contraindication for the flu vaccine. The pharmacist on Monday morning had unnecessarily freaked out. You see there is concern about giving the flu vaccination to anyone with a lowered immune response. Steroids cause you to become ‘immunosuppressed’ and extra precautions have to be taken for those people on regular heavy steroid doses. Fludrocortisone is a mild steroid. But it does not elicit a lowered immune response.

With this pacification and reassurance from my GP, I went off to a different pharmacy on Tuesday, made no mention of the fludrocortisone, or the fact I have ME/CFS for that matter (I was the happy healthy high flying lawyer that I always intended to be by the time I was 30) and got the flu jab done and dusted in 5 minutes flat. Easy Peasy. Well kind of.

The actual appointment and injection were fine. Getting to and from the pharmacy was less fine. And the after effects through Tuesday evening were anything but fine.

Mr B couldn’t get out of work to come home and take me to my second appointment in two days so we did the next best thing. I made my appointment at a pharmacy just round the corner from Mr B’s office so he was able to meet me there, go with me to the appointment, put me in a cab home and then go back to work.  So yes I got a cab home which was fine though my body was hurting so much by this point each jolt and bump in the road felt like my body was being shaken to death. Put it this way, I was very happy to get home and collapse on our sofa.

So yes I got a cab home. But me being the optimistic stupid person that I am, I decided I would be fine to go to the appointment on public transport. Hmmmm. Yes. My first time on public transport in London in, I don’t know how long, a year at least. For my second outing in two days (something I never do and steadfastly avoid at all costs) and when my body is flaring and I’ve plummeted way below my baseline abilities, I decided that the short walk to the end of our road to get on the DLR (tram) to ride the 8 minutes to Canary Wharf where Mr B would meet me was doable. And I guess it was doable. I did it. Though boy did it hurt. Walking to the end of our road seemed doable because it takes all of about 5 minutes, which is much shorter than the 20 minute paced walk that I’m up to at the moment. But I hadn’t factored in having to carry my handbag (and Mum yes I had taken out all the junk that I didn’t need so it was as light as possible!) or the fact that my body hurt like hell as an after effect of my week away last week and flu jab outing numero uno the day before.

Canary Wharf, tall buildings! Photo credit: Morgue File User alltooeasy

Canary Wharf, tall buildings! Photo credit: Morgue File User alltooeasy

Suffice it to say by the time I made it to the DLR stop my arms and shoulders were burning and aching so so bad. I had stripped off my jacket and little cardigan and was walking along in just my strappy top. I was sweating buckets (lovely image I know, but perspiring like a lady just doesn’t cut it) despite there being a real Autumnal chill to the air, it being October 1st and I was walking along the pavements of grey old London and not some tropical beach. My skin was cold to touch and clammy. And yet I was so hot. But on the plus side, thanks to my compression stockings my legs and ankles didn’t feel too bad – yay!

I was very happy to collapse into a seat on the DLR and to see Mr B’s smiling supportive face when I reached the other end. He took my bag – he is used to looking like a crazy man with a lady’s handbag by this point! I kept saying ‘look at all the tall buildings’ and ‘look at all the people’! I don’t get out too much….

In the pharmacy I put my cardigan back on and pulled my hair up and off my sweaty neck. I needed to look ‘healthy’ after all!

A few questions, quick prick of the needle in my arm and we were on our way again. Mr B put me in a cab with the instructions of ‘get yourself on the sofa and if you feel ill, call me.’ Other than the jolts racking my poor body the journey home was much more ‘doable’. And getting home I collapsed on the sofa with rice cakes and peanut butter and green tea. It was about this point when the dull headache that had been above my eye brow since getting on the DLR exploded into a full on throbbing, pounding horror. Queue me going to bed in the dark for an hour with a meditation track for company. But the headphones hurt my head so I just laid there. Eventually succombing to co-codamol when it became apparent that tiger balm and resting in a darkened room were not going to get close to solving the head drama.

Sadly nor did the co-codamol. I spent much of the evening lying flat face down (the least pain inducing position I could find) on the sofa with a cushion over my head and eventually dragged my sorry little self off to bed.

Today, Wednesday, sat writing this, I don’t feel too bad. The arm that had the injection feels a bit dead, very heavy and achy if you know what I mean.  And my whole body hurts. But that is to be expected. I went out two days in a row. And we all know with ME/CFS that just encourages the beast to flare! I’m going to take it really easy for a few days and hopefully that’ll let my body heal without any viral flu jab side effects.

So this post has become an essay. Apologies for that. But the saying goes ‘ a 2nd is followed by a 3rd’. The saying is not ‘ a 3rd is followed by a 4th’. And I don’t know about you, but three posts about flu jabs is quite enough!

All photos in this post courtesy of St. John’s College, Cambridge Official Website: http://www.joh.cam.ac.uk unless otherwise stated.


30 Responses to “A 2nd Is Always Followed By A 3rd”

  1. dawnhosking October 3, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    You finally got it 😉

    • myjourneythrume October 3, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Yes! 🙂

      • dawnhosking October 3, 2013 at 10:18 am #

        Fantastic 😉 Hope you are feeling OK. Take care.

      • myjourneythrume October 3, 2013 at 10:23 am #

        Thanks. I’m not feeling too bad, not great, but definitely could be worse. Quite a lot of ME/CFS post exertion pain and achiness but no nasty flu symptoms, touch wood!

      • dawnhosking October 3, 2013 at 10:25 am #

        That’s good, lets hope the flu symptoms pass you by.

  2. Jumping_Jenny_444 October 3, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I’m glad you were able to get your flu shot! 🙂 I’m getting mine done tomorrow. I love the pictures of the college you went to–it looks like such a beautiful place!! 🙂

    • myjourneythrume October 3, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Glad you’ve arranged your shot too! Hope it goes smoothly and without any nasty side effects. It was a beautiful college, I loved my time there and wish I could go back!

  3. currankentucky October 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Yaaaay!!! Congrats, and super congrats on two outings in as many days. Reading you walking down the street I could feel the heaviness in your legs, rest up and I hope the body doesn’t get too cross. xx

    • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Thank you!! I’m proud with what I’ve achieved this week but will mean not be repeating it any time soon! Sofa for me. Hope your friend is not misbehaving too much. xx

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor October 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Glad you got the appointments all out of way! Took its toll, though! I think rather than rice cake and peanut butter, your body was saying, “I’d like a cup of warm broth sprinkled with some salt. If you want to boil some carrots in it, I’d like it even better.” (That’s a jab–:-))

    • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 7:47 am #

      Hahahaha 🙂 !! Love it. to be honest the rice cake was pretty stale, I’d easily give up grains if that was the only way to eat them! I was tempted to eat the PB with a spoon out of the jar but that is a slippery slope and one I don’t need go down any time soon!

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor October 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

        Oh, Lordie. I do know. One peanut butter pop leads to another and another. Then I look and half the brand new jar is gone. And I think, “Can a person really eat a half a jar of peanut butter that easily?” I guess so! Eeks.

      • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

        I can confirm that a person can definitely eat half (and more..) of a jar! But it’s healthy PB, no added sugar or anything, just peanuts!

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor October 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

        Oh, yeah. Ignore the aflotoxin…

      • myjourneythrume October 5, 2013 at 7:29 am #

        There is nothing safe to eat!!

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor October 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

        Now you sound like my dad. He always says that and rolls his eyes. (Chuckle.) My friends do shakes for that reason, “nothing is safe.” (Another chuckle.) All in all, I’m chuckling, too. Probably we’re all dead and just don’t know it. (Chuckle.) Have a great weekend!

      • myjourneythrume October 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

        Yep we’re all walking zombies! Hope you’re having a good weekend!

      • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

        Am I delusional? Yes I think I may be!

  5. Jackie October 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I know you paid for it, but that is an impressive amount of activity on top of having the vaccination. You are amazing! I’m going to get mine in a few weeks.

    • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Thank you Jackie! I don’t feel amazing now but I am proud I managed what I’ve done this week. And feeling bad now just reinforces the lesson that sometimes gets forgotten, patience and pacing is key! Always a silver lining. I hope you’re doing okay. I saw your pic on Facebook getting your fluids, hope they’re helping.

  6. Kristina Schwende October 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I’m glad to hear you finally got your flu shot! I almost laughed when you talked about your overly optimistic decision to use public transport. I did the same thing once, only I wasn’t going 10 minutes away. I was going 5 hours away (I know, don’t say it LOL).
    This is the only blog I read from beginning to end. I always enjoy your humour and honesty. Reading your stories helps me through mine.
    I hope your not settles down quickly. Sending love and gentle hugs your way.

    • myjourneythrume October 4, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Kristina, thank you so much for such a lovely comment. I’m so glad you enjoy my blog and it means so much to hear you say that 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs 🙂

  7. BONNIE JOHNSON October 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #


    • myjourneythrume October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Thank you Bonnie, I’m glad you like my blog, that means a lot. I have another window opened in my browser on Thieves oil. It sounds great 🙂

  8. Claire October 7, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    “look at all the people/tall buildings” oh honey, i’m laughing because i know how tragic it is! And your Mr. B sounds wonderful – i have an amazing guy myself, i’m just in awe of how these men can be so patient and selfless, AND carry a handbag/walk extremely slowly/support me like a fragile old lady without being self-conscious at all!!

    • myjourneythrume October 7, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Glad I made you laugh 🙂 Your comment made me laugh and smile, thank you 🙂 I am very lucky to have found such a wonderful guy and I’m so glad you have one too. Being in awe is a good way to describe it, I’d hope I’d be exactly the same if the tables were turned (God forbid) but everyday I’m amazed and eternally grateful for how supportive he is. I would be a lot worse off without him.

  9. E. Milo October 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I stopped getting your blogs emailed to me for some reason! I was going through my “social” inbox while lying in bed in the dark this morning and I thought, “where’s Jess these days?” And then, “oh no, I hope she’s okay…” So I come to your blog and I haven’t seen any from here on! Ok, time to read. It’ll be a you day for me. Looking forward to our Sunday catch up time. 🙂

    • myjourneythrume October 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Awh thank you for thinking of me Elizabeth! I am okay, just about over the horrible side effects of the flu jab, yesterday was the first time I’d been out properly (i.e. other than for a 5 minute walk for fresh air) in 3 weeks. But I shouldn’t complain, things could and have been much worse. More importantly how are you doing? I hope things are a little lighter for you? Have things eased down at all? I really hope you’re doing okay. I love the idea that today is our catch up time 🙂 If only it could be in person 🙂

      It’s odd you stopped getting my blogs emailed to you. No one else has mentioned anything to me. Are your settings for my blog in your reader still set to alert by email? I mention that cos a few weeks ago I got an alert telling me that you’d followed my blog, which was odd given you’ve been following for much longer than just a few weeks! So my guess is somehow you unfollowed me and then followed again but the email setting isn’t ticked on your new follow…does that make any sense?! Don’t want you missing out on any of my posts, I mean how would you live without them?! Hahaha! Don’t worry I amuse myself if no one else!

      Happy reading and I hope you’re feeling a little better.

      Sending you lots of gentle hugs, Jess x

      • E. Milo October 21, 2013 at 2:28 am #

        Very happy you got out! I get to get out, too, for the autonomic testing tomorrow.:(

        That must be the answer to why I stopped getting your posts. I wonder what happened… Anyway, I’ll check my settings.

        Right, let’s catch up. I’ll go put the kettle on. You get comfy. 😉


  1. A What Disorder?! | my journey thru M.E. - October 17, 2013

    […] with mini- breaks to Sussex and flu jab shenanigans resulting in my enforced rest and hibernation, I haven’t managed to get round to writing up […]

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