Christine Grahame: Bless you if you've had same awful cold as me

There's a lot of nasty things about.

That was the GP’s professional diagnosis when I eventually succumbed and made an appointment after weeks of a hacking cough. It all began on Boxing Day with a bit of that weel kent tickle in the throat but by Hogmanay I was coughing for Scotland.

I tell you it was so bad my neighbour called in to see if I was OK having listened to my performance through the wall. Oh and I tried everything on the supermarket shelves-mucus cough, tickly cough, dry cough, pastels.

On one excursion to replenish my supplies I broke into such a coughing fit that customers parted like the Red Sea as I stumbled my way to the medicines aisle where I ripped open a packet of pastilles and had devoured half of them before I came near the checkout. I know, you will have been there too.

Eventually it was down to the old remedies: Vick vapour rub, steam and hot toddies and lots of lurking in bed and languishing on the sofa. But as I have said, two weeks of that and there was no option but the doctor’s surgery.

Now I am there, thankfully, rarely, and so am a bit of a fish out of water. You now log in on a computer, which I did, and on time. Appointment was at 2.30pm but it was almost 30 minutes before I was called.

In the meantime, I had parked myself away from other folk so as not to infect them and was desperately suppressing the urge to cough. Of course that eventually is fruitless and to stem another public performance I trundled to the receptionist area to ask for a glass of 

Eventually a human being appeared but was quite taken aback by my request. You’d have thought I was asking for a double gin and tonic. I wish I had by the way. Many many minutes lapsed but eventually I was handed a rather sad paper cup with some tepid water.

Returning to my seat I found another soul next to me. I suggested I move so as not to pass on my germs. Not to bother she told me as she had pneumonia. Believe you me I began to wonder what everyone else sitting in the corners of that waiting room had wrong with them.

Anyway, I had a pretty cursory examination and was handed a prescription for penicillin. What that had to do with my cough I have no idea. I thought the days of GPs handing it out for the common (but very nasty) cold were in the past. However I decided not to make a fuss and even took them faithfully.

So now I am back at my desk but of course everyone has a tale of someone who has had the same as me. No they haven’t! Mine floored me for weeks. I insist mine was worse. Ah but to be free of afternoon TV from my sick bed: Escape to the Country, Father Brown, What’s it Worth, Antiques Road Trip... aaaaaghhhh. That was more of an accelerator to getting well than any pills.

Now the staff at my office are falling by the wayside one by one. Roll on spring...