Here’s what it’s like when the norovirus strikes – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews suffered pain on a par with child birth after contracting the disease, she writes.

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 6:00 am
Washing your hands like a surgeon scrubbing up for an operation can help fight off the winter vomiting bug. Picture: PA
Washing your hands like a surgeon scrubbing up for an operation can help fight off the winter vomiting bug. Picture: PA

I’ve never missed a column since I started a few years ago. It’s the highlight of my week and being a mouthy, never short of an opinion, gobby wee ____ (I’ll let you fill in the blank), I love to let off some steam.

So when the norovirus struck us hard, let me explain to you how hard. My son Harris started being ill on his eighth birthday so his party got cancelled; we just made it to the post office with the presents to post an hour before the bug hit us, and all whilst I lay in bed begging Doctor Blake to give me a jab in the bum to stop me being sick.

Read More

Read More
Here’s why I believe in angels – Hayley Matthews

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I’d been ill for hours and had a really bad pain (I’m talking a nine out of ten and was telling people I felt like I was in labour, even though I’m not pregnant). It was truly awful.

My bedroom, laden with unfolded washing, presents scattered about the place and various other items that should have been tidied up, was a massive eyesore but I didn’t care. I was so ill. A manky pair of jammies, hairy legs up to my belly and a whiff of BO were all I was wearing to greet the doctor, to whom I offer my sincere apologies but can’t thank enough for coming out to my rescue and giving some pain relief. I haven’t had the doctor out to the house since a food poisoning episode in 1989! Yes, it really was that bad.

My friend Susan who runs a flower shop in the West Port told me how one customer had reported 187 pupils off at her school, all at the same time due to the norovirus – it really has been rife. All those wee kids wiping their manky germ-infested digits everywhere makes for a perfect breeding ground for the winter vomiting bug. It is everywhere at this time of year.

Parents can catch the bug easily through contact with their kids, but we’re all at risk when coming into contact with surfaces or objects that have been contaminated so it’s no wonder that between 600,000 and one million people in the UK catch norovirus every year.

I know many of you reading this will have suffered and one friend gave some advice that might help the next time. And it’s as simple as fasting. On bumping in to my friend Lyndsey in the supermarket as I crawled about for water, paracetamol and Dettol she told me how they had the sickness bug a while back and with three kids she knew it was coming to her. She said fasting for a bit helped and it makes sense. I then started looking into ways to avoid catching it and spreading it on for next time (there will be more tummy bugs I’m sure because this is our third one of the year so far and certainly the worst). Now, I’m no doctor and I’m not offering medical advice but after our brief conversation in the supermarket I looked into it and read a few posts about limiting food intake, eating very lightly and washing your hands like a surgeon scrubbing up for a heart by-pass.

It’s simple and there must be something in it. I’m sure the million odd folk spending Christmas on the “porcelain phone” shouting on “Hughey” would much rather be gearing up for a dram with Reverend IM Jolly than spending their festive holidays unwell. So next time the bugs are on the horizon, wash your hands, eat like a sparrow and celebrate like the healthy, wealthy and wise.