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Horrid Nasty Stinking Cold! Wednesday February 10, 2016

"Your score has dipped!" emailed one buddy anxiously. "Are you alright?"

"Just concerned about your score…" delicately enquired another. "You have been so stable recently..."

I sneezed, blew my nose, took another swig of Lemsip (Proprietary cold and 'flu medicinal drink for those of you outside the UK) and thought about my reply...

"I'm fine. Just full of cold. My aching head feels like a pillow stuffed with rocks, my body hurts all over, and some kind of alien monster has taken up residence in my lungs and sinuses and is exuding green slime in copious quantities..."

No – no – that was too much information. I couldn't possibly tell my concerned buddies all that.* Instead they got the restrained version.

"I have a cold and am not feeling great. My score reflects this. Please don't be concerned."

But of course they are concerned. Just as I was concerned a couple of days ago when a dear friend of mine posted a dramatically lower score than usual.

I texted him. "Are you OK? Do you want me to call you?"

To which came back the reply "All blocked up. Talking hurts. Virtual love appreciated but whatever you do, don't come near me!"

I took him at his word. Fairly easy since we live a couple of hundred miles apart.

Yes, it's difficult to be cheery and upbeat when we're physically unwell.

If we are in pain, exhausted and/or nauseous we're not going to have great scores.

I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to be enthusiastic when I'm ill. I certainly don't feel strong or energetic and I may feel a lot more irritable than normal. (Noises off) Oh – I have just been told that I am definitely much more irritable and hostile when I have a cold. Thank you husband, dearest.

And this is where the annotation function of Moodscope is so useful. It enables us to track back and see exactly what caused these unexpected blips. I would encourage you too to make full use of the comments box.

Sometimes a low score is nothing to do with depression. Sometimes a low score reflects the row you had with your nearest and dearest. Sometimes it reflects the worry you feel on behalf of another who is going through a bad time. My low score today certainly reflects the heartbreak of a close friend. It's not my heartbreak – but I feel for them. I think it's called empathy.

And sometimes a low score is just a cold.

A Moodscope member.

* Please note however, that I feel I can freely share with you!

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Eva Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 6:38am

Oh Mary, I hope your cold passes quickly. I don't annotate any more as I do the test on my Android phone and I can't access the annotation facility, it only let's me access one input a month, after that none of the wee dots will open a text input. I think I did mention this in a post a while back. Just checked it again and it's still a bug, but not the kind that you are suffering from (hem hem).

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 8:54am

Hi Eva, sorry to hear you're having problems with using Moodscope on your mobile. Could you email as I'd like to ask you a few questions so that we can get this sorted out if it's a bug. Thanks. Caroline

Christine Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 7:29am

I hope you feel better soon Mary, I agree entirely with all that you have said, my moods can be affected by the weather! and if things don't go right, just ordinary things as well, I get cross with myself and all the negative thoughts crowd in. take care of yourself.

Lou Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 7:37am

Sorry to hear you are feeling grotty. I hope you feel better soon. Drinks lots of tea and rest as much as possible.
BTW really great description of your lurgy ;)

Margaret Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 7:51am

Sorry to hear about your misery related to feeling unwell. Take good care of yourself and be glad that this particular misery will pass as the virus loses its grip.
Sometimes the misery IS related to depression and needs to be named - especially when (as with me right now) its because of a decrease in the medications. I'm also hopeful that as with previous decreases it too will pass and I just need to give myself permission to feel sad, flat and irritable until my body adjusts. It really is a journey isn't it.

jax Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 8:14am

Yes! This is my favourite email so far. So many factors affect my state of mind. Rest and heal well soon....;)

Hopeful One Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 8:19am

Hi Mary- commiserations. Give yourself plenty of TLC on my behalf.But you are right there can be many reasons that can affect one's mood leading to a dip in the score.

Anyway here is my now customary laugh to cheer you up.

Two men were walking home after a Halloween party and decide to take a short cut through the cemetery .In the middle of the cemetery they are startled by a tap-tap- tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear they walk towards the noise and find an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones. "Holy cow, ," one of them says after catching his breath, "You scared us half to death -- we thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?" "Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"

Mary Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 9:51am

Oh, thank you for making me giggle today!

Rebecca Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 10:18am

I agree Mary. Sometimes I find it hard to differentiate between what is my depression and what is normal! I am seeking help again at them moment as feel I am spiralling down again, very sensitive and tearful. My Mum reckons a nasty virus is going round and could be that but she always seems to want to blame the depression on something else. It's hard to know sometimes.

Lex Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 11:01am

Hi Mary, I'm sure you're well now... as this is historical??? Anyway, awesome blog! Lxx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 1:01pm

Thinking like hoping you are fully recovered and just letting us know how our scores are affected by blips! ...and they certainly can be affected by other irritations in the body and mind and families!!

Have a Bear hug anyway, just because Bears can :)
x x x x

The Gardener Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 7:46pm

Love HO's jokes. Mary finds illness lowers her score - does not happen with me - it's always lack of sleep - because ones vision of the world is always warped. 'Scoring' with me is a problem in that is so much affected by when I write it. Try, like my diary, to make it a routine - normally in the morning before the day has improved/ruined the score. I can have the most successful day, then the real horror of the the evening colours whatever I do. Struggling this evening - but, had an unbelievably good time. Eldest son due Monday morning - the racket of the gale during the night convinced me the boat would not make it (many cancelled). He turned up Monday morning - together with his wife! Her first visit to us for 15 years (for many reasons she did not leave the UK). they've just left - she regretting not having a camera to record the surprise and delight on my face. They turned to and did everything they could - they adored the new house - realised that the awful risks I took were worth it. Market day, friends popped in, and they also realised that I am part of a community and helped as much as possible. They also became aware, actually being here, that my whingeing is quite mild for what I am actually going through - and it will be relayed through the family network that all is being done that can be done. They also came to respite with me to fetch Mr TG yesterday, met the staff and other patients? and were delighted with it, and the help it gives us both. So, sadness about when we will meet again, we can't travel. But the whole mob are going to my b-in-law's 90th birthday, so GLAD for him, as he is very lonely, and will be happy and flattered at the effort being made - even the Abu Dhabi contingent said to be going. So, pray for me, that I can hold on to the pleasures of the last three days, and it will strengthen me for the huge effort of getting Mr TG to bed. Day enhanced by full contingent of birds as we breakfasted - d-in-law, also a bird lover, most impressed, I've got more in my town garden than she has in her semi-country one (she scores with a family of woodpeckers). Hope cold soon better Mary - an anti-social ailment

Anonymous Thu, Feb 11th 2016 @ 9:05am

What a wonderful thing to happen yesterday TG. Their visit must have made you realise that actually you don't complain enough! It's similar to when I am ill but play it down thinking it's really due to lack of sleep and then when my husband catches whatever I had, he is really ill so it's only then I know I was ill too. If that makes sense. I am so glad you had your son and wife there to see what you have to go through on a daily and nightly basis. From now on, you will have the confidence to say, do, have small pleasures in and be angry with whatever you face each day. Onwards and upwards! Jul x

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