I do have this annoying habit of getting things wrong. Not, I hope, when I’m doing research and writing articles – no, that would be publishing suicide. No, in general life, I’m usually the last to know or realise what’s happening or what I’ve done wrong now. I guess I’m just a bit of a ‘blunderer through life’ really. I bumble around until I go bump into something and find out I shouldn’t have gone bump into it at all.
This comes back to me now after my last post where I mockingly talked about my Typhoid symptoms and my hypochondria but predicted I actually just had a virus.
It seems it was Typhoid fever all along and it is likely that when I went into school last week moaning miserably to all who would hear (and quite a few who wouldn’t) that “feel like death” because of my cold and all the while I may have passing the nasties to everyone.
To be fair, it’s already going around. We’ve had one teacher down with it for several weeks and he’s finally coming back to life and (hopefully) back to work next week. There’s rumours another teacher might be having the same symptoms though I can’t substantiate that. The trouble is, Typhoid is just a really nasty, nasty little devil because it takes so long to make it’s mark. Hence the terrible story of “Typhoid Mary”.
Mary Mallon was a perfectly healthy woman when a health inspector knocked on her door in 1907 and informed her she was the cause of umpteen Typhoid outbreaks. Indeed, she continued being perfectly healthy until she suffered a stroke in 1932 and was confined to her bed until she died six years later. Different reports vary on their opinion about whether Mary was a victim or an evil woman.
She never believed she had Typhoid because no one really bothered to explain to her the concept of a “healthy carrier” – in fact she was the first one for Typhoid in America ever discovered; but not the only one. Some claim that because she was an Irish woman, a domestic servant and had no family (as well as a mean temper – duh, Irish – go figure) that she was deliberately used as a scapegoat and forced to live in an isolated cottage on North Brother Island, New York.
Also, all the Typhoid outbreaks occurred after she had left places of work as the house cook so she never saw that this was connected to her. Alas, that’s the problem with Typhoid – you can carry it for a while and spread it around but until the fever comes you don’t know it’s there. She never got the fever.
However, she fought her case and eventually won the right to get off the island as long as she never worked as a cook again. This is where sympathy wanes a little. She left in 1910. Five years later another Typhoid outbreak occurred at the Sloane Maternity Hospital in Manhattan. Twenty-five became ill and two died. The recently-hired cook, Mrs Brown, was discovered to be none other than our Typhoid Mary. She was swiftly apprehended and sent back to the island.
I don’t know, rightly or wrongly we now often refer to a friend of colleague who is evidently sick as Typhoid Mary. Her name lives on in common usage though, of course, her cooking doesn’t.
So, I’m going to make sure I take my time to get better. I want this nasty out of my system and not hanging around me or my gang any longer. After all, I don’t want anyone calling me “Typhoid Ken”…😦
Believe it or not, writing these posts is taking hours and very wearying in my current state of health (this one took me two days). The next couple of posts will be reblogs I think you’ll like to give me chance to recover. The series on ‘Interview with a Teenager’ will continue once I’m able again to look at my notes and make coherent sense of them! K