Locations of reviewed cafes
Cake Crusader Book
There is now a Cake Crusader book available where you can follow my journey from humble local trips to world record attempts and near-death experiences. How did a simple method of keeping track of decent cycling café pit stops turn my life upside down? Track my adventures into Europe, up mountains and right across Great Britain as I become a 'rising star' on social media. Will I prove my critics wrong? Should cheese scones be served hot or cold? Do I really have nothing better to do with his time? A must read for lovers of cycling and cake or anyone wanting to make it big in the virtual world
Available on Amazon
Saturday, 13 June 2020
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
My Corona Virus Story Part 1
It is now day 79 since lock down started and also 79 days since I first got suspected Covid-19, of which I'm still not recovered. I thought it was therefore high time I told my Corona virus story in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping it maybe useful to other people who are unfortunate enough to contract the virus and find themselves in my position. It is also a chance to explain to my regular readers why there has been no cycle or cake action for quite awhile and probably for a time to come.
To start with let me make it clear I have what is being called 'long tail' corona virus and I was never hospitalised. This version is when you get a mild to moderate case but then you can't shake it off for weeks or months, there has been a few articles in the press with estimates from 1 in 20 to 50% people suffering like me after they appeared to have recovered. The Doctors don't seem sure if its the virus hanging around or post viral fatigue. I suspect the former, especially as all of us that got it at Crusader Towers seem to have suffered, to a greater or lesser degree, in the same way.
So, in the words of Julie Andrews, lets start at the very beginning. You may recall that in the build up to lock down the government had been talking down the virus as being like mild flu for most and that if enough of us got it we would build up herd immunity. I believe we were encouraged to go to horse racing festivals and football matches to speed up the process. But after a couple of weeks the scientists, government or both had a change of mind and so we needed to lock down instead.
As we gathered round the telly, so Boris could tell us about this with his address to the nation, I noticed I had the slightest little irritation in my throat and had to have an occasional cough to clear it. My how we laughed as everyone pointed at me and shouted "Corona Virus". If only we had known.
As I had barely left the house for a fortnight (apart from the odd bike ride you can read about on the previous posts) then I felt there was no chance of having the virus. But that night I suddenly woke up feeling hot and generally rubbish, like I was getting a cold or flu. I woke Mrs Crusader and told her I thought I had the virus and she might like to go and isolate in another room. At the time this seemed like an over reaction and she rolled over and went back to sleep. However by morning I felt pretty bad with a high temperature, tight chest and feeling of nausea. I certainly didn't fancy breakfast.
However I am a pretty fit chap (even if I say so myself, which I do, a lot) having run 21 marathons, done 4 iron-man triathlons and was in training for next London Marathon (there I go again), so I was confident I would be over it in a couple of days. I was now one of Boris's Herd. Well done me.
For the next couple of days I stayed in bed but then, as expected, I felt a bit better. The rest of the residents at Crusader Towers all started showing symptoms as well so I was allowed to potter around the house as we all joined the herd and self isolated as instructed. Well done us.
But the next day things took an unexpected turn for the worst and I found myself laid out in bed too tired to move with the feeling that someone was sitting on my chest. Regular readers will know I'm not a stranger to a near death experiences having had sepsis twice before, including a couple of days in ITU on a ventilator (see early 2014 posts or full details can be found in the Cake Crusader book). So I knew what being proper ill felt like and it felt pretty much like this.
In fact I had felt like this just before my last trip into ITU and so I panicked. Normally I'm a stickler for the rules but despite government guidelines, discouraging people going to A and E, I decided that hospital was where I needed to be so I got Mrs Crusader to drive me there and drop me off at the door.
Government advice had certainly worked as on arrival the hospital was empty and before I knew it I had been wheeled to a booth, had had my blood taken and had chest x-rays done. On my last visit to A and E, with a broken collar bone, I had to faint in the waiting area just to make it into the x-ray queue which shows what a difference the virus had made to peoples behaviour.
As I lay in my curtained off area I felt very ill (although still not breathless) and felt it was only a matter of time before I would be on oxygen. Then after about 2 hours I suddenly had another sensation. I opened my eyes like a startled rabbit and realised I was starting to feel better. This was rather embarrassing and I now regretted coming to hospital and putting others at risk. As it turned out it was also the first of many occasions when Covid would make me feel dreadful before, with almost a click of the fingers, I would start to feel fine again.
A few minutes later the A and E doctor came back and told me my x-rays had shown no sign of infection, my vital signs were normal and the blood test had come back with nothing unusual so they threw me out, told me to take some paracetamol and only to come back if I couldn't breath, which I could so I didn't.
Over the next few days three of the five of us isolating together (although not me) lost their sense of smell and taste so we were now ticking a lot of the symptom boxes and it seemed pretty unlikely that we hadn't got the virus, although no tests were available to confirm.
At first we couldn't work out how we had contracted it but then the pieces feel into place and although we will never be sure we worked out the most likely infection route which I will reveal in a latter post but isn't important now.
A week later I felt much better. I still had a tight chest, sore throat and was a bit light headed but my go to strategy after any illness is to do as much exercise as possible until I'm better. I can't emphasise enough that this is the wrong strategy and you can't exercise your way out of Covid-19.
|Celebrating my 'Recovery' with cake, but it was the first of many false dawns|
Despite not feeling 100%, and often needing a lie down in the day, then over the next 6 days I did a few short runs (up to 5k) and a couple of short bike rides. Although still not feeling great I felt I was on the mend and would soon be able to get back to my running and cycling training plans.
Then on recovery day 16 I woke up in the night with a weird feeling, like the one I had had two weeks earlier when the virus first arrived. However on this occasion there was no temperature or breathing difficulties. By morning I felt completely rubbish again, mainly nauseous and weak, so spent most of the day on the sofa unable to do anything. As before this feeling passed later in the day although I still felt poorly. It was clearly time for recovery plan B. Which I will tell you about in the next post. It included, 'rest' and Jigsaws but didn't work either..