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Isn’t it peculiar how illness can spread, especially through a family? We were five boys at home as children, and if one picked anything up we all got it sooner or later. Not that I remember being sick more often than anyone else in my class. I actually think now that it was a good thing, because I had most illnesses as a kid and I think that helped my immune system.

I am now a big 120 kg (265 lb) man and so rarely get sick that I can never remember the last time. Adenoids are the only thing that floors me regularly, but that has been happening every year since I was a teenager. I should have had them out decades ago, but I just got used to having a swollen throat every Christmas instead. Most problems I get, I put down to mild bouts of food poisoning.

I am convinced that my large bulk and my over-stimulated immune system protect me from most illnesses.

However, something is ravaging our little family now, and I find it very puzzling.

It started two weeks ago. My wife had sore adenoids (she knows that one because of me). August is early for me to get them, but I knew that I would. I only have to be within a kilometre of someone with the illness to catch it myself. However, that only lasted two days, then she had headaches and an upset stomach.

I get that too. A doctor once told me that it is the result of poison dripping down the throat from the infected glands. That’s good enough for me, I can believe that.

The baby got it a day later, as did our daughter who was visiting. They are all recovering from the illness now, a fortnight later, but I’ve only had it bad since yesterday.

Here’s the problem. It doesn’t feel like swollen glands to me, it is more like food poisoning. However, my daughter and my wife eat very hot food together, the baby still only drinks powered milk, and they cook for me separately, so it can’t be food poisoning.

This illness is pretty bad though. All solids stay inside and all fluids pass through very quickly, though they are not too fussy where they come out from or how much notice they give you of wanting to exit.

My wife says this mirrors the baby’s condition, but not hers or her daughter’s. The only symptoms we all share are headaches and lethargy. I have slept almost twenty hours a day for the last two days.

(We did take the baby to hospital, but since they couldn’t cure her, we haven’t bothered going ourselves).

All the best,

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