Iʼve had tonsillitis this week. And while itʼs not life threatening itʼs seriously debilitating, not just the sore throat that feels like youʼve got a brussel sprout stuck with razor blades caught there, but also the crippling flu-like symptoms - fever, aches and pains, feeling cold ... blah, blah, blah - enough of my moaning.
After two bed-bound days with all my appointments cancelled and no sign of feeling any better, I went to see a doctor at the emergency clinic and left there last night armed with penicillin. Twelve hours later, while not back to normal, I am certainly on the road to recovery.
Penicillin is without doubt a miracle.
I love the story about the many, many scientists before Fleming who had seen penicillin in their petri dishes, however instead of celebrating their discovery they just got cross because their cultures hadnʼt grown! Now of course I couldnʼt guarantee the absolute truth of this story, but its sentiment is interesting. How many of us disregard things because we canʼt see their good?
Now, on a completely different tangent (yes, not being able to hold a thought for long is one of other side effects of being unwell) the penicillin got me thinking about the whole idea of miracles.
By definition a miracle is 1. an extraordinary event attributed to some supernatural agency or 2. any remarkable occurrence (source: Concise Oxford Dictionary) and while penicillin may not be the first itʼs certainly the second.
When we start to think about our lives there are just so many ʻremarkable occurrencesʼ that they cease to be remarkable because we get used to them, we simply take them for granted. And I suppose because they are with us all the time that by definition they stop being miracles because they stop being remarkable, yet somehow that doesnʼt feel right.
So because Iʼm feeling so much better I want to think about and celebrate the forgotten miracles today. Iʼm going to take a moment to say thanks for some of the miracles that happened just this morning. You can read on to share my miracles if you like or just take a moment to be grateful for yours, itʼs up to you ...
1. Running hot water - itʼs really, really cold outside, I turned on the tap in the shower to find hot running water - and heated towels from the towel rail - bliss! Thanks Romans for your passion for sanitation and comfort
2. Contact lenses - allowing the blind to see again, thanks Otto Wichterle
3. Radio 4 - not just the content of the Today programme, but the technology behind it; isnʼt it amazing that people in a studio on the other side of London interviewing someone on the other side of the world can be heard in my bathroom in real time? Thanks Hertz, Branly, Tesla, de Moura, Lodge, Bose, Rutherfod, Braun, Popov, Baviera, Marconi, Stone, Fessenden, Fleming, De Forest and those who came before and after them and thanks also to Evan, John, Jim and Sarah
4. My children - and lovely cuddles this morning, special thanks to Ian Donald for the ultrasound scanner without which I may not be writing this blog today
5. Penicillin - well, you already know that story, thanks again Mr Fleming I canʼt tell you how much I appreciate your work!