As I was cycling along I swallowed a bug. Inadvertently, of course (who would do such a thing advertently?) It was a midge, I thought. It was a gnat. It was some tiny flying creature. I felt it on the back of my throat, and I couldn't help but swallow.
When I got home and put the bike into the garage I felt hot around the eyeballs. By the time I got my coat off I had a headache. My brow was sweating. I sat down in the sitting room, with aching joings and a muzzy monsoony sensation in my brain. My hands were trembling. I couldn't focus properly. I felt the urge to vomit and got up to take myself through to the toilet; but my legs had stopped working and I fell face down upon the rug. I threw up. I started fitting and moaning. Throughout all this I remained conscious, though in a hazy, pain-drenched sort of way.
My wife called an ambulance. I remember -- the image swims up out of the phantasmagoria of suffering that had possessed my consciousness -- I remember the look on her face as the ambulancemen took me away. Her leaning over me and looking not concerned, but terrified. I was blotchy: mauve and scarlet patches big as maple leaves all over my body. Blood was oozing out of the follicles where once (I am bald) hair used to grow. My legs and arms flopped so uncontrollably I had to be strapped to the stretcher.