Oh, woe is me. I’ve just spent the last two and a half days in bed with Mild Flu. Even woe-er is me, Mild Flu is not the same of our Trinidadian pool boy … Have I made that joke before? Fuck, I think I have. To the self-flagellation chambers!


I’m no Catherine Earnshaw; I don’t enjoy being sick. I enjoy the thought of being sick, but always when I’m in full health and half an hour into some stressful overtime at work. “If I were sick,” I tell myself, “I could be at home now, propped up on Lemsip, writing astounding prose in a most attractively feverish manner.” I don’t know why I think that running a temperature would turn me into Salman fucking Rushdie, but it’s my fever-dream and I’ll nurture it how I see fit(s).


I have also a deep fear of going to the doctor.



It’s not just because I’m terrified of needles (I am; I go white and faint dead away … like Catherine Earshaw, I suppose. Huzzah!). It’s not even because of all the pregnant women in the waiting room, who remind me of needles – blood tests, amnihooks, epidurals; and the long probing things get you into all the trouble in the first place, as Sister Baptista Immaculata used to tell me. I am terrified of doctors because every fucking time I go to see one, my symptoms disappear as I walk into the surgery, leaving me looking like one of those crazy, Catherine Earshaw-like fantasists.


“It was here a minute ago,” I mutter, poking around for an inflamed tonsil.


The second last time I went to the doctor, it was because of an incredible bout of migraines that abated immediately after I handed the chemist €40 for less than a handful of minute tablets that looked like Ecstasy babies.


“You’d get shot in Limerick for peddling this shite, you glorified fucking grocer quack,” I snarled. “Oh, and a Deep Heat pack, please.”


The Deep Heat was for my suddenly-slipshod spine, because of which I could barely turn my neck, an occurence that frightened me like a whiff of cheap perfume from the bulky wrists of a cannibalistic wrestler. It later turned out to be a tiny cyst on the back of my neck; what it lacked in size and severity, it made up for in location, location, location.


The last last time I went to the doctor, it was because I was feeling ever dizzy and disoriented, which I had put down to my cutting meat out of my diet. So I began taking iron supplements, but the dizziness persisted, and was really beginning to worry me.


“Could be a vitamin B deficiency. Could be vertigo. Could be anaemia. Let’s find out,” said the doc. “Show us yer veins.”


Whimpering, retching and ashen, I got the bloods done, worried about tumours for a week, and was then told that the results were fine.




“As Christiano Ronaldo’s backside, girl.”


“Then why am I so constantly dizzy?” I howled, which was a total waste of energy because the dizziness went away by itself straight away after. I mean, straight away. Your Bloods Are Fine … whoosh. No more whooshing unawares. Level-headed and plain sailing from that moment on. It was fucking bizarre.


It’s one of my greatest fears – ok, outside of needles – to be thought of as a hypochondriac. I hate the medical world as much as I hate Land of Leather; all those clinical smiles, the artificial smells, the damned intrusiveness, yes, I really do hate Land of Leather. And hospitals. God I hate hospitals. I’ve been admitted to them three times and I figure that’s quite enough Dettol and cranky nurses for one lifetime. So I couldn’t possibly be a hypochondriac, see?


As well as that, I’m considerate to a fault (in real life, obviously; stop fucking chortling, you massive fanny). I really don’t like taking up anyone’s time when they have better things to be doing, and firmly believe that doctors have over-protective mothers to sell antibiotics to and old people’s twinges to assuage, and therefore don’t really need me bounding in on top of them with anything less than a shattered lung, or something. Honest to Jaysus.


I doubt I’ll have enough time to explain all of this to my boss when he asks for a sick note, though.


Perhaps I’ll just look all fiery until he stops asking. Very Bronte. Very chic.



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