Thursday, 13 May 2010


I'm ill.

Now I realise that is not the most upbeat start to a column (see, I'm not even entertaining that other word now) but my ramblings are nothing if not honest and to the point.

The gory details first. I have a urinary tract infection. This is quite common among the biff community, but is no less agonising for all that. We are prone to this type of thing, although I had been quite lucky up until last year. Eventually your luck runs out, and so now I am on enough anti-biotics and pain-killers to bring down a herd of mammoths.

At times the pain is indescribable to someone who has never suffered from an infection of this kind. The best I can do is to get you to imagine being stabbed repeatedly in one side (without the obvious instant damage to the internal organs which would ensue. No, far better to drag it out). This is then followed by or interspersed with a feeling of being punched repeatedly in the back (around the kidney area) by Floyd Mayweather's stronger but less subtle brother. At times the pain-killers don't touch the problem, while at others it takes barely half an hour for the relief to come flooding through. You figure it out, because I can't.

It doesn't help when the original medication you were prescribed makes you sick. Much of Tuesday morning between the hours of about 4.30-8.30 were spent rolfing royally into the toilet (miraculously failing to wake Emma), and yet managing not to feel any less sick. It was a bit like the verbal diaorrhea from which David Cameron suffers. It doesn't matter how much he spews out, there is always more.

Medication successfully changed (Emma had to take a day off work as any effort pick up my own prescription would have ended in certain death), I was now mercifully rolf-free. Cleverly, vindictevely, the pain even took a break through most of Wednesday. This devious criminal mastermind persuaded me that it would be safe to return to work on Thursday, and then pounced once more on it's victim. This morning was spent bent double in front of my desk like a recently befallen Italian footballer, while two Ibuprofens later I was visited by a deep-rooted conviction that I was again going to splurge a pretty pattern, only this time over my desk. It could have been the cheese and onion sandwich I ate for lunch, or it could have been the chocolate or the crisps. You decide.

At the moment there is calm once more. But then I haven't eaten since lunchtime (even turning down free cake at work) and it is now 8.52pm. The question of whether to go to work in the morning offers something of a dilemma. If I am ok between now and 7.00 tomorrow morning I will find it hard to justify taking another day off sick. But then when I get there I am vulnerable to the kind of attacks experienced today.

All of this no doubt stems from kidney problems caused by my outright refusal to look after said organs as a youth. Twelve pints of lager on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday is inadvisable for someone so prone to kidney defects (the biff factor again). Even now, as soon as my current course of anti-biotics is over I will be piling Budweiser down my neck as if it is the antidote to my recently earned snake bite. I never learn, but then learning would make life an awful lot more dull.

Who wants to live forever? Not me. Not with a bloody urinary tract infection anyway.

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