Monday, 8 August 2011


Panic on the streets of London, panic on the streets of Nottingham. Not nice, not nice at all, my girl is in Hackney, kept awake all night by helicopters and police sirens. There'll be a return to punk, you mark my words. If Britain has to be in the grip of Tory misrule, t'would be better were it in the grip of proper, strong Tory misrule, not this namby-pamby bunch of ne'er-do-wells.

So, medical details. This is what I have returned from the seventh circle of, if you don't like medical details, read no further, if you fear knowing my medical details, read no further.

It seems I have an internal pile, or haemorrhoid. Piles are easier to spell, and of course, a more common name in Britain. Throughout four pregnancies and in fact almost 54 years of walking upright on this earth (well, give or take the nine months at the beginning when I must have crawled or stayed relatively still), I had escaped this particular form of torture, thus I did not suspect piles nor did I know they could be internal. I'm relieved it turned out to be something so common and mundane, but horrified at the level of pain involved.

I'm fairly poor at being poorly. I expect whatever I have to be banished within a maximum of two days. I expect my immune system to kick in and kick...well, let's not say arse. So, eight days of being hors de combat, of which a good five were haunted by waves of white-knuckle, teeth-clenching spasms, has never been part of my action plan.
The whole thing was further complicated by my having returned from the States for a workshop - and that whole getting in and out of the States thing was fraught with the potential for unpleasantness, since my PR card has run out and, in spite of having applied in April, not yet been renewed - and thus abandoning Kevin with no car, whilst my condition deteriorated to a point of no return. No return by car to the States that is.

Kevin's holiday week was ruined, my....week was ruined, but at the last, I rallied, True Brit that I am, and drove, buttocks firmly clenched, so that Kevin could drive us both back and thence to the doctor. At that point, when the worst was over, I could finally be prescribed the level of drugs that would have made the whole experience less awful throughout.
But then, isn't that the irony? When you are truly, rock (oops!) bottom ill, you cannot either get to, nor sit in, a doctor's waiting room.

All of which puts me in mind of how eating habits have changed. Mine at least. I remember the frequent administration of Senokot and Syrup of Figs as a child, ex-lax as a teenager - we must have lacked the necessary fibre in our diets. My diet.
But since early adulthood, I don't recall ever using laxatives. The diet had improved, no shortage of roughage as it used to be called.

When Alex was here, she had us all adding Psyllium husk to our morning fruit or cereal. It can treat both constipation and diarrhoea, it can reduce cholesterol, it can help control blood sugar levels, it can choke you.
Well, only if you fail to take enough liquid with it.

As Director Kevin Smith said in his autobiography (which Kevin has read, not I),
'If you don't have your anal health, you have nothing.'
Yes indeed.

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