Wednesday, 3 February 2010
I said in an early post that one of my aims this year was to live to be forty. I've no idea what time I was born, so I have to survive for another 8 to 32 hours yet. Whether or not I'll make it is another matter...
A few weeks back someone was telling me about a colleague of theirs whose very high pain threshold meant that she almost died of apendicitis, because she hadn't sought help when the first symptoms appeared.
For a couple of weeks I've been in some abdominal discomfort, and so I turned to that well-known medical journal, Wikipedia. I was relieved to find that it was talking about pains on the right side of the abdomen, as mine were on the left. So it was probably stress after all. Just then, I realised that my pains were on the right as well.
I decided I should talk to someone, and so I phoned NHS Direct. The nurse said that as I wasn't screaming in agony, and didn't have a spreading pain on my left I probably wasn't about to expire, and nor was a trip to the hospital necessary, but I should see a GP sometime soon. Just then the pain on my left started spreading.
I went to see a GP this afternoon. She prodded me, listened to all the other near-death experiences I've had over the last couple of years and then said that she didn't think I had apendicitis. "I could be wrong, of course." she added reassuringly. Her advice was that I wait a couple of weeks, and if I'm (a) still alive and (b) still hurting, it might warrant further tests.
The last time I went to see her was several years ago when I suspected that I had broken my neck in my sleep. I'd read that sometimes people break their neck and are walking around quite normally, but one slighly wrong movement of the head and they're dead. She didn't agree with my diagnosis. "So I'm not going to drop dead, then?" I asked. "Well we never know," she answered. My neck healed in a matter of days. All that time these doctors spend training obviously pays off.
Anyway, rather than tempt fate I'm not going to start celebrating my birthday until the day after tomorrow. That way I'm covered if it turns out that I was born at one minute to midnight. Having said that, I've just been shopping and have enough food to last me into next week, should I last into next week. However, that's not really tempting fate. It's an insurance policy against starvation.
In the meantime, I'm struggling on. Laughing in the face of death (but not too hard, in case I rupture something). Sneering at the Scythe. After all, when you're old enough to remember Grease and Saturday Night Fever, you have to take a philisophical attitude to birthdays...