Willy Bags and Mondays Always Get Me Down by Emily Smart
Day 7 (insert dodgy Geordie accent) in the Glasgow-Smart household. It has been the longest week of my life – apart from whenever my mother-in-law stays. I have been ill. You’ve probably heard. As with most aspects of my life, I don’t like to keep things quiet. If I’m suffering, then everyone I know needs to suffer my suffering.
So: it all started last Sunday with an innocuous pint with Trevor down the pub. Many of my tales begin with a quiet Sunday afternoon pint with Trevor and end in drunken debauchery of the highest order. Like the time I was convinced I had nits and got Jon to shave all my hair off. That was an interesting conversation with the other half when I got home. Anyway, I am deviating from the point. We had a couple of pints, I popped back with T to fix his pop-ups – please actually don’t ask, he might as well have asked a squid to sort his IT problems, but anyway, we had a cheeky red to help the task along.
How I ended up dining at the house of a vegetarian eating tofu, I don’t know, but it was a jolly night from what I can recall.
I’m spinning around (Is this what Kylie really meant?)
It was not so jolly the next morning. I woke up with my head spinning. I’ll cut to the chase, it wasn’t a hangover but self-diagnosis informed me that I had labyrinthitis. I know this because I had experienced the same thing some 15 years ago. It’s an imbalance in the ear and the only way to describe it is that you sit up, look straight ahead and your brain feels like it whizzing about in your cranium. It’s horrible, and is probably the reason why I can’t stomach boats or trips to theme parks. To be sure of my own diagnosis, I checked in with Dr Google who agreed with me. The other half wasn’t convinced and booked me in to see the very lovely Doctor ‘I’ve seen everyone’s bottom in the whole (or should that be hole) of Grey Lynn’ Pirrit.
Pirrit diagnosed something else – which I thought was a bit lippy; after all, doctors what do they know?! She suggested I had benign positional vertigo and would I like to shake out the dislodged crystals by letting her perform the Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre – I wish manoover was spelt like hoover, it would be a lot easier to spell. She got me on the bed, held my head and shoved it this way and that until I literally vomited. In my day you got a kidney shaped pan to throw up in; in today’s modern surgeries, they have a plastic bag elephant trunk that unravels – it reminded me of those comedy undercackers that men put on their willies.
I was sent off, willy bag in hand with anti-nausea tablets. I watched other patients recoil in horror as I walked hazily through the doctor’s waiting room. Given the size of New Zealand and the lack of anything exciting ever happening, I’m a little surprised my illness didn’t make it to the front page of the national newspaper – ‘Fat dwarf voms in willy trunk bag in doctor’s surgery.’
Bed rest in Baghdad
And so it came to pass that I must spend a week on bed rest. Ordinarily, this would be OK but a couple of things like being self-employed and no work equallying no pay were a worry. The other problem: we were on day 3 of renovations in the G-S house. When I agreed to let ‘she who must be obeyed’ undertake the project, I was clearly being naïve about the scale of the changes. My house has literally been ripped to shreds by the lovely, yet fecking noisy, Andy and John. They have been there every time I’ve got up from my death bed to have a pee or to make a toasted sandwich. In fairness to them, they have reacted with great aplomb as nobody really needs to see this body in pjs without a decent support bra.
By day 3 of my illness, my new companion was a fly. He stayed for the day, buzzing around annoying the crap out of me. The partner came home that night, and frog marched me to the shower. I can take a bloody hint.
By Thursday my world was literally still turning, so we went to see another doc at the same practice. By this time I had revisited my initial diagnosis and decided I had a brain tumour or some other worrying death sentence illness. The doctor was lovely and told me if I had meningitis I would be dead by now – that somehow was rather comforting. After a conversation about Viagra – don’t ask – he managed to refute my claims that if women take it they will have an enhanced sex life, so that’s another rumour I’ll have to stop peddling. He recommended complete peace and quiet and bed rest. How I laughed as I told him about the skill sawing, hammering, drilling, bad singing from John and the utter destruction and mess that is my home.
To begin at the beginning, as some famous Welsh bloke who used to burn down holiday cottages once said, it is now a week later. I am up and about ‘re-calibrating my brain.’ Actually, I am about ready for bed and it’s only 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
What have I learnt from all this? Firstly, Andy and John need to put a handle in the shower for me in case of further dizzy spells. Secondly, it’s never a good idea to befriend a fly; the saying ‘like flies round shit’ is based on a simple truth. Thirdly, never try the Dix-Hallpike manoover, even if you are with a qualified medical professional. And finally, don’t bother trying Viagra if you have a lady garden; I have it on good authority that it only works for fishermen who have the right tackle.