Towards the end of last week, I got poorly sick, and have been feeling unwell ever since.
Not properly sick, like when you can’t stop vomiting and shitting yourself, but I developed a bit of a cough, which turned into a bit of a cold, and then, combining the two, a really sore throat.
Admittedly, I was hardly at death’s door (which I have always found a strange phrase, because if you knew where Death lived, you’d never fucking go there would you? Even the Jehovah’s would dodge that particular address), but in some ways that can be more annoying, because you don’t tend to get as much sympathy when you only have ‘a bit of a cough’. If anything, people find you even more irritating than usual (in my experience, anyway).
At least when you are regularly puking your guts up, that is an obvious ailment, which no one can deny you, and people have to accept that you truly are unwell. However, when you try to explain to your family and friends that you have a ‘nasty cough’, the very worst thing you can do is then immediately demonstrate this by coughing because, far from prove your point, it has the opposite affect and seems so forced and unconvincing. It’s like when you call in sick at work, and adopt your very best ‘I’m really not well’ voice for your boss, in case he or she doesn’t feel inclined to believe you.
Anyway, I was unwell, and feeling sorry for myself, without being properly sick.
In truth, I haven’t been physically sick in years, and I think the last time might have been after a heavy night in Altrincham around 2004. I had been to a few bars after work, slightly overdone the drinking (by ‘slightly’, I couldn’t walk), and when my dear Mother picked me up around 1am, we only made it a mile or so down the road before I had to ask her to pull over so that I could vomit onto a grass verge.
To make matters worse, we were travelling through Hale Barns at the time, and I remember a number of posh people tutting at my behaviour as they passed. Quite what posh people were doing walking the streets at 1am (when I’m almost certain there were no fox hunts or polo matches arranged for that time of the morning) is a mystery, but they clearly didn’t take too kindly to me telling them to ‘fuck off’.
If you don’t know Hale Barns, it’s essentially where the people of Monte Carlo would live, if only they weren’t so bloody obsessed with yachts (Hale is almost exclusively yacht-less, on account of the fact it is miles away from any sizeable water).
Typical dwelling in Hale Barns
Anyway, I’ve strayed off topic. Let’s get back to my illness.
What began as a niggling cough, then developed into an uncontrollable hacking, and this ultimately led to my sore throat. It wasn’t even a deep, manly cough, either, and was more of a pathetic yapping, like a small terrier trapped at the bottom of a deep well. In fact, I think the only person who found this relentless spluttering more irritating than me, was my wife, who threatened on more than one occasion to smother me with a pillow while I slept.
Last Thursday morning, having woken myself at 3am by coughing so much I had tears streaming down my face, I decided to sleep on the sofa to avoid waking the family. Of course, the chances of sleeping on a sofa roughly two-thirds the length of my body, were limited at best (I perhaps should have let my legs hang over the end, rather than my head), so instead I spent a couple of hours feeling sorry for myself.
In an attempt to stem the coughing fit which had so rudely woken me, I downed approximately half a bottle of Benylin (don’t try this at home, kids), as well as a large glass of diet coke – because my mother is always saying fizzy drinks help sore throats, and I was desperate for some relief. However, this only had the effect of making me feel nauseous, extremely gassy, and essentially stoned off my tits. Blackcurrant syrup and diet coke, do not good bedfellows make (which, in hindsight, should have been bloody obvious beforehand).
I have never taken drugs in my life, and never will, but it seems that a precise mixture of sleep-deprivation, blackcurrant Benylin, cold diet coke, and overwhelming self-pity, is exactly what I require to start hallucinating. Good to know, should I ever feel the unlikely urge to attend Creamfields.
When I did eventually go to sleep, I suffered an array of short, bizarre dreams, that were both terrifyingly disturbing, and utterly boring at the same time (a little like this blog, then).
I cannot recall them all, but to give you some examples:
- I gave my sister a lift to Bramhall, so she could go to the bank to pay a cheque in, while I popped over the road to Greggs;
- I got a job working for the Government in a top-secret department, where my sole responsibility was inflating balloons;
- I organised a trip to Alton Towers for Ollie and his classmates, but Ollie went missing and, in my panic to locate him, I had completely forgotten that I was giving him a piggy-back at the time.
I’m pretty sure I can explain the second two, as Ollie’s 7th birthday party was last Sunday, and I am currently organising a trip to Alton Towers at work, but quite what the first dream was all about, is beyond me. I do love a Greggs though.
By the time I awoke, scared and confused, on Friday morning, I was totally exhausted, and failed to achieve a great deal in work that day.
I managed to play my weekly hour of badminton in the evening (badly, although I couldn’t blame my performance on the illness, as I am always shit at badminton), but I swerved the now customary post-match drink, in favour of going home to bed. See, I really was poorly.
Despite being exhausted, and falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was once more woken by a coughing fit in the early hours of Saturday morning. Tears streaming, I again banished myself downstairs to the sofa and, to avoid another night of hallucinogenic trance, this time I opted for a cocktail of cough medicine alone.
Having sat there for a while, slightly comforted by the fact I at least didn’t have work the following day, nor did I have any major plans, I realised that I was in need of the toilet (I’m a big boy now, and my body tells me when I require urinary relief).
Rather than head upstairs to our bathroom, and risk waking the family again, I went to our downstairs toilet, and in light of what happened next, I am very relieved (excuse the pun) that I did.
Basically, as I stood there (there aren’t many occasions nowadays when I don’t opt for a relaxing sit-down wee, but on this occasion I remained fully erect – so to speak), and began evacuation of my bladder, my body chose that precise moment to commence ‘Operation Surprise Involuntary Coughing Spasm’.
Very much in the same way a novice firefighter may struggle to control a wayward hose (keep that mental image, ladies), I suddenly lost all control of my body as the coughing fit dominated my every move and, while I’m not proud to admit this…. I pissed all over my bare feet. I perhaps shouldn’t share this latest embarrassment in my life (of which there are many) publicly, but I feel like we’re more than just good friends now, and you won’t tell anyone, will you?
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more depressing than having to wash your feet in the shower at 4 o’clock in the morning, because you accidentally pissed on them while coughing. I was so upset, I seem to recall emitting a deep, pitiful wail, like a wolf who has got his foot caught in a trap, after his wife has just left him.
NB: Departing wife just out of shot
Thankfully, as I alluded to earlier, this happened in our downstairs toilet, which has easily-cleanable laminate flooring (as opposed to the carpeted bathrooms upstairs), but I still hadn’t planned on mopping the floor in the early hours of the morning, when I had retired to bed the night before.
And, while we’re on the subject of silver linings to the many clouds of my life, if I am ever unfortunate enough to be stung on the foot by a jellyfish, at least I now know that I have what it takes to piss on myself.
Plus, if a semi-naked man, mopping the floor and washing his feet at 4am (thanks to a self-induced urinary foot spa), doesn’t depress you, the sight of me trying to eat Weetabix the following morning surely would. Weetabix, as you most likely know, is extremely soft – once suitably soaked in milk (hot, in case you were wondering) – but even that hurt like hell to swallow, which resulted in more pitiful howling on my part.
Even my morning shave became virtually impossible, as my throat was so sore, the outside of my neck became too sensitive to touch as well. In the end, I gave up, and only shaved my face, with the result that my neck closely-resembled the back of a fat Cypriot.
On that final note, take a look at the pictures I have included in this week’s entry, and spare a thought for what my Google image search history looks like (and just be grateful that my search for ‘man pissing on his own feet while crying’ yielded no results).