After years of weighing up the pros and cons, I’m now in a position to declare: I don’t like being sick.
I guess it started when I emerged from my Mums womb (which is odd seeing as it was a caesarean) with all the athleticism of a wet towel. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I had the terrifying Yellow Jaundice. The writing was literally on the wall, although it did say ‘Maternity Ward’. But it may as well have said ‘See you soon Disgrace, even though this is the Coombe and all of your future illnesses will be dealt with in a proper medical type hospital, but you get the message right?’.
It was a long winded sign, but it was right.
I spent my pre-teens in a blur of revolving doors and ambulances. I had bendy toes that needed unbending and this involved first breaking them, then seeing how it went, and after realising they were probably better toes the way there were, them being broken back to their previous position. I wore glasses for a number of years at the advice of a family friend, who had little in the way of an optometrists qualification, and more in the way of a 'making me look like a cross-eyed nerd' degree. I had countless tonsillitis episodes. I once tripped and fell into wet cement with disastrous results. I caught blood poisoning after an unspeakable act with my first girlfriend under Templeogue Bridge. I’ve been hospitalised three times over complications with ingrown toenails. And then there was my now legendary sort-of heart attack.
The thing is, I breezed through all of these issues with grace, dignity and a carefree attitude that should have seen me pick up the Nobel prize for bravery. Of course, the reason I did so, is because when I had the misfortune to arrive at the above medical emergencies, I didn’t have the internet to self-diagnose myself with. I simply thought, ‘Yes, it’s normal for your toes to look like the Walkinstown Roundabout. There’s no reason to be alarmed at being able to see both your ears at the same time. Blood seeping from my eyeballs, no panic.. must have nicked myself shaving!’
Simple times, and I survived them all.
Nowadays, thanks largely to the internet, things are altogether different.
Throw a simple combination of ‘Sore Throat’ and ‘Slight Limp’ into Google and it automatically redirects you to the Fanagans Funeral Homes website.
I’ve had a cold of sorts for the last few weeks. In the past I’d simply come downstairs to my Mum and sniffle. She’d boil some 7-Up and soon I’d be right as rain and back, face down, in wet cement. Now, the internet is my mother. And it’s a bad parent (even though I still have a mother, and she's a good parent)
I possibly, (according the great search engine), have any of the following – Strep Throat, Leukemia, HIV, Swine Flu, Cancer, Scarlett Fever, Twins, Leprosy, Wood-rot, the Common Cold and/or an allergy to Bamboo.
‘What you don’t know won’t kill you’ is a clichéd expression, but it’s wrong. The stress that Google has caused me lately will most likely bring on one of the above illnesses.
In fact, if you type ‘What you don’t know, won’t kill you’ into a search engine of your choice you’ll be given an answer
“Although it probably will”.
Disgrace, 18 October, 2009. Sick.