I think we can all agree that being sick is pretty great. Not only does it get you off work or whatever you are supposed to be doing for the day but it practically insists that you stay in bed and not wash your hair for a few days. Washing one's hair is pretty much crap. There's all the soap and water to deal with, two things you will know I am pretty much against. Washing the dog's hair is hilarious though, if only for the brief half an hour he runs around shivering. Fucking A. Unfortunately I hardly ever get sick because I am the off-spring of two horribly hardy people. From my mother's side comes the tough Murphy stomach which could swallow children whole and not experience the slightest digestive upset. From my father comes the enviable Aughney resistance to all disease before age fifty. Wait! Before you beg me to procreate with you and spread these anti-disease genes onto your kiddies I have to warn you that the Aughneys have a curious proclivity to develop serious and unpleasant illnesses around fifty to fifty-five and die soon after. Go on. Beg me to procreate with you now.
Fortunately I have developed an unusually paranoid hypochondria to keep me busy until death. What I like especially is self-diagnosis. This keeps meddlesome Western medicine out of my way. And Eastern medicine while we're at it. I ain't no racist. For example, I have determined that I am a unmotivated underachiever with anti-social urges and a slight narcissistic tendency. I know: inspired. Talk about your in-depth assessment. Here's some more: that pain in your side after your fourth cup of coffee? Cancer. Those unidentified bruises on your person after a night out? Cancer, without a doubt. That vague fluttering in your chest whenever your mother starts muttering about your inability to keep a job? Cancer. And stress, probably. You need to lie down.
Speaking of lying down, I have recently learned an excellent self-diagnostic trick from my good friend and colleague, Roberta. Roberta, aka Bert but not to be confused with 'Burt', listened with little patience to my third-in-a-month declaration of my concern that I had appendicitis. I haven't a clue where my appendix is but I am dead certain that if I experience a sudden, unrecognizable ache somewhere in my body it has to be appendicitis. Unfortunately, Bert does know where the appendix is. And how to tell whether it is burst or not.
'Lie on the floor and get someone to poke you. If it hurts then your appendix is burst. If not it's not.'
Ignore the juvenile misreading of the first sentence and concentrate. This is good stuff! Now I check for appendicitis every morning when I get up. That and scorch marks on my bedsheets for signs of spontaneous combustion [I've read Bleak House, don't you dare tell me it's a myth!]. Of course, avoid having a malicious person like Roisin doing the poking as I did that first day in work, or you will find yourself kicked and stepped on until you agree to get up and stop annoying everyone. Selfish cow. I might burst my appendix just to spite her.