Monday, January 30, 2006

Death and other diversions

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.

10 comments:

Marie said...

Your right to check everyday if you have appendicitis we all should because someday you probably will wake up and have it and at least you've caught it before it bursts and kills you, so your daily routine shouldn't be taken as you being an attention seeking hypochondriac but rather as you being a precautionary kind of girl...

liz said...

you are such a hypcondriac! and i thought i was bad with the ever lasting cold since xmas! good stuff!
hey are you still workin in the library lucy or when i fact did you get fired from?

Voodoolady said...

Last night in order to get a good nights sleep with my horrible head cold I took two lemsip capsules, drank half a bottle of venos and sucked on two merocets.

Who's the sick person now eh?

Mossy said...

I Don't get sick. Ever! Except once for a day.

stephenesque said...

You should write the great Irish novel and call it 'The Adventures of Aughney Marsh' in homage to Saul Bellow's great American novel, 'The Adventure of Augie Marsh.'

Linus said...

A good motto to have is 'If it can happen in Dickens, it can happen in real life'.

Beware of being forced into a loveless marriage, enduring a career of pickpocketry, a series of heartache at the hands of an icemaiden, and dying alone and penniless from stabwounds, Lucy!

I know I fire off a few shots down the stairs every night, just to ward off such catastrophic series of events. And nothing like that has happened so far, so I suggest you do the same.

Andraste said...

Lucy, this is definitely one of the best posts you've done in a long time. Brilliant.

I concur with Stephen. Write it. G'ahn!

Anonymous said...

yeah when i first found out bout spontaneous combustion i was sure id be a goner 2 lucy!!!!but we never have heating in r student gaff so think im too cold to go!!!

Chris Cope said...

I fear stones. I have known people much stronger than me who have passed stones and they looked as if God himself (Chuck Norris) had kicked their ass.

Anonymous said...

according to e.r (and that is a medical bible- who doesnt know what blood tests to do when a gunshot wound comes your way? (cbc chem 7 and other random letters and numbers-obviously)) you should jump up and down to see if you have appendicitis - cos if you can jump then your appendix is fine- you could get fit during your daily precautionary checks!