9. ‘Tis the season for mince pies and morphine

‘Tis the season to be jolly (falalalala, lalalala) even when you’re throwing up on Christmas morning, because having a shower was too much fun for one day (falalalala, lalalala.) ‘Tis not the season to pass on Christmas pudding, so I’ve put my rule book to one side and enjoyed a heady mix of mince pies, morphine and mulled wine (falalalala, lalalalaaaaaaaaaaggghhh!)

And now I’m back in bed, my chest throbbing in distain for the frivolity, I’m wondering if it was all worth it? Of COURSE it was, every last crumb and dance with my niece, every last dunk in brandy butter and roar of laughter. Every crisp, every game, every sip, every hour, every single moment was worth it. Which leads me to ponder (with my head at a jaunty angle and my index finger to my lip), has it all been worth it? Have the last five months offered me anything more than a restored love of almond milk?

Now, I would never wish for Lupus (like I wish for Isabel Marant boots), that would be silly and a little sadistic, but I am incredibly grateful for the refreshed view on life that Lupus has bought me. Lupus is partly responsible for placing my life in a golden frame and saying to me, ‘look at this life you’ve got, you massive lush! Look closer! I know it may be a bit wonky, it may not have turned out exactly as your 15 year old self thought it would, but it’s f-ing bloody brilliant and you are SO lucky.’

Over the last five months, I’ve received enough flowers to host the Chelsea Flower Show and Get Well Cards to fill a forest (if we could magically reverse the paper-making process… sorry trees.) My friends and family have a canny knack of appearing just as I’m close to feeling sorry for myself, with grapes and cakes and the wisest of words; with eye cream and candles, foot rubs and head strokes; with DVDs and magazines and bouquets of fruit (no shit, click on this link, they’re amazing!) They’ve come with herbal teas, juice recipes and an abundance of PMA. They’ve emptied the dishwasher, they’ve made me soup and they’ve made me laugh and laugh (until I’ve had to tell them to stop being so goddamn funny because it hurts.) Blimey, I am SO lucky.

I’ve been reunited with old school friends and boyfriends who have appeared from nowhere to wish me well. Although no longer in uniform or in the band, and despite the years that have passed and the nonsense life has also thrown at them, they’ve hardly changed at all. What an influence on my life our past together has been, and what inspirations they live to be now. I am SO lucky to have experienced them and to be able to rediscover them now.

I’ve had endless support from my bosses and colleagues at Coffee & TV. Working with such a passionate, talented and hilarious crew is the very best tonic (and if it could be bottled we’d all be millionaires! So I’m working on it…) I’m SO lucky to be able to spend my days with such an awesome and energizing bunch.

If ever you need your significant other to prove his / her love for you, remind him every day how much you’re hurting and cannot possibly hoover. Tell him that you can’t go out despite the fact it’s his friend’s engagement party / birthday party / Halloween party / new-born’s christening. Ask for your hot-water bottle to be refilled, despite the fact he fell asleep half an hour ago. Tell him you want the moon and ask him to throw a lasso around it and pull it down. All hurdles are equally demanding and worthy of proving his love. Thankfully, my boy has successfully completed his endurance test; indeed he’s endured an awful lot, and I am SO lucky.

And although it’s surprising to find yourself being tucked into bed by your mum / dad / sister / brother, at the age of 34, (and certainly not what my 15 year old self had foreseen) I am SO grateful. What a privilege it’s been to spend this uninterrupted time with my family – to be cocooned in their unconditional love, with tea and toast on tap. Gosh, aren’t I lucky.

Oooopsies, I appear to have written my Lupus Awards acceptance speech. I’ll stop here (else I’ll have nothing to say in my actual Lupus Awards acceptance speech, a glamorous red-carpet affair that I’m certain my Super Doc is planning). There’s an awful lot more I have to be thankful for, but I’m precariously standing on the edge of the smug zone. I appreciate that not everyone is lucky enough to be surrounded by such incredible people, but I do hope that the frame around your world highlights all that’s good, funny, surprising and wonderful… I promise it’s all there, if you look hard enough.

Numerous people have asked me lately how I remain so chipper; I hope this post shows that it would be very hard not to be! THANK YOU to everyone who has made it so. Despite the hospital visits, the tests, the tears, the aches, the pain and puke, I’m really rather lucky. Perhaps it’s the morphine talking? Or perhaps I just feel really rather jolly – ‘tis the season after all (falalalala, lalalala.) SO, bring it on 2016, I’m ready for you and I’ve got my army with me.

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London Bridge Hospital, feeling festive

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8. Insomnia and a Kidney Beret

I don’t care what Instagram says, healthy eating isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t sexy. The truth is, ‘come to bed eyes’ should be more aptly named ‘sauvignon eyes’ because let’s face it, no romance ever blossomed over a wind-inspiring Green Smoothie. No babies were ever made after a playful evening of carrot batons and Wheatgrass shots. No dalliance into debauchery ever concluded with kale. No life-loving, adventure-seeking being ever said ‘hey, you know what’s really fun? Broccoli.’ (Unless of course, the broccoli is attached to the end of a bungee rope, or Snickers bar.) That’s not to say I haven’t tried to be green and lean. Every January I successfully detox for a week, and celebrate with a vat of Pinot Noir and a Chinese Takeaway for four, for one. But for the first time, I’ve got a legitimate reason to try, and I can’t find a legitimate reason not to. And so my foray into eating clean began with a hint of cynicism, a dollop of dismay and four sleepless nights.

The Super Doc (Doctor Lanham at the London Lupus Centre) suggested it was time to stop taking Tramadol because after three months, the stuff was doing nothing for my mojo. He also gave me a trial prescription for steroids in the hope they might encourage my immune system to perk up. Concerned that five days on the ‘roids would inspire immediate beard growth, an appetite for Call of Duty and a penchant wolf whistling, I decided that I should counteract chemicals with pure goodly goodness. I raided Amazon for books with (smug) pretty girls on the cover – they all seemed to be holding a yoga pose and green juice concurrently. Multi-tasking majesties. And their faces (smug faces) shone with the dew of their early morning Pilates, and their eyes sparkled, and their teeth twinkled and their plentiful hair curled like magnificent Unicorn manes. They glowed from their insides out, with livers exquisite enough to be worn as broaches and glistening clean colons that would make the most delightful necklaces. I didn’t just want to look like them, I wanted to be them (or at least wear their shiny organs as jewellery.) And as my salubrious sisters sang to me from their recipe book covers, I realised I shouldn’t have come off the Tramadol quite so quickly.

For FOUR NIGHTS I lay awake, counting sheep until there were none left. My body ached with exhaustion, but how could I possibly sleep when I was so busy re-enacting scenes from Trainspotting? The Tramadol had taken more of a hold than I had thought and the ‘roids were preparing me for a wild night out I was never going to go on. A sleepless haze distorted my days but I was determined to carry on regardless. Getting dressed felt like participating in the Iron Man finals. Commuting to work was a mission to the underworld with Hades on my back. Eating was essential in order to take my pills, but it’s ever so tricky to fry an egg white omelette from foetal position. Life seemed to be getting harder and curly kale wasn’t helping. Narcotics and healthy eating is a juxtaposition Irvine Walsh obviously hadn’t considered when he was writing Trainspotting, which is a shame because I could have done with a point of reference and the glowing girls weren’t helping.

When I found myself waking up on Regent’s Street having fainted amidst indifferent tourists, it was time to head back to Super Doc (with an awesome new recipe for sweet potato brownies.)

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Nothing says FUN like celery! (said no one ever)

7. There’s almost nothing gaffer tape can’t fix

I’ve caught myself applying the three-date rule to doctors. As much as I want to, I don’t give it away until our third appointment, because until then I’m busy trying to convince them to like me. I want them to understand that I’m normally a fun-loving, hard-working, free-spirited, NON- HYPOCHONDRIAC. I begin nearly every appointment with an anecdote about not even flinching when I got my foot tattooed! (I don’t care if the doctor just wants me to get to the point- I got tattooed on my foot and it didn’t hurt me! I’m as courageous as Joan of Arc!)

Now, it doesn’t take a session with Dr Frasier Crane (or indeed a real life Psychiatrist) to work out that this deep routed fear of being perceived as a hypochondriac comes from having spent many years of my childhood as A MASSIVE HYPOCONDRIAC. Actually, I was more of A MASSIVE LIAR.

  • Aged 5 I stuffed a tissue in my eye, long enough for it to go black.
  • Aged 6 I licked my brother’s cup when he had a sicky bug. It worked.
  • Aged 7 I made the Gregory Twins carry me round for an entire afternoon because my legs stopped working. I told them I might never walk again and they cried, both of them.
  • Aged 8 I limped round the V&A with my mum and sister, insisting on wearing a bandage on the outside of my trousers. They had me sussed and left me on a bench, where I looked as pitiful as possible in the hope that passing strangers might think I was a street urchin (albeit it a culturally astute one in the V&A?!)
  • Aged 9 I danced then fake-fainted outside my neighbour’s house, in case he was a Hollywood director looking to cast a jaunty yet frail red head in his next movie. He was a builder.

Thankfully I grew out of this morally questionable hobby, and became an actress so I could lie on stage with a paying audience applauding me for it.

In fact, it was theatre that instilled in me the stoicism of a Second World War Army General, with both legs blown off, pulling his comrades from a burning bunker. When you’re unloading a set from the back of your van at 4am, having just driven five hours following a performance in Lands’ End, there’s no room for wimps. If you’ve cut your finger, you slap some gaffer tape on it. If you tear your cruciate ligament during a rather feisty performance of The Secret Seven, you strap it up and skip the skipping scene. If you sprain your ankle, you juggle cow hearts whilst balancing on crutches. (These were actual bleeding cows hearts, in a fiercely political show about Foot and Mouth disease, a subject we knew nothing about but hoped was outrageously controversial.) If you break your nose on stage in Germany, you stuff it with tissue and pretend the tip of it is just counting freckles on your cheek. Because the Show. Must. Go. On. And thankfully it’s this attitude I have carried with me through life, and not the one that lead me to lick my brother’s cup.

By my third appointment with the wonderful Dr Lanham at the London Lupus centre, I no longer cared if he thought I was as brave as Bouidica, because at this point, my PMA was nearly out. A diagnosis of Systemic Lupus was looming ever closer and it could smell my fear; if gaffer tape couldn’t fix me, I needed to know what could. After an hour together Dr Lanham saw me to his door and said ‘I know how much pain you’re in and you’ve been very brave. We will get to the bottom of this together.’ At which point, I felt the heavy weight of my childhood hypochondria lift from my shoulders. He said I was brave and for the first time, I felt like I didn’t have to pretend to be anymore.

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Look at that badass tattoo… and I didn’t even flinch!

6. Five Dark Days of Sick and Doom

King Professor Santis had warned me that I may develop a few ‘flu-like’ symptoms on the new medication and that I should gradually increase my dosage each day to avoid any adverse reactions*. So I popped them alongside my trusty Tramadol. (At this point I had a steady habit of 8 Trams a day and all was going well – I hadn’t started to pickpocket children or search through bins, or any of the other tricky habits you pick up along with long-term drug addiction.)

Day 1. In an effort to outsmart the Drug Dread, I took it before bed so I could blissfully sleep through the sicky-bit. I was a little shocked when I woke in the middle of the night like Regan in the Exorcist… you know, dry throat, green face, demonically possessed. The bed shook, I spoke in tongues, the words ‘Help Me’ carved into my stomach… (ok, that may not be entirely true, but I did feel really out of sorts.) Luke renounced the devil with a camomile tea and I hoped that the worst was over.

Day 2. The worst wasn’t over. Now, I pride myself in being highly accomplished in the art of ‘pulling off a hangover’. I’m accustomed to brushing myself down after three hours sleep, painting on my face and skipping into work with the joy of Spring, despite being considerably weighed down by concealer and two bottles of chardonnay. I was in shock that one little pill, a fraction of the size of a bottle of wine, could cause so much distress! My head pounded, my eyes stung, I didn’t even want to eat Pizza! NOT EVEN PIZZA!

Day 3. Eve and Faye popped in. We had a three-way foot-rub and watched a bad film. When they left I cried for two hours because they’d been so nice to me. After two hours I’d forgotten why I was crying but didn’t know how to make it stop, so I cried for two more. I was acutely aware of Luke watching me in the same way you watch a moth bash relentlessly against a window, considering how best to put it out of its misery. I asked him to sit in another room in case he tried to squash me with newspaper and flush me down the loo. And then I cried because all I wanted most in the whole world, was to be flushed down the loo. I cried until my head ran out of tears. Oh if only I was a moth.

Day 4. You know that scene in Cast Away when poor emaciated Tom Hanks is crawling around in his loin cloth, chatting insanely to Wilson his volleyball?… Well, that.

Day 5. I dragged myself into London Bridge Hospital for an appointment with the King. On bended knee I begged for his mercy. He scoffed that I should come off the pills immediately (as though I had foolishly prescribed them for myself) and I live to blog another day. Yay!

King Santis mused over my latest test results. “I’d like to refer you to my colleague at the London Lupus Centre.”Oh arses. Lupus? What the hell is Lupus anyway? (aside from a character in Harry Potter?!**) Lupus sounds ridiculous and it most certainly doesn’t sound like anything I want. So you can stick your Lupus, Prof Santis! Laters Lupus! Sayonara Santis!… And what time is my appointment? 

* I know it would be handy for me to tell you the name of the Drug Dread, so that you could avoid it or surreptitiously hide it in the crumpets of your worst enemy – but I immediately threw them away, in case their mere presence should infect my flat with its curse, or I should mistake it for a tic-tac and find myself crying into the washing machine again. Soz.

** I’ve since googled this and I don’t think Lupus is a character in Harry Potter after all, although FYI JK, you missed a trick there, Lucian Lupus would have made a great arch enemy.

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Eve, Faye and loads of lady limbs.

5.The Knight, The King and The Jester

Not having Pleurisy is considerably harder than having pleurisy, because if I don’t have pleurisy then what the hell DO I have?!

“Well it’s not cancer”, the doctor crooned, throwing down his Royal Flush. I spat out my tea, (I wasn’t drinking one at the time, but my mouth did the same action). “Of COURSE IT’S NOT CANCER!” I hadn’t ever thought it was cancer, not for a second, but the moment he told me it wasn’t, I thought it almost certainly was. God I miss Pleurisy. Good old faithful 18th Century sounding Pleurisy. I had a solid relationship with that bad-boy and now it’s left me – left me with WHAT?!

The hospital doctors referred me to a respiratory specialist, who (much like Mr Bean) lost my test results, forgot to schedule my appointment and tell me he was going on holiday for a month (probably with his teddy bear). On hearing this news, my MD* galloped centre stage upon his trusty white steed, a sword in one had and my private health insurance in the other… what a way to deliver an email! Legend. I booked an appointment with Professor Santis at the London Bridge Hospital for the following day. (A Professor no less, like Stephen Hawking and Henry Higgins, but better!**)

I have to admit to feeling guilty for leaving the NHS behind; after all it had done for me. Despite the crisis that looms over its head, wards fit to bursting and purses nearly empty, the doctors and nurses worked tirelessly, with care, dedication and the humility and patience of a Buddhist monk working in the Next Christmas Sale. I have a lot to thank them for.

Professor Santis had the air of a King on a polo horse. I immediately bowed in his presence and apologised for wasting his time. I fought desperately to hold back tears because I couldn’t bear to see the distain on his face at my feminine fragility… he might have me beheaded! So instead of telling him that my chest stabbed with every beat of my heart and I’d taken to fainting in embarrassing places, I danced him a merry jig and sang a tuneful song. He told me there was an area of concern in my CT scan – a small gap in one of the rivers running from my heart where there ought to be blood and that my lungs weren’t functioning as they ought to. So I told a few jokes, jingled my bells, apologised profusely and backed out of his office, relieved that my kindly master had spared me.

Whilst I waited for the second opinion, King Santis prescribed me some magic beans, I mean pills, magic pills. And so began what shall henceforth be known as, ‘The Dark Days of Sick and Doom’. Oh what a noble and magnanimous King. All hail King Santis.

I booked an appointment to see him in again in 5 days, (dark days of sick and doom) and I cartwheeled back to Vauxhall. (Honestly guys, stick around for ‘The Dark Days of Sick and Doom’… it’s going to be a hoot!)

 

*To clarify, my MD is the Coffee & TV Managing Director, not my friend Shane who is a Musical Director.

** Since Professor Henry Higgins is fictional, (and all he really did was manipulate some poor girl so she could sing about the rain in Spain and embarrass herself at the races), I can confidently say that my Proff is better. I have no facts to support Professor Santis’ superiority over Professor Stephen Hawking, but it’s childish to turn this into a competition, so just stop it! (but in a fight, Proff Santis would probably win. Just saying.)

ProffKing Santis of London Bridgeshire

4. Angry Witches, the bitches.

I was released from hospital with Pleurisy. It wasn’t like a ‘take-home’ present in a party bag; ‘look mum I got a yoyo, a whistle shaped like a burger, a kinder egg, pleurisy and six scratch and sniff stickers!’ I had come to hospital with the pleurisy, they just needed to tell me that I had it so I could go home again. And if you’re wondering what that feels like…it’s like one hundred angry witches (because they’ve got really long fingernails) scratching away inside your chest every time you breath. And, when they fancy it (those miserable witches) they dig their nails all the way in like daggers (whilst cackling, probably). And Flip-Jack-Wilson does it hurt!

So cradling my boobs in my arms, (because they too were getting a rough deal by hanging around on top of the witches, I mean, pleurisy), I headed back home. Now ‘home’ is officially in London, but I’ve realised that even at 34 the only home you need when you’re sick, is the one your mum and dad are in.

Mum whisked me to my room where she had a pair of emergency slippers on standby. Unfortunately the only PJs available were circa 2001 when I was considerably slimmer and the PJs matched my pink hair. God I was sophisticated! So I bundled into bed in a lumo-pink winceyette straight jacket and didn’t get out again for a very long time.

Doctor Dudley and Nurse Betty popped by every now and again to crawl under the covers and lick my toes (they’re the dogs, not my parents). Mum cancelled everything to lie beside me with her iPad, reading her emails out loud like a bed-time story, (except there’s nothing dreamy about spam from Prince Hanzah of Azerbaijan who’d lost his wallet and needed $5000 in his bank, pronto!) Dad would knock on my door, asking ‘are you decent?’ just in case my bottom had accidentally snuck out of the ill-fitting PJs and displayed itself on top of the duvet. He’d bring hourly tea and hot water bottles, and tell my mum to stop reading her emails to me. My wonderful sister would swing by to fill me with PMA and confidence that I was in the right place whilst my phone beeped away with well-wishes. Basically folks, if you want gifts, loads of gifts, get sick! In fact, John Lewis should do Sick-Lists (like a wedding list, but with less crockery and more grapes.) There’s your next ad John Lewis! You’re welcome.

My boyfriend arrived every weekend to tell me what a mess London was in, and to ask me to stroke his head (because I hadn’t been there all week to do it!) Poor boy had started a new job and it pained me so much to be absent from such an important time. But I had been absent, from everything. Everything! My job that I adore, my colleagues, my friends, their dinner parties, their pop up shops, their birthday bashes; summer bbq’s, uni reunions; book clubs, supper clubs, all the pubs…

Sorry, that bit was a bit too maudlin and not very funny. Because it wasn’t. And even when the dog fell off the bed, I still didn’t really laugh. That was the hardest part of it all, feeling too poorly to laugh and missing out on ALL the fun. So I went back to the doctor’s, because three weeks later, I was feeling worse than I had ever before. Another call to the hospital was made, but at least this time I knew my way to the EAU.

Ten million blood tests later, three doctors gathered to tell me that perhaps it wasn’t Pleurisy after all…. at which point I’m sure I heard an angry witch inside me, laugh.

IMG_7984             Doctor Dudley and Nurse Betty

3. A party and no pants…

The Royal Surrey Hospital is a giant un-fun maze (not of the bushy variety you find in regal gardens*); and the Emergency Assessment Unit is as easy to access as Platform 9 ¾.* What a good job no one looking for it, is hoping to be assessed in an emergency. Oh.

Mum and I spent (what felt like) ten hours navigating the NHS Labyrinth. We crossed paths with lost souls who had originally come to visit relatives, only to find themselves so disorientated by hallways they were now being treated for malnourishment and delirium. Gasping for breath, I desperately attempted to keep up with mum, (‘Mother’s Race’ Winner – Saint Teresa’s School Sport’s Day – 1994). I had no chance. Having entirely forgotten I was with her, mum was enjoying a rather clinical life-sized game of Pac Man, until she had a head on collision with a white coat.

“Excuse me Sir”, mum curtsied, because he was clearly a doctor. “We’re looking for the unit where you assess emergencies.” He pointed to the EAU, which was just behind us. Mum hurried in with the power of an ambulance through swing doors, where she waited a while for me to catch up.

After being ushered into a cubicle, we quietly conspired that I would NOT be staying the night. Ever the optimist, I hadn’t packed pants. So since the visit was going to be fleeting, we decided we might as well enjoy it with a wide selection of magazines and a delicious M&S spread. What fun! Doctors and nurses were joyfully welcomed into our cubicle; “thanks for popping by, sausage roll?” And even in the absence of booze, conversation flowed freely; “do you smoke?” No. “Do you drink alcohol?” Oh go on then Doctor, I’ll have one if you are. “How many units?” What?

It felt like a peculiar drinks party under strip lighting, underscored by the beep of a heart monitor instead of Michael Buble. Mum had our guests roaring with laughter as she regaled us with tales of her Pulmonary Embolism, until a party pooper threw open the curtains to say, “We’ve had your results back and I’m afraid we’re going to have to keep you in.”… But I haven’t packed pants!

Not one to be discouraged, mum began to hatch a plan for my escape. “I’ll tell the little nurse that you’re leaving and that’s final. She’s only 12, what’s she going to do? We’ll just walk out!”

As much as I admired my mum’s spirit of determination, I suspected that the doctor’s might have the right idea as my chest felt on the edge of implosion… plus I was exhausted from all the fun of our party.

 

* Hampton Court Maze is a lot of fun, but don’t let anyone trick you into thinking there’s chocolate, or a magical unicorn in the middle, because there’s neither; there’s just more bush which isn’t edible or magical.

* If you haven’t read, or seen Harry Potter then you won’t get this reference; you’re probably also a muggle, but because you haven’t read Harry Potter you don’t even know what muggle means. Pah! What a muggle!

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It’s party time!

2. Doctor Google says I’ve got boob Ebola.

There are five things I can guarantee you’ll do when you’re ill in bed.

  • You will Facebook stalk everyone you knew at 16 in the hope they’ve aged badly. (In case not everyone who is sick Facebook stalks Ali Naylor, believe me, this veritable sex-god-in-chinos has NOT aged well. See! Don’t you feel better already?! You’re welcome.)
  • You will eat more calories in one day than is humanly possible to burn running a marathon, (if like me,  you’re eternally grateful your illness hasn’t put you off your food!) As delicious as this is, it isn’t all that sensible to consume 15,481 calories when you’re not in the mood to run a marathon, and the only exercise you’re getting is when you’re forced to get out of bed because digestive biscuit crumbs are exfoliating your bottom. This ‘exercise routine’ may happen every hour or so, but still, it’s no marathon.
  • You will pretend not to have watched four episodes of Come Dine With Me, back to back.
  • You will pray to God your HR department isn’t pulling out the big blue folder that says ‘Statutory Sick Pay’.
  • You will Google your symptoms at least 3042 times, an hour. You will learn SO much from Doctor Google, you’ll wonder why on earth people waste ten years of their lives training to become doctors via the traditional (and clearly out-dated) route. You will Whatsapp your friends to tell them you’re probably having a heart attack. You will call your mum to break the news you have Ebola in your left boob. You will hold your boyfriend close and sob into his shoulder because he’s probably infected with your Smallpox. Your boyfriend will reassure you that Smallpox was entirely eradicated in 1977, and you’ll stroke his poor little confused head in the knowledge your disease has already started to erode his brain. Your brain hasn’t started to erode yet, because it’s stronger.

I spent two weeks in comprehensive medical training. It was thoroughly exhausting because Doctor Google is relentless in the provision of ‘knowledge’. Doctor Google is always open for business; unblinking, unyielding, unending. Insistent information awaits your click. WebMD.com rests for no man; NHS Symptom Checker.co.uk needs to be checked; MayoClinic.org; HealthLine.com; Patient.info; VetDirect.com (just in case.) An endless stream of enlightenment waits to be unravelled, from the moment you wake until the wee hours. Because how else are you going to get to the bottom of why you’re STILL hurting?!

So when I returned to the doctor’s, I sympathetically advised him that perhaps he’d wasted ten years of his life to an evidently fruitless education. I didn’t say those exact words, I think I said ‘help. The anti-inflamatories haven’t made any difference. It hurts more than I can bear. I can’t breath. My chest feels like it’s breaking with every breath. I haven’t slept properly in two weeks. Please. Help me.”

He made a quick call to the Emergency Assessment Unit at the Royal Surrey Hospital to tell them to expect me. I Googled ‘Bird Flu’ on my way.

So my advice to the sickly folk out there, is DON’T DOCTOR GOOGLE. What does ‘@HotmizzArizona’ know that your doctor doesn’t? Granted, she probably knows how to peel a prickly pear, (an Arizonian delicacy your doctors hasn’t encountered yet) but that’s not a good enough reason to follow her health advice on Med.Help.com. Even in the dead of the night, when you feel lonely, helpless, anxious, and you fear you’re loosing control, DON’T DOCTOR GOOGLE, because boob Ebola isn’t worth worrying about after all.

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Danger. Midnight Doctor Googling.