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

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