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.


Eve, Faye and loads of lady limbs.


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