The Bastard of the North


Here’s the story of babies, stupidity, and steroids.

I started taking steroids this week. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how it would affect me. It did give me a website to report any possible side effects, but if I started bleeding out of my eyes, for example, I wouldn’t really be able to visit said website. In fact, I think I’d rather take a trip to the hospital. Of course, that would require me to be able to see the buttons on my phone to ring an ambulance, and sure, mine has those Braille bumps on them, but I can’t read Braille, people! And this is one of the many perfectly logical reasons why I don’t make a habit of visiting the doctors. As you can imagine, I’m a delight to examine…

I have one of those mothers who doesn’t like to see you suffer. As opposed to the ones who do, whom I know do exist. I’ve met a few of them. “Mum, I’m just going to the deep dark woods with Ally, all by ourselves!” “Okay, but if you get hurt, don’t come crying to me; it’s your own damn fault…” I agree with the mother in this situation, but that’s beside the point…

So there I was. Got up for church on Sunday, coughing and wheezing like a 120-year-old whose been smoking for 119 years. Mother, obviously, is concerned. “Nope, you’re not going to church. I’ll go with dad and we’ll take you to the doctors afterwards.” “I’m… *loud cough, a wheeze and a sneeze* …fine.” “No, you’re not.” “No, really… *cough, splutter, wretch* …excuse me, I need to go and throw up…” “You see? You’re not well.” “I’m fine… *really long wheeze* …it’s just… *splutter* …my stomach didn’t agree with my breakfast.” “No, you’re going to the doctors.” “No, really, don’t… *cough* …worry, about… *collapses on floor* …”

About 10 minutes later, dad took ill as well. So mother went to church solo. Dad blamed it on some nasty chicken. I don’t eat chicken, like all sane people, but mum does. But she’s the type of person who never gets food poisoning. You give her a bad chicken to eat – or 10 – and she won’t get sick. We all know somebody like that, right? Evil, aren’t they?

Of course, the doctors is shut on a Sunday, like everything else in Britain on a Sunday. So we went to the walk-in clinic, which is the most depressing place on Earth, and I’ve been to London. Mum was kept occupied by all the adorable babies in there. She’s that type of person. Goes into a room full of babies, “Awww, look at all the babies!” And then starts asking the parents a million and one questions. I mean, I don’t like children in general, but even I started to be affected. As we discovered, all the parents in there were first time parents and their babies were only a few weeks old. ‘Well, it was just a little cough, but we want to make sure it’s nothing serious.’ Those types of people. I’d just Google it, to be honest, but as I said, I’m not a parent…

Mother was particularly smitten with this one baby who was only three weeks old. “Aww, look at all his hair!” The baby didn’t react to this comment, maybe because it’s not really a statement one can react to, or maybe because he was just three weeks old. I’m not sure. I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he was bright orange. He looked like an Oompa Loompa, but I didn’t tell his mother that.

I don’t like it when mother does this whilst I’m there. She always embarrasses me. “Ah, they’re cute now, but wait ‘til they’re his age,” pointing at me. “Then you’ll wish you never bloody had them…”

There was a really pretty girl in front of me who kept smiling at me, but I wasn’t in the best of shape, really. Probably why hospitals aren’t great places to pick up a girl, really. Even if I were well, I would advise against such. I mean, you don’t know if she’s well or has… I don’t know, leprosy or something like that. I do not like being around sick people. That said, if I did have a girlfriend and she got sick, I would stay to help, of course. But I won’t deny that I’d secretly be wishing I were a hundred bazillion miles away. “You want me to hold your hair back whilst you’re throwing up into the toilet? Have you ever thought about going bald?”

So I’m called in to the examination room of this woman with some fancy title. Senior something chief wizard something of somewhere. At least she said she was a doctor. Put the thing on my finger to check my blood oxygen levels. Came back normal. Staggered me, that. I mean, I was still out of breath after walking the single flight of stairs to the examination room. ‘Are you sure it’s working, love?’ Stuck that thing in my ear. Listened to my chest. I was a little alarmed when she said she wanted to feel my glands. I had no idea what glands were…

Hmm, they were a little swollen, but nothing to worry about. Nor was a huge, red rash I had on my back but, obviously, one I didn’t know about. “Nothing to worry about,” she said. Nothing to worry about! A huge red rash! Are you mad! What the hell is it! Didn’t find out, readers. Last time I had a cough this bad, I had to go for an x-ray, and yes, I hate those as much as I hate the doctors. I don’t like taking my top off, for a start. Especially in a room full of gorgeous young female nurses. I’d rather a bald, fat, sweaty old bloke, to be honest. Why do they put makeup on for work, I wonder. The female nurses. Not sweaty old blokes. Well, maybe they do, I’m not one yet.

In case you’re thinking, ‘Well, you must take your top off in public sometimes, like when you’re going for a swim.’ No. I always swam with a t-shirt on. Needless to say, the excess weight caused me to nearly drown on more than one occasion. And obviously, I never learnt to swim. Still got my safety in water certificate, though. Not sure how…

The good doctor said that they don’t give out antibiotics for coughs unless you’ve had them for a month. Apparently. So she gave me nasal spray for my blocked nose and watery eyes. And I got some very powerful soother sweets for my throat and chest, which was hurting pretty badly. So I got my medication and then I decided to read the instructions. And what does it say? ‘This medicine belongs to a group of medicines called steroids.’ Oh, yeah. I’m a bad boy now. The girls love a bastard. Nice guys always finish last.

I fell into a fun routine of injecting this nasal spray up my nose, followed by cough medicine and two types of soothers. It got to the point where I felt like I was being kept alive by steroids and honey and lemon flavoured lozenges. I’m still not fully recovered, despite a week of taking all these treatments, but I certainly feel like I’m on the mend. In some regards. I mean, after an illness, do you ever feel a tad woozy? Like it’s really taken its toll out of you and you just can’t function properly? Yeah, I’m in that purgatory, readers.

I went to get some pads for my face on Friday. “That’ll be £2.99 sir.” I gave her £2.50. “That’s not the right change, sir.” “Eh?” “You’ve only given me £2.50.” “Huh?” “You… need… to… give… me… more… money.” “What?” “Are you okay?” “But… it’s… what?” Then it hit me. Of course, by the time I’d got out more money, she’d gone. She’d disappeared whilst I was fidgeting around for more money. She only gone to check the price, hadn’t she? I’m still not quite 100%, is my point…

I try to comfort myself with words such as, ‘Well, it happens to the best of us’, but in truth, I know I’m a complete and utter moron. And hey, I’m proud of that. Embrace your stupidity, is what I say.

Admittedly, it’s not the best message to give kids…

British politician, Helen Joanne Cox (1974-2016), once said: “We are more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
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