Swine flu or wine flu?

It’s my birthday at the time of writing this post. And it’s not looking good for a fun day out or in for that matter. I have a swollen and painful ankle. It could be gout but it seems more likely, given my healthy lifestyle, that it is an insect bite by insect or insects unknown. It is very sore, but it is better than yesterday when, in the morning, I had to get down on all fours and crawl to the bathroom. Today, I managed to hobble.

My brother sent me an email suggesting that it was a shame that I didn’t capture my crawl on video and post it online – he assures me that it would go viral. But I suspect it would be removed as offensive. His wife has gout at the moment but she is also plugging for an insect bite… somehow, to admit that you have gout is like standing up in a support group and saying, “Hullo, my name is X and I am an unhealthy slob.”

You see, unless you eat sprouts, smashed avocados on toast, run 10 km to the gym every day, throw a slab of tofu on the barbeque and swill it down with a gallon of kale and blueberry juice, you are a very bad person.

For myself, I try to do something quite rare these days: enjoy what I eat, drink and do.

My daughter works out at the gym. She talked me in to joining her a few times. We were on our respective treadmills and she was gasping for breath, sweating, red in the face and looking absolutely terrible, all the while calling out to me, “Isn’t this marvelous? Don’t you just love the pain?”

Well, no, actually I hate pain. I declined her next invitation to join her at the gym and proudly sat down at the computer to play Plants v Zombies for an hour.

Plus I remember, when she was pregnant with her first child, she told me that she was going to do it all au naturel…

She admitted that it was not long before she was yelling, “Drugs! Give me drugs!”

Anyway, getting back to my ankle…. It is slightly better. In fact, I think I have a chance of making it to the shower. Happy days!

I live alone with my cat. She and I are both a little cuddly and of more mature vintage. We muck along quite nicely together as we are both very private creatures and don’t tend to play nicely with others. 

It is rather marvelous to live alone. You can get up when you want, go to bed when you want, eat what you want and watch whatever TV you like. No one steals the remote control and you can have that extra slice of cake or glass of chardy without someone tut tutting.

However, when you get sick, it is a very lonely and difficult time and, as much as I love my cat, she is hopeless at making a cup of tea or lending a hand with the dishes or vacuuming. And she flat out ignores me when I ask her to open her own can of cat food.

When I had to get down on all fours and crawl to the bathroom (it seemed the most logical thing to do at the time) I forgot the bit where I had to then stand up again.

Mum rang me to offer to come up and look after me. “No!” I quickly replied. If she could see the state of my home right now, she would have a fit. Dishes not done, bed not made, vacuuming not attended to and me smelling a bit pooky…. Plus she is SO bossy. “No thanks”, I said, pleasantly but emphatically. “I’ll be fine. I’m used to being independent.”  She accepted my rejection of her assistance and I promised to go to bed and take a nap, having not slept well the night before.

Mum called later in the afternoon. I had fallen asleep. The phone woke me. I reached over to the bedside table and picked up my empty tea cup. Realising my error, I put it down, grabbed the phone and then pressed the answer button. The TV turned on.  Third time lucky, I grabbed the phone handset and it worked! Apparently tea cups and TV remotes don’t function as telephones… you learn something new every day.

Later, I wondered if maybe I was developing dementia and had simply forgotten that I had dropped a 10 kg Acme weight on my ankle. Perhaps I might call my doctor on the tea cup and see what he thinks.

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