In a week that has seen the sad and untimely deaths of two British entertainment legends, I’m still here. But only just – I’ve been holed-up in bed for the past few days, sick and feeling very sorry for myself.
I rarely get genuinely sick, so I’d forgotten that being really ill is not about cuddling up under the doona, catching up on Netflix and gorging on food sin. Because this week I’ve felt really shite – as in the serious aches and pains type of ‘sick’, with blinding headaches and a gut that at times felt like it was going to give birth to the next Alien.
This was not one of my atypical illnesses that emanate from anxiety, but a common or garden gastric flu, which I can either blame on my brother, for transporting it over as extra luggage from the UK, or on the oysters we gorged to celebrate his arrival.
Alternatively, it could be payback for having a good time, or taking life for granted. Oh, SHUT THE FUCK UP, anxiety!
And there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’ll still defeat all medical records again and be the only person in the whole fucking world to empty the entire contents of my stomach and bowels without losing a gramme of weight.
But every cloud has a silver lining and the permanence of my new sleeping position beneath the toilet the other night did give me some time for reflection, and the irony of having spent the previous few hours watching my brother and his partner wipe the ass and dribble off my new nephew was not lost on me, when I found myself, only a few short hours later, in a similar predicament of shooting from both ends uncontrollably.
At least my cute new Elle McPherson knickers stood the ultimate test in their newly assigned role of perfect break fall. Not so cute now, though…
And it dawned on me once again, that the permanent physical descent to incontinence might not be that far off. Which means two things: I need to make the most of my time left and I must never take anything for granted again.
The problem with gastric flu is that you can’t even eat to console yourself and everyone behaves like you’ve got the Bubonic Plague, so sympathy is fleeting.
I’ve not been at my most attractive, admittedly. It must be hard to look on the menopausal version of Gollum, empathetically. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can fall from a life of glamour to the full wretchedness of incontinent misery. Life can be a bitch like that. One minute you’re in the Blu Bar of the Shangri La, toasting everything good in it, and the next you’re a hot, ugly mess, emptying the night’s excesses down the pan.
The old man has pretended to look after me, but as I’ve been unable to do little more than moan vociferously about what a useless nurse he’d make, it has been hard for me to truly test his ‘in sickness and in health’ vows.
So all I can pray is that he doesn’t catch the man-flu version of this living hell.