Being in which our protagonist doth eject more effluvium via his rectum, experiences abandonment in a 'Portakabin', engages with an elderly wrestler, becomes a bullfrog via the strange alchemy of Physiks, and runs out of words to use instead of 'bot-bot'....read on, dear friend, read on!
You're still here! Lovely! I left you on a cliffhanger last time, and like all good cliffhangers, it is resolved quickly and in a rather disappointing fashion. I had my phone on me, you see, so called my colleague Ben (in the office, if you recall) to come rescue me and call mall security. They were there in minutes and showed considerable more care than the woman who tutted at me for impeding her shopping expedition. Now, if you want to look up the dictionary definition of shock and horror, you'll find a picture of the first aiders face when I told him I appeared to be passing my innards out of my rectum at an alarming pace. Once he'd popped his eyes back into their sockets and found a 10 foot barge with which to avoid me, he suggested a trip to the local A & E, and Ben bravely obliged. I don't remember much of the short trip there. I was focussing on not valeting his plush automobile interior with what remained of my aqua vita, you see. Considering just a few weeks before I'd accidentally nailed Ben upside his unprotected head with an icy snowball I'd say he was being awfully decent to take me there.
At which point I entered the realm of the NHS. Now, I have huge regard for the NHS and what it represents, and this was the first time I'd used it other than for the birth of our son, Ethan. I've struggled to think of how to describe it. Imagine the biggest, most complicated maze you can. Now drop into it a group of the smartest, most dedicated, most caring and hard working people you can. Now drop in 50 times the number of sick people randomly. Some ungrateful, some heartbreakingly ill, some not ill at all. Now tell them to try and find each other. It can go wrong.
You start by being triaged. Check. Done in a tick. Then you check in at reception. Took a bit longer. I was swaying a bit. Then the Dad in me kicked in and I let a mother with a sobbing child Ethan's age go ahead of me. Foolish. But I made it. Just. Now sit and wait with about 50 other people.
I lasted 10 minutes or so before I had to rush to the toilet for Round 2 of 'My naughty bottom'. It was reminiscent of the scene in The Shining with the blood and the elevator doors. Google it. I'll still be here waiting. However this time I didn't make it up off the toilet and collapsed again, taking the toilet roll holder with me. At which point someone outside asked if I was OK and I became quintessentially British and replied 'I'm fine thank you, just give me a moment'. I guess in hindsight I should have said - I'VE JUST SHAT OUT MY SECOND PINT OF BLOOD IN AS MANY HOURS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET HELP!!!' You live and learn.
I regained my faculties and got back to the waiting room (me strong like Ox) and after a few minutes found it convenient to slowly slide off my seat and onto the floor of A & E. I was quite comfy, and the concern of other patients was touching, especially the man who had cracked his head open - although this suggested I didn't look too hot.
About an hour later the fun began. I was taken to a cubicle by an unnamed doctor where I recounted my tale. With all the class and elegance of a vet birthing a cow in the middle of the night she announced I needed to roll over and let her have a feel up my anus. I promise you that normally I'd put up more of a fight but following my day I'd lost a bit of my get up and go. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't that bad - what was worse was her shouting 'WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?!' , telling me she was going to get someone else, then running out boggle eyed without another word. I think she was junior.
That was when I began to think the worst.
About 20 minutes later a lovely surgeon came in and restored my faith in medicine. He was everything you want in a doctor, even if I did get another finger up the Harris. He wasn't sure what was going on, and went off to get his boss. I took the time to mobilise what I like to call 'Operation Avoid Kerry Having the Ab-Dabs Driving Home From Cambridge'. I let my family and my in-laws know what was going on (I guess I underplayed it a bit) and asked Kerry to let me know when she was heading home. I then got her parents (possibly the most helpful people on the planet) to be at our house to break the news and look after Ethan so she could visit. Well done me!
The surgeon returned a few minutes later and I thought it best to have THE CONVERSATION. This was the first if several, and went something like this...
Me: "I'm worried that some of my symptoms are suggesting Bowel Cancer"
Them: "Try not to worry. You're far too young and there's lots of other much more likely things"
That settles that, then.
Without further ado they produced, like a magician revealing a rabbit from a hat, what looked like a telescope. It was black and about 10 inches long with a spy hole. Yay, astronomy time!!!! But the only planets they were going to look at was Planet Nicky's bum hole. This, dear reader, was a Rigid Sigmoidoscopy. Basically, an arse telescope, and it was going up there right now, where no man (or woman) had gone before. I shan't lie, it hurt quite a bit, kind of like you'd imagine being impaled on 10 inches of plastic would. It was somewhat basic but did the job of proving my backside was surprisingly clear and disease free after a few good rinses earlier on in the day.
With that they pronounced I was a case for the medics and I was wheeled off to a Portakabin adjoining A & E. By being put there for a bit it meant I was dealt with within the governments target for waiting times. Oh, did I say a bit? I meant 30 STINKING HOURS.
But I fear I'm using up your lunch break with all this so I'll stop here. I'll return later today with what I'd promised- Chapter 2, Part II - The Wrestler and the Bullfrog.
Come back soon!
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