The last fortnight can only be described as an interminable nightmare. After spending a vast proportion of my recent time boastfully lauding it over other cancer patients due to feeling tip-top, the Cancer Fairy finally took it upon himself to mercilessly beat me into the ground with his giant stick of misery.
The problem arose around this time last week when I was diagnosed with a chest infection. I wasn’t particularly worried about this, I had been told to expect all manner of infections here and there due to the fact that I currently have the immune system of a small HIV positive insect. However, there’s something about having six visibly concerned medical professionals gathered around you that makes you question what they know that you don’t. After much deliberation, they decided that I’d need to spend at least two nights getting constant antibiotics through a drip at Ninewells Hospital.
This news whipped up scant enthusiasm within me. I had been to Ninewells a few times before and each visit appears to be more emotionally crippling than the last. If I’m not getting diagnosed with cancer I’m visiting dying relatives, getting my neck sliced open or ejaculating into a tiny pot in a cold, lonely room. If something goes wrong in my life, Ninewells almost always rears its ugly head as the grim setting. It is to me as the Führerbunker is to Adolf Hitler.
Arriving at the haematology unit, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a tantalising selection of whisky, gin and other spirits on a tray next to the massive TV. I don’t know why Dundonian cancer patients require a minibar but I felt comforted by the fact that, if my boredom was to reach dangerous levels, I could always get off my mash and stomp around the corridors after midnight – most likely wearing nothing but a vast array of medical paraphernalia as a giant, funny hat.
After 20 full minutes of fantasising exclusively about this possibility, I was ushered through to a small room by a young female doctor who looked uncannily like Geri Halliwell to learn my grim fate. “Can I come?” asked my Mother, at which point Doctor Spice looked at me and whispered “Do you know her?” – evidently thinking that she was an insane drifter woman desperate to latch onto a complete stranger’s medical consultation.
Bracing myself to be told that one and a half of my lungs had fallen off, the Doctor tapped me on the chest a few times, made me breathe a bit and then shooed me away home with a big sack of drugs to keep me happy. I didn’t quite know how to react – what had she missed that my Perth doctors were so gravely concerned about? Also, I couldn’t help but feel slightly aggrieved that the decision to stick a giant needle in the back of my hand in preparation for intravenous antibiotics had proven to be overenthusiastically premature. Anyway, I removed such trivial matters from my head and skipped away home once again reassured that I am, in fact, indestructible.