Last week, I had my brain injected. Again! This is not something I choose to do on a slow week, when there is nothing remotely interesting on TV. Or because it is a new-age fad that will make me look seventeen again. Or because my kids have an evil plan to inherit my millions. Or because the local hospital is looking for volunteers, a bit like a hair salon. Unfortunately, in recent months, it’s become a necessity.
Last November, my brain exploded. Just a little bit. Enough to have an effect, not enough to kill me. Enough to interrupt the Monday management meeting though, for that I am secretly, maliciously delighted! At first, I thought someone had hit me with a hammer, because blunt object wielding assassins are an integral part of any retail ‘business is so bad you can forget a pay rise’ meeting. But the look on my colleagues faces gave me a hint that this was not part of a secret team building excercise.
I don’t do ill. I am one of those really aggravating people who breath deeply, whilst all around me people are choking to death on their own mucus. My immune system is cast iron, due in part, to my mother’s extension of the three second food drop rule to a minute and a half, and her actively encouraging me to play with anyone suffering from an infectious or contagious disease, in order for me to “get it over and done with!” Unfortunately, exploding brains wasn’t one of them!
So I have been poked, probed, prodded, and scanned to within an inch of my life. And now I need to have my brain injected on a regular basis. This means every six weeks, I have to venture out in public without adding a single product to my hair. I do not have the sort of mane that makes me a shoe-in for a head double on Tangled. In fact I have three hairs and a nit. Without any product, even the nit leaves home. I am an ex-hairdresser, for goodness sake. This is akin to making me walk through the streets naked!
Once at the hospital, I am then drugged liberally. I have a high resistance to anaesthetic (and indeed to alcohol, I am not a cheap date!) so must be given the same amount used to fell a small elephant. Once this has taken affect, the theatre nurses then amuse themselves by covering me in iodine, using the same paint splatter technique favoured by Jackson Pollock. By this time, I am so doped up that I find this incredibly funny, and give artistic direction. The surgeon then does his work (why, oh why do they insist on starting it with the line “just a little prick”?! In my drug induced euphoria, that is even funnier than the iodine wash!) and I am led out to recovery.
Our day surgery unit has very recently been refurbished, and last week, once I had sobered up sufficiently to stop giggling, one of the nurses suggested I might like to try one of their new, super comfy chairs in the day room. I wandered through, and in my normal unreserved fashion, collapsed back into the luxurious black leather upholstery, whilst smiling through my iodine splattered lips at the group of anxious relatives gathered there.
What the kindly nurse had omitted to tell me was that these were reclining chairs. Fully reclining chairs. With a remote control. Which I had unwittingly sat upon. With the result that the seat immediately opened out, much to my bewilderment, and I found myself lying completely prone.
I am English. We English are a strange bunch. In restaurants, we will happily eat our way through burnt offerings, rather than complain about the meal. And upon finding ourselves flat on our backs in the middle of a group of bemused strangers, we would rather have our livers poked out by an eagle, than admit that we are stuck. So I pretended that I had meant to activate the chair, and lay in that position, the remote control firmly wedged in my back, for half an hour, until my best friend arrived to take me home.
She is Scottish. She did just what any self-respecting Scot would do, when confronted by a yellow daubed sassenach lying flat on their back dressed only in a theatre gown. She laughed until she cried. And continued to laugh for the entire journey home.