Monday, June 17, 2019 04:37

The next gut wrenching (literally) episode

It seems to me that the word ‘literally’ has just been discovered by half the country’s population, as almost every interview I see on telly, some otherwise reasonably educated and intelligent person will use ‘literally’ at any opportunity and almost always incorrectly. I pisses me off no end. Footballers seem to me to be the worst offenders for some strange reason….

So you’ll forgive this miserable old sod for using the word in the title, but, dear reader, if I haven’t pissed you off enough for you to have got this far, and you’re still reading, you’ll be happy to note that I am using the word correctly.

Shortly after the headaches began, a new sysmptom appeared. Again, no pattern to it, no apparent cause, it just appeared. The worst part of it is, I still have the symptom to this day, and it’s got progressively worse over time and has seriously curtailed my ability to some days even leave the house.

The symptom, or complaint, is one of not just feeling exactly like I’m seasick, with waves of nausea flooding over me like the swell of that really deep bit of the North sea between Harwich and Rotterdam, but it was (is) accompanied by a burst of full body sweating, and it always involves a prolonged bout with me hanging my head over the sink and retching violently, much like a cat does after it’s eaten grass, or that whole body thing that dogs do just before they expel whatever that disgusting dead and rotting thing was that it ate while walking out in the forest.

The really curious part of this was, at least in the early days, I was almost never sick: I just retched. It didn’t matter if I hadn’t eaten, had just eaten or was in the middle of a meal, I just spent twenty minutes, sweating, retching and shaking from head to toe during, and for about twenty minutes after the episode subsided.

My poor, long suffering wife and I have spent the last few years attempting to spot at least the merest hint of a pattern to it, but have failed miserably: it happens out of the blue and at any time during the day, with the only warning being this feeling of being swamped by nausea for five or ten minutes before the gut wrenching heaving begins.

Tried all the usual OTC ‘remedies’ – I use that word advisedly, because in my own experience they remedied fuck all.

So again, I wait until it’s got beyond bearable before I venture back to the local health centre and my much put upon GP. He asks all the usual questions, scratches his, clearly mystified, head and precribes Ranitidine. The trade name for these if you buy them from Sainsbury’s or your local Chemist in the UK, is Zantac, and they cost a bloody fortune. I know, I spent a bloody fortune on them before chucking them in the bin because they just didn’t have any effect after a while, like most of the drugs I’ve been and am still having, prescribed.

In the beginning, they did give me some relief; they were recommended to me by a psychiatric nurse, who in truth was a bit of a nutter herself. But, at least there was some benefit for a few months.

At the time I was prescribed Ranitidine, I didn’t know they were Zantac by another name, so cheerily went ahead and took them as directed. Obviously, they had the same effect as Zantac was having by now, ie: bugger all. I looked them up on the net to discover they all they do is stop , or at least inhibit, the production of stomach acid.

I know my body pretty well, and I also know the symptoms of excess stomach acid, and knew, instinctively perhaps, that I did not have excess acid. In the 60′s I probably did, but that’s an entirely, and enjoyable, different series of stories. Well, except for that one night when… no, better not there might be people reading who will remember it too :oops:

So, off I trog back to the GP and let him know the, lack of, success. He said he thought that a closer look inside might divulge a little more info and suggested making an appointment for me at a nearby hospital for a barium ‘swallow’, which implies swallowing a small amount of barium.

No, no, no, no no. The appointment, with a less than helpful leaflet, duly arrived through the letterbox for a date strangely quickly for the NHS, which, I thought I was reliably informed, were supposed to have long waiting lists for everything. Let me tell you, the entire process is so humiliating and uncomfortable, to put it mildly, I suspect that people are disembowelling themselves rather than having to go through this procedure.

Anyway, the leaflet explained about the x-ray part of the procedure, and that I would be required to drink a small amount of Barium, and that “some people may experience slight constipation”. More on that in a moment – you might want to refresh your glass at this point.

My wife, who very kindly came with me to offer some moral support, and I arrived at the hospital and spent half an hour driving round the 30 car car park. 7 fucking stories high that hospital, and they have a visitors car park no bigger than a model’s bloody bikini.

I shouted at a couple of idiot drivers and managed to scare one frail old person enough for them to drive off leaving me a space big enough to get the car in, but not to open the doors. Bastards! And set off to the gastro unit.

Nurse comes out and hands me one of THOSE hospital gowns. You’ve all been there; how fucking embarrasing are they FFS? So, sitting in my back to front dish cloth in what is now a freezing bloody cold cross between a corridoor and a victorian insane aslyum ward, I await my fate with ever increasing anger, frustration and a penis which thinks I’ve headed toward the arctic and said goodbye for what looked to me like forever.

Eventually I’m called into the treatment room where a nice looking nurse reads the script from the leaflet, obviously from memory with all the enthusiasm of a corpse. Christ, I thought, any minute now she’s going to the “and the exits are here and here” routine. For whatever reason, she chose to omit the part about possibly a small amount of constipation.

There’s a big, electrically operated treatment couch in the centre of the room with a monstrously large X-ray unit above it which wouldn’t have looked out of place in that old Jules Verne movie about a couple of suited and booted middle class chaps flying to the moon. “Ooh” I say. “Very up the minute in here then”. The irony and sarcasm could have been Concorde (if we hadn’t fucked that up as well: best aeroplane ever built most experts agree – for what the hell that’s worth, I’m in here with a bunch of experts and they ain’t making me feel very confident yet); anyway, it sailed majestically, and eerily silently waaaay over their heads.

Beyond the couch was another piece of apparatus which I took to be some sort of bondage and punishment device; obviously, it looked like a person stood in it facing either to or from the back drop, and was then strapped securely and soundly flogged. I was wrong about the last part, but it was definitely a high tech punishment device.

Down one wall was a white kitchen worktop, presumably with cupboards below, and a transparent screen from it to the ceiling, to safely protect the staff from any objects the punished might throw at them once they realised what was in store for them.

An exposed table at the end of this ‘kitchen’ had a geeky young man in a white coat mixing up several, yes, bloody several large beakers of plaster of paris. Apparently, barium is not barium, it’s plaster of paris with a hint of pink! Great for a 7 year old girl’s craft glass, but they are going to expect me to drink some of this shit.

How wrong can one person be? I had to drink the whole fucking lot. And not like a pint with your mates on a Saturday night to see who can do it quickest, and get pissed the fastest – and also projectile vomit the furthest without getting banned from the pub. Oh no. I had to stand on the bondage machine holding the cup in my hand for several minutes while they focussed an X-ray machine at my middle bit. They then asked to take a “good mothful please, and just hold it there for a second”. A second. More lying fuckers. After about twenty seconds during which time they were re-focussing the X-ray machine I stood there freezing my arse off (you will recall that my penis had long gone, and by association, my balls had had the good sense to follow suit) with a gobfull of what felt like slowly hardening pink plaster of paris. “Slowly swallow please”. What? How can you swallow slowly? You either swallow or you don’t. In my case it was dangerously close to those Satuerday nights at the rugby club: as soon is this gloop hit my gag reflext, I thought “Of shit, here it comes”.

Apparently I’m made of sterner stuff than I thought: I actually managed to swallow the shit. At least that was over and I could return to the warmth of my wife, my clothing, a decent car heater and the best invention ever – a centrally heated house.

“Stay there for a second please”. Oh. I think I’m going to be able to predict their curious notion of how quickly time elapses if this carries on much longer. The automaton nurse changes the X-ray plate which resides in the strapon section of the bondage device behind my back. Oh fuck, they’re going to want me to do this again.

They did. Bloody, bloody, sadistic white coated geeky bastards. Three fucking tumblers of that shit went down my throat. A full pint at least. I doln’t mind admitting it, but at the end of the ordeal I was visibly shaking. The boy geek asked me if I was ok. My victriolic reply is not publishable, even here. He just shrugged and informed me nonchalantly that “some peolple like the taste of it”. Yeah, and some people like fucking brussel sprouts too.

At least I still had an essential part of me left functioning after the punishment because I immediately thought of the old joke of the newly married girl telling her mum that she obviously couldn’t have kids after returning from honeymoon, explaing to mer mum’s obvious “Why not” that she “didn’t like the taste of it”. In a dangerous lapse of judgement I thought of relaying the joke to the assembled torturers but thankfully, sense returned almost as fast as it had left. Which is more than I can say for my ice cold dick: that took nearly a whole day to come home to roost.

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