Life, they’re prone to saying, begins at forty. Which is beginning to worry me a bit, because I’m rapidly sliding towards the big Four-Zero with the pace of an out of control bobsleigher and, rather than feeling like life is about to begin all over for me, bits of my body are just feeling… broken.
Let me explain. Since Christmas Eve, I don’t think I’ve managed to go four, maybe five days without feeling like I’m in pain with one ailment or another. God help me if I ever fell poorly with something serious, for I am a snivelling wimp when it comes to pain, but it started with a sinus infection that felt like toothache.
Or so I thought. Then it turned out that I did have toothache. But a dentist based in the back of a transit van (given that I’m terrified of the dentist, getting me in there was something of a struggle for my wife) said it was only a small filling that was needed so it was more likely to still be a sinus infection.
Two visits to the doctor, five visits to the dentist and, after a little while of taking antibiotics, the toothache sensation was getting worse. It was eventually decided that the best solution was to give me a root canal. Apparently, I should have visited the dentist sooner…
As anybody who’s self employed will appreciate, taking time off work for anything is a nightmare and so I was grateful when, after an hour of sitting with my dentist’s fist in my mouth, she declared everything done and I would now be pain free and ready to get on with my life, and back to doing the things I want to do. Like writing this blog, which I’ve neglected for so long.
One day passed. Then another. Then another. But on day four, right on cue, a bolt of pain shot through my body. Not, this time, from my teeth, but from my left foot, which appeared to have grown an extra toe.
Or, at the very least, a small lump attached to the base of my big toe. It was quite painful and after a day of hobbling around on it I got quite fed up and announced to my wife that if it hadn’t gone by the following morning I ought to go and see the doctor.
We never got that far. At midnight that night I felt a bit odd and took my shoe off – only to find that my foot would never fit back in that shoe again. In fact, I was unsure it would ever fit in any shoe ever again, so big and red and painfully swollen had it become. A few calls to the out-of-hours doctor service and eventually I was advised to head straight to Accident and Emergency.
This meant waking up both children, tucking them in the car and making a twenty minute journey in the middle of the night to sit with people who’s chins were hanging off and who’s knees appeared to be missing and who, in general, appeared to be in a much worse state than me and my bright red foot.
Needless to say, my wife was not impressed with the four hour wait that followed. It was made even worse by the fact that, upon arrival, I was given some whacking great pills which, by the time the doctor saw me, meant my foot looked like normal. With a blister on the bottom.
“Go home,” he said, “and if you’ve still got the blister on Monday, go and see your doctor…”
Monday was this week, and so I went to see my doctor, mostly because the blister now consumed the majority of my foot and had been joined by several others. “Didn’t they give you any antibiotics when you went to A&E?” He asked. Um, no. “And they didn’t tell you to come and see me straight away?” Um. No.
So now I’m on more antibiotics, with the instruction to “keep off my foot as much as possible.” That’s easy, when you run a pub, isn’t it? But I’m back up and running and forty is barely a month away, and it looks like I’m going to make it…
(The real irony of all this is, however, that the problems with my foot could well be an allergic reaction to the medication I was given for my dental problems…)