Sure, I’m a Boy Who Lived, but at what cost?

I spent last night tossing, turning and sweating in bed. In honour of this, I’m gonna think back on some peculiar ailments and injuries I’ve had over the years.

  • To make this easy, I just accidentally elbowed the toilet roll holder at work. Sounds silly, but it’s a firm metal structure with sharp corners. My accidental elbow drove the fleshy part of my left tricep just above the elbow directly into that corner. Now I’ve got a tiny, but persistent dot of blood that I’ve been dabbing at with a tissue. Out, out damned spot.
  • Speaking of damn spots and dabbing at dots of blood, there was that whole pilonidal cyst thing. It’s easy to throw out that polysyllabic word after having gone through it a bunch of times, but the first time was an odd sensation. I was working 11pm to 6am as a desk jockey at a talk radio station. Driving the levels, taking calls, making sure we stayed on air and timed out to the hour. I was sitting a bunch, but found it painful at a certain angle. Peculiar. As the night went on, it hurt more and more. I went to the bathroom and sitting on the seat was a literal pain in the ass. When I wiped, there was a mixture of blood and some translucent cream coloured substance. It was all kinds of gross and alarming. I didn’t know what to do, so I went back to work. By the end of the shift, I could feel a sizeable lump, about the size of a small pear. Given that I felt normal that afternoon, I assumed I had an alien host growing in my butt and was suitably shitting myself. I went straight to the A&E, who gave me amoxicillin/clavulanic acid tablets, which reduced the swelling within 24 hours. It was a terrifying ordeal, with flare ups every three months or so. They never stopped taking me by surprise. Eventually I had the thing surgically removed and I’ve been okay ever since. I still feel a little low level trauma and wipe with trepidation. I also now have a Harry Potter scar just above my butt cleft.
  • While teaching me about the functions of a car under the hood, my dad accidentally sprayed me in the eye with radiator fluid once. My knowledge of car mechanics is still pretty narrow, but I definitely learned one lesson that day.
  • I awoke one day with severe tooth pain. I found this odd, considering I’d had my wisdom teeth removed already and hadn’t felt gradually encroaching sensitivity like I’d imagined a cavity would feel. Being more than marginally worried (and armed with benefits) I went straight to the dentist. They took a bunch of x-rays, but couldn’t find a thing. The doctor pointed out how congested I sounded. He suggested that my nose was so stuffed that it was interacting with nerves in my teeth. On his advice, I bought a bunch of extra strength cold and flu meds, which took care of “both birds” handily.
  • I drunkenly did a handstand and fell out of it, dislocating my finger. This unfortunate incident led to a profitable understanding of how amazing my company’s unlimited physio plan was. No pain, no gain, eh?
  • I once asked my mum if something was herpes, worried that I’d caught it from a girl I was seeing. She pointed out the idiocy of asking if a bump on the inside of my mouth was herpes. Rightfully, I felt like an idiot.
  • I used a stubbed toe that bled for five days as an excuse to go to the doctor and ask for a shit ton of subsidised meds. We were leaving on a U.S. road trip and I wanted contingency supplies. She loaded me up with a ton of ibuprofen, a anti-diarrhoea and anti-nausea meds. I can thankfully report that we did not need any of the anti-diarrhoea meds.

In the greater scheme of things, a little tossing and turning wasn’t so bad.


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