The last time I went to a GP was in 1999. I was at university and I’d been troubled by a series of irritating heart palpitations which I put down to – well – I couldn’t give a fuck what they were down to, to be quite honest. I was 19 so they were hardly likely to be fatal.
But then they got a bit scarier and my lovely girlfriend-at-the-time, Claire, insisted that I Seek Medical Advice. So I did. Just to shut her up.
As it turned out, lovely Claire probably had a point as the GP sent me straight off to hospital for an electrocardiogram test and, when that wasn’t conclusive, an echocardiagram a few weeks later. And then more and more tests for about a year.
Long story short – you know the expression “his heart’s in the right place”? Well turns out mine isn’t. Not quite. And it only took them twelve months of scaring the shit out of me with phrases like ‘cardiomyopaphy’ and scrawling the abbreviation ‘?LVH?‘ on my notes in the hope I wouldn’t know what it meant, before they decided that I wasn’t going to drop dead at any second.
So you can understand why I’m not mad-keen on going to the doctor if I can possibly avoid it. A single visit can fuck up your whole year.
And so that’s why, when I returned from Vegas last week with a painful bumpy scratch thing on my forehead, I was quite keen to let it fix itself. It was a rubbish ailment and my own stupid fault. And like all self-inflicted injuries, it would go away in time.
But it didn’t go away. And then, in the last 24 hours, it got quite a lot worse looking and a hell of a lot more painful feeling. I think the medical phrase is ‘quite badly infected’. The sort of infection that has quite a long name and requires (grudgingly) the Seeking of Medical Advice.
Fortunately, on this occasion, Advice didn’t send me straight to hospital, but it has put me on antibiotics which means I can’t drink for a week. A fucking week.
Frankly, I’d rather they’d scribbled ?LVH? in the margins and handed me a Co-Op funerals brochure.
At least then I could have resigned myself to my ?fate? and spent my final week pickling my ?oversized heart? in gin.