About once a year I suffer from dreadful sore throats. I wrote about the last one here. It wasn’t as bad this year as only one side of my neck swelled up like a puffer fish and swallowing was a little easier but it lasted 9 agonising days. I blame the fact that by the time I was old enough to get my tonsils out the operation had fallen out of favour with the medical fraternity.
It seems that in recent times, I get my spectacular sore throat when my parents-in-law are there to witness my agony. I think I have often said that I am very fond of my mother-in-law and one particularly appealing aspect of her personality is that she never gives advice. Even when you ask for advice, she is cautious about giving it. There is little so delightful to the parents of young children. She’s a psychologist; she knows it’s much better if we work it out for ourselves. However, in relation to my sore throat she threw her usual caution to the wind and suggested that I gargle with Disprin. I looked at her with deep disapproval. If she had any idea about the razor blades being strung and twanged across my throat she would not be suggesting gargling. I remembered that she had done this the previous year as well and had even gone so far as to send my father-in-law to a pharmacie de garde (special open on Sunday pharmacy) to pick some up for me. I responded politely and vaguely, clutching my neck protectively.
On Friday afternoon, I discovered, to my horror, that I was out of paracetemol. Not to worry, there at the bottom of the medicine box was the previous year’s packet of disprin, still pristine in its packaging. Watched by a deeply amused Princess, I decided I might as well give the gargling a go. The pain, the agony, the indignity. I hopped around the place yelping (quietly – no voice). I am not sick much and have never, mercifully, sustained any serious injury but I would rank the pain I have experienced and can remember as follows:
1. The flu
2. Impaling my arm on a railing and, subsequently, getting it stitched.
3. Breastfeeding for months through blood and tears.
4. Gargling with disprin and bouncing about the barbed wire apparently embedded in the angry, pulpy mass that had previously functioned as my throat.
5. Nasty itchy all over rash for months.
6. Annual migraine (painful but brief – one day in darkened room with wet cloth clamped to forehead)
7. Early pregnancy nausea.
8. Immediate post-childbirth aches.
9. Late pregnancy aches.
10. And least painful by some degree, in fact, to be honest not painful at all, giving birth with an epidural.
You realise what the point of this is, I assume. Oh yes indeed, it worked. It didn’t make me better but it did abate the pain sufficiently to allow me to eat something which was most welcome and I continued to gargle every four hours (the pain) until today when my sore throat assumed normal winter cold dimensions and I am more or less back to normal.
In other news, it is my brother’s birthday today. To celebrate, he went jogging in Phoenix Park where he lost his car keys. It’s chilly, what with it being early February and all that and I imagine he was scantily clad for his jog and he certainly hadn’t brought with him his phone or his wallet or his house keys or a change of clothes or any of the other useful things that were sitting patiently in his car. Some kind pensioner took pity on him and drove to the nearest garage where they refused to cut a key for him as he hadn’t thought to bring the car chassis number on his jog either. The pensioner set out to drive him home but half way there my brother decided that his housemate was unlikely to be at home and able to let him in so the kindly pensioner finished his taxi service for the day depositing my feckless young brother by his car. He rang the AA (presumably with the help of the kindly pensioner) and they towed the car home for him where, thanks to a kindly cosmos, his housemate was, in fact, in. Happy birthday, feckless younger brother, the present is in the post.