Sunday, 3 January 2010

Safe and Sound

The garden was past its best now, seed-heads waiting to distribute their wealth at the breath of a breeze.
In the raised border, the Montbretia had been early this year, the leaves now yellowing, even though it was only the first week of September.
Something in the wind made me sneeze and I shouted out as a wave of pain shot through my body from my damaged back.
“OUCH, OW, OWww!!!” I gingerly placed a hand at each of the back and front of a spot just to the left of my spine at hip level in a protective, supportive gesture.

Between ten and fourteen months the doctor had said. Well, here I was nearly three years later and still in pain. So much for the theory that “whiplash” was a temporary or even psychosomatic condition!

I felt another sneeze coming on and braced myself.
The erstwhile master of the silent sneeze, I now had to give myself up to them in a very open and loud way, as this was the least painful to my tortured back.

"AAH - HAghhhh!” The agony ricocheted out from the site of damage and made me catch my breath.

Once the pain had subsided, I reached for my asthma inhaler as I was, by now, wheezing

"There must be an allergen about somewhere,” I thought, and right enough, tiny particles were floating in a small cloud from a seed-head in the border.

A few minutes later, I became aware of another discomfort somewhere below my waistband.

The previous evening we had eaten out and because of my irritable bowl syndrome, I’d been very careful with my choice of foods, but there must have been some hidden dairy or wheat produce in the ingredients of our meal.

A subtle discomfort began to build up deep in the pit of my stomach and I realised, I didn’t want to chance sneezing again until after I’d been to the bathroom!

I rose from my chair, wincing at my back pain and tried to hurry indoors to the loo, aware that the pain in my back prevented me from moving too hurriedly.

As I turned and stepped towards the house, I yelped with pain
as I felt a sharp, burning sensation under the instep of my bare foot.

I had trodden on a late wasp which had been basking in the warm rays of the September sun.
I didn’t know which pain was worse, but I was in no doubt which one was the most urgent and hopped the rest of the way to the bathroom, stubbing my `good’ foot painfully on the door-jamb in my eagerness to use the facilities.

Some time later I emerged from the bathroom exhausted and about three pounds lighter.

The pain in my foot was no better and because of my back trouble, I couldn’t reach to examine it, so I had stuck it in the bidet with ice cold water.

I couldn’t now even think of either walking or driving to work with my foot the way it was and decided I would have to ring in sick

Hobbling along the hall to the telephone, I bumped the hall stand, sending brollies, hats and walking-sticks to the floor.

I could get down to the floor to pick them up but it was both an uncomfortable and a laborious procedure, still, I couldn’t leave them there on the floor where Madge might trip over them on her way in through the front door.
Bending to the floor on one arthritic knee, I wheezed with the effort of picking up the detritus and was quite pleased at myself for managing it. Until I stood up and saw stars, moons and other celestial objects.

It was a shame I hadn’t seen the overhang of the long-case clock on the wall.

I sat on the stairs, rubbing my head and picked up the telephone. I dialled the number of the factory where I work and spoke to the Personnel Officer.

“.....very well Mr. Dutton.”

Did I imagine it or was there a snigger in that girl’s voice?
“I suggest you have your wife drive you to casualty with that foot, the sting might still be in it and could become infected. Mind you, I don’t suppose I need to tell YOU that, what with you being the Health and Safety Officer!”

Be kind - I haven't warmed up yet.......



  1. Love it ... can't wait to read the rest! ei

  2. That made me smile, I could visualise every move :o) x