Thursday 6 September 2007


Today was defined rather by my deciding this morning to make a run for the bus. I was forced by pedestrians and a couple of ’phone boxes onto the road. As I tried to get back onto the pavement, I twisted my ankle rather badly on some traffic calming measures.

A shot of pain up my right leg left me hopping crestfallen to a halt. I limped on in decreasing pain, but nothing like fast enough to catch the bus. At least my ankle wasn’t hurting too badly, though, right? Maybe I wouldn’t have to write an angry letter to the local paper after all, who aren’t dead keen on the idiot traffic calming scheme as it is.

I got the bus to Stafford, the train to Euston and had completed about two thirds of the marathon trek up the Metropolitan Line on the Tube when the pain started again. When the train eventually pulled into Uxbridge, I had been transformed into a total cripple. This was not helped by the fact that I was finding the transformation hilariously funny. Every time I put my right foot down there was a twofold risk of collapse from a twisted ankle and/or laughter.

I found some steps to sit on. “Don’t worry!” I thought, “There’s a magic bag of handy medication left in my bag after my trip to Europe!” I whipped it out, hoping for some anti-inflammatory ibuprofen…but any painkillers would do, really.

What I found was disappointing. Some tablets—woohoo!—turned out after cursory investigation to be loperamide, anti-diarrhœa medication which would probably stop me pooing for a week, but not do much for the pain. The bag’s other contents were some antihistamine bite cream and a tampon. Anyone who can think of a way to reduce my suffering with only those ingredients is a better first aider than I, and should probably go on the A&E equivalent of Ready Steady Cook.

“So, what’ve you got in the bag for us, Dora?”

“Well, doc, I’ve got some hayfever tablets, a shot of morphine and some herbal tablets which are supposed to give you firmer erections.”

“So, our patient here has conjunctivitis and athlete’s foot. How well will our celebrity nurse Anthony manage with only those ingredients? He’s got twenty minutes!”

Unfortunately, this TV fantasy wasn’t the prelude to several hours’ blissful unconsciousness. It was the prelude to spending the rest of the day hobbling like an idiot who’s twisted his ankle on some traffic calming measures.

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