Tuesday 27 September 2016

Eleanor Goggin: In sickness and in bad health

Eleanor Goggin

Published 21/03/2016 | 02:30

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

I'm becoming a complete hypochondriac of late. And with good reason. I suppose because I lead a fairly unhealthy lifestyle, I worry that I may be taking things a step too far. Everything to excess has always been my motto. Embrace the fatty foods. Sure I'm taking the old cholesterol tablets. I only recently discovered you are meant to take them in the evening time and not the morning like I do. But I am taking them. Religiously.

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There are heart problems in my family and I'm under no illusion that I'm going to escape. So when I woke up twice recently with vile pains in my chest, I nearly lost the plot. I used to be stoical about pain. Not any more. Loud groaning and vile language.

I thought about screaming for my daughter to call an ambulance but refrained. When the pains were in my chest it was a heart attack and when they started to move to my back as well it was an ulcer. Nothing like self-diagnosis I say. And then they subsided and because my stress levels were so high, I sat out on the side of the bed and had a fag. Bad. Very bad. At least I didn't go downstairs and get a brandy to calm me down.

And then I woke up the other morning and again sat out on the side of the bed to have one of the aforementioned nasty items and noticed a rash covering my whole body. It couldn't possibly, as my son suggested, be an allergy to something. No, it had to be some horrible disease that was going to cause me to die roaring with my legs up. Anybody who contacted me that day got lengthy descriptions of my condition. I used to regularly hear old people in my local shop regaling everybody in graphic detail with their latest complaints and spells in hospital and I used to think 'Sweet Jesus, please don't let me end up like that'. It would appear I'm there already. I may give up the pub and just start hanging out in my local shop.

Sunday Independent

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