Tuesday, August 16, 2005



As it turned out I didn't make like a Shakespearian heroine and vomit but settled instead for waking up feeling like I hadn't had any sleep and with a strange pounding phenomenon taking place behind my right eye. I soon discovered that if I closed my eye and poked it a bit the pounding felt a bit better. So I took the heavy duty painkillers that I'm only supposed to take for my hip and poked my eye all the way to the train station. And I hope you're reading the subtext there. I went to the train station. Which translates as I went to work. And not just work, but the section of my work - building site, one of only two women in 140 + people* - that I like the least. And I'm an admin monkey, so this is saying something. I think I just passed my first test. Albeit whilst poking myself in the eye and willing myself not to come over all Shakespearian heroine on the train itself.

Once I'd gotten into Leeds, however, the poking in the eye thing seemed to be working (or it might have been the painkillers. But I'm sticking with the poking) and I managed to feel half human. Until I realised that along with the pounding on my right side the gland on my neck was protruding. I like to think that - blood poisoning from blisters aside - I'm not a hypochondriac. If I don't have a Northern response to temperature then I like to think I do about illness**. Except, that is, when it comes to swelling glands. I reserve the right to get tetchy and moan about my glands and any swelling they might decide to do. I know those pesky lymph nodes of mine intimately***, we have a love/hate relationship. And part of the hating part of this relationship is that they freak me out when any of them increase in size.

At this point I had two choices. I could either continue entering bricklayers names into the database or I could make a quick exit to the loo and check what my other lymph nodes were doing. The second option sounds a bit of a strange one, and even I admit it an irrational one. But then fear is never, ever rational is it? If it were why would I have had something almost amounting to a phobia of fish when I was younger? What was a goldfish ever going to do to me? Forget my name? And in my head I knew that I most likely have some sort of virus and my poor right-neck gland is working overtime to combat it. But there is still something irrational that curls its fingers around me. To be a little scared may be imperfectly human but its a bit of a bugger when there's databases to be maintained. And, if indeed there is anything more important in life than a database, I don't want to be scared.

I made my choice. I stayed at my desk.

*Until last week there was only me, but now I have to share the girls loo with one other. I can't say I've had to queue.

**I have a true Yorkshire response to that byproduct of temperature - tanning - though.

***Offtopic slightly but it's quite amusing to become acquainted with internal organs via the medium of hundreds of scans. For example I have an oddly shaped aorta (artery on top of your heart) and a collection of veins that I should have lost when I was an embryo. Seems even then I liked I hoard stuff.

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