A hurty foot

My foot hurts.

Not just a niggling little bit of pain but full on the “It bloody hurts when I touch it and when I walk on it if I’m not wincing then I have tears coming out of my eyes!” kind of pain. I don’t want your sympathy and there won’t be any updates on Twitter about my foot.* All I’d like is for it to be accepted that my foot hurts and some understanding of that and what I don’t want or need is to get into some kind of pain competition with you.

I know that childbirth hurts more having witnessed it twice and having had a vasectomy to ensure that I never have to witness it again, I get it that you might have had a foot hurting more than mine does now and indeed your foot hurt so bad that it needed an x-ray and the possibility of exploratory surgery was mentioned but my foot hurts now and that is what matters to me. It’s hurt like this before – the last time it did I still undertook a five mile walk along an old steam train path with my family and then ended up in hospital in Whitby having an x-ray and ending up on crutches promising to my mum I would never wear the old pair of Converse that I practically lived in at the time. They were so comfy and I miss them but promise is a promise.

The worst pain I have ever experienced was back in January 1992 when I had appendicitis – it began with me watching The Word and thinking that I had trapped wind – not such an unusual occurrence for me it has to be said  – and the next thing you know I felt pain like I’d never felt in my life. I was still living at home back then so crawled into my Mum and Dad’s room and said “Er…Mum I seem to be in quite a bit of pain.” The doctor was called, I asked permission from my parents to swear – to this day I rarely swear in front of my Mum and Dad – and waited for my GP to arrive at which point he felt my tum, and rang up some central appendicitis helpline and I became an emergency admission into the Heath Hospital University Hospital of Wales where a student nurse had three attempts at putting a drip in my hand before I got admitted to hell that was a communal ward.

My memories of that day are of my Mum coming in later that morning and arguing with the Heath Hospital University Hospital of Wales staff about being allowed in out of visiting hours to bring me the essentials in – Walkman, book, pyjamas – “He was an emergency admission in the middle of the night and has nothing with him!”  – and God bless her she got her way! A very lovely Canadian doctor sat on the end of my bed explaining what was happening and asking to me sign a consent form for the surgery, she was so beautiful and her voice so mellifluous that she could have been asking for one of my kidneys and I would have signed it away quite happily. What I didn’t realise was that the surgery would happen at some ridiculously late hour and just as I was falling asleep that Saturday evening I got woken up to be taken down to be put under so that they could remove my appendix and my first memory post-op was of me trying to sit up and being told by a nurse not to be so bloody silly my stomach had just been sliced open and it might just hurt doing that and it did smart a little bit.

My parents were ace that week – Mum went into Spillers Records to pick up some CDs for me – I think the limited edition of Lush’s debut album Spooky was one of them, she popped into Servini’s to get me a roast beef sandwich and when she told them why she was getting it they stuck in extra beef for me – I loved those sandwiches and they are one of the things that I miss most about Cardiff. Dad and I spoke about rugby lots – indeed my first trip out after I got better (I’m not even going to mention the post-op infection that laid me low for three weeks) was up the valleys to watch Swansea RFC in the cup – I love my Dad.

Back to my foot, it’s my left one and I’m on some really strong painkillers for it which I had to sign in blood a form at Boots the Chemist stating that I’d taken them before, that I knew not to take them for more than three days, that I absolutely would not inject heroin into any of my veins whilst on them and then I had to recite the Scout Promise in front of what seemed to be the Boots’ undercover pharmacist before they allowed me to buy them but they are worth it – the pain is just a dull throbbing at the moment and I can cope with that.

Please feel free to let me know about the worst pain you’ve ever had, how your appendix operation went tragically wrong resulting in you losing a leg but most of all big up the NHS because frankly it’s ace and we should treasure what we have, fight for it more and not let it die a slow lingering death.

In honour of my Mum going into Spillers Records for me and for all Mums looking after their children when they are ill here are Lush with a track off their Spooky album:

*I don’t need any pointing out the irony that I’m blogging about it instead.


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