Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Day 143: Egg do

Poorly again today. Got my shift covered and been resting up. Woke up with a side ache and my insides feeling dull and scooped out, like when I have an allergic reaction to egg (I’m allergic to egg, if you didn’t know). Not sure whether that’s what’s happened, or it’s just dodgy food that has triggered a similar reaction, but it’s not pleasant. It feels like acid is burning through the surface of my intestines, like my body is eating itself.

It’s not so bad now, just feel tired and weak. Memories of so many times I had a reaction as a kid - “an egg do” - that’s what my Mum used to call it. “We need to get Rob home, he’s having an egg do.” And then I’d spend the next 12 hours in agony, clutching my side and howling, throwing up over and over, everything in my stomach, and the stomach lining, and I’d drink water, and then throw that back up, and for a minute after being sick I’d feel slightly better, and then the pain would return, and it would be like a hot poker slowly burning out from my left side, inexorable, relentless.

Tangled on the sofa in damp sheets brought down from my bed. Up all through the night, watching late night telly with my Mum, all her programmes that were part of her adult world. Northern Exposure. ER. American shows with swearing and nudity, but I was allowed, because I was begging for something to take the pain away, and my mum couldn’t take the pain away, and she didn’t know what to do. Then too late even for television, and going through all the VHS tapes, Die Hard, Speed, anything frantic and violent and loud. For a few seconds as John McClane was running over broken glass spraying bullets from his machine gun I’d almost forget the pain - then I’d remember, and be sick again, and Mum would have to pause the tape. The old washing up bowl, sky blue, scratched - “the sick bowl” it’d be in the argot of our house, or just “the bowl”. “Rob’s having an egg do, better get blankets and the bowl, and put Die Hard on.” Vomiting bile into the sick bowl, crying, knowing there were still so many hours of it left. Putting my head on my mum’s lap, asking her to tell me a story about our family, the exploits of my uncles in their ne’er-do-well past, or how Grandma and Grandpa met, or just to read to me from something, from one of the many books crowding the house. Trying to focus on my breathing, to do breathing exercises, to let all the muscles in my body relax. The journey that pain takes you on, alone, into yourself. To let the pain go and let the pain go and let the pain go. Drifting gently out. The world stretching, the elasticity of darkness seeping in. Then waking in sweat and agony, exercises forgotten, scrunching handfuls of flesh in my side and screaming, please Mum please Mum please won’t you make it stop.

Not pain like that tonight. A lifetime ago. Now just hollowness, a dull ache, tired and low.

Need to go rest now. I wonder if Die Hard is on Netflix...

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