LUV - When people see the contents of my handbag, they often exclaim “You’re a walking PHARMACY!” Personally I think that’s a rather high-handed approach for pick-pockets to take, but this is twenty-first century London and I suppose no one has any real boundaries anymore, what are you going to do.
But they’re right. I do carry a lot of medicine around with me, because if I didn’t (dramatic pause), I would die.
You know, eventually.
You see, I am sickly. Not stab-me-with-insulin-or-I’ll-die sickly (yet) – I’m more can-we-sit-in-the-shade-please-I’m-getting-a-headache sickly which is in many ways worse than having a proper, valid illness like epilepsy or death.
Because people on trains won’t give up their seat for someone with a migraine the way they would for someone who was pregnant. And THAT’S NOT EVEN TECHNICALLY AN ILLNESS. No emergency doctor would fast-track a really bad case of weekend hayfever, even if you’d been at a great boozy picnic all day but were totally sobering up now, and it was seriously harshing your buzz.
And you can’t call into work sick in the morning because you ate one spice the night before and now have to live in the bathroom for the rest of your life. Apparently.
But that’s okay. Because, if you’re like me, there are MEDICINES which take the edge off and basically stop you malfunctioning in lots of tiny irritating ways every day. And if that means I have to lug round a bunch of pills with me all the time and occasionally have interesting conversations with policemen and airport security, you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll do it.
Unlike Christian Scientists or people like a) my mother, who hangs a dreamcatcher above her bed and uses the word “energies” too often, or b) Stuart Heritage, who tries to purge his body of viruses by drumming his fists on his chest and screaming, I am FOR MEDICINE.
Medicine makes my life slightly less problematic. ALSO without medicine we, as a species, would all be dead in ditches by the time we were 30. But MAINLY it means that I, Robyn Wilder, can eat a curry once in a while and don’t always get wheezy when climbing a hill or stopping to smell the roses, and you can’t put a price on that. At least I can’t, because I’m not a pharmacist.
- Robyn Wilder
HAT - Now let’s all calm down. Hate is a strong word. I don’t hate medicine. In fact, I think that some medicine - like the medicine that keeps children alive and the medicine that stops me shitting and puking all over the inside of people’s houses every time I go to a hot country - are actually quite useful. So, no, I don’t hate medicine.
I’m just suspicious of it.
First, look, I’m a man. I can cope with illness. The last thing I want to be is one of those people who flounces off to Boots the second a molecule of pollen gets within twelve yards of their face. Those people are WEAK. I am not weak. I am a MAN. I will accept ANY FORM OF MINOR ILLNESS and then KILL IT WITH MY MIND. Yes, I know that this headache would probably go away in a couple of minutes if I just took a paracetamol, but paracetamol is for BABIES AND GIRLS. I am neither of those things. I am a MAN. I will ENDURE. More than that, I will CARRY ON AS NORMAL during my headache. In fact, I will DRIVE A TRAIN and SOLVE CRIMES and KARATE-CHOP THROUGH CONCRETE during my headache. Taking a paracetamol is the easy way out. It’s for WEAKLINGS AND YELLOW-BELLIES. I WILL NOT BOW TO PARACETAMOL.
And antibiotics are worse. People take antibiotics for everything. But illnesses know what you’re doing. Illnesses have wised up to antibiotics. More and more illnesses are becoming resistant to antibiotics. They’re mutating into SUPER-DISEASES that will KILL US ALL, just because you took too many antibiotics when you didn’t need to, you GREEDY FOOL. It’s likely that humanity will be WIPED OUT by an army of 20-FOOT SINUSITUS BACTERIAS with MACHINE GUNS AND LASER-EYES and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. This is why I will NEVER TAKE ANTIBIOTICS. Because antibiotics are for CRYBABIES AND SHIRKERS.
But most of all, I’m scared of getting addicted to medicine. It’s easily done. First you take something to help you sleep. Then you forget how you ever managed to sleep normally. Before you know it you’re taking several sleeping pills every night. And then you get fat, and you start to look sluggish, and you keep slurring all your words. You’ve turned into MATTHEW PERRY FROM FRIENDS. Well, NOT ME BUDDY. I am a MAN. I will NEVER TURN INTO MATTHEW PERRY FROM FRIENDS, because I will NEVER TAKE MEDICINE for ANYTHING. Send me a minor illness and I will KILL IT WITH MY MIND. I am the ANTI-PERRY. I will never be addicted to ANYTHING. Not even PARACETAMOL or SUNTAN LOTION or those MULTIVITAMIN TABLETS that come IN THE SHAPE OF DINOSAURS. I AM A MAN! I HAVE NO NEED FOR MEDICINE! I AM THE ANTI-PERRY!
Unless, you know, I’ve got quite a bad headache. I’m not mental.
- Stuart Heritage