Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Matty is, and always has been, obsessed with her health and with illness and I have to say I find it the most aggravating thing about her.

My mother is a great woman. Everybody who knows her thinks so too. But her constant worrying about her health is exasperating. Now that she is in her eighties she might be entitled to have her concerns but we, her children, have lived with her anxieties for decades. Sometimes our patience wears thin.

She has tons of sympathy for the poorly but whilst commiserating with this one's bunions or that ones pains Matty will never miss an opportunity to bring up her own ailments. And it was ever so.

When we very young we spent most Sunday afternoons at one or other Aunt and Uncle’s place. This was fine up until seven o’clock because we would all be having great fun with the cousins but after that they’d all be packed off to bed and we’d have nothing else to do but wait for the grown ups to finish their conversation and take us home to our beds. And what dreary conversations they were. I remember thinking that it must be dreadful being grown up because they were ill all the time . For this is what their talk consisted of – a litany of sore backs, stomach ulcers, piles, (what were they? They whispered that one) varicose veins, prolapses, bronchitis, flu, bad feet, toothache, took to his bed, awaiting on, you know, not expected to do, family sent for. I didn’t want to get old and sick. Then I worked out a while ago that if I was around eight then the oldies were all in their mid-thirties to early forties. Pretty decrepit.

Now, as you’d know, having been fairly irritated over the years by Matty’s constant lamenting about her health or lack of it, I’d be determined not to follow in her footsteps. And needless to say I would have a marked lack of sympathy for the chronically ill. I’m not saying this is a good thing. It’s just how I am. Illness bores me. My own occasional illness bores me too. Or so I like to think.

So why was it after hearing today that this person I know might have Lyme disease did I manage to convince myself that there were insects hatching out of my forearm? I even convinced Bert. Says he, “Those definitely do look like something has just crawled out. Why don’t you look it up on the internet?” So I did.

After a while,

Did you look it up?

I did.

And what was it?

A delusion.


yellowdog granny said...

ahh, you make me laugh.

Anna said...

Sounds so much like my own childhood. I would add to the list: endless blow by blow or pain by pain descriptions of childbirth - from water break to final push (ugh). I vowed I would never have children, but, of course, I did. I have always been bored by CB tales and avoid participating at all costs.

sageweb said...

If I would have had one inclination that I had insects on or in me I would be screaming like a little girl..and off to the doctors...I overreact a little but though.

evilganome said...

I agree illnesses are a bore.

I've never been all that freaked out by insects though.

Snakes on the other hand turn me into a screaming little girl. Seriously. Screaming. Little. Girl.

It goes without saying my brothers find this hilarious.

Nelly said...

At eight I never heard much about childbirth. It wasn't considered a subject suitable for mixed company and certainly not in front of the children. I had not one clue about where babies came from....

Insects I don't mind so much but not in me or on me. Snakes. We don't have them in Ireland. Thanks Saint Patrick.

My biggest bugbear are slugs. They revolt me.