Officially sick!

I shuffled down the early-morning sleet strewn pavements of north Dundee. I had to be at a certain place at a certain time. My mission was important. My destination: so close, yet a painful world away from me, and on the other side of a busy road. In my current state, there was no chance of me taking advantage of any gaps in the rush hour flow of vehicles. I had to find a lollipop man or a lollipop woman: they have the authority to stop the traffic to allow children to cross in safety. But how would they react to a middle-aged, stooping man with a walking stick? I didn't want to risk their refusal to assist, and there were many Burberry cap wearing teenagers - late for school - milling about, snowballs at the ready to catch their victims unawares. Liam finally told us that the reason for his general demeanour last night was school related: some Third Years were grabbing First Years and rubbing snow on their faces and up their shirts and down their backs. Liam was one of their victims at the morning break. He spent the whole day in cold, wet clothes, and had to walk home from school through the slush. He got home, reluctantly went to his guitar lesson, then went to bed very early, feeling unwell. He hadn't done his homework, and didn't want to go to school because he would get three punishment exercises for his pains. I reported this to the school, with the First Year co-ordinator assuring me that, in the circumstances, Liam would not be punished, and that the Third Years would be warned that what they are doing, whilst not bullying because they are not picking on a particular person (Liam was just in the wrong place at the wrong time), is not far off it, and will not be tolerated. The Co-ordinator said she would speak to Liam about this - so that's me in trouble when he comes home. Anyway, I decided not to use the lollipop person, and crossed the road myself - a minor triumph. I entered the doctor's surgery. He examined me (again), told me to increase my Gabapentin intake to 1800mg a day, gave me a sick line to take to the Department of Work and Pensions (how Orwellian a name for a government ministry can you get!) - for what purpose I do not know, since I am self-employed, and then hit me with the big one. I have a slipped disk, and am to be referred to the hospital - although I have to wait another two weeks because the neurosurgeons only take referrals after six weeks of GP treatment. All very well, but I'll probably have to wait six months for an appointment with the consultant. Not looking too good at the moment. Nevermind, now that I have a sick line, I have returned to work: working through the pain to ensure that the book and journal are both published on time (and to make sure that my bank manager remains content with me).

Back to work


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