Didn’t get a coffee at church as I was on prayer duty after the service. Arrived home gasping. Delighted to find the kettle already half full of water, I flicked the switch, made two coffees. The milk sank straight to the bottom. That was odd – it couldn’t be sour as I’d only bought it yesterday. Desperate for coffee, I took a gulp.
Should have spat it out, not swallowed it.
Vaguely, I remembered Nigel saying something about descaling the kettle. After the last time I drank descaler, we had an agreement that Nigel would label the kettle. Clearly he had reneged.
I drank lots of water. Then a bicarb solution on the grounds that it was alkaline.
I rang 111 hoping for some sensible first aid advice.
Apparently now was a good time to play twenty questions. Was I breathing fast, bleeding from anywhere, in pain? Somebody would ring me back. Eventually. I was busy throwing up when they finally did.
Cindy from 111 had a very comforting voice, but my confidence was short-lived - I had to spell the name of the descaler twice while she looked it up on her poisons database. She put me on hold for a very long time and afterwards began calling the Kilrock descaler “Kilroy”.
Then she began the same game of twenty questions again. Half an hour had passed and I had still received no sensible advice.
“Tell you what,” I said, “Let’s say goodbye. I’ll ring you back if I feel worse.”
In fact she rang me back. “When I looked Kilroy up on my database, it said you should go to A & E.”
Nigel calculated by how much he had diluted the acid and we thought we could probably take a risk.
So we went for the Sunday walk we had planned. About a mile from the car, my gut was churning and I had to race off into the undergrowth. One of the twenty questions had been about whether I was passing any blood. Now I looked down aghast.
Everything was red.
As I picked my way back to the path, I was wondering how I would tell Nigel I was dying.
Then I remembered – I’d eaten beetroot crisps the night before.
Tempted to fake that I was dying anyway – that’ll teach him to descale his wife.