Friday, 2 December 2016

Lazarus Gave me a Dead Leg

“Tonight Will and I are going to see Lazarus, the David Bowie musical” announced Carenza. 
“I wish I could go.” I was feeling sorry for myself as my plans for the weekend (visiting elderly parents) had fallen through. 
“You can.  We’ve got a third ticket.”
Wow.  Am cool and trendy.
Thought long and hard about what one wears to a David Bowie musical.  Realised how cold it was and put on an OAP jumper instead.
When I got there, even the venue was edgy – a big marquee by Kings Cross.  Will bought us each a prosecco and spotted an actor from Game of Thrones at the bar.
“Was he very short?” I asked.
“Not that one,” said Will.
The seating was clever too – the chairs were raised high to allow leg room for the lanky.  Unfortunately I am not lanky and was able to swing my legs like a prematurely-aged six year old on an outing with her parents.  Except that, (meanly, I thought) Will and Carenza wouldn’t let me sit between them.
The music was great, and the performances stunning. However, to praise Lazarus further would be disingenuous.  The plot was so confusing that I wasn’t even sure whether I should feel sad or happy at the end.  There was the odd moment of lucidity when one character explained the plot to another, but apart from that….
I wasn’t even able to fidget restlessly in my seat as my feet weren’t on the ground.  Two hours without an interval seemed quite long.
Then bizarrely on the way home on a dark city street, I kicked something soft.  It landed with a thud. I made the mistake of looking to see what I’d kicked.  It was the most enormous frog I have ever seen.  What was it doing on these mean streets on a November night? 
In spite of my boot, it was still alive, although injured.  It stared at me with an unblinking beady eye.  What to do?  Should I finish it off?  But what with?  And what if it wasn’t fatally injured? 
A coward, I left it, probably prey to an urban fox.  But the look it had given me stayed with me.  Didn’t this remind me of some fairy tale?  What if I had just been cursed by a magic frog?
The next day I woke up with a pain in my outer left thigh.  A week later, I had developed deep vein thrombosis.  Not in reality, just in my mind.  It was when I reached down and felt that my skin was numb that I panicked.  (I think it had been numb all along, but I’d been feeling through corduroy trousers which is a similar sensation.)
I googled the symptoms of DVT. 
Never google symptoms. 
Reassuringly I didn’t have the common symptoms.  Then I read the caveat which said, “Only half of those who have DVT experience any symptoms.”
There was nobody home so I drove myself to minor injuries. 
“We can’t help you – DVT isn’t a minor injury.”
I looked miserable.  They suggested I ring 111 and tell them I was already at a hospital and the 111 people might then ring the hospital I was already at and arrange for me to see a doctor there.
I rang the 111 people.  They wanted me to examine my leg over the phone.  I explained that I was in a public waiting room and couldn’t take my trousers off.
“Go to the loo.”
I crouched in the overheated loo with my trousers round my ankles, attempting not to make contact with the much-used toilet seat while they asked me questions, often ones that conjured unwelcome images, such as,
“Are you bleeding a lot?”
At the end of all that, they were pretty sure it wasn’t a DVT but I ought to see my GP.  When I finally got out of the loo, I had that swimmy feeling which means you are about to faint.  I sat in the waiting room with my head between my knees for a while.
But nobody was home and nobody was going to come to rescue me.  I would just have to pull myself together and get home somehow. 
And that was when I remembered the curse of the frog.
In the end, I had to hope that the poor frog had limped to safety, because my own fate was not as dreadful as it could have been – I didn’t have DVT.  Instead, the uncomfortable seat at Lazarus had pinched/bruised a nerve and it should feel better after some weeks.

So although seeing the David Bowie musical made me feel young, cool and trendy, I am not sure it was worth it as I now have a limp and am possibly living under a frog curse.

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