You may remember that, just over a month ago, I wrote a blog entry
with the express purpose of pacifying Pop who, at that time, had been complaining that mentions of him in this blog were becoming increasingly sparse.
It was not an unqualified success.
Indeed, phrases like, "vile calumny" have been used to describe its content. That and "gross misrepresentation of a genuine concern for your well-being at all times". Harrumph. (Pop has the ability to spout this sort of stuff with a degree of conviction which is particularly impressive, given that he knows fine well that I have none of the complaints for which a colonic irrigation might be recommended as a treatment.)
Let's be quite clear, here. The threats of colonic irrigation gift vouchers for Christmas are motivated solely
by the enjoyment Pop derives from tormenting me. He is lying through his teeth every time he claims otherwise.
However, that is not to say that he isn't
concerned about my well-being, nor that he doesn't put himself out to make sure that I do everything necessary to keep my creaky old body functioning as well as possible.
OK, so it continues to amuse him vastly to phone me a few minutes before six o'clock; watch the time like a hawk; and then ask me casually at one nano-second past six whether I have taken my six o'clock diabetes meds yet. But he does
do a bang-up job of making sure I take them. And I am
a bit rubbish at taking them on time if I'm left to my own devices. Both of which considerations serve to temper - to some extent - the degree of snarling to which he is exposed when he plays that same "joke" for the fifth time in five days.
But where he really
comes into his own is with hotting and colding.
Hotting and colding is a method of treatment devised by osteopaths with which to torture their patients. I would not be at all surprised to learn that all
osteopaths sit at home of an evening sniggering to themselves at the thought of the awful things they have persuaded their innocent victims (sorry, "clients") to subject themselves to.
Hotting and colding is alleged to be useful in reducing inflammation.
It certainly reduces my will to live.
The torture (sorry, "treatment") consists of applying cold and heat alternately to the affected area. That's ten minutes with an ice-pack; ten with a just-filled-from-a-boiling-kettle hot water bottle; and a final ten with the ice-pack.
If this sounds innocuous to you, it can only be because you have never had to do it. Take it from me, it is extremely
unpleasant. Ice-packs on their own: no problem. Ice-packs alternated with hot water bottles: Hell On Earth. Which is why, despite my osteopath having been telling me for the best part of a year that it really would be a good idea for my right ankle if I were to hot and cold it every night
, I have been something of a backslider. The spirit was willing(ish), but the flesh was weak.
Eventually, I struck on the Cunning Plan of calling Pop on my mobile at the end of an osteopathy session and passing the phone across to Chris Osteopath so that he could tell Pop what it was he recommended that I do. And how often.
Naturally, once in possession of medical authority to nag, Pop immediately became unbearable. Frankly, it is easier just to do
the damn hotting and colding than it is to put up with the grief he gives me if I don't
And, whilst he undoubtedly derives considerable pleasure from making me do something I would very much rather not
do, I have to admit that he is an enormous help. His great talent lies in his ability to distract me from the unpleasant things which are going on in the region of my ankle. He talks creative, utterly captivating nonsense to me for the entire half hour of the treatment, and he does this every
night. (Well, almost. Not being a crip himself, he has a social life which occasionally involves actually going out
. I know
: weird, isn't it?)
So, despite how much it pains me to do it, and despite the risk that it will come back and haunt me, I consider it to be past time for me to state publicly, in a blog entry which I promise I will not
delete just because he is being particularly trying, that I am genuinely and sincerely grateful to my very good friend Pop for his dedication to distracting me from the hideousness which is hotting and colding. I know he has many other - and probably considerably less fraught - things he could be doing with his time, and I appreciate his commitment to making me do what is good for me. Even if it does mean that he gets to say things like, "I'm not surprised it's cold. It's an ice-pack. They're supposed
to be cold", rather more often than I might wish.