a sticky situation


Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’


Wednesday April 18th 2018


A week ago today.

I’m on my way for an appointment at the I.R.F. (Inflammatory Research Facility). Waiting on the platform at Kings Norton, I drink about a third of a Fortisip, screw the lid on tightly and put the container in my pocket. I hop onto the train.

We’ve reached Bournville when  I feel a warm trickle advancing down my left thigh.

Oh no!

But oh yes! The Fortisip has turned on its head in my pocket and the thick, claggy contents are seeping through onto my trousers. A large pool has already formed on the seat.

Eeeeek! The seeping seems to be accelerating, the gloop creeping through my underwear, the pool on the seat spreading. Plunging my hand into a pocketful of Fortisip, I manage to turn the container the right way up.

Also in the pocket is a thick wodge of dog bags. I manage to withdraw the container and insert it into one of the slimy bags. Having my right arm in a sling does not make the operation any easier. Now both hands and my leaking pocket are dripping Fortisip all over the floor. Searching my bum bag for tissues is not a viable option.

I imagine some elegant person sitting in the pool of Fortisip. I stand up, trying to keep calm and think of something sensible to do.

Then a guard gets onto the train. I confess to my vandalising of the seat. He has no suggestions. Thankfully, I find a discarded copy of Metro News and spread it over the pool.

When we reach University station, I lurch from the train, hands and coat still dripping, and make for the exit.

I tread my sticky way towards the Q.E. (Queen Elizabeth) Hospital, then try to look normal as I squelch into the ladies’.

Here I drop the container into a bin, fill the coat pocket with warm water and wipe down the rest of the coat and my trousers. Many rinses, handfuls of toilet paper and lots of puddles on the floor later, I emerge, carrying my sodden coat.

When I reach the I.R.F. the receptionist kindly spreads out my coat to dry.

It’s a long session.  I place a thick wad of paper towels on every chair before I sit down. My left trouser leg is still saturated with Fortisip. I’m tense, uncomfortable and distracted.

Because – unsurprisingly – I’m unable to relax, the blood test goes badly and the needle has to be inserted again.


All in all, I’ve made a complete idiot of myself.

But there’s one positive: Dr. S. is very pleased that virtually all of the rheumatoid symptoms have cleared up, and she reduces the steroids. Even the early morning stiffness in my wrists, hands and fingers has disappeared. From now on, I’ll be able to  groom Isis properly again.

I rush home to tell her the good news. She’ll be delighted ……………………



……………………………..  won’t she?



Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact kerry@aeza.org or  www.dogwatchuk.co.uk

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