You’re too robust to be taken down by something as annoying as pain. You shrug, a confused look of disbelief on your face, when someone asks you if you’ve taken something for an ailment. Banging a Nurofen is rather a big deal for you – and it works – because your healthy, resilient self is not used to getting a medicinal helping hand.
When you get a headache, you get the Daniel Day-Lewis of headaches. The master of its craft of headaches. Headaches that are revered amongst their peers. Headaches that crush the competition and sweep the board. They expect a mighty adversary – an all-conquering hero to dual with. Solpadeine Max gives you that slight buzz too. Makes you feel a bit sleepy. All a bit highwire with its threats of addiction. Demands respect.
That holy trinity of aspirin, paracetamol and caffeine. Paracetamol on its own is like Prince Philip without the Queen. Daenerys Targaryen without her dragons. Ant without Dec. It just doesn’t work at maximum capacity. You know a winning formula when you see one. And while you risk the constant threat of burning a hole in your stomach lining, you’re prepared to put up with that, the slight mania, because some partnerships are unbreakable.
The no-frills, purists’ version that you take straight with tap water – like a glass of whisky with no ice or mixers. You have no interest in blackcurrant or night time extras. Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Blitz your cold the old fashioned way and get on with it.
You’re not going to decongest your face with a lemony drink. You don’t believe in ginger and Echinacea and honey and all that jazz. You want pills that will dry your blocked tubes out like a hairdryer. Even if it takes most of the moisture in your head with it.
You told your doctor that your osteopath had recommended them to help acute back problems, but you also find one snapped in half really does improve a stressful day, bad back or no bad back (usually no bad back). Shhh.
Wait, what is this new hell? Once you could eat anything and now totally innocuous things are making you feel like you swallowed a burning building. Aubergines. Quinoa. Cooked peppers. Steak, for God’s sake. All those years you mocked your father for glugging down that thick, chalky, slightly minty potion every time he ate anything faintly spiced… Now you’re constantly swigging on the bottle like a reckless pirate in anticipation of your body swelling up like a water balloon just because you ate some soup with chilli in it.