Thanks to the glory of the modern NHS, I got to see my own skeleton last week. It was all part of Operation Let’s Look Inside Susan.
In honour of the fact that it was also the 70th birthday of the NHs, I shaved my legs for the occasion.
They kicked off the day of fun and frolics by sending me to have my internal organs looked at, using ultrasound.
Us mums will remember the joy of the freezing gel slapped on our proudly bulging tummies. I have good news. The gel is now warm. Oh, wait, perhaps that was only in the spirit of the birthday celebrations.
The charming operator zoomed about my bits and bobs and then announced she was on her way to look at my liver.
That was a bit of a moment. I have had a long-standing love affair with worldwide wines, British gins and Scottish whisky for most of my adult life, an affair I have maintained in the teeth of every dire pronunciation from a succession of gimlet-eyed Chief Medical Officers that even the faintest whiff of a sherry cork is enough to melt the liver and send us to an early grave.
Indeed, they would have to bury us, since our alcohol-drenched corpses could never be cremated. We’d go up like Australian bushfires and cause carbon dioxide gases to rise, thus killing off the entire planet because we chose red wine not orange squash, selfish gits that we are.
So, I was prepared for a look of horror during the flypast. But no. Boys and girls, my liver is lovely. She said it. Well, it should be. It gets a lot of use, that liver does. Mind you, she might have meant lovely in the sense that it’s well marinated.
Yes, she said, you’re grand. Apart from the gallstones. I haven’t got gallstones. You have, she said. Old ones. They’re not causing any bother. Big baby, your second one? Yes, I said, he was. There you go, that’s probably why. Slapped him when I got home. Seemed fair.
Bone scan next. Now, for this, you need to be injected with radioactive dye. Which I assumed made me a superhero. It didn’t.
Couldn’t even get my bottle of water open.
Perhaps, I thought, I might glow in the dark. To the loo. I turned the lights off. Nope. My dreams of being Wonder Woman vanished. Perhaps my peepee might glow? I mean, it’s not really superpower, but I’ll take it. Nope.
What did happen was the door to the loo opened and a nurse came and asked me why I was peeing in the dark.
She listened patiently to my explanation and asked me if I’d like to see a psychologist.
I was introduced to the bone scanner. It’s an impressive beast.
My bones were glowing. I couldn’t see it, but the scanner could. This huge contraption slowly inches along to capture the density of the bone.
As I emerged from the scanner, I realised there was a small screen to my left. There was a skull grinning back. It was mine.
Oh lor, I thought, I have a massive jaw. Why did no-one tell me this? All those years I worried about my bum being too big and all the time a lower mandible that wouldn’t look out of place on a carnivorous dinosaur was thrusting itself into people’s faces. There’s not a single make-up tip that can disguise that.