I'M allergic to hospitals but, as my ear hadn't cleared up, there was nothing for it. The Friday before Christmas, I took myself off to the Eye and Ear Hospital.
I brought Maggie with me for company as my brother, who is a regular there, assured me we would be in and out in jig time. Her face turned puce when a sign flashed up that waiting time 'could be up to eight hours'. "I have a turkey to stuff," she hissed at me.
By the time I finished my litany of woes the Triage nurse had grown a beard.
With a glazed look in her eye she assured me I would be seen within two/three hours. When I got back to Maggie, she had denuded the vending machine of its contents as if we were going into lock down.
Two hours later I was called into the doctor by which stage she had put away a tube of fruit pastilles, two packets of crisps and a tin of Diet Coke.
The young doc had a George Clooney thing going on so I sat in the chair and simpered at him like an old broiler.
"I'm just going to squirt this up your nose and it won't taste nice," he said.
So busy was I looking into his brown eyes that I barely noticed. Then he mentioned something about a camera but I was in love so nothing mattered.
"Head back," he smiled. Bring it on, I thought to myself.
Things went quickly downhill after that. He proceeded to stick a camera up my nose as far as he could, which was difficult as it's denser than Sherwood Forest up there.
It eventually rested somewhere at the back of my head. The sensation brought tears to my eyes and, even worse, snot to my nose.
I can tell you there is nothing as inelegant as sitting in a chair with a cable sticking out of your nostrils, tears running down your face and a tsunami of snot dangling from your upper lip. The love quickly evaporated to be replaced by mortification.
"Ah yes," he finally said. "I can see something protruding."
Jaysus, I thought. How far can he see? I had an uncontrollable desire to cross my legs.
"There is mucous running into your middle ear. All you need is a pump to push saline up one nostril and down the other and that should clear it out."
I staggered back out into the waiting area where Maggie was sitting with a ring of chocolate around her gob and the wrapper of a Yorkie in her hand.
"Your nostrils are flaring," she said.
An understatement if ever there was one.