I've never been drunk...
I've never had a hangover...
There is no great moral or ethical or philosophical or religious reason for this.
In the same way that I never got the point of Morris Dancing or badminton or self-harming, I never really *got* the point of alcohol.
I've certainly tried any number of drinks but never really found anything that I liked the taste of, or that slaked my thirst.
I used to go to the pub with my uncle and try all of his recommendations including a Christmas Pudding beer. Mostly I took a sip, felt like vomiting and stopped right there. He would naturally finish off the pint for me.
I did once enjoy a Peach Bellini in BA First Class but that was because it was ice cold and tasted of peaches.
I've also never done any non-prescription drugs, not least because I have problems dealing with prescription drugs.
I had surgery a few years ago to repair a nerve in my left ankle that I had injured running.The surgeon was both technically excellent and an old friend.
I remember going under the anaesthetic...
...I then remember being chased through a jungle for hours on end by teddy bears wearing rainbow striped waistcoats and carrying AK 47's...no matter how far or fast I ran they still pursued me.
So I awoke at about 3am, in pain and thirsty and scared...
...rang the bell for the nurse...
...and yet again.
Finally I called the switchboard and a few minutes later three nurses carefully opened the door and eyed me warily.
Apparently I had reacted to the pethidine I had been given at some point and had tried to strangle my surgeon when he did his post op round.
He still doesn't talk to me.
So there I was last weekend, just finishing cycle three of my chemo, on the last bag of 5FU.
It hadn't been a bad admission overall although I really had difficulty eating anything.
At about 18h00 I saw something flapping outside the window...possibly bat.
By 20h00 I was convinced that there were gargoyles at my window, leering at me and trying to get into my room.
Part of me knew that I was probably hallucinating...
...part of me was scared.
I started to pick at the skin on my abdomen to make myself bleed so that I could check that I wasn't hallucinating.
The gargoyles continued to batter the window.
And then I heard water running somewhere in the room.
I got up , wandered around and checked that all the taps were switched off, got back into bed and still heard the water.
I checked again...
...and continued to pick at various lumps and bumps to check I was bleeding and thus still alive.
And then I was aware of someone standing in my room trying to sell me a toasted egg sandwich.
It felt like I was both the director of some low budget horror film and the actor but had no control over what was happening.
I found myself at some point standing in the corridor wearing only shorts with several wounds bleeding on my abdomen and trying to pull out my PICC line.
The nurses were less than helpful...
...around midnight they called the 'hospital-at-night' team who eventually sent an SHO down to see me.
He walked around the corner , looked at me and said, Aren't you Lucien from the Minor Injuries Unit?
I replied that I might be, my paranoia now fully florid.
I thought so, he said, I gave you the anaesthetic when you had your cornea transplant last year.
So they disconnected me from my chemo, - it only had about 15 ml left in the bag-, and he prescribed some Halopeirdol...which didn't work for about four hours...
...when I fell into a deep sleep and thought that I had driven home.
It was a real surprise to wake up still in hospital.
Throughout the whole hallucinatory experience I had a tune running through my head...'its not the gravy, it's the mashed potato'...
...who knows where it came from...
...but its still playing in my head as I sit and write this!!!
I think I need a drink.