But my god, the pain in my chest, it feels like one of the kids are sitting on me. I sit up and check, it’s not unheard of for one of them to jump on me as a loving wake up call. Nope, no kids, just an incredible heavy pain across my upper chest. Now I’m worried.
Could the dream really have given me a heart attack, however mild? A more likely alternative was surely the ox-cheek curry I made last night, not crazy hot but nice and spicy. I decided to sleep it off.
Having nodded off I then dreamt I was sharing a pint with a somewhat pissed David Cameron, a captive audience as he lectured me on the necessity of economic prudence. To be honest I would rather have the weeping angels back.
Again I wake. I take a deep breath, hold it and hope. Nope, still in pain and now a healthy dose of panic has been thrown into the mix. Of course it was heartburn, it had to be, but I started to wonder about how many people ignored the first signs of a heart attack purely because they had eaten a curry the night before? Maybe the curry was giving a false negative, as it were? I mean, having a curry can’t be a cure or preventative to having a heart attack can it?
But still, my irrational overriding worry was that if I did go to the hospital and it did turn out to be heartburn, well, then I would forever be known as a Sean. Sean is a close friend of mine who called an ambulance when he had a heart attack only to be given a Rennie at A&E. And of course we let him forget about it, not.
I didn’t really want to tell the Mrs, she’s not exactly known to be a calming influence in these situations and when she caught me clutching my chest as I was getting dressed, she reacted with a predictable but vaguely acceptable level of drama. She suggested that she should Google the symptoms and on the basis I wanted some peace and quiet whilst I got ready, I acquiesced. When I went downstairs 15 minutes later all she had found out was that Jo had posted yet another cute picture of Tallhulabelle McLilly and Phil the Postboy’s piles were playing up. God bless Facebook, the medical almanac of the brain-dead.
She then quietly reminded me that we were due at church this morning and for once I didn’t complain, I figured I would need all the help I could get.
Upon arrival we sat ourselves down in a fairly empty pew, all the better for me to nod off in, with the only witness to my upcoming blasphemy being Michelle and her daughter. Looking around the church I noticed how many stone angels there actually were in the church and I felt the pain in my chest starting to increase. I started to think that coming to church was a bad idea, then Josie and the J’s turn up like a pack of cartoon cats fighting, and I knew it was.
The priest walked in and the place began to sound like a Hendrix concert, well the feedback did anyway. His radio mike clearly clashing with his hearing aid and I watched a hundred pensioners rock out and adjust their own earpieces.
It was during the first reading, Marks gospel to Leviticus – “May he with the most pious face cast the first stare” – that I had my own epiphany. I would consume a load of things that could potentially make heartburn worse, if the pain increased then the problem was heartburn, if it didn’t then it was obviously time for a trip to A&E.
After a quick search of Binggle I had my list of consumables and, with the help of a trip to TFI Thursdays, I started on my painful voyage of discovery.
I started with a large vodka and bitter lemon with a pint of Budweiser to wash it down. Ordering a large plate of JD Buffalo wings, French fries and onion rings, I felt guilt free, safe in the knowledge that I was conducting a medical experiment that could save my life. Washing all that lot down with a Bloody Mary I ordered dessert, the Chocolate Mountain of Dairy Surprise (the surprise being the amount they charged for it). I contentedly patted my now distended stomach (OK, even more distended) and awaited the results of my experiment.
I lay here now, it’s 2am and thankfully I’m in my own bed rather than the hospitals. The pain got worse, of course it did, so now I’ve settled for the old fashioned remedy for heartburn – Pepto Bismol and JD, over ice of course.
Just in case I was wrong, thanks for reading me over all these years. Please leave loads of really complimentary comments about how my writing changed your life and put a never-ending smile on that cute old face of yours, my grieving family would no doubt appreciate it.