"Are you OK," the doctor asked in a kindly voice.
"Yep, it's nice and warm here and I can't feel a thing."
"That's good. If you're comfortable, I'll leave you here for ten minutes; come in and check on you and leave you for another ten if that's-----"
WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP!
My blanket slid to the floor and the acupuncture needles in my ears and head waved in the breeze as I sat up in shock. "What the hell is that?"
"Oh, not to worry," he said, waving it away. "It's the annual testing of the bomb shelter alarms all over Switzerland."
"Ah," I said, lowering myself back down, trying to ignore the wedgie I'd just given myself.
He popped a couple more needles into each wrist. "Actually, right now would be the perfect time to attack us as we'd all shrug our shoulders and think it was just part of the process."
I decided it was appropriate to pick out my wedgie right there and then even though he was still in the room: no-one wants to be caught in dodgy underwear during a surprise missile crisis.
Back to the body catalogue. Today it was tiny pins all over my body, but what else do I rely on to survive?
Anti-depressants. It might seem an oxymoron to have to take a tablet to make me feel like me, but they work. So I will.
Weird Achilles heel protector sock bandage thingies. It's only my right Achilles that keeps playing up, but the doc says I should wear them on both feet. With a sewn in heel pad and tight sausage-shaped compression doo-whats-its that push against the muscle, I'm struggling to stay in my shoes. So far though, they're working.
US, English and Australian-sourced packets of painkillers for Mr Migraine's increasing number of unwanted visits. Note that there's nothing from Switzerland. The strongest stuff you can get from the chemist here is Panadol with caffeine: not a good option at night time.
The long-serving mouth guard, cleaned regularly with
Hot water bottle, Arnica gel and a not-so-good imitation of Deep Heat creme. Neck aches and shoulder pain see these used more often than preferred. Love Chunks is often called upon to apply these various gels and unguents and they all seem to smell bad enough for Milly to snort and move to the other side of the room.
Nearly forgot the decade-old orthotics... Transferred from running shoe to running shoe. Had a second pair in bright purple but lost them along the way somewhere. I assume they still work at, um, whatever it was that they were supposed to do back in 2003.
All of these help me stay upright, keep moving and complain (slightly) less, but here are the three essentials.
Love Chunks: eighteen years of marriage and still my favourite boy to hug, sleep alongside, talk to, make plans with and smell. Tickly moustache, glinting blue eyes and kindness by the bucketload.
Sapphire; thirteen-and-a-half and growing almost visibly in front of my eyes, astounding me with life lessons learned, observations made and potential yet to be realised.
Sweet little Milly. Nine years young and still the best working buddy ever; albeit with the worst breath. A privilege to have her in our family.
Chocolate, coffee and wine help too.