“Right. I see.” I speak slowly into the telephone, trying to collect my thoughts.

I have been foolish in telephoning the surgery rather than making a proper appointment. It means that I have not prepared myself at all for unexpected news. “So that’s it, then?” I ask.


A while back, I wrote of my suspicions that I might have the onset of coeliac disease – a sort of chronic allergy to wheat – due to the fact that in the past couple of months I have been unable to drink more than three pints of beer without getting overly drunk, feeling very sick, and wanting to go home to sit down quietly. I’d been given the heads-up as to the possibility from a friend, who has a family member with the condition, and wrote about it in a jocular sense, as is my wont. Anyway, I’d popped off to see the Doctor, and we had joked about me rather having a serious illness than wanting to be considered a wuss.

“Right. Ok,” I reply. “So what do I do now then?”

“Well, nothing really.”

I replace the receiver and give a long, long sigh. I am a bit shaken by events. Then I pick up my phone to send a message.

“I am just a wuss,” I text.

30 thoughts on “I receive disturbing test results from the Doctor.

  1. nick says:

    I think Ivan could have saved you the trouble of going to the Dr. and wasting people’s time and told you that.

  2. Could have, and tried to, Nick. I should start charging him.

    “I speak slowly into the telephone, trying to collect my thoughts.”

    Plural, Jonny? Really? No wonder you’ve been feeling dizzy…

  3. Eunoia says:

    Had to look that up in the online dictionary and learned that : WUSS = ‘Western Users of SAS Software’. Now I understand why you were feeling woozy 😉

  4. AndrewM says:

    Don’t worry – you are sick too.

    Avian Rhinotracheitis is what you’ve got.

    I blame the chickens.

  5. ajb1605 says:

    Bowlers’ droop?

  6. Megan says:

    It does lack a bit of something that diagnosis. I mean coeliac has misleading spelling going for it which allows the sufferer to feel pleasantly superior to idiots who have only ever met the word online or something and thus try to pronounce it as KohEEllieACK. Granted, that weak, girly SSSS sound at the front and the unattractive ACK at the end make it sound a little as though you should spend most of your time draped over a chaise longue with your ankles daintily crossed and a small but tasteful vial of sal volatile to hand, but as Ivan will possibly say, odds are you do that anyway.

    I suggest a judicious application of Latin which obfuscates the issue and impresses the unwashed masses. You suffer, it seems likely from Male Peius Pessime Propter Infirmiti.*

    *Note, due to fact that my last Latin class was a Very Long Time Ago Indeed plus my unwillingness to even be bothered to Google the declension is a guess and not even a very impressive one at that.

  7. Hilde says:

    So I was right ! Your doctor is a wise man.

  8. guyana gyal says:

    Well, I am happy to hear that you’re just a wuss because, for one dreadful, horrible moment, when I read ‘a serious illness,’ I was worried.

  9. Z says:

    You might still have a wheat intolerance. Eat a loaf of bread and if you feel bloated, that’ll be the reason.

  10. JonnyB says:

    I’ve just eaten a sack of wheat that was destined for the chickens, and I feel lousy.

    Oh. Hang on. That wasn’t wheat.

  11. nick says:

    Wheat… chicken litter… what’s the difference?

  12. Sewmouse says:

    Whenever my ex used to have a major coughing fit (big-time smoker), he would say “I think I should switch brands”

    Maybe you just need to switch to a different brand of beer.

    and lay off the chickenfeed.

  13. Vic says:

    If it’s Coeliac, all you need is a change of diet. It’s not just wheat, there’s also barley and rye to avoid. The jury’s still out on the issue of oats, but (being Coeliac for 10 years) I have no problem with oats. Unfortunately barley is an ingredient in beer so as far as your liking for the country vintage… it’s up to you.

    One aspect of this is the use of the word ‘disease’. It makes the condition sound like the dreaded lurgi and is passed from human to human. It’s not; it’s an ailment that comes on without warning.

    Have you had the colonoscopy yet? What they look for is the villi which are fingers inside the gut that push the waste along the tubes. If they upright, it’s generally not Coeliac. if they’re flat, then it most certainly is as they’re trying to withdraw from the natural chemicals that irritate them. If you’re not squeamish, you can watch the monitor as the camera goes through your intestines. It’s fascinating. You’re fully awake and you don’t feel anything.

    One good move is to join the Coeliac Society. They have a pocket book showing nearly all the foods (including brand names) that are likely to cause the symptoms.

    Coeliac is more of a nuisance than anything else. It’s just a change of diet that controls it.

  14. hiiiii I suggest a judicious application of Latin which obfuscates the issue and impresses the unwashed masses. thanx for the post.

  15. kermit says:

    Have you tried different beers? Perhaps you might tolerate a light lager or a light ale much better than a heady stout.

    (I presume all of Norfolk is provincially obligated to drink only Guinness, as part of the peace agreement with the Irish.)

  16. JonnyB says:

    I think maybe Vic is right (and thank you for leaving the long comment Vic) – – the whole colonoscopy thing might help reverse this ridiculous medical mistake.

    Are there any volunteers?

  17. FJ says:

    switch to cider then you can get one of your five a day at the same time

  18. spazmo says:

    I don’t know what’s going on inside your bowels, but good luck with it. Definitely get a colonoscopy, just for shits and giggles – you never know.

    My current place of residence is located squarely in the “kidney-stone capital of Ontario”, and OH JESUS those things suck.

    Why are all the embarrassing ailments usually the most uncomfortable?

  19. guyana gyal says:

    You’re looking for volunteers rather than doctors to perform that colonoscopy for you? Man, that’s so cheap.

  20. As an ex-rocker, surely you know some of the ’80s New Wave types, Jonny? Plenty of amateur proctologists in that crowd…

  21. kermit says:

    Wait, there’s such a thing as the kidney-stone capital of Ontario? Why did no one tell me this before?!

    (I lived in the province for far longer than I care to admit in polite company, so now I am paranoid about having kidney stones. Thanks a lot Spazmo!)

  22. spazmo says:

    kermit – the hard water along the Grand River in Kitchener-Waterloo (Cambridge, Galt, etc.) should have doubled you over by now, so if you haven’t had any problems yet, it’s a safe bet you’re fine.

  23. NVT says:

    Can you drink wine instead???!

  24. Glutenfreeguerrillass says:

    Coeliac Disease is confusing at first. It can be serious and increases your risk of bowel cancer, infertility, osteoporosis and other autoimmune diseases like Diabets Type 1, Thyroid, Lupus etc. Diagnosis is via blood test for 1 enzyme and 1 set of antibodies. The old fashioned method is still a endoscopy biopsy of your small intestine. A joy. Once confirmed then it’s a big lifestyle change and lifelong diet of gluten free (no wheat, rye,barley, oats, spelt) aka bread, beer, pasta, pizza, most processed foods inc soy sauce, ice-cream and many drinks. cider, wine, vodka and gin are ok as are cadbury’s buttons. So it’ s not all bad! Join glutenfreeguerrillas facebook page for tip and info and coeliac UK once you have a firm diagnosis. Good luck

  25. Glutenfreeguerrillass says:

    Excuse the typos. GFGs have been on the vino this late. It makes up for the lack of pizza!

  26. I love all this helpful coeliac advice you’re getting. I’m bookmarking this page in case I ever get a wheat intolerance, or feel like having a colonoscopy (just for the hell of it, but shhhh)

  27. ajb1605 says:

    All good (and thoughtful) advice for coeliacs….but what about wusses?

  28. JonnyB says:

    Yes – we need something from the Wussguerillas? Just to provide some balance and a complementary view.

  29. Vic says:

    I’ve had three colonoscopies over the years, so if you slip me a bundle of readies, I’ll have your one too.

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