Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I’m 34, apparently well past an age where I could respectably go out clubbing or on the pull in Soho. That’s fine, I have my Fella and with the diet and exercise regime I get compliments about my figure, my arms, etc - which is, perhaps not surprisingly, nicer than the small shreds of validation that come from sleeping around (and yes that is a large part of why I did it. D’uh!).

Still, 34 is a funny time of life. I love being in my 30s, almost as much but in a different way to which I enjoyed being 16, 17 and 18. But what is it? Less than half-way, but more than a third. I’ve been a child longer than I’ve been an adult, but I’m not quite fully grown up (as my bank manager well knows).

In the last few weeks I’ve been described as an older man, by a guy in his mid-20s! And be flattered that I look like I’m in my mid-20s, by a guy a couple of years older than me. Yes, each hoped flattery would get them everywhere, but still…

It seems in some respects time has caught me up. I’m writing this before telling many of my close friends – some of whom read this, I am pleased to write - or Family (though Fella I told straight away).

Last Tuesday I was an unwell fairy, so got some medical advice from NHS Direct (a telephone based free healthcare advice service) and they recommended, to my surprise, I attend my nearest A&E (emergency room).

Well, speed and efficiency were certainly the order of the day. Although it took eight hours in total I was hooked up to more machines and devices than I expected; and yours truly was turned into a little pink pin cushion…

So here it is.

My brain isn’t working as it should. Blood tests show its receptors are not picking up as many hormones as it should. Its chemistry is unusual. Sometimes people with altered brain chemistry have a mental health problem, apparently sometimes not – or not just that.

My brain tells my body to produce stress hormones like adrenaline but doesn’t mop up the after effects. It seems, to put it bluntly, I suffer a constant stress hangover where different parts of my body go out of hormonal sync… the result; irregular heartbeat for a start. Ouch.

It feels weird that my behaviours and reactions are sometimes not my own – and I didn’t know it. Or maybe that’s just how “I” feel.

How do I manage this? Well apparently I have to give up caffeine, chocolate, salt, reduce (not give up, thank fuck) alcohol and carefully avoid the gym. Fortunately sex wasn’t mentioned.

My consultant gave me a lot of information about some unique stress management techniques; and I’m going to go in further tests in a couple of weeks.

It’s weird; how do you react when confronted by things like this? I immediately went out to a comedy show (Fella and I were planning to celebrate a friend’s birthday anyway) and managed to cheer myself up. And I have been carefully ignoring my consultant’s advice about my diet.

Well, from now on time to be good. Darn. Strumpetville will never be the same again. And I suppose that’s the difference between 17 and 34.


Nik_TheGreek said...

I'm sorry to hear that.
I think I can relate to how you feel. I felt the same when a couple months ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I'm still a bit in denial

Jeff Chandler said...

Hi Mike,
I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say that I really like it. It makes me chuckle as well as being thought-provoking. Looking forward to following it.
Nice one mate!

Lubin said...

Oh dear. I hope it's something manageable.

At some point, I'm hoping I stop caring about how old I'm getting or what I look like... But for now, approaching 40, I can sympathise :)

Mike said...

@ Nik: High cholesterol? Oh no! I hope it's not too bad. Are you on meds??

@ Jeff - thanks :-) Do keep me on my toes!

@ Lubin - fabulous at 40 no doubt. Thans for your good wishes! X