Thursday 12 February 1987

…When will my ear ever get better?
Will it ever return to its normal state?
I have tried taking my tablets inside in a banana but they all fall out
because I chew it too hard, leaving me with an anti-antibiotic banana.
At least I didn’t go to PE because of my ear and my cough.
I went out and watched them instead.
We had to sort out books for the library van because Mrs Kirkham
[the headteacher] had just received news that it was coming in an hour.
Then she announced the news that the library van had broken down.

Since my tempestuous doctor’s appointment on Saturday 7th, I’d twice returned to the surgery.

The first was to get my ears syringed, which emptied them of wax but not of pain. I still couldn’t hear properly, so back I went 24 hours later for yet another consultation, this time with a far nicer doctor than the one with whom my mum and I had crossed words on the 7th.

I was diagnosed with an infection in my right ear and a compressed ear drum in my left. Antibiotics were prescribed, to be taken three times a day for five days.

Up to this point in my life I had never swallowed a plastic capsule. I now discovered that I didn’t really like it. In fact, I positively and physically recoiled from it. Hence the need to “trick” me by “hiding” the pills within some mashed banana.

I know: how humiliating. It was like I was 11 months old, not 11 years. And STILL I couldn’t do it.

Yet there was no alternative. I simply could not swallow them raw, not even with a mouthful of water for assistance. My throat wouldn’t respond to my commands.

This bodily stand-off had proved especially distressing on the evening of Tuesday 10th, spoiling my choice of viewing – “Holiday 87, In At The Deep End and Food and Drink” – and leaving me “utterly mad with my ear”.

But thanks to Phil Norman I know now that this episode of In At The Deep End was the one where Paul Heiney upset Bananarama, so perhaps it was just as well I was otherwise occupied.

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