For a while now I’ve been taking some fairly strong painkillers for a problem with my ankle joints.

Don’t worry, I’m not angling for sympathy, although I will accept charity and will provide an address to send cheques to upon request, but I digress.

The point is, while fetching my dose earlier, I decided to take a glance at the potential side effects.
I admit this is something which, sensibly, I should have already done, but in all fairness I now wish I hadn’t.
Dizziness, sure, drowsiness, understandable, violent diarrhoea, of cou…hang about!

I understand that they have to list all possible side effects but it does give you pause.
I am currently taking medication to ease pain which may result in explosive defecation, vomiting, hallucinations and eventual death.

I can imagine the conversation if the doctor had mentioned any of this when he prescribed them…

Al: “So doc, these pills will sort out the pain and I should be hunky dory?”

Doc: “Certainly, I’ll see you again in two weeks to find out how you’re getting on. Was there anything else?”

Al: “No think that’s it, any side effects I should know about?”

Doc: “Not really, you might feel a little drowsy or dizzy, certainly avoid alcohol while taking them”

Al: “Fair enough, that all?”

Doc: “Well, no it’s nothing to worry about”

Al: “No, go on Doc”

Doc: “There’s a very slim chance that, and do please bear in mind that this almost never happens, but there’s a possibility that you might go completely insane, see lights in the sky and gibber insanely before experiencing diarrhoea so intense that your organs will leave your body due to the pressure.”

Al: “Ah”

Doc: “Yes, all of that will, of course, kill you. But I would imagine death would be a welcome release at that stage”

Al: “Hmm, so all things considered, you still recommend these pills?”

Doc: “Absolutely, as I said, it’s a slim chance”

Al: “Fair enough. Before I go I wonder if I could tempt you to stare down the barrel of this shotgun. Nothing to worry about although there is a slim chance that it’s loaded…”

Still, sure it will all go swimmingly.