I took my first painkiller in over ten years last night. The rumours of my unbreakablility it seems have been exaggerated. I always assumed that it was a temporary state of luck and would end soon after I hit thirty. Well I go eleven months grace on that. Suffice to say that After flying back from Scotland on Monday my ears did not pop, an annoying if not life-threatening situation which then led somehow to a some throat, flu symptoms and pain in the whole ear, nose, throat department. Pain which got so unbearable last night that I experimented with the painkillers in the cupboard. There was an out of date bottle of paracetemol and a packet of Anadin Extra. Anadin Extra seemed awful powerful, but then I was in considerable pain. Mind you the criteria on which I can judge pain is minimal, having barely felt any since age sixteen except for the odd stubbed toe and the obligatory twenty-something heartache.

First thing I learnt: I am rubbish at taking pills. My gag reflex is impossible to ignore (something not new to anyone who has ever spent time with me in the pub). This hard plastic pellet of Anadin Extra rolled around my mouth as I necked about four pints of water. I?d have happily broken the thing down and smoked it. Nevertheless the pain was ramping up to hammer of the gods proportions on my ear drum and I needed sleep. With a cavalier gulp, the whole thing washed down into my stomach.

I could feel it sitting there. I am not sure what I expected. An instant blissed out feeling of painless joy? Tendrils of soothing calmness slowly radiating from my belly. How did it know all the pain was in my head. What if it took away all the feeling from my legs instead? I went back to bed, feeling sorry for myself and noting that my shunning of proprietary medicines seemed all the more justified, the people at Anadin were charlatans. As I moaned, Lavigne like, on my pillow I imagined waking up (or not waking up) with a coroner over me expressing cerebral haemorrhage, and my parents taking that Stelios from EasyJet to court. As this amusing idea drifted into my brain I noticed, after Stelios had employed his all orange wearing EasyLawyer, that the pain seemed to be subsiding. Ah ? I thought ? happy thoughts, funny thoughts. We all know this is natures own medicine. So as my Stelios baiting fantasy increased the pain in my throat and ear subsided.

Who needs painkillers? Well, it turned out, me, as when I woke up this morning, the throbbing was back. And yes, I am going to the doctor later, to be told that I am a hypochondriac and that the blood dribbling out of my ear is perfectly normal.