ON SATURDAY I had my Covid vaccine. It’s fair to say that given some of my previous medical experiences, I approached this with a sense of trepidation.

Back at the start of the 1990s, I went to give blood in advance of the first Gulf War.

I was in sixth form at the time, and I remember the call going out for donors in anticipation of an almighty dust-up in the desert.

For once, civic duty had taken hold of my eighteen-year-old self, and I went off to offer a pint of my finest in the fight against Saddam Hussein.

The giving blood bit was fine. The problem was when I was asked to walk over for my cup of tea and biscuit to recover.

I took two steps and, one pint of blood lighter, passed out. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor, surrounded by concerned people looking down.

The things you do for Queen and country.

Two decades on, and I still can’t quite believe I’m writing this sentence, I had to go to A&E for a freak badminton injury.

Yes. I know.

What happened was in that over-reaching for a shot I somehow managed to trip myself up in the process.

As I went down, the glasses I was wearing slipped off, and I landed with my left eyebrow smacking down on the rim.

Turns out there is quite a lot of blood underneath your eyebrows.

The sports centre bandaged me up like I was the Terry Butcher of badminton and off I went to casualty, still in my sports kit.

The doctor who treated me asked if I’d been doing jujutsu. I didn’t quite have the heart to tell him the truth.

A week later, I went to the GP to get the stitches taken out. A fairly straightforward procedure you might think. But one stitch wouldn’t easily come out.

There followed a bit of hard tugging with a pair of tweezers and when the nurse finally pulled it free, she was rewarded with, yes, me having passed out again.

So, Saturday then.

I did what I could to prepare: have a bottle of water with you, someone had suggested.

The staff at the centre themselves were brilliant and as I sat down, to be talked through the risks of the Astra-Zeneca jab, I felt myself both put at ease and…a little damp.

As I looked down, my bag resting on my legs, I realised that my bottle had leaked.

As I stood up, there was no hiding the large wet patch on my trousers.

I thought about trying to explain, but went off to go and get jabbed instead.


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