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Taking the needle

By Squinter

THERE’S that drip again. It’s like a malfunctioning tap only the drops aren’t falling into a cold, hard sink – they’re falling into Squinter’s head. Again. Perhaps he should explain. For more years than he cares to remember, Squinter has been plagued with sinusitis, which we won’t go into too deeply here, except to say it is the blockage of a series of passages inside the head and surrounding the nose.

Nobody knows exactly what the passages are for, although there’s a school of thought that they’re supposed to be filled with air in order help support and control the head,which relatively speaking and in human body terms is a hell of a heavy item.

Squinter’s convinced that his trouble started when he broke his nose badly twice playing football, in the late-70s and early-80s. The dent isn’t too noticeable because the second time the manager pushed it back into place with the heel of his hand (oooffft!). But, you can’t drop a lightbulb on a tiled floor without doing damage, and ever since there’s been something wrong in there. And so that drip comes every now and then behind the eyes and down the behind the cheeks – three, four, five times a year? – and in no time at all the sink’s full up. Mostly it’s manageable with plenty of hankies and even more spluttering, but too often now  it turns to faceache, vertigo and high-pitched and a maddening whine in the ears (known in medical terms as Barry McElduff Syndrome).

Squinter’s had the tube up his nose and behind his eyes, twice; but, please, never again. And then the RVH sends out those letters inviting you back for another look in six months, which really mean we’ve no intention of spending any more than we have to. Squinter would happily go private; we’re probably talking two or three grand, which would be money well spent, but this is a common condition and he has heard worryingly varying stories about the outcome for fellow-sufferers who have gone under the knife.

And then somebody mentioned acupuncture. It was a throwaway line in an editorial conference when somebody mentioned that that the Upper Springfield health and wellbeing centre is offering free acupuncture on Friday mornings. Squinter wondered whether the old Chinese needles could do anything for his problem and – hey presto! – one Twitter enquiry and a bit of Google research strongly suggested that it could. Now the question is whether having needles stuck in your eyes and up your nose is any worse than having a headache in your cheeks and gloop dripping down your skull. Squinter would toss a coin, only he’s afraid it would land on his nose.

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