It started with a dull ache at the base of my back. I was probably imagining this next bit, but it felt like it was in two separate areas, one on each side.
That was it then, I thought. It was my kidneys on their way out. A lifetime of overindulgence and fast living had finally caught up with me.
"You great steaming pillock," enthused Katie sympathetically, "you had one pint of cider yesterday and all of a sudden you're the next Oliver Reed?. You are, and I repeat this for the sake of emphasis, a great steaming pillock."
You can go years in this household without as much as a kindly word.
Where was I? Oh yes, the nagging pain.
It hurts when I stand. If I'm seated, it's uncomfortable. And there's pain when I lie down. Moving between these three states causes agony. This is not good. Consistent, but not good.
But now it moves. Because lower back pain on its own is so last century, isn't it? Now we have the unalloyed delight that is a tingling down the back of each leg.
"Ooh, ooh! I know this one," said Katie the other night. "That'll be sciatica."
Nemesis of mine, you now have a name. So there followed the Checking Up of you on The Internet.
"So, do you think I need the Intradiscal Electrothermaplasty?" I asked aloud. "Or perhaps the Radiofrequency Discal Nucleoplasty? Maybe some Perispinal Etanercept injections, just to be on the safe side?"
"Or maybe you should have some ibuprofen and do the washing-up."
Like a latter-day Florence Nightingale, you know.