A is for Addendum
I only put that as a heading to show off! I’d love to learn Latin and British Sign Language before I die, but the chances of the former are unlikely. Well, to be honest, to say ‘unlikely’ is somewhat unrealistic. My ageing brain really isn’t up to it. I’ve got to that stage in life when I have trouble recalling English words. Anyway. Bear with me. You have to read the boring bit first. To set the scene, some results from my research :-
Location: Attached to the first part of your large intestine.
Description: A narrow, muscular, worm-like pouch, usually around nine centimetres long.
Evidence suggests that our evolutionary ancestors used their appendixes to digest tough food like tree bark, but we don’t use ours in digestion now. Some scientists believe that the appendix will disappear from the human body.
The appendix is rich in infection-fighting lymphoid cells, suggesting that it might play a role in the immune system. Whether the appendix has a function or not, it can be removed without any ill effects.
My comments on the above:-
1. How long is nine centimetres?
2. If the function is unknown then why have we got one?
3. I’m not that bothered about eating tree bark.
4. So it may disappear from the human body? Well I do wonder whether legs will disappear from the human body when you look at today’s children. They don’t seem to walk anywhere.
5. I do worry about the infection-fighting lymphoid cells bit as I would appear to not have anything to fight them with now? But I am re-assured with the bit that says it can be removed without any ill effects.
And so to the story.
I was 13 and the end of term exams were looming. I just didn’t fancy it, so I came up with the idea of having a ‘sickie’ – just for a few crucial days. For my project to succeed, I embarked upon some serious research that would assure a believable and semi-serious ailment.
My grandfather lived with us and he had this weighty tome in his lounge called something like ‘The Doctor’s Book’. Marvellous. In a rare ‘home alone’ moment I opened the pages at ‘A’. I flirted with the idea of having Amnesia but decided that Appendicitis would be easier to pull off. My genetic credentials were perfect - Father a Research Scientist - Mother a thespian of note.
My performance was awesome and, as it turned out, rather too believable.
The doctor was called and I described my well-rehearsed symptoms. My mother and the doctor left my bedroom and I could hear them chatting in hushed tones outside. The next bit went rather quickly and resulted in mixed feelings. I was pleased with my performance and really chuffed that I had succeeded in being diagnosed as ‘poorly’ (far too poorly for end of term exams. Result!) However, I somehow ended up in hospital awaiting an operation to remove my perfectly healthy appendix. I remember clutching the nurse who came to give me my pre-med and blurting out the truth. She ignored me and put my panic down to being nervous about the operation. She didn’t believe me! How ironic! Think about it.
So that’s how I became Sans Addendum. Yes I know that’s French and Latin in the same sentence, thank you very much.
I just hope I never develop a taste for tree bark.