One of my work colleagues has been extremely ill this week. He’s come into the office for a few hours this morning and informed us that on Monday night he was so delirious that he hallucinated the characters from Animal Crossing trying to sell him sleep.

In terms of my own health I spent a couple of hours in hospital that same night with the same old anxiety attack masquerading as a heart attack symptoms that I know and love so well. I was pretty sure it was just an anxiety attack but the problem is that no matter what I may think intellectually, the anxiety (and symptoms) won’t actually go away until I have some kind of medical confirmation that there’s nothing wrong and I’m not actually going to keel over dead.

Now I’d be happy with a simple ECG, but they have this annoying “duty of care” concept in the health system and wouldn’t let me leave until a couple of blood tests came in, so I was stuck in an observation ward for a couple of hours when I’d much rather have been at home looking for horses in Minecraft. But hey, whatever.

Two interesting observations. To calm me down (although frankly after my ECG came back as normal I was perfectly calm) they gave me a diazepam. This is apparently quite popular as a recreational drug – I can’t imagine why as all it did for me was make me feel unpleasantly disorientated, give me a headache and get NoFx’s Creeping Out Sarah stuck in my brain. Since alcohol makes me feel the same way (with the exception of the bit about aging Los Angeles punk musicians) I rather suspect that my autistic brain just isn’t wired up in such a way to enjoy getting high. Eh. No great loss.

The other observation is related to evolution. Goosebumps are often mentioned in science texts as an evolutionary relic of the time when humans had fur. When we get cold, we get goosebumps because our bodies are trying to fluff up our fur to trap a layer of warm air. This obviously no longer works, except – as I have maintained for years – in my case it does work, because I am hairy enough for some air trapping to take place.

She asks me why, I’m just a hairy guy…

It’s not anything that will stand up to even a slight breeze, but if the air is still I can warm myself up a degree or so by switching on my goosebumps (I have some slight conscious control over them).

As X-Powers go it’s not going to get me hanging out with Wolverine any time soon, but it’s a hell of a lot better than being one of those normal people.

The reason I mention this is because in order to attach the various sensors for the ECG they had to shave some patches of my chest hair. And stomach hair. And side hair (I’m hairy high and low, don’t ask me why, don’t know…). Ever since, I’ve been acutely conscious of exactly where they did this, as walking down the street I can feel those areas as cold patches, even under a shirt and coat.

Weird huh? Who would have thought a nice, modern gentleman such as myself could rely so heavily on left over parts from the apes and monkeys.

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