Discovering the tall person within

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got till it's gone? Oh, honey, you ain't just whistling Dixie.

Consider the humble kidney, pictured right. Now considering the humble kidney is a thing I admit I had never done until last Christmas, when I neglected a urinary tract infection and it took its vicious revenge. Bacteria attacked my innocent nephrons and taught me the meaning of the term 'loin pain'. I began a long and intimate relationship with antibiotics.

Kidneys cleanse the blood of toxins. They are an unglamorous organ, lacking the immediate poetic associations of the heart, liver and spleen. Little known fact: where a kidney does appear in a literary context, it denotes courage and character.

I believe I now know why.

My doctor threatened surgery and packed me off to the radiologist. I wept copious tears and resorted to home remedies - cranberry juice and yogurt. Ian the radiographer from Mumbai was puzzled by my nonconformist anatomy:

Ian: It is very strange. Though you are not a tall person, your kidneys, they are right up here, and your bladder is all the way down here.
Rach: I'm tall on the *in*side.
Ian (seriously): Yes that is it exactly!
Brave little kidneys. Mine are not (yet!) scarred or misshapen. They valiantly filter my fluids. They're just a bit sore, is all. Godde bless 'em, left and right.

As a bonus, all the water I've been drinking has cleared my skin and improved my hair. Nevertheless, it's all been a little too scary even for my warrior princess tastes. Girls, girls, don't ever forget: pee after every shag. Cherish your kidneys. Eat right, and call your mama.

Wednesday, 18 March 1998. You're kid'n (m)e, right?
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