Teddy Bears’ Nit-Pick
27 August 2021
“So, Teddy, how did we all end up in here like this?”
“Kicked him out, she did, just like that, Freddy. Told him to sleep in the spare bedroom. She couldn’t take it any more. She couldn’t sleep. He had to go. It was the diuretic that did it, mind, the diuretic.
After the radiation treatment, they gave him hormone injections, told him he’d put on ten to fifteen per cent of his current body weight, but not to worry. It was quite natural. It was the hormones, see?
He told me all about it. Told me how he used to stand on the bathroom scales without a care in his heart. Watched his weight rise, five per cent, ten per cent, fifteen per cent. When he reached twenty per cent, he started to worry. Swollen ankles. Swollen knees.
At twenty-five per cent, he was really worried. Socks no longer fitted. Couldn’t put on his shoes. Couldn’t bend to tie his laces. Had to wear sandals and slip-ons.
At thirty per cent, he started to cry. He told me he was ugly, so ugly. He was down to one pair of shoes and one pair of sandals that fitted. He went to the pharmacy. The pharmacist took one look at his feet and gave him a long list of Latin names. Told him he’d need a prescription, from his doctor, to get pressure socks, and medical shoes that would help him walk.
‘It’s the feet, see, the feet,’ the pharmacist told him. ‘Once they start to swell, you’re in big trouble. There’s nothing we can do. Go see your doctor.’
‘I’ve seen the doctor.’
‘Go see him again.’
So he did. Told me he broke down crying when he entered the surgery.
‘I’m down to one pair of shoes. You’ve got to do something, doc.’
So the doctor wrote him out a prescription for pressure socks, medical shoes, appointment with a psycho-something, attendance at a clinic, everything the doc thought he needed. Then, just as he was about to leave, the doc stopped him.
‘Hang on a sec,’ doc said. Sat at the desk. Checked the computer. Wrote out another prescription. ‘New tablets,’ he said. ‘Take these brown ones. Stop taking those white ones.’
He went away happy. Stopped at the pharmacy. Got the new pills. Went home. Took them. And straight away started to pee. Told me he’d peed all day and then I watched him as he peed all night. Every 15 minutes. That’s when the missus kicked him out of bed.
‘Go. Sleep in the spare room,’ she said. ‘You’re peeing every fifteen minutes. I can’t sleep anymore. I can’t stand it. And take that teddy bear with you.’
So he went. Grabbed me, his faithful Teddy Bear, tucked me under his arm, and we went to the spare room with its cold, lonely bed. Except he had me, his Ted.
Lost four pound that first night. Twelve pound the first week. Twenty pound the first month.
‘Ted,’ he said to me one morning, ‘I feel good. Time for us to go back to the old bed.’
We tried. But the missus wouldn’t let us back in.
He’s looking pretty good now. Back down to ten per cent body weight up. Says he can live with that. Likes sleeping with all his Teddy bears he tells me. Says we don’t snore. Unlike that missus of his.
It’s the first anniversary next week. He told me to gather all the bears, Rosie, and Blanche, and you, and Blueberry, and Basil of course. And that French bear, Pierre.
‘We’re going to have a midnight dormitory feast and a Teddy Bears’ Nit-Pick.’
Sorry Fred, I don’t know what the missus is going to say about that.”