Arthur Smith on his life long partner – Diana Betes

In the 18 years that have passed since Diana Betes decided to move in with me, we have learned to rub along together. I have done my best to respect her, to check how she is two or three times a day and to provide her with the insulin she craves five times every 24 hours without fail. I occasionally even get up at night to assuage her when she is feeling low. My partner Beth accepts her graciously and will intervene to smooth things over whenever Diana and I have a bit of a falling out. In return, Diana (or ‘Dia’ as I call her) has always encouraged me to eat more sensibly, to drink less and not to stay out late gurgling ice cream and whiskey.

Dia can be demanding and she always wants attention at the end of the day. Going to bed used to mean stripping off, washing my face, cleaning my teeth and jumping between the sheets. Now, in addition, I have to remove my dentures, put on pyjamas, inject the overnight insulin, smooth moisturiser on my feet and then try and remember all the pills Ms Betes has obliged me to consume every night since her arrival. These are for my blood pressure, my cholesterol levels, heart stuff and who knows what else. Diana says this is not all her fault but I like to blame her anyway.

As regular readers of this blog (Mrs Brenda Kilcoyne of Sunderland) will know, I was recently diagnosed with a new condition to add to my old ones which Diana oversees. It is called ‘claudication’ which has meant that the aspirin I took every night has now been replaced by a pill whose name is so ludicrous that I cannot write it down without laughing and imagining the meeting in an office of some big Pharma company where they all agreed that a good name for this medication would be – wait for it – ‘clopidogrel.’

Clopidogrel? Eh? Like some plodding poem no-one wants to read… still, this reminds me that sometimes Dia and I have a right laugh together. I know she will never leave me and, as long as I am able, I will never reject her so we go forward together. And soon, hurrah, we will go in search of a wood full of blue bells together.

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