In pretty much every medical conversation I have had over the last few years the same question is always asked, ‘do you drink’. The same set of answers appear in my head but I never use them even though I really want to. I always answer fairly plainly and honestly as the flippancy will not help.
However the conversation that should happen is there in my imagination so I thought I’d share with you how it goes in my head.
Them: Do you drink Mr Keating?
Me: Yes. I have 3 children under 10, of course I drink.*
Them: How often?
Me: As often as I can.
Them: Really? How often do you actually drink?
Me: The moment I am not responsible for them.
Them: So every night?
Me: It doesn’t have to be night.
Them: Do you drink during the day?
Me: One of the kids is a toddler.
Them: So, no then.
Me: Are you joking, as long as I don’t have to put the little fucker to sleep I am straight onto the gin.
Them: So you drink spirits?
Me: I’d drink petrol if it was in a cocktail. I have 3 kids under 10.
Them: Seriously now.
Me: Good point, Petrol is expensive. You can get turps at Poundland.
Them: You should really have a few free nights a week without drink.
Me: I think the same about my kids.
Them: Well you made the life choices and need to deal with them in a sensible manner.
Me: I do. I told you. I drink.
Them: Excessive drinking can reduce your lifespan.
Me: I have 3 kids under 10, I’ll drink to that.
Them: How many units of alcohol a week are we talking about here?
Me: I find it best not to count, but a safe number is to add the children’s ages up and times by 10.
Them: Best medical advice is to have fewer than 14 a week.
Me: Kids or drinks?
Them: Units of alcohol, you need a different strategy for children.
Me: I had a vasectomy.
However none of this actually happens… maybe next time
*NB This is all just in jest, if I really need to say that. I love my kids. They are not the reason I drink, they’re the reason I get up and run each morning so I am more alive each day to enjoy being with them.