If there’s anything that I have learnt from the past couple of weeks it’s that laughing gas is some funny shit. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote the last blog so bare with me- we have a lot to catch up on!

Another bone marrow biopsy has come and gone, however, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a video of me spouting crap while as high as a kite. What I do have is a few very reliable sources- the poor nurses, my mum and my uncle- assuring me that I was talking even more rubbish than I usually do (hard to believe, I know).
Its difficult to describe the feeling of being on laughing gas without directly relating it to being in Hippodrome on a Saturday night. The first time I was under the influence of nitrous oxide it was very odd indeed. Apprehensive about what I was about to go through, I was inhaling it like it was going out of date and I gradually found myself giggling uncontrollably like a prepubescent teenager. Some say it was just air I was inhaling, I naturally disagree- its strong stuff honest!

I had asked the nurse to turn up the radio as it was ‘Club Classics’ with Mark Wright on Heart and I was having a whale of a time! Singing away to every song that was blaring through the speakers, the nurses pressed through with the procedure. The actual feeling of the needle being inserted into my back was initially like a mild cramp, nothing too painful. Shortly after, however, as the fluid was pulled out from my spine, I started to feel something else, something worrying. It was all too reminiscent of being in a club and letting a sneaky fart go, only to debate whether or not it was just an innocent fart or something far more serious; boys we’ve all been there (girls, I hope you haven’t!) I thought I had shit myself… My dignity. Shattered. Gone. I whispered to my mum who was next to me, ‘mum, I think I’ve just crapped my pants.’ For some reason she cracked up laughing. This is not the reaction you want from your mother when looking for reassurances that you haven’t done a ‘doo doo’ in your pants at the age of eighteen.

The nurse overheard me and eventually, after also laughing at my misfortune, assured me that I was safe. I believe she reached this conclusion after carrying out the highly scientific procedure known as the “sniff test”. Needless to say there was an overwhelming sense of relief. With this I grew in confidence. I was proud to say I hadn’t shit myself – it was nothing more than the feeling of the procedure. Fully aware  that my dad was sitting on the other side of the curtain, I screeched out in my best scouse accent, ‘eh, eh dad, I’ve just farted’! I hadn’t, and I knew I hadn’t, but it felt like the right thing to say. All fun and games eh! Eventually the nurses finished up and they all had a great laugh at my expense. Happy days, over for another week and very little discomfort at all.

Ding, ding- round two. Same place, same procedure. That’s right, this is a weekly thing so I have no excuse for a lack of material to put in my blog!
I was wheeled up to the same room as before and rolled into the same bay. Everything was the same, apart from the nurse. Thank God. I wouldn’t have to relive the humiliation. We went through the niceties and I told her to expect more of the same, hoping I would try to keep it PG this time. Exactly like the week before, I asked the nurse to turn up the music, ‘Club Classics’ again. I started to inhale the gas just as I had done previously and suddenly there was a huge sense of déjà vu. Not in terms of my bowel movements but the music. ‘Mum, I’ve heard this song, this was on last time I was in here’. I was informed it was Adele, Set fire to the rain. Something didn’t add up. This was not the song that was playing in my head, nor was it the song that was on the last time. I bolted up to get a better listen. I was certainly not hearing Adele. It sounded like a song from the Magaluf strip – repetitive, electric beats. I tapped out the rhythm with my hands – mindlessly strumming away while more spinal fluid was extracted. As it turns out, the song didn’t exist; I had heard a radio advert ending in “” and had repeated it over and over again in my head, creating a little beat. Bloody strange stuff that gas, but at least it had given me some musical inspiration.

The procedure went just as smoothly again with only one minor hiccup. I say minor, it was bloody huge! There I was, lying on my side inhaling the laughing gas and suddenly the air flow stopped. I took the mouth piece out and told my mum to stop leaning on the gas tube. She quickly looked down and was adamant that it was straight with no kinks, and she wasn’t on it. Yeah you guessed it. I had used the whole canister of gas. I was forced to inhale nothing but air for the rest of the procedure. It wasn’t nearly as fun, believe me! It must seem strange to you guys. Everything I write about seems to be about me being as high as a kite on laughing gas. I’m not addicted-honest!

Moving on from it, I have also undergone several other procedures, one of which I am particularly keen on informing you about. I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of it was but it involved two, yes two nurses, simultaneously cleaning and well, if I were to be blunt, massaging one buttock each. Sounds nice in principle, although I should also mention that they stuck two great big needles in the aforementioned area. A bitter sweet experience.

Now comes the mushy part.
While I have been in here the support I have received has been immense. My family and friends have been incredible. I have been truly overwhelmed by the messages, cards, gifts and general positive attitude that everyone has shown and I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference. If I’m at all down in anyway, all I need to do is to look behind my bed at the messages of support that you guys have given me and it instantly picks me up. I am fully aware that it would be very easy for me to say this and for you guys not to believe me, but please do- you really do make a difference, so thank you.
A special mention goes out to my big cousin Lee McClean and his great friend Jon, a top Everton groundsman. Between the pair of them they managed to, probably steal (they’re scousers!), an Everton corner flag from the famous Gwladys Street end and get it signed by the players. Needless to say that it brought a HUGE smile to my face! Thank you so much guys!
Last but certainly not least a massive thank you needs to be said to my Uncle Alan. He has travelled down from Glasgow a couple of times now and has been nothing but (another) pain in my arse. He has been annoying the hell out of everyone, including the poor nurses, and generally making a nuisance of himself, yet always manages to make the days seem to go quicker and helps keep me positive and upbeat.

I am going to wrap it up there. There will be another blog out soonish as there are a few other points I’d like to share with you but I am fully aware I am dragging this one out. Once again I’ve attached a few more photos just to keep you entertained!


My favourite type of gas!
My favourite type of gas!
Lee & Jon - Legends!
Lee & Jon – Legends!
After!  #Selfie!
The 'bampot' from Glasgow!
The ‘bampot’ from Glasgow!

9 thoughts on “Gas

  1. Hi Neil.

    Good to read another journalistic gem from you. David Conn’s quaking in front of his computer in awe at your erudition, wit and command of every nuance of the English language.

    Are you going to take up pin-cushioning professionally or remain an enthusiastic amateur? Mixed cushioning seems a fruitful option although the threesome with a nurse on each buttock appears to have some attraction.

    Laughing gas seems a bit of a giggle although gas and air has its aficionados. It seemed to work for Sally when she was in labour and our fast bowler who buggered up his ACL at the start of last season. Personally I prefer Wadsworth’s 6X but then I’ve got grey hair.

    Keep on fighting the good fight


  2. Neil,
    You have no idea who I might be as we have never met. Liane Amechi is my daughter. I am a Doctor here is sunny Grenada in the caribbean. Just read your blog and I have to say buddy, I am amazed at the wonderful way you are dealing with this illness. Am absolutely positive attitude and revelling in each and every day AND the bits and pieces of each and every day is the key to life. I will stay tuned.
    And hey… a die hard Gunner, I wont even hold your Evertonian allegiance against you 🙂
    Stay strong and positive.
    L. N. Amechi M.D.

  3. Hi Neil,
    You won’t remember me but I remember you. I think you were three years old and already football mad. I was visiting you and your parents and Paul from Barcelona. You wanted me to go out into the garden or street all the time to play football with you. I am not a very sporty woman at the best of times it that didn’t bother you, you didn’t seem to notice that. You also kept unpacking my case and handbag when I wasn’t looking, I kept finding my belongings all over the house! Judging by the stuff you write in your blog I can tell you are still the same practical joker with a great sense of humour. Obviously you are a chip of the old block, I had many laughs with your mother when she lived here in Barcelona. I have emailed your parents many times over the years…they never answer, I must be on their spam list…so please let them know I am thinking of you all and wishing you, especially you, all the best, sending positive vibes.
    Big hugs from Sue Mayo, Ralph, my husband also send his best wishes

  4. Hiya Neil,

    Your sense of humour seems to radiate around the anal area, just like your uncle and cousin. If there is a smell, its funny, you can hear it, hysterical, best of all if you have an audience your instantly famous.

  5. Hi Neil,

    Auntie jaggy bee here, just read your blog and the tears are running down my face with laughter and you say I haven’t got a sense of humour!!! Keep your pecker up, oops sorry meant to say ‘chin up’. Lots of love from us all north of the border xxxx

  6. Hey Neil!
    You might not remember me, since it´s been quite some time since we briefly met in Greece, however I do remember you.
    I must say, impeccable sence of humor you got there, and my deepest respect for handling this so positively!
    All the best from Austria, stay strong and get well soon!
    Keeping my fingers crossed,

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