Given my ongoing tragic status, it seemed wise to check and make sure that my condition is being caused by nothing more than an exploding thyroid.

Most of the private hospitals in Thailand offer packages to check out your health. You spend an hour or so undergoing a series of tests which are then presented to you in a fancy booklet by a doctor who is qualified in stating the bleeding obvious by reading your results and highlighting any abnormalities, which assorted machines have already automatically highlighted as being abnormal. Last time I did this was at Samitivej hospital in Bangkok and I remember it being a lot of money to pay for a fancy red silk covered report.

Luckily, we have an alternative in Pattaya, the Lifecare Laboratory. You won’t get a silk bound report; but you will get the answers you need at a reasonable price.

Their brochure offers a variety of packages. Being Pattaya, there is the “Sexual Infection Program”, which sounds like a block booking for the services of beach road hookers but is actually a test for the happy club of HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B and Gonorrhea. Then there is the “Before Marrie Program” (sic) which is similar but expands the Hepatitis coverage to both A and C. Certainly worth including this in any pre-nup agreement if you are not sure what your beloved, or you, have been doing with your orifices and/or appendages.

As my personal encounters do not extend beyond she who must be obeyed, I went for the “Exclusive Program” which covered just about everything you can test, given a phial of blood, a suspiciously warm container of pee, and a pot of poo.

And it was this last item which caused me the grief. All these tests have to be carried out after six hours fasting ; so it is up early to gather the samples so you can then go and have some breakfast. In the groggy state of the early morning hours, I can pretty much handle peeing in a small container with only a little spillage and a minimal amount of spray on a passing cat. But the poo is a different level of challenge. The laboratory provides a small pot and a lollipop stick. Put poo on stick, insert into pot. Sounds easy; but isn’t.

After many years on this planet you would assume I had a reasonable idea whereabouts poo exits from the sculptured, muscled finery that is my body. Apparently not. Placing the lolly stick where fallout was expected resulted in a perfectly clean stick. Repositioning for the next piece of poo also drew a blank. In the end I was reduced to fishing the bowl with my lolly stick; on balance this is not how I would normally wish to start my day.

The rest of the process was plain sailing. We (she who must be obeyed wanted to play too) proudly presented our samples, offered our arms for the extraction of blood, had an EKG and then handed over 2,000 baht per person. Then in the afternoon we picked up our cardboard covered reports.

Relieved to find all was normal, apart from she who must be obeyed’s Cholesterol which is a little high and which she will not bother to rectify. Excellent service, cheaper and more convenient than going to a hospital. Just wish there was an easier way to capture the poo.

How to get to Lifecare:

Coming from Bali Hai pier on third road, cross over the flyover and before you arrive at the traffic lights at soi 17, look on the left for Laundry Express (blue sign). Down the soi next to Laundry Express and about fifty metres on the right you will find Lifecare Lab. Tel: 038-488048. Open 07:00 to 22:00, closed Sunday