December has been a busy month. I didn’t intend it to be, but as I was packing for Dubai on 30 November, a job offer at Bristol Airport came my way. As the plane left the runway at Heathrow I was now in gainful employment. Six days in the sun then it was back to the reality of working! Shock!
Well it all started the day before we left Dubai. My throat had turned to high grade sandpaper, and my nose sneezed at anything. In the departure lounge I resorted to visiting Boots and getting some throat lozenges for the flight. Six hours later and I’m in agony. My ears will not clear as the plane comes into land. Then they decided they liked turning a deaf ear and remained blocked for the next two days!
Along with the 900 emails in my inbox, was the first one from work. Report for training on Thursday and Friday. No getting over the jet lag then!
At the end of training I still didn’t have an actual start date at the airport. You can’t just turn up for work. There are many hurdles to go over before you are accepted and allowed to work in an airport. My estimated start date was now January 2019. Yeah, I’m liking that. Christmas and New Year off!
Well that was short lived. In the 35 minutes it took me to drive home, my new start date was now four days away! Just as well I didn’t have any plans then.
I knew on the Wednesday I wasn’t well, but Thursday is my first day and I can’t ring in sick. It’s Friday and, whilst driving home, I realise I need a doctors appointment. One side of my face is now the size of a football, and the nodes behind my ears are the size of marbles.
Seeing the doctor is so calming. ‘Just a viral infection. Let it run its course. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for the pain, but you are good to go’ she said.
Walking into my mum’s house on Christmas Eve there was no nice greeting of how are you! I get ‘what’s wrong with your face?’. So I explain to mum that I have a viral infection, and also that I think I have shingles. Earlier on in the day I was waiting for my husband in the car. Who doesn’t love the vanity mirror in the car? They are amazing for showing up all your imperfections!
I noticed in this awesome mirror that I had some blisters on my eyelid! I did what we all do. Self diagnosed via Google! So I went to bed knowing that the worse case scenario of shingles on your face especially around the eyes, is that it can cause blindness. Merry Christmas Trace!
Christmas morning and you guessed it – I woke up looking as though I had spent the night being punched in the face by Mike Tyson! Face was all puffy and eye not willing to open and see the day. So I had a look on the internet for the nearest open walk-in centre, which was about 11 miles away. Google said it was open for an hour this morning but, upon arriving, realised that it was closed all xmas day. Well, Google certainly got that one wrong! So I ended up calling 111 for advice. Very helpful. Someone from primary care will call me back, within six hours, I was told!
Back to Google. Another walk-in centre 29 miles away. Back up the road the way I had come. I rang them and yes, they were open all day. On the way there the doctor calls me from primary care. On his advice I head straight to the nearest hospital to see the out of hours GP. Yep! Definitely shingles. Prescription in hand and I’m off to the chemist.
Thank you so much to the NHS. Thank you for being there 365 days a year.