A weekend of two halves...
Unfortunately I didn't make it back to the pub. I was in excruciating pain on LJ whilst Deb was watching the rest of 'Rose Red's' set in the Flapper. She looked after my pint for about an hour before heading back. By this time the pain had subsided some what but I still felt worse than I had after any of my numerous motorbike crashes. I was exhausted. I tried to lay down but couldn't; I tried sitting up but the lounge chairs recline just a little too much; I tried walking but constantly feel sick. The only thing close to relief was to open the bathroom Houdini hatch and stretch up through arching my back to relieve my digestive track and the cramp like pain in my back. We wouldn't be watching the ballet after all. Its going to be a long night.
I watch the moons transit across the night sky for the second night this week. There is not a sound outside, only one of the flats in the two closest twenty story blocks has a light on.
Exhaustion wins over at 6.30. At 8.00 I am awake again and sit in the lounge trying to regain enough energy to make the most of day two of the arts fest. My early morning pee confirms that I haven't been suffering indigestion bouts, at least not unless pissing fanta is a symptom.
Now female readers may not be aware that when us lads have a pee, very occasionally there may be the odd splashes outside the intended target area. I watched in mild fascination as the bowl steadily changed brighter and brighter, as orange as, well an orange really. Visit two to the loo does nothing to cheer me up either, an albino turd!!! That, I am pretty sure is not indigestion. I feel battered and bruised but OK really so I resign myself to waiting for Monday morning to book a doctors appointment and head, very slowly into town.
We had less of an agenda for day two. I certainly wasn't in the mood for skiting from one side of town to the other so we stayed for a few hours in the old town end. The sun was warm but there was a stiff breeze again today. We saw a masterclass in coping with the wind from a young Chinese guitarist who was faultless and coped well with her surroundings saying she was more used to concert halls and this was the first time she had played on a bandstand in the wind competing against the Paralympics on the big screen and the dance tent the other side of the square. The sound engineers rallied round with extra mics but she didn't realise for a while that they had sorted a dedicated voice mic and kept announcing the next piece by bending down and talking into the mic at her right knee. Street artists, bassoon choirs, more classic guitar recitals, folk bands in symphony hall and quintets of saxophonists followed with an evening pause for a rest back on LJ. We wandered back up to the main stage for the last hour or so and the bands were great but I was aching and hanging by now.
Which GP to choose when you are in the middle of a city? I decided in the end on an NHS walk-in centre in the basement of boots chemist near the bullring. My thinking was that for a quick walk-in appointment at least be able to help with a surgery if needed, possibly even calling and making the appointment so I wouldn't have to go through the process of trying to book an appointment on a temporary basis when I really needed to see someone today. The nurse was very helpful and probably glad to see a patient that hadn't fallen over drunk, got a blister or sunburn or needed the morning after pill! She said she had a good idea of what I was suffering from but said it would need further investigation. She packed me straight off to city hospital A&E department a few miles out of town.
The procedure and team at the hospital were great. They told me not to eat and said I would be assessed by the pre-surgery team. Blood tests and lots of waiting followed before I was told I would have to be admitted for further tests.
Anyway it wasn't indigestion but gallstones lodged in my bile ducts causing the pain. I soon started to feel better once the intravenous antibiotics had kicked in but wasn't able to eat anything until the surgeons had decided what to do. I had a comfortable night and even though I hadn't eaten the previous day and very little the day before that I wasn't really in the mood for food. With a dead iPhone and a pair of trainers too keep me company (by now it was too late for Deb to bring me anything back) I managed to snatch a few hours kip before the 6am tea trolley came round.
I was told I would have to have the gallstones removed asap but that would involve the little grabbing device going down my throat, through my stomach out the other side and into the bile duct which didn't sound like much fun. Luckily an ultrasound scan had shown that the duct had cleared and I would be ok to leave by early evening. I managed to grab a quick meal of poached fish an hour or so before leaving. I was a little disappointed that the meal I had ordered on the tick list sheet was for the following day so some poor old sod would be having naan bread Dahl and rice the next day. Good job I hadn't ordered the Caribbean salt fish with rice and peas!
Although we will be carrying on our journey I will have to drive back for a few appointments here next month possibly staying in to have the offending diseased gallbladder removed.
Definitely a weekend of two halves!