Friday, 2 March 2012

The Most Drunk I've Ever Been - Without Alcohol.


On Wednesday morning I was at my desk doing some preparation for the Lancaster Beer Festival.

I've had an annoying head cold for a couple of weeks. You know the kind of feeling - like someone's stuffed a cushion into your head.

While entering data into a spreadsheet I was struck by a strange sensation. The cushion seemed to expand and shift suddenly to the right. This preceded what, had I been standing,  would be described as a collapse.

I picked myself up. On my feet I crashed into doors, bannisters and furniture while my vision swirled anti-clockwise around a central point.

The calm and rational voice in me told me a head-cold can affect the magical workings of the inner-ear, the mechanism that looks after balance, amongst other things.

My inner-caveman grunted "PANIC: something terrible is happening!" while the calm and rational self looked on disdainfully.

I called a local friend who whizzed round and drove me half a mile up the road the A&E at Furness General Hospital. I staggered to the reception desk and hugged it close to keep me upright. As they took my name a wheelchair appeared behind me. In the waiting room I struggled to stay upright in the chair; I needed to be horizontal.

I was wheeled into a cubicle and heaved onto a trolley* with the cot-like side rails up.

Nurses plugged me into a machine that goes ping and inserted a catheter cannula at my wrist. I was asked if I minded medical students being present. The doctor delegated my examination to the students who were very thorough while being friendly and chatty. I suppose when a chap like me collapses they've got to think about serious things like heart attacks, strokes and aneurisms.

Despite the room spinning rather alarmingly and an increasing nausea I remained entirely lucid.

During the examination I started to feel sick. I've never witnessed the phenomenon known as "projectile vomiting" and I doubted such a thing existed. My doubts were banished. Several times.

An anti-nausea medication was injected via the catheter. A CT scan and blood sample were sent off for analysis.

The test were fine. Other problems were ruled out and labrynthitis confirmed. A very unpleasant ailment but far from being life-threatening. About three hours after arriving I was discharged. I was given a packet of prochlorperazine should the symptoms recur.

I missed the judging at Lancaster BF.





*The thing Americans call a "gurney". A word I find faintly disturbing.


5 comments:

Rob said...

CAMRA memebers will look at that photo and feel safe Jeff. Get well soon.

arn said...

hope you feel better soon.

Zak Avery said...

How alarmingly unpleasant - I hope you're all better now.

Just to demonstrate how irritating an individual I really am, I think you probably had a cannula in your arm - I'd hope the doctor would have stopped the students had they tried the same thing with a catheter.

Jeff Pickthall said...

Thanks Zak. Indeed it was a cannula.

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