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.


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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