MInding my own business in the linen room I was unpacking and putting away the seven million tonnes of sheets, duvet covers and towels that the nice man from the laundry left for me.
I bent down to pick up a bale of towels I was suddenly and unexpectedly kicked in the ribs by a horse. What the fu…..? Fell out of my mouth as I dropped to my knees with the severity of the pain. I turned to see where this horse had been hiding as I hadn’t noticed any horses in the linen room when I went in. Sneaky little bastard packed a hell of a kick. Strangely, there was no horse, just the pain in my ribs that came from nowhere.
After a minute I got my breath back and gingerly carried on putting the linen away. Too scared to bend much in case it happened again.
When everything was away I went downstairs and told Boofuls what had just happened while I examined my aching ribs convinced that there should be a rapidly developing bruise there. No bruise. How odd. The rest of the day and the next couple of days I hobbled around clutching my side and waited for the pain to ease while still inspecting my side convinced that I would see a massive bruise there.
On the third day (Oh, it’s sounding a bit biblical now, isn’t it) I got up to cook breakfast for our many guests as normal, aware that my poor ribcage was feeling much, much worse. By the time we went up to service the rooms I could hardly walk upright. I would take a deep breath, hold on to a door frame and give the staff their instructions. As soon as they were out of sight I would slump down and cry with the pain.
This is bloody stupid, thought I as I hobbled into one of the bedrooms out of sight of the staff. At that point common sense kicked in and I phoned 111 giving them all the details and explained that I could hardly breathe never mind walk or work. The nice lady listened and then said, “Right, based on what you’ve told me I’m phoning an ambulance for you.”
“What? No! Ambulance? Why?”
“No. Rib pains. It’s not a heart attack.”
She asked me why I didn’t want to go to hospital so I told her the whole sorry saga about how I thought I was having a heart attack in April and wound up wasting valuable time and A&E services for nothing more than a panic attack. I was mortified at the time and didn’t want to repeat that experience when I absolutely knew this wasn’t my heart.
“Ok. I’ll get a paramedic to talk to you.” Anyway…long story short. After a chat with a lovely paramedic I waited all day for a doctor to phone me. That’s after being told to be ready to go immediately to an out of hours appointment. Eventually I saw a doctor. He told me I was suffering from something that used to be called the Devil’s grip. That’s dramatic but it did bloody feel like the devil had a firm grip on my ribs.
As it turned out I had torn one of the muscles between my ribs and that had become inflamed. Hence the sudden pain and burning. I was prescribed some fanbloodytasticIcouldselltheseforafortuneintown pain killers and told to rest. Ha! Rest. Doesn’t he know I run a lodging emporium? Actually, no, he doesn’t.
Lashes came and helped me as much as possible. In between tablets and sleep I eventually managed to get moving again but even now a month later I’m moving quite carefully.
Honestly, Boofuls and I have really had our money’s worth out of the NHS this year. We have practically been taking it in turns to be ill. On every one of the many occasions that we have needed help the staff and treatment we have received has been amazing. It’s very easy to criticise the NHS but we have seen first hand how the staff cope under ridiculous pressure put on them from further up the ladder. It’s time we realised what a fantastic resource we have there and start taking better care of it.