24 - with everything apart from Kiefer Sutherland
On Wednesday afternoon I started to notice a dull ache in my chest that went all the way through to my back. I assumed it was muscular, but couldn't remember doing anything out of the ordinary.The dull ache continued but I had important stuff to do like school runs and bedtime stories to read so didn't give it much thought.
I settled down on the sofa to watch the Bionic Vet on BBC1 and made the mistake of idly thinking what else might have changed in the last few days to have caused this tightness that was bad enough to stop me bending to put the ironing away.
I'd been put on some tablets a few days before and I decided to look on the side effects data sheet for the first time.
"Urgent, if you experience chest pain seek medical advice immediately."
Noel Fitzpatrick was all teed up ready to watch, but I had to make a call to the GP, I couldn't ignore the warning now I'd read it. Their out-of-hours service was much more efficient than I'd expected. No 'we'll phone you back in up to an hour' routine, a simple 'an ambulance will be with you within five minutes'. Yikes!
I was in my pjs (and not even my best ones) and suddenly I had to contemplate being whisked off.
I grabbed the laptop, a copy of Private eye and my mobile and a dressing gown.(Forgot my keys or any money...tsk!)
In the blink of an eye I was attached to a heart monitor while still sitting on the sofa with Noel on pause. Then it was quickly off to casualty and loads more tests.
I had a temperature and a rash on my arms. But it was established pretty quickly I definitely wasn't having a heart attack.
It wasn't like an episode of House, no one contemplated much as to what was causing the pain or broke into our house to find rare funghi - it was late at night and as they ruled out imminent death I was out of there.
I had noticed my gum had been swollen up for a few days but as it didn't hurt I'd assumed it could wait. I mentioned it to the doctor in casualty in passing, but he didn't think it was significant and didn't look.
I called a cab so husband didn't have to wake up son Kieran who had managed to sleep through the whole ambulance incident.
Getting into a cab in your pjs is a very odd experience.
I was still feeling grotty, but I was very relieved I wasn't about to pop off!
I was back in time for a couple of hours kip before the school run.
When I got back I thought the sofa looked most attractive and finally watched The Bionic Vet, it was very good. Better than I expected somehow, but maybe it was all the anticipation!
Anyway, gum felt a bit different so went to look in the mirror.
Disgusting green stuff was pouring out of it, it really did look like a scene from the Exorcist - or maybe the Exorcyst!
I phoned the dentist who obligingly said to come immediately despite my unexplained absence from his surgery since 2006!
In the next hour I started to feel so much better. Chest pain went and generally it was like someone had turned the brightness up! The gum infection was almost like the vuvuzela noise at the world cup. You start to tolerate it, but life is so much more pleasant when it stops!
I was fit and well to attend Kieran's end of year prize giving that afternoon and was just so delighted to see him win a cup for academic achievement (he's only nine and did have to ask the teacher to explain what academic achievement was!)
As I was awaiting the ambulance the night before it did cross my mind I might not see him ever again if the night got much worse.
So, if there is a lesson to be learned it is:
Look after everyone's teethA simple gum infection can make you feel terrible but at least we can pick up the phone and tell someone if it hurts. Our poor old dogs need us to keep checking them.