Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Best Christmas Gift

Is not being in hospital.

I've never really been (touch wood) a person with extensive experience of hospitals, sickness or ill health. Oh sure, I've done stupid things and got mended and sent away again, or toddled off to get jabbed and poked as required (travel injections, smear tests etc). But I've never actually been properly unwell.

Until I ended up in A and E, six months pregnant with a pulse of 154 bpm at 1am, a long way from home after a work event, freaked out and frightened and feeling terrible/terrified in equal measure. The lovely staff wanted to admit me, I wanted to go home. We compromised- I saw my equally brilliant GP later in the day and spent a week in bed with what I can only describe as the most god awful achy flu. The next time someone with a cough and sore throat tells me they have flu I'll flip. Getting out of bed to get a drink of water left me exhausted and in pain, it was that ridiculous. I had more blood tests later in the week, and noises were made about other more serious underlying problems. The tests for the serious scary things were clear, and the accompanying threat of being admitted to hospital was lifted, and I'm feeling better all round.

The whole experience has underlined something I've blogged about before, a pet hate of being an archaeologist. When people say, oh, don't you wish you lived in the Etruscan period? The answer is no. Not for a moment. Not for a second. I live in a country with a stretched but at heart strong health care service, which can whip up an x-ray, ECG, heart trace, white blood cell count in the middle of the night. Which can tell me that my galloping heart won't hurt the adored little parasite that is living in my lower abdomen. Thank Tinia, Menrva and the rest of the Etruscan pantheon for that.

And Merry Christmas to you too. More archaeology and less moaning in 2015. Promise.

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