17 June 2009

Scoring Drugs in Manchester

I'm ill.

Again.

This time it's not my manky hand, which has cleared up nicely - thanks for asking.

Now I have an ear infection, which feels not too dissimilar to earwigs crawling around inside my head while being prodded with a red hot poker.

Nice.

I wouldn't say I was prone to the,, but have had a nasty one before, around 3 years ago. I ignored it for a couple of days, then went to the GP for some antibiotics. He gave me flucloxacillin, which didn't touch it, so 36 hours later Mrsslippy was driving me to A&E to get a second opinion as to why half my head was red and swollen, and my ear sticking out at a right angle.

It was only her promise to bring me straight back in if my head started to split open that prevented admission and IV antibiotics.

Instead, I was allowed to leave with some oral Ciprofloxacin, and a wick inserted into my ear canal to allow the transit of drops in one direction, and pus in the other.

Removal of pus from a manky ear is a tricky one. You can't lie on the affected side to allow it to drain at it's own rate, so instead sleep with it facing upwards as the goo slowly creeps up and up like an overfilled bath.



In the morning, you sit upright and

EUREKA!

Half a pint of putrefied skin cells and blood running down your shoulder.

So when I was woken up yesterday morning at 4am with a burning sensation that I recognised all too well, I though I ought to act promptly.

Biggest problem - I wasn't at home with access to my GP, but away at a Conference in Manchester.

I watched the clock until the hotel started serving breakfast at 7am, and after a coffee and fruit juice (being all I could manage as moving my jaw was very uncomfortable due to swelling), headed out to find the nearest pharmacy.

As luck would have it, there was one just opening at 7.30 not far from the hotel.

Now in fairness, I probably wasn't looking my best. I'd got my most comfortable (read 'tatty') jeans on, a vintage/distressed T-shirt, my comfy (again read 'fucked') Adidas, had managed very little sleep, and hadn't shaved in 5-6 days.

Yet in I ambled. Looking like shit, in a pharmacy that was miles from any actual residential areas, and clearly not looking like I was on my way to work in the City.

And my opening gambit?

A not very well thought out 'I..er...don't come from round here...but I'm going to be here for a few days...and er... I think I need some antibiotics and strong painkillers.....so I can't see my GP....cos he's not in Manchester...'

I got a pitying, patronising look from the pharmacist, and directions to the nearest free health clinic for 'People with no GP"

Great. She thinks I'm a homeless....

Unperturbed, I thanked her for her assistance, and walked a bit further down the road to the local Boots, and bought some Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, and asked for any topical drops or sprays for treating the symptoms of external otisis.

Bought and paid for, back to the hotel for shower and shave, and on with the conference.

Somehow I managed to get through my presentation, which by all accounts was excellent (if by all accounts you count the evaluation forms that I read, which would have been just mine, on which I wrote 'I thought I was great!)

Job done, a quick Google, and assisted by Latitude I managed to find an NHS walk in centre at Piccadilly Station, and saw a very nice nurse who prescribed me some anti-biotics and topical steroids.

Unfortunately, they weren't overly receptive to my suggestion that Fluclox did fuck all last time, and I'd probably be better off with Cipro, he thought I should still probably try the Fluclox first.

So a fortnight after finishing the last course of it, I'm back on it again.....

I even managed to see the pharmacist I'd first approached that very morning.

'Good afternoon' said I.

'I've come back for some antibiotics with a prescription this time'

I watched her preparing it, giving me puzzled glances every few seconds.

She might have just thought I was being a bit random, or maybe she was just trying to work out when she'd seen me earlier.

I like to think she was thinking 'Who the hell did that fucking tramp nick a suit off?'


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