The Torrid Time

By Alison August 22, 2019 7 Comments 5 Min Read

Now then, did I ever tell you about the night I had a torrid time? Finley was at his drum lesson and to pass the time while I waited for him, I took myself to Tesco and rather randomly bought a slow cooker. Feeling rather pleased with myself I pushed my trolley into the dark car-park, bent over to tie my shoe-lace and rather promptly got knocked over by said trolley as a car reversed into it and sent me sprawling into a puddle.

Surviving this rather unexpected drama, I apologised to the lad that ran me over, got into my car and went to pick Finley up, who upon observing my muddy face, said “Oh my days, what happened to you?” and I said , “Oh my days, Finn, I’ve had the most torrid time!“. And oh how we laughed. Because obviously it wasn’t torrid at all and I had got myself a slow cooker into the bargain.

But this week I really did have a torrid time. You see I haven’t been feeling at all myself for weeks now and last month after using a horrible anti-antiperspirant that I should never have let near my person, I developed a lump under my arm that caused all kinds of palavas: from shrieking pain, to tingles up and down my right arm, a general sense of unease, an obsession with DR. Google, who said I was dead, and finally a visit to the doctor last Friday,who assured me that what I had, was likely an infected lymph gland or something utterly harmless and promptly issued antibiotics and a fungal cream and sent me on my way.

By Saturday night I was terribly sick and awfully sorry for myself. By Sunday I was in dreadful pain and tucked a hot water bottle under my arm and muttered darkly to Ste about what he would need to do if I was seriously ill, and then got undressed and found a crazy rash all over my right breast that struck me as proof that something awful had landed and I sobbed and sent myself to bed and Ste came up and informed me that said rash was the result of the heat of the hot water bottle and it would be gone by the morning and I told him he was fooling himself because peri-menopausal health anxiety had got me losing my mind, and soon after I fell asleep, and of course woke up without any rash at all because I’m ludicrous.

And then it was Monday and Dad arrived to stay and he had forgot his very necessary blood pressure tablets, and I was feeling truly terrible and couldn’t lift my arm, and felt terribly shivery and as if my entire chest was on fire and pretended I was perfectly well regardless, and Tuesday arrived and I had lost my appetite with sheer fright and Dad had a headache and so together we decided to go to the walk-in centre to address our situations and in we went and Dad’s blood pressure was berserk and the triage nurse said he needed to see a doctor straight away and then I went in and she said all my obs had gone nuts, that she couldn’t read my blood pressure at all so it must have gone off the scale, that my temperature was sky high and that everything I had told her and she had seen suggested that I had Sepsis and that both Dad and I should deliver ourselves to the A and E ward straight away before we dropped dead.

A double whammy! I went silent with the shock. While Dad managed his rather more rational feelings with aplomb. And there we were in the very waiting room we had last sat in together when Mum died, and the nurse said I was the healthiest looking Sepsis case she had ever seen and my blood pressure was perfectly normal, then Dad was prescribed emergency medication and told all would be well and I was carted off for blood tests from a young doctor who poked around my armpit and laughed out loud when I screamed when she hit upon a sore spot and then decided I needed an ECG so I was called next door and told to strip off and strip off I did and she declared my heart perfectly fine too, then told me to get dressed and flung the door open on to the waiting room where my Dad was sat next to a man with the worlds biggest blister on his shoulder and I was utterly topless and totally mortified and found my self nakedly waving at my own father and a complete stranger and muttering F*** My Life under my breath which you need to forgive me for because I was having a torrid time.

Heavens it was a drama. Then the beautiful, smiley doctor came back and said I had the merest hint of infection in my blood that the anti-biotics would treat once they had kicked in, and after much head muddling with her colleagues, they had decided that my sore little lump was 98% likely to be an infected cyst or gland, definitely nothing sinister, because I hadn’t been fatigued, not hot at night, had no other issues, or lumps, bumps or anything scary in my ample bosom and that all would be well, but if I wanted I could have an underarm scan at some point to determine whether it was a cyst that could be drained, (in case it got annoyed again in the future) and in the meantime I should carry on with antibiotics and paracetamol, and a bit if Ibuleve on my lump and try not to panic when Triage nurses decide to diagnose me with something so terribly drastic..

Two days later and no longer consumed by the truly dreadful panic that has utterly overwhelmed me in the past five weeks (to the point where I couldn’t think straight and spend far too much time prowling around the internet for information on being dead), I finally feel a whole lot better and have launched operation sort yourself out with a battery of new sleep bras that have stopped the burning, dragging feeling, hot magnesium baths, a caster oil pack under my arm that soothed me almost instantly, some super strong turmeric pills, and a menopause supplement to go into battle with the bonkers hormones sending me into endless anxieties.

And of course, just as our lovely NHS said it would, the antibiotics have taken the sting out of the lump and it has reduced in size and is no longer making me dramatic when I turn over in bed or pick up the kettle and will hopefully be gone altogether in a day or so.

So yes. A torrid time. Mostly because I worked myself into a frenzy I could barely share with anyone, and while trying to muddle along, I was planning my own funeral because the internet while truly wonderful, is also an insidious scare-mongering pest. Damnit.


  1. Laura says:

    Oh lovey! Oh, you poor thing… oh, hurrah for our NHS, boo hiss for silly triage nurses who over-err on the side of caution but have no need to scare you silly into the bargain…
    Laura x

  2. barbara d. says:

    I realize that all the trauma you went thru is not a bit funny, but I couldn’t help but smile a bit wickedly because I knew in the end that you would be okay. Your sense of humor has carried you through again!

  3. Gail says:

    Please forgive me…I know it was horribly torrid…but the way you described all of it made me laugh out loud. I love the idea of “operation sort yourself out” as we all get to that point sooner or later. I do relate in so many ways having gone through similar circumstances. I’m glad you and your dad are on the mend.

  4. Susan says:

    Wow! It does take a certain nature to have the week you had and be able to write something that both pulls at one’s heart strings and makes one laugh out loud! I hope you are without anything at all (other than a sleeve, perhaps) under your arm before too long!

  5. Karla says:

    Boy do I identify with this bonkers torridity! As a companion on your pre-menopausal journey, I do not know my own body or mind much anymore. Glad you are better. Grateful you shared.

  6. I do hope you are completely well by now.
    Also, since the word “torrid” has a different meaning here in the U. S. (ardent, passionate) I kept waiting for the story to take a different turn. 😉

    1. Alison says:

      Oh Deanna this made me giggle: I do so wish I had had a torrid night of that sort! (And I do believe I may have made up this meaning of torrid!)x

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