It was a perfect storm.
In the run-up to Christmas break, everyone was busy and self-absorbed. I stopped shaving and soon a beard was evident. Then there was the festive break, during which my beard flourished.
I ate too much and drank too much and did not exercise enough during the festive break, so I resolved to lose weight in the New Year — much like everyone else.
I returned to the office with a beard and on a diet.
Over January I lost over 5kg by skipping bread, potatoes, and alcohol. (protip)
On the last day of January, I shaved off my beard. That was when the problems started. I woke up on 1st February with a crick on my neck. It was very painful and I had to tilt my head to the left to gain pain relief.
I now think it was the head tilt, the beard loss and the weight loss – whatever it was, my client looked at me and freaked out.
“Do you feel alright, Dave?”
“Come with me”
I followed him to the main boardroom where a meeting was going on.
“Sorry guys, sorry to interrupt, but look at Dave – what do you think?”
I stood there, ignominiously, as people stared at my face, intently, deliberately and solemnly.
“Get him to hospital”
My eyes widened.
Suddenly I was told to go straight to the nearest hospital. I was also told to leave my car and they got a colleague to drive me to the hospital right away and without delay.
Scary. Serious. WTF?
How weird did I feel? Imagine how you would feel. They thought I was having a stroke!
Minutes later, and I am in the A&E department of Monklands Hospital. I am Whisked into a bay, the curtains were drawn. Blood was drawn too – and a catheter installed in my right hand. I was tested for mental agility, I got an ECG print out, I had a sip test. All sorts of things were done and I was thoroughly checked over.
All in all I was whisked from my desk at 1pm and eventually made it home alive at 8pm. That’s a long, stressful shift. My wife and children arrived to relieve my colleague. And what was the verdict?
Nice to know.
On the other hand, people think I have had a stroke just because I am ugly.