The time that I thought I was dying, but I only had a hangover.26th January 2023
Right, another slightly full-on week. I went to Dubai last Thursday to cover the opening of a new hotel out there (the one that Beyoncé sang at, coming to a Times Magazine near you soon), and since then it’s all been a bit mad.
I woke up on Saturday morning, ever so slightly hungover in my hotel room in Dubai, and thought I’d better check the papers at home since I knew a piece I’d written about my
lack of love life was running (you can read it HERE). Click, click, look at front page of Times, blimey! There I am looking a bit sad on the front page, asking why I’m still single. ‘I’d quite like to know the answer,’ said a WhatsApp from my mother.
No time to waste or overthink it, however, I needed to get out of bed and into a different hotel suite for some photographs. So I got up, made a coffee and was running a bath when something ripped in my left calf. It was like a very sharp, very hot cramp right inside it. Suddenly, I also felt quite sick and dizzy, so I decided to go and lie on the cool marble floor in the bathroom.
Some years ago, during my first job on the Evening Standard, a young journalist called Bella wrote a piece about getting DVT on holiday in Barbados and having to spend three weeks in hospital. Her point, I remembered, was that you didn’t have to be *of a certain age* to get it.
‘Oh my god, I’ve got DVT after the flight!’ I assumed, googling the symptoms while splayed out on the bathroom floor. Cramping pain in my calf, yes. Warm skin in the affected area, yes. Dizziness, yes. Shortness of breath, not sure but I sure felt quite panicked. Coughing up blood? I put a finger to my tongue and yelped when my saliva looked brown-ish, only to remember I’d just had half a mug of coffee.
The hotel front desk sent up a paramedic within three minutes and I staggered to the door and let the poor man in, clutching my dressing down, before falling back on my bed. He inspected my left calf, compared it to the right one, felt them both and asked a few questions.
‘It’s not DVT, ma’am,’ he told me after a few moments. ‘You need to drink some more water. Would you like me to rub some Voltarol in it?’
‘Yes, please,’ I murmured, like a Victorian lady who’d just fainted and called for her smelling salts.
I suspect the problem was caused by a pair of very high heels I’d worn the night before (this was Dubai, after all), which had caused me to pulled a muscle, and this, combined with my hangover, made me feel like I was dying. Either that, or it was the shock of seeing myself on front of The Times. Bless the nice paramedic. He left having rubbed Voltarol gel into it and, after a bath, I was absolutely fine. What drama. Yet again. Still, not quite as bad as the time I accidentally swallowed some of my face toner (2pc glycolic acid) and had to go to A&E in Cornwall. But that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, all recovered now and back home. It’s a WEEK until my new book is out. Again, you can buy it HERE if you like and you fancy a few February lols (HOW is it February next week???). I am feeling deeply unrelaxed about the whole thing and trying to work out what to wear for the launch party next week. Probably not heels.