The next day I woke at 11am, having gotten a medium amount of sleep. Around 1pm I was finally able to drag myself out of bed enough to get to the hospital again (via taxi) and get my medication. It was hell.
[As a funny side story as I was doubled over in pain handing in my prescription papers to the receptionist at the pharmacy, I noticed she had a spider on her neck (a real one) and calmly noted my observation to her. She freaked out and eventually smashed it into the ground. I guess I should have expected that this would have been the natural reaction. Better aware and take care of the problem than unaware and bitten though, right?]
I got back home and basically lay horizontal for the next two days, waiting for the medication to kick in. Please note that this medication was not a pain killer, nor had I been prescribed any painkillers.
The pain did not subside. Nor did my condition get any better.
By Wednesday, two days after I'd originally gone to A&E, I dragged my ass back there to get a second opinion. This was getting ridiculous.
By 5pm I was at A&E. This time the wait was longer, having arrived during the day when normal people are awake and thinking about their problems. Definitely an hour and a half wait to get through triage this time. Luckily though it wasn't a trip to the emergency services section though; instead I got a doctor who seemed to know what I was talking about as he suffers from the same thing.
And instead of prescribing me meds through the pharmacy, he told me to go to a supermarket and get some over the counter meds that would both kill the pain and take care of the solution in the short term. My kind of doctor.
So I did just that. Instead of taxiing home to my apartment I stopped at the Waitrose next to my place and greedily pillaged the shelves for my heavenly solution. I've never been so crazy about finding something in a supermarket.
Admittedly the walk home almost killed me, but that's neither here nor there. Who knew that one block could be so difficult? I've run half marathons for gods sake!
But back in my apartment, laid out on the couch with my short term meds, I felt a peace settle over me like never before.
The next day was like rebirth; I almost began to feel human again. Not human enough to go to the office, but I wasn't writhing in pain and wishing that I would die. Certainly progress.
By Thursday afternoon my boss was calling me, asking if I was coming in on Friday. Not that she minded I was taking sick leave (something that I basically never do), but my intern's last day was on Friday. And I was supposed to supply the farewell card. And the project I'd been leading was also closing on that Friday and I was supposed to give the presentation to the stakeholders. Right, I had a job.
I promised I would load up on meds and make it to the office. Arrangements were made.
As an ending to this story I did make it through the next day at the office, though I was extremely tired by the time I got home at 6pm. Who would have known.
They never did quite figure out what was wrong with me, since all of my tests came back completely normal with one slightly elevated level of something in my blood. It's been two weeks now and the pain has not completely faded. I've now seen a normal doctor to get more tests about it.
In conclusion I'd have to say that British emergency services: not bad but not amazing. I do like that everything is free (still a novelty to me) but generally speaking...I hope never to have to use them ever again.