When we cruise we want to inspect every last inch of our new found floating home but there is one place most of us never want to see and that is the onboard medical centre.
As I am so fortunate I did end up visiting this place once, not by choice of course, but thought I would share it with you anyway, why not, we are all friends here!
Just 3 days before my cruise last September I suffered a pretty awful allergic reaction. I did seek medical help at home but clearly the medication I was given was not strong enough.
It was the day of my cruise, the red bumps I now had along with the swelling of my hands and face were sent from the devil himself and they did not let up. My journey to Southampton was nothing short of a nightmare; I was so uncomfortable but got there in one piece. I continued to put up with it for the entire first night onboard but come the first full day of the cruise I awoke to find my mouth and eyes had swollen up again! I decided I needed to see the onboard doctor. After all it was not letting up and my mouth could easily have been followed by my throat which would have been an entirely different situation.
The fun started here, I was actually really impressed at how nice the medical centre was. It was a bright area, not too intimidating like some GP surgery’s at home can be and everyone was very friendly. I waited patiently until it was my turn all the while holding my hand to my mouth because I was so embarrassed at the size of my lip! It was like something out of a cartoon although friends kept telling me it wasn’t that bad, to me it was and I wanted rid of it.
Eventually I was called in to see the nurse, she was wonderful, so friendly and tried so hard to make me feel more comfortable but she knew it was not going to happen. She done the usual blood pressure tests etc and then looked slightly concerned. My heart was racing, I explained in this situation it always does it’s nothing to worry about even though her machine was bleeping loudly and continuously, she eventually accepted that’s all it was after a few minutes of checking and double checking and then sent me back out into the waiting area.
Next it was time to see the doctor, I explained what happened and he agreed it was a severe allergic reaction but that I clearly needed a stronger medication. So he sent me back off to enjoy my cruise with a tub full of cream and some more pills, telling me if my throat started to swell to either go back down or dial 999 from any of the ships telephones. Within 12 hours the swelling had gone and the redness was starting to ease. Cost me a small fortune but it was worth it, I could finally wear my sun dress!
I wanted to share this with you because I know so many people do need medical attention whilst on holiday and it can certainly add more stress to the situation knowing you are on a ship in the middle of nowhere and are relying on these people and their equipment to help. I took a good look around the room when I was waiting for the doctor to write my prescription and I really was stunned. Everything you could think of was there! Along with about 30 other passengers by the time I came out all with the same problem……they had forgotten their medications!
Everything was spotless and seemed ready to go in a split second if need be. The staff were wonderful, I did have to wait quite a while to be seen and they could have done with having maybe one other doctor onboard but overall it was a positive experience from a bad situation.
One thing I also noted was one woman had forgotten her medication and she named a specific brand. The nurse told her they did not stock it but had another brand which was exactly the same. The lady was happy with this but they also told her if she needed anything else they could get it for her at the next port of call. This passenger was quite elderly and I imagine for her this was a huge help and relief, there must be nothing worse than worrying about medications and the possibility of not being able to get it.
So the point of today’s blog, if you get sick at sea and it’s not from the motion don’t worry!! You really are in good hands!