2019 so far…

2019 hasn’t been kind to me & my family so far but I’m hoping it can only get better.

Not looking my best but hubby took this as I’d finally fallen asleep.

In January I thought I started with a cold or something as had earache & the tingle of a cold sore on my left side so took the usual paracetamol and cream to sort the cold sore and didn’t think any more about it.  The next morning I woke up & the whole left side of my face was tingling which felt very strange.  It got worse as the day went on so I got an appointment at the doctor’s for that afternoon so went about an hour later.  The doctor thought it could be the start of ‘Shingles’ so gave me some medication for the pain and advised I would become ill over the next few days and then get a rash as I had caught it very early.

Unbeknown to me did I know that the pain would get worse as the night went on – I was in agony with the pain in my face and kept having these shooting pains – the best way to describe – an electric shock down my face.  This made me scream out in pain as were unbearable so much so Adam (hubby) called 111 as he was really worried.  We got an appointment at the ‘Walk-In Centre’ at midnight so we went to see an advance nurse who gave me stronger painkillers but didn’t think it was Shingles and mentioned something else but I couldn’t remember what she’d said.  I managed with the pain until I could go back to GP the next morning but at 3 am I woke up with such pain in my face and couldn’t breathe, it was like someone was sat on my chest – panic set in so Adam called 999 and the paramedics came out.  By the time they got there, my breathing had eased and all obs were normal apart from the face pain, one of them said it sounds like ‘Trigeminal Neuralgia’ and explained about another patient they had treated.  They were fabulous and calmed me down and advised I go back to GP 1st thing.

We did this and my doctor checked their notes and agreed this could be my problem, so more medication given for this and even stronger painkillers for the pain.  The shocks came as & when with no warning & extremely painful making me cry and scream out in pain, I didn’t sleep much.  I was sent to the hospital as a referral the following week and waited all day to be told what my GP had told me – I thought I was having a scan but no – fobbed off!!

This went on for 5 weeks with the pain easing as the medication was increased gradually to maintain the pain.  I couldn’t work as talking too much made my tongue go numb and constant earache in my left ear.  The worst thing is you can’t see it unless I get a surge of pain but these have eased off, sneezing is the worst and I just avoid doing what can trigger them.

I am getting better now as the medication is working on the higher dose and am returning to work on reduced hours & hope to be back to normal soon.  I will be on the meds for a while and then come off them and see how I go but could have this for life but in remission as they call it at the moment. I am still waiting for that scan to rule out anything more serious.


3 weeks ago we also had to have our beloved ‘Patch’ put to sleep as his doggy dementia had got a lot worse so it was the kindest thing to do – this knocked me for six even though we knew this day was coming – didn’t make it any easier and I am really missing him sleeping under my desk as I work.  He chose us 15 years ago at RSPCA and we never looked back.


He came everywhere possible with us – up North to see family, holidays, lovely walks out & dog-friendly pubs for meals.

R.I.P beautiful boy – mummy loves you!

The end of last year I lost one of my cats too – I have 3 cats now and hope to not have to go to the vets or doctors for me for a while now.

2019 needs to get a whole lot better.

So give your fur babies an extra special hug daily for me.




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About Me

My name is Barbara Hopley (my real surname is now Neale) but most people call me ‘Babs’ – doesn’t sound as old as I’m not really that old. I am passionate about Cruise and have over 30 years of experience of travel knowledge. After working for various travel companies I…

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