So since 9am today has not been the greatest day. I’m not going in to too many details, but I had to make a trip to the emergency room of the local hospital in Glasgow for anti-biotics after I came down with a fairly debilitating fever earlier today, and this prevented me from spending the day at Edinburgh Castle as I had planned and hoped to do. I’m fine now – I have a prescription and have had a long sleep today, and the fever has passed, but it’s left me a little weak. I have a great body for responding to treatment though, so I’m confident that all will be well by tomorrow, and I’ll be able to return to my wonderful holiday. I’ll spend the rest of the day walking very slowly around the West End and eating a bit more than I have been – I had skipped all of my meals other than breakfast yesterday and had not yet had breakfast this morning when I came down with these symptoms.
I want to make a point though, of thanking the Western Infirmary (a Glasgow hospital) and the UK National Health Service for the absolutely wonderful assistance they provided for me today. When I was on the verge of fainting, they took me in and treated me immediately and even made sure I was okay to walk before they called me a cab back to the hotel with my prescription and instructions to rest. And this was all provided for free. As a tourist I thought I would be billed for visiting the hospital, but they assured me that this is what the NHS is all about. And their sympathy and understanding was just fantastic. Rather than being terrified of a sudden and virulent illness, caught in a strange land, I felt protected and confident in the treatment I was receiving. It was just remarkable and a testament to a fabulous health care system. To the staff at Western Infirmary then, and the cab drivers who offered to assist me walking and tried to cheer me up when I was ashen-faced, my sincere and enduring thanks. If ever there’s an indication of the quality of a people, it is how they respond when you are in need. And from my experience today, I have to say the Scottish are some of the most generous and sympathetic people I’ve ever known. Thank you, all.