Basically, the pain was in my neck and I instantly knew what it was. You see, I have an old injury - actually I have no idea when it happened - that flares up every 6-12 months or so. And when it does flare up, I know I will be spending a couple of days in bed. Except that unfortunately, I was in a hotel in Gladstone, due to sign on at 0550 to fly home, and then operate a couple of other flights.
I was awake until 0400 or so, struggling with the idea of calling sick at an outport, what the consequences would be, and whether I could improve my neck enough with ice (the room service peeps brought me two giant bags which then proceeded to flood the fridge/carpet as they melted as I didn't have a freezer!) and painkillers to make it back to Brisbane. No such luck, and finally I had to call crewing and break the bad news. They were cool about it, I guess that a) I'm pretty reliable in general and b) they didn't have any other option.
At this point, I finally managed to get some sleep and woke at around 0730 to start trying to find a doctor. The problem was that it was a Saturday, and Gladstone to boot. The rule is that if you go sick at an outport, mid duty or on an overnight, you have to see a doctor and get medical clearance to pax home. This was not going to happen, as doctors were not available until the afternoon, and as they had not only cancelled my flight (sorry peeps) but being a Saturday, the last flight out was at 1040 and then the next one was at 1255 the next day! Not cool.
Thankfully my manager proved to be a hero and let me pax back without seeing a doctor. It was a very difficult flight sitting upright but my FO drove me home - as she lives in the next suburb - and it was ever so nice to crawl into my own bed. There is a home doctor service that I was able to call, he came around and wasn't particularly useful except to say that I could have a sick certificate. He prescribed some muscle relaxants, which a) I won't take because I don't know if they're OK with work and b) I can't take because I have no car to get me to the pharmacy.
By the evening I was feeling much better so decided to try to clean the kitchen before I went back to bed, which was a bad idea so I stopped doing that. I had a much better night's sleep last night, although this morning I am incredibly stiff and fairly sore. I am starting to do some exercises and massaging my neck so hopefully it will loosen up enough during the day for me to pick up my car tonight.
As far as breakfast was concerned, I had shortbread and black coffee. Not exactly healthy but I have a great excuse so - winning! There is plenty of steak in the fridge, although it is expired. I am flexible with steak expiry though - if it smells good, it is good - and some places age it up to 180 days!