|Confused? I was.|
|It even moved off with me still inside!|
Everyone was pretty nice about me being ill and Toti Gifford even gave me a lift to the new site (Stadhampton) in his lorry, equipped with cabin bed for any invalids. The next day I managed to avoid heavy lifting during the big top construction. Instead I sat in the box office with a Lemsip willing customers not to come, lest I coughed on them. And many a coughing fit I did have and sometimes, indeed, on customers. Poor things. Luckily Rosie, the box office manager, had booked me a doctor's appointment in Wheatley (nearby civilsation!) and so off we went in her newly refurbished Beatle at the allotted time. Except we ended up driving in the wrong direction (I should have told her I was rubbish at map reading!) and by the time we had turned around we'd missed the appointment! Argh! Instead we ended up in Tesco, where Rosie bought Red Bull and scented candles and I bought fruit for the journey home. And as it was my day off the next day, I was going home to visit my parents. Relief! After an arduous train journey with many delays, I arrived in Wales and into the arms of my worried parents. It turns out I'd been working with a high temperature and severe bronchitis for 2 weeks. I spent my day off in bed, worrying about the next day when I would have to go back to work in the dusty surroundings again. However, the next day I wasn't better and nor the next. My breathing had got really bad and I went to the doctor as a precautionary measure. I never expected her to tell me to go to hospital!
I thought the doctor was joking, but she clearly wasn't. I didn't realise things had got so bad. I had to wait around for 5 hours in the Medical Assessment Unit and have X-rays, and horrible blood tests including an ABG (apparently one of the most painful blood tests available). Yey! Luckily I didn't have to stay in overnight- instead I was let off with a caution and a plethora of inhalers.
After this somewhat scary experience I really thought long and hard about going back to the circus. As much as I loved and took pride in the show and all the work I was doing, it was clear it was doing me no good. The strenuous work and damp, dusty conditions were not ideal for Sarah survival. I needed a house at this very moment in time. Everyone and sensible me agreed that I needed to get better at home, and so this is what I did. I sadly collected my things from my bunk (my dad panicked at the amount of medication and the general muddy condition of my living quarters) and said goodbye to the circus. Nellie the elephant sprang to mind.
So although my time with Giffords had come to an end, I had a great time and will treasure those crazy memories. I am now, luckily, pretty well recovered, but it's been rather strange flitting from a corporate London office job to a field with a professional travelling circus to a home in Wales with my parents. I'm starting to train with my aerial hoop again at Nofit State in Cardiff and have met some great people! Next stop, another big top? Maybe not in the rain and mud this time...