We planned this Scotland trip in November last year. We had been looking forward to a four day backpack with a day in Oban and then a day somewhere else at the end of our walk before heading back home.
It didn't come to fruition.
We were leaving home last Friday, but the day before I walked the 9.5 miles into Manchester with a few miles wandering around to buy a gas canister.
During the day I had a bit of a sore spot in the roof of my mouth, I thought nothing of it and on getting home applied some numbing gel and forgot about it.
We set off for Tyndrum early Friday morning before the rush hour started and it wasn't too long before my mouth was really sore.
Leaving the car in Tyndrum we got the train to Oban where we were to start a walk up Loch Etive and spend some time having a look at Glen Noe and Glen Kinglass.
We checked into Oban hostel and looked at the TGO Challenge sign out sheet to see who had set off. There was a surprising few withdrawals too.
During the evening the pain in my mouth was getting ridiculous, like every tooth in my upper jaw had toothache. I took quite a few pain killers and anti inflammatory pills. They didn't help much.
I didn't drop off to sleep until 2.30 am and was awake at 5.30am.
I checked dentists, none open Saturday. I checked the Walk in clinic, not open Saturday. We went to a chemist and found out that the hospital has a dental dept but it didn't open until 1.00pm.
We had booked the train to Taynuilt and it left at 12.11pm.
The decision was made. We would get the train all the way back to Tyndrum and give it 24 hrs to see if there was any improvement. If not we were going home.
I was not in a good place at this time.
We pitched the tent on By the Way site and went to bed.
We had a few hours needed sleep. The mouth however was now quite swollen as well as painful.
Eventually the morning came and I decided to give it until tomorrow. After all it was Sheila's holiday.
We drove to Bridge of Orchy, parked and walked the West Highland Way to Forest Lodge and then down to Clashgour Hut in Kinglass. Then walked the return.
We bumped into 3 challengers. Denis Cullen, Lindy Griffiths and Tom from Minnesota. We also walked passed Bertie, Mick and Gayle's beautiful camper van.
Monday morning brought about the obvious decision that I had to get my mouth looked at. We packed up very quietly at 6.30 am and set off home. Sheila rang my dentist and I managed to get an emergency appointment.
Being a little succinct here, 4 dentists looked at my mouth and were stumped at what they saw. There was a lot of whispered talk, prodding, X-rays and the diagnosis was 'erm we don't know but it's not an ulcer, it's not an abscess and it's not a dodgy tooth or jaw, it's a swelling caused by something else but I think I can confidently say it's not cancer.
They took photographs and were sending them off somewhere for analysis. And thats where we are today although the pain has decreased.
Such a shame for Sheila as holidays are precious. I feel a let down.