Saturday Finally Arrived…

Image by Pixabay.com

 I’m sure it wasn’t my imagination, but last week seemed to crawl … each day longer than the one before as we waited for the day of the MRI to arrive…

Apart from the time Anita broke her ankle a few years ago – she hasn’t needed any medical attention in the last fifty years, which is just as well, for she wouldn’t have gone anyway! She hates doctors and hospitals, but luckily, always been disgustingly healthy…. which has left her without the patience necessary for a sick person!

When Saturday finally arrived, our nerves were stretched to the limit. There were quite a few iffy moments, moments where Anita swore (literally) that she wouldn’t be going, that she couldn’t stand any more of the waiting and worrying. I tried hard not to dwell on what might happen if she stuck her heels in, but luckily, she didn’t push it.

We gave ourselves two hours to get to Basingstoke hospital as we hadn’t been there before and uncertain about the route and the traffic.

Better to arrive miles to early than to risk being late!

We hadn’t gone far before we were diverted. I should have known then that fate was having a laugh, for this diversion seemed to encompass the whole of Hampshire, taking us far away from Basingstoke. I didn’t think we would ever find it the blessed place. The satnav was as confused as we were, kept changing her mind and issuing ridiculous directions. In the end, we simply followed the diversion signs and prayed we wouldn’t end up in Land’s End.

Fate didn’t stop laughing when we finally drove into the hospital car park, either. It was the wrong one for the MRI clinic. By this time, we were all frazzled, and there was steam coming out of Anita’s ears!

We finally found it with literally minutes to spare…

We were not allowed into the waiting room, so retired to the car. Luckily, we managed to grab a free coffee and found somewhere shady to drink it in.

The MRI took just over an hour, and from Anita’s account, it was a miserable experience. The room was too hot, the machine cramped and noisy, and she had to keep her face mask on all the time.

When she emerged, with large dressings on both arms from the injections, she looked exhausted, but extremely glad to see us.

Image by Pixabay.com

Driving home, exhausted but glad it was all over, our stomachs started rumbling, so when we spotted a Welcome Break nestled among the trees, we didn’t hesitate. We ended up eating our lunch in the middle of a beautiful pine forest, a peaceful haven so far removed from the morning we just had as it was possible to get. The fried chicken never tasted so good!

Image by Pixabay.com

The only thing left to do now, is wait for the verdict!

P.S. We want to thank everyone for their good wishes, hugs and prayers… I really think they have helped so much with Anita’s recovery…

Progress Report!

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This is going to be a hard week to get through!

We now have a date for Anita’s MRI –1st August — Saturday!

We also had a phone call check up this morning from the cardiology department. They asked a million questions but seemed happy with Anita’s progress. She is a lot stronger, but the stairs still leave her struggling to breathe, which is a worry.

I’m doing a fair bit of struggling of my own, too — what with running the household and all my other jobs. Some housework is being done, but nowhere near enough!

Most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing, or if I have forgotten anything as I’m concentrating so hard to make Anita well again. Her medication is complicated, nine different kinds of pills every day. 

Number one son brought one of those weekly pill boxes, which has helped a lot. At least I can now see immediately if I have missed any!

I find myself thinking about some funny things these days, even with all the stress, which is rather odd seeing as how I can’t persuade my brain to do anything for me. I would have thought it would welcome the time off, or does it know something I don’t?

Perhaps it’s trying to get my attention?

Not a chance mate, if the WIP can’t do it, I don’t think anything else will.

I have been reading some interesting posts lately, about goals, ambitions and what most of us settle for and maybe we shouldn’t?

I have the ill-gotten reputation for being a bit clever, but I’ll let you into a secret. I’m the world’s best winger!

I love to make all manner of craft work, plus knitting, crochet, and dressmaking. I cook and paint and have two sets of green fingers. Most of what I make looks passable, but is any of it really great? Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between good and brilliant!

The phrase ‘Jack of all Trades, master of none’ runs through my head, making me wonder if I should stop trying everything and concentrate on just one thing and try for perfection.

As writing is my most favourite thing, maybe I should start with a creative writing course? Any ideas, anyone?


I spotted this somewhere, and couldn’t resist sharing it!

He gets my vote!

#BlogBattle ~ Wretched

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#BlogBattle: Wretched

Blogbattle_WRETCHED

July 2020 Blog Battle

The word this month is:

Wretched


(Dictionary definition)

Living in misery
Attended by misery and woes
Inferior in performance or quality
Very unpleasant: deplorable

For the past two weeks, it has been a case of all the above, since Anita, the head of our family had a nasty heart attack. She also had pneumonia, which was complicating matters even further, but due to the corona virus lockdown, we were not allowed to visit her in the hospital.

So for seven miserable and wretched days we worried our socks off at home, wondering what was going on and how Anita was feeling.

On the third day, we managed to acquire the number of the telephone, which was conveniently right next to Anita’s bed, which enabled us to speak to her and find out how she was feeling and what had been happening. This contact was a godsend for all of us and went a long way to keeping us from self-detonating!

Anita is back home now, but the misery is still present, although not as intense as it was before, as she is still very ill. She has extensive damage to her heart and as yet no way of knowing the exact prognosis. There is a waiting list for the MRI which will ascertain the damage, but until that day arrives, wretched will unfortunately be the order of the day…

Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Anita’s Heart, and where we are now…

Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

Seven years ago, when I had my heart attack, I was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night. The ambulance crew ran the tests on the way, and when I arrived at the hospital, I was taken straight to the Cath Lab, where a stent was fitted in the failing artery.

I went home the following day, as right as ninepence…

I know most of the family were expecting something similar when Anita collapsed and was diagnosed with heart failure last week.

Unfortunately, she was not so lucky.

This past week has been upsetting, confusing and frustrated us all to hell and back. Due mainly to the restricted access to information because of Covid 19. We couldn’t visit Anita, and the doctors are so busy, nailing one of them down for a detailed explanation was well nigh impossible. We had to gradually piece together all the scraps of information until we had a clearer picture, but the result of our detective work was heart breaking. Ours that is…

Not only did Anita have a nasty chest infection, and a build up of fluid on her lungs, but her heart was so severely damaged that any treatment apart from medication would probably have killed her.

So we, and the doctors played a waiting game for most of the week, adjusting her medication repeatedly until she began to respond. Anita didn’t become stable (don’t you just love that expression?) until late on Thursday.

And this is where the confusion started again in earnest. They began talking about Anita coming home over the weekend. But how could she come home without any treatment for her damaged ticker?

It wasn’t until we became first class pests that we learned of their plan.

Because of Covid 19 and the incredible workload at the hospital, and taking into account Anita’s increasing cabin fever, it was decided to allow her to come home to continue to recover until she was well enough for an MRI to assess the extent of the damage to her heart. Only then would they know how to treat it.

So, as of late Saturday afternoon, we collected Anita and became official carers. Armed with a pharmacy of pills, a strict regime, and orders to make sure she rested, we knew it was down to us to keep her going…

But I am sure that all your good wishes, hugs and healing prayers played a huge part in getting Anita this far, and we (the whole Dawes family) thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

Breaking News!

These are virtual flowers for Anita

Yesterday was a very bad day for all the family.

We received a worrying update from the hospital that literally ripped us all to pieces. We all cried as the enormity of the doctors words slowly sank in. Anita’s heart was so seriouly damaged that the only thing they could safely do for her at the moment, was to continue all the medications and hope she could rally under her own steam.

This morning I was determined to try and speak to Anita, as they did say it might be possible and that was good enough for me. The hospital phone line was busy for the longest time but when they finally answered me and I was put through to the ward, I was told there was a phone in her room and if I hung for a minute, she would get me the number.

Minutes later, I heard Anita’s voice…

I expected to hear a frail old lady, for that was how she looked the last time I saw her. Imagine my surprise, when the voice I knew so well, greeted me with all the bounce and enthusism I knew of old. She sounded well, strong and as cheerful as always. Of course, I gently quizzed her for details and everything she spoke of sounded hopeful and encouraging. They were really impressed with her progress and even mentioned being able to go home at the weekend!

We talked for ages, passing the phone back and forth with her son Stephen, and when we finally signed off as they had come to check on something, it was two very relieved people who hung up the phone. We passed the phone number on to the rest of the family, as they were desperate to hear her voice too.

Tomorrow we hope to hear when they will be taking Anita to the Cath Lab for an angiogram to assess the damage and the necessary treatment…

We are so grateful for all the prayers and good wishes coming in from all over the world, and I’m sure they all had a part in her amazing progress!

Strange Timing #Poetry

Strange Timing!

Walking home from the library
A man rushing in the opposite direction
bumped into me, almost knocking me off my feet.
If I hadn’t stood with my mouth open
Wanting to let loose a few blue words
I would have stepped off the kerb
Instead of the young man just ahead of me
Now lying in the road in front of a black cab.
I should have been the one lying there
I couldn’t help feeling that death
would be waiting around every corner
to collect the soul he had missed.
Was it strange timing,
or an angel that had bumped my shoulder?

©anitadawes 2020


Heartbreaking News!

Strange timing indeed, when I chose this poem by Anita for todays post, for late yesterday afternoon, we had to rush Anita to the emergency department as she was desperately ill.

She had been unwell all week but had really gone hill on Sunday. She was in a lot of pain, having trouble breathing and felt clammy, although her temperature was normal. I used my machine to test her blood pressure and that’s when the alarm bells started to ring in earnest. It was so high that we knew we had to persuade her to go to the hospital.

Not an easy job, as she hates anything to do with doctors and always refuses to go, even when we beg! Calmly and without letting the panic show too much, we finally managed to drive her to our nearest hospital. They took one look and led her straight through, past the triage and the waiting area.

Because of Covid 19, we were not allowed to enter the hospital, which was upsetting for all of us, and had to sit in the car park while they did their initial checks.

Two hours later, a nurse, complete with mask and gloves came over to us and delivered the worst news. Anita had fluid in her lungs and was having a serious heart attack. She was being given pain relief and oxygen, and a series of tests were being done. We were told to go home, as she would be staying overnight while they tried to stabilise the situation.

An angiogram was mentioned, something I knew all about, for I had one when I had my own heart attack. This usually indicates the need for a stent, a tiny device to keep the offending artery open, and mine is still doing its job, some six years later.

Driving home without her was terrible, but we know she is in the best possible place.

Today, we wait to hear good news and the house feels so empty…

Two Weeks Ago…

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Two Weeks Ago…

 

 

Looking back, it seems such a long time ago that my temperature began to rise alarmingly, and I thought the worst. I never once thought it could have anything to do with cystitis that had been plaguing me for years.

I mean, some things you simply must learn to live with, like your mother in law or the resident ghost.

This time, however, it was serious.

Cystitis had progressed from a simple bladder problem to a full-blown kidney infection, possibly both kidneys.

My doctor was in lockdown, so my family telephoned the helpline 111 for help. I was given a week’s course of a strong antibiotic and told to drink as much water as possible.

It was a nightmare of a week.

A week when death seemed preferable to the agony I was going through. I was semi-conscious most of the time and unwilling to eat. The pills were seriously upsetting my stomach and made my body hurt even more, which I did not think was possible.

After what felt like a lifetime of pain, my temperature finally slid slowly back down to normal, but I didn’t feel normal at all. That would happen gradually and I’m not quite there yet!

I have lost 7 lbs somewhere, but don’t feel any different.

As I am writing this, my body still hurts and my head refuses to function properly. I keep trying to think of all the projects I had planned before this happened and wonder how my muse is feeling. I hope it feels better than I do, for we have much work to catch up on, seeing as how I have been reminded of how valuable our time is…

And I have just wasted enough of it already…

©Jaye Marie 2020

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#Jaye’s Journal ~Week 46

Jaye's Journal x12

 

The day of my hospital check-up had arrived, and I felt oddly apprehensive. I had been worrying (just a little bit) that this might be the year that the mammogram would not be clear. Whether I thought four years clear might be pushing it a bit, I don’t know, or maybe it was because they had called me early?

For four years, I have been summoned the week before Christmas, so today’s appointment felt strange, even before I got there.

It was cold and wet as we travelled to Portsmouth, and I forced myself to think about everything else, determined to ignore the feeling of dread that had been following me around like a stray dog for days.

Turns out my summons was just for a check-up chat, and that the mammogram will be next month, like always.

The doctor gave the boobs the once over, checking the lymph nodes lumps and for lumps, and found nothing untoward, whatever that means these days.

All in all, this pointless visit (to me, anyway) made a four-hour hole in my working day, and I was already playing catch up.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

 

I read something the other day, something that made a lot of sense when I thought about it. These days, having a good think almost needs an appointment, but I digress.

Apparently, if you concentrate too much on all the small details, you will never get anywhere and end up going around in circles. A bit like I have been doing all week!

We must keep our eyes on the horizon… the one major goal that shines brighter than anything else, for if we allow our concentration to wander, even a little, we will end up getting nowhere, or worse, in the wrong place entirely.

I have a lot of plans in my head now, but my major goal isn’t at the top of the list. I had thought it would get there all by itself if I got all my ducks in a row!

 

My muse is clearly frustrated and wants to be writing. If I am honest, so do I.

I miss the daily discipline!

 

So, I don’t seem to be progressing much lately, most of the things I plan to do are proving both difficult and downright impossible. Maybe I am getting too old, at least I hope that’s all it is. Everything is either too complicated or takes too long, and my patience is wearing a bit thin.

My enthusiasm has given up and taken a walk, and I sincerely hope it won’t stay away for too long!

Tomorrow I will pull up my socks and get organised…

And that is a promise to myself that I intend to keep!

©jayemarie

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 33

Jaye's Journal x12

 

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I have a pretty big bone to pick with Mr Emerson, for in my experience, he had it backwards. Just try to make a decision and see what happens.

The minute you do, unseen forces start to work to make bloody sure it won’t happen, and it seems to have all the resources in the world at its disposal.

This year, it has been one thing after another to slow down our working progress and my current WIP, PayBack has taken several ages to finish.

Most of it was to be expected to be fair, what with various age-related ailments and the eyesight falling to record levels. Then the extended period of surgery, first one eye and then the other. Throw in a cartload of family problems and the result isn’t pretty. If I could see where I was going, I might start running!

I have been blessed cursed with more than my share of patience, so I have weathered each obstacle and handled it to the best of my ability, but it has left its mark. I am so tired of never getting where I want to be. Of constantly fighting that small voice in my head that tells me to give up and forget about everything, to go and sit in the garden.

Well, that idea is very tempting and if it stopped raining for a while, I probably would. I have been known to sit out there, rain and all, but I can’t get my freshly hacked eye wet, so not this time.

Speaking of the latest eye surgery. After the first time. I thought I was prepared for the ordeal. It isn’t a pleasant procedure and left me giddy and feeling very sick last time, but it didn’t hurt at all and the improvement in that eye was almost immediate.

This time it hurt. It felt as though he was gouging my eye out with a spoon and several times, I nearly signalled him to stop as I feared it would get worse, but he managed to finish without me screaming the place down. Like last time, I was giddy and nauseous, but also very upset. He never apologised for hurting me, or asked if I was all right, just disappeared, leaving the nurses to take care of me. They were wonderful, and after a lovely cup of coffee and ginger biscuits, I felt better. The eye was aching, and this would continue for several days.

Two days on, and the ache is fading. I am a little disappointed with the result so far, compared to the first eye. The sepia effect has gone but the lens glare is worse this time. The first eye manages without glasses now, but the vision in the second eye is still blurred.

(They don’t tell you about the lens glare, and it was disturbing until I discovered what it was. My first thought was that the new lens was loose and/or trying to come out, but I was seeing the edge of the lens catching the light. This fades as the lens beds itself in its new home and the edge of the scar heals over…)

I am not allowed to do much for a while, bending, lifting, wash my hair etc… so I thought I could get cracking on the preparation for the book launch. A golden opportunity to sit at my computer all day, or so I thought. But the eyes get very tired, so not getting as much done as I thought.

Hopefully, all of this will pass and the sooner the better…

 

(Thank you for all your kind thoughts and for listening!)