Jaye’s Week…

” …of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most…” Mark Twain

The New Year and the new month have been slipping past me at an alarming rate, and what with being under house arrest and suffering a miserable cold (at least I hope it’s a cold) I am becoming a bit depressed.

I haven’t been doing anything creative. I can’t think straight and just realised how close I am getting to despair.

I have small moments of pull yourself together girl and quite a few just have a look at the WIP… but nothing is working. It feels like an eternity since anything was normal, and not much hope of any of it turning up.

Every now and then, I have a moment when life seems better and my head clears, only to vanish again when the paracetamol wears off, leaving me a pathetic sniffing heap again. It isn’t just the aching joints, headache and streaming nose, the depression is worming its way into everything.

I have been trying to keep on top of the emails and other small jobs, but anything else just slips through my fingers. But I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future of Books & Bonsai. Not enough, obviously, to get me doing anything creative but at least the grey matter is trying to function. My WIP is haunting me. It’s a mess, with piles of notes depending on what I have already researched. Before I can move in any direction, I must make a workable plan.

And this morning, that was what I did. The germs have retreated enough to allow a little get up and go to creep back into my life, and I now have a new list.

Yay!

ABOUT US: For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical (oily rag) stuff! Our books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, and mystery thrillers.  We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.

If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…

Hoping to see you again!

Jaye’s Week… Life – as we know it now…

People can fail you.

When the world fails you, we just grit our teeth and get on with it. 

But when your body starts to fail you, and your teeth are long past being able to chew, let alone grit anything, you know you have just stepped on to that slippery slope.

Very slowly…over the years, various bits of us have stopped performing as we would want them to, but we manage to find ways to get around each problem.

Those handy little rubber mats for opening stubborn bottles and jars. Kneeling pads and handrails, stronger reading glasses and tablets for the arthritis. Little tricks that fool us into thinking we are as good as we ever were.

Secretly though, we know our shortcomings only too well. We just wish the list would stop getting any longer.

This has been brought home to me quite strongly, as I help Anita to regain some of her usual abilities after being fitted with an ICD. Implantable cardio verter – defibrillator. A small battery-operated device to monitor the heart.

All the reports about this procedure said that after the initial six weeks, Anita would be blessed with a new lease of life, stronger and more able to cope with life in general.

So far, we have yet to see much improvement.

Her damaged heart seems to be behaving, thanks to a strict and intensive drug regime, although this is tough going for someone who is rarely ill and never takes as much as an aspirin!

Breathlessness is still a big problem, leaving her weak (and bad tempered) and the site of the implant is still painfully uncomfortable, but as yet, only mild sensations from the device have been experienced.

Between the two of us and help from our family, our life rolls on much as it always has, but for the ever-present shadow of the elephant in the room…

© Jaye Marie 2020

#Jaye’s Week …

Anita came home from the hospital after having the pacemaker fitted with a digital monitor, something that will be plugged in next to her bed to record her heart activity while she sleeps. This amazing gadget is linked to the hospital and can alert them and us in the event of another heart attack. It will also record if it has been called upon to restart or shock Anita’s heart back to a normal rhythm.

Knowing what to do when or if this ever happens, is extremely complicated, so the next home visit from the heart failure nurse will be full of questions.

And speaking of questions, there seems to be far too many answers now, none of which are helping us to know what is really going on at any one time.

In fact, we are more confused than ever as each doctor/person we speak to, seems to have a different explanation of what’s going on.

Anita is progressing, albeit slowly and that’s what really counts, isn’t it?

Ten days later, Anita began to have trouble breathing again, so it was back to the hospital to have her checked out.

It all seemed like the worst kind of Déjà vu.

Before the pacemaker was fitted, Anita was getting on well, doing small jobs around the house and even walking to town almost every day.

This simple procedure seems to have sent her back to how she was in the beginning, something she is not happy about!

They were very thorough with their checks, and everything was deemed normal apart from the fluid in her lungs, but no explanation as to why.

As the next lockdown starts, I am hoping to knuckle down and finally get cracking with the writing as my muse is getting so tired of waiting for me. 

I just wish she could learn to type!

Good luck to those of you who are taking part in NaNo this year!

Jaye’s Week… #WIPWednesday

#WIP Wednesday

I spotted this hashtag this morning, on my travels around the blogosphere.

And it made me think of all the works in progress that I have now.

Unless I am working on one, I try not to think of the others too much as it can get a little depressing, but they are always there, lurking in the background.

The main WIP is the new story I have been trying to outline for what seems like forever. This involves an old character, so I know him like the back of my hand. The antagonist, however, is new and I’m having the devil’s own job getting to grips with him, for I think the antagonist is just as important a character as the hero and needs to be written well. So far, he is Mr Nobody!

Having caught up with the housework last week, the garden must be the second WIP. So overgrown, I get rather overwhelmed when I look at it, especially when an old tree fell over out there last week, but determined to get to grips with it, even if it takes a while. That’s if it ever stops raining!

Which brings me to what I think is the last WIP. The project I started as a way of relaxing, but which so far has had the opposite effect. Browsing through Pinterest, I saw this amazing stained-glass crochet pattern, and the challenge to master it was born. I love to crochet, but some of the more complicated stitches are usually a bridge too far for my aging brain, but when has that ever stopped me?

Overtaking and more important than any of the above, is caring for Anita.

( she wouldn’t like to be regarded as a work in progress, so this is just between us)  I am consumed with the complicated business of getting her back on her feet. It has been a week since the pacemaker thingy was installed and the wound is healing well, but she is still weak, lightheaded, and very breathless. I think at least one of her medications is not agreeing with her, but which one? The nurse will be here this morning, so we will see what she thinks…

The Waiting is Over!

The Waiting is Over!

Of course, it had to be raining the morning we left for the hospital.

It was early and the sky matched our mood, grey and sombre.  Which was strange, as this day was supposed to have felt wonderful for all that it signified.

I couldn’t believe we had arrived at this day with no delays, complications, misunderstandings, or backings out (from anyone!)

If Anita were worried or nervous, we couldn’t tell, as she was unusually quiet. But it was early, and she was never at her best until at least two cups of coffee had been consumed, and today, she wasn’t allowed anything to eat or drink.

We weren’t looking forward to leaving her, literally at the hospital doors and having to walk away. We would all be there at her side in our minds but that had never compensated before and made none of us feel any better.

We had been instructed to return home to wait, no hanging around in the car park, as the procedure and all the safety checks would probably take most of the day. The house seemed dreadfully empty and lonely when we walked in, reminding us of that last awful time when we didn’t know whether she would be coming home at all. I didn’t really want to be there, stewing in memories and trying not to worry, but Anita had made us promise to be at home, so I did what I usually do when I am miserable or worried. I started to clean house.

I cleaned and dusted, hoovered, and tidied the entire house, but when I ran out of jobs it was only 1pm. This would have been a golden opportunity to catch up with some writing, but my head and heart were out of sync, so I curled up on the couch with my laptop and waited for the phone to ring.

When the call came, we were amazed at how cheerfully normal Anita sounded. She said she felt fine and had spent most of the time chatting to the consultant while he pushed and shoved the pacemaker thingy into her chest.

I had a bit of a shock when I had a peek at Anita’s chest, expecting to see a small dressing on what was supposed to be a small incision. It looked far from small and the dressing was already soaked with blood. The surrounding area was badly bruised, leading me to imagine they might have attacked her with a bread knife and not a scalpel.

Not a pretty sight!

Anita seemed in good spirits, although very tired. There was no pain in her chest but her left arm was aching. It would be several hours before the pain from the surgery would kick in, leaving us with just paracetamol to control it.

Getting comfortable in bed would prove to be almost impossible for her, so the next few days would be difficult, for Anita would need her sleep.

Will this pacemaker/defibrillator improve Anita’s quality of life?

Only time will tell…

Too Much Information!

Life in the Dawes household is on a knife edge now, as the date for Anita’s next and hopefully successful visit to the hospital draws ever nearer.

They plan to be fitting Anita with a pacemaker/defibrillator on Wednesday next week to persuade her poor old heart to start behaving normally. In preparation, we have been bombarded with a cart load of instructions, safety checks and medication updates.

There is so much to remember, and even more information that we really didn’t need, but you know doctors, they must tell you everything, including, in great detail, everything that could go wrong.

Me personally, I like to know what might happen to me, even the bad stuff, but Anita would rather not dwell on that side if things. She hasn’t said as much, but I know she would rather carry on as she is, even with all the breathlessness and fatigue, than walk into that hospital again. If we do get her there, she will be doing it for us, her family and not for herself.

So when the consultant began to describe, in detail, about how he would be feeding several wires through her veins into and around her heart, and that she would be awake while this was all going on, I could clearly see her having second thoughts. 

He then made a tricky moment even worse by rattling off everything bad that could happen while she was on the table. Anita didn’t need him to describe everything she would hear and feel either. I could tell by her face that she desperately wanted to tell him she had changed her mind.

Apart from childbirth some fifty years ago and a broken leg a while back, Anita hasn’t had much to do with doctors and hospitals. Just by osmosis through me and all my many medical problems. For sisters, we couldn’t be more different, even though we look alike…

So, understandably, she is becoming extremely nervous and hating every minute. It wouldn’t take much to have her making for the hills!

These next few days will be an extreme test of everyone’s patience, tact, and diplomacy as we all try to convince ourselves and each other that everything will be fine. Anita will have a Covid test on Sunday and be confined to barracks until the day we leave for the hospital…

Hell of a Week…

It would be lovely if I could think of one thing at a time these days, but it’s not happening. I have been trying to publish shadows, Anita’s new book of poetry. Fate is conspiring against me, but I aim to release it next week.

And the more I struggle to think about writing, it opens the floodgates for a ton of ideas to jump into my head. I often wonder if I am on the wrong horse, so to speak.

Wrong house more like, as we have had major roadworks outside the house for two weeks. They have moved along the road today, but I can still hear their infernal noise. 

And now we have these temporary traffic lights right outside the front door!

So concentrating has been a mite difficult, to say the least.

Making sure we have enough medication for Anita is proving difficult too, as our doctor’s surgery is obviously being run by a bunch of idiots. That is probably a little unkind, as I’m sure they are doing their best. I keep sending them the updated lists from the hospital whenever the meds change, but they still don’t get them right.

Then today, the heart consultant telephoned to talk about the pacemaker/defibrillator and to reassure us that it will happen soon. This will be the last piece of the puzzle and will finally fix Anita’s wagon!

Petersfield Pond

This afternoon, the family took us out to our local lake, affectionally called the Pond. We love this place, but it seemed as though the whole of Petersfield had the same idea! There was no room on any of the benches and the lovely cafe had removed all their seating, so I had to forego my usual mug of hot chocolate. 

All things considered, it was wonderful to see the water and the wildlife and the walk was undoubtably good for us both…

Wonder Woman…

Yes, the Wonder Woman has returned!

And looking surprisingly well after her ordeal and determined to carry on where she left off before the proverbial stuff hit the fan.

Anita also came home with even more medication than last time, plus a daily injection, all of which to be carefully administered by little old me.

We also have a new set of worries, due mainly to the fact that Anita is still not fixed, not quite yet. It will take a pacemaker to do that. Her heart must settle down first, clear the rather large clot that is preventing the left side of her heart from working properly, and recover enough for a pacemaker to be possible.

This requires an intense regime of blood thinners and warfarin, a nasty drug that needs constant monitoring and blood tests. All worth it if the pacemaker returns Anita to full health!

Turns out it wasn’t a second heart attack after all. Due to the massive damage the first one caused and the presence of a large clot inside Anita’s heart, it just couldn’t cope. It stopped minutes after we arrived at the emergency department. Luckily, they managed to bring her back, but it was touch and go for a while.

Apparently, the first heart attack was what they like to call the widow maker because it is usually fatal.

So the fact Anita is here at all is miraculous and something we are all grateful for…

From a hospital bed…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

My story

The story of my life has not been played out yet. 
 The end has not been written.
At least not in the way I want it to.
God will have to hold fire on giving me
the key to the pearly gates
I don’t need to know what lies within
Not yet. 
So far, I have managed an encore
I mean to make it the longest one in history
Keep watching this space
I’ll be back…

©anitadawes 2020

The Update I never wanted to post…

This is the most upsetting post I have ever written, but you have all been so kind and supportive of Anita, I knew I had to tell you what’s been happening and ask for even more thoughts and prayers…

Waiting and worrying was bad enough, but when Anita began to show signs of distress, we were thrown into a very different ball game.

She kept insisting she was fine, but late on Saturday night her breathing became seriously laboured and alarm bells were ringing loud and clear. We managed to persuade her to go back to the hospital as we thought she was having another heart attack.

On the way there, she deteriorated rapidly, moaning in pain, and gasping for breath, causing Stephen (number one son) to drive like a boy racer and run at least one red light, as we knew every minute counted.

Just the mention of a heart attack set the well-oiled wheels of the emergency department in motion, leaving me and Stephen standing outside the hospital, barely holding back the tears.

That’s when it became serious.

Within minutes, a nurse came out to us to say oxygen was being administered and a full barrage of tests had begun. Anita’s blood pressure was so low it was on the floor and there was fluid in her lungs again. Her heart was failing and she had been put on life support.

Last time we were here, just 10 weeks ago, we were not allowed inside the hospital and had to wait in the car. This time, however, we were taken to the relative’s lounge, causing weird alarm signals to us both. Were they just being kind now that lockdown was easing, or was there a more sinister reason?

An hour later, the on-call consultant came to update us, and he didn’t mince his words. He said that Anita’s heart was failing, and she was extremely poorly and that we had brought her in the nick of time. A few minutes more and she might have died.

He went on to talk about resuscitation, that due to Anita’s age and condition, resuscitation would not be in her best interest. He didn’t ask for our permission to do anything, but the message was clear, he didn’t expect Anita to make it.

After he left, we clung together and bawled like babies, desperately praying he was wrong.

We later found out that they had to cut Anita’s clothing away, such was the urgency, and this still makes me cry every time I think about it.

But…

 sometime on Sunday, Anita began to rally, surprising the medical staff. They couldn’t figure out what was causing the problem, for all the tests were coming back normal but she wasn’t about to go anywhere! 

When we mentioned the recent MRI, we had the feeling they didn’t have any information about this. I wonder if they might have lost it.

Early on Monday, I picked up the phone to hear Anita’s voice! She had begged to use the hospital phone and it was beyond wonderful to hear her voice and she sounded so normal as she listed her requests. She was still in intensive care, so hardly normal, but she sounded great to me!

Tomorrow, they have a load more tests lined up, tests that they are confident will give them some important answers…

I was just going to post this when some welcome news turned up!

They have discovered a blood clot inside her heart, and her arteries are no longer clear. There will be further tests, including an angiogram tomorrow, which may result in the application of stents.  All this, although distressing, is proof that this time she won’t be coming home until fit for purpose!

As testament to her improving health, she is busy writing in her hospital bed, and we talk frequently on the phone about everything!