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…

Updating Anita…

I have been wanting to write this post for ages, as I hoped to have good news to share about Anita’s poor old ticker. I seem to be complaining about everything, but we are so grateful for the care and support she has received from the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. and do appreciate how difficult it must be.

After 10 weeks of recovery, we have no clear idea of how she really is, medically speaking, although she does look a lot better these days and seems more like her old self. The breathlessness is easing a little, so using the stairs is less of a worry, and although we have had no news yet, the cardiac failure nurse has visited twice, and she says Anita is doing very well.

We are not however, totally convinced.

We really need to know what the recent MRI showed, the extent of the damage and/or how much it has recovered, for then we could possibly relax a little. (or maybe not!)

A letter arrived from the hospital yesterday with an appointment for a contrast echocardiogram next week.

Something else we will have to wait forever for a result, I suppose…

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!

#Writephoto ~ Secret #Poetry

Thursday photo prompt: Secret #writephoto

Image by scvincent.com

For visually challenged writers, the image shows an old wooden door framed by ancient stone, with an ornate key inserted in a rusted, heart-shaped lock.

Dare to Touch

In a dungeon, deep beneath the castle
Lies a door with a heart shaped lock
A quarter piece missing.
This had me intrigued
Are we allowed to enter to
find the missing quarter?
Legend has it that to find it
touch it, to hear the heartbeat
You leave a quarter piece
of your own heart behind
to make new ones
for those who are in need.
Something about the legend speaks to me
I heard the familiar beat
so I dared to touch the beating heart.
The secret is, there is no secret
The legend spells it out.
Would you touch the beating heart?
Leave a part of yourself behind
In some forgotten time and space?

©anitadawes 2020