#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!

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…

I don’t want to be here…

From the hospital bed…

I don’t want to be here
I shouldn’t be here
They changed my pills
Brought me back again
Far worse than before
Now more tests
Needles everywhere
To see if they can fix me
Keep me from coming back
Now I’m stuck inside
These four grey walls
Feeling a little sorry for myself
As I shouldn’t be here.
The upside is the people I have met
They are wonderful
They keep me from screaming
I am counting the bruises
Up my arms instead
Thank God for the phone
I can talk to Jaye
Drive her mad instead
My son drove here
Like Mad Max on super speed
If he had not run that last red light
They say I would have been
Floating above their heads
Thank God they ripped
My clothes off in time
To keep me earthbound
More tests tomorrow
Home soon after that
I hope!

©anitadawes 2020

Jaye: just received a phone call from Anita… she’s coming home this afternoon!

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

Progress Report!

Image by Pixabay.com

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

Untitled design (1)

#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…

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!

Step Over… #Poetry

Anita write this poem last week, but it gave me a chill when I read it this morning. Did she know something was about to happen to her?

Latest news from the hospital;

Anita is comfortable, confined to bed and receiving oxygen and intravenous medication to reduce the fluid in her lungs. Once this has lessened, she will probably have a stent fitted in the offending artery.

We are not allowed to visit, which is killing all of us, but will be taking some personal things later today, which they promise to give her.

Up until now, I have been coping with all the restrictions of the lockdown, but this one is hitting us all hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to all hospital patients and their families at this terrible time…