#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…

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…