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…

Not the Best Update…

Image by Pixabay.com

Waiting five weeks for the MRI was bad enough, then we had to wait for the results, so when the telephone rang, our hopes soared.

Our hopes quickly dived again when it wasn’t the results, just the Cardiac Failure nurse, ringing to make an appointment to visit and run checks on Anita’s progress.

When she arrived, complete with plastic apron, gloves and mask, she proceeded to carry out a barrage of tests in our living room, including Anita’s blood pressure, both sitting and standing, a full ECG, breathing monitored and then a ton of questions about the medication and how she was feeling.

The nurse seemed quite pleased with her findings, but changed several medications, according to instruction from the consultant.

There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but I knew instinctively that she probably couldn’t answer them. The only thing that can do that will be the results of the MRI.

In the six weeks since Anita’s heart attack, she has become stronger and is able to continue pretty much as normal. She gets very out of breath going upstairs, and this is a strong indication that she still has a long way to go.

After the nurse left, I had a look at the copy of the paper readout from the ECG machine, and I have to say that I have never seen a reading that bad. The familiar, normal spikes were non-existent.

I am quite familiar with heart patterns, due to my own heart attack a few years ago, and this one resembled nothing I had ever seen before.

Printed at the end of the printout were the machines conclusions and the words myocardial damage said it all. Among all the technical jargon was the word aberrant, which I knew meant deviating from what is normal. At that point, I would have given my eye teeth to know how badly Anita’s heart is damaged and/or what the MRI found…

I really hope to have better news soon…