Friday, 4 December 2009

Returning to normality

A day like no other. Backtrack to Monday 30th November 7.30am; it happened like this:


Sitting in ‘the office’ in my dressing gown, sipping tea and typing magazine copy, I experienced the most indescribable pain, as if my heart was a squashy tennis ball and a clawed hand was repeatedly squeezing it. I thought it would diminish and worked on through it – I had a deadline to meet. But it didn’t, so after two hours, I rang my doctor.

“Go straight to A&E (accident and emergency),” she said. Which I did – Raymond drove me in, quicker than waiting for an ambulance. I walked into Casualty and the moment I mentioned ‘doctor’ and ‘chest pain’ I was whisked into the initial assessment area, wired up, danced attendance upon, and generally treated with such kindness and courtesy that I felt near to tears. An ECG and blood samples were taken and a vicious curved needle put into my arm through which they could feed drugs if I needed them urgently.

Once it became apparent that I did not need resuscitation, I was moved to the MAU (Medical Assessment Unit). I was seen by three doctors and assigned my own nurse. I was continually updated as to what was going on – by now I felt complete fraud but they insisted that they wanted to get to the bottom of the pain as it could be the onset of angina (a final treadmill session would reveal this). Tests were ongoing and I was wired up to a monitor which meant I couldn’t get out of bed; tricky when I needed the toilet – my nurse unplugged me and I had to walk across the ward, leads trailing, and make sure they didn’t drop into the loo!

Not a brilliant night, trying not to fall off the trolley-bed with an under sheet that kept ruckling and two cotton rugs that continually slipped off me; and it was unbearably hot. What I found amazing, as I was obviously not ill, was that I was able to listen and watch, keep an ongoing diary of my stay. The care and attention was without fault. I was actually looking forward to the treadmill, never having been on one before and I came through with flying colours: pacing slow, fast then faster, wearing nothing but pants and wires attached all over my chest, back and left breast, whilst the monitor results were being assessed by a sweet elderly gentleman technician and a dishy, tall young doctor. I was asked if I had any pain (none, except my right hip ached from the arthritis, but this lessened as the speed increased and I walked faster). I was asked if I wanted to stop; no, I was challenging myself. I did a half mile in five minutes. It was over and all was in perfect working order; indeed, I felt really fit. A final assessment by the consultant, and I was cleared to go home. The NHS at its best.

My husband was wonderful, too, collecting books, papers and laptop from home, seeing I had tasty food, sitting with me to counteract the boredom of enforced rest. Once back at home, there were lovely surprises waiting in the mail; about these I will blog in due course - visit 'Journaling the Journal' in the next couple of days. In two hours I go for a doctor's check-up. Scare over.

24 comments:

  1. Whar a scare you have had Ann. So relieved to get t o the end of the post and find all was well. I used to work in such a ward so I am happy that you were well looked after. It is a beautiful morning here - I hope you are enjoying some sunshine down there. Take care xxx

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  2. Not GOOD - v. scary in fact. Thank Heavens for the NHS working efficiently and your being "passed sound" to come home again. Good excuse to take life easy for a little while if you can.

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  3. Oh, what a relief that everything was ok! This must have been terribly frightening for you, but thank goodness you contacted your doctor and had such good care in hospital.

    Best wishes for a complete recovery ... but no half-marathons just yet!

    Willow x

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  4. God bless you! Each day is a blessing for each of us, another opportunity for our hearts to grow even closer to the heart of God. Godamongus welcomes your comments, as well. Keep up the great writing.

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  5. Oh Ann wow what a scare. Take care and I'll check out your other blog for the surprises.

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  6. My heart jumped into my throat when I started reading your post... and I'm so glad to hear you're okay and back home.. you did the right thing by being checked out.. at least you now know you're okay.
    Blessings

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  7. I am so glad that you are fine, also that you've given a good report of your care by the NHS. We are in the throws of a big national discussion/argument about health care over here in the States.

    I find it very interesting to read about how care is given elsewhere.

    Best wishes to you!

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  8. So glad to hear you are well!

    I had the same thing (though not too much pain, just pressure) a few years back. When you mention chest...they do whisk you in don't they!
    I was fine too, don't know what caused it - I do remember the Doctor asking while I was on the treadmill, "you don't exercise much do you? I figured it did me no good to lie, since it showed from my quickly increasing heart rate!!!! :)

    Lets hope it does not re-occur for either of us.

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  9. good grief!
    so glad to hear you are ok! My own father suffered with angina for 10 years, and he was suddenly rushed into hospital earlier this year. A quad bypass later, he is as I remember him 10 years ago, but even still...
    keep well and don't work too hard!
    Claire

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  10. Oh my gosh. How scary. I am glad you came through okay, but what a scare. I dont think I could walk half a mile on a treadmill. Zounds. Now take it gently. Be good to you.

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  11. Goodness Ann, what an unpleasant and unexpected shock.Very good to read that you were well cared for and that you are home again. Take care.

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  12. You sound like a very brave and determined lady. I'm glad to hear you are on the mend.

    Thank you for the visit ad your kind comment :)

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  13. Oh dear dear Ann...I am so glad that you are alright poor Raymond must have been out of his mind with worry...do take care...every blessing and lots of prayers from the lamberts

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  14. This sounds so painful and terrifying. I hope there will be a reasonable and non-threatening explanation. Be kind to yourself--warmth and rest and nothing too demanding. [A difficult rule for creative souls to follow.]

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  15. Oh, I am so pleased you have been given a clean bill of health! Did they say what it was? Chest pain is so frighteneing, it has happened to me, in tricky circumstances!

    Sorry I haven't been to your blogs recently - I lost all my 'favourites' list with a new computer, and somehow your blog got missed off! I am now making up for lost time!

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  16. BONSOIR ANN
    RAVIE QUE TOUT AILLE MIEUX POUR VOUS
    SURTOUT PRENEZ BIEN SOIN DE VOUS LA VIE EST SI PRECIEUSE
    BELLE VIE A VOUS ET A VOTRE MARI
    AMICALEMENT
    MARIE CLAUDE

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  17. Oh my,I don't read for a few days and then I read this! I am so glad you are doing well. Pay attention to yourself... I had a routinely scheduled ECG and the doc asked me when I had my heart attack! Women do have different symptoms... so take good care of yourself...but don't stop having fun!

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  18. That must have been scary! It is good to see you are feeling well enough to blog. Do take care!

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  19. what a scare. Do they know why you had that pain yet?
    Glad you are ok.

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  20. How very scary, I hope all is well now. Look after yourself!

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  21. Hello Ann,

    I hope you are feeling much better now and knowing you, I imagine, full of exciting plans for the coming year. I just wanted to wish you a good Christmas and New Year and hope to see you at one of the shows next year.

    All the Best Paul

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  22. oh, wow, this was scary and very upsetting. I'm so glad you are well and that you got such good treatment.

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  23. Poor you having such an ordeal but good news at the end. Take care of yourself and don't overdo it.

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  24. So very glad you got a good report and are doing well. It's very scary when things like this happen. I look forward to reading many more of your stories.

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