I've not been posting because I haven't really been anywhere or done anything or seen anyone. Not even I want to write blog entries day after day of "was in pain. Ate necessary food, did necessary hygiene procedures, bought necessary groceries, got knackered out just by doing these very basic necessary things. Rinse and repeat."
Today I have something to write about though, and that's my mum.
My relationship with my mum is complicated at best. I love her dearly, there's no question about that, but I often feel rejected by her, or as if I've let her down by becoming ill, or like she only really wants me around when I am going to be actively useful to her. Of course she does help me when she can with the barriers caused by my disability and I know I am very lucky to have her on the scene and not living too far away. That said, there is a part of me thinking our relationship may improve once I no longer live in the same town and she won't have to feel obliged to meet any of my care needs at all - once I stop being a "burden" on her. But I digress.
Earlier today I was at her house, being actively useful - I was running my brain into the ground trying to diagnose and fix a problem with her computer. Mum appeared in the doorway and asked me if I wanted another cup of tea, I looked up... and almost fell off my chair asking her to sit down, please.
She wasn't simply pale, she was matching the magnolia walls. Except her lips, which were blue.
I was terrified. I actually was having to check that I had a phone within reach and try and turn my brain around from computer stuff and remember all my first aid stuff, and carefully ask her how she was feeling while remaining outwardly calm and smiling. I don't know how emergency workers do that last bit.
Luckily she's already had a routine ECG (heart monitor) that showed up that she has already had one heart attack, so she has this spray stuff for when things are being worrying, that she's supposed to try first. A squirt of that under her tongue, and a few moments later a tiny bit of colour was starting to come back and I think we both relaxed a bit.
The worst problem is not knowing what the exact problem is or what is to be done about it.
My parents called an ambulance one morning, a few days after mum was told that she'd already had one heart attack and could well have another, on an occasion when the spray didn't help matters. The ambulance turned up, checked her over, established that she wasn't exactly having a heart attack, but her heart was doing something very wrong, scooped her up and took her to the nearest A&E, at the James Paget, where she had a pulse monitor put on her finger, was given a bunch of forms to fill out and was left to it.
Six hours later, she still hadn't seen a doctor, but my stepdad was finally advised that there was no need to get an overnight bag as she wouldn't need to stay in overnight. That was a load of rubbish, mum did end up staying in the A&E overnight - not because of how poorly she was, just because the doctor they wanted to check her over wasn't going to be in until the following morning.
The following morning she did get to see a doctor for a few minutes, who gave her another prescription and a note for her GP and sent her off home. Frankly I wish the ambulance boys had been able to just tell her to make an appointment with her GP - she'd have seen a doctor sooner and been a lot more comfortable in the meantime.
So much for accident and emergency. I think they pretty much guaranteed that mum won't be calling an ambulance for heart attack symptoms again.
Now we're waiting for an outpatient appointment from Papworth, supposedly one of the best heart places in the UK. It's been over a month now and we still don't have so much as a letter saying when the appointment might be, so mum still doesn't know exactly *what* is wrong with her heart, and therefore can't have the most appropriate treatment...
Across the water in Germany, my grandfather (mum's dad) had his tenth angioplasty this week. Apparently there isn't a frequent flyer plan. But my GP has redefined "family history of heart trouble".
All this makes me wonder how it is that my own heart gives the sort of ECG reading that makes the technicians jealous?