They are from my lovely colleagues from work and I think they’re gorgeous :)
The last time I wrote on here was the day I headed home from Man’s house near the end of January.
Before I left his house I had a weird thing happen to me.
We were sitting watching the television and all of a sudden I got really bad double vision and the left side of my head had pins and needles, even the left side of my tongue, it was like there was a line drawn down the middle.
Then the pins and needles switched to the other side. It last about 15 minutes during which time I panicked and Man had me do sensible things like stick my tongue out and raise my arms in the air (can be indicators of someone having a stroke).
Anyway, half hour later I felt fine and decided to drive home, despite Man’s protestations that I should go to hospital. So drive home I did.
The following day I went to the dentist and then to work and worked all day (about 12 hours). Just as I was about to leave I got pins and needles in the left side of my head and down my left arm. They lasted about 15 minutes again.
Having promised Man I would seek medical advice if it happened again, I popped in to the reception at A&E on my way home and asked the receptionist whether or not she thought I ought to see someone.
I spent the next three hours having blood tests and ecgs and being monitored, speaking to the doctor and then being discharged with a referral for a CT scan.
Apparently I hadn’t had a stroke but it was highly likely I had had two TIAs or mini strokes.
I was also told I couldn’t drive for four weeks from that date.
I also had raging toothache from the dental appointment that morning. I was hoping it was just the anesthetic wearing off … turned out it wasn’t. You know that ‘never rains but it pours’ sort of day.
Unable to get to work and not sure what was going on, I worked from home for the rest of that week. By Thursday I could stand the pain of my tooth no longer and had to return to have the first part of root canal treatment done. By Saturday I was back there getting a prescription for antibiotics because I then had an infection in it as well.
On the Monday, I spent the day at the Stroke Clinic.
Such fun. I had a CT scan and an MRI scan and an ultrasound of the jugular, blood tests, another ecg and then a long chat with a consultant who spoke in sentences I didn’t understand. (But at least the antiobiotics were kicking in for the infection in my tooth!).
The upshot was that I should have been admitted to hospital the week before and I was at serious risk of having a full blown stroke. I ticked most of the risk factor boxes – overweight, bad diet, until ten days previously I had been a smoker, family history (grandmother), stressful job, two TIAs in a 48 hour period and a cholesterol level that was more than double what it should be.
And this was on top of my two hernias and gastritis. Not exactly a picture of glowing health.
I took the week off work, I felt dreadful. But, to be honest, I felt/feel dreadful mentally more than physically. Although I fell asleep (a lot).
The consultant, who I didn’t understand, scared me. Was he telling me I was seriously ill? I think he was trying to but I didn’t know what things like statins and lipitors were – his customer relation skills sucked.
I did understand that he was telling me I had to rest, I had to take regular but gentle exercise, I had to eat a low cholesterol diet, I had to cancel the operation for the hernia that I had scheduled for the following weekend and I wasn’t allowed to drive.
I also understood I had to have more blood tests, see my GP, have a 24 hour ecg and go back and see him in a month.
So I walked down to the GP (it’s a two hour process to walk down there, see the GP and walk back) and spoke to her and then I walked back the following day to have more blood taken.
Man came down for the weekend and we walked a lot on the common. Gorgeous daughters one and two have been taking me to the shops and my parents have run me to dental appointments and hospital appointments.
I have been working from home around the medical appointments and trying to make sure I get lots of sleep. But the two lots of tablets the stroke guy gave me (the blood thinners and stuff to lower my cholesterol) set my gastritis off, even though he also doubled the dosage of the medication for that.
I have been trying to get out for a walk every day but sometimes the weather in February isn’t very conducive to that and I have been trying to eat a very healthy, low fat, low cholesterol diet.
And I have been trying to get my head around what I need to do to make some serious lifestyle changes.
Everyone has been extremely kind and helpful and I have been a bit snappy. I’m not very good at talking about things. So people ask me how I am and I say fine, and I say it in a manner which indicates no further questions are welcome. I don’t mean to, well actually I do. I suppose it is a defence mechanism. I just find it very difficult to express myself without being overly emotional and I don’t want to cry all the time :). So I don’t want to discuss it with people. Even though I know they are being kind and they are concerned. It’s almost as if I am embarrassed about it.
But if I bottle things up I explode and so the answer, for me at least, is to write them down. Then I can organise my thoughts into some sort of order. Then, and only then, can I talk about things without running the risk of being hugely emotional.
So, I need to make a lot of changes in my life. My daughters only have one parent and that is me and so I need to look after myself better and that means having a good, hard look at my life and making changes where they are needed.
I had already decided that changes were needed and sort of half-heartedly started making them but I have had my wake up call now so it’s time to get serious. Gorgeous daughter number one would say I am being my usual over-dramatic self and she’s probably right lol.
I called this post Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3 and yet, it’s been mostly miserable and self-pitying so far :)
But I do have some very good reasons to be cheerful.
Firstly, some people aren’t lucky enough to be given the warning signs that I have and to be, therefore, given the opportunity to do something about their medical issue before it either kills or seriously disables them. I have been given that opportunity.
Secondly, I haven’t had a cigarette now for 32 days 23 hours and 44 minutes and, according to the NHS smokefree app on my iPhone, this has saved me £252.78 to date.
Thirdly, I have some very beautiful flowers on my windowsill from some lovely colleagues.
Three reasons to be cheerful :)