Freda & Finch
First of all I missed those cats I fostered in October so much that in early December I managed to persuade my husband to let me get them back, permanently. So here are the sisters, bigger, fatter & they settled back in no problem.
Then 10 days before Christmas I had a rude awakening when out of the blue I was admittted to hospital with a heart problem. That was certainly a shock to the system as the doctor who admitted me commented "You haven't been here since August 1973". He was right, that was just for 48 hours when I had my daughter Claire & I have enjoyed really good health since then apart from a dicky underactive thyroid well controlled with medication.
So what went wrong? I had noticed that I was having some palpitations, which I associated with needing a blood test to check my thyroid levels. The medication level was changed & I felt fine. Well until just before Christmas & one morning I felt dreadful.
Turned out I have atrial fibrillation. This is the British Heart Foundation's definition:
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common abnormal heart rhythm that happens when electrical impulses fire off from different places in the atria (the top chambers of the heart) in a disorganised way. This causes the atria to twitch, and is felt as an irregular heartbeat or pulse. Atrial fibrillation is a major cause of stroke.
I had never heard of it but it's very common apparently, especially in people over 80. Lots of people have it & lots have it & don't know. It was like having a bag of frogs jumping about inside me trying to get out. A bit like John Hurt in Alien!
There doesn't appear to be any particular reason for me having it, my thyroid is underactive not overactive, I certainly don't drink excessively, don't do drugs, don't drink more than 25 cups of coffee a day & I'm not nearly 80!
I didn't take kindly to taking what seems to me to be a lot of medication, a beta blocker to slow my heart down & a thinner to avoid a stroke but on the plus side it looks like I don't need any operations as thankfully there has been no damage done to my heart. Taking things easier & living life at a slower pace is difficult but have to say it's a good excuse for doing less housework & more sewing, knitting & crochet. As if I needed one!
I'm so grateful to the NHS for the wonderful care I received both in hospital & locally at every level. I've never come across so many lovely people who all obviously enjoy their jobs & couldn't do enough for you, whether it was a cleaner, nurse or doctor they were all wonderful. I felt like writing a review for Tripadvisor for them! The NHS comes in for so much criticism but all I can say is thank God for it & all those amazing people who work for it.
The cats have been a blessing too. They've made me smile at their antics & been a real comfort when I've been awake during the night. Cat stroking & listening to the purring is so therapeutic.
Something like this is a real shock as I've always been so healthy & able to walk, swim & had no restrictions on my life. It certainly makes you rethink your priorities and be grateful & thank God for every day you have, even with its limitations. It could have been so much worse!