Sunday, 20 January 2019

Thank You!

Freda & Finch

Well I'm feeling a bit ashamed at having such a long gap between posts but quite a lot has happened in just a few weeks. 

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!


  1. Just read your post and I am sure glad that you are doing okay now. I have a friend that didn't have any symptoms at all and went to the Dr and found out he had AFib but he had to have surgery. We never know what the next day will bring so I think it is a reminder to live life well every day. Those cats sure do help. I have one that loves to sit on my lap, sleep at my feet and begs for affection. Had to laugh at you not drinking more than 25 cups of coffee a day. Take care Winifred Wish I was better at blogging.

    1. I might yet have a cardioversion but it's a choice you make, medication if it works for you or what I call the electric shock treatment.

      I loved your Australian posts it was lovely to see how much your grandchildren had grown. It must have been a wonderful trip as you would have missed them so much. It would be lovely to have you posting again Brenda.


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