Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lost Heart

I am bereft as I have lost something very precious to me and have little hope of recovering it.

For my twenty first birthday Peter gave me a small gold heart on a chain with a single sapphire stone in the middle of the heart. Since then It has only left my neck on less than a handful of occasions. I wore it all through the good times, our engagement, wedding, the birth of our boys. And the bad times, car accidents, illness and rows. I refuse to take it off for x-rays, preferring to loop the chain over my ears to keep it out of the way. The only time it has been off my neck in the last five years is when I've had surgery.


Imagine then my panic when I looked in the bathroom mirror this morning and saw the chain but no heart. I pulled the duvet back off the bed but there was no sign of it there. I scoured the bedroom floor reasoning the most likely time it came off was when I was getting undressed last night, but nothing. I've checked inside my pillow cases, I've combed through my hair, I've checked my bathrobe, the floor around my study desk, the kitchen, bathroom, settee, everywhere I can think of but there is no sign. I've thought back to where I last saw it and remembered moving the heart out of the way when I changed my dressing on Friday night. I didn't leave the house at all yesterday, not even to take stuff out to the bin so it has to be in the house somewhere, which is some comfort. Andrew was going to vacuum the house for me today but I've banned all such activity until I've done another through search. At the moment all I have around my neck is a chain and I'm not taking it off until all hope is lost.

Apart from being upset about losing my little heart I'm feeling a lot better again today. I'm eating more or less normally, though I have to be careful what I eat and the portions are small, but at least I'm eating and keeping it all down. The only thing I can't get a grip on is my breathing. The slightest activity gets me puffing like a goods train. I wrapped a parcel yesterday and had to sit down to get my breathe back, what is going on!


Of course I shouldn't be surprised. I have severe Pulmonary Hypertension. However up until a month or so ago I was unusually well and that is the crux of the matter, I was unusually well. People with my level of PH are normally very limited and on almost constant oxygen. I got away with using oxygen only when walking around, could still do some things like wrapping parcels without any ill effects and could even indulge in a bit of light pruning in the garden on a good day. I even hold down a job, which I know is unthinkable to a lot of people with my level of PH. However I put this down partially to PH being a very individual illness, it tends to affect different people in different ways, and partially down to my underlying fitness. In reality it is probably more to do with luck than anything else.

So should I really be this surprised when my PH gears up a notch or two and my fitness gears down. I suppose not really but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I am hoping that when I go in for my change of meds and they crank the dosage up a bit everything will settle down again and I'll be back to 'normal' well for me anyway. In the meantime I'm just going to have to learn to live with my new limitations. The first, and most pressing decision as my sick note runs out on Tuesday, is whether to go back to work until I get my appointment or stay off. When I saw Carl at the end of March he said he'd get me in quickly but of course my 'quick' and hospital 'quick' are two very different concepts.No disrespect to Carl, he did say he wanted me to be in the first week or two of April. However we all know what hospital admin is like and they can drag their feet like no other organisation I know. Add to that the increased hospital admissions from the smog and I suspect finding me a bed anytime soon is going to be a tall order. I would feel bad going back to work only to get a call from Carl asking me to go in on the Wednesday. On the other hand if I'm going to be delayed for another two or three weeks I'm going to go stir crazy.

I'm going to have to get used to using my oxygen more and to asking for help more, something I'm not very good at. I swear Peter is turning into Rene from 'Allo, 'Allo the number of times he's caught me struggling with something and said 'why didn't you call me, you stupid woman?' He's right of course but the bloody minded part of me just won't give in. And being bloody minded can be a hindrance as much as a help because in my mind I still don't quite get how ill I really am.

This weekend I've been on edge again. I was so convinced I'd get my call today that yesterday I finally got around to packing my bag again. I'd unpacked it a few months ago, convinced I'd never use it, but yesterday I had this compulsion to be ready. It's probably stupid old hope popping up again but it whiled away a few minutes of an otherwise dull day. Oh! That's a thought I'll check in the bag after I've finished this, my heart might have dropped off there, symbolic or what! So what's in the bag? Well currently PJ's, towel, flannel, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, face and body cream, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleanser wipes, comb, hair bands, baby wipes, perfume, glasses, contact lenses, books, mp3 player, laptop, cables for charging laptop, phone, mp3 player, underwear, t shirts, joggers, socks, outdoor shoes, jumpers, mirror and make up. Things like my meds will go in last minute as you can't really store them for long or they'll go off. Basically I packed as though I was going on holiday for two weeks where I'd be stuck in the hotel room without a TV for the duration. I'm sure I've missed something out but it can always be brought in at a later date. Let's face it, for the first few days all I'm going to need is a whole lot of luck, everything else can wait.

My trip to the opticians was better than expected. My eyes haven't changed and there is no sign of any problems so I can relax on that score for another year, and I've saved myself a fortune in new glasses and lenses too.

Andrew has arrived home for the Easter break, not that I'm seeing much of him. With his finals coming up and a job offer on the table he's hitting the books hard and spends most of his time in his room. The only real sign of his presence is a sudden increase in dirty crockery and a depletion of things in the fridge. Oh and laundry. At the end of a hard day of study he unwinds with a run and deposits the resulting sweaty clothing in front of the washing machine. Not in it you note but in front of it.

Right time to check out that bag. It will mean a very careful unpack, with everything being minutely examined, and then a repack where I probably won't be able to fit everything in that I got in the first time. Such is life.