Throes of Labour

This time last year, I was in labour.
I had already been sent home by the midwife at the hospital because I wasn’t in established labour. I was in pain and getting hacked off.

It seems so surreal to remember it. It almost feels as though I’ve made it up and I wonder if my memories of it are somewhat skewed.

I remember laying in the bath, and after 45 minutes being to uncomfy to stay in there.

I remember it being incredibly painful to lay down, but my contractions were in the top of my legs, so standing up was impossible.

I remember The Husband telling me to eat and drink. I only wanted chocolate and blackcurrant squash.

I remember every bump in the car on the way to the hospital.

I remember being told to stop screaming by the midwife as I was scaring the other ladies in the triage ward.

I remember being helped down the corridor whilst heavily relying on the wonderful gas that was making me slightly spaced out.

I remember thing the anaesthetist how much I loved him after he cited my epidural and then apologising to The Husband.

I remember the rest of the time being quite relaxed and peaceful.

The midwives were lovely.
The doctors were lovely.

Then I had to go to theatre.

A year ago today.

Cannot believe my baby is almost 1.

They don’t stay little forever.

Doctor Doctor

A few weeks ago I visited the doctor to get my allergy meds. Later in the afternoon I began to feel unwell and ended up in hospital with suspected appendicitis.

Yesterday I visited the doctor to have my post partum check up and guess what?
I ended up in the hospital a few hours later!

I am beginning to the think that going to see the family doctor is hazardous to my health!

There is nothing more frightening then waking up, taking a drink of water on your bedside table and having it dribble out of your mouth because all of a sudden half of your mouth doesn’t work anymore. I was terrified.
It was like the sandman came along whilst I slept and instead of sprinkling me with sleepy dust, he injected a load of anaesthetic into my face.

The next thing I know, I have 3 paramedics in my living room assessing me. All of my symptoms point towards a possible stroke.
Yes. A stroke!
Healthy 29 years olds don’t just have strokes! Well, not statistically anyway.

For the first time in my life I got to ride in an ambulance at a very quick speed with the blue lights going and siren wailing. To a hospital a fair way away. One that had a specialist stroke unit.

I was met by the consultant neurologist and the resus team. After a few minutes they realised I wasn’t in a very serious way and left the neurologist to manage the emergency.

He quickly ruled out a stroke (thank god!) and diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy. Still scary, but at least I’m not going to die eh?

This was my face at 3am whilst in hospital.

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This was the same expressions 6 hours later.

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I’ve been told the symptoms peak within 48 hours and can take between 2 weeks and 6 months to resolve themselves, depending in the severity. So far I have 8 of the 13 symptoms listed by the NHS.
I’m hoping for the 2 weeks recovery, but with my string of luck recently, I better not hold my breath! God knows what would happen if I did that!!!

So far 2013 hasn’t been the most fantastic year for me. The only good thing so far is Emma!

I’m ready to be healthy body, so hop to it!!

Hard

I’ve never had to do something this hard in my entire life. Sitting at someone’s bedside, waiting for them to die is absolutely soul destroying. And it is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve been to funerals before, gone to see poorly people in hospital, sent words of love and support to others, but I’ve never done this. I’ve never sat and waited. It’s not like it is on TV shows, that’s for sure. There’s no Melinda Gordon waltzing in with messages from the other side.

I don’t know what to do with myself. Sit still, stand still, pace, cry, not cry, give hugs, make tea (this is what us Brits do in any time of crisis).

I’m currently pacing the hallway outside of my grand fathers private room.

Lost. Waiting.

Hug your loved ones, tell them you love them, no matter what your differences, whether they’ve wronged you, whether they’ve been mean or horrid or rude or unfair, because once they’re gone you will never ever have another chance with them.

Paste – a new hair styling product

So it turns out that when you smell things that other people can’t smell (like ammonia) the doctors you see put paste in your hair.

Paste in your hair is a nightmare to remove.

Let me start from the beginning.

A while back I posted about smelling things that others couldn’t smell (ammonia). It started to get to me when I realised I was smelling it outside, in the fresh air. So I saw my doctor, who referred me to a neurologist, who scheduled an MRI (which was fine) and an EEG. It has taken 4 months to get the EEG done.

When you have an EEG, they measure your head, then they mark your scalp, then they clean it with gel, then they stick some paste on an electrode and stick it to your scalp. Not just one electrode mind, but about 30. I looked like an electronic Medusa.
The technician did make a joke that you couldn’t possibly go out in public with the electrodes secured to your scalp as people might think you’re a new type of suicide bomber. That was an awkward moment.

Then I had to open and close my eyes, relax and take big deep breaths and then I had flashing lights directly into my eyes. I fell asleep.

30 minutes later the test was done.
It’ll be a week before my neurologist has the results and I suspect that it’ll be even longer before I find out what they are.

I strongly suspect these smells are auras for migraines, and thankfully I don’t actually get the headache. Just the auras.

I really hope its not epilepsy. Of any kind.

But I’ll guess I’ll find out soon enough.

In the meantime I’m still not 100% sure I’ve gotten all the paste out of my hair.

Damn paste. Thank god there was no glitter!

Why I Love The Elderly.

There are two reasons as to why the 1st of September 1939 stands out for me.
The first is that it’s the day that WW2 kicked into action, with Germany invading Poland.
The second is that it is my Grandads birthday. Technically he is a war baby, although at the time of his birth it probably wasn’t apparent to his parents that WW2 had began.

I love my Grandad. He is awesome (if a bit crotchety now as he gets on in life) and when I was little he told me fantastic stories.
He told me that he was in the war and it was hot and dry and he used to fry eggs on the tanks for the soldiers because they (the tanks) got so hot. Turns out he was in the army, but as a chef. He never saw a tank much less fried an egg on one! Needless to say, the war was imaginary, something told to a little girl to keep her imagination alive. And demand more!
He also told me stories of his friends Merlin and Arthur. Stories of Merlin and his amazing magic and Arthur and his sword Excalibur. I told EVERYONE that my grandad knew Merlin and Arthur. To me it was amazing.
Everytime I saw my grandad I’d ask him to tell me the stories of his adventures.
To clarify (in Case it’s not clear, my grandad didn’t know Arthur or Merlin)

My grandad often played the My Little Pony and Sweet Valley Middle School board games with me. He ALWAYS let me win.
To me, my grandad was amazing. I still think he is.

Once I showed my friends a photo of my grandad when he was younger. He was holding my mother as a small baby, and my friends were adamant that he was Elvis. He looked like Elvis. He can even do a very good Elvis impression. He used to tell my friends and I, tales of him and his friend Elvis and that Elvis often used him as a body double.
His imagination was wild.

Over the last few years my grandad has been rather poorly. He has diabetes. He has prostate and secondary bone cancer (both under control). His balance isn’t great, he’s going deaf and losing his sight and he has severe arthritis and muscle problems. But he copes.

On Wednesday I called my Aunt and during the start of the conversation she asked me “have you heard about your grandad?”
As a general rule, most of the time, my family forget to tell me things. So I responded “no. What’s wrong with him?”
The reply? “he’s in the hospital.”
To be fair, that was the reply I was expecting. Most of the conversations that start with “have you heard about your grandad?” often end with “he’s in the hospital”
Last time he’d had a nasty fall.
So I said to my Aunt “what’s happened now?”
She told me. It was not pleasant (mind you, any reason for being in hospital isn’t pleasant!)
Basically my grandad has been in hospital since September 28th. Apparently having an infection that doesn’t clear up can lead to gangrene. He was due to have surgery today to have a toe amputated. It’s been postponed. So he gets to spend more time there. Lucky him.

My grandad is and always has been an outspoken man who takes no crap. He doesn’t care about whether his words will offend anyone. He calls it like it is. Much to the embarrassment of my grandmother (who is divorced from him). He has since remarried (a story for another day!)
This evening whilst sitting with him we were having a conversation about the facilities. The nurses are trying to convince him to use the urinal bottle. They gave him an in-depth explanation of how to use it (he’s old not stupid!) to which he replied “I know what I’ve got to do, however I can’t find my bloody dick. I’ve seen bigger whelks down at the seaside!” yep. I talk penis sizes with my grandad. Classy! I must say I did laugh though, classic look on the nurses face!

My grandad is awesome.

I hope I’m like him when I’m old (just not poorly!) so that I can talk out loud about vaginas and dicks and not bat an eyelid about who is listening.

Old people rock.