Accident and Emergency

Nov 24, 2013

Strange things happened in the night last night and Julia casually mentions some mild chest pain.

I awake at 3:30 for some reason, Grandad is in the loo and I need to spend a penny. I head downstairs and just as I’m turning off a light I hear a pop upstairs and the lamp downstairs switches off. Then Julia is shouting and I rush upstairs it seems the iPad charger has exploded and tripped all the sockets.

The plug is covered in soot and the charger is in two parts - wowzers on later inspection the charger is a counterfeit apple charger :( The good news is that Julia’s temp is good but she mentions some chest tightness.

In the morning I’m happy that Julia’s temperature is back to normal and she heads off to have her wig cut. Grandad and I take Felix to little ruggers and read the paper whilst Felix charges about with a huge grin - he loves little ruggers. When I get home Julia tells me the car lights on for a flat - so I head to Tescos to fill it up and find one very low tire, a slow puncture just what I need and I plan on getting it sorted asap.

I get home and Julia is more concerned about her chest. We try and phone the nurse and the on-call mobile seems to have gone off line. A couple of calls to the hopsital and we get through and Julia is ordered to A&E.

Imogen is devistated that we can’t take her to dancing but I’m focused on the one with chest pains so when asked, I decline to draw a map to dance studio - I’ve got places to be, sorry Grandparents you’re in charge of the 7 year old howler.

We get to A&E, Julia signs in and I head off to get the car in the proper car park. When I come back, there’s no Julia so I get directed to her. They’ve done her blood pressure and temp and decided she should be put in a side room on her own and not with the rest of the sick plebs.

Julia has an ECG, they take blood and order an x-ray. They don’t tell us the results of the ECG and that concerns me. We sit and wait for someone to tell us what’s going on. It’s a well known fact that Hospital time breaks all known rules of the universe. Each second drags, a minute lasts a eon but hours happily roll by. I think it’s an elaborate illusion by your brain to protect you from the mind numbing teadiousness of it all.

We’ve seen a consultant and lots of things have been ruled out, so they need to do more blood tests. The A&E sister has had enough of us hogging the side room and we are moved back with the great unwashed to a new waiting room in the CDU. There’s some family there with a lad my age who has a swollen face, seems it’s a big day out for them all. The quick blood tests take hours and eventually Julia tactfully complains that we’ve been there 7 hours and she has cancer, someone takes the hint and a Nurse offers her food five minutes later - No luck for me they’ve just run out. I snag some ginger snaps from Julia’s handbag.

The consultant comes back, hes a good bloke but is happy lots of bad things have been ruled out but also concerned nothing has been ruled in. Possibly a side effect or the start of an infection. He wants her to stay overnight for observations, Julia pleads her case to be sent home and we are given strict instructions - any new symptons or any worsening then come back in. He also refers us for an ambulatory review for Monday / Tuesday.

We head home, Julia is too shaky to walk to the carpark, so I run round to fetch the car. I’m starving so dive into the chippy for some lunch / tea. I get home and Julia takes her meds and goes to bed. My mum and dad have been great and had the kids all day no problems, they tell us they are a credit to us.

There’s no rule book or even guide book on how to cope with a loved one having cancer. It impacts us all - family and friends, all in very different ways. We have to remember that and accept that no one’s perfect and keep working and helping each other.

It’s great we are now getting Julia better but, my, it’s still an emotional rollercoaster. The tears that were so effective at being a pressure valve when the initial shock of the diagnosis have long gone. I need to find a replacement, I tried meditating, exercise and even a good session in the pub. All help but none so quick a fix as a good cry, lets hope writing this all down also works well.