My July so far…

It’s been quite an eventful July for me.  Eventful being the operative word and the understatement of the year.  It’s been a doozy.

My father has been ill and in and out of the hospital again.  We’ve been through a lot since he suffered a stroke two years ago and he was diagnosed with artherosclerosis.  But he is stubborn.  Wonderfully stubborn.  I think his stubbornness has buoyed him and coupled with his determination to get better, he has overcome a lot of obstacles.  But he is now back home again.  And I am so thankful that he is such a fighter.

We’ve had a mini-heatwave and I’m suffering!  Can you believe it?  The Filipina who has lived in a tropical country for 4/5 of her life is now suffering in temperatures that would be considered cool in the land of her birth?!?  I’m still recovering from a possible heatstroke from being in London last weekend!

Work has been work and I constantly get on the work carousel where I love it and hate it in a sequence.  At the moment, another change has happened that I’m really pleased about.  So I think I’m going to be happy waking up most mornings and logging in to open my emails.  I just need to pace myself because I think my carpal tunnel syndrome is rearing its ugly and horrible head again.

But the unthinkable happened on Thursday.  I lost my phone.  And it’s not something I can blame on someone else.  It was all my fault.

The trains were late on Thursday (surprise, surprise!).  When the trains finally arrived, I got on the usual carriage and noticed that it was strangely empty in the front half.  I simply thought, “oooh more seats, yay!”  Little did I know that the front half of the carriage was empty because of Mr Smellyman, sitting in the 6 seater section.  I plonked myself gratefully on the seat and my phone beeped.  It was a text message from home.  When it’s from my sister or my mum or my friends, I kind of drop everything to look at the message.  After I replied, I noticed the stink.  It was horrible.  It was then that the reality sunk in that the reason that part of the carriage was empty was because of the man I was sharing the 6-seater section with!  In my haste to vacate the premises, I must have put down the phone on the seat instead of into my bag.  I only realised that I lost my phone after the train left Marks Tey and it was probably too late by then.

When I got home, I rang my number and it went straight to voicemail.  My heart sank because no amazing and kind soul handed in my phone at a train station.  But I still lived in hope.  You hear all these wonderful stories about people handing phones and purses in.  I, myself, have done that a few times.  I’ve handed in a shopping bag with lots of purchases, a man’s wallet, someone’s ticket holder with cash, a Blackberry when it was still fashionable to have one (around 2011, I think) and the first incarnation of a Samsung Edge.  I had hoped that someone would also do that for me, if I lost my phone.  It’s been 48 hours since I lost the phone.  No one has gotten in touch and no one has handed it in.

I have accepted that I have completely lost my phone.

And yes, it was quite painful…I am still recovering.

To date, I think this is what I’d call my mense horribilis.

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Be careful what you wish for!

I remember myself saying this several times during a conversation whilst I was making tea at work:  “I wish I’d get properly sick just so that I can get over it!”

I did just that.  Get properly ill.  Could not get up out of bed, had no energy, had a massive headache and just felt like death.  I still feel that way today but as I’ve been off work properly for a week (I went to work on Tuesday, but went home after 3 hours!) I need to go to work on Monday.  Although, if I’m honest, I don’t feel like I am actually well already.

Be careful what you wish for.  Because sometimes when you get what you want, it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to.  That being said, I’d love the win the lottery.  Properly.

Yes please!

Prayer request

I very rarely, if at all, post updates about anyone else’s health, except mine. Mainly because I always feel like that disclosure is not mine to make. BUT please could I ask you all to include my father in your prayers.

My Abba was brought to the hospital in the early hours of Thursday, Manila time.  It was still Wednesday in England and I was walking to the station to take the train home.  I called my mum and she said they decided to bring my Abba to the hospital because he couldn’t breathe.  After that conversation, it was decided that it was necessary to move my Abba into the ICU to treat the pleural effusion which meant he had fluid in his lungs.  Apparently, they managed to remove 1.5 litres of water from his lungs.  Because I bake, I have a visual idea of how much liquid that is and I am thankful that it is no longer in my Abba’s system.

Since then we have been told that my dad was suffering from atherosclerosis (to us non-medical folk it means the hardening of the arteries) and that he can  overcome this and get better.  The worse case scenario, of course, is that his heart can just decide to stop working.   I understand that this is a possibility but right now, I think everyone can understand that I’d rather not think about that possibility right now.

This morning, I called my mum hoping to get a chance to chat to my Abba.  In the course of our conversation, my mum told me that my dad has endothelial dysfunction which from how I understand it is part and parcel of his atherosclerosis.  I need to read up on this so I can understand it fully.  It helps me deal with things if I can understand it.  I’m not a doctor, but it’s always easier to deal with things emotionally if you know what you’re up agianst.

I have been crying a lot since Wednesday evening.  Partly because I worry about my Abba, partly because I feel completely helpless because I am thousands of miles away.  I have repeatedly asked my mum if I need to go home and she said it may be better for me to stay put, to stay where I am for the .  It may sound harsh, but apart from waiting, there would be nothing for me to really do.  I know that my father is in the best place he can be.  He has the best doctors and nurses helping him, and it is true that there is nothing I can really do but to wait.

Even though I have had news that has caused me to cry this morning, I still thank the Lord for each new morning because each morning is another opportunity to be blessed. I am thankful because my Abba is out of the ICU. The road to recovery may be long or short, depending on how Abba responds to treatment, but I understand that it will not be straightforward. I can only keep praying and I can only keep trusting in Him. I know that everything the needs to happen will happen in God’s perfect time. This is a mountain that needs to be climbed one step at a time but I know that each step that we take, we take it with God by our side. Because He promised that He would never leave us, that He would never forsake us.

I rarely write about my faith in God, and it is a constant disappointment that I don’t.  Because right now it is my faith that sustains me in this very difficult time.  Because I am so far away from everyone, I feel very helpless.  Everytime I start to cry, I just ask the Lord to get my father through this, to get my mum through this, to give us comfort so that we, as a family, get through this.  I think if I didn’t have my faith to cling to, I’d fall apart, quite easily.  My father is my rock and my anchor, and now that he is ill and it is, realistically, touch and go, I feel like I am this close to being cast adrift.  But my faith grounds me.  I know that everything that happens is part of God’s masterplan.  I hold on to God’s promise that He holds us in the palm of His hand and that everything works together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28).prayer

 

Now I’ve really done it!

This week has been a wash out.  A complete washout.  I haven’t been to work this week because I was in hospital overnight Monday night.

I’ve had a niggling headache for a couple of weeks and it all came to a head on Saturday.  I just starting feeling horrible and everything was out of kilter.  Then I started losing all the food that I was trying to eat.  And it went on throughout the weekend.  I didn’t want to worry my family in Manila so I had to keep fairly still when I was chatting to them on Skype so that I wouldn’t feel nauseous.  On Monday, I decided to go see the doctor because I still had the headache and I was still throwing up.  I thought it was another stomach bug that I’d caught while commuting as the people I travel with on the trains have no sense of infection control.

At the doctor’s surgery, I was examined and told that I had to go to the hospital because my blood sugar was sky high and because my symptoms pointed to something more serious.  It was slightly worrying because at that point I thought all I had was a bug.  So I took myself off to the hospital where I was told that they wanted to keep me overnight for observation.  So they popped an IV cannula in my arm to prepare me for what might be an insulin drip or something else.  From what I understood from the doctors, they wanted to rule out any neurology problems caused by either a throat or a lung infection, or something else.  It was the undiscussed “something else” that I didn’t like.  I didn’t like not knowing.  The fact that I was asked to do the Romberg test three times was a tiny bit worrying.  I only breathed a sigh of relief when the consultant said that my Romberg test showed “nothing of concern”.

Waiting for a hospital bed

I hate hospitals.  It reminds me of illnesses, deaths of family members and my brother being always ill when he was little.  But there I was, in NHS haute couture (aka a pink hospital gown that opens in the back), with a cannula (IV needle) stuck in my arm.  I felt really sorry for myself because hospitals in the UK are different from hospitals in the Philippines.  Hospitals in the Philippines allow for “watchers” to stay with the patient, hospitals in the UK don’t.  Mind you, I understand why people aren’t allowed to stay in the hospitals.  It all boils down to infection control.  So there I was, with a pounding headache, feeling completely sorry for myself and an iPhone that was running out of juice!  It was a good thing I had my Kindle with me because otherwise, I would have been bored out of my mind!  In hindsight, I found it funny that what I was most worried about was that my iPhone was running out of power.  I think, subconsciously, I just didn’t want to think about what was wrong with me.

IV cannula

I know it might sound inconsequential, but one of the reasons I disliked being in hospital was the food.  Hospital food is meant to nourish the body and not necessarily ambrosial!  I was famished because after tossing my cookies for two days, I, basically, hadn’t eaten anything for days!  So the evening I was admitted into hospital, I wasn’t really looking for anything to eat.  I did appreciate it when a lady wielding an efficient looking trolley of hot drinks asked if I wanted a cup of tea.  There is nothing more comforting than an cup of strong, milky tea!  Breakfast was whole wheat toast and a small bowl of bran flakes swimming in milk.  Lunch was minced beef, with boiled potates and vegetables with a bowl of rice pudding for dessert.  Lunch wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t inspired either, and dessert was just not right for a diabetic because it was overly sweet.  Don’t worry, I didn’t have any of it, save the little taste that I had.

Lunch

I was placed in a ward but was in a side room all by myself.  Mind you, I thought that was a good thing because, after I was settled into my room I started bawling my eyes out.  There I was, a grown woman, wanting my mummy!

I was told the following day that I could be discharged and that after all the tests and a CT scan, it was only an atypical migraine.  My blood sugar skyrocketing was due to the fact that I was throwing up and not keeping my meds in (at least, that’s my theory, and not the medical professionals’!).  I still have a headache that comes and goes and I think I may need to see the doctor again because my headache still hasn’t gone completely.  Although, that being said, it’s no longer a pounding, head-splitting pain and is more bearable with pain meds.

It was sort of a turning point experience because it made me look at how I’m taking care of myself.  I can’t really deny that I am a diabetic and I can’t go on living the way I live.  I can’t miss my medicines.  I really need to watch what I eat and my excuse that if I eat in moderation whatever I want will no longer work.  And I know I can still bake, but I need to bake more savoury things than the sweet things that I enjoy making.  I need to take care of myself.  I really need to.  Otherwise, I will find myself in an even worse predicament than I found myself this week!

What a week it has been!

Hospital bracelet

And on the third day…

…I stayed in bed!  I thought yesterday was the worst with the D&V but today is even worse.  I really felt ill today.

I know you’re probably sick of my whining about my illness but it helps me feel better when I write about how I feel.  So unfortunately, I am going to witter on about my adventures in Norovirus land.

I mostly spent today in bed because I thought that if I stayed horizontal, I wouldn’t throw up.  Mind you, I did wake up feeling horribly sick and I had to run to the loo to avoid being sick in bed (SORRY!  Disgusting, I know!).  While the dash to the loo was necessary, it was a big mistake.  My head was pounding and the run to the loo made the pounding headache worse!

I had chicken soup for breakfast (I love this particulary chicken soup recipe.  It’s meant to fortify ill people, or so the Chinese say.  It’s got lots of ginger, chicken, chicken stock, goji berries and rice wine.  You cook it until the chicken falls off the bone.) and then I went back to bed.  I stayed there until about 2 in the afternoon and then I thought I might do myself some good by sitting up.  I felt horrible the whole time and told myself that a shower would do me wonders.  The whole showering process tired me out!  Just the whole process of moisturising post-shower made my head swim and I had to pause in between stages.  It’s helped me feel a lot less grotty and a hot shower always soothes.

But the fact still remains, I am still ill and the fact that I’m still throwing up means that the bug hasn’t passed yet!  I wanted to go back to work on Monday but if I’m responsible, I’m not going to because I am most probably still contagious.

Mind you, I should probably just go to work and to heck with the people who are on the train with me.  I probably got this bug from an irresponsible person who did not cover their mouth when the sneezed or coughed (This is a pet peeve so I’m getting off my soapbox before I start grandstanding about the need for people to think about infection control!).  BUT I am better than that.  I’m not going to infect the people at work.

I’m really tired of being ill though and at the rate of sounding redundant, I’m sick of being sick!