Forum Administrator: Franciman
I’ve had a strange couple of months… not withstanding the virus pandemic. My old mother passed away at the age of 89, fortunately not from the foul virus. Cause of death was 'end stage dementia'. She'd languished in a deteriorating state for a good 5 years, so, inevitably in such cases, it was a blessing in the end.
The funeral was difficult to sort due to the lockdown situation we were all in. Thank goodness for modern technology. I had to register the death on line, then underwent a telephone interview with the registrar to record all the details. The funeral arrangements were all arranged via the telephone, and her estate sorted by phone and internet. It took 6 weeks before the actual burial. No church service unfortunately… only a small graveside service with 6 mourners present. We had a minister who was excellent. He read out a eulogy and a poem I’d written, and played a special song on his Bluetooth gizmo. Mrs Treaclechops and I attended, plus brother Kevin and his wife Annette, plus brother Stephen and his partner Amelia. Amelia actually produced a video of the occasion and livestreamed it for the extended family. Again, thank goodness for modern technology. The whole situation went far better than any of us could have reasonably expected.
In the period between my mother passing and the eventual burial, I actually had a heart attack. I’d been feeling unwell in the few days preceding this… pains in my chest and arms. I thought I was suffering from indigestion and arthritis. It turned out to be the build up to a heart attack. The pain got so bad that Mrs Treaclechops phoned 111 and the operator sent out 2 paramedics to check me over. They couldn’t make their minds up if I was having a ‘cardiac situation’ or was just suffering from severe indigestion. Fortunately, they decided to take me to the QE hospital, and it was quickly established that I was indeed having a heart attack. A flurry of activity over the next hour or so resulted in me having a stent fitted in my artery. It obviously saved my life, ‘cos I’m here writing about it all. I had a second procedure the following day whereby they fitted a balloon in an area of ‘marginal’ thinning. I was then discharged on the third day with a myriad of tablets to take for the immediate future.
The NHS were excellent. The cardiac emergency department I was in was sealed off in a ‘bubble’ to prevent the spread of the virus. I was tested twice in the three days I was there… fortunately negative each time. The doctors and physicians are highly skilled and get the accolades and salaries appropriate to their expertise and standing. However, it’s the nurses who are the true heroes and heroines (mainly heroines). The ones who looked after me were from Wales, Hong Kong, Derbyshire, Philippines, Cornwall, Eire, Poland… and a large dollop of Brummie and black country folks. We really should pay them more than we currently do. They truly are angels.
The heart attack obviously came out of the blue. I eat fairly healthily with plenty of fish, white meat, vegetables and fruit in my diet. I don’t smoke and stick to about 15 units of alcohol a week. I’m not overweight and undertake a moderate amount of exercise each day (mainly gardening and walking). Genetics played a part with me… my dad died of his 3rd heart attack in his late fifties. Also, my childhood diet consisted of a lot of fatty meats cooked in lard… and far too much sugar! General aging and life’s wears and tears (or maybe cheers and tears) also play a part in heart problems.
I’ve got to take it easy for a total of 12 weeks. The treatment I had should mean I’ll live a ‘normal’ lifespan if I heed the advice and tweak my diet and exercise regime in line with recommendations... and keep taking the tablets. It really is good to be alive!
So sorry to here about your troubles --- that must have been an awful time for you
i wish you the very best for the future...
(Second time of trying to post this)
It is most heartening (no pun intended) to read of your recovery, and your assessment of your carers - who truly deserve more than clapping!!! My condolences too on the loss of your mother. I think you deserve a medal for having successfully navigated the ramifications of this pandemic, too!
I have personal experience of the influence of genetics on my health. Unfathomable, methinks.
As the saying goes, 'keep taking the tablets' with condideration, of course
Keep safe and well.
So sorry to hear of your travails, Schacks. It's been a tough time and lockdown has affected pretty much everyone, although in different ways. Your mother's death in the midst of it must have been hard; my commiserations. We've had 5 deaths in the last 4 months here on the island (none of them Covid related; fortunately we've managed to stay Covid-free). The funerals have been odd affairs. All the community could do was stand in silence along the road from the ferry to the bottom of the cemetery road as the hearse carrying the coffin passed by. It felt very inadequate.
I'm very pleased that you are recovering from your own health problems. Long may that continue!
Both my parents went with dementia, Mick; like you say, it's a relief when it's all over. It's horrible when they can't do anything for themselves and don't even recognise close family members. On the flip side, the medics caught your cardiac problem in time and these days heart attacks aren't the life-limiting issues they used to be. 👍
Time to stop those all-night rave parties though. 🤓
Looking for clauses in the Ten Commandments
Hi Shack. Pleased to meet ya, so to speak. Commiserations on your Mum,’s passing and Trust your ongoing health now okay. I had severe angina problems two and a half years ago and had 4 stents fitted. With forevermore meds and a vigorous lifestyle, completely (it seems) back to normality. Perhaps we should form a Stent club.
Thanks for all your comments. I'm feeling good now, although got a few side effects from all the medication I'm taking. Gotta keep an eye on them. I've actually had 3 telephone appointments with various experts from the cardiac department and another scheduled for January 2021. That's the new 'norm' I think. Still... as I said earlier... good to be alive.
Hi there Shackleton, reading your piece made me aware of my own health now I'm in my sixties. I was so sorry to hear of your mum's death, it must have put a strain on you having to cope with the funeral arrangements and the loss too.
I do hope that you can start to take life a little bit easier now, knowing that your mum is in a better place.
J E Skinner