July 14 Can this year get worse?

Friday the tenth was a fun evening with Janine and our amazingly delicious meal from Attica, helped along by my new cocktail, French 75. We decided that the food was too good to miss any bit so we actually ate from all the takeaway containers. What couldn’t be scraped up was left for Alfie to lick clean! While portions were not large they were sufficient. If I ate those portions all the time I would never have to worry about creeping kilos.We had a very late night of talking and a slow start to Saturday. I took Janine home and then the day disappeared.

Sunday was also a slow start but soon became a crazy day. My son Nick called asking to be taken to the emergency department of a hospital. I had been face timing some friends and was full of giggles which abruptly disappeared with that call. When I arrived to collect him and he told me his symptoms I rushed to the nearest hospital. The Epworth in Richmond. Fortunately after the CoVid checks we were seen quickly. Nick was assessed and then taken for a CT scan. He was scared, I was scared. He had woken with a head ache and then had weakness in his left arm and leg. He had called the Doctor Online and they had consulted a GP who then told him to go to hospital immediately. I thought he had had a stroke. When the doctor at the ED came to tell me it was serious I was really shaken. Tears welled and I just felt so scared.

The staff were fantastic but The Epworth is a private hospital and Nick only has basic hospital cover aimed at accidents, not neurological issues. He was diagnosed with an AVM, arteriovenous malformation, a lesion on the brain which had bled. My life just seemed to go into slow motion from then. As it turned out the neurological specialist works at the Public Alfred Hospital as well and so it was arranged for Nick to be transferred across.

I left to go home and feed the dog as well as collect some essentials for Nick like toothbrush, toothpaste, spare knickers and some socks. I returned just as he was leaving in the ambulance so followed him to the Alfred. I had to register my details in case of CoVid and then to wait while they got him settled and eventually into a room. His movement on the left side had been impacted and his thinking was slow. His heart was racing because he was so anxious.

Everyone was so kind and helpful, but not really knowing what was going to happen next is very hard and stressful. Eventually I had to leave and so spent a sleepless night worrying in case he deteriorated.

Next day I returned and a physiotherapist came by to assess his physical abilities. His left leg was a bit stronger but the foot was still heavy and only partially responsive, his left arm was able to stay up better but the hand kept going into a grip which he found hard to release. He could manage the stairs quite well and balance while standing but he is weak on his left side. He was exhausted from the shock and lack of sleep. In my haste Sunday night I had not grabbed toothpaste for him at all, but tinea cream! Yuk! We had a bit of a laugh and I felt glad he knew the difference.

In the morning he had had a brain angiagraph to map the blood vessels which he found very uncomfortable and required him to lie flat for nearly four hours afterwards. He had fasted since midnight before and couldn’t eat till nearly 3.00pm. He certainly didn’t complain about cold food! Then it was wait, wait but no doctor came and because of the CoVid situation I had to leave. Actually they only allow one visitor for one hour per day and I had stayed for three hours keeping him company and waiting for the doctor, completely oblivious to the rule. Poor Jonathan came and was turned away. Jonathan came the next day which eased his mind a little about Nick. Being twins they have always been so close and Jonathan is almost as stressed as Nick. He still hadn’t had the MRI they wanted him to have so we were all frustrated. By Wednesday no visitors are allowed but he has had the MRI. They had thought he might go home before he went into surgery but that option is out of the question because they have told him it is too risky. He could have another bleed and they would not be able to do anything.

He is restless and anxious but today they are having a meeting to talk in detail about the planned surgery. They need to immobilise the AVM to stop further bleeding and it seems like they will operate next Wednesday. That seems such a long time to wait. In the meantime he is coping and we are all tense and anxious.

All the family are concerned and shocked. It is probably something he has had since birth and just grown with him. I think Jonathan should be checked too after we have got through this with Nick.

Life is a roller coaster. You tend to think such things happen to other people but here we are dealing with a serious random health issue.

Last week I lamented I didn’t win some of, or all of the $80,000,000 Powerball and now all I want is a son alive and restored to his former self. A reality check extraordinaire.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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