What a week it’s been. Justine has been steadily improving, Uncle Dave has been angel and one of Justine’s greatest wishes came true. The main theme of the week seems to have been movement, improving movement as Justine gets more steady on her feet, lack of movement (closely monitored by Juliet) and a couple of incidents of unwanted movement.
When Just came home last week she was my ‘Funny Frankenstein’ (apologies to Cole Porter), her looks were not so much laughable but, in the interest of public decency, they were un-photographable! As well as being a sight for sore eyes she was very sore, I can testify to that based on the number of times I was woken during those first few nights with demands for more pain relief. Fortunately those demands have become fewer and less frequent. So on Thursday evening I was looking forward to good night’s sleep and a lie-in as I was working from home on Friday.
At around 1 am on Friday morning my blissful sleep was disturbed by the alarming sound of retching beside me, the thought of being chundered on had me awake and alert in a flash. I reached for the light switch and turned around. The sound changed to a rasping, gurgling sound…a Cappuccino I thought, how lovely. I was completely unprepared for what happened next and the sight of one’s beloved shaking uncontrollably, her body and face contorted with uncontrolled muscle spasms, eyes rolling wildly and pulling faces only her mother could love is not one I recommend.
The technical term is seizure but after much debate Justine and I have decided to use the quaint colloquialism ‘turn’. Anyway after a couple of minutes she’d had her turn, she lay her head on her pillow and continued sleeping unaware of the terror I had just experienced. Well reader having been woken in such a fashion I’m sorry to say I was not performing at my best, I remembered that the leaflet I’d read prior to the operation mentioned seizures and ambulances so I was roused from my bed and went to check what I should do next. There she was shaking uncontrollably and foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog – run away!
I called NHS Direct for advice:
NHS Direct Advisor: ‘Is she breathing?’ – Of course not, that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to spend 20 minutes in a queue at 1 am to talk to you…
I get passed on to the NHS Direct Nurse: ‘Is she breathing?’ See my previous answer…I obviously need to work on developing an idiot filter for the phone system so normal people don’t get asked such moronic questions.
NHS Direct Nurse: ‘Is she responding to touch?’ Doh!…maybe I won’t get filtered out after all. I trudge upstairs to test, her eyes open, she looks at me and goes back to sleep.
NHS Direct call the ambulance and pass me on to the ambulance controller and I am not giving any prizes for guessing what he asked! Now he wants me to time her breathing at which point Justine wakes up and I have to explain why I’m talking to strangers on the phone at 1.25 am.
By 4.30 am we are back in bed. We have been visited by a quick response paramedic and an ambulance, Justine and Uncle Dave have travelled to the John Radcliffe in the ambulance and I followed on with my old cock Linnet. Justine has been assessed by the emergency room doctors, they’ve consulted with the neurosurgeons and they have come to the startling conclusion that she’s had a fit! The neurosurgeon knows a magic pill that will help, casualty don’t have it so we can we see our doctor tomorrow and ask him for it. Oh and you can go home, nothing to worry about.
Juliet arrives about 9am and we brief her on the evening’s adventure. Justine had an appointment with her doctor to have the stitches removed so we just need the magic pills added to the list. Justine and Juliet wander upstairs for mother and daughter bath time and I dial in to a 2 hour conference call (what a glamorous life I lead!). Ten minutes into an esoteric discussion on the finer points of business requirements the fabric of existence is shattered by the blood curdling scream of a million banshees on day release from the darkest recesses of Hades aka my future mother in law. Justine had her second (and thankfully, so far, last) turn in the bath.
The ensuing trip to the doctors was an all hands affair as none of us was prepared to step aside. Dr H prescribed the magic pills but not before offering the JRH some constructive advice on their discharge procedures and their apothecarial competence. We left his surgery a much happier bunch than we entered. Top marks to Dr H.
I didn’t do much work on Friday but my employers have been very good about allowing me to be flexible with my hours and my colleagues have been very supportive. As I probably shouldn’t name them I will use an impenetrable geek’s code and say thank you HAL for all your support and understanding during this time.
We passed a largely uneventful weekend in the company of close friends and family. Mandy kindly volunteering to stay with Just to allow me some sleep and Uncle Dave a well deserved break. On Sunday Juliet and DC arrived with lunch and I escaped with DC to the pub. We returned to enjoy a lovely lunch after which Peter and Carolyn arrived. We all sat around the same table and Justine realised one of her dreams as her Mum and Dad sat around the same table with her for the first time in 30 years.
Now the stitches are out, Justine has been able to wash what is left of her hair. She is on magic pills to stop the twitching (the down side is we won’t save on electricity, I had asked Juliet to throw the washing in the bath with Justine if she had another turn but Juliet just scowled) and for those of you who, like Juliet, are worried by the lack of movement, Syrup of Figs does work!