Fair warning – this post is a bit serious and grim. This blog will get better, honestly. Well, there’ll be more crap jokes anyway.
Before, everything was normal. There were good days, there were bad days and there were lots of in between days. Get up, go to work, come home, spend time with the family, dick about on the internet, go to bed. Normal.
Normal stopped abruptly at around 12.30pm on Thursday the 10th of August 2017. My husband A had taken our two daughters down south to visit his parents and they were due back in a couple of days. I was at home alone, working. After taking a piece of sellotape* from the dispenser, my left hand curled up in to a claw and I absolutely could not move any of my fingers. It felt like electric shocks were running through my hand and up my arm. I just stared stupidly at my hand and arm, trying to work out what was going on and how to fix it. So many half formed thoughts were flashing through my mind; WTAF? Left arm – this must be a heart attack. Just one side of my body, maybe it’s a stroke? Where’s my phone? I’d not be able to use it anyway. Shout for help! No one will hear me.
I shouted anyway. No one heard me.
The shocks reached my torso and ran down the whole left hand side of my body. My left hand and arm seemed to take up all of my consciousness. The right side of my body may as well not have existed. As I started to collapse I knew for absolute certain that if I fell to the floor, I’d die, and no one would find me until A and the kids came home to my dead body. Lying on the floor, I think I blacked out, feeling desperately guilty for the trauma that would cause them, and so very sad that I’d not be able to tell them one last time how much I loved them all.
Some time later (it could have been anything from a few seconds to an hour), I came to. Very confused, all I knew was that it was imperative to have a drink of water and a sleep as soon as possible. Stumbling like a drunken zombie, I managed to get to the kitchen and then stumble upstairs to bed, where I slept for perhaps 30-60 minutes. On waking, I went on to autopilot – finished my work, and debated whether to call an ambulance. It seemed very dramatic and over the top, but I felt too teary and confused to drive or even cope with the metro or a taxi. Laziness won, and then I texted my husband, 300 miles away, to let him know I’d probably had a seizure and not to worry. Well done Ruth. He, being slightly more clear of thinking, rang my mum, who lives 10 minutes walk away. She and the paramedics arrived around the same time, and off we went to casualty.
The paramedics, Claire and Laura were fab – calm, reassuring and not at all cross I’d called them despite not actually having a severed jugular vein or something. People used to say that thinking policemen look young is a sign of getting old. You should try arriving at Casualty in August. Newly graduated doctors abound, blinking in the light like Bambi after 7 years of study. They all look about 12. Lovely, but so very very young. Today’s BabyDoc was called Patrick. He sorted an ECG and a CT scan, proclaimed them both clear and told me I’d probably had an epileptic fit, for which he’d refer me to a first fit clinic, to go home and not to drive, bathe, swim, iron, cook or worry too much.
It was about this time that the overwhelming gratitude kicked in.
Reasons to be grateful today:
- I’M STILL ALIVE!
- I had a seizure in a confined space and the worst damage sustained was a grazed knuckle and chunk bitten out of my tongue
- The fit happened when I was relatively safe at home, not in the street, or god forbid, driving. No one else got hurt.
- The NHS is wonderful
*No, I have no idea what happened to the piece of sellotape. Sorry.