On April 21 and October 31, I suffered identical tremors and disorientation which drove me to think of lilies and memoriam cards!
My heartbeat registered about 30 beats a minute – about 40 lower than usual.
I was sent by Whitby Hospital to James Cook in Middlesbrough at 8pm on a Saturday.
I would have liked a helicopter journey to James Cook but settled for a 30 minute ambulance journey. No helicopter, but ambulance sirens fulfilled an ambition for me for, at last, I felt important.
Within 30 minutes, I was being seen by a doctor who said I’d be given a pace maker that evening if I suffered again.
It was done Monday. So many wires crisscrossed my body that having a wee was a prolonged challenge.
The cardboard bottles challenge the user to guess when they are filling up before overflowing.
My wife was a hero and delighted not to have to use my pre-paid funeral bond. Finding a vein for my injection proved difficult. Time dragged so I counted the number of disposable NHS items I’d used and seen. Cups, aprons, gloves, shaving bowls, washing bowls, soaps, toothbrushes, combs and lots more.
Being in hospital or jail frees us from the hustle bustle of life. We can think more deeply and at a more leisurely pace. Family, work, holidays, Christmas, tomorrow’s operation. And more.
Endless doctors with indecipherable monitors and, in my own case, the shortening time left between my coming pacemaker and my Maker.
Two bad bouts of brain and heart seizures in six months is a hint of a possible – well, I don’t have to say, do I? On Monday my pacemaker will be fitted. But the word ‘coronary’ has one major meaning – Serious.
It’s when you think about these matters that you realise how little you and yours are prepared for the ‘ultimate’.
Have my funeral wishes been fully expressed ? It’s not being morbid. Egyptian rulers of centuries ago had their graves prepared the minute they were crowned.
Having had my attacks as I neared 82 I should think of death, but I don’t. I have lots to do in these parts.
I shall see my grandkids grow up as, assuredly, I shall see the UK change colour and religion via migration and ethnic birthrates.
There are things to attend to as my sojourn attests. But, for now, roll on.