Yesterday evening my sister rang, upset, asking me to go to my folks house, mum wasn’t well at all, but was refusing to go to hospital, nothing my dad or my sister could say was convincing her that it was the way to go. I drove straight there, and found mum agitated, confused and a little incoherent, all similar symptoms to this time last year when she was hospitalised in intensive care for pneumonia and sepsis. Dad was visibly shaken and worried, my sister sitting at the kitchen table, obviously very upset. So, while dad took the dog for a walk, I sat and talked to mum, trying to make sense of what was happening, and what the best thing to do would be. It took a while, but I managed to persuade her to let us take her to the hospital, just to get checked out, to put everyone’s mind at rest.
Rotherham Emergency Department was full to bursting at 8 o clock, but we got mum booked in and began our wait. there was an edge to the atmosphere, but I’ve been in much busier, scarier casualty departments over the years. I’m not going to talk about waiting times, and this is not going to be a politicized rant about the NHS ( although my feelings about the NHS are well-known, and I am a lifelong champion of all who work tirelessly to keep us well, alive and safe) mum was triaged, and taken through to cubicles as quickly as was possible, the two staff nurses were friendly and efficient but human, down to earth, and got mum settled and took her observations. after a while, the doctor came and checked mum over, and eventually, after bloods and an x-ray, mum was discharged at 2.15 this morning, much more lucid, settled and back to her normal self.
I finally got to bed at around 4 o clock, and had a couple of fitful hours of half-sleep before getting up again, to take Janine to work, and myself to the G.P surgery to check in with how I’m doing. My G.P. is warm, approachable, hard-working but most of all really straightforward and down to earth, we talked for a while about what had brought me in two weeks ago, and how I was feeling today, we discussed my background of previous bouts of depression, how the last year at work has changed things for so many of us, and how I’ve recognised with hindsight that I was pushing my problems to one side, denying their existence and ignoring all the warning signs that a crisis was looming. I talked honestly about the feelings and thoughts that have surfaced, the anger, frustration, despair and eventually the collapse and failure to cope. I’m going to be on this journey for a while, that is certain, but his parting words were the most reassuring, ” This is just temporary, you will get better ”
I returned home, and tried to catch up on lost sleep, but as usual, my brain, whirring with thoughts and questions and plans and ideas, wouldn’t allow me to switch off. I got a phone call from a friend, who I won’t name for his privacy, suffice to say he called to speak about one thing, and hadn’t been aware of how things are, but he spent a good while listening to me and offering comfort, wisdom and some laughter, much-needed at any time, but especially of late. He reminded me again, of how much love I have surrounding me, and it reassured me but at the same time hit me with the pang of guilt, ” how can I be so low when I’m loved this much?” it’s a tough idea to wrestle with.
The doctor, and many others, have told me to be kind to myself, to get out, and do things that I love to do, and I am trying to do that every day when I’m feeling able. With that in mind, tonight, I will go to Corporation, in Sheffield, where there is a benefit concert marking World Prematurity Day, with proceeds going to the special care baby unit at the Jessop Hospital. The headline band is Fear Lies, and their focus for playing this show rests with singer and guitarist Ben Orrah, whose twin babies were born prematurely, and who subsequently had his own battle with anxiety and depression. Ben has been talking about this with the media this week, if you haven’t seen or heard any of his story, it’s worth searching for. He’s been incredibly brave in telling his story, to raise awareness of these issues, thankfully all is well, the twins are thriving, and Ben is well on the road to being fully recovered. I’m going to get onstage with the band, at the end of the night, and sing a couple of songs. I had thought I should pull out, being off work, but singing isn’t work, for me it’s therapy, it’s the thing that makes me happiest, so I’ll get up, and belt out a couple of serious rock tunes. If you fancy a night of good hard rock/metal music, in support of a fantastic cause, you can pay on the door tonight. come along and get involved. £5 secures entry, 3 bands, one great night.