Tuesday, May 31, 2016

When a holiday turns to drama

My recent holiday wasn’t a holiday.

It was a dramatic and traumatic challenge to the nervous system that lead to me needing to take a further 2 weeks off work to recover after arriving home.

Yet it started off with such promise.

We arrived in paradise, thrilled to benefit from the kindness of good friends and have use of their beautiful villa in Majorca all to ourselves for 2 whole weeks.

We were just slowing down, easing off the pressure and relaxing and having fun with our 3 kids.

Then, wham, day 2, an unexpected shock hit us. My husband was cooking on a new-fangled stove – an induction hob – when he suddenly fell to the floor.

I heard him fall, whackthud onto the hard-tiled floor of the kitchen, his body twitching and his eyes rolling.

I screamed and ran over, holding his head thinking he smashed his head when he fell, believing it to be just a fainting episode or possibly a fit. But his eyes were rolling. He came back after 30 seconds, but then rolled away again.

I called the kids asking them to bring me my phone and I called the emergency services and somehow, miraculously, got him to a hospital within half an hour.

That day was a total panic and blur. An amazing family took our 3 kids for the day whilst I went with him to A&E. I had to call our health insurance company and hope that we were covered for the dozens of tests and scans that were happening.

In the meantime, he was drifting in and out of what the doctors called Asystole, which I’d never heard of. I googled it. The layman’s term is ‘flat-line’!!!

Cut a long story short, they said he needed a pacemaker to prevent his heart from stopping again and they had to transfer him to a cardiac specialist in Palma 45 miles away.

It was a very frightening time. In a split-second our holiday turned from carefree happy-go-lucky bliss to pure horror. A fit and healthy 50-year-old man suffered a sudden cardiac arrest for no apparent reason.

Thankfully, we live to tell the tale.

There are many silver linings to this story – the fact that he had excellent medical attention in Majorca; the good friends and family who appeared like cavalry over the hill – literally arriving on the first plane the next morning;  many good local-based people; an incredible health system; a great health insurer (Laya), who all helped to lessen the impact of this nightmare. And the fact that he was fit and healthy man means he was able to recover fairly quickly.

It’s taken a lot out of us, emotionally, physically, financially and psychologically, but here’s hoping time will heal and we’ll put it behind us and fully move on soon. 

When a shock hits you like this, you begin to live in the moment; initially to get through the day and then that evolves into a realisation that life is short and that every second counts. One things for sure, I'm going to be bringing a lot more joy into my life from now on and making the most of all my precious moments with my friends and family. 

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