Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bloggers beware!

Remember the phrase, 'be careful what you wish for'? Well I think that there should also be a phrase, 'be careful what you write'! In my last blog I responded to a challenge to write about a song that 'takes me to my happy place' no matter what's going on in my life at the time. No problem I thought and gaily started to write about the song, 'Singing in the rain', from the film with the same title. I should have remembered that in most films things tend to go wrong before the happy ending!

Almost as soon as I'd pressed the publish button, circumstances arose that had me not only desperately singing that song, but also had me searching for something else in my life that can take me to my 'happy place'!

If you've been following my blogs you may remember that in February, on the day my grandson was born, my hubby had a seizure completely out of the blue. This all happened in Manchester. At the time I happened to reading about 19th century Manchester for my open university course and the chapter I'd been reading was titled, 'Manchester-shock city!'. Well guess what? Manchester has done it again!

My eldest son, who lives in Manchester, has had a pacemaker since he was 11 years old. He does very well with it but every so often he has to have it changed as the battery runs out. The time had come around again for a battery change and this routine procedure, which should be done as a day patient, was scheduled for Monday 15th July. However a routine scan on the Friday prior to his procedure revealed that his pacemaker was faulty and he was immediately admitted.

After much consultation with my son and his wife, it was agreed that I would go up to Manchester on the Sunday afternoon after my choir had finished performing at Ox-fest as originally planned.

Then the fun began!

The journey started well enough as my hubby had upgraded us to first class as a surprise. I settled in to enjoy the journey but at Birmingham New Street we had to evacuate, not only the train, but also the station as the fire alarm was going off. It proved to be a false alarm and so we boarded the train and went on our way. It also proved to be a portent of things to come!

On the Monday the doctor's carried out a slightly more complicated operation replacing and re-siting the pacemaker and inserting 2 new pacing leads. All seemed to go well but as the evening went on he became increasingly breathless and developed a pain in his chest.

Unfortunately one of the possible complications of this procedure was a collapsed lung, (or pneumothorax for any medically minded people), and my son was one of the unlucky ones.

The doctors inserted a chest drain to release the trapped air causing the lung to collapse and next day an x-ray confirmed that the lung had reflated so the chest drain was removed. A few hours later the lung collapsed again and we were back to square one. Another chest drain was inserted and after another anxious 24 hours this one was removed and the following lunchtime he was allowed home.

By this time I must admit singing 'Singing in the rain' wasn't really working for me any more.

All seemed to go well but after having gone for a nap  my son woke up feeling breathless again and off to A&E we went. Thankfully it was a false alarm and at 1am the following morning we arrived back home, exhausted but relieved.

My 'happy song' wasn't working for me, so how did I cope?

Back in February the arrival of my first grandchild had been the thing that had kept us all going. Just looking at this amazing, tiny, perfect little boy was enough to release any tension that not only me, but also the rest of the family, were feeling. Gazing at him as he slept or even watching him screw up his face as he cried, just melted our hearts and brought a smile where before had been anxiety or even tears. What a big responsibility for such a tiny boy.

Fast forward a few months and once more that same little boy is weaving his magic. Despite all the drama he continues to melt our tears away and even make us smile as he laughs and giggles, completely oblivious to the drama that's unfolding around him. He's helped to give us hope when things seemed at their darkest.

I'm sure that any grandparents or even parents will right now be nodding their heads and smiling in agreement. It's not that you're any less worried or stressed, but looking at these tiny miracles helps to bring hope and help you to cope with any situation, you have too for their sake.

We found out later that my son's old pacemaker had failed to restart when he was on the operating table so he was incredibly fortunate in the timing of it's replacement. I knew my son was going to be OK when on visiting him he told us that he'd been putting together a play list of songs including:
'Every breath you take', Sting and  'You'll never walk alone' by Gerry and the Pacemakers, among other heart/lung related sons!

I can't honestly say that I've been feeling like I could sing and dance, but my lovely grandson has certainly helped to make the situation more than just bearable.

Not everyone has the privilege of being parents or grandparents, but I hope that if you think hard enough you can find something that'll give you a lift when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Why not try thinking now of what it might be and then you'll be prepared for when,or hopefully if, you need it.

On a positive note my hubby is fine and all the tests the doctors ordered were completely clear, so we'll probably never know why he had a seizure. I've nothing personal against Manchester, but a little part of me is thinking that perhaps my son and his family should move somewhere else-just saying!
© 2013

If you missed it here is the link to the Manchester: shock city blog.


Happy place photo courtesy of

Grandma was here courtesy of

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