Things that can happen!

When you work for yourself you can think you are invincible. There isn’t time to take a break or go and have that rest you really need! Later, or you’ll give yourself a holiday at some point, but NOT NOW! You take on bookings because you don’t know when you’ll get the next one, think you’ve got it all covered.

So John is three score years and ten in a few days … a year ago we planned a holiday with the family. We would go to Pembrokeshire, where he used to have childhood holidays – we’d all go and reminisce with him and see how the place had changed!

John at Little Haven

We arrived on Wednesday 2nd October at our holiday destination – St Brides Castle, a stunning location, not far from Haverford West and St David’s. I was really looking forward to a good explore! Lots of walking and of course lots of history in the area.

Water wheel

On the Thursday we went to Melin Tregwint, well there had to be something wooly in the holiday! Although I have to say we were very disappointed with the mill. They have a waterwheel – but it does nothing, and could be supplying their electricity. There is a weaving room, but the looms are all super modern and the staff aren’t very keen on coming forward to talk to the visitors, although to be fair, the lady we finally called over was helpful. That really was it. There is a modern artists exhibition that did absolutely nothing for me at all.

The cafe on the other hand was lovely and they had cakes to die for … which leads me on to:

For the past few weeks I’ve found myself getting very breathless when walking or carrying things. kept saying to people “I must get fit, I’m obviously not walking enough” In Haverford West and Milford Haven I was terrible, a bit of a hill and I had to stop several times. This is silly, not right and not me!!!

On the Friday the family were going to arrive, so we got back to our appartment at lunchtime and waited for the first ones, so we could have lunch. In the meantime I tried to take my own pulse – and couldn’t find it, so John told me I was being stupid and then proceeded to find my pulse and count it – 32 beats per minute. Hmmmm that’s a bit slow – perhaps phone NHS direct to ask for some advice. They suggested we call into A & E in Haverford West that afternoon, so after lunch we wandered in.

Our NHS service is amazing – I cannot express how fantastic the staff at Withybush Hospital were from that moment on. I was taken straight into resuss hooked up to a monitor and then taken to the ACCU ward and put under the care of “Doctor Nick”.

Initially they thought I had contracted Lyme Disease from one of our trips abroad, which can cause Heart block, but after an Echo cardiogram they decided that basically my heart was pretty dickie of it’s own accord. I was put on the waiting list for a pacemaker at Swansea hospital, and then monitored continuously at Withybush for the time I was with them. All the nurses and auxiliary staff were amazing. So helpful and friendly and CALM!!!

Last Thursday I was taken by ambulance down to Morriston hospital, accompanied by Gigi, one of the nurses on the ACCU ward and handed over to the care of CCU in Swansea. By 5 pm I had had a Biventricular Pacemaker fitted and was in recovery in Dan Danino ward. So seamless, so efficient.

It felt an interminable time, my brain said I should be doing things, the staff knew how poorly I was and just kept me monitored, the reason I have been so quiet on facebook etc is, this – but what do you say, what can you say?

So what I really want to say now is THANK YOU! to Doctor Nick, and all the staff at Withybush for my week with you in ACCU, and a second THANK YOU to Dr Chase and all the staff in CCU at Morriston, a new lease of life has been given to me by you!

To customers and friends please note that I now have a 6 – 8 week recovery time, so sadly I will not have much new stock for TORM, although we will of course be there, any commissions will have to wait til the recovery time is over. I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than a cup with my left arm to allow the pacemaker to heal and settle, so dyeing is pretty much out of the question! (good job I can still type!)

Pembrokeshire coast – Little Haven

To friends and colleagues who are self employed, please take note and start giving yourselves breaks and rests before it gets too late, you may not get this second chance!

34 thoughts on “Things that can happen!

  1. Hi Debbie I am glad to hear about how it all happened . I was puzzled how you had ended up at Haverfordwest . I am glad that now you are on the other side of the op and getting better . I agree with about taking breaks . I don’t work as hard as you and John but we decided to take three weeks off this September and really enjoyed it and of course three years ago I decided to stop teaching too.
    I am hoping to see you this week and we can have a dyeing chat 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness! How frightening for you both. But I can almost imagine the nurses holding you down as you want to be up and doing again.

    So glad you’ve been treated so well and so promptly. It sounds like you’re being very sensible, but please take it steady and let your body recover. Thank goodness you had yourself checked out and fixed before something much worse happened.

    Hugs and love

    1. The nurses had their work cut out for sure! Bless them I was like Pinocchio with a drip into each hand at 1 stage and they still didn’t know what to do with me! Thanks Freyalynn, hopefully get to see you next time we’re in Bradford!

  3. It really is a good idea to listen to your body once in a while. Poor you, but so glad that you’re on the mend. Thank goodness for the NHS ! xx

  4. So glad you were in the right place right time not nice 😥 but you will be on the mend listen and act on the advice don’t play dice with yourself
    You are you there is no other we don’t realize how time is moving on for us all
    Wishing you good thoughts
    Tina Orange😊🐏💐

  5. Oh, Deb

    I’m so glad you took that holiday and tried to find you’re pulse! So fortuitous that you contacted NHS direct. You have been given your second chance, live it!

    With much love.
    Alison

    1. Thanks Alison – we really intend to! I do love what I do so much that it never really feels like work (well some bits are boring, but you know what I mean!)

  6. Oh, Debbie, what a stressful time that must have been for you both! So glad to read that you’re feeling better! <3 We're unlikely to make it to TORM this time so please consider this a virtual hug in lieu! ((Debbie))

    1. Think it was far worse for John than me, but glad to be through it. Onwards and upwards now! Thanks for the hugs, much appreciated!

  7. Good to hear you took proper notice of your body not feeling right, well done, so many of us don’t. Very glad the NHS did so well, and you are on the road to being better. People will wait, and won’t mind at all, when they know why you need them to. We look forward to seeing you at TORM. xx

    1. Thanks Carolyn, getting better each day – didn’t really notice much except the breathlessness, thought it was a chest infection! But yes, it is very important when self employed to not just think it will all go away! See you soon x

  8. Oh my goodness Deb. Best wishes for a peaceful recovery.

    And a coincidence, as when we lived in Swansea (1966-1970) our landlady was a nurse at Morriston Hospital.

  9. Oh Debbie, thank goodness you had the sense to ring ring NHS direct!! The NHS has done a fabulous job for both of you . Soooo glad you got help in time. What would we have done without you. Do make sure you rest properly, and get the help you need I am sure lots of people will be willing to help. You will have to be the Forman for a while not the grafter! Take care both of you Dx

    1. They are amazing! If there’s one thing we should fight for it’s our NHS! Thanks for the message & hopefully see you at TORM!

  10. Well done Debbie for looking after yourself
    Thank you for sharing so we know you are OK and all of us self employed stop to listen to ourselves too! Make sure you do rest and don’t be tempted back to work before you should, I know it’s hard to do! Get well soon x

    1. Hi Daniel, Thanks for the message, I am being good (well for now!!!) I think we realized after John’s heart attack that you need to listen to your body more, still hard though when you’re self employed! xxx

  11. I thought you had been quiet! Really pleased you discovered this early, had treatment and now on road to recovery; an alternative story doesn’t bear thinking about!

    Hope you experience a full recovery to embrace life again in all its fullness.

    Sending love

    Viv xxxx

  12. Oh my word Debbie! Scary isn’t the half of it. Try and enjoy the rest, although I expect you’ll find that pretty tricky, and you will back much stronger than before.

    Lots of love and very best wishes,

    Sue xxxx

  13. So sorry Debbie, but so thankful you have been treated successfully and speedily. Must have been a terrific shock to you both and take time to recover properly. Do as the doctors tell you!

    Look forward to hearing you’re back on top form very soon.
    Love, Jane xx

    1. Hi Jane, Thank you – I am trying to be good! My brain is now full of ideas which I have to wait to carry out! Hopefully won’t be long!

  14. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been so unwell. Someone not a million miles from here went through heart stuff all last year and into this – and also has a pacemaker ticking away so I know something of what’s going on. And the NHS is indeed marvellous. Take good care of yourself. Love and best wishes. Isabella

    1. Hi Isabella, thanks so much – I’m sure all will settle down into a new routine very quickly, the biggest problem was the shock of what was happening – I really had no idea I was ill, just thought maybe a chest infection affecting my breathing! Getting better each day …!

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