What's another year?
It's huge! It's a celebration of life and love. It's another milestone for me as someone who quite frankly is lucky to be still here.
This day 8 year's ago I gave in and went to my GP. I had been really sick all over Christmas and I knew that something was wrong. Bryan forced me to go to the doc as he had watched me getting worse and stubbornly refusing to leave the kids at Christmas - Emma was 9 and Cathal was 2.
I had been vomiting since 8 December - on and off - and was getting weaker and sicker.
So on 2 January 2007 I took the kids and went to the GP. Bryan had gone back to work.
The GP told me I looked ghastly and took a whole series of bloods. She have me an anti-sickness injection. I had missed the blood courier so I volunteered to drive my bloods over to Naas hospital for testing/analysis.
We went home and I put Cathal down for a nap and Emma and I put on a Christmas movie. I fell asleep ....
I was woken an hour or two later by a phone call which went like this:
Doc: Brenda it's Dr Ciara here. Your bloods are back from Naas.
Me: ok - that was quick
Doc: I need you to go to hospital
Doc: I need you to go to hospital
Me: can I go tomorrow - I'm home alone with the kids (it was about 4pm)
Doc: no, you need to get to hospital now
Me: What's wrong?
Doc: your creatinine is very high
(I knew that meant kidneys were in trouble)
Me: can I go to Naas hospital later tonight or tomorrow?
Doc: no we need to get you to Dublin to either James's or Tallaght today, now,as soon as possible.
Doc: I am writing your referral letter now so which hospital?
Doc: ok can you come in to me to get the letter.
I was stunned. I knew I was sick but it was so bad I had to go to Dublin?
I sorted the kids and drove in to get the letter. I cried all the way in. The receptionist was so sweet to me and that made me cry even more.
The letter was sealed but I opened it and scanned the bloods. They were bad. The diagnosis was kidney failure with a question mark beside it. I put it away and rang Bryan who was stunned it was something do serious. He left his office to make the journey home. I cried all the way home at the thoughts of leaving the kids.
I got home and made dinner for the kids. I arranged for a friend to take Cathal and told Emma to pack up some stuff. I emptied the dishwasher and did some ironing (as you do).
Bryan arrived and we packed a bag for me too in case I was kept in.
The doctor rang to see if I was on my way! That made me even more scared.
We dropped Cathal off and headed for Tallaght A & E which is no fun at any time of the year but on Jan 2nd it was a nightmare.
There was a guy in a suit liaising with patients to tell us how long we had to wait. After an hour or more I wanted to scream at him to stop telling me I was a major and would be seen ..... I was really miserable.
There were time wasters and people treating it like a social club. I remember one woman who had dropped a wine bottle on her foot in NYE and she was phoning her friends telling them to come up to A & E for the Craic.
I was feeling worse by the minute. I think the anti sickness injection was wearing off because I started vomiting and having explosive diarrhoea again which in very unpleasant to manage in a public toilet.
The triage nurse came out and took my letter. She was back 5 mins later to tell me they were preparing a place for me. When I heard those words the passage from John's gospel flashed across my brain "there are many rooms ..." It's a popular reading at funerals! I was losing it...
Emma chatted away and Bryan worried. I was taken through to a bay after 10pm and I was sure I was going to be home later that night.
By 11pm I had bloods taken and vitals were assessed. There was a lot of head scrAtching. They said it was most likely a virus and asked if I had been to Africa or anywhere else like that where I might have picked something up. They mentioned rheumatic fever at one point.
I told Bryan and Emma to go home as it was so late. I was convinced I would be calling home in the early hours trying to arrange a lift.
I spoke to a nurse at 11.30pm and asked her did she think I would get home that night? She looked at me and said: "no Brenda, you are a very sick girl".
I settled in for the night in the cubicle ...running to the loo every 10 minutes and vomiting into my cardboard dish in between. I was given more anti sickness meds and put on fluids.
I was told I was dangerously dehydrated. Sure I had been losing any food and drink I ate since early Dec through vomiting etc
I had a haemoglobin of 7 which is why I was breathless and weak.
Docs were shocked by my bloods and were amazed I was able to stand.
I saw more docs and was eventually moved away from the A & E madness into a small side room for observation overnight.
They were pursuing the sickness as a virus but could rule nothing in or out.
I often wonder looking back and knowing what I know now about bloods - did they know it might be cancer ?
I never for one moment thought it was cancer.
But it was.
Thankfully here I am on 2 January 2015 - a date I never thought I would be writing....
Here's to good health in 2015.