Now that my thoughts are settling, my house guests have departed, and I have a moment to review where I’ve got to, I can begin to say a huge thank-you to everyone, all the way from those who took control of my life (despite my clear-headed, totally under-control, resistance) within minutes of pins-and-needles cascading down my left side and a left arm trying persistently to levitate, to those dedicated people who are still monitoring my progress and trying to find out just what it was at the root of my “episode”.
Thanks first to my darling daughter Melanie and my ever-watchful neighbour Peter D. for dialling “emergency” even though I wouldn’t have done the same myself had I been home alone. And thanks to staff at Cygnet Medical Services for watching over me while the ambulance was on its way.
Thanks especially to Erin and Edward, the so-skilled and calm ambulance duo that transported me at a comfortable cruising speed (no lights or sirens) to the Royal Hobart, always keeping me focused in a most gently informal manner. (I think we discussed, and possibly found solutions to, many of the crises that afflict the critically injured planet we humans treat so appallingly.)
And thanks to all the emergency staff I encountered on arrival at The Royal Hobart, right from Reception. I can’t remember all their names. But I do remember how efficiently I was slipped into the system; and how rapidly I felt I was again in the hands of people who know exactly what they are doing.
Doctor Kendra, so professional and engaging in her appraisal. Nurse Amy moving systematically through the process of checking all my vital signs (I’d never imagined one day I might be peering up at a delicate nose ring and feeling totally secure).
Seems my BP had soared to a hitherto never-reached 155 over something (when I’m normally about 110 over something that is usually far short of 100).
Then it was off to CT, where Robert slid me into the tunnel with a revolving, lit ceiling. And then back to my mattress on an emergency bed that, even for my modest stature, was just a little too short for my legs to lie straight.
But I was comfortable, and by this time almost every symptom had passed of what I was later to be told had been an ITA (transient ischaemic attack). The P&Ns were gone, and, though I was still stepping gingerly, I was judged by RH’s marvellous staff OK to go home.
What it was that had changed me from an apparently fit, no-medication, near-78-year-old, to a medically suspect old-timer had not been established. But the data said I no longer needed to be occupying one of the hospital’s precious bed spaces, so I was free to leave.
Minutes later, after stepping out into Campbell Street, along came Peter and Melanie to take me home.
Thank-you, Royal Hobart. You are an amazingly wonderful hospital. Once again, you had treated me just as you did a couple of years ago when you put a pacemaker in me: with great skill, efficiency, reassuring coolth and caring, and lots of kind and humorous banter.
Tasmania, you are so lucky to have a hospital like the Royal, and all those wonderful people doing such an amazing job of patching us up.
May you prosper and emerge unscathed from your own apparently never-ending TIA, long since characterised as an incident-laden physical reconstruction of a hospital that could have been so much better had it now been being built anew on the waterfront. — Bob Hawkins