February in Review

by - Wednesday, March 02, 2016

It seems mad that we have already come to the end of February and January just seems to have passed in a haze. The grey and dull weather has really cast a pall over things and the occasional bright day this year was like a little beacon, moving me forward to brighter times.
It doesn't look like the weather is improving at all but nonetheless there are cheery little signs of spring everywhere and nature coming to life, I'm really looking forward to longer, brighter days, in fact, I feel like I really need them at this stage.

My February was a mix of things, many health related!
I finally got a follow up MRI to see how the tear in my artery is healing. Being a public patient has huge disadvantages sometimes and having to wait so long for something so important was one of them. However, I had the MRI and follow up appointment at the public clinic. I'd had a cardiology appointment the previous week (this was scheduled at the time of CAD) and the scan results were actually there but the doctor wasn't able to read them - it is a bit of a specialist area but still a very frustrating experience to have the information there, literally in front of me, and no way to access it.
Anyway, I did get the results finally at the subsequent appointment and after an initial chat with one of the trainee docs I got to talk to the consultant who explained that the tear was healing well but that the way it healed had created a narrowing of my artery which means that I'm on aspirin for life. Luckily the path of the artery is completely smooth so it's not like the artery is clogged, it's just narrower than it was.
So, good news really. Although it didn't feel like it at the time, I left the clinic feeling teary and out of sorts and couldn't quite figure out why. I guess it just hit me in a big way that this was something that would affect the rest of my life.  And at the same time, I was more or less signed off (with a yearly follow up scan), but still suffering a lot of symptoms that have an impact on my daily life.
I do know how blessed I am and things are improving but sometimes it's hard to deal with the fatigue and head pain and tingly scalp and on the bad days I usually go to my CAD Facebook group for chat and comfort, so thankful to have found it and the lovely people who understand the whole experience.

Another health related issue cropped up in February. My daughter Síomha unfortunately suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease which is a chronic inflammation of the large intestine.  She was diagnosed in her final exam year of school and had to spend time in hospital getting it under control as her symptoms were so severe. She had a very bad flare up again recently which was really worrying as we were very afraid she would have to be hospitalised again.  Luckily, our GP is great and through a combination of his care and hospital visit, she got the medication she needed and it is now hopefully under control again. Unfortunately, the immediate solution is steroids and she has been taking those for some time now - the side effects are pretty awful and not pleasant but they are working which is something, I guess.
I'm so amazed at her resilience and strength, it's such a tough thing to go through, to feel constantly ill and suffer such debilitation symptoms and still be positive. She's been channeling a lot of her emotions into her art which is incredible although I have to wonder if I'm the only mum to come home to pictures of intestines all over the living room floor! :)
This is work designed as part of her current assignment:

Síomha Reid Art Work Ulcerative Colitis


The next significant happening of February was that it was my Dad's birthday - he passed away in May of last year (read my blog post here - Saying Goodbye to Dad).  I knew the day would be a difficult one, both for myself and my brother and also for my mum. My answer was to invite my mum for lunch and also my aunty Irene who is mum's youngest sister and my aunty Deirdre popped over too with my uncle Michael. Noel, Irene's husband was also a lovely addition to the gathering.
I actually had a lovely day, it was really great to hang out with family. My mum is really close to her sisters so I would have spent a great deal of time with my aunts when I was a child and there was something really comforting about having them there. I did feel sad but also happy to have mum there and dad always loved a gathering with good food so it was nice to do something in his honour. I know he would have particularly appreciated the cake we bought from Armelle's Kitchen :)

Valentine's Cake from Armelle's Kitchen

One of my favourite pictures of the day is this one of myself, my mum and my eldest daughter Síomha, 3 generations together :)



My husband has also had health problems in February, but it kind of feels like we're all turning a corner and hopefully big improvements are on the way! 

We had a lovely walk last weekend in Altamont gardens, here is Mark at coffee time and it felt like the first of proper Spring outdoorsy days. 



Last but not least I had some good news about a possible work move which would make such a difference to my life, just keeping my fingers crossed that it will happen soon.

I'm looking forward to seeing what March will bring :)


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8 comments

  1. It's supposed to be March, but it feels nothing like spring. The sunshiny days seem to have gone too :( .... I do hope all your family's health concerns turn out better ASAP. It's nice to know though that your daughter is channeling her feelings through art... They did say that art heals and I have no doubt that it is helping your daughter. x

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  2. I really think spring is right around the corner - there are so many little signs! I'm hoping it arrives very soon - I need more sunshine in my life! It sounds like March should hopefully be a better month for you all health wise too - I hope so! Fingers cross for the work opportunity too :)

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  3. I am hoping March and spring bring with it warmth, sunshine and good health all around. Hope everything works out for you on all fronts x

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  4. My god what an awful month it has been bless you but you have coped so well hun well done I am so proud of you. I am glad that it was good news and well done for staying strong on your Dad's birthday. Sorry to hear about her intestinal issues poor thing I hope that they find something that might help her more than the medication she is on now!

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  5. It must be nerve racking waiting for the appointments and the results, I am also on aspirin for life for a blood problem. Your poor daughter I have never heard of that condition its good she is channelling it into something positive. Will keep my fingers crossed for you re the job :)

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  6. Gosh. What a hard month you have had. I'm really sorry to hear that both you and your daughter have been suffering, but how wonderful that your daughter is able to cope so well. I'd love to see that intestine art of hers!
    Also, I really love that picture of you and your family. Such a great shot - so natural.
    All the best with the possible job thing, and I hope that along with spring, come some easier times for you and your family.
    Anna x

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  7. Health is a great gift we have but often overlook. Your story is so inspiring. I pray March will be much better with springs of better health for you and your family.

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  8. What a lovely month apart from your daughter being ill. I've got Crohn's and if she's been on steroids too long ask for a bone density scan. I never had one and by the time I did I had osteoporosis and my spine was crumbling. Insist on it. Hope she feels better soon xx

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