It was my birthday this weekend. Today, actually.
We planned on a breakfast the day before (daycare could have the toddler while we had some still-hot food), then a visit to the bank and some grown-up chores before I had a dentist appointment.
All was lovely and well; my beautiful family had surprised me with a bank transfer and I bought myself a skirt and dress with some of it.
Fast forward to the dentist. They noticed a tiny rash on my ankles, and throughout my appointment got more and more concerned that it was something sinister. Eventually they convinced me that I had to see a doctor asap to rule out meningococcal, and for the babiest one’s safety I agreed.
Below the dentist is a doctor’s surgery. It being 3.30 on a Friday afternoon I thought I’d save time and just visit him, rather than trying to get in to see my usual GP. I was rushed off for blood tests, and on our way back to the GP Ryan made a joke about him sending me off so he could have time to search Web MD.
You know how you can sneeze, search Web MD for possible causes and suddenly you’ve self-diagnosed the bubonic plague?
One excessively long consultation later and I was being sent to A&E, with an explanatory fax and note for the staff.
The Doctor had convinced himself I had an infection on my heart, and due to an existing murmur I was obviously going to die unless I got it seen to immediately.
Possibly. Worst case scenario; but ‘if you don’t get it checked out right away I will panic all weekend’.
It was now almost 5pm, we still had to get back to daycare, we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and we’d all had enough.
We got N, I tried my luck finding someone to watch him (last minute on a Friday night), gave up and headed to A&E.
Both kids were exhausted, Ryan was pissed off but trying to be supportive and I just caved. I cried the whole way there. Not because I was frightened, but because I am so fucking tired of worst case scenarios.
I was born with a serious heart condition, I recieved amazing care from Great Ormond Street Hospital, I have regular check ups, and have been ‘exceeding expectations’ ever since the op. I am greatful, and appreciate that medical staff have to be cautious, but sometimes I just have enough.
I get sick of proving that I am okay.
I’ve had chest pains (that turned out to be anxiety related), but that diagnosis was reached after a lot of anxiety-inducing tests. ‘To be safe’.
I’ve had a (still mysterious) numbness in one of my hands that had me at A&E for hours, ruling out life-threatening blood clots, ‘to be safe’.
I had an extremely stressful labour with N. Because of fear my heart wouldn’t cope, I was given one ‘highly recommended’ Epidural, instrumental birth and zero water to drink ‘to be safe’. The water decision was made once I had had the paralyzing injection, because of a miscommunication and a fear of excess fluid damaging my heart immediately after the birth. My pulse dropped into the low 40s, twice, and I came very close to losing consciousness both times.
I couldn’t get water for myself, due to the Epidural, and medical staff refused it. Safety, safety safety.
I need drugs for piercings, tattoos, and the dentist, just in case.
I know it’s irrational. I know I am incredibly lucky to have such attention and care given, no room for error. I know that these people have my life in their hands and they have to be cautious, but last night I had reached my limit.
A&E on a friday night, with two exhausted children and two seriously hungry adults, sat in a waiting room infront of a poor Heroin addict that was desperate for help, and in very close proximity to some fairly frequent vomit was not how I’d planned on my weekend beginning.
So now it’s my birthday. I have chosen to stay on the couch with the babiest one, while N and Ryan shop for tools, and I’m having a public rant, in the hopes of cleansing, mentally.
I am incredibly lucky, I get it. I’m just tired.