Luckily, all my life I have had good health. I take care of myself - my mother used to say "take care of yourself, nobody else will" - meant in a loving way, and it's true. If we are responsible we should do exactly that.
This year I have "been through the mill" because firstly in February I had a mild stroke. It's called TIA and lots of women get it from middle age onwards. I had never heard of it and it was disconcerting to say the least. For up to 24 hours you get faint signs of a real stroke, your face may move downwards on one side, you get pins and needles and some odd movements of your limbs, especially legs, and you try to say words that come out slowly and then give up and sit there probably looking bewildered.
My husband (for whom I am carer) was worried and noticed something earlier than I did and he asked me to call my daughter. She came running and was obviously just as worried. By then it had calmed down, my face never moved down so it was barely noticeable and all the other symptoms stopped.
My daughter decided to stay awhile to see and sure enough, I had a couple of more noticeable episodes within the hour. Off we went to hospital, they did tests, asked lots of questions and within hours I was back to normal. This took all night from 9pm until 6am next day in a hard chait in A&E but daughter was with me. And that was that. I attended a consultant a couple of weeks later and he told me exactly what I had and said I had to give up fats and he put me on statins and a blood thinner to prevent future clots. Heavens I am now on medication! Not good.
I went on as normal, usually busy and all was well. Until....
On the 17th April, we had finished giving a lovely lunch with friends and I was clearing up. Then I felt rather strange. My limbs were heavy and I felt really hot. I actually took my temperature and it was 38.8C so I began to worry. I had this for two days and finally after several more when I felt increasingly bad. Slow, nothing to eat for nearly a week, and vomiting about once per day. I finally collapsed, briefly fortunately, and went to A&E in the local hospital attended by daughter.
They acted swiftly, took me in, pumped me full of antibiotics and for a whole week was treated with the utmost care, blood tests every 3 hours night and day, a drip, a urine bag and that was it. I knew that I had Sepsis which can be very dangerous, so I thought to myself "I want to get out of here alive!" dramatic I know, but I thought if I do as I am told, I will do so.
Within 36 hours I felt much better, I did as I was told, was able to observe how much care had gone into the other, very elderly patients in a surgical ward of five, and felt better every day. The last day they told me if the next blood test proved positive then I would be allowed home. Fortunately it did and I went home.
On the exit form they give you it said what had happened and the treatment and that it was Sepsis. I began to plan ahead as I felt much better, within two weeks I started a new role for 6 months, Project managing GDPR. I am considered an expert in my field, I would be working with an old friend who I had worked with before and I just got on with it. The good thing was that I was warmly welcomed by the team as they knew they needed me, I had an excellent legal help at my beckoning, met up with some previous colleagues and we completed with one day to spare by 25th May, the European deadline.
I am still at the job, I only go into the office twice a week, or work from home. So gradually I felt better, move faster and back to my previous energy levels. Positive thinking helps. So I learnt later from a consultant at the Gastro clinic that I had PBS, which is an autoimmune disease, in my case of the liver. He had hinted that I might need a liver biopsy (scarier than it sounds) I was never a lush, enjoyed drink but hardly touch any these days, so why? I didn't need the liver biopsy and frankly the medical profession don't know, is the short answer, your body suddenly attacks some organ in your own body and you get a very high temperature that resembles a virus.
I am awaiting treatment which should help repair any damage done thus far. At least I hope so, but I am going to make sure my body does what it's told and I stay well with good diet aimed at that, and exercise. We'll see if that works. I am to visit the Gastro Clinic later this month. The good news is that the liver is one of the organs that self repairs. Whoopee!
The moral of this tale? You never know what's going to befall you. Don't let it be your own body! Take care of yourself, nobody else will.