BRONWEN HEALY PHOTOGRAPHY

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20 January 2014

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Every now and again I wish that my life could just settle down and run smoothly.  Without drama.  I seem to always been winning the 'high drama' stakes..  And I will be pleased when (I hope!) that this is no longer the case.

I'm at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Emergency with my Mum.  It scared the wits out of me this morning.  I literally thought she was about to die on me. While I was about to call an ambulance Mum improved and began talking. I looked up the Stroke Foundation's website.  It looked to me as though Mum  had had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).  Which is what happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrputed for a short period of time.  Sometimes they call it a 'mini-stroke'.

I didn't end up calling an ambulance, I called her local GP Practice.  She came good enough for me to walk with her to the GP's surgery which is literally just around the corner  The GP and nurse who saw her were both so excellent and really nice.  But he thought it was a TIA and he ended up calling the ambulance which transported Mum to hospital.  I was in a panic about whether I should have just phoned 000 and they were nice about it and said I'd made the right judgement call.  Of course if she'd collapsed on me half say to the surgery I was suddenly looking like a prize idiot who got it so absolutely wrong.

I was going to follow her to Hospital in Dan behind the ambulance because I didn't know the way.  As they put her in I smiled slightly, remembering the Ruth Cracknell movie "Spider and Rose". Have you ever seen it?  If you haven't I'm sure you would love it if you could it and watch it. I know that you will enjoy the rich visual way it is filmed. I think you'll love the soundtrack. And the poignant and at times funny way it deals with grower older.  I smiled as I remembered "Rose" having a fight about not wanting to lie down in the ambulance.

Alas I wasn't able to follow the ambulance at high speed like Hugh Grant did in "About a Boy" (it's one of my favourite movies, the song "A Minor Incident" is the one I talked about a couple of days ago).  Despite the fact that we were travelling in a very civilised manner I lost the ambulance because of red lights. Then I course I lost my bearings and turned right instead of left onto Parramatta Road.  Want to know how many UTurns?  Well.....  it was a few. 

It turns out I was right and the diagnosis does appear to be a TIA.  What's complicated is that these TIA's can  go away, but they are usually a warning sign that, if ignored, can apparently and sometimes quite suddenly lead to something far more sinister.  And the danger period is now which is why she's been sent to hospital and is likely to be admitted overnight.  

I don't feel it's safe to leave her which means I won't leave Sydney as planned tomorrow.  It puts carefully laid plans aside a little too. But I'm so glad I was here and she wasn't on her own. 

I have to admit that the episode gave me a $%^#ing great scare and that I've found it upsetting.  The usual thoughts sprang to mind and it made me think of who I wanted/needed to talk to and who I wanted near me.  It's a little reminder that life is a funny and precious commodity that you can't take for granted.  
"Your time is limited..  So don't waste your time living someone else's life.   Stay hungry..  Stay foolish" - Steve Jobs

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