Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Four AM Phone Call

....As the phone starts ringing to the side of my head I know it is my daughter almost before the second note . The digital numbers on the clock show it is four o clock in the morning . In two hours I would up for work . The word in my head is What ? She is staying at her friends at a sleepover and has once ,
in her history of sleepovers , called me to come for her . Not bad , since she started at age three and has reached the ripe old age of fifteen . So , what ? I grapple with the phone and hear her slightly tearful voice immediately and am out of bed as I am talking , pulling on a sweater over my vest top and heading down the stairs and into my Uggs and out to the car , zipping up my puffa jacket and cursing the sea fret . There is quite a fog out there . I am outside the house where she is staying in minutes and so is she , with her bag in her hand and a hoodie over her pyjamas .
Inside another twenty I am wearing more clothes , having returned to the house for cash etc , and we are registering ourselves at our Accident and Emergency dept . She cannot cope with the pain in her head . We see our Health Service at its finest . She is seen inside five minutes by the triage nurse who notes her aversion to the bright lights and ushers us through to the darkened childrens' waiting room and from there to a side ward with a narrow single bed . She leaves a lamp on which I angle so it faces away . Nat lies on the bed and a doctor arrives and suggests we extinguish all lights . The nurse reappears , fumbling in the pitch dark , bringing anti nausea medication , which I know from my own experience will sedate her in minutes .
I settle myself in the small hard blue chair and N stretches her hand out to hold mine in hers . Slowly her hand loses its vitality and she draws it back up beside her and turns over . I ask her how she feels and she says " I have that feeling when you are about to fall asleep and its not quite so awful " .
I breathe again .
From my position facing her bed I have a wonderful view from a high window of a decorative wrought iron overhang on some kind of square or courtyard, painted in pale green . I stare at this for a while and think of the view from my window at home of the old station . Unlike many hospital rooms , we are cool and comfortable . I feel I am on a ship , lurching , as if jet lagged . I need to find the bathroom so whisper this and she nods .
A couple who were waiting in the main waiting area are still there . The man , who I guess is the patient , is in one of the hard chairs , sitting with his head in his hands , far away in some private despair . His partner , who looks familiar , is leaning against the door , staring at something in her hands . I try to see what she is holding but can't make it out . Perhaps a mobile phone .
I find the bathroom and get back to our room as soon as possible . Apart from the couple waiting the place is deserted . I take a wrong turn and find myself in a long ward with banks of nurses at desks . They look at me curiously , I reverse out and find my way again . I am still lurching . I feel like I have made a transatlantic flight and my hands are shaking slightly .
I sit again and close my eyes picturing my chair as a larger , softer version . I count my breaths backwards from ten ( I learned hypnosis from Richard Bandler and Paul Mckenna years ago and it has stood me in good stead ) . Within seconds I am drifting off , dreaming I am comfortable and happy and relaxed .. and thus I spend the next hours , waking each time Nat turns and speaks to me , or a nurse appears ( infrequent ) . Finally , she is discharged with strong medication for the migraine ( thus diagnosed ) and we step out into the fog again , back into some kind of reality but the changed reality of knowing how it is to spend a night in a hospital bed .

6 comments:

BetteJo said...

Oh NO-O-O!!! Has she had them before? And you knew exactly what she was feeling too. How awful. Maybe it was a one-time thing. I hope.

Silliyak said...

So sorry

MsCatCalls said...

Thanks to both for your comments . Sadly yes she has had them before and has now, fairly recently been diagnosed . Not good news . Strong family history connections . My mother is also a sufferer . Sometimes they are bad in the teens then improve though . Thats how I was , until my thirties when they reappeared .

hadjare said...

Poor kid. I wish they could find a cure for it other than more painkillers --though I am grateful those exist.

joan said...

Hi Shelagh
Poor Nat! hope soon find remedy for awful condition,
Re Family history connection, My mom was diagnosed with heart probs when she was in her 60s, I inherited this from my mom, was diagnosed when i was 46! its on female side,
Take care and give hugs to Nat
joan xxx

Dulwich Divorcee said...

Oh dear ...though I got them in my teens and don't now (touching wood as I speak) with very strong family history of migraines ...fingers crossed for no more x

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