Thoughts from a befuddled brain

06.10.17 #feelinggrateful

Exactly a year ago a woman entered my life in the most selfless way.

She entered as my hero. She did one of the bravest things that can be asked of a person, she saved my life.

Despite thinking that she may be facing a drunken hooligan clutching a takeaway and not very much dignity laying face down on the roadside, she still approached and quickly saw something was gravely wrong.

Amongst the panic of my friend helping and other passersby, an ambulance was called and she commenced CPR and ultimately her quick thinking and bravery saved my life and for that I can never thank her enough.

She is my hero and I love her with every bit of my mended heart

❤️

06.10.17 #feelinghumble

Today marks one year of a day that I don’t remember but one that I will never forget.

It is the day my life was taken away from me so suddenly but also the day my life was given back. Everything changed but mostly has stayed the same, I’m a new me but still the same person I was.

Over the last year I have fought physical and emotional battles I didn’t know I was even capable of and I’m slowly learning to live along side the events of that day and since.

It hasn’t been easy but with the support of my family and friends (whom I can never thank enough) I’m living my life and being a better person and have even bagged myself a new little job!

Life is good and I am thankful and grateful everyday

❤️

12.02.18 #feelingproud

The more I think about the survivors jottings being published, the prouder I become of us all.

We all have amazing stories of strength and determination like I’ve never known in my 40 something years on this planet.

Each and every person is an inspiration and a marvel to me and weirdly I’m almost glad this awful thing happened to me otherwise I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to meet and interact with all these amazing humans, or, for my life to be taking the turns it has in the last few months!

17.02.18 #feelingaccomplished

Today I got the train to Birmingham New Street all by myself to attend a survivors meetup.

This was a hugely courageous thing for me to do and now sitting on the train on my way home alone with my thoughts I feel chuffed with myself for being brave and making myself do something completely out of my comfort zone. Getting a train on my own is not something I would have even considered pre-SCA.

I’m kinda liking the new Ingrid!

07.03.18 #feelingemotional

I’m now 17 months post SCA and I’m sitting here pondering (yet again) the trauma my body endured on that day in October 2016.

Will my day to day thoughts ever be free of what happened to me or will it fill my brain forever?!

It never leaves me and having a device inside my body also reminds me of it every day….will that ever change either? So many questions without answers. So many unknowns.

I have no problem with what happened to me and have accepted it but I would just like to be free of the thoughts and questions and ailments for just a few minutes…….it just never goes away!

18.03.18 #feelingsad

It is all too often in my thoughts that my children were so very nearly without me.

It pains me greatly knowing that they are all to aware of this.

It’s bad enough that my family struggle with the thought of this too and witnessing how poorly I was not once but twice.

I hate my body for doing that to them all but marvel at the fact that it fought like hell to stay on this planet and keep me with them.

Still, I hate the thought that my brilliant and awesome children almost had to grow up without a mother. The one person in their life that cherishes them with mind, body and soul. It hurts……it really really hurts. I try to lock it away and not think about it but it’s always there like the thudding heartbeats I feel daily reminding me of how close the loss of life and love came.

I hate it and it hurts!

Thankfully it’s not something my children appear to think about, or, something I would ask them about unless they mentioned it first.

They treat me like they did before, we laugh, we play, we do normal everyday things and they are still cheeky and give me lip and they misbehave like nothing ever happened.

This is great and I hang onto each one of those moments but it also makes me sad that that so nearly wasn’t the case!

A continuing emotional roller-coaster indeed!

😕

01.05.18 #feelingthoughtful

Again I sit and think about all the things I’ve achieved since joining the group.

  • Making new friends
  • Travelling on a train to Birmingham on my own (never heard of before SCA) for a meet up
  • Attempting a Guinness World Record (who would have thought!)
  • Helping to promote the GWR through my local media
  • Getting a new job
  • Writing blogs
  • Having one published
  • Helping out as much as I can in the support group,
  • Becoming a community defib caretaker.

None of these things would have even entered my head to do had I not had an SCA and I’m trying to grab every opportunity when it comes along.

Sometimes that proves quite a challenge because of my own emotional barriers, but, the sense of pride and achievement I have from braking down some barriers is enormous and beneficial to my on going recovery.

Long may it continue!

😊

01.05.18 #feelingappreciative

I joined SCA UK group about a month or so after my SCA (I think!) and have found the info and support a huge help.

I have been to a couple of meetups and met other survivors which I also found enormously beneficial to my emotional recovery.

It was like meeting long lost family who just ‘got it’ (strangers with a certain amount of familiarity).

I’ve made unlikely friends and the group has become a huge part of my life.

Recovery would of been a little different had I not found this group. It has also led me to do things I would never have even thought of prior to SCA.

Thank you Paul for taking a leap of faith and setting it up and for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes from all the admins and moderators.

Long may it continue to flourish and grow.

Happy 3rd Birthday SCA UK

👏🏻
💜

07.05.18 #feelinghelpful

Today has been a good day.

I’ve been on a little tour around Oakham, the town I live in, checking all the community defibrillators are in good order.

It’s nice to be able to give something back to my community and help out the first responder volunteers in my town.

Something I’m feeling quite proud of at the moment

It was a good feeling to know that what I was doing is so valuable and that all our defibs are in good working order should they ever be required.

I’ve always wanted to do something that is ‘giving a bit back’ since my SCA and this feels like I am a little bit.

Roll on the next ‘giving back’ thing that finds its way into my life

😊

08.05.18 #feelingempathetic

Another survivor was contacted today by a member of the public about CPR courses she is running due to someone passing away in the street close to where they work.

The woman didn’t know what to do to help this poor man and it has really made me think how many people still have no idea what to do. Something is always better than nothing and it pains me that seemingly no one even contacted 999 initially. If they had surely someone would have advised them what to do and the man may have survived.

The impact it’s had on the person is huge to and it will most likely take her a while to put it to the back of her mind.

Things like this really take its toll and it’s a huge reminder of our own mortality and the implications emotionally of what we have been through.

I hope in time it gets a little easier for us all to cope with!

22.10.19 #feelingthoughtful

It’s been over a year since I added to these musings.

I’ve just read through them and they’ve made me quite emotional.

I’m glad I jotted a few of my thoughts and feelings down as it has been quite good to read it all and now to see how far I’ve come. To see how positive my recovery has been.

At points I was overwhelmed with sadness, anger, hurt, frustration, but, amongst all that there is also hope, pride and lots of achievement in what ever form that takes!

Recovery has certainly been arduous and challenging but I’m so glad I’ve come out the other side.

Make no mistake things are still challenging from time to time and I don’t deal with stress quite as easily as I did pre-SCA but for the most part I’m happy, content and not sad anymore.

The sadness about my children nearly losing me is still there but I’ve learnt (with hours and hours of counselling and therapy) to live along side and not let it consume me.

My ICD isn’t an issue and even though I get aches and pains occasionally, for the most part I can ignore it completely.

I don’t spend all day every day thinking about what happened to me but it is still a big part of my life.

I can pick and choose how much I involve it in my life.

I walk with a little spring in my step and take on challenges I wouldn’t have dreamed of before my event.

Life is for living and I’m excited at what life will bring going forward.

Recovery is ongoing but I’m pleased and lucky that I’m able to live my life to the fullest

💜

Why a heart attack and cardiac arrest are not equal

In episode #025 Paul talks about why a hearts attack and a cardiac arrests are not equal.

From a physiological point of view the events are quite different, a heart attack is a plumbing problem whereas a cardiac arrest is an electrical one.

Image result for heart attack cardiac arrest difference

It should be noted that both need immediate medical attention but a cardiac arrest is perhaps the ultimate medical emergency as without immediate intervention the patient will almost certainly die.

Paul talks briefly about the actual events and then lists 10 reasons why they should not be considered equal.

This is not to undermine or denigrate a heart attack, but to help the uninitiated understand what cardiac arrest survivor and their family may be going through.

For the estimated 60% that have both they may be moot points, but for remaining cohort they can make a real difference.

  1. The severities of a heart attack vs the binary nature of a cardiac arrest.
  2. State of consciousness.
  3. The need for resuscitation.
  4. Finding a cause.
  5. The care pathway.
  6. Lifestyle choices.
  7. The psychological aspect.
  8. Brain injury.
  9. Implanted devices.
  10. Insurance.

Available to listen on the link below or Spotify, Apple , Google and your favourite podcast player.

Presented by Paul Swindell and edited by Matt Nielson. Recorded November 2019

Spring bok to work with Willem Pretorius

In episode 24 Paul talks with likeable South African and cardiac arrest survivor Willem Pretorius about his ups and downs post arrest.

Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and outdoor

Like an estimated quarter of survivors he lost his job after his event and struggled to get his life back to an even keel.

Willem talks about his struggles, running, occupational therapy sessions and how becoming a member of SCA UK has helped his recovery such that he has recently got himself back into the workforce.

Available to listen on the link below or Spotify, Apple , Google and your favourite podcast player.

Presented by Paul Swindell and edited by Matt Nielson. Recorded November 2019