Okay, so my heart stopped beating for several minutes last January.
But I’m still here.
And this week has been a bit special.
- Eight months to the day since I was admitted to Southend
Resus, just a few minutes before my heart temporarily retired.
- Six months to the day since I had my CRT-D implant at Essex
CTC. The pacemaker/defibrillator is working wonders for me.
- And has won me back my car driving licence, also this week.
- And my younger son has gifted me his new(ish) BMW as a treat
for recovering and to help me start my new job, again all in this
How kind everyone has been.
How important family and friends have been to me through my recovery to date.
I am a lucky man.
But yesterday was perhaps the most important day since January
It started off as a miserable, grey, wet, windy day by the seaside where we live. Like many survivors, I don’t have a great night sleeps, so I was up with the cats just after 05:00. I pottered around, tidied the kitchen, unloaded the dishwasher, fed the cats, opened the cat flap, and made myself some toast covered with the best strawberry jam known to man or woman (made by an amazingly talented neighbour).
My wife wandered down to a steaming mug of coffee. The Lady has been my saviour through all the awful days and nights earlier this year. She has been the guiding light, keeping me going in the worst of times. Calm, collected, loving, caring – no wonder her great grandmother was a nurse who served with Florence Nightingale. Mrs. D has definitely inherited the strong, caring genes. The Lady even has a remarkable semblance to the uniformed nurse who is photographed and framed and hangs in pride of place in our hallway. A family treasure passed down the generations.
But here I go again, wandering off on another tangent.
Yesterday became really special when my brilliant brother-in-law popped in. We sat in the kitchen, safely distanced, and chatted.
And I realised he was smiling at me.
Anyone who knows him also knows what a decent man he is.
He leaned forward and just said:
“Freddie, you are back, mate.”
At that moment my brain changed gear. Out of survivor mode, out of holding back just in case mode, out of what the hell is going to happen to me next mode.
I am now officially in positive, forward, excited for every day of my life mode.
I just needed confirmation and my brother-in-law gave it to me in spades.
By way of celebration, Mrs D and I went out for Sunday lunch today. First meal out since 29 February, when I was sent home for my birthday, between resus/critical care, recuperation and actual implant.
So, what can I say to my fellow survivors here, members of Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK?
You are the best group of people it has been my privilege to meet.
You have been amazing in all the support, advice, metaphorical hugs and lifts you have freely given me, a complete online stranger who bumped into your world back in April.
Thank you all.