Another broken heart on valentines, thank f**k for the NHS

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My god-daughter turned 1 years old on valentines day and today was her birthday party. I didn’t attend through a combination of a sore throat, a real need to do work and the feeling I am not really family (she’s not christened yet). I felt quite guilty for not going but it sounded like a great time spent with other babies in some amazing foam ball play area , tot heaven!

It's startling how quick babies grow up.

Valentines 2011 was spent tired and stressed in a hospital as my friend went through labour. She was in agony and I felt pretty obsolete. I remember the hours where the midwives seemed a little concerned with the babies increased heart beat, the time in surgery where my friend could feel nothing after a ‘spinal’ while doctors battled to get a screaming tot out using forceps then spent a time performing lots of stitching. It wasn’t for the faint of heart.

There was the first couple months with a baby that could barely move and could only really cry. A hungry baby suddenly turning to your arm and gumming it in the hope it would give milk.

Then to the baby that started to smile and would start to giggle. There was a stage where my god-daughter would do a little giggle sound after each breath , her face stone solid , not a hint of humour , but each breath ‘hehe’.

There’s been the first time standing to the first clumsy steps, the screaming contests (I shouldn’t have engaged with her but it was hilarious fun for both of us) to the baby now who doesn’t look like a baby any more but a small toddler.

With all her hair , the competent walking that’s still a little shaky and makes her look like a unique chimp and the talking , like a mini-jabber the hut or cheap hollywood horror movie gypsy lady. Her lovely little face when she turns to you and looks all astonished ‘ohhhhhh’ she’ll say as she goes to grab a mobile phone or tv remote in reach.

Months ago she was unscrewing the chairs, this was before she could walk , I fear something big will happen soon , Am just not sure what she’s been doing when she has brief moments out of sight.

Valentine’s 2012 wasn’t without some drama for me still. Around three years ago I had a trio of heart arythmia and was placed on several tests: ultrasound,stress test ( jogging wearing electrodes) and a 7 day heart monitor test. Nothing nasty came back but because I didn’t suffer an ‘attack’ during the tests there is no conclusive evidence of what I’ve got.

I foolishly did some sprinting after work that day, It was dumb but I’d felt funny all day feeling that arythmia was imminent, since it was a capoeira class night I thought I’d test myself and see if I could cope with a bit of training , turns out I could not.

10 minutes I walked with a fluttering in my chest as my heart felt like a bird trying to escape. In the end I dialled 999 , I was starting to feel dizzy and breathless but that was almost certainly the fear I felt. They took some details and got my symptoms , since it was my heart the paramedic’s rapid response vehicle arrived within minutes.

The time lapse and the sudden comfort of seeing the paramedic meant my heart stabilised, for safety’s sake I was given an ECG from this funky device in the paramedics boot. Like a ghetto blaster he attached the wires to my wrist and ankles and immediately got a reading , ‘that’s lovely’ he said as my heart rhythm was represented in the line graph on the digital panel. No trace of an attack and me feeling like I’d wasted his time. he didn’t mind in the slightest and recommended I call again if the symptoms re-occur.

The paramedic had parked in my block of flats’ car park so while I sat on the lip of the car boot with wires attached to my limbs several neighbours walked by. Luckily there is a residents face book page where I could tell all what happened and thank one of my neighbours who stopped to ask if there was anything she could do.

Usually valentines is pretty benign for me but the last 2 years have given me a fair bit of drama, I cannot imagine what next years will be like but I am really hoping it’ll just be my god daughters 2nd birthday and thats all!

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