Saturday 21st October 2017
This is why I don’t shop at Tesco, but I’d had to, I needed supplies for the Halloween Party! They’d managed to sweet talk me into another Costa. Watching my two girlies demolishing their cakes, I was oblivious of the turmoil about to unfold. Walking out of Tesco and my phone rings. It’s Si, “Where are you?” “Just leaving Tesco now babe, won’t be long” I reply. “Well get home quick” he responds. We hang up. I didn’t need to ask any questions. I knew it was Mum. I pack the girls into the car, switch off from their sounds and drive out of Tesco. I can’t help it, I have to glance at my phone to get confirmation. There it is, a missed call from Dad. Adrenaline runs through me, I drive that little bit faster than normal, and am thinking the worst. “Stroke, Heart Attack or Death” Please, please don’t be death. Not yet, I’ll never be ready to lose you, but not yet. By the time I get home I can’t feel my fingers, adrenaline still pumping.
I walk through the door, Si is sat on the sofa. I look at him and question “It’s Mum, isn’t it?” He responds “Ring your Dad” No answers still. I take the landline and head upstairs, away from the girls. I ring Dad’s mobile. It takes him a while to pick up and when he does, I can’t remember exactly what he says. “Mum is in hospital, I hate do say this, but I think she’s had a stroke, she’s had a scan, I’ve seen the picture and I can see blobs, but I don’t know what they are, they’ve not told me yet” I stare out of my bedroom window at the beautiful autumn scene of the field behind our house, I look at the window sill and start rubbing the dust off. “Where are you?” I respond.
I find out they are in a place called Molde, Norway. They’d been on a cruise you see, around the Artic Circle. They were having an amazing time, I was getting regular selfies from the different locations they’d been stopping at.
Greetings from Tromso, this one had said. When I saw this picture I replied to Mum, asking if she was ok. She didn’t look quite right to me. She’d told me she’d had a bad headache and had taken some codeine but it had gone away again, she felt a bit tired from it. This was after seeing The Northern Lights on the Tuesday night and taken on the Wednesday. She then suffered another bad headache the Thursday night and headed to bed. By the time she woke up Friday morning, she was a bit confused and Dad had taken her to the sick bay on the ship. Her systolic blood pressure was over 200, if you don’t already know, that’s bad, really bad. The sick bay gave her some medication and brought her blood pressure down a bit and discharged her just after lunchtime. She was back again by teatime and the next day when they docked, she was taken via road ambulance to hospital, where the only word she could say was tablet.
I rang my little brother, he’s not actually very little, he’s just short of 6ft 6″ and told him. Inbetween phone calls from Dad asking questions like “Do you know what medications she’s on?” Si, Jon and myself looked online to find ways of getting to them. I even looked on google maps to see if I could drive there. It would take 1 day and 3 hours. Si told me not to be stupid and came up with the logical suggestion of driving to Manchester to be with my brother so we could travel together.
I’d also rang 111 to see if I could get in touch with the on call GP to find out Mum’s medical history and medication even though I knew most of it. I didn’t want to miss something important. They were really helpful!!
I had to pack, the first thing I put in were my trainers. Mum would be cross with me if I didn’t keep running. I was on a running streak, day 294 of running every single day. Si asked me about the Halloween Party I’d organised for the next day. I told him to carry on as normal, it had all been arranged, the girls were excited, it couldn’t be cancelled now. Si hovered around me, looking worried, but keeping his humour because that’s how we work. He told me he was most put out I was going to a country he’d not been to, and fancied a road trip with me. The girls had gone to a birthday party at the village hall. I popped into say bye and told them I was going to go and look after Nanny as she had a bad headache, they didn’t question it, they were eating party food.
I got in the car and drove. Jon lives in Manchester so I just headed in that direction without any planning. By the time I got on the M62, I kind of twigged I’d probably gone the long way. The weather wasn’t great, Storm Brian was hitting England and it was very wet and windy. I arrived in Manchester and after having some food with Jon and Josh I fell into a surprisingly deep sleep on the futon.