Apologies for the break in transmission. Many of you may have noticed that Being Anne’s strapline is “books, travel, and other things that make life interesting”, but over the last few weeks I’d have preferred a rather less interesting life. It all started with the travel. To celebrate life finally settling down, my 91-year-old mum and I set off on a cruise on P&O’s Oriana. It started ok, a few quiet sea days, good food, fine wine, several books read in the Crows’ Nest – then a lovely day on Sao Miguel in the Azores, a beautiful location…
The next day – on Terceira Island – it was chucking it down with rain. When the coach dropped us in Angra for an hour, mum looked totally exhausted and could hardly walk. Back on the boat things got worse – she was gasping for breath with hardly any exertion, and when I took her to the on-board doctor they kept her in the medical centre and decided she should go to hospital ASAP. They thought pneumonia, and fixed everything with our insurers for us to leave the ship at Madeira and for her to go to a private hospital for tests. Not pneumonia they said, maybe her heart – but a CT scan revealed it to be a pulmonary embolism, a clot on the lung, that could be treated by injections of anti-coagulants and a continuing tablet regime. I moved from hotel to apartment to hotel, spending my days at her bedside watching her get slowly better (and read a few more books…) – and must admit that there are far worse places to be marooned than beautiful Funchal.
Thank goodness, the insurance company agreed to pay the hospital fees direct, and have agreed to repay all other expenses too – although I’m sure there’ll be a mass of paperwork to complete. With mum finally deemed fit to fly after almost a fortnight in hospital – with oxygen and a nurse in support (who flew out from the UK to accompany us) – we finally made it home on Friday night, via Manchester and a private ambulance. I’d rather hoped she’d be admitted to hospital for a care package to be put in place before her return home, but everyone agreed that she’d be better off in her own bed. Which left me with a bit of a problem – mum two miles away, unable to do anything for herself, my car (and all our luggage) still at Southampton, and major renovations still in progress on my bedrooms and bathroom (I’m sleeping on a mattress in the lounge) so no chance of bringing her home with me.
But we’ve coped – I’ve hired a car until I can fly down to Southampton and pick up my own (with luggage inside, they assure me) next Tuesday, Mum finally saw a doctor here yesterday, her medication has been sorted out along with a haematologist referral, and I’m visiting her three or four times a day to help with showers, sort out her many tablets (mum can get very confused), cook her meals, and to generally keep her company. If it proves to be long term, we’ll look at a care package – but for now, we’re managing ok.
That long story – already familiar to many of you, and thank you so much for all the messages and good wishes that kept me going through such a stressful time – is by way of an apology. I’ve read quite a lot of books during my absence – and reviews will follow as soon as I’m able to get my brain back in gear, and find some computer time. I’ve unfortunately had to cancel a few promised posts – all will be rearranged in time – and sadly also had to miss my slots on a couple of blog tours (Laura Wilkinson and Anne Goodwin, my renewed apologies – reviews will follow soon). I’m hoping to return to blogging from the weekend, but might be just a little less full-on, and definitely not every day, until things settle down again a little.
And then, the day after we returned, the most wonderful thing happened. With everything else that had been going on, I’d totally forgotten that it was the day of the awards at the Annual Bloggers’ Bash. For the second year in succession, I won the Best Pal Blogger Award… and I’ll admit I cried a little.
Many, many thanks to everyone for taking the time and making the effort to vote – after such a difficult year, this award meant the world to me. There will be an official badge for the blog – I’ll be displaying it with immense pride when I receive it. And I must congratulate all my blogging friends too. Whether nominated, runner-up, second placed, winners, or totally unheralded, you’re all stars to me… and I’ll be back sharing your tweets and posts as soon as I’m able!