It was just before midnight on Christmas Eve when the pains started in my chest, just below my right boob and started to radiate into my back, this was a pain I had never known before.
It wasn’t sharp it was just there, it didn’t react any different on breathing in and out but it bloody hurt.
Thankfully, I have a lifeline so I thought there is only one thing to do I am going to have to press it.
The operator responded and as soon as I said I had pains in my chest she advised an ambulance was on the way.
After about 20 minutes one of the lifeline out of hours team attended and kept me distracted until the ambulance arrived.
At 1am the ambulance with two paramedics arrived and after a brief consultation the paramedic started doing my obs, at this time the paramedic asked if I had problems with my blood pressure normally to which I replied, yes it’s usually quite low.
My blood pressure reading at 1.15am was 177/117 which is totally unheard of for me and slightly worrying.
They also carried out an ECG and that came back fine too, just these pains and my high blood pressure was the issue.
Admittedly though, my pain score when they arrived was about 7 but after a couple of paracetamol, it was down to 5.
The paramedic asked me if I had anything worrying me which could have brought the pain on, explaining that she herself had been in a&e the previous weekend with the same kind of pains and elevated blood pressure due to stress.
The previous Friday after many GP appointments my Mum had been sent into a&e with a suspected PE, after many tests it was established that this is what she had and they kept her in overnight.
I took her straight from the GPs and was with her for six hours before they admitted her.
So, you could say I had had a stressful time of it, they discharged her the following day with medication for life and lots of follow up appointments to come.
Therefore, having already had at least a week of disturbed sleep I was pretty knackered come Monday when I had to go to Driffield to have a demonstration of the hoist that was being fitted to my car that I was picking up the following day, followed by a GP appointment for Mum.
Christmas Eve consisted of going to pick my friend up who was coming with me to collect my car, collecting my car and going back to hers for lunch.
It was established that all of the above could well have been the cause of both my pain and elevated blood pressure.
The paramedics agreed to stay with me while they took four more readings at intervals of 30 minutes, the following three reading where 162/107, 166/120 and 184/107, the final one was taken at 3am and which point I was advised I needed to go with them to a&e.
This is where it sunk in it was now Christmas Day my only next of kin was too ill to help and there was nowhere for Mowgli to go, so after speaking with the clinician in charge at ambulance HQ I was advised of what could happen to me if I didn’t go in, basically, I was at severe risk of either a stroke or a heart attack, so I had to sign to say I wasn’t attending.
After they left I went to bed sleeping through till about 9am Christmas Day, we had already made the decision to not have Christmas dinner due to Mum not being well and me being unable to bend down safely enough to cook the dinner and as my sister was due Boxing Day we decided we would all muck in then instead.
My elevated blood pressure was worrying me though and as I didn’t have a monitor I didn’t know what it was, so I went on the local CCG site and looked for pharmacy opening times.
Finding one that was open 12-1pm and another 1pm-2pm I set off knowing I was going to get to one of them and purchased a blood pressure meter.
What a fabulous Christmas Day this was turning out to be, for the first time in my life I was on my own and I didn’t even have a Christmas Dinner to look forward too.
My first readings
After settling myself for 15 minutes I took my first reading with my blood pressure monitor which came out at 156/99 it was still too high I know so I just sat most of the day trying to keep myself calm, my readings up to bedtime were 143/106 and 151/105.
Boxing day morning reading was 142/98 so it’s coming down slowly but just as a comparison my standard blood pressure reading is 104/70, so yes it does worry me how high it is at the moment.
I will be on the phone straight away at 8am on the 27th December to let the GP know what happened.
Feeling all alone
The saddest part of all of this for me though is knowing this is how it is going to be from now on, on my own for Christmas without the facility to cook a Christmas dinner even if I could.
Does it make me feel lonely, damn right it does!