The long and winding road to recovery

Today is a Sunday, and also All Saints Day. After many weeks of absence, I’d been looking forward to returning to St Patrick’s Cathedral to sing in the choir at 11 a.m. Mass, always an uplifting experience. But I didn’t make it. With our various family health issues still ongoing,┬ádealing with domestic practicalities and medical appointments leaves little time or energy for anything else.

Although life is still not easy, there are plenty of good things to be thankful for. Brian is making a splendid recovery from his cardiac surgery five weeks ago – though an atheist, he talks of a “miracle”. He can go for long walks on the beach; climb up and down the steep hills around our house; and do some work in the garden. The limiting factor is that he cannot yet lift heavy weights, because it will be three months before his divided sternum will be fully healed. Nor, because of the pacemaker insertion, can he raise his left arm above shoulder level. His mood is cheerful, and there is no sign of the cognitive impairment which he feared might follow such a massive operation. Having reached the age of 82 without being on any regular medication, he is now on five different drugs, which are presumably necessary at present though we hope some of them can be discontinued in future.

Meanwhile, the health of my 91-year-old mother has become the main focus of care and concern. Now home from hospital following emergency abdominal surgery, she is making a good recovery from the operation itself, and striving with great determination to cope with independent life again. But there are problems with managing her ileostomy and I only hope a satisfactory system can be worked out, and that it will be possible to reverse the procedure in a few months time.

My own symptoms continue on and off, and while further investigations are in progress I try not to worry about them too much. Friends and family continue to be wonderfully supportive and we have greatly appreciated all the messages of support, the lifts to hospitals, and the gifts of food and flowers including this lovely bouquet from the Cathedral Choir.

Flowers from choir