The First 24 Hours

Two years ago, at about this time of day, I was sitting in the back seat of my dad’s car, trying not to cry. Mum was collecting a letter from my GP. She had instructed me to get myself to Emergency (with a bag packed for admission) after she finally sent me for a chest x-ray. 

I had known something was wrong for a while, I had been coughing for so long. 

I had no idea that I had a severely enlarged heart, and was in such a bad way. 

It was a long night in Emergency. Mum and dad went home after a couple of hours, knowing I wasn’t going to be seen for a while. 

I then sat by myself in those excruciatingly uncomfortable plastic chairs for the slowest hours of my life. I had my vitals taken and a doctor saw me briefly twice I think, then it was back to the chairs. I can remember the doctor saying the word severe to me repeatedly. Severe + heart = me quietly freaking out. 

After about 7 hours in the hell chairs, I scored a bed in Emergency, around 1am. I don’t think I slept at all, as I was worried and it was busy/noisy. I had my sketchbook with me, so I passed some of the night  drawing. 

The next morning I was admitted to the Cardiac Care Unit. I can’t remember now who first said heart failure to me. I think it might have been “Dr Severe”… it didn’t really matter,  I had no comprehension of what heart failure meant. 

I remember feeling glad to finally be in hospital, which was kind of odd. 

After I was settled into the CCU, I had a big ol’ shudder-y cry – I was so tired, sick, and overwhelmed. Michelle was my nurse that morning, and she ROCKED. She was so supportive and lovely.  (Nurses are 🥇.)

Then she stuck my guts with a needle and gave me some tablets, and I peed, and peed, and peed and peed, and peed and peed, all day long. Now I wish I’d counted the number of times I went to the toilet! It was CRAZY! I basically just walked a loop from my room (literally their windowless storage room, as the ward was so full!) to one of the bathrooms and back again. 

By that evening, I got moved to a single room. I am so grateful for that. It allowed me to get heaps of rest and have visitors without disturbing anyone else. Bonus, there was a bathroom directly opposite my room! 


That was two years ago, 27 April 2017. 

I’m stiill here. 


Annette x 




I might write more about my hospital stay tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “The First 24 Hours

  1. And I so remember your updates… scary times. But yay for now & wellness. I too am coming up to my 2nd anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.. certain dates I too will always remember as well as the weather. Good to know you are here!


  2. Thank goodness you went to the docs. Imagine if you just tried to keep soldiering on. Perish the thought. I’ve learnt so much from you sharing your journey, both about the damage sodium can do, about commitment to your health, and commitment in general. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge, it’s making a difference. xx


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