Freelance Fundraiser’s Jottings

27 November 2008

Being a beneficiary

Filed under: charity,health — freelancefundraiser @ 4:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s not everyday that a fundraiser gets the chance to become a charity beneficiary, the one who receives from a charity, rather than giving to it.

A week ago Tuesday, I was taken into hospital, having suffered three scary attacks of chest pains, heavy, tingling arms, etc. A blood test at my GP’s had come back with a positive reading for a possible minor heart attack. Strange thing was, I felt fine the rest of the time.

From the moment I arrived in the hospital at Harrogate, they treated me like No:1. Nothing was overlooked, nothing was too much trouble. I was immediately given a series of drugs by mouth and injection to counteract what was going on inside me.

Alongside this, everyone went out of their way to explain as much as possible about what was happening and what each drug was for. Now I’m a pretty clued up person, but for some people this could be very hard to take in. Even I found it hard to take in the names of all the drugs and what each one did. Alpha blockers, beta blockers, asprin, statin, etc.

Then one of the nurses gave me a handful of booklets. One explained what a heart attack was and everything bhf-logoyou needed to know about it. Another went through all the drugs you might be given, in clear concise English. These books and others were provided by the British Heart Foundation, a charity who research into heart disease and support those suffering from it.

It wasn’t the easiest reading, from a perspective of being told I had had a heart attack, but it was reassuring to have such literature readily available to me and my family.

I’m glad to say that following tests, I was released a week later having not suffered a heart attack and will make a complete recovery. It was a scary time, but also an enlightening time, giving me insights I’ve never had before on what it is to go from being a healthy person to being someone with a serious illness (albeit v temporarily). I shall certainly be able to empathise with those who do experience the real thing and, hopefully, be in a position to offer better support, knowing what they are going through.

Finally, a warning: keep calm and not anxious in life. Exercise regularly (I didn’t) and eat healthily (I did). Try to keep a positive outlook and make space for yourself and the one closest to you. We only have one shot at this life, so make the most of it!

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