Tuesday, 12 January 2010


My secretary is in hospital.

She is a lovely woman in her thirties with an 8 year old daughter, whose handmade cards and photos adorn the secretarial desk. I last saw her at the Christmas party where she was wearing a flashing hat and feeling a little sick. Her nausea worsened over some days and eventually she had a brain scan which disclosed a large aneurysm. Aneurysms are life threatening if they burst so she underwent emergency surgery.

Unfortunately, surgery was not straightforward and she has spent the time since in intensive care and without the use of her left hand side. She may remain paralysed for the rest of her life. She has not yet been told (shudder). The good news is that she is alive and conscious, so there is hope.

This makes me think two things:

1. Thank goodness for the NHS. My secretary is not wealthy and there is no way that she would be able to afford a year in hospital if she were paying for it herself. We too are benefiting with Waif's treatment at The Maudsley which is available to poor and rich alike.

2. How precious is life. Who are we to throw it away? We have been given one chance and there are those who would gladly swap with us who have been given the golden cards: health, housing, loving families and enough food.

Perhaps this knowledge is what makes it especially unbearable to see a beautiful loved one starving herself into self-inflicted health problems.

I know this is an unfair thought as AN is itself a disease and a sufferer should no more be blamed than should my secretary for her aneurysm. It's just that it APPEARS at first blush to be a conscious choice, and one must resist the urge to be cross and frustrated at the apparent selfishness.

Sigh, I know, I know, it's like telling someone who is depressed to "pull themselves together" - it's simply not within Waif's capability most of the time to even understand that what she is doing is making herself ill and ugly (sorry, it's true, with her bony ribs and whole skeletal structure of her pelvis apparent to the most casual of observers) when she was so healthy and beautiful only a year ago.

I thank God that she doesn't have a brain aneurysm and that we have a good chance of fighting this despicable AN.


  1. Thank you so much for your earlier comment on my blog - it means the world to me.

    I am so sorry you have to witness your daughter's struggles, it must be absolutely heartbreaking. I know I feel so guilty for putting my own mother through such turmoil, but I thank God that she is hear helping me through.

    You should be so proud of yourself for supporting your daughter. One day she will realize how important your relationship is in regards to getting better,

    Stay strong.. these things take time.

  2. Tat, thank you and good luck to you too.