Monday, 24 December 2012


And so it was planned.
I was to go to London from Nerja in Spain to enjoy the Christmas merriment with my lovely daughter, her partner, his mother, her cat, the neighbours, their dog, and the fox at the bottom of the garden, and I packed some clean socks, a shirt of two, wrapped the presents - a Spanish fan, a couple of flamenco dolls, miniature bottles of sangria, a pair of castanets...the usual, then on my way to a lunch appointment with a couple of friends... suddenly, quite suddenly, in the street, a very unpleasant pain gripped me round the chest. It didn’t exactly suffocate me, it didn’t stop me breathing, but it was like having massive indigestion between the armpits and I, having read about such things in my medical dictionary, remembered a quote :
    Angina Pectoris is a condition where pain in the heart is caused
    by an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle which may
    lead to a heart attack and instant death.
Well, it couldn’t happen to me, not at Christmas, not when I was about to go to lunch with friends and then London. So I ignored the malaise, joined my friends, didn’t eat too much,  the pain slowly disappeared and I thought little more about it.
On the way home, however the pain attacked me again.
I sat down on a conveniently close bench, doubled up, refused to believe that I was suffering from anything serious, but things got worse and I pressed the panic button.
With a hand shaking so much that I could hardly hold my mobile steady, I rang my son who lives close by, and weakly managed to mumble....'Matthew...I’m not feeling very well......'
He is one of those efficient young men who can be relied upon to summon up a fire brigade or SAS army unit within minutes and, within minutes, he was with me, bundled me into his car, whisked me off to the local clinic where a heavy duty male nurse took my pulse, stuck a number of electrocardiograph suckers on ankles, wrists and chest, pronounced me an emergency and ordered son to take father to the nearest  hospital forthwith.

 We were told to remain in 'Urgencia' for six hours during which I was given X-Rays, blood tests, ECGs and aortic angiograms while paramedics held my hand, my pulse, stuck state of the art thermometers in my ear and, eventually, informed me that I had had a heart attack, that I had to stay in the hospital for treatment till they were satisfied I had a chance of staying alive, would I get someone to get my pyjamas and toothbrush.
 'But I’m going to London tomorrow!' I protested. 'On Friday I’m going to see my daughter’s solo exhibition in a Chelsea Gallery.. On Saturday a family party.......'
 'Explain to your father that he is on deaths’s door and to just do as he is told,'  Matthew was instructed.

 A half hour later I found myself lying between lovely clean sheets with lovely fluffy pillows behind my head, various tubes emanating from a hole pierced in the top of my hand to a water bottle hanging above my head and four or five nurses circling my bed to make sure I had everything I needed.
 'Let go...' I told myself. 'You are beyond the point of no return...You are no longer in charge of your own life, what’s left of it, ....give in to those who know better than you...worry if you must about all the upheaval the cancellation of your London visit will cause to others but accept the fact that it is not your fault and there is absolutely nothing you can do about these new circumstances except die if you insist on rebelling.'

  So it was that this year’s Christmas has not turned out quite as it was planned. Melissa, my lovely daughter, flew over in a blind panic so we could cry over the tragedy together,  Nicolas, my older son winged his way over from Los Angeles, various members of the family made all the right noises and I felt like a complete fraud because the moment the first ECG suckers were planted on my breasts, the pain disappeared and never came back.

 I’m home now, after an anxious week, fit as a fiddle, providing I avoid salt in my food, never drink alcohol again and consume seven different kinds of pills for the rest of my life before breakfast. 
 I should add that on the 12th of the 12th of the 12th I had celebrated my 82nd birthday which, on learning this, prompted the surgeon who at one time during the proceedings inserted a couple of metal and plastic tubes into my circulatory system to say, 'At your age you have to expect setbacks.' 

Seasonal greetings to all and a big THANK YOU to the staff of the incredibly efficient hospital and to the lovely friends and relatives who where concerned for me.


  1. Dear Drew,

    So glad to hear you are better. You have a fan club in England who were all very concerned about you.

    A very peaceful Christmas to you and to all your family.

    With much love,

    Bekah and Tiago x

    1. Thank you Bekah and Tiago!
      So sweet of you! Looking forward to see you both next time I am in London!
      Lots of love,
      x Drew

  2. Dear Drew,

    Such a relief to hear from Meli that you are alright. Wishing you all a happy Christmas together.

    Hugs from Hannah x

    1. Thank you for your message and hugs. Meli is back in London now but it was great having her here for Christmas though I employed a rather dramatic way to get her here. Hope to see you soon next year. Love and best wishes for 2013.
      xx Drew

  3. Dear Drew,

    I am so glad to hear you are better! I hope that you can put your feet up and relax over Christmas and let everyone pamper you. Take care and hope to see you very soon!

    Lots of love,

    Katherine & Ali

    PS T-totals have the most fun ;-)

    1. A big thank you for your message. I certainly let everyone pamper me and was secretly pleased the drama brought all the family together. Hope to see you soon in the New year. Thank you again.
      xx Drew

  4. Dear Drew,

    As we say: 'Vivir para contarlo'... but in your case it should be 'Vivir para escribirlo'... and with a funny twist!

    I just found out about all this. I am very happy to hear (read) that you have recovered quickly. Get better soon, please.

    I must say that you look pretty much awesome in this picture. Of course there is a hospital, a bandage, those "public-property-dont-touch" sheets, this fantastic pyjamas drawing a sort of sexy cleavage (oh, that 'accidentally' naked shoulder...) but your face seems to say "Nah... I still rock". Love the attitude.

    And happy Christmas!

    1. I love all your comments - so encouraging. I didn't realize I looked so sexy so will stick to nightdresses from now on. Thank you for your interest.
      My best wishes for 2013. Look forward to seeing you somewhere soon.....Drew