Wednesday, 17 October 2018

An Unforeseen Bump in the Road






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Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Today we were due to pack our bags and fly away to Bilbao. We had booked a stay in a small fishing village looking out at the Bay of Biscay with the mighty Picos de Europa as a backdrop. Known as 'green Spain' there are lots of wonderful walking trails to explore, and the family run hotel where we planned to stay is known for its tasty lunchtime tapas, but alas it was not to be.
At the end of August my husband gave his 96th pint of blood, and within half an hour had a near-fainting reaction, which was repeated off and on over the next couple of weeks. He has donated blood for his entire adult life and never encountered anything untoward before. Our doctor decided various hospital tests should be carried out - two CT scans, ultra sound, wearing an ECG monitor. Due to the time scale at that stage, and an unknown diagnosis, the doctor suggested that we should cancel our trip. However, nothing untoward has been found, the funny episodes have vanished, and it now seems that we could have taken the trip after all. 




































But, the majestic Picos de Europa mountains and Cantabria's golden beaches will still be there waiting for us - fingers crossed in the Spring.
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45 comments:

  1. Sorry to read that but good news that nothing untoward has been found. As you say it will all be there waiting for you in Spring.

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    1. Thank you Susan - It will be something we can anticipate and look forward to.

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  2. Hello Rosemary, What an awful scare for you and your husband, and certainly not much of a reward for faithfully donating so much blood. I am glad he recovered quickly, but agree that it is best to err on the side of caution and take it easy for a while. I hope that your normal life can resume very soon.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - he is not someone who is easily stopped in his tracks, and has already resumed his usual activities by spending two days in London last week doing consultancy work, and walked down from our very high hill top today to resume his voluntary work in our local Citizens Advice Bureaux.

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  3. Oh, I am so sorry to read about your husband's unusual medical event. I do hope it does not recur and he is in good health for many more adventures. Your planned trip to Bilbao would have been wonderful, and fingers crossed for next Spring. We have had to cancel three international trips over the past eight years because of unexpected medical events, including a car accident, and each time have managed to claim on our travel insurance. It makes it all the sweeter when you finally get there!

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    1. It is disappointing as it turns out Patricia, as he seems fine, but better safe than sorry. It just goes to show how important it is to have good travel insurance, as apart from a small discount all of our costs have been returned.

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  4. A disappointment but better to be home then sick in a foreign country. There will be other times I am sure to make a travel again.

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    1. I would not like him to have been taken ill abroad - that would be a real worry.

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  5. Dear Rosemary,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your husband's reaction to giving blood. What a wonderful man he is to have given life saving blood for so many years. I hope that the doctors are able to find the cause for his reaction and that you can go on with your life and travel plans without a worry.

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    1. The reaction appears to have proved a mystery Gina, he is now feeling completely back to normal, and at least we know that there was nothing sinister to be found. The age limit was recently raised for giving blood but perhaps it may have been a step too far - he will not be giving any more. He had hoped to give 100 pints, but the donation service said that they are going to treat him as if he has, because it is highly likely that some of his pints have not necessarily been counted, and they will be inviting him to a special award ceremony for the very few who have given 100 pints.

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  6. How frustrating Rosemary. But it was the right decision. Health comes first.

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    1. You are right Jessica - health comes first.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,

    I am sorry you have missed your trip and oh so happy your husband is alright. 
    What a wonderful gift 96 pints of blood has been. Congratulations to him for having done so much for so many. 

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    1. Dear Catherine - he has faithfully and regularly given blood ever since he was a teenager.

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  8. How frightening for you and your husband. I'm glad that he's alright but sorry that you had to miss this trip. Spring will be here before you know it!

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    1. Thank you - Spring, in fact, should be lovely there.

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  9. Sorry you had to cancel your trip, that's a part of Spain we've never visited. But very glad your husband is ok.

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    1. We think that it is one of the loveliest parts of Spain, and it is minus hoards of tourists.

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  10. Canceling plans is never fun, but health is paramount. I'm glad that the tension of testing and wondering what might be wrong is over and life resumes as normal. That's a magnificent shot of the Picos de Europa!

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    1. I for one certainly did feel anxious whilst the tests were going on - the NHS were really wonderful and acted so quickly and efficiently.

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  11. Hopefully you can get back there soon.

    I'm a regular blood donor. I would think given the circumstances, particularly after all those times in donating, it's possible that something in his general condition that's otherwise perfectly safe may prevent him from donating again.

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    1. He has decided that it will be his last donation William. Recently the age restrictions were lifted and so he decided to continue, but I don't think perhaps it was necessarily a good thing for him to do so.

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  12. Better safe than sorry, as they say. I'm glad things seem to have resolved themselves.

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    1. Perhaps it will just remain a mystery Debra, certainly nothing has been discovered that suggests what it might have been.

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  13. Glad your better half is ok. I always think there’s a reason when you have to change your plans. Probably have better weather in the spring. Fingers crossed. B x

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    1. That's a good way at looking at it Barbara - thank you.

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  14. Sorry to hear you had to cancel your trip. Hopefully you will get another chance at it. I know that mountain well having camped underneath it. Some of the toughest backpacking I have ever done occurred in the Picos but there are level routes as well like the Cares Gorge. Bilbao reminded me of Dundee for some reason. Same size city, a few suburban hilltops for interesting views, post industrial vibe. I really liked it.

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    1. We know that area reasonably well as we used to visit quite regularly years ago, and have stayed in the centre of Bilbao once. My eldest son spent several weeks one summer in the Picos de Europa doing research for his Geology PhD and took my youngest son along to assist him with the climbing and carrying his equipment.

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  15. Dearest Rosemary,
    No one needs such a scare and thank goodness it worked out well for him, despite missing your special trip!
    Wishing you both a relaxed weekend ahead.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. It is not much fun going through a host of different tests, but at least he knows that all seems to be well.

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  16. So sorry you had to cancel your trip, but better sick at home than abroad. And....end good, all good, you can look forward to go in spring.

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    1. Hopefully we can rebook in the Spring - thank you for your comment Janneke.

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  17. So glad your husband is well now , health is the most important thing when all coms down . And as you said , the beautiful mountains are still there waiting for you .

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    1. Hoping we do get to see those wonderful mountains again Jane, it is our favourite area of Spain.

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  18. Dearest, my hopes are that all will be well very soon, that J will get a clean bill of health, and that you two can go off enjoying your wonderful adventures in the Spring.

    You both remain in our thoughts.
    Hugs - M&B

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    1. Dear Mary - thank you and Bob for your very kind wishes. We are off to see the doctor this coming week so that we can get a full report of all the hospital tests. However, so far it all seems to be a mystery, and he has been feeling fine again for the past 4 weeks. It feels as if it was something that was triggered by his giving blood - they raised the age limit a few years ago but we are thinking that may be this should be reconsidered.

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  19. Oh dear Rosemary, we just never know what is around the corner do we?
    What a relief to know that your husband has recovered and is well again, I can imagine what a scare it must have been for you both.
    As others before me have mentioned, you are lucky you were in the UK when it happened.
    My husband, now in his late seventies gave blood for many years too. The hospital blood banks rely on these kind souls - their blood saves many lives.
    Just think, over the Autumn/Winter months you can both read more about Bilbao and surrounds. My father was a great reader and had thousands of books, he was well read in history too so all our family and friends loved to spend evenings with him before planning their overseas trips.He made sure they didn't miss something of consequence along the way!!
    Take care, both of you. xx

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    1. It appears to have all been a bit of a mystery Shane - we are off to the doctors next week to get the results of the final CT scan but fortunately the dizzy episodes have now departed. Your father sounds to have been a really interesting man, and obviously much loved by his family too. Thank you for your kind concern.

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  20. At least hubby is ok....🧡

    Cheers!
    Linda:o)

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  21. My first comment vanished via iPad, Rosemary. I am so sorry to read about your husband's misfortune - but I think it was wise to wait. You will enjoy your trip later with more serenety! Britta, XXX

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    1. Thanks Britta - I think that you are right.

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  22. So sorry to hear your holiday has been postponed it sounded wonderful. I'm glad your husband has been given a clean bill of health. Sarah x

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