I Am Not Indestructible

Marion Foreman discusses her recent serious illness and how it has changed the way she thinks

Published by Marion Foreman on Feb 07, 2020

Feeling off colour? Not sure whether to push on or take some time off? Many of us push so hard that we are not quite sure what our body is trying to tell us. Sometimes the more you push then the more your body shouts. I have had to learn this the hard way.
I’ve just been very unwell, in hospital as an emergency unwell. It’s pulled me up short. I began to feel unwell and guessed (correctly) that I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). I decided (!) that I didn’t need antibiotics (we all know how bad they are, don’t we?) so went to the chemist and got some sachets that should help. Long story short – they didn’t and I got worse. Eventually I went to my lovely GP and said that I ‘didn’t feel well’. He did tests and looked concerned and started me on antibiotics. I went home and went back to bed. Now, I’m not someone who goes to bed during the day. Something was definitely wrong. I was clearly ill. My GP phoned the next day and very calmly and very clearly told me to get someone to bring me to see him in a couple of hours as he didn’t want me at home over the weekend. I was swiftly admitted to hospital. The next couple of days are a bit of a blur but the infection had spread to both my kidneys and I developed sepsis. An overload of prescribed fluids led to pulmonary oedema and breathlessness and a dependence on piped oxygen. Slowly I improved with intravenous antibiotics and loving care from my family.

This has drawn me up short. I have realised that I am not indestructible, that I can get ill (and recover) and has forced me to think ahead a bit. How would I manage a long-term condition? I have always taken for granted that my body would do what I wanted when I wanted. I am busy revising that. Of course, we don’t all get ill as we get older but illness becomes more common as we age.
They say ‘you are never too old to learn new tricks’, well this is certainly one life lesson i have taken on board; take notice of what my body is telling me and get early advice, if you are concerned.

I have learnt the hard way and I am not indestructible, don’t you.