Thank you, all of you, for your good wishes and kind thoughts. We may not know much about each other, in most cases not even our real names or where we live, but the goodwill we show each other in times of trouble is absolutely amazing. There are about 150 unanswered emails in my inbox; it will take me quite some time to get round to visiting everybody, so you'll have to bide your time. Let me say to all of you, here and now, how much I appreciate this wonderful community of ours.
Doesn't time go slow when we are ill and unable to be active? I've had a lot of time to think. These episodes of AFib are often followed by periods of depression and anxiety - as if I didn't already suffer enough of them when I'm well! - and it's a real effort to motivate myself to get off my back and look around me with open eyes. You'd think I'd make use of enforced inactivity by reading: sadly, a thriller or two is all I can manage. Even TV doesn't appeal. I had to stay upstairs for about 60 hours all told; climbing stairs puts extra effort on my feebly, but very fast, fluttering heart. Beloved brought me endless trays of soups, sandwiches and cups of tea, his arthritic joints creaking, and Benno's wheezing following behind each time. It's a wonder they stayed the course. All appointments were cancelled for the week, although I gave Beloved permission to go off on a lunch date, while a friend came to keep me company. The hosts and the other guests all rang up afterwards to say how much they'd missed me, but nobody thought of providing a doggy bag for me.
I was very fortunate that my GP wasn't on duty; had she been, I'd have ended up in the hospital again. The locum was a younger doctor, who actually listened to my pleas to let me stay at home until such time as I myself found it necessary to call for more intensive treatment. He was a lovely chap, calm in the face of my irritable complaints at being laid up for the third time since September, who very kindly rang the cardiologist for advice; between them they concocted a regime of medication and bed rest which worked. Recovery is so much speedier when you haven't had to put up with the hustle and bustle of an NHS hospital. No question, in a real emergency, I'd be the first to advocate them, but I just didn't think it necessary this time.
The AFib stopped as suddenly as it had started; I have no idea why I should be afflicted. Unless, unless. . . . . . Perhaps compost heaps and shovelling loads of compost have something to do with it? No wonder I'm depressed. If this means that my gardening will have to be restricted to a bit of ladylike snipping off of flower heads, I shall feel entitled to becoming even more cross and cantankerous than I already am. Like most people, I am not afraid of dying or being dead, but the idea of a long period of invalidity or painful suffering before death fills me with horror and fear. And I absolutely hate being the object of anybody's pity. I don't advise anyone to try it; dark mutterings of ingratitude will make them think twice, should there be a next time.