Today has been a difficult day - but in the end not so bad. The most important bit went well. My contribution to the Heart Rhythm Congress at the Birmingham ICC seemed to go down ok with a room full of heart specialists. But lets start at the beginning.
Began at 6.00 with an SoS from family for some help, which required Mrs D to immediately hotfoot it to Manchester. Couldn't get back to sleep so arose to prepare for my interview with Post Cynta about 'Gategate'. Prob wouldn't have agreed to speak on this issue, except that it was for Radio Cymru - and I always try to agree interview requests in Welsh Language. And always try to use a word I've not used before. Today it was 'Cwrtais' which means 'Courteous'. Things went down hill from there.
Intended to catch train at Welshpool at 11.00, and left home in plenty of time. Came upon a flood nr Castle Caer, which I judged I could drive through. Wrong. 50 yds in and car died. Water was deep. No choice but shed trousers and footwear to push car back to dry land. Not what my consultant advised after carrying out arthroscopy on my right knee 4 days ago. Anyway, was fully dressed when a guardian angel driving a 4x4 came by to carry me back home. Left car recovery in charge of my garage, and taxi to catch train. Still on time, until nr Telford, train came to a stop - for 90 mins. Failed to reach conference in time to chair 'Big Discussions' on aspects of treatment of the heart condition, Atrial Fibrillation. But did make it in time to deliver my 15 minutes speech about the AF All Party Parliamentary Group which I chair + questions. Went well, which is more than you can say for my train journey home - 5 hours from B'ham to Welshpool.
My enthusiasm for involvement with Atrial Fibrillation is that I believe, even as a non-clinician I can help the experts. Its an illness which is common, but not well know. I sometimes tell Mrs D that she's one in a million. Well I am - because I'm one of the million affected by AF in the UK. Thousands of people suffer strokes every year because their AF has not been diagnosed, and they are not being treated - usually by taking an anti-coagulant. Personally, my AF was sorted by cardi-version - a full-on electric shock with restored my heart rhythm to the normal 'sinus rhythm'. I just want everyone to have their pulse checked to establish whether they are a sufferer, and to take steps to avoid strokes. Been a deeply frustrating day, but on balance, I feel it was worthwhile.