No, I haven't been hit by a bus. I'm back.
The last couple of months have been... well 'a living hell' might be the best way to explain it.
About a month ago my sister and brother-in-law took a romantic weekend away to Barcelona. Nephew stayed with me and Solicitor. I love having Nephew around. He's so sweet and he always manages to say the funniest things without meaning to.
On the Saturday afternoon Solicitor went out to the pub with a few of his friends. Nephew and I amused ourselves with poster paint and coloured card. I'm not really the creative type but I was having a whale of a time with the crafts session. Nephew showed me how to finger-paint the image of a house onto blue card. We ended up finger-painting each others faces.
After we cleaned up Nephew settled down with Toy Story 2 while I busied myself in the kitchen. I opened a packet of chicken dippers and poured some onto a baking tray. I looked on the back of the packet for an oven temperature. Normally the packet would convert the temperature for you, but all I found was Pre-heat oven Gas Mark 6.
Now I know that its not really a big deal, but for some reason I started to stress out. I suddenly got quite angry and I called the telephone number at the bottom of the packet. All I got was an automated service line. I slammed the phone down in frustration. The stupid bloody packet didn't have a temperature on it. I felt completely helpless.
Nephew gazed at me from the doorway. His big brown eyes full of concern. I tried to smile at him, to reassure him that I was fine.
"It's okay Baby"
"Then why are you crying?"
Yep. I had started crying. In fact, I had started crying and I had stopped breathing. My chest began to tighten up. I felt a wave of sudden dizziness. I started to panic. If I didn't start breathing soon I may collapse and die here on the kitchen floor. Nephew wouldn't get his chicken dippers!
Nephew's face began to morph in front on me. He was so frightened. I hated that I scared him. I tried so hard to smile and tell him that everything was okay. But at the time I honestly believed that I was going to die. The walls began closing in. my chest got tighter and tighter. I sank to the floor.
I don't remember exactly what happened, but I soon found myself in the car with Solicitor. He had wound the windows down. The cool air filled my lungs. I could breath! I still couldn't speak, but at least I could breath!
I sat tearfully in A&E for a good few hours. Nephew had fallen asleep. His head resting on Solicitor's lap. What was wrong with me? I'd ruined Nephew's weekend. Solicitor looked angry. He stared at the floor deep in thought.
He sucked in his breath.
"Don't apologise. Just sort it out. Call Melinda on Monday."
"And you're not going to Manchester. You'll have to reschedule"
Solicitor's low voice of authority cut off my protest.
"Elise, don't make me say it twice."