Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Best Present EVER!!!

Now that Christmas is past and I have seen and heard lots of discussions re the best presents people have been given, it got me thinking.

I can't tell you the best present I have ever had cos usually I am just chuffed that someone thought enough of me to buy me something, however small.

But I can tell you the best present I have ever given!  Sounds a bit vain doesn't it but the only reason I am saying that is because it was a present that came back to me and mine, ten fold, a few years later.  Any guesses what it was?  No?  Well it was just a book called The Grandparent's Book.

Ours is a bit trendier than this one! But you get the gist.

I gave one to my mum and mum-in-law on behalf of Holly and Jack.  At the time, I'm not sure that they thought it was anything special, just a small diary of their life but I know that they started to fill it in almost straight away.

Then a few years went bye and then my mum became ill.  She had been ill for about 6 months when the subject of the book was brought up again and she became quite agitated as she had been unable to fill it all in.

So I would sit with the book and a pen and she would dictate to me what she wanted to say.  She didn't have to think too much as the book basically asks the questions and you just have to fill in the blanks. Then she took a bad turn and the book was abandoned for a while.

When it was discussed again, it was suggested that Holly sit with her, writing everything in and it could be a special time for them together.

We had more or less finished the book before my mum died.  It is such a special little book because, it is all about her, in her words but written by three people: my mum, her daughter and her granddaughter.

I haven't been able to look at the book or even turn the pages but I know where it is.  It now lies safely in Holly's memory box in her bedroom and one day, soon, we will read it because my mum actually had quite a remarkable life.  I am now thinking about buying one for my dad too, not for Christmas but just for him to look back and tell us about his life.

It is the most precious gift that Holly, Jack and I have ever received because memories fade and get confused over time but this is an accurate account of her life told in her words.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I am now 30...........well, kinda.

This morning, as I was getting Jack out of bed I received a text from my friend Moira which made my day.

This is what it said:-  Hope you had a good Christmas. I got a netbook so have been readin your blog and am addicted!

I was so so chuffed cos I could think of lots of other things to do with a netbook besides read my blog.  High praise indeed!

Then earlier in the week, my long time friend Suzi was chatting to me on the phone and she asked me "did I know that I had followers from America?".  She was most impressed by this and even more impressed when I told her that I'd actually been a guest blogger on Mynx's blog.

And then tonight, I signed into Blogger and I was jumping up and down with excitement, re Double Figures! cos I now have 30 Followers.  WOOP WOOP!!

It really doesn't take much to put a smile on my face let me tell you.

I have been writing this blog since June and I can honestly say that I never expected to get one follower never mind 30.

So I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone and that includes my Facebook/Twitter readers for your continued support and I hope to keep you entertained in the months to come.

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Dog and the Mattress

The same Christmas that we had all the trauma getting my mum to my house, I had ordered a new mattress for my bed.

It was 2 days before Christmas and I had stayed in all day waiting for it until the carer, Marion, came in to look after Jack and then Holly, Jacqui and I went off out for our tea and to get the last bits of food shopping for Christmas Day.

When we came back, I let our dog at the time, Rollo, out into the garden for a pee. He was a chocolate labradoodle, about the size of a Shetland pony and such a soft lump.  He was still just a puppy, just over 1 years old.

I had been chatting to Marion for about 10 mins when I noticed a delivery notice on the floor.  I picked it up and was chuffed to see that my mattress had been delivered and that written on the note, it said they'd left it in the back garden, underneath the trampoline.

He looked like this - cute huh?

I was so excited cos my bed had been needing a new mattress for god knows how long and it was so uncomfy to sleep on!  So I ran out the back door and for just a second I thought it had been snowing!

I was like "bloody hell" where did all this white stuff come from and then I spotted Rollo.  He was right in the middle of it, face covered in white fluffy stuff, head down, bum in the air, tail wagging, delighted to be playing with this new toy.

Oh my fucking god!!  In the 10 minutes or so that I had left him outside, he had eaten his way through the plastic covering the mattress and had ripped open the mattress itself and it was literally all over the garden!

I was totally speachless and in shock.  I must have stood there for about 10 minutes before I became aware that Jacqui and Holly had come to look for me and it was Jacqui's sharp intake of breath that alerted me to their presence.   At this point, I started laughing hysterically, you couldn't not, especially when Rollo was so obviously ecstatic with this new toy I had apparently left for him in the garden, throwing the stuffing up in the air with his mouth and rolling in the mess!

So there we were, the three of us, standing on the back door step, me bent double, laughing hysterically, tears running down my face with Holly and Jacqui joining in cos there was nothing else for it.

Finally I got a grip of myself and chased Rollo round the garden, like a demon possessed, trying to get him to come in and of course, would he hell, cos he knew he was in big big trouble.  He spent the evening in his bed, in the bad books and we had to commence the clean up operation.

There really was little we could do apart from pick up all the stuffing and bin it and then we dragged the mattress, still in it's plastic into the garage.

With the trauma of getting my mum to my house the next day, I never did tell her about it but a few months later, she was saying that my dad had been in my garage and wondered did I have mice, cos of the state of this new mattress he had seen leaning up against the wall.  I was also storing some household stuff for my friends Roz and Maria, who were between houses, so obviously my mum was worried that it was their stuff that was ruined.

When I told her the story, I thought her and my dad were gonna wet themselves laughing!  And once again, I was bent double, crying with laughter retelling the story but no it didn't end there, cos I bought it from a store on a Buy Now, Pay July offer so I had had the bloody mattress for 4 months at this point and I still had yet to pay for the blinking thing which set my mum off again and I really did think she was gonna die laughing!

Good way to go though huh?

Unfortunately, Rollo died in December of the next year with a perforated ulcer. He was just 2. Holly and I were totally devastated as it was the culmination of a long hard year. He was such a great dog and we still talk about him today.

I swore that I would never have another dog but eventually I gave in and now we have two! No rest for the wicked!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Car, The Breathing Machine and the Removal Van

I've been thinking about my mum a lot this Christmas and so I thought I would share share a wee story with you of our last Christmas together.

My mum had Motor Neurone Disease and had lost the use of her body.  She could still speak and her mind and wit were as sharp as ever but she was permanently attached to a breathing machine and hadn't been out of the house since June of that year.

Now my mum and dad's house was just a little one bedroom bungalow and therefore not big enough to hold all of us on Christmas Day so my mum decided that she would come to mine, as would everyone else, like she did the year before.

Sounds like a great plan but how the hell were we gonna get her there? My dad, previously, before she was totally dependant on her breathing machine, had arranged for a fancy electrical socket to be fitted to the car so that he could take her out and about and plug in her equipment if need be.  Sounds good in theory huh?

Unfortunately, since my mum had become totally dependant on her machine we had been unable to unplug it, AT ALL!  Once news of my mum's plan went around the family, it was met with complete horror and my sisters and brothers were thinking that she had completely lost the plot.  But there was to be no changing her mind and we just had to go with it!

The machine was like this.  This isn't her obviously but you get the picture!

Then there was the added problem of getting her hoist, special chair etc into my house as they were quite bulky equipment but my mum had already thought of that. My brother had a removal/delivery business at the time so she enlisted his help in transferring all this equipment on Christmas Eve.

Sounds like a great plan right but of course, none of the equipment could be moved until after she was in the car, cos obviously she had been using it right up til then!  It was also very heavy so my brother Stephen needed help, so my other brother Michael was enlisted to help but since he has Multiple Sclerosis, he got tired very easy and his leg and arm would often play up.  Not a great combination!

So the Christmas Eve arrived and my sis-in-law, Jacqui and I ran about like headless chickens, taking stuff out of the living room to make room for this huge chair and other equipment.  This meant moving around Jack's equipment too so it was gonna be a very jammed packed house.  Jack luckily could still walk at this point but his seizures were really quite bad and quite stressful.  Thankfully, both Holly and Jack were with Father of the Year so they weren't witnesses to us trying not to panic about my mum actually managing to get here without dying on us. Truthfully, considering we were child free that day, we were anything but chilled!

The moving of my mum was planned with military precision.  The plan was, that once my mum was in the car, my brothers would load up her stuff and take it to my house, while my dad drove around Elgin and Lossiemouth, showing my mum all the really bonnie Christmas decorations/lights up in the town and around peoples houses.  Sounds like a lovely idea but as my mum couldn't lift her head I doubt that she saw much of anything!!!

Elgin Town Centre

My brothers arrived stressed to the eyeballs as it had not gone as smoothly as expected and my mum had totally panicked at the moment of "unplugging" and I think there was a collective sigh of relief when her machine started up again once in the car.  Can you blame her really?  Thank god my dad didn't stall the car as it would have been the end of her!

After we had gotten everything in, my brothers had left, Jacqui and I then set about positioning the chair in what we thought was the best place in the living room and then we just had to wait. And wait. And wait.

They were away an hour and it seemed like forever! Finally they parked outside my house and my dad was quite chuffed with himself, bless him, for being able to show my mum all the "bonnie lighties" as my friends daughter used to call them.  I let out a sigh of relief cos "woo hoo" they were here and we were on the home straight.

Not so, because as my dad faffed about with an extension lead, deciding where to plug it in before disconnecting my mum's machine, she went into total panic mode and Jacqui and I had to calm her down.  Jacqui was chatting to her through the window and I carefully got into the drivers seat and sat beside her, holding her hand and talking calmly all the while thinking " bloody hurry up dad!" as my mum was panicking that the car would stall or that the extension lead wouldn't work!

As you can imagine, mine and Jacqui's stress levels at this point were at an all time HIGH but at last my dad was able to disconnect her and get her out of the car and into her waiting chair in my house.  I was never so relieved to see her sititng there I can tell you.

Then Jacqui and I had to rush off to pick up Holly as we were off out for our tea and then to the Christingle service.  When we finally sat down in the restaurant, I looked over at Jacqui who looked as white as a sheet and started laughing hysterically.  After we both got control of ourselves, Jacqui said "I don't know what you're laughing about, you're as white as me and you look like you've aged 10 years!" to which we both fell about laughing again.  And she was right, I felt like I'd aged 10 years in that one hour and a half but mind you she looked about as good as me at that point!!  Sorry Jacqui but it is so true.

Back home, my living room rearranged cos my mum didn't like where we had put her and both kids in bed, Jacqui and I had consumed quite a lot of wine just to get over the trauma!

Christmas Day dawned and I heard Holly leg it down the stairs, opening the living room door, then running around the house and finally back up to me, upset saying "Santa hasn't come!!".  I suggested that maybe Santa didn't put them in the living room because there was already too much stuff in there and to try Jack's room which she did and then the squeals of delight cos she had found all her presents.

Christmas Day turned out to be truly fantastic.  The whole family was there, buzzing around with my mum in the centre of it all, as it has always been and I think for her and us, it was worth all the trauma.  It was to be her last Christmas but even so it was the most memorable, for all the right and the wrong reasons. My mum was one very determined and stubborn lady, two traits I have inherited.

And getting her home?  Well it was so much easier and less traumatic second time around.

Friday, 24 December 2010

The Day Before Christmas and Chaos Reigns Supreme

Last night I was upstairs getting the kids presents out to wrap.  I shouted on Holly to bring me up the scissors but as I didn't want her to see the said prezzies, I came out onto the top of the stairs to meet her...........and slipped!

I pitched forward, just about to go headlong down the stairs, managed to throw myself to the side and careered side on into the thick stone wall that separates my house from next door.  As I had put my hand out to save myself, it bore the brunt of the fall and then I literally bounced back, hard onto my butt!

I let out this scream, followed by a major amount of expletives and Holly came running asking what the hell had I done.  It was so painful that I could barely speak and tears were silently rolling down my cheeks as I explained what I had done.  She was gave me hell for coming out onto the stairs when she was quite capable of bringing the scissors up but I explained that I didn't want her to see her prezzies.

Then she burst out laughing at me sprawled there in a crumpled heap and then I was laughing through my tears cos it was quite infectious especially when she said "ha ha, I blinking well hope this will be put on your blog.  It had better be cos all my traumas do!". She is so like me, other peoples mishaps are always hilarious.

So there we were, huddled at the top of the stairs, Holly falling about laughing, me crying and laughing, while we checked out whether I had broken my hand or not.  The thumb and first two fingers of my right hand (oh trust me!) were already quite swollen but I could move them with a bit of effort so they weren't broken, thank god.

Despite this I managed to wrap all Holz's prezzies and she helped me with Jack's.  She is such a star.

This morning my hand hurts and unscrewing the child proof caps from Jack's medication was so fucking painful that eventually I had to use my left hand.  Don't you just hate child proof caps cos they aren't just child proof, they are anybody proof!!!!

So it has been some week so far and Christmas isn't even here yet!  Ah but I so love Christmas.

So onwards and upwards, here's hoping for an uneventful day, lol.

What Is That Drip Drip Dripping Noise?

On Monday, I was priding myself on the fact that, even though Jack had been in hospital, I had quickly got back on track and had hauled out the Christmas tree and decorations.

Holly quickly set to work on the tree, as it's her job and it took 2 days but she finally got there.  

So on Monday night, I was sitting back, blogging, thinking all was well with my world when a "drip drip" noise caught my attention.  It was late, both kids were in bed, so I muted the TV and listened.  Yep, sure enough, there was definitely a drip drip noise but maybe it was coming from outside.

Standing in the bay window, I was starting to think I was just being paranoid when I felt a drip on my head. WTF???  Looked up to see water, dripping through the cornice, in places in a line.  My heart just sunk and I literally ran for some basins to catch it all.  I ended up with 5 basins on top of the wooden valance. It seemed never ending!

Then in my infinite wisdom (hardy har har) I got togged up in my winter woolies, got out the step ladder and brush and tried to knock some of the snow off the roof of the bay window.  By this time it is was nearly midnight, the ladder kept leaning into the window and I was seriously in danger of toppling head first into it.  As I was teetering precariously on top of this step ladder, I found myself laughing hysterically at the image of me crashing head first through the window and all I could think was "fuck, more money!".

Having failed dismally to shake any snow off the roof, I retreated into the warmth of the house and watched the drips for about half an hour before thinking, "I'd better go to bed, cos watching these drips are not gonna make them go away".

In the morning, when I got Holly up, I shouted a warning to her about the leak and was half expecting for her to yell that the roof had caved in but there was no scream, so I lay back amongst the pillows and chilled a bit.

Then I got up and text my brother basically saying "HELP".  He didn't answer so I had to call him and he said he would be there as soon as he finished his coffee, which meant about an hour, as he lives in the country and was walking.  After I hung up, I heard running water and thought "OMG it's getting worse only to run into the room, look and find that it wasn't actually coming from the same place but at the other end of the window!

Once again I was running about like a headless chicken trying to find big enough bowls as this time it was literally running down the wall!  Panic set in then and I was imagining the whole roof coming in so I frantically started flicking through the phone book for "a man who does".

Shortly after being assured that a guy would be round probably in the afternoon, my brother, Stephen, appeared.  He hauled out my dad's rickety wooden ladder and started removing the snow from above the window but as he didn't feel safe on the ladder (who could blame him!) he stopped for a break til we tracked down one to buy or borrow.

I eventually managed to get my hands on my neighbours ladder and Stephen commenced chipping away at the frozen ice in the guttering.  To begin with the leak got worse and then it eased off a bit, thank god!

By 4pm there was no sign of the roofing guy but the drips had slowed right down and seemed to have stopped. This was the point when I had a "woe is me moment" just as my mate Angie text to see how things were going and when I said I felt like crying, she called me straight away and made me laugh.  I just love my friends.

I left Jack with his Carer, Marion, while I donned my Santa hat and Holly and I set off to deliver presents.  The Santa hat was really cosy and no one batted an eyelid as I walked around the supermarket later on, with  lights flashing on my forehead and the flashing bobble!  I was very festive!

When I got back to the house, my next door neighbours, Carol and George (whom I borrowed said ladder from, in their absence) had left me an answering machine message to say that they had seen on Facebook my comment about a leak and they were having the same problem and if I wanted a hand to get the snow off the window, they were happy to help.  Don't you just love neighbours like that.  I am a lucky girl :)

So I popped next door to see them and George cleared the snow off the other bay window for me at 9pm at night, in the dark, while it was minus something or other!!!! He is a total star!  He maybe didn't feel the cold quite so much cos of the two brandies he'd told me he'd had that night already.  Grrr! Jealous or what!

Suffice to say that the crisis is over for the time being til the next bout of heavy snow and freezing temperatures but hopefully that wont be til Christmas day is over and done with at least.

Monday, 20 December 2010

A Christingle Service with Kevin McKidd

Last Christmas Eve, Holly, Jack and I went to the Christingle Service at the St Giles Church in Elgin.

Emma and Mark came with us.  We had to go in the back way cos there was no ramp at the front, so there was a great flurry of activity while all these guys put out the ramps in the snow.  It was quite a steep ramp so Mark had to help me push the wheelchair up and then there was a tight turn in the middle but then we were in.

It felt weird sneaking in the back especially when the place was almost full already so we bolted to the first seats we came to which were right at the front.  We'd all just got out of our snowy jackets and were just getting comfy when I looked back and then nudged Holly saying "there's Kevin McKidd, Grey's Anatomy, quick, tell Emma!".

Holly gave me such a look, then looked behind her and was totally struck dumb cos there was Kevin Mckidd, Movie Star, in the flesh, walking towards us.  She never did whisper to Emma cos she was totally starstruck!  So I frantically whispered to Emma but she was about a series behind in Grey's Anatomy so she didn't know he was in it and was like "awww thanks for spoiling it! lol".

There was no time to say any more cos a couple of church elders were frantically putting out chairs for him and his family to sit on, right in front of us, completely blocking our view.

Kevin was about to sit down when he realised that Jack and I wouldn't have been able to see anything so he got up again saying "no we will have to move along a bit, as we are in the way here".  I was most impressed and even more so when he turned around and said to me "how are you doing?" and I said "fine, you?" to which he replied "I'm good", smiled and turned back to chat with his mum and dad.

I thought Holly was gonna fall off her seat!  She was hyperventilating cos he had spoken to me and after that he kept looking behind him at us and smiling.

Jack was in good form as well and he was making quite a lot of appreciative noises during the proceedings and I relaxed a little cos I knew that he could take a seizure at any point and probably scare the bejesus outta half of the congregation not to mention Kevin McKidd himself.  Tee hee hee

The service only lasted about half an hour and Holly was still rooted to her seat, watching Kevin get up and leave.  It's not that she fancies him or anything but she wants to be an actor and here was the living, breathing embodiment of what she wants to be, right in front of her and she was gobsmacked!

At least she didn't do what my friend Donna did.  She went all giddy in the church when she saw him and got all flustered and when he tried to walk past her, he couldn't cos she was standing on his scarf!  To make matters worse, he had to point it out to her!!!  When she sent me a text later that night describing what had happened I laughed out loud.  Too too funny.

I think it made Holly's Christmas and when she told her Uncle Stephen he said "oh I know Kevin well, he used to babysit for your cousins when they were little and when he is home, he usually asks my mates where I am and what am I up to".

Just when I didn't think Holly could get any more impressed............

P.S.  for those of you who don't know who Kevin McKidd is then check out this page

Holly Didn't Get The Joke!

A couple of Saturdays ago, Holly had 3 of her pals round for a movie night.

After we had watched a couple of films and pigged out on munchies, I suggested they get into their jammies and sort out their sleeping arrangements as they were all going to be kipping down in the living room.

Diz, Holly's friend, started telling "Big Mama" jokes and they were all falling about laughing.  Some were pretty tame but others were a wee bit rude so not to be outdone, I told them a joke that Holly and Jack's dad (aka Father of the Year) told me years ago.  It's the only joke I remember!

This was the joke:

How do you tell if your girlfriend is overweight?  Cos when she sits on yer face, you can't hear the stereo!

Diz, Tammy and Beth fell about laughing and so did I but we laughed all the more when this little voice pipes up "I don't get it!".

Diz was like "Holly how can you not get that?" and Holly said well cos "how would he not be able to hear the stereo if she sat on his face?".  I looked over and Tammy was shaking her head and Beth, who was the youngest is laughing and looking at Holly as though she was stupid!

But my lovely girl wasn't stupid she was thinking in a technical way, like her dad.  She was picturing the sexual position and trying to see how that could be!  When she explained that to us, Diz was like "no, she has to sit on his face, not in front of his face!" and Holly replied, "well why would she do that? Is that some kinda pervy thing?",

Diz and Tammy were both trying and failing to explain to Holly that it's just a joke and if she sat on his face, her butt cheeks would flop over and he wouldn't be able to hear.  Meanwhile Holly's saying "yeah but if she is in a kneeling position, her knees or thighs would cover his ears and he wouldn't be able to hear anyway, so she could be any size she liked and he wouldn't hear the stereo!!!".

I am laughing so hard at this point and I looked across at Beth, who has her head resting on her arm, helpless with laughter, both of us with tears running down our faces.

Frustrated that she couldn't get Holly to see, Diz grabs this neck cushion of Jack's and she plonks it on top of Holly's face and says "NOW, can you hear the stereo????".  Holly was laughing and said "well, yeah, duh!".
So Diz tried it again, explaining that the "butt would be bigger than this but you get the picture" and stuffs it hard onto Holly's face, squishing down the sides.  Holly was not impressed and said, "I can still hear ya know".

At which point Diz, to prove her point, takes a flying leap onto Holly, her butt hovering just above Holly's face, before Holly's reflexes kicked in and she manages to stop her from plonking straight down onto her face.  Hovering above her, Diz is shouting "do you get the picture or do you need a diagram" and Holly's like "I get it, I get it, I get it, it's cos her ass is big!!!!".

Holly was totally traumatised and was doing her drama queen thing by saying that "you nearly suffocated me" and Diz replied "or I could have given you Pink Eye!".  To which we all replied "WHAT???.  What in the name is Pink Eye?".

To which Diz replied "It's when poo particles get in your eye via a fart or when someone wipes their shitty boxers in your face!".  WTF?? There was a chorus of "EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW" from all of us and Holly pipes up "who would even know about these kinds of things Diz, only you could know about something so gross and disgusting".

I laughed so hard, I nearly peed myself!  Tammy said "how did we get to this subject?" and Holly pointed at me and said "she started it with that rude joke!".

I was open mouthed, giving it "oh just blame me, it's not like it was that rude, this from the girl that had to explain to me what fletching was!".

And no I am not explaining that one, that's what Google's, I mean the Urban Dictionary is for!!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I Need A "Time Out!"

I got up early this morning to pack Jack's bag for his weekend in Alba Place.  He was due in tonight for 3 nights respite.  Obviously I didn't even know at this point if he would be able to go but at least I had a bag ready that would do for the hospital or respite.

I was just heading out the door to take Holly to school when she took a call from Granny Mac saying that Jack had taken a big seizures last night while she was with him.  Holly didn't get any more details but I knew that this was probably big enough to warrant rescue meds, again.

The drive to the High School was pretty hairy, it had snowed all night and the roads were horrendous.  My car was slipping and sliding all the way there.  Both Holly and I were a bit stressed.  Holly was quietly stressing because we were running late, constantly checking her watch and it was making me stressed cos the roads were so lethal.  I was getting cranky cos I could see her constantly checking her watch every two minutes and I kept telling her that they couldn't expect her to be on time in this weather and she was snapping that she wasn't worried even though she obviously was!!  What a pair we are.

In the middle of this, Jilly phoned from Alba Place asking if Jack was definitely coming in this weekend but as I was driving, she told Holly that she would call me back in 10 mins.

After dropping off Holz I slowly made my way to the hospital and was ever so blinking glad to get there in one piece!  I quickly called Jilly back.

I told her that he definitely would not be staying tonight but maybe Saturday or Sunday but I would let her know as soon as the ward round was over.  Then I hauled Jack's wheelchair out of the car and headed up to Ward 2.

My wee man was sleeping peacefully when I arrived.  Nicki, the nurse looking after him, told me that he had had to have Midazolam last night as the seizure was over 12 mins. My heart sank when she said this cos I was kinda hoping that I was wrong but no such luck.

The paediatrician appeared and suggested that since Jack had a big seizure again then we should up his Clobazam temporarily as per Neurologist in Edinburgh's advice. The first dose would be given at lunch time since he had already had his morning meds and then tomorrow it would be split between the morning and evening meds.  Obviously he needed to be kept in while they did this so no respite for him and no going home either. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!  I am so bloody knackered and that is a weekend of respite lost cos if it has to be cancelled for whatever reason, you don't get given an alternative slot.

Another quick call to Jilly cancelling Jack's weekend then we gave Jack a bath which he slept through only reacting when I rinsed his hair but then he went back to sleep!  How many kids do you know that can do that huh? It's an art he has perfected believe me!

Once he was dressed and in his chair, he seemed to wake up a bit and Sandra, the play therapist, brought him some fibre optic lights and some tactile toys to play with.  We spent an hour playing with him and he was really enjoying himself until he had a wee seizure. After the seizure he wasn't interested in playing so I just sang to him instead.  He loves that and he kept trying to keep his eyes open to look at me.  I was singing lots of Christmas songs and then I sang my favourite to him Fairytale of New York.

It was going really well until I sang " I could have been someone, well so could anyone, you took my dreams from me when I first found you.  I kept them with me babe, put them with my own, can't make it all alone, I built my dreams around you" and I was totally caught off guard by the tears that were choking me.  I didn't know why but the words seemed so apt for him and me, that he put my dreams with his cos he couldn't make it without me.  Silly I know, cos the song is not about anything remotely like our situation but today it just really affected me.

My dad arrived shortly after and the three of us headed down to the café for a change of scenery.  When we got back my dad made me laugh when he shook his fist at Jack and said "you'd better get better wee man or I will fist ya!".  That sent me into fits of giggles cos it is a private joke which I will now let you into.

About 5 years ago, Jack spent 6 weeks in hospital in Dundee.  My dad, who would have been in his late sixties at the time took to shaking his fist at Jack, jokingly telling him that he'd better get better or my dad would fist him!  The first time he did it, I had a wee chuckle to myself but after he'd said it numerous times in front of various nurses, doctors and specialists and seeing their reactions I really had to tell him what that actually meant.

You can imagine, telling your dad that something he is being totally innocent about is actually a sexual act isn't exactly high on my list of fun things to do! You should have seen the look of incredulity on his face and he was like "EH?????  No Way!"  He was a wee bit embarrassed cos in his day, fisting someone meant they were gonna get a punch in the face!!!  Then we had a good laugh about it especially when I said that he'd better watch that they don't report him for being a bit of a pedo!!

He had the last laugh though cos unbeknown to me, all the staff thought he was Jack's dad!!!  And he let them.  It took about 3 wks to discover that they were calling him Jack's dad and it was only because a play therapist leaned in and said to Jack "look here come dad and mum".  I looked behind me to see if Father of the Year had miraculously appeared behind me and when there was no one there, I looked back and caught my dad chuckling away to himself.  I know he looks young, but not THAT young!

I soon put them right let me tell you and I didn't know whether to be more offended that they would think I was into older men or that they thought I looked as old as him. I spent the next 3 weeks calling out DAD quite loudly so that they would know he was my dad and not Jack's.

Oh the trauma!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I Come Highly Recommended! Get me......Guest Blogger.

I got home today after a long day at the hospital, switched on the computer and was mega chuffed to find that I now have 22 followers.

Then I started reading updates of blogs I am following and so I clicked on Jumble Mash only to find it is her 25th birthday and she feels old! So it's true then that age is a state of mind huh?  25 year olds feel about 40 something and us 40 somethings feel about 25!  Or is that just me? I continued reading and then I thought I was seeing things, so I went back and read it again but no I hadn't imagined it.  This is what I read :

Today I am recommending...

The Giggle Fest

Lyndylou is truly an inspiring person. Wanna know why? Well hop on over there and see for yourselves. I cannot help but be captivated by all that she writes.

Holy shit!!! I was so not expecting that so I was totally blown away.  Thank you Jumble Mash.  You've made my day. A very happy birthday to you who is a quarter of a century old.  Now that SOUNDS REALLY OLD! Tee hee hee.

Then I clicked onto another blog I follow called Dribble by a lady named Mynx and I found that I am the latest guest blogger in her Sunshine Project.  She had requested guest bloggers as she was having a busy few weeks and didn't have time to write but didn't want to neglect her blog.  I wrote a story about Holly and she really liked it. It is really weird to see your words on someone else's blog but really cool too.  My day just got even better.  Thank you Mynx.

So do me a wee favour and take a look at their blogs but don't forget to come back otherwise I will set the dreaded lurgy on you!   (All you have to do is click on their name above and that will take you straight to their page).

I SPENT today at the hospital again. Jack was still very sleepy so it was a really slow morning.  I hadn't even taken a book with me cos if I had, sod's law, he would have been awake and throwing himself all over the bed!  He finally woke about lunch time and he was clear eyed for about half an hour and then he nodded off again.  It was such a relief to see him awake and taking things in cos you never can tell what affect this latest episode has had on him.

My dad arrived at 1.30pm and I was just heading out Jack's room when Liz, Jack's physio appeared and asked "is this a good time?" and I said "yeah, I was heading downstairs for a coffee" and she said "great, we can do this over coffee".  

With everything that has happened this week, I was a bit confused as to why she needed a chat but then I looked at the papers she had in her hand and it dawned on me that this was the follow up to our last chat where I broke down at the school.

After grabbing a cuppa and a sandwich, I sat by the window waiting for Liz to join me.  It didn't have the best view as we looked out onto the smokers shelter and it was also blowing a blizzard outside.   Liz explained that she had some information for me re the children's hospice and if I was up to it, the application form but that there was no hurry. 

So I drank my tea, ate my sandwich and we chatted about everything and anything and I was telling her about my blog.  I told her how chuffed I was that I had followers on the blog and facebook and that yesterday I had about a 100 hits.   She jokingly said "how do you know it's followers and not A follower? Maybe the same person looked at your blog a hundred times yesterday!"  I couldn't stop laughing and I explained that you could look up the stats and it told you the amount of hits from different countries to which she replied "ha ha but it's maybe someone who travels a lot!"  I nearly fell off my seat laughing and just about managed to blurt out "that then would mean that I didn't have a follower but a stalker".  She roared and laughed and the two of us were clutching our stomachs nearly crying with laughter.

I felt so much better and so I put down my tea and said "lets take a look at this then" and pulled the hospice info towards me.  She gave me a long look saying "you sure?  I'm not going to make you cry today am I?" I thought about it and said "no, I am ok today, considering".

And you know, I really was.  The form didn't ask too many upsetting questions and I didn't have to go through Jack's whole story which I have done, over and over, for the last 12 years and believe me, for that I was very grateful.  Liz and I parted company after that and I headed back to the ward.

My dad was surprised to see me and said that I should have just gone home as he was willing to stay with Jack for a bit.  

I drove to Holly's school to pick her up as it was blizzard like conditions outside.  I had about 45 mins to wait, so I took a deep breath and absorbed myself in the hospice info.  It was easy reading but my throat got sore with holding in my emotions but I didn't do that great a job cos the odd tear did make a bid for freedom.  

I read it twice and although it made painful reading, I know that I need this support cos Jack's condition has severely deteriorated over the last 4 years and if I am honest, I would dearly love to spend time with him, just being his mum, while someone else takes over his "exceptional care needs", even if just for a day.

Later at home, I told Holly that I had filled in the form and now we wait to see if we meet the criteria which I think we should but who knows.

Then Father of the Year (she says sarcastically!) phoned and it would be me who answered the phone!  I just handed it straight to Holz cos she is the only one he is really interested in.  The line had an echo, so I think he is still in Angola so he's not home yet.  I have that fun to come, oh deep joy and happiness lol.

No doubt you will hear all about it.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A Very Exhausted Child

I fell into bed last night and slept like a baby so much so that I never noticed that my glasses (for reading only, I hasten to add) had somehow gotten into the bed.  Must have been when I started blogging at 5.30am after being woken up by Jack's many seizures.  I became aware of something digging into my butt cheek at about 5 am this morning. I was still dreaming while fumbling about for the offending item but it was only when I managed to put my hands on it that I woke up properly!

I was like wtf??!  I think it is safe to say they are probably wrecked, oops! Thankfully, I have a spare pair so I just shoved them onto the bedside table, rolled over and went back to sleep, chuckling away to myself.

After I took Holly to school, I went straight up to the hospital.  Jack had had 9 short seizures through the night even after all the meds he'd been given and then a further 5, the last one being at 10.45am. The nurses gave him a wash and changed him and he seemed a lot more settled and he has been sleeping peacefully since.

He even looked a better colour as he'd seemed so pale when I first came in.  Sitting there, watching him, the tears finally came.  I didn't cry for long, just long enough to kinda "let the water pressure ease a bit" and then it was over.  I did feel better for it but the real tears wont come until I get him home.

My dad popped up and sat with Jack for a while so that I could go to the hospital coffee shop to meet my friend who I had originally arranged to meet in a posh café in town but needs must and therefore we made the best of a bad situation. 

After my dad left the hospital I started reading the paper he had left behind.  Just goes to show you how desperate I was for reading material as I never read newspapers these days as they are just too depressing!  He only left a small section which included the advertisements.  I spotted a couple for German Shepherd pups so I thought I would wind my friend up a bit by taking some pics of the adverts on my mobile and sending them to her.  She is under pressure at the moment from her kids and husband to get a puppy, particularly a German Shepherd.  I didn't have to wait long for her reply which was "you can go off someone very quickly!".

I was having a good chuckle at that cos I know just how much she is resisting them at the moment.  Thinking about it, I should have sent the same texts to her husband as well, then she would not only have gone off me but she would have wished some dreadful lurgy on me too!!

Meanwhile Jack slept blissfully on, unaware that his mum was trying desperately to cheer herself up using any means necessary.

It is such a long day sitting in the hospital.  The chairs are really not comfy, it is so warm that you feel really sluggish and now that the health and safety department have gone fanatical, the place is so bland.  The magazines that used to be left out for parents are long gone, toys are now fewer than ever, there is very little decor and all because these are all means of spreading germs.  Personally I think they have gone a little overboard but hey I am no expert.

Around 3.45pm, Granny Mac appeared to take over and she was going to be doing the next shift til 10pm so that I could go home to Holly.  She is a god send.

I picked Holly up, a few minutes from our house and then I just collapsed on the sofa. I didn't have any housework to do because being Wednesday, Nancy had been in and worked her magic.  Another god send. I did nothing for about 2 hours and then I made dinner and collapsed again for another hour then I headed out to collect a single bed with my friends Emma and Mark.  I have a wheelchair accessible car so it comes in handy for collecting large items.

So now I am back home. Holly is drawing for her art portfolio, the dogs are lying at my feet and I am slowly starting to chill a bit.  I've just called the hospital and although Jack is quite peaceful, his stats are low so he has been put on oxygen again,  Oh and he has had a seizure but only a short one so I will see what tomorrow brings.

It had better be good that's all I will say lol. :)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Blue Lights

Jack managed to get home from school without needing more Midazolam.  He was asleep when I got him off the bus so I thought that he would definitely sleep this one off. Of course, my wee man had other plans and even though he was asleep his breathing kept becoming laboured and his eyes were rolling as if the seizures were still breaking through but not enough to cause his body to jerk.

By the time Marion, Jack's carer, came in he had woken up and was bright for a few minutes but you could tell that he was going to have a seizure just by the look on his face.

I left him with Marion at 5.30pm but by 6.05pm she was calling me on my mobile to tell me that he'd had two seizures in quick succession and was onto a third and she'd given him his 3rd dose of Midazolam but it didn't seem to be stopping but that she would keep me informed.  Ten minutes later she called again to say he was still fitting and I just told her to call an ambulance.

Holly and I had just met up with my dad for a meal and we were still waiting on my sister to arrive when I got that call so I just had to high tail it out of there, with Holly in hot pursuit.  We ran into my sister on our way out and quickly explained the situation and arranged to meet up a few days later. I think the news had spoiled the mood and my dad and sis bailed out too.

Holly and I could hear the ambulance sirens as we ran to my car.  That noise just strikes fear through my heart cos we have been in this situation so many times.  We met the ambulance just as it was turning into my street and the lights were flashing but the siren was off.

It took only moments for them to assess the situation and then they got him onto the trolley, with a bit of difficulty as they couldn't get it into the living room.  We had to bring his chair out so far into the hall and then four of us lifted him using his sling onto the trolley.

The I was running about getting his equipment, pyjamas, nappies, you name it and then Marion and Jack went in the ambulance and Holly and I followed in the car.

We were only in A & E for about an hour and then we were taken straight up to the children's ward.  He had another seizure after he was settled into the bed and the nurses did all their observations.  He was on oxygen and they were monitoring his heart beat and oxygen levels, fairly routine stuff.

Holly and Marion fetched Jack's stuff from the car, while I filled in forms and spoke to the doctors. While out Holly also phoned my dad cos in my panic and haste at the house I forgot a vital piece of equipment, the MAGNET! Luckily he has a key to my house so he was able to get it for me.

Emma and Mark came up for a quick visit and he did open his eyes for a little while but he was so exhausted.  Emma kindly took  Marion back to mine to get her car cos it was way past her finishing time but she really is such a star and I know she wouldn't have left until he was settled or til I was able to take her home.

They had only been out the door 10 minutes or so when it all kicked off and went into a prolonged seizure lasting nearly an hour.  It was very very stressful but the doctors were feverishly setting up a drip to give him a loading dose of Phenytoin.

Finally, at around 10pm he seemed to be at peace and that's when I took Holly home going via the take away.

I am way past being tired but I am off to my bed anyway cos I have no idea what will happen through the night.  Here's hoping the medication does the job, if not there is a few more they can try before we get transferred else where.

Fingers crossed. Now my bed is calling cos I am running on empty.

It Just Keeps Going

I decided to put Jack to school because he woke up and was clear eyed and gave me a smile so I thought that the crisis is maybe over.

I didn't go back to bed but did sit like a zombie watching naff day time TV before I dragged myself to the bathroom, got in the shower and woke myself up.  I walked the mad dogs who were incidentally "shitting for Scotland" today and my poop scooping skills were really put to the test. Yuck!

I was just beginning to relax at around 2.15pm when the phone rang and yep, you guessed it, it was the school saying that they had had to give Jack more rescue meds.  At this point the seizure was just past the 14 minute mark.  They called back 5 minutes later to say, he had come out of it and was sleeping.  Oh thank god!  I hadn't realised how fast my heart was hammering until after I got off the phone.

If the seizure had got to 20 minutes it would have been a 999 emergency situation which could still happen cos if he fits over 10 minutes again they can only give him one more dose of Midazolam and then it's straight to hospital. 

So now I am clock watching and hoping that he will stay asleep and that the medicine is doing it's job.  If not we will most certainly end up at the local hospital ,which is just a small place, with a children's ward that has had half it's beds closed due to spending cuts so the likelihood is that we will then be transferred to the nearest specialist hospital which for Jack is anything from 70/200 miles away.

If I am honest, when Jack starts to fit like this it usually goes on for days so we, Holly and I, will once again be walking the bleak corridors of the hospital but at least being Christmas, there will be lots of fancy decorations to look at for a change.  Oooh and if I am lucky, maybe the local firemen will pay a visit like they did one Christmas previously and I will be able to ogle them at my leisure!  You see, even during a crisis I can always find a plus in there somewhere.  

Mmmmmmm now that's got me thinking.  Every year I ask Santa for a fireman and maybe this is how I will get one!! lol I have previously mentioned this to one of my friends who helpfully said that all I had to do was set fire to the turkey on Christmas day and I would have not ONE but MANY firemen at my door. 

Oh don't you hate a smart arse?! Me thinks she has missed the point completely!

Stop The Bus, I Wanna Get Off!!!

It's 5.30am and Jack has just had his 6th seizure in the last hour and a half.  I have just had to give him Midazolam, which is a rescue medication to try and stop them so fingers crossed. This is day four of sleepless nights and I am completely shattered.   Welcome to my world.

They are not big seizures, just a few minutes long but they are tonic clonic ones, which involve every part of his body.  Afterwards he is completely exhausted and needs to sleep.

Description of Seizures

Since his Vagus Nerve Stimulator was implanted a year and a half ago, his seizures have gone down from between 10 and 20 a day to 2 to 10 and he has even had a day or two without ANY!!!

Most of his seizures these days are through the day so I have been managing to get caught up on years of very little sleep but lately they have been through the night as well as through the day and we both very quickly become exhausted.  This weekend has been particularly hard going.

Yesterday, after putting him on the bus to school, I could have easily listened to the voice from the duvet shouting " come back to bed" but being Christmas, I had so much to do.

So I found myself by 10am in the Post Office, fighting my way through this massive queue of people just to get to the store part to buy a couple of jiffy bags, brown paper and a box.  As I fought my way through, people were chatting around me and most seemed in good spirits with the odd person muttering under their breath.  As it was so busy there was no one to serve me but as I hovered near the cash register eventually someone spotted me and came out.  After battling back through the queue and out to my car, I was seriously thinking that perhaps these presents could wait until January to be sent!!

But no, I was on a mission.  I then drove to my dad's house, had a cup of tea with him while I put all the presents into the relevant bags, boxes etc, addressed them and got them ready for posting.  This took me about half an hour then off I went back to the Post Office, which I drove past when I spotted that the queue hadn't gotten any smaller.  I then drove into town but couldn't get a parking space close enough to that Post Office so I gave up and went home.

I then went out with the dogs for an hour, came back, jumped back in the car and headed back to, you guessed it the f**king Post Office.  I was determined that this time, come what may, I was definitely leaving empty handed!  I had to park a wee bit away from the damn place and after trying to balance two boxes, 3 jiffy bags and numerous envelopes, off I set.  I only walked about 2 steps when I realised I hadn't locked the car, so quick about turn to "point and lock" and the jiffy bags fell off the top of the pile and landed in the middle of the road.  I scrambled about trying to pick them up without dropping anything else and the whole lot toppled over!  Thank god nothing was breakable.

Finally I made it there, with said packages slipping through my hands and being held in place by my fingertips to find that there was no queue.  If I hadn't been bogged down with stuff, I swear I would have done a wee dance, so gleeful was I.  You see, it doesn't take much to improve my day.  It took what seemed like forever to process everything, which I know it didn't but in the time it took, the queue had reached mammoth proportions again but I couldn't help grinning from ear to ear as I left, mission complete.

I then headed to the supermarket for some food cos my fridge was empty and Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards have more in them than mine do.  I arrived back home 15 minutes before Jack was due home and I literally collapsed on the sofa, dogs all over me, demanding attention.

But there was no time for slacking, I had to get some housework at least, done before the ankle biters arrived home making more demands on my time.

I had barely started on the housework and Jack was home.  I checked his bag and read all his diaries to see how many seizures he'd had and what his fluid intake was at before I took off his jacket and hoisted him into his big comfy chair.  Then Holly was home, we all had to be fed and I'd to nip out to the ATM to get cash cos my niece Diane was coming round to cut the kids hair and cut and colour mine.

Diane and her boyfriend Chris, who has just come back from Afghanistan, appeared around 6pm and she took me outside to show me what he had bought her.  A Mini Cooper.  OMG I was so excited for her and inside it was just so girlie, like Diane, with different coloured lights lighting up the interior, going from red through to purple.  It was very cool and I told her how jealous I was and how much I wanted a "Chris" who would buy me a girlie car and how lucky she was but I think she knows :)

Bitch! Jealous 

By the time Diane was finished with Holly and Jack, my body wants to sleep but the mind has so much more to do and I nearly nodded off while she was putting in the foils! Thank god for Granny Mac who comes on a Monday night to shower Jack and put him to bed!

An hour later and I feel more myself again.  I no longer have roots, which were nearly grown out and worst of all, had bloody silver bits through it and were sparkling brighter than tinsel on a Christmas tree.  No, people, I am back to my usual red with dark purple through it.  Now that I have written that down, it doesn't sound right, but believe me it's GORGEOUS!

Diane left at about 9pm and about 20 minutes later my friend Emma and her boyfriend Mark appeared so I made us all a cup of tea and they had a taste of Jack's baking that he took home this afternoon.  It was a mincemeat tart, very festive and quite yummy too. They left at around 10.30pm.  I set up and connected Jack's feed and put the dogs to their beds before climbing the stairs to bed.  The day didn't end there though as Holly and I had been sniping at each other all evening and we had words before she went off to bed.

I then couldn't sleep until I sorted it out with her and finally fell into bed at midnight. Poor Holly, she has been so miserable after splitting with her boyfriend of 2 years in September and she is finding things pretty tough right now and the combination of that and trying to be "upbeat and happy" as it's Christmas is taking it's toll on us both.  Sometimes you just can't do it!

So that was my day yesterday and here I am 5 hours later, blogging cos I can't get back to sleep. The midazolam seems to have worked and Jack is sleeping peacefully.

There is still so much to do, I haven't even started to decorate the house and just the thought of it, is such a mammoth task that I just want to pull the duvet over my head and hope it will all go away.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE CHRISTMAS just not all the hard work that's involved in the run up to it when my life is already crazy and hectic as it is.

I now have to get up and give Jack his morning meds, wake Holly and see to the dogs. I need to assess Jack before I decide whether he is going to school today or not but I want him to as it's his Christmas party and it would be a shame for him to miss it but if he does, well that's just life with a child like Jack and you just have to roll with it.

Onwards and upwards :)

Friday, 10 December 2010

My Two Favourite Christmas Tunes

This is my all time favourite Christmas tune.  I absolutely love Kirsty McColl's music and she is definitely at her best in this song.  It is quite a sad song really but it makes me smile when I hear it.  I had my dreams taken from me too by my ex....... but I got them back :)

My other second favourite Christmas tune is All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey.  I have since discovered an alternative version by a band that Holly and I just love.  They are called The Midnight Beast whom I have blogged about previously and they are 3 young guys from London.  They make their own videos.  This is the version I will be singing this Christmas.  It is rude but very very funny!  Enjoy.

I hope you laughed cos this was the version Holly and I were blasting out on the car CD Player as we drove past a group of really hot guys.  We had the windows down and were singing our hearts out!  Then we had major hysterics at their faces.  Naughty but great fun!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Stuck in the Snow

I never did get another call from the school so you would think that my day improved huh?  Not so.

I had arranged for the school bus to drop Jack off at the centre where he has rebound therapy, to save me having to just put him straight into my car when he got home.  Holly was supposed to meet me there too as it was just around the corner from their school,and it saved her the long walk.

The school bus was running late, what with the weather, so I text Ann, the bus auxiliary to check they'd remembered and as I expected they had but were just held up.  Holly on the other hand was no where to be seen.  I called her mobile and it went straight to voice mail and text her too but still no reply, also hung about outside to see if I could spot her.  I was getting a bit frantic cos she never carries her key and it was absolutely freezing outside but I just had to put that aside while I got Jack off the bus and into the centre.

Jack was quite lively and if he hadn't been strapped into his chair, he would have made a bid for freedom!  As soon as he saw the trampoline, he got quite excited and alert.

This is an image of rebound therapy

I don't know if you know anything about rebound therapy but it is basically for all abilities.  Jack for instance can't jump up and down on the trampoline so they hoist him onto a bean bag and slide him into the middle of the trampoline and two therapists gently bounce around him.  All this bouncing around is very good for all of his organs, helps to clear any glut on his chest, encourages eye contact and is basically a little bit of fun.  They also do stretching exercises with him and yesterday for the first time, his left arm came up straight away with very little resistance.  What a wee star!

He also gave them one or two of his rare smiles, not an all out grin but a wee smirk.  He can be quite cheeky at times, bit like his mum.

After we'd finished our slot, he was back in his wheelchair and then we headed off but we found we couldn't get out our usual side door as the snow was piled up the side of the path and the wheelchair was too wide to get through.  I had to run back through and ask them to unlock the main door but they weren't sure that they had the keys!  I had visions of us being stuck there for a wee while but no they found the keys and out we went into more snow!

I got Jack into the car, then headed home. I had just driven into my street when my car became stuck in the snow.  I kept reversing and trying again but after ten minutes it was clear that Jack and I were going nowhere.

Ok this isn't me, but you get the drift!
I phoned the house phone, hoping and praying that Holly did have her key and was home and not freezing on the doorstep.  I was so relieved when she answered and told her to grab the snow shovel and come and help me.  

Meanwhile, I am trying to kick the snow outta my way but couldn't get to the stuff under the car.  This bloody lowered floor is ace for the wheelchair but utterly crap in this kind of weather cos the snow just gets stuck under it.  I had just got back into the car, turned around to check on Jack when he went straight into a seizure.  I stuck on my hazard lights and leapt into the back of the car, frantically trying to reach for the magnet which is in his bag at the back of his wheelchair.  Not easy to get to let me tell you.  

As I am rummaging for the damn thing, Jack lips are starting to go blue and he isn't breathing so I start rubbing his chest and talking to him and after about 50 secs he take a breath and starts to cough, retch and choke and finally I manage to get the damn magnet onto his stimulator.  As I was standing, leaning over him, counting 30 seconds in my head, I was watching all the traffic on the road behind us going by and hoping that nobody was gonna turn into my street and run into the back of us cos we were just on the street and no more.

It took only 2 minutes for the seizure to pass but it had totally floored him and he was out for the count.  I was just getting out the car when I spotted Holly with the shovel.  Thank god cos my stress levels were getting higher by the minute.

I then spent the next 10 to 15 minutes digging out my car, with a little help from Holly.  During that time, lots of people in cars were having a good look but no one stopped to help.  One car came into the street, a 4 x 4, parked two cars up from me and the lady driving it, walked across the road and went into her house, watching us all the while.  I was speechless!  Even if there was nothing she thought she could do, she could have asked anyway!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Finally, the car started to move and was gaining momentum when a van started coming down the opposite side of the street and as he had right of way, I had to stop and got STUCK AGAIN! For f**k's sake!!!!!

Thankfully it was only for a minute or two and then I was off, leaving poor Holly behind but there was no way I was stopping once I got going but I did walk back and help her carry the shovel cos it is quite big.

Once back in the house, I just wanted to collapse but no time for that cos I had to hoist Jack into his comfy chair and then feed him.  He was still out for the count and oblivious but as it was way past his tea time, I couldn't leave it a while so I put Holly on the case and she cooked our tea.

She was really grumpy with me and I had to bite my tongue cos I was really not in the mood for "one word answers" cos I was a very stressed out bunny!!

It's times like this, being stuck in the snow, that I feel such a "girlie" and quite helpless and it pisses me off!!  I hate feeling helpless, it frustrates me and I realise how vulnerable I actually am and that I can't do everything by myself.  It's not that I want to do everything myself, NO WAY, but when you have had to because of circumstances then it gets harder to ask for help without feeling like I've let myself down. 

It's crazy, I know but strong women were not born like this, it's circumstances and life experience that have made us this way, but never mistake a strong women for a hard women, as they are totally different.

I have met a lot of strong women and they are loving, caring and exceptional whereas a hard woman is hard hearted and unbending, not in the same league at all but so many people don't know the difference.

So now you know, this strong woman is not invincible, does struggle at times and does cry but don't be telling everybody now, it will be our little secret so SSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


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