Thursday, 29 September 2011

The lurgy still lurks

I am still under the influence of this dreadful lurgy. It has been 3 weeks now and really, it should bugger off now cos I am getting fed up of it lurking around. I have been reminded of parts of my body that I had kinda forgotten about really, like my eye sockets. Who knew they could hurt so much? And why I haven't coughed up a lung yet, will forever remain a mystery!

Holly has been home all week, doing her dying duck routine and it's kinda hard to be sympathetic when getting up to get her a drink feels like climbing a mountain! Both of us are hardly eating cos we feel so queasy but then we feel better when we get something into our stomachs but nothing looks or tastes edible!

I am soldiering on though. I have finished my work with the panel, deciding the tenders for children's services. It was a lot of work but it was good to see it from another perspective.

I had Jack's annual review at the respite centre this week and things have been updated and a lot of sensitive issues discussed. Seems that since the referral to Rachel House Children's Hospice, staff there are a little more apprehensive looking after Jack. I pointed out that yes, the referral changes my support network but that Jack's condition, actually has stayed them same. He will always be more vulnerable than you or I and that hasn't changed.

I also met with the school inspector who wanted to discuss the Adult Learning aspect in the community so there were quite a few of us unpaid carers around the table telling him about the courses we had been on and the impact it had made on our caring role. All positive stuff by the sounds of it.

We are on week two of the new medicine. Jack is very agitated. The poor boy just can't sit still and he has managed to deck me a few times with his arms and kick me with his legs but I am getting better at dodging! This makes dressing him and changing his pad a major challenge but I am up for it. Who needs to go to the gym when I have Jack keeping me on my toes.

Hope none of you have gotten the dreaded lurgy. If you have, then you need to chase it away with lots of hot toddys! The adult recipe is further down the page of the link. It will either kill you or cure you. LOL


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Laughter is the best medicine

I am still immersed in the dreaded lurgy.

I dutifully coughed and spluttered, with my hand over my mouth, but fingers splayed. in the waiting room at court yesterday so I just know that there will be quite a few people waking up today feeling like they are dying!! Well maybe that's just the men!

I finally was able to give my testimony as a witness. I was surprised by just how much I remembered considering it was nearly 2 years ago. It was a strange experience, one I am not in a hurry to repeat I have to say. The case was only part heard because the victim wants nothing to do with the case as she is still with the defendant and doesn't want to give evidence. Luckily her evidence is not needed.

So hopefully my bit is done now and I can move on as the whole thing was truly sucking my will to live!

Holly came home from school yesterday covered in little green stamps, all over her face.  She had been on the school sponsored walk and they get a stamp each time they reach a certain place in the route. Holly decided that she would get her face stamped this time, only she didn't think it through cos when she tried to take it off, it wouldn't budge.

Not good when we later had to nip out to the shops. I couldn't stop laughing and she was not impressed when she realised that it could be permanent! (This was me winding her up, tapping into her paranoia telling her that she would look like a goblin for quite a while!).

Tee hee hee, I am so bad but really, I can't help it, she is just so easy to tease.

After our purchases, she dragged me to Thorntons for an ice cream and we sat outside enjoying it. After a while she commented that "we must be nuts, sitting outside in the cold eating ice cream" and I laughed and said "it's not cold, it's roasting hot".  She gave me such a look and then said "well, duh, are you having a flush or is it one of your temperature spikes, cos you are still unwell ya know". I was most indignant at the "hot flush" reference and she fell about laughing as I then went into a coughing fit.

Within an hour of being out we had to head back cos I was feeling a bit dizzy. I hate feeling unwell, I hate that feeling of having no control over this body. I am sure it is a side effect from when I had chemo even though that was years ago.

Holly's boyfriend David was staying over last night. Usually he sleeps in the spare room when he comes to stay but now that room is where Diana sleeps. So last night he slept in Holly's bed and Holly kipped with me.

She was really starting to feel lousy by this time and tearful with it so I rubbed some vapour rub on her back and neck. Once I'd finished she just rolled over with her back to me.  "Eh, what about me" I spluttered and she turned her head and looked at me as if I had grown an extra head! "I thought that you were able to do it yourself" she laughed. "Yeah" I said "if I was a contortionist I could do my own back but I'm bloody not, so get on with it".

More giggling and then finally sleep. Not for long though as I woke to a hand slapping me on the side of the face. Then it's fingers ran around my face like a spider, finally stopping at my ears and one finger was unceremoniously shoved into my ear, waggled about until I yelled. At this point the hand, belonging to Holly withdrew and lay still.

This is why I hate it when she kips with me cos I usually end up being woken with a slap, an elbow to the face, being crushed as she ends up lying practically on top of me or she steals the duvet. The waggling of my ear is a new one which made us fall into heaps of giggles this morning when I told her all about it as she never remembers a thing.

Laughter is the best medicine don't you think?

Friday, 23 September 2011


Jack has totally smitten me with his dreaded lurgy!

All I can say is, if he feels anything as bad as me then he is such a little trooper. Holly now has it. We are dropping like flies in this house! I feel so bad that even chocolate tastes yucky! Now where's the fairness in that?

Today I have court again.....Grrrr!  My dad is looking after Jack til about 1pm so if the case hasn't been heard by then, I am not staying another minute longer. I am so fed up of the whole damn thing and I have lost all faith in the judicial system at this point.

So the only thing that is keeping me going at this point in time, is the amount of people I can pass my germs on to! Wicked eh?

Have a good day my little gigglers.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Five minutes of fame and other stuff

It's been another hectic week.

I finally got Jack's new meds yesterday and yesterday morning he had his first dose. The tablet had to be dissolved in water as it had to go through his Peg. Not a problem I thought, since I do that with a few of his meds anyway but oh boy, the fun I had this morning trying to get the fecking thing to dissolve!  It took over half an hour!

I have to double the quantity next week and then treble it the week after so that is gonna be sooooo much fun for me....NOT! Why is nothing ever simple?

Holly and I headed down to Glasgow on Friday. We were booked into our hotel by 3pm. We were hungry as we'd missed lunch so we looked at the room service menu and both of us fancied a steak in peppercorn sauce. We decided to check out the restaurant first before we made up our minds and after seeing the menu, Holly marched me back upstairs to order room service! She is so bossy sometimes. LOL.

I have to admit, it was a wise choice as it was absolutely yummy. Then I had 40 winks before getting ready to go to the STV studios.

We arrived on time and we were some of the first there but quickly the place filled up. I got speaking to quite a few of the families who had told there stories on film and it was lovely to meet them. When we went 'live' Holly and I were standing right behind the presenter Michelle McManus. We were told to smile into the camera, so there we were, grinning like cheshire cats.

We only managed to stay in that spot for about 10 mins cos then the researcher kept bringing in all the fund raisers and putting them in front of us, until we were pushed right to the back! Then not content with that, they then tried to cram more people in and we were then pushed to the side.

If I'd known that this was our only chance to be right at the front, I would have taken that opportunity to jump up and down, waving like a demented person! Or should I say, like normal for me, tee hee hee.

Monday I spent the day working for the local council, looking at tenders for children's services. It was nerve racking at first but then I soon got into it. It was the most I'd used my brain in a while and I had a headache by the end of the day. Despite this, it was very interesting and I am looking forward to Monday for the next part.

Jack was only half an hour in school yesterday and I got a call saying he had a temperature and was coughing up gunk. Oh joy!

He had been coughing a little bit the night before and in the morning but Jack coughs a lot in general so unless he coughs up something yellow or green I don't worry too much.

Before I left to pick him up, I called the local hospital, where I have open access to the children's ward and told them that I was on my way.  I was there within 15 mins but then when I was getting Jack's wheelchair out of the car, one of the back tyres came off the wheel and I couldn't get it back on. In desperation I pushed the chair only using the remaining 3 wheels and threw myself on the mercy of a maintenance guy who was changing the bulbs on the outside lights at the main door.

It took 5 mins, lots of tugging and grunting, the use of a screwdriver and the help from two other people before they got the tyre on. I couldn't thank them enough.

I spent three hours at the ward waiting to see a doctor and getting antibiotics.  I was glad to get home though as the heat in the hospital totally wipes you out!

Jack spent the whole afternoon coughing and sneezing, mostly over me, so you just know what's gonna happen next eh?

I have court again on Friday. Hopefully this will be third time lucky because this case is truly sucking my will to live. I have had to enlist the help of my dad for looking after Jack that day so I think I might use my situation as leverage to get our case seen earlier. Who knows, it might just work!

Holly and I played back the recording of us at the STV Appeal and we were actually on the TV quite a bit. Well me anyway and she couldn't stop laughing at me popping up wherever and whenever I could, grinning from ear to ear. My lovely daughter said that it was like an episode of Where's Wally?!!

We were both rolling about laughing each time my head popped up grinning. Hee hee hee. What can I say? If this was your TV moment, wouldn't you do the same?

Monday, 19 September 2011

He saved him and I will never forget

He was only 3 but anybody with half a brain could see that he was in so much pain.

He used to clutch at his head, drop to the floor and scream. This had been going on for two years and I was at breaking point.  I had been arguing with doctors at Aberdeen Sick Kids for 2 years about this cyst they had found in his brain. I was convinced that it was causing his balance problems, hearing issues and this horrendous pain. Finally I was able to get a second opinion.

After various tests and scans in Edinburgh Sick Kids, Father of the Year and I talked to the Neurologist who said that he didn't think that this type of cyst (arachnoid) could cause the type of symptoms I was describing. I said that "I was sorry for arguing but I begged to differ". He looked surprised and said " oh but we're not arguing, we're discussing" and I laughed, cos this was new to me!

Later that afternoon, he asked us through to his office. During the walk there, carrying Jack, I felt physically sick in case they were right and I was wrong, cos I truly felt that I couldn't go on listening to my baby scream a second more.

The neurologist was so laid back and therefore I assumed that he was going to tell me that it wasn't the cyst as he didn't look worried or in the least bit perturbed.  So I nearly fell of my seat when he told us that "the cyst had pushed his brain stem right over, had eroded the bone, had stretched 3 cranial nerves so tight, one looked about to snap and that yes they would be willing to operate.

How I didn't collapse after holding it together for two years, I will never know.

Dr Eunson saved Jack's life and I will be forever grateful.

I have been asked to write this post by Looking for Blue Sky in support of Save the Children's Campaign to increase the number of Health Workers in poorer parts of the world, especially East Africa. Children die needlessly every day from simple preventable illnesses.

Save the Children have enlisted the help of the Mummy Blogger Community to get as many people as possible to sign this petition by close of Tuesday when it is due to be presented at the UN General Assembly.

So I am asking these mummy bloggers to help too and anyone else who wants to. Details are to be found here

Bouncin Barb 

Monday, 12 September 2011

I don't like this growing up lark!

This last week has seen Holly and I get into a bit of a tiz trying to find drama courses at University.

Believe me, they are few and far between!

She came home very depressed today after going to Gordonstoun School for a University Information Day. So this afternoon was spent knee deep in prospectus, trying to find just the right kind of course. We did find one but we need about 4 more for a back up as there will be lots of people vying for places on that course.

A couple of hours later, she was smiling again and things were looking up.  Now we just need to start filling in the UCAS form and get moving on her Personal Statement and just hope for the best.

All this worry about Universities is very stressful. Neither myself or Father of the Year went to University but we did go to college so this is uncharted territory for me. Now we just have to arrange to go and attend some open days to get a feel for some of the places.

Both of us had a hug in the kitchen tonight. Neither one of us wants to even think about this next step but as much as I will miss her so so much, I know that she has to test her wings and fly the nest.  I will resist the urge to hang onto her leg, begging her to take me with her, just like she used to do to me when she was little. Now I know how she feels!

Ah well, it's a wee while away yet, gotta live in the moment.

Jack hasn't started his new medicine yet. The prescription has been faxed, just waiting for it to come now. He had to have rescue meds twice last week. During one episode he was very sick and I think he must of aspirated some of it as his breathing was horrendous that night.  I spent the evening trying to get him to cough, using his pep mask, physio on his back and an extra long shower. Both he and I were exhausted by the end of the night.

By the next morning he was coughing up lots of dirty gunk and I had to call out the doctor who gave him antibiotics. It was mostly on his right side, which I already knew as I have a stethoscope and had listened in to his chest earlier.  I bought it after the physiotherapist showed me how to listen to his chest with her stethoscope and showed me how useful it was for checking how far down any mucus was in his chest.

I caught it early and by Sunday he was much brighter and went back to school today.

Diana, our lodger, stared college today. She has a cold and was feeling pretty miserable over the weekend but is a lot better today. Soon she will be knee deep in homework and time will fly for her.

I am gonna leave you with a video that Holly has just told me, reminds her of me.

I don't know what she means! LOL

Sunday, 11 September 2011


I can still remember where I was on the 11th September 2001 when I heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre.

Jack was with the carer and Holly and I were in a local pizza restaurant, called Scribbles. We had only been there a few minutes when the waitress came over to take our order. She seemed a bit anxious and agitated and the atmosphere in the place began to change. When the waitress came back with our drinks, she told me that they'd just heard about terrorists flying passenger planes into the World Trade Centre.

I felt total shock and disbelief and tried to hide my feelings from Holly, who was 7 at the time.

Arriving back home and turning on the TV I couldn't really take in what my eyes were actually seeing. It was so unbelievable! It was like something out of a movie but my brain knew this was so very real. For the first time, for me, the world had become a frightening place.

Fast forward to 7th July 2005 and I was in hospital with Jack who was very ill with seizures. I seemed to spend the week crying as my boy was unable to eat properly as he was slowly losing the ability to chew.  He had a TV above his bed which was rarely on but then another parent whose child was in the bed opposite had his TV on and I have a vague recollection of the nurses gathering around his TV to watch with horror the story unfolding.

I was in such an emotionally raw state that to be honest, I never really took it in til later that night when Jack was asleep and I was able to have some quiet time. I was shocked and stunned to be watching such horror again but I was already in an emotional abyss worrying about Jack's condition that the enormity of it didn't really hit me until about a week later.

picture from here

Then it was like I was seeing it all for the first time.   I could not understand how people could carry out these atrocities and justify them to boot.

I still believe that the world is filled with mostly good people. If I didn't, then I couldn't be here and that would mean that they had won. No one should ever forget but the best revenge on these terrorists is to go on living, loving and laughing despite them and all that they stand for.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A week in the life of...

Hello my little gigglers.

How are you all? Hope you are good.

I have had a hectic few days. My Romanian lodger has arrived. Her name is Diana and she is 20.  She was very tired when she first arrived and a little bit tearful but she has settled in well. My house is only a 5 minute walk from the town centre and the college she will be attending, so she has everything on her doorstep.

She has been into college this week for her induction and has met some of the other foreign students whom she is off out with today, exploring the local area. She seems very independent and sure of herself but does ask for help if she needs it.

Jack has had to have rescue meds twice in the last week. The neurologist finally called on Friday evening, so the new medicine has been decided on and now just waiting for the prescription to reach the local GP here. Should take about 5 days. One of the side affects is increased agitation, which will be no fun but usually it wears off after a while, fingers crossed.

I have finally finished my SVQ course. The local council had space for 3 carers on a pilot scheme to give unpaid carers recognition and a qualification for what they do.  I was one of the chosen as was another girl with the exact same name as me! The other lady had to drop out so Lynn and I have been the first two to do this course. I handed in my last essay yesterday and I get to graduate on the 6th October. Woo hoo!

Last week I got a call from the manager of the respite unit that Jack attends. The charity that runs the unit, Aberlour Childcare Trust are going to be benefiting from monies raised by the STV Appeal 2011  Supporting Scotland's Children and asked me if I would be willing to be in the audience of the live show that ends the appeal.

I was totally taken aback to begin with but then she explained that it would be a lot of fun and I would be like a parent representative. I said yes, so Holly and I are off on Friday 16th September to Glasgow to be on the show. I had to call on the services of Kathy and Emma to look after Jack as there is no way I could take him. Holly and I are quite excited about it. Gill, the respite unit manager, told me to put my mobile on silent, on the night, and she would text me if the camera landed on me, to tell me I was on TV. LOL

Another thing I have been asked to do this month is to be an evaluator on the panel that will consider tenders for respite services for children in our area. I am extremely nervous about this one but it will be so so interesting.  Unfortunately I can't tell you anything about it as everything has to be confidential. I can say that it is going to take up 3 whole days of my time this month starting on the 19th.

I have been afflicted by a sickness lurgy this week. I haven't actually been sick but have been experiencing waves of nausea, feeling dizzy, going hot and cold and just generally feeling UGG!  It sucks big time and I wish it would pass...quickly! I hate being ill.

Hope you are all having a great week :)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Nasty little beasties

As I said before, I have an absolute terror of wasps.

I've been stung once, under my arm and it was like an electric shock surged up my arm. I was sitting on the bus at the time and one of my sisters, Kathleen, nearly fell off her seat laughing as I was clutching my arm and my chest, thinking I was having a heart attack!

Years ago, I was chased by wasps whilst I was trying to enjoy an ice lolly in the park with Father of the Year and Holly, who was about 2 at the time. I tried to bat at them but they took no notice, so I tried to move out of their way but they kept following me, persistent little buggers.

In the end, after being dived bombed by about half a dozen of the nastly little things, I took off running, wasps in hot pursuit and the laughter of Father of the Year ringing in my ears! Realising that I wasn't able to shake the little f**kers, I took desperate measures and chucked my ice lolly over my shoulder as I ran. Within seconds they had descended on my poor discarded lolly and I was able to stop my attempt at beating the world record for the 60 metre sprint!

I was traumatised! Meanwhile Father of the Year is nearly ending himself laughing and Holly is giving me a row for dropping litter!

I don't know how I developed this phobia but I do remember my Mum being terrified of them and was often to be seen, screeching and leaping about, flapping her hands at the wee beasties and we, her kids, would think it was hysterically funny. She hated spiders too, which would also explain the spider phobia!

Who would have thought these wee beasties could cause so much trauma?

My worst encounter with wasps came about just after I passed my driving test.  I didn't learn to drive til I was 28 as I lived in a big city and the buses service was so good, you didn't need to drive. Then I moved back home after having Cancer and I realised how difficult life was in a smaller town and no car.

So I had passed my driving test 3 months previously, was 3 months pregnant with Holly and life was good.
My sister lived in the seaside town of Lossiemouth and she'd asked me to pick up my nephew Derek (who was 5) from school and take him back to our Mum's house.

It was only a short journey (8 mile round trip) and it was a lovely day so after picking up Derek, I took him down to the waterfront to get us an ice cream. I had our dog with us and Derek was giving her lots of attention while I bought the ice creams.

I had only a little bit of my ice cream left so I started up the car and headed home.  There were roadworks on the road out of town so were were going pretty slow, about 30 miles an hour and we'd the windows down and Derek was chatting away.  We'd only been on the road about 5 mins when this wasp flew in my window and started to buzz about my face. Frozen with terror, I whacked it with my hand and it fell to the floor between my legs!

I could still here it buzzing so I knew the little bugger wasn't dead and was just so terrified that it would crawl up my leg, so I started stamping all over that area with my foot. This took place over a matter of seconds and then I heard Derek's little voice crying out "Auntie Lynne!" in a traumatised voice and I looked up to see us hurtling towards the back of a lorry which had stopped at the road works lights.

I braked like crazy but it wasn't enough cos then there was an almighty bang and the front of my car was crumpled, like it was made of paper. I sat stunned for all of 10 seconds, then asked Derek if he was all right and got out of the car.

I opened the back door to check on my pooch, who nearly knocked me over in her haste to get out and proceeded to run about like a whirling dervish all over the road, with me in hot pursuit!

I finally caught her and then got Derek out of the car. By this time, the workmen from the water lorry, which coincidently did not so much as have a friggin scratch on it had come out to investigate the "little bump" they'd  felt and the subsequent noise.

Little bump? Little bump? WTF? It sounded like someone had ripped the front of my car off from where I was sitting! Once they'd realised that my car was a mess and their lorry wasn't they offered to drive us into town and they very helpfully moved my car onto the grass verge at the side of the road.

I was shaking like a leaf, tearful and totally traumatised but I couldn't help notice how excited Derek was at getting a ride in the lorry. He was first in the cab and they asked me to lift the dog up into it and that's when I blurted out that I couldn't lift that high cos I was pregnant. Next thing, the dog, much against her will, was being unceremoniously hoisted into the cab and I was last to get in.

The guys were really nice but all I could do was cry! Meanwhile Derek is nudging me and telling me how cool this was, how much fun and how he couldn't wait to tell his pals at school the next day!  He asked the guys lots of questions while I wondered how the hell I'd gotten here. That F**king wasp!!!!

I spent the next 5 days recovering from whiplash. I was also bleeding and they suspected a miscarriage so I was sent home to wait it out. My trauma knew no bounds and for days I kept thinking that I could have killed my nephew. He on the other hand was telling this story to everyone and anyone who would listen and he was in his element! Wee bugger!

When it came to filling out the insurance forms, the question "whose fault was it" came up so I put "the wasp"  and I thought Father of the Year was gonna die laughing! WTF?

Seems the wasp couldn't be responsible cos it didn't own a drivers licence!!!!

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