Jack being in hospital was so stressful and emotionally draining that I didn't really think I had any energy for anything more. In the last two years he has scared the living daylights out of me. This time was more intense and much scarier. This time, I really thought I had lost him.
Getting him home was my only goal and once there, keeping him well. I had something amazing to look forward to but I had shoved it to the back of my mind cos I didn't dare believe it would happen.
In hospital, Holly kept telling him "it's ok if you aren't well enough to go to Euro Disney, we will be quite happy to chill at home" and she meant it, though both of us crossed our fingers, toes, legs...you get the picture.
The first week home was a nightmare as he was still not great but after that we didn't look back. He didn't bounce back like before which was worrying but not surprising. This time I had to take baby steps and not rush him.
I kept him at home for the first two weeks before tentatively trying him back at school part time. It went well and even though he was quite tired after, my gorgeous boy was getting happier and brighter by the day.
My boy was back and I felt like my heart was gonna burst. He really is such a wee warrior.
It was then and only then that I began to get excited about going to Disneyland Paris. This was no ordinary holiday though, as this was Jack's wish being granted by Make A Wish, UK.
The week before we were due to go, Jack's wish granter, Vicky, was on the phone finalising everything and then we had to wait for the Wish pack to arrive. When it did, I was completely blown away! They had thought of everything...from a crelling harness for the plane, paying for my parking at the airport, letters for the cabin crew, right down to spending money for Jack. I was blubbering within minutes of reading it all!
That's when the countdown began. Numerous texts back and forth to my friend Kathy, telling her how many sleeps we had left til we were off on our adventure! I was full of childlike glee. We had paid for Kathy to come with us, as we knew that in order to enjoy the time with Jack, Holly and I were going to need some help.
The morning of the trip, I honestly couldn't tell you who was more excited!! Poor Jack was dragged outta bed at stupid o'clock so that we could be on the road for 8am, which didn't happen but hey the intention was there!
|Jack and I on the plane. He already has his eye on the guy's seat in front of him.|
The flight was uneventful but Jack's wheelchair got damaged by the baggage handlers. Once we got him back into his wheelchair one of them just handed me the foot rest like it was a spare part we didn't need! When I said "no way, you broke it, so you fix it!" he then got a hold of another guy who stuck his screw driver into the side of the wheelchair and shrugged his head. Meanwhile I am frantically rummaging in Jack's bag for the allen key which is usually kept there but then I had a flashback of me removing it just in case I was stopped at customs with it. Aaaah!
Next thing we were being whisked off to an Air France desk where the drama continued. They had the ingenious idea of giving us the borrow of a new wheelchair which they planned to deliver to our hotel, later that day. When I asked would the new wheelchair have all the harnesses and straps on it that Jack's had they said yes but with a look on their face that said no! Turned out "no" was the correct answer. Meanwhile our transport to take us to Disney was waiting patiently so our escort went out to them, to let them know what was happening before he took Kathy and Holly out with all the bags.
Once they had gone, I demanded that they just tape the damn thing on, give me more tape just in case and let me go on my way. My Disney clock was ticking and I was getting pissed off cos we were missing valuable time. Jack, who was obviously bored by all the drama, slept through it all!
Much later, with the bags unpacked, Jack medicated and asleep, I was rummaging in Jack's wheelchair bag again and hey presto...I pulled out the elusive allen key. I let out a yell of triumph, looked up to see Kathy and Holly staring at me in amazement before they both fell over laughing, spluttering that "if you had found it at the airport then we wouldn't have had so much drama!" I just stuck my tongue out at them! Smart arses!
|Jack's first view of our room.|
|Jack and I having a wee cuddle.|
|Wearing his new Buzz Lightyear Hoodie.|
|Toy story fun.|
|Waiting for the parade to start.|
|Cuddling up to Simba.|
I bought a new camera at the airport but it never made it out of the box cos I guarantee I would have lost it. I was so scatter brained! I am sure I left the house with my brain intact but you wouldn't have known it. Keeping tabs on my mobile was stressful enough! Thankfully Holly and Kathy managed to capture the smiles and giggles.
Jack was a completely different boy when we were there. He was taking everything in, was animated, smiley, happy and full of giggles. It was a beautiful sight after all he had been through. It brought tears to my eyes.
|Loving all the bright lights.|
|On the Tram Tours ride,|
|Even the rain didn't stop him from smiling.|
|With the Chipmunks at a character lunch.|
On our last night it was Kathy's turn to get admired. This time there were no words spoken just the guy looking her up and down, undressing her with his eyes, mouth hanging open complete with primal animal sounds. We laughed so hard I thought I wasn't going to get breath! Think it made her night.
It was only a short holiday but boy did we pack it in. Make A Wish paid for us to see Buffalo Bill's Wild Wild West Show and have lunch with the Disney characters which was such a laugh. All the characters were so gentle with Jack who was lapping up all the attention, smiling and giggling.
|At Disney Studios|
|Jack with his fellow super heroes.|
|Laughing at his mum.|
|It's Mickey time.|
|Jack has his eye on those whiskers.|
|Kathy modelling her Tigger hoodie.|
|Check these two out.|
|Windswept and interesting.|
|One of the musketeers!|
We were only away for 4 days but as it was quite physically and emotionally demanding, it was more than enough time away.
On the way back to the airport, our driver went out of his way to be so helpful. He was such a star. Once again Air France let us down. Our special assistance to get on the plane didn't arrive even though it had been booked and discussed at the check in desk. The ladies at the boarding desk were less than helpful and by the time someone came to help, the entire plane was already boarded and we were last on. As you can imagine, it was a bit stressful, especially since there was no one there to help us.
|Holly and our lovely driver.|
I have flown with Air France before and the exact same thing happened so I should have expected it.
We didn't arrive home until 10.30pm and it took three of us to get Jack ready for bed and draw up his meds. I think I finally fell into bed at midnight.
It was a few days before I came down off of my high. Thank you Make A Wish for a memory which we will cherish forever.