Thursday, 31 January 2013

What I learned this week

Short but sweet this week....

I learned that it is entirely possible to slip on nothing whatsoever, headbutt the security pass reader at work and when putting out your hand to attempt to save yourself only manage to injure the little finger of your left hand.  Not only that, but only injure above the very top knuckle.  Effectively then, this little finger took the upper portion of my body weight without managing to break.

A severe bruise and swelling also helps to remove the fine lines of age on your upper finger.  See there is a silver lining in EVERY cloud.

So what did you learn this week? 

Monday, 28 January 2013

When ‘first year anniversary’ sounds so wrong

Most anniversaries are fun, exciting, something to celebrate.  This one is not.

Today is the first anniversary of the day that Beautiful B lost her father.  The day that she had been dreading since her father had the awful job of telling her that he needed a liver transplant but was so ill that he was unlikely to live long enough to receive a liver as he had 12 months at most. 

Today is the first anniversary that she received a phone call at 5.15 in the morning from a nurse explaining that her dad was in A&E and she was needed immediately. 

Today is the day that Beautiful B watched helplessly as her dad threw up 2 and ½ litres of his blood and the day that she had the last ever conversation with her dad in which he told her that he loved her.  Recalling that conversation is so bitter sweet because he also told her he was scared but she would not be without that memory now because of the words “I love you”.

It is the first anniversary of me answering the phone at 6.01am and Beautiful B telling me she was at the hospital with her dad and was scared.  The first anniversary that I said “I’m on my way” as no other words were needed.  The day I was walked through A&E to the resuscitation room and could hear my daughters sobs as she stood and watched people try to save her fathers life. 

It is the first anniversary of me seeing Tom for the first time and knowing he was not going to make it.  The first anniversary of the day I had to take over and call the family, support his girlfriend as she was only 20 and the one who understood that she was hearing what she wanted to hear from the ITU specialists rather than the grave news they were telling us.  The first anniversary of when she asked me to talk to the consultants as she wasn’t taking anything in.  The day that I watched the vitals monitors and even without any medical training knew that his blood pressure was not supposed to do what it was doing, knowing what to expect when I heard the consultant instruct the ITU nurse to hang another 3 units.    

It is the first anniversary that I sat with 3 surgeons and consultants and was told that they couldn’t stabilise my first husband’s blood pressure even with all the adrenaline they were pumping in.  The first anniversary of me saying “So you are telling me that he is dying?”  Of having to ask the awful question “How long as he got?” The first anniversary of feeling the strange relief that I felt when they said 2 hours as Beautiful B was not going to have to sit there for days watching her father die knowing that I could not have got her to leave and rest.  The first anniversary of the day that the consultants made the decision to continue to adrenaline they would normally stop after the family had been informed of the grave outcome just so that Beautiful B had time to say goodbye to her father.  The first anniversary that my child sat on a chair with her small hand holding the huge hand of her father with her head on his chest for 8 hours whilst he slowly left.

Tonight will be the first anniversary of the night that I sat behind Beautiful B holding her hand knowing that his heart rate jumping from 45/30 to 220 meant he only had a matter of moments and feeling some relief because he had suffered enough.  Watching the pulse in his neck slow down and finally stop and the numbness I felt, the inability to cry because I had to be strong for our daughter.  I could only hold Beautiful B as she howled in horror after he had died and watch her as she asked for time on her own to say goodbye to her father’s body.

Yet, all of this pain is nothing compared to what my Beautiful B was going through.  My role was to understand the numbness she would feel on leaving the hospital, feel the relief that I got her to leave the hospital so quickly, scared that instead she would not leave her father. My job was, and is, to be there for her, to hold her hand through it all and be strong for her.  My role was to take over the role of organising everything with his sister because no 17 year old should be responsible for arranging their father’s funeral. 

My role is to now worry incessantly about how she is coping.  To know that the first anniversary 4 days ago of her sister’s death, although awful, is nothing compared to the pain she will feel today.  To know that Hubby and I cannot give her what she wants, for her dad to give her one last hug and a kiss.  To know that she gets a comfort from dreaming about her dad and feel grateful that she isn’t worrying about forgetting what he looked or sounded like.

My role is to stay strong, to be there for her but to give her the space she needs even if she does not know she need it.  To be close enough to be here if she needs me but to give her the space she needs to feel the pain and learn how to manage it without my constant support because I am not always going to be here to hold her hand through the awful times. 

To sit at work and try not to worry when my heart is screaming at me to hover over her and shadow her just in case she needs her mum as she lays flowers on her father and sister’s grave.  To know that she will be crying and that she has to cry and has to feel the injustice and learn how to keep going through it all.

My role is to think and act with my head not wholly with my heart no matter how hard it is and to understand that it is normal to feel guilty.  My role is to tell her that I love her and to reassure her that I am not going to leave her; that she isn’t going to lose both of her biological parents.  My role is to know that she loves Hubby with all her heart and knows he would never try to take her father’s place and understand the pedestal that she has so rightly put him on since his diagnosis because so much of the past has been hidden from her.

My role is to be the best mum I can be. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

It's a good job I can make him laugh!

After working late last night I took myself off to the supermarket for 3 things; cheese, ham and bread – simple?  It cost me £50.  It can’t just be me that ‘window shops’ in supermarkets and adds all sorts of extras to the trolley. 

In went bottles of pop as they were “2 for £3”.  In went washing liquid as it was “Reduced to £5”.  In went clothes softener as it was “2 for £5”.  Obviously I am a sucker for special offers because my cleaning cupboard is bulging. I should just be grateful that there were lots of products promoted as “New” as I am sucker for those!  Hubby laughed his head off when he opened the boot and saw more than 3 products.

I woke up this morning and Hubby was sat next to me watching golf (I kept calling it cricket – obviously because they are both played on green grass) and after a few minutes said “Are you making me my usual coffee?” with a hint of amusement on his face.  I obviously showed no signs of moving, in fact I was rolling about with the fluff bags playing peek-a-boo with Cala’s ears and her eyes. 

Here is a lesson girls, don’t make hubby breakfast in bed (often) or make him coffee (daily) because they expect it.  “No.  You let the dogs out.  In the time they were out you could have made a coffee.  Obviously you haven’t turned your multifunction switch on this morning.”

“What about the crumpets you promised me?”
“Excuse me, I DO NOT think I promised you crumpets!”
“Yes you did. ‘Hubby, I got you some crumpets so I can make you some for breakfast tomorrow.’ That is what you said when you picked me up last night.”
“I do not think I did.  I would remember that conversation!  I may have said I bought crumpets to make you for breakfast but definitely did not commit to or say ‘tomorrow’.  You are making an assumption; as I bought them and mentioned that I got them to make you for breakfast that you associated the two and assumed you would get them this morning and you would be wrong.”

Now, my memory is rubbish – completely.  I can forget was I was thinking 2 minutes ago.  I am convinced I will have Alzheimer’s by the time I am 50 which, as an aside, gives me 10 years to get lots of living in.  I more than likely did say it but to be honest, I wasn’t admitting that because I really cannot remember saying it and that is enough for me.

So Hubby ended up with no crumpets – he did try to get me to make them for another hour though.

“So Ribena, are you making me lunch today?” (don’t ever get into the habit of making lunches daily either; I’m obviously a slow learner and bad role model to our daughter)
“No.  I am giving you some money to buy lunch as I am being lazy.” (I will admit the truth when I remember it)
“I am going to miss my sandwiches, all that nice ham and cheese and pickle….”
“Don’t be nitty picky; you know you are going to buy a ham, cheese and onion baguette because you ‘may not like other flavours’.”
“Nitty picky!  Is that even a word?!” (laughing)
“Yes and you know it.”
“No, I think ‘nit pick’ is a phrase but I am not convinced ‘nitty picky’ exists.”
“Well it does now.”

Driving to work we go around the same roundabout at least 5 days a week.  Driving around it today I looked to my left to check a car was not coming across the ‘give way’ sign to plough into us.  20 seconds later……
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Why?”
“Did you forget that you needed to turn the wheel?”
“No!  Evidently not as I am now driving up the same road we always do after going round the roundabout.”
“Oh, because for a second I thought you had forgotten to turn and were going to plough into the railings.”
“Why, did it look like I was going to plough into the railings?”
“Well, then it was just your worry wart button pinging clearly.”

Hubby doesn’t drive, and there is a reason for it.  When learning to drive he drove straight across a roundabout because he was glancing at the gear stick to see what gear he was in.  He never took another driving lesson.  So even if I did turn a second later than I normally do because I was glancing to see if another car was nearly upon us (which I was not….) he would have no room to talk now would he?

Hubby worries incessantly.  If he has nothing to worry about, he will find something to worry about.  I am an early riser and even though we have lived together for going up 5 years, if he turns over in bed and I am not there he comes downstairs to see ‘if I am alright.’  Peeps, I have never been not alright in 5 years!

Scatty? Yes; Forgetful? Definitely.” Kind of cute with it?  Must be because he is always laughing with me rather than at me and apparently it’s what he loves about me.  I’m very grateful for that because I’m not convinced that any other man could put up with me.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

There was once a little girl

When Beautiful B was little she looked just like her dad.  She had bright blonde hair just like I did until I was 5.  I have photos of her at the park next to the duck pond stood in the same place that I stood when I was her age.  She was gorgeous, with the brightest smile ever.

Beautiful B’s dad wanted more children but I only ever wanted one and the baby had to be a girl.  By the time, I may have considered another child we had split up.  Beautiful B became the focal point of both our separate lives.

When Beautiful B told me her dad’s girlfriend was pregnant I wasn’t surprised, he had always wanted lots of children.  Mia, Beautiful B’s first sister was born 8 weeks early and was tiny tiny.  She had severe eyesight problems and by the time they realised she was not growing along the normal percentile and wondered whether a genetic condition was involved, another baby was on the way.

Mia reminded me so much of Beautiful B.  She had blonde hair and looked almost identical to Beautiful B as a baby and toddler.  Like her sister Mia looked so much like her dad.  She was tiny and endured 8 operations before she was 6 months old and by the time she was 18 months old, although almost blind her spacial awareness was amazing.  She looked just like Beautiful B and like her she wore clothes made for much smaller children.

When Beautiful B was 3 and half she was wearing clothes for an 18 month old.  It made for some humorous times when she started talking and people took a double take assuming she was a very advanced 18 month old.  Looking at Mia was like looking at Beautiful B all over again and like her sister she had the brightest smile.

Mia could also be stubborn and I used to smile inwardly when Beautiful B would return home after visiting her and relay a moment of stubbornness because Beautiful B was just the same at that age.  Amazingly wonderful but if she set her mind to something there was no changing it.

Mia had a hard life and she would have continued to have to try and strive through adversity and more than likely prejudice to make her way in the world.  Unfortunately, Mia was taken away suddenly.  What started as a cold was in fact undiagnosed meningococcal pneumonia and by the time it was obvious that it was more serious than a severe cold it was too late and she died peacefully on the way to hospital.

That day will live with me forever.  The way Beautiful B just crumpled on the floor with the wounded howl so frightening.  The way I couldn’t get her off the floor for 25 minutes.  The trip to the hospital where Beautiful B insisted on seeing her sister because she wouldn’t believe it was real until she saw it for herself.  Unfortunately, this was not the worst to come for Beautiful B. 

The 24th, today, will be the 1st anniversary of her sister’s death as well as the day her dad would have 42.  Beautiful B has been dreading it.  She relives the day that she bought him trainers for his birthday and took them round early.  She thought his usual trainers needed replacing - her dad said they had another 2 years in them yet.  Those same trainers he wore the hospital on the 28th, the day that he died, 4 days after his daughter, Mia.  Although we knew he needed a liver transplant and that he had 6-12 months to live it was as though his body could not deal with the loss of his daughter.

There is nothing I can do to make it better, I desperately want to take her pain away (or at least be able to reduce it) but there is nothing I can do.  I know that she has to feel the emotions of today (and what is to come in the next 4 days) so that she can learn to deal with the pain and it hurts that I cannot do anything to stop it.  She has to deal with losing Mia a year ago today and that her dad is not here to celebrate his birthday; that he couldn't celebrate his birthday last year as he had to say goodbye to Mia.  Today will never again be a day to celebrate for Beautiful B or any of Tom's family. 

No-one should have to bury their 3 year old sister when they are only 17 years old and no-one that age should have to grieve on the day of her father's birthday because he was taken so young.  

 It’s a sad fact of life that some people are taken early but one that I hate.  As I sit here and worry, I know the pain I am feeling for Beautiful B is nothing compared to what she is going through right at this minute and all I can do be here and be strong.  She does not need to have to deal with my feeling of helplessness on top of everything else.

Today she will visit the cemetery and lay flowers for Mia – a single red rose, a bed of red roses in the shape of a heart and balloons because every young child should have balloons on their birthday.  Today is a day that she will spend with her dad's family and hopefully be able to remember some of the good times.  I will be here waiting for her when she returns.

Today I will hug Beautiful B and remind myself how lucky I am that Beautiful B is as well as she is, that she is stronger than most people I know and that she fights to turn such tragedy into hope for others as she made her career nursing partly because of the battle her sisters have had since they were born.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

What I learned this week

I’m thinking that, if it wasn’t already so, this weeks ‘What I learned this week’ will not paint me in the best light…..
  • When Hubby tells me that Beautiful B’s cough that sounds like whooping cough but is never whopping cough does not sound right, I should listen to him because you if not I will feel guilty when she is diagnosed with a chest infection 3 days later 
  •  If Beautiful B starts with the whoopy cough without having a cold or just having had a cold then its likely to be a sign of a chest infection 
  • When Beautiful B is taking adult cough medicine for the first time since the doctors stopped prescribing banana and strawberry tasting penicillin when she was 10 years old I should know she is really poorly – after all, prior to that point she refused to take it ‘because it made her sick’
  • I obviously do not take as much notice of things as I would like to think I do
 However, I did manage to redeem myself (if only slightly)
  •  I was correct for not taking as gospel that ‘antibiotics will take 2-3 days to start taking effect’ and ‘she will get worse before she gets better’
  •  I was not wrong for worrying that the chest infection may have progressed to pneumonia and defied all antibiotic prowess (I hasten to add it wasn’t pneumonia but the doctors did agree I was right to take her back urgently when she deteriorated so badly)
  •  The feeling of relief when a doctor tells me that her lungs sound clear is amazing as I realised it cannot pneumonia - even though they were referring her to hospital as they are concerned that she was breathless at rest.  Cue x-rays, blood tests and an ECG to check that she doesn’t have scary things such as a blood clot on the lung
And I also learned:
  • Beautiful B is just like her mum and will ignore all doctors advice and say she will be fine on Monday when she has to return to work because ‘she is letting everybody down’
  • The doctor and staff nurse will still insist she will not be well enough to return to work and considering she lifts hospital patients on and off beds, chairs and all manner of other things for a living I'd been telling her that all week (she knew that, just not willing to admit it)
  • She will not allow me to ring the GP for a sick note until the day it is actually required just in case she makes a miraculous recovery
  • I seriously will begin to wonder if she is going to burst blood vessels or cough up a lung during coughing bouts
  • My ears can actually ring during said coughing bouts
  • As a mother I really should have had a thermometer in the house before a hospital doctor instructs me to monitor her temperature rarely and watch for her coughing up blood.

So what did you learn this week……

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Little Miss Cough-a-Lot

When Beautiful B was tiny she used to cough a lot each and every time she got a cold.  Yes everyone does, even I know that, but she sounded like she had whooping cough and would cough until she was sick.  I made a nuisance of myself at the GP surgery asking over and over if it was asthma.  As the breathing issues only occurred during a cold, asthma was not diagnosed but as her mum I ‘knew’ different. 

It’s amazing how you can nurse your child at home and just know the moment that changes to requiring a trip to A&E.  As Beautiful B got a little older we got used to going to hospital so she could have a nebulizer to fetch her breathing under control.  I dreaded her being kept in on the children’s ward because she never slept and woke all the children up. 

When her dad and I split up, I lost count of the number of times I was woken in the middle of the night because he would send a taxi round to tell me she was in A&E.  At this time she was 3 and could hold a full conversation with you, breathing permitted.  The fact that she looked and was only tall enough to be 18 months old made for some funny incidents when she would suddenly start telling the doctor what was troubling her.

Each and every trip to A&E resulted in all doctors and nurses asking whether she had asthma.  Each and every time I would say “not according to her GP.”  Our GP was insistent asthma was not the culprit until one particular hospital incident when my baby needed 2 nebulizers back to back to get her breathing under control. 

At the time I was optimistic as there was hope she would grow out of it.  True enough, by the time she got to 8 or 9 she rarely needed the inhaler and hasn’t needed it now for at least 5-6 years.  She still had the odd cold where she would ‘whoop’ regularly but she would never take medicine ‘because it makes her sick’ – I have no idea WHERE on earth she would get that idea from [she says whistling].

3 days ago Beautiful B started ‘whooping’.  Immediately, Hubby said ‘That is not a normal cough’ to which I responded ‘Oh that’s okay, it’s her “non-whooping” cough, she will be fine.’  The next day she had to take a trip out and wrapped up for the cold and when she came back she was breathless and sat down to tell me she was scared. 

Beautiful B’s legs ached and she was scared she meningitis.  In January 2012 her 3 year old sister died last January of undiagnosed Meningococcal Pneumonia.  Although running a temperature of 102 all signs pointed to a severe cold but one morning her legs wouldn’t work and she died 2 hours later.  I put her mind at ease and she took herself off to bed after taking medicine.  Now you KNOW your child is ill when she is taking medicine for the first time at 18 years old!

Not being able to get an urgent appointment at her GP Beautiful B took herself off to the medical walk in centre yesterday after I agreed that as she didn’t have a cold, the breathing issue must be due to something else.  I can only assume she took a taxi because she really was struggling to get enough breath to walk any sort of distance. 

The diagnosis?  A chest infection.  Running a temperature of 38.5 degrees, a heart rate of 120 BPM and breathlessness after sitting in a waiting room for 10 minutes were all the signs they needed before listening to her clogged up lungs.   

So Beautiful B is wrapped up in bed all day and all night feeling the worst she has done in her whole life, popping antibiotics and taking more medicine she asked me to pick up yesterday.  

Where am I going with this?  In essence, you know your baby is growing up when she knows and can articulate that this bout of ‘whooping cough’ is different and that something is wrong.  For the first time, Beautiful B has been able to explain to me how she feels, why it’s different and recognise sensibly that something is different with this bout of illness. 

My baby is growing up; from being 3 years old and telling a hospital emergency doctor that she cannot breathe properly, she is now 18 years old and doesn’t need me to make the decision to seek medical help.  Shame that it feels like she has gone from 3 to 18 in about 5 years – where does the time go?

Friday, 18 January 2013

A rant about holidays

Following our honeymoon Hubby admitted that he wasn't just "not keen" on flying but more like "terrified".  He has decided that as he gets older he gets more nervous about things - which probably goes a long way to explaining why he keeps refusing to learn to drive and leaving me with a life of being the eternal designated driver.

The only problem with his refusal to fly is that having not been on holiday for 4 years prior to our honeymoon I now have a huge desire to be in the sun again; to be able to lie on a sun lounger, baking in the sun and reading a book that I can get drawn into while being served cocktails all afternoon.

Hubby determined while we were on honeymoon that this holiday was the first time he has ever seen me sit down and fully relax, engrossed in a book for more than 30 minutes at a time.  He saw the difference it made and agreed that I looked as well as felt completely relaxed by the time we returned home.  

Add to that how relaxed and understanding my hubby is and you can see why he agreed that I should go on holiday with one of my best friends this year.  R and her mum holiday every September and it is a total relaxation holiday; sunlounger, sun, bit of pool and the reading of book after book.  They picked a holiday destination, got a quote and asked for a quote for me.  It came back yesterday - £579 for a week or £899 for two - no brainer, 2 weeks is better value financially so I booked for 2 weeks.

Only to get an email back when the booker realised I would be requiring a single room.  Now she has to investigate single supplement fees but is estimating an additional £220 for one week and £440 for two.  

Now here is the rant - I am a single travelller, why should i be penalised for holidaying alone.  i get that a room is used for 2 people and that normally they would get £579/899 per person and that if only a single ticket required they lose 1/2 their usual income - this I get; what I don't get is how they can justify charging an additional 50% per single supplement.  I am sure they would get more single boooking if they simply charged an additional £100 or something.  Because, trust me, if that quote comes back at over £800 for one week for one person I won't be booking with them - for that amount of money I would expect to be sat in a beach hut in the middle of the Caribbean!   

Thursday, 17 January 2013

I was just about to do that

Having spent most of the night before last doing accounts for the snooker club playing on a computer game I got hooked on Hubby came downstairs at half past midnight and told me off.  After all, the night before I had been crying in agony with pain radiating into my arms and into my hands as a result of aggravating the slipped disc in my neck.  So much so that I had required his help to pop pills from a packet and get undressed.  Grudgingly I admitted that it probably wasn’t a good idea to carry on building a pretend city and promptly went to bed and read a book about murder, mayhem and a serial killer on my iPad until half past 2 in the morning.

Other than feeling a little tired after lunch yesterday I was wide awake all day……until 8pm when I woke up after dozing off in front of the TV.  How old am I?! 40 but acting more like 60 it would appear.  Being sensible for a change I took myself off to bed and snuggled up to Hubby who was, predictably, watching the most boring sport on TV  cricket.

At half past 11 Hubby woke me up snoring like a foghorn a small noise woke me.  It would appear said small noise was so loud that it woke up Abi Fluff who decided to dance around the bed telling me to let her out immediately or we were going to have a repeat performance of “mummy you need to change the bedding because I just peed on it in excitement.”

Why was Abi Fluff dancing about I hear you say.  Having read so many thrillers and books about serial killers I think I have become quite a good detective.  Noticing that the TV was on stand by, Hubby was still snoring like a foghorns life depended on it softly and the living room side lamp was still shining I deduced that Hubby had predictably gotten bored of cricket started snoozing and switched the TV onto standby while half awake without closing up the house for the evening.

Getting out of bed as quietly as possible so as not to disturb Hubby, who by this time was led on his back like a baby, I motioned for the fluff bags to follow me downstairs for their late night sabbatical in the garden.  As a detective in training I deduced from Abi’s running about and wagging of tail at 20 mph that Hubby had neglected to let the dogs out before he started snoozing. 

I am convinced Hubby has a motion sensor permanently attached from my side of the bed to his hip.  As I got of the bed as carefully as possible Hubby turns to me clearly still mostly asleep and mumbles “I was just about to do that darling.”  Were you really Hubby, really? Were you going to wake up and think “Oooh, I had best safe the doglets from having to cross their legs all night by letting them out and then lock the house up to ensure that we are not murdered in our bed?  I mean, lets face it, Fred would run off with his tail between his legs, Lily would lie on Beautiful B’s bed and sleep through the whole thing and Abi and Cala would high five the burglars and bathe them in sloppy kisses. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What I learned this week

There has been a lot of travelling for me this week both on a work and personal level spending a lot of time on a train and a car.  A funny week of ups and downs but then that is what life is all about.

1.                  Motorway driving is still as boring as it has always been and being a person who likes to be warm, switching the heater on still makes me sleepy.
2.                  Getting old seems to mean that it takes me more than a day to recover after travelling long distances regardless of whether I drive or sit on a train.
3.                  Driving for 4 hours in one day kicks off the immense pain that my medication masks most of the time.  By the end of the day I will need Hubby to get pills out of packet and help undress me because my hand will refuse to work.
4.                  Taking 6 tramadol in 18 hours, even if 4 of those were during the night, will mean that I cannot hold a simple conversation because although I know what I want to say, I sometimes cannot get my mouth to say it.
5.                  All that pain is worth it when Beautiful B needs to travel 4 hours so that she can jump out of a plane and sky dive for charity. 
6.                  As Beautiful B is only 4 feet and 9 inches tall I can tell which parachute is hers because she is the only one significantly shorter than the man she is tandem jumping with.
7.                  Beautiful B can’t half squeal or so I found out when she flew over my head just before she landed.
8.                  Beautiful B is so much braver than I to have jumped out a plane and sky dived for nearly 10 seconds before the parachute is released.  I am immensely proud of her at any time but now I am astounded at her bravery and dedication to raise money for what she believes in.
9.                  Travelling to London for work leaves time to relax and read on the train except the motion of the train will make me sleep like a baby.
10.             The House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey look very impressive in twilight. So much so that I took a photograph of them. 
11.             It’s very frustrating not being able to work out how to upload a simple photograph to my blog now they have updated the host site!

So what did you learn this week?

A wonderful blogger called Julie that I read daily hosts a What I learned this week carnival for more information go to her blog here....

Sunday, 13 January 2013

HRT and dreams

When I am awake I don't have much of an imagination - being an accountant and a virgo I think thats normal.  Note I am not including the little cute aliens that live in my head when I say I don't have much of an imagination or how I 'meow' like a cat when I drop things....

I do, however, dream a lot and often.  As many do, I often don't remember them when I wake up just a realisation that I have had a 'freaky' dream.  I am sure that I would be more entertaining if I left a notepad and pen to write the dream down immediately after I wake up so I can relay it.  Mind you, Hubby gave up asking me if I had a good nights sleep the morning I woke up and relayed a dream about cute zombie vampire babies.

All that stopped though after my hysterectomy.  They removed my ovaries so I can only assume that the hormones they produce aid dreaming or the cute aliens were removed along with said ovaries.  I missed them....the dreams, not the aliens.

Cue 8 months later and I visited my GP to get HRT.  I promise I wasn't missing the dreams that much; more that I have always been a 'cold' person and I could not cope with the hot flushes any more.  I am warm enough in bed, I do not need to have to remove the covers, replace the covers, remove the covers and replace the covers about 30 times a night because trust me; there is no happy medium - you are either too hot or too cold.

The best side effect is evening out your body temperature but I found it came along with the added bonus of dreams, some of which are wholly amusing.  Having been lulled into a false sense of security Hubby asked me this morning if I slept well.  He wasn't prepared for the story about me standing on a stool trying desperately to fill 100's of glasses up with a wine that looked and tasted more like a smoothie (I assume because I hate wine) and pour into bottles that I then needed to lie down without corks in and watch it spill everywhere.  On looking at his face I thought it best not to tell him about the other dream which consisted of me being in a deralict house with a male and female one of which was hell bent on cutting me up with a machete.

Is it just me, or is anyone else fully aware that they are dreaming and so can just sleep and enjoy the film that is being played in your head?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

She is taking to the skies!

For anyone that reads this blog regularly (and I know there are none of you but that doesn't matter as I talk to myself all the time) you will know that Beautiful B lost her dad in January last year.  Despite dying of liver disease he had not been a 'serious' drinker for more than 3 years and so the escalation of the disease was scary and something others should be aware of.

According to the statistics on the British Liver Trust website 50% of alcoholics will not develop liver disease despite drinking heavily where others will.  Similarly, others will develop liver disease by drinking significantly less than others.  That is not considering the myriad of other reasons that liver disease can occur.  

For every 1 person that gets a liver transplant 20 other people die before they can be saved.  Beautiful B's dad was one of those and it left her devastated especially after losing her 3 year old sister suddenly only 4 days before.

Beautiful B has had a horrendous year and the family has rallied around to help her through it and her BF, R has been astounding. Having lost both his mum and stepdad he has a wealth of experience dealing with grief that no 20 year old should have yet in a way (that makes me feel slightly guilty) I am glad that he had that experience to help both himself, Beautiful B and I though it.  In the same vein, Hubby knows what that pain feels like and is very honest with Beautiful B about how it never goes away, you just learn to live with it. this year Beautiful B has won 3 awards for her outstanding resilience and determination to do everyone, especially her dad proud, in getting the qualifications she wanted to be a nurse.  These 2 tragedies have strengthened that resolve and she has channelled her grief into doing positive things.  

Beautiful B's dad and I split when she was just 2 years old yet I insisted that he was given more access than my solicitor advised as I was petrified that she would grow up not knowing her dad; just because we couldn't live together did not mean that their relationship should suffer.  We have had our ups and down yet throughout it all her dad has credited my determination to give her a stable home and insist on a good education to give her the start in life he never had and I can only thank him for that kindness even during times we couldn't talk to each other without shouting.

Dealing with her grief I suggested channelling that anger and despair into working hard and not giving up on the one thing her dad was most proud of her achieving.  He would have hated her giving up her dream of nursing and she is so made for that job - her empathy and caring nature is something to be seen and I know she gets it from me but she has so much more of it than I.  

Now I know you are thinking that none of this has any relevance to the title but it does.... Beautiful B has managed to get herself in our local paper and the hospital press releases for her achievements.  Now yet again she is there again.  She decided that she would raise money for the British Liver Trust.  It is a lesser funded charity and lets face it, being brutally honest it is harder for them to get people to dig into their pockets for sponsorship etc because all people think about are alcoholics.  

She initially raised £250 mostly through the selling of cupcakes that she made me bake weekend after weekend.  Now she has gone so much further and is jumping out of a plane on Saturday to skydive from 10,000 feet to raise more money for the trust.  Unlike a lot of people she is not taking the cost of the skydive itself from the money raised; that she is funding on her own.

Of course, she is making me go with her!  Hubby is petrified that she is going to go splat and I am going to watch it happen - the worrier that he is and he is petrified for both of us but there is no way I am going to make her do it on her own when she wants me there no matter how petrified I am of watching her jump out of a plane relying on a guy strapped to her back and a piece of cloth tied to some cables.

So far she has raised £830 as a result of this jump and I can safely say that there is no-one prouder of her than I.  It is a way of dealing with her grief and her dad is on a pedastal at the moment (as any parent who dies should be) and that can sometimes be difficult to watch but everyone deals with grief in their own way and I will hold her hand all the way through it.

This month is going to be so very difficult for her.  The first Christmas and New Year without Mia and her dad were difficult and while everyone else celebrated the New Year I looked at Beautiful B and saw tears rolling down her face and my heart broke for her because I cannot make it better for her and every fibre of my being is screaming out to make the pain go away for her.  This month she has the first anniversaries to go through, Mia's death on the 24th and what would have been her dad's 42nd birthday that day and then his death on the 28th.  I have no idea how I am going to help her get through this, as ever I am probably going to wing it.  In the meantime, the skydive gives her something to concentrate on and something to be proud of - to turn such a tradegy into a beacon of hope for others.

I haven't written this in a bid to get more sponsorship for her, it's a legacy to Beautiful B, to her resilience, determination, empathy, power of love and hope she gives others and to her grief for two people she loved and lost too early.

Having said that....if you wish to donate a small amount to her cause then log onto the following webpage and follow the payment instructions.  A little message from you to her would be great.  She knows nothing of this blog; maybe its time that she finds out about it.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Christmas - where it went wrong

Christmas and New Year were wonderful this year for the most part.  In other parts my scattiness and lack of attention to detail got in the way and so did the baby fluffer Abi!

Hubby and I house sat for my brother and his fiance this Christmas.  They took off for a helicopter ride above the Grand Canyon among other things for his 40th birthday.  I offered to look after their 2 dogs rather than see them in kennels - all before asking Hubby if it was okay.  The immediate "oooh, it is okay with you isn't it darling?" followed with 3-4 reasons why it was such a good idea rattled forth along with his laughter. 

We stayed in their house which gave Beautiful B and the BF, R a week on their own house sitting and dog caring at our house.

It took me almost a week to work out how to use their tumble dryer and I think I have shrunk an XXL polo shirt to a medium at best...

Getting spooked about the blinds being open when it is dark in the back garden and anyone could be looking in at me....after scaling a 10 foot brick wall.....meant shutting them and not checking whether the cord is sat underneath a glass ornament.  Quickly realised when it smashed.  Ebay is a wonderful thing even if the replacement did not arrive before my brother returned.

Getting told off by my brother and his fiance for ordering another one.  His reaction "I didn't like it anyway." Her reaction "It already had a crack in it honey." Not including the telling off for ordering a replacement.

Beautiful B and BF, R spending an evening with us and his car being a bit worse for wear when he tried to get out of the tight spot on the driveway that he was so impressed getting into on arrival.

The lack of a huge amount of cleaning in my house when I returned.  Oh yes, the floors were swept and mopped but Beautiful B either didn't realise or didn't care that I would see the state of the kitchen and the stairs; the latter of which looked like Fredster fluff had shred all of his hair on there on the last week.

And last but not least, lets not forget Abi - who having already chewed 3 holes in 3 different parts of a new leather suite decided to have a go at tinsel.  Bright blue tinsel all over the house on the day we returned.  Not content with that she went after the tree decoration hooks yesterday, taking the bag upstairs and scattering them all over the stairs and landing.  Something tells me she is fed up with her own chewy toys.

So all told, not much went wrong.  I am still trying to find the energy to get the house as clean as when I left it but procrastination keeps getting in the way.

KIV - this was written on 8th Jan, the day I made the resolution to stop procrastinating so in theory the house might be tidier now as long as I managed to get a huge chunk of the accounts done with time left over before getting on the train to go to an accountants conference today.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


I am lazy or that is the conclusion I have come to.  Accounts were supposed to be done over the Christmas holidays and they weren't, then they were supposed to have been done yesterday and today and they still haven't...and that isn't counting the last 6 months I have been putting them off.

Instead I find a way to fill my days with nothing; yesterday I took all the Christmas decorations down while playing an on line game and watching a film or two.  Over Christmas I read 3 books and did some cross-stitch.

So a decision has been made!  I will be deleting all games that I play - surely if I cannot be tempted by them I might get more done?

I get annoyed with myself when I find myself wondering what I have done in the past 4 hours besides watch a bit of TV, read, cuddle the dogs and periodically clean parts of the house.

Others tell me I do too much - a full time job and a part time job as well as being Treasurer for 2 small clubs doesn't leave a lot of downtime and the downtime I would normally have is filled with jobs that need doing.  So something has to give.

It can't be the jobs - after all, the second job is paying for a holiday this year so I will start small and delete the games and I will get to the accounts as soon as I have finished these posts. 

You see, this is why the posts are periodic!  I get distracted and do other things and I never seem to put them or order of priority either...

How I managed to get where I have in my full time job I will never ever know.

A trip to London tomorrow puts me behind at work so there is a lot of catching up to do.  I guess this decision could be considered to be my New Year's resolution - no procrastination!

I will keep you posted!