Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not the easiest...

Today has been a tough one, I'm not going to lie.

I want to share everything on this blog; the good, the bad and the ugly so to speak.  Life isn't all wonderful and rosy all of the time, and as hard as I try, I can't be upbeat and positive every minute of the day.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm drowning in life if that makes any sense.   I'm getting lost in all that needs to be done and all that I feel I need to get done.  I'm trying to be kind myself, to cut myself some slack, but I have minutes throughout the day when I feel as if I am struggling to keep my head above water.

Today I had a loose plan of which direction I wanted to be headed in.  I don't do anything set in stone and am always up for a bit of shufflement, but I really wanted to clean, tidy and rearrange the kitchen.  Don't ask my why it felt important, I don't know.  I just yearned to do it - maybe to add a bit of back down to earth normality perhaps?  Things have really been allowed to let slide here and I don't like it.

Amara however wanted cuddles.  She was tired, niggly, and fluctuated between smiles and tears at 5 second intervals.  My heart was there for cuddles.  My heart was saying it's ok, the kitchen can wait. Baby needs are more important.  But my head was screaming "you need to clean!!  You haven't done a good clean recently and it needs to be done!!"

Bizarre really as I would be the first to tell anyone that children come before a clean home!

A compromise was met when I managed to clean and rearrange half of the kitchen in the time I had whilst Amara finally slept.

Taisia was due to take her first ever Ballet dance class this afternoon.   She was sooooo excited.  Ever since she watched Angelina Ballerina for the first time a year or so ago she has been hooked on dancing.  She twirls, she sings, she skips and jumps, she puts her legs in the air at all sorts of strange angles thinking she resembles some sort of graceful prima ballerina.  She reminds me so much of myself when I was her age.

We arrived at the leisure centre and walked in, having to ask directions to the class as I've never stepped foot in the centre before.  It has a pool.  I think we need to re-visit.

As we stood awkwardly at the side of the room used for changing, I felt so uncomfortable.

For once I wished I didn't have bright pink hair so I could just blend in a little with the blondes and brunettes.

I also wished that we were a typical school-going family.

I felt so out of my comfort zone.  It was horrid.

All of the children knew one another.  All the mums knew one another.  Even the first time attendees knew people there from toddler groups and the school gates.  As they happily chattered, Taisia and I stood and squirmed.  My body screamed turn and run, turn and run, but my daughter wants to learn to dance, I have to facilitate that.

We stayed put and breathed deep.

Whilst Taisia went into the class, I sat in the next room and hoped she was ok.  She had been happy for me to leave her (I was secretly hoping she would ask me to stay).

Again I was like a fish out of water.

I was sat in a room with parents of school-going children all chatting about various classes, teachers, subject matter, and lunch boxes.  One parent was talking about undergoing teacher training.  I really felt uncomfortable and was counting down the minutes until the class ended.  I thought about going to sit in the car to wait, but couldn't bear the thought of Taisia feeling abandoned if they couldn't find me in case of need.

It was quite possibly the longest 25 minutes of my life.

It was certainly the most uncomfortable 25 minutes of my life.

In 11 years of home-educating, I don't think I've ever really felt that way.  When Joseph went to Cubs, I felt totally at ease with the parents as we waited to collect our children.  I guess it wasn't so pressured as we all waited outside, we didn't have four walls enclosing us.

Here parents sat with older children and did spelling test practice and looked through homework diaries.  Children were quizzed on their knowledge of this and that and instructions were given on what they were to do when they got home.  I couldn't help but think that if I had been in a 'place of learning,' following instructions and doing as I was told for much of my day, followed by going to a dance class to 'learn,' following instructions and doing as I was told, the absolute last thing I would want to do when I got home is more 'learning' and following instructions and doing as I was told.

It baffles me.  I guess it is so far away from what I think 'learning' is all about that I can't quite get my head around all of the instructions and must do's.

I wish I had taken my knitting.

Taisia came out of the class and exclaimed that she had enjoyed it so I guess that is my Tuesday afternoons sorted from now on.  Better suck it up.

Maybe I'll take Amara next time.  Nothing quite as good a distraction as a young baby.

Once dancing had finished we headed over to the hospital to see Chelsea.  Later than usual as she had been told at around noon that she would probably be able to come home today.  She was so excited, she just want out of that place.

We arrived at the hospital bang on patient meal time so we went for a cuppa in the cafe not wanting to disturb.  At 5.30 we headed down to Chelsea's ward and instead of being greeted by the usual smiling happy face, we were witness to teary eyes.  I knew what that meant, it meant no home today.  My poor girl.

Apparently the blood test results had come back and shown slight abnormalities.  Her heart rate had also gone back up to 140 at rest, although at times it appears at 108.  They wanted her to stay in for another day and receive another bout of intravenous medication.

For the first time in this whole chapter I watched Chelsea crumble.  The tears flowed.  She looked so tired.  One medication is causing insomnia and another is causing mood swings, the combination means an almost unrecognisable daughter.  We hugged.  We hugged.  We hugged.

We both know that she needs to be there, Chelsea herself acknowledged she is in the right place to sort out the internal stuff, but after the dangling carrot of home calling all day, she found it difficult to hold it together when it was pulled away.  She snapped replies at my words and turned away.  Angry, confused, and sad.  Just so so sad.

After a while she apologised.  I said no apology was necessary.  I understood.

We hugged some more.

Walking away that evening and leaving her in that bed was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever had the displeasure to do.

As Taisia and I made the walk back to the main entrance I thought what I could do to make this 'one more night' a little easier.  I hunted down a TV rental card machine (the one in the main entrance wasn't working so we had to traipse around corridors and wards we had yet had the pleasure to tread), and bought a one day ticket.  We took the card to Chelsea and set it up for her.  Her face when she saw she had over 50 films to choose from was a picture.  On the first screen was The Hobbit - her night was sorted!

I left feeling a little better that the purchase had made a difference.  I had thought the prices were high and hadn't wanted to support such a scheme, but whatever makes Chelsea's stay that little bit better.

We are hopeful that she will be able to come home tomorrow.  Then it will be outpatient visits - the first at two weeks I think.  It will be a long road to recovery.  Weight needs to be regained, energy and stamina levels need to increase, medication needs to be sorted and dosage played around with.  But she will be home.  Home where she can eat to her hearts content, ask for any food she wants instead of choosing one from a list, and sleep in her own bed.

And cuddle cats, she can cuddle cats...


  1. Oh Jules ((((HUGS)))) Heartbreaking on so many levels. You are very vulnerable at this time. Worry and exhaustion will be playing their part in heightened emotions and in turn will be making all those situations even more difficult but I know exactly what you mean about those ballet class type situations :( I holding you in my heart and hoping that Chelsea can be home soon to be loved and looked after and to cuddle cats :) Hang on in there <3 xxxx

  2. I thank you for sharing the highs and lows, it's a truer reflection on life and helps others too. Let's hope Chelsea's home very soon.