On the 31st of December 2010, I had reflected on what an amazing decade I had just had. I met Michael, moved to England, got married & had my two lovely children. I really hadn’t had much to complain about that decade. Who knew the bubble was going to burst just a couple of weeks later?
Well, during the first few days in hospital it felt as if the bubble had burst. When Kieran was in the hospital I was well aware that people were going through traumas all around me. There were two children there that had chronic, life destroying illnesses. There was a baby who had spent all her life, almost 2 years, in the hospital. I have a godchild who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalous and had 2 major operations the day she was born, and too many after that. I had a step-brother with cerebral palsy. My best friend’s son, who I adored from the moment I met him 26yrs ago, had cancer when he was 12. I have known too many parents who have gone through the heartache of losing a long awaited for baby. And knowing all this, during that first day, when I was internally screaming at the universe, I just couldn’t stop thinking (shouting!) “NOT MY BABY, HOW DARE THIS HAPPEN TO MY SON. WHY KIERAN??” So though I ‘knew’ and could visually see worse events, you just want your child to be safe & well. You want your bubble of happiness to always surround you.
Our bubble, luckily, was mendable. It wasn’t easy. Both children had so many appointments, so many setbacks. We had to deal with so much incompetence from the NHS, mostly administrative. The actual nursing staff we had were all pleasant. The staff doctors were open and up-front with me. I was consulted on everything they did for the kids. But honestly, I have no idea how a child’s record could get lost as many times as Kieran’s did. How could no one just check his ears for us? The head consultant couldn’t remember the kids from one appointment to the next. Appointment bookings weren’t always made correctly. X-ray request forms were sent to goodness only knows where. Results that were supposed to be emailed to the specialist in Oxford were snail-mail posted to us at home. Three times we had to wait hours for a prescription to be filled. Small things in the grand scheme of the world, I know. When you are worried, these are the types of things that don’t help to alleviate any concerns you have. But we muddled through and have mostly repaired the bubble.
After Kieran was discharged he seemed to want to get back into everything, guitar lessons being his main goal. His teacher had decided to put together a band of young musicians and asked Kieran to participate. Kieran felt well enough to go to the 1st band session on the 19th of February. The idea was originally to get the kids together and do a performance at a rock concert his teacher was hosting in June. The kids were going to be the opening act. What an opening act! The band, The Mini Band, had such an amazing year—that it’s going to need a post all on its own! It really helped to make Kieran’s year.
Hazel took till March to start feeling well enough to do much. Her 1st major event was in March, and we weren’t sure she would be able to do it. Hazel’s Irish dancing school was asked to do a small routine during a production in Oxford of the touring show ‘Essence of Ireland’. We had taken the kids to see this show the year before and Hazel was so excited that she was going to be a part of it. Luckily enough her teacher kept her spot for the show and Hazel was well enough to make the last couple practice sessions & to dance in the show. They did an amazing job and we were all so proud of her.
Getting back to the level she was at in January on the flute took a while. I think it took till June before every song wasn’t followed by a coughing fit. But she persevered and continues to play the flute brilliantly.
The rest of the spring was spent with the kids slowly getting back into a small bit of paperwork, lots of music practice and we had many outings. We visited a few national Trusts and just enjoyed as many days as we could outdoors.
The sad event of the year was in June, when my step-father died. For two people who didn’t get along when we first met (before he & my mom dated), we slowly became really good friends. No one has made me well up with pride the way my step-father did when it comes to how I was raising Hazel and Kieran. To be honest, I’ve never cared what anyone thought, I’ve always just done ‘my thing’. But from him, it just meant the world. He just loved them to bits. He’d tell me time and time again how wonderful they were & that ‘our kids were the best!’ I don’t think I’ll ever be able to delete his emails.
I’ll let the photos & FB posts tell the rest.
Face Book posts:
I have had the most amazing decade, ten wonderful years of happiness! I can’t wait to see what the next one brings! Happy New Years Everyone!! 31 December 2010
Kieran has been talking about stopping Irish dancing. And today he actually drew a picture of a boy with a canon shooting the word ‘Irish’ dancing. Ok–it’s a tad sad as I like watching him dance, but really, it was a funny drawing and made me chuckle! 5 Jan 2011
I went for my 1st bike ride in over 30 years! I’ve lived to tell the tale! (I did wipe out within the 1st mile or so–but after that was fairly ok!) 9 Jan 2010
Is getting caught up with all my ‘thank-you’s’ after spending two nail-biting weeks in hospital with Kieran. He was admitted the 24th Jan with pneumonia, had an emergent drainage of his rt lung & is slowly getting better. While all this was happening Hazel also became poorly & is also slowly on the mend! Hopefully they’ll regain their smiles, which I miss desperately! 9 Feb 2011
I could scream at the world right now!! Hazel has to be admitted–her lung has fluid now!! Wish her luck please!!! 10 Feb 2011
Hazel is home! Looks like she was admitted at the tail end of the pneumonia. She has undergone a strong course of IV antibiotics and looks much better for it. Thanks for all the well wishes!! 13 Feb 2011
The gifts I ordered for the kids when I got home from the hospital with Kieran arrived today. Kie has been busy making K’nex cars, and Hazel has read all of ‘Emily Climbs’ and has started ‘Emily’s Quest’, and she has a new cross stitch kit to start tomorrow. Now that she’s been to hospital I wonder if that qualifies for more goodies? I don’t see why not!! 14 Feb 2011
Kieran was well enough for guitar today-now I’m teaching him the words to Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don’t mind him singing most things-but he wants to know what it ‘all’ means–the death and everything. Though he’s more interested in finding out why the group is called the Red Hot Chili Peppers! 😉 16 Feb 2011
Kieran’s guitar teacher has put together a young rock band which Kieran has been invited to join. Hard to tell from these photos tonight that he was so ill a month ago!
Mini band 1st practice 19/02/2011
Little band of incredible talent have their first practice. Already they have two songs finished and one almost done! Dani California, Fly Away and Knights Of Cydonia. 19 Feb 2011
I can now get on with life, I just finished reading ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel, I highly recommend it! 23 Feb 2011
I’ve just been asked if I’d prefer Kieran to be a policeman, a fireman or a paramedic. Hopefully I’ve scared him silly by coming up with the worst case scenarios for each job and he’ll choose something less scary for his mom!! (OK-I did start with the usual comment: I want you to be whatever makes you happiest, BUT …. 25 Feb 2011
Hazel has written a zillion sentences this week, my 3 fav’s are: 1. It isn’t often we have a mail-man; normally we have Tracey the post-lady. (note the USA/UK titles); 2. Mommy often says, “When you are 18 you can do whatever you want. (I’m in trouble then); 3. Mommy is very fussy, she said so herself. (Does my daughter know me or what!) 28 Feb
We had to put poor Hazel on more antibiotics today. No infection per say, but she has been having some high temperatures, so she’s on them in hopes nothing sinister starts again. 😦 3 March 2011
Watching ‘Country File’ with the kids, and telling them they were on the ship Matt was just on at the Chatham Dock Yard. Of course they don’t remember being there almost 5 yrs ago. Makes me wonder how many places we’ve been to that they have no recollection, and how many I’ve even forgotten! I must start blogging again or we’ll never know!! 6 March 2011
Guess who’s little man has a nasty oozy ear infection?? Argh! Yet another batch of antibiotics. 7 March 2011
Kids & I were watching the Great British Food Revival. They’ve decided they just couldn’t eat any more horrid shop bought bread. Wait till Michael finds out that he’ll have to triple his bread making duties! And he thinks I have enough food phobias as it is, don’t know how well he’ll cope with them being as fussy as me! 9 March 2011
The day we have to deal with the NHS and don’t have to deal with any idiotic methods/restrictions/2 hr waiting times/lack of staff/lack of facilities or even if all the patients medical records were in one place, it will be an absolute miracle! Shame of it all is–most of the staff are actually nice & want to help, but can’t find a way out of the mess that’s been created. 11 March 2011
Hazel’ Irish dancing school had a small guest appearance at the Essence of Ireland show in Oxford tonight. 16 March 2011
Next time I say a BBC TV crew can come into my house–will someone please knock some sense into me?? 22 March 2011
The camera crew was one person! Kids had fun–and I have just received a call to see if the kids could go to the real studio for the taping so that they can be interviewed then as well–so looks like it might just be aired. 🙂 23 March 2011
On a downer–Hazel’s chest x-ray did not come back clear. 😦 You would think one of them would have had a clear x-ray after 6 weeks. 29 March 2011
Oh no–my anal retentiveness is contagious!! Michael hung up a roll of toilet paper in what I would consider ‘the wrong way’. I decided not to be a nutcase and to leave it & be quiet about it–trust me–that’s not easy for me! BUT–I just realized one of the kids changed it & asked them–Kieran said he ‘fixed’ it because he said it was ‘the wrong way’!! 30 March 2011
The kids were chatting with a nice fireman today and when they mentioned watching Lambing Live and Deadly 60-he said I bet you two watch ‘Countryfile’! Then looked at us and said those were his 2 kids (aged 6 & 8) favourites–and he was just as happy as we were to meet someone else with kids who live for ‘John Craven Investigates’!! 8 April 2011
”It intoxicated us with excitement!” is not something most 9 year olds say, or is it??? 13 April 2011
I love how much my kids love each other! Had to leave 1/2 hour early to go pick Kieran up because she was missing him. Not sure how waiting in a parking lot is more fun than relaxing at home! ;-)! They haven’t left each other’s sides in over an hour, and are giggling away! 14 April 2011
Kieran had an appt with the Consultant today-not a bad result, but still not completely ‘healed’ as his lung is still partially collapsed. I have lost all faith in a medical system when the consultant who’s care he’s under had no idea, again, where his chart is and can’t remember his symptoms; and who booked an appt for 3 months from now so we don’t get ‘lost’ in the system while waiting for the ‘experts’ verdict. 15 April 2011
I have sadly lost my knack of hiding from cameras. We went to a History society meeting this weekend (our 1st time there), and I find myself on the web-page that evening. Went to our 1st Astronomy meeting tonight, and I’m in the photo they tweeted!! Went to K’s concert-and am in another family’s videos that got posted. All this in under a week! 20 April 2011
Kieran decided to have his hair cut short for the summer–the stylist was probably sadder than me!! 21 April 2011
Today we finally made it to Stourhead National Trust property–I highly recommend it!!! What a gorgeous park on such a gorgeous day! 24 April 2011
Michael and I went on a walk this evening and we aren’t telling the kids we did some geocaching. Not because they’d be upset we didn’t bring them–but because we don’t want them laughing at us because we couldn’t find any of them!! 26 April 2011
We were redeemed today!!! We sought 1 geocache, we found 1 geocache!! (I found it!!!) 27 April 2011
We tried 2 more Geocaches today. And we found them!!! Can’t believe we found a travel bug–Kids were so excited by that! 28 April 2011
I have finally finished ‘Life of Pi’–actually really enjoyed it! 3 May 2011
Geocache Madness!! We found not 1, not 10, but 23, yes 23 caches today!!! One thing about geocaching–it can really slow up a walk!! Took just over 4 hours to do the 5 miles!! (Including picnic & snack break!) 8 May 2011
Kieran’s just come home with his new amp with foot-board attachment. I’ll be deaf in no time! 😉 10 May 2011
The kids and I actually sat down this afternoon to do some maths, etc… I wasn’t surprised, but was glad, that they hadn’t forgotten anything, especially as we hadn’t done any ‘set work’ since October! 😉 11 May 2011
BBC just called–the kids will be on Real Rescues on May 31st at 11am on BBC1! We didn’t think they were going to show it till the autumn time! 18 May 2011
We’re downstairs and all of a sudden we hear ‘No ones gonna take me alive…’ being belted out by the two kids while their taking their bath! Never did I think my kids would be singing songs from Muse while taking a bath. What happened to the years of ‘And the wheels on the bus go round and round…’? 20 May 2011
Michael realized he’s been at his job for 20 years today! I once lasted 8 years in the same company (3 different jobs there)–but I thought I’d die if I stayed any longer! As they say–opposites attract! 20 May 2011
Hazel was really pleased with her performance at her Irish Dancing feis-she won three 3rd places and one 2nd place! 22 May 2011
My two children are over the moon with joy–all because we have a rat in the garden! They think they are the luckiest two to have another wild animal in the garden. Honestly–where have I gone wrong???? 24 May 2011
Michael and Kieran doing some African drumming today at an HE group. Poor Michael struggled keeping up at first!! But glad he stepped in to take Hazels’ place instead of me!! 26 May 2011
Kids had a good time today at a home-education day trip to a Historical working farm–they helped to bake some bread & to build a clay oven. Hazel just took a huge bite of bread when I took this. 27 May 2011
2nd Battle of Newbury Re-enactment–My two played it safe and rooted for the Royalists & the Parliamentarians! 28 May 2011
Michael Fell’s new pet–a sour dough bread starter. And mind you–if this works the man will be over the moon with pride!! It’s the little things in life that gives him so much joy!! 😉 30 May 2011
The kids are on Real Rescues at 11am! 31 May 2011
Kieran & Hazel were on BBC’s Real Rescues today. Kieran was filmed on route to hospital in the ambulance and they were interviewed once they had recovered from pneumonia. @27 min 40s on the video. Just hoping we don’t have a repeat of the experience! 31 May 2011
BBC iPlayer – Real Rescues: Series 7: Episode 2
I have no idea who Alfie Boe is, but I caught the end of Desert Island Discs and he made me cry. His father died years ago and he said: The one thing that makes him sad is “The one thing my brothers and sisters have over me is that my dad was here to meet all of their spouse and children”. I so wish my dad could have seen my babies and Michael. 5 June 2011
Hazel picked our 1st raspberry today & about 25 strawberries’–we also picked 10ozs of fresh peas, and my 1st courgette. The peas & courgette were turned into a lovely risotto for lunch and the strawberries were used in our sponge cake!! Not a bad way to spend a cold rainy morning! 12 June 2011
Kieran’s headed to the theatre for his 1st sound check! 18 June 2011
The Mini Band were AWESOME!!!! So proud of them all!! 18 June 2011
Off to watch Kieran and The Mini Band rock Cold Ash! (I’m beginning to think I’m a bit old for this groupie world!!) 25 June 2011