It’s Been A While…..

Hello there….

It’s been a while….ok understatement I know but “real” life seems to have caught up with me and I had to be a (semi) grown up, at least for a little bit.

I also blame that thing called irony….. I recently looked at the pin board and made the unearthly whoop whoop to hubby that we were down to only 2 appointments for the tribe and that we could relax for a bit. Ha! Famous last words. It’s like I had taunted fate who had decided to take it very personally and just the next day, the sound of post thudding into the letter box gave me an ominous feeling that I had indeed crowed too soon….Yup….

Not only did I have an avalanche of appointments but between my various children, they decided I needed to check out hospitals both near and far & I managed to do a whistle-stop tour of no less than 3 (even a London trip!) in 5 days and a total of 6 appointments; including one in our local hospital and one then in Leeds, all on the same day….

Those of you who have had the dubious pleasure of frequenting the LGI hospital in Leeds will know that trying to find a parking space anywhere vaguely in the vicinity of the hospital is nothing short of a miracle.  On reflection in fact, I think there could be some kind of sporting event made out of it. Maybe the Hunger Games was loosely based on it….

Sweaty palms, red-faced, bulging eyes and racing heart rate, plus frantic mad dash when you eventually wait for someone to leave (circling like great white sharks we were) and obtain the holy grail of a free space. Then you have to run the gauntlet of the ever-so-helpful (more irony) ladies on reception are these are all just some of the highlights of your day out.

When you discover that you do not in fact have any change for the thieving car park machines that charge you £3333trilion pounds and won’t accept notes and of course there is nothing so helpful as a change machine in the hospital foyer, to be told by the ladies on the desk “not my problem and no the coffee shop won’t give you change either” is enough of a mental and physical work out for me.

I’m quite impressed we actually made it to x-ray only a few minutes late having neither maimed anyone or committed GBH in the process and without me having a coronary either. I think I was vaguely reassured by the other grim-faced people I witnessed, that they too had reached their destination in less than composed style. Of course once we had screeched to a halt at the appropriate department and hyperventilated a spluttering speech who we were and for what purpose we were attending, the appointments were running 20 mins late but that’s neither here nor there!

Not having much downtime, the very next day saw me travelling down to GOSH. It was my first trip at short notice travelling alone with Minx in her wheelchair and with a medical bag that weighs the same as a small car. Intrepid though I was since the trip involved embarking at an unmanned local station, a change at York, down to King’s Cross and then a repeat of the same process later in the day, the guards on Virgin trains were exceptionally helpful.

I then decided as it was such a beautiful day, I would walk from King’s Cross to GOSH whilst trying to co-ordinate the wheelchair, pavements, traffic, people (lots of people!) the pull along bag and using my phone as a sat nav held out rigidly in front of me. Face proud with dogged determination (& maybe exhaustion) I’m sure it must have looked somewhat comical and I did wonder if we would make it in one piece since the Minx was a brutal task master chanting “Faster Mummy, I want the wheels to flash” at far too frequent intervals.

Suffice to say since I’m writing this post, I found our way there and back. All went well with all the train schedules and having booked special assistance, even at very short notice, the service we received was excellent. Nonetheless, I do feel as if I have aged about 15 years in the process and am sure my roots need touching up as a result of overnight grey hairs rather than growth!!

My children obviously feel I don’t have enough to do with my time so have concocted various scenarios to ensure there’s never a dull moment. You can always guarantee that one will end up not well at the most inconvenient of times and the Thursday night, eve of Good Friday, saw us utilising the out of ours Doctor’s service Chez Harrogate NHS.

Having been assured that G’s legs weren’t actually about to drop off despite the D-R-A-M-A (think Oscar-winning performance) and that it was likely a virus that would last 24 hours, rest, fluids and calpol prescribed, we went home and the next day, G seemed a little brighter.

On Good Friday itself, my parents arrived from the small Isle. A few nights later, they kindly took us out for a meal to save me from being more or less permanently attached to the stove. Whilst an unexpected treat indeed, it did not go without a hitch. In fact if you were the (unfortunate) people sitting a few tables away from us last week at Hotel Du Vin, may I use this blog post to offer you my sincere and public apology. Apparently no night out is complete without a projectile vomit or 3. That was a child by the way, not me having been too indulgent with the vino!

Hotel Du Vin staff took it all in their stride proffering hazard warning signs for the floor, a champagne cooler as a vomit receptacle, mop and bucket and beautiful linen napkins for operation clean up (I still feel really bad about that one!!) and eventually even providing a pillow for the G Man to sleep on so that we could enjoy the rest of our meal in vaguely peaceful circumstances. It takes a lot more than a technicolour yawn to put this family off their food you know!

The next day, King of the bounce-back, decided he wanted to go kayaking with his eldest brother in the river at the bottom of the garden. Against my better judgement I (foolishly) agreed to this plan. I have to applaud our teenager for his strong sense of righteousness and preparation but I’m not entirely sure that a 1 hour 30 minutes safety briefing was entirely necessary. Nonetheless, the intrepid duo eventually made it in to the water and a lot of barking of orders could be heard as poor G tried desperately to keep up to the despots standards and ideals…..I swear the teenager would be thrown out of Special Forces for brutality.

Of course, having made it back to terra firm, the chills kicked in big style and the teenager was still hell bound on completing his full spiel about the dangers of water sports and the importance of putting your equipment away properly for the next outing. If only he had such a diligent approach to keeping his own room clean and tidy, we could be on to a winner.

At the point that the G man tuned blue and could hardly stand upright from shaking with cold, we intervened and brought him inside for a warm bath and clean pjs. But I think the damage was done and G proceeded to treat us with moans, groans, roaring temperatures, hacking coughs and occasional up chucks for the next few days. Joy and just how I wanted to spend the Easter hols!! It’s taken him some time to rally fully and of course they are heading back to school on Monday, so he’s not quite as refresh and re-invigorated from the Easter break as we would like. Nor are we for that matter….

So the next few weeks are crazy busy with appointments as well and no doubt the mini’s will find other ways to ensure we remain on our toes. Relaxing would be boring…wouldn’t it?! Anyway, if I go a bit quiet again, it’s not cos I’ve lost interest, more that I’ve lost the plot…or time to write.

Until next time! (Whenever that may be…)

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