I have by most people’s standards been rubbish with blogging over the last 6 weeks, actually rubbish is probably too tame as I haven’t managed to publish anything since my Lonely Illness post in mid may. I have tried on several occasions to write but nothing has been completed. So when I saw the BritMums prompt I thought this was as good a time as any to put fingers to keyboard and actually do something.
“Flashback! We want you to look back to FIVE YEARS AGO and share what your life was like. What was going on? Who was in your life? Who WASN’T in your life? What did you look like? Where were you going? It doesn’t have to be a specific date but simply FIVE years ago.”
2007 started okay, FJ was a baby but he went into his own room shortly after Christmas and slept through quite quickly after that, looking at baby pictures of him from that time makes me smile, he was such a happy smiley baby and AJ seemed to love having a baby around.
I was still on Mat leave, but I didn’t go to any baby clubs, or mums and tots groups. I think I stayed in touch with some friends so visited them often, but other than that I must have stayed at home with FJ. AJ would have been a pre-school so I would have been taking daily journeys up there but as we have not been in the village that long I still was finding my feet and searching for friends (but not very hard!).
At the end of April I had to return to work, an event I wasn’t looking forward to, my job had changed and I was no longer working with just one team, I was now working with 4 teams, and what was wanted from me was never realistically going to happen. I found myself often upset with what had happened with my post and with the way I was being reacted to from other admin staff who I was being forced upon as their senior. I followed this up with meetings and also spoke to HR as I felt I had been pushed into a situation I wasn’t happy with whilst on mat leave. It was something that continued to be an issue for quite some time, but that’s another story!
In June we ventured off to France for what was to be our last out of term time holiday as AJ was starting school in September, the weather wasn’t great so not many beach days and then the car broke down! We ended up having to fly home via 2 plane journeys and lots of luggage (you take what you want when you go by car!) It was a stressful time but NJ who now writes over at Loads of Things tells the story so well I will let you read the story over there Holiday Travel.
As the holiday wasn’t brilliant, we booked a holiday to Center Parcs, for the first week in September as AJ wasn’t starting school till the following week. All was looking good.
Then towards the end of August NJ started feeling unwell, he had suffered with flu in the past (usually in the summer), he recognised the signs and took himself off to bed. It was hard work looking after him, a 9 month old and a 4 year old, I was also at work 3 days a week. I have to admit to not being the most sympathetic of people, so left him to himself, just made sure he had drinks and food and any pain killers he might want. Gradually he started feeling worse, I don’t know who made the decision but the dr was called and luckily they agreed to a home visit. After checking him the dr walked down with a grave face and I jokingly said “so he’s not going to die then?” he said not yet, but he is very ill and he needs these antibiotics ASAP!
His condition didn’t improve and after my mum suggested speaking to NHS direct (I guessed she must be concerned as she doesn’t normally fuss) a call was made and from what I said, and quite probably the noisy children in the background an ambulance was called. From then on I went into survival mode, I dealt with what was thrown at me, and stayed calm. I called a friend to look after the kids and joined NJ at the hospital. He was asked several times in A&E if he smoked, and the reply was always no, not anymore, we were later to discover that all his lungs were full of fluid and he only had a very small space left to breath, eventually he was sent onto a ward, into a side room that seemed grimy and horrible, and then nurse came to take his pulse etc., but she couldn’t get his blood pressure, blaming it on the equipment (later we discovered his blood pressure was dangerously low!). Apparently the Dr was on the way, but there was no idea knowing when that would be. I had to leave at midnight to get back for the kids, so just made sure that the ward was aware of my contact numbers and headed home. As expected I struggled to sleep, and then got a phone call at 5.30am to say that NJ was being taken to ICU and it was suggested that I came in, unfortunately as I had the kids and NJ’s parents and brother were away there was little I could do for at least another hour, and for some bizarre reason I thought I could go back to sleep! I didn’t and rang my mum at 6 in the morning and she agreed to come up asap, but as she lived over 1.5hrs away and needed to sort out cat care it was going to be a few hours. By the time I had arranged friends to look after the kids and got to the hospital I was getting another phone call from the hospital (nothing like keeping you calm!). I got into ICU (I hate the smell of hospitals now) to find NJ wired up to loads of drips and struggling to breath, then he was being whisked away to have an MRI scan, the thing that scared me the most was the resuscitation pack that was taken with them.
He spent 6 days in ICU, gradually getting better, and thankfully not needing any surgery, he had suffered with Pneumonia, and then contracted Sepis, his blood was starting to poison itself. Fortunately they had drugs that helped him (like gold dust apparently) and after another 6 days on a normal ward he was allowed home to recuperate. It was a difficult time, but I was really helped by my family, my mum and dad stayed for a few days and then my sister cut short her holiday to also help out with the kids as I spent most of the days whilst he was in ICU up at the hospital. I stayed composed and just kept going, I don’t think I ever really dealt with or recognised what might have happened.
Whilst NJ recovered I had to basically do everything, all the childcare, keeping the house tidy and clean, all the meals and go to work 3 days a week. I struggled mentally, but never really did much about it, I did speak to the HV, but all she asked was would I feel okay if I got some sleep! I had to sort out FJ’s first birthday party, as we had with AJ’s first birthday we wanted family and close friends to come, I remember not being happy with my mum as she said it was too difficult for them to come as she didn’t want to have to drive there and back in one day and she couldn’t afford to stay somewhere, at the time it was very upsetting, but on the actual birthday things were fine.
As the year came to an end NJ dropped a bombshell he had been asked to leave his work, he was going to get a good settlement, but it still meant that he would need to look for something else and if he didn’t get anything after 3 months things were going to be very tough. In hindsight it was the best thing that happened to him, he was much happier and there seemed to be far less stress.
So 2007 was an eventful year, and quite possibly a start to my depression that I now suffer with, thankfully NJ is in full health, and we still have a story to tell when asked about the year.