Sunday, 23 March 2008

23Mar08 - Well Again?

The last week and a half have been a struggle. All four of us have been ill at some point. Joshua was the first to go down. It is unusual for him and I can't remember the last time he was ill. He missed 2 days of school and it was 4-5 days before he was back to himself.Dawn was the worst and was in bed for almost a week with severe pharyngitis. She even had a few hours in hospital with breathing difficulties. Fortunately I stayed well and was able to play nurse and see to the kids. I had some help from my parents who stepped in so that I could go to work. On the morning my parents took Lucy to school, Lucy was sent home with a temperature and subsequently is on another dose of antibiotics. I managed to pick up a stomach bug which put me in bed for most of Saturday and that was just the icing on the cake. I just hope that that is it now and the sickness fairy will leave us alone for a while. Dawn is rightly paranoid about picking something else up this week as she and Joshua are heading off to Portugal on Friday for a short break. This break is to make up for the last disastrous trip when Lucy spent the whole time in hospital. This time Lucy will be staying at home with me which will give Dawn and Joshua some quality time to do whatever they want to.

It is rare for either of us to be ill but with Dawn being in bed ill for so long it really opened my eyes to how exposed and isolated we are. If We did not have my parents to call on at times like this then we would be really stuck. Who knows what we would do if we were both ill at the same time? I am sure that it must be the same for many parents like us. We have never been short of somebody to look after Joshua because it is so easy to drop him off at any ones house. However with Lucy it is obviously completely different. Looking after Lucy is much more of a burden than looking after a normal 3 or 4 year old who would be happy to watch TV or play with their toys. Entertaining Lucy is actually the easy bit, the care side of things is much more daunting for someone who is not used to it. All the every day cares like changing, feeding, giving medicine, bathing, maybe physio are different with Lucy and there are not many people who a naturally comfortable doing them. Not only is it "different" but it is also hard work. Without knowing Lucy intimately it is impossible to know where her boundaries are, for example, how far to push her with feeding or how to handle her. There is a lot to learn about caring for Lucy which can only be learnt through regular contact with her. We are very fortunate that we are getting some regular help from Mary Poppins (also known as Helen) through direct payments which is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Having a regular few hours breathing space every week is really going to make a difference.We are also getting some help from Crossroads who will be coming for two hours three out of every four weeks. However emergency care for Lucy is definitely a worry.

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