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Apologies….. I fell off the grid!


Firstly, let me apologise for just leaving like that! So  much has been happening lately which has been sucking up my time and energy. By the time night comes upon me and I have some time to sit and write, I can hardly string a sentence together. It’s been a whirlwind recently.

Anyway, I’ll keep this brief as I have to dart out shortly.

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First of all, I am concerned that the walk of death is soon upon me. it’s in two weeks to be exact and the weather has not been my friend of late so I haven’t gotten in as much training as I would have liked. I am still of the mind set that walking is the most natural thing in the world and God gave us two legs for walking right….. so walk 100km I will. By hook or by crook!!! Now some of you may be thinking that I am crazy. In fact I know a lot of you are thinking that I am crazy, going into this with not having trained as much as I should have. I think I am crazy too….. Hence why I am FORCING myself to alter my mindset to the rather laizze faire approach or I might give up before I start!

Secondly, I now HAVE to have this mindset as my wonderful walking partner and good friend in crime has had to pull out for very good and personal reasons. No hard feelings there at all and I still love her to death. I will scrabble around and try to find an alternative partner as the night walking on my own is more than a little daunting. Hopefully the organisers will allow a last minute substitute under the circumstances if I can even find one but if not, I am determined to go ahead and do this on my own nonetheless. I shall just stalk some other team and hang around behind them as though minding my own business whilst pretending I’m not killing myself trying to keep up. Maybe one of them will take pity on me and allow me to walk with their team. Perhaps I should bake cookies and take them to share in exchange for walking partners or something???!!!

I’ve also been under a lot of stress owing to the fact that there has been a slight neighbourhood dispute with the apartment below mine. Ironically…. here’s his issue…. we should NOT be WALKING in our apartment!!! So here I am trying to do as much walking training as possible and yet when I get home, he’s taking issue with the fact that I am walking! Honestly… it’s just coming out of all orifices right now!

Anyways… Here’s the good news!!!

I RAISED A CHILD TO ADULTHOOD WITHOUT KILLING HIM!!!!

First Born has now had his 18th birthday celebrations! Let’s not forget that the walk I am doing in two weeks is in commemoration of his birthday to raise money for SENSE the deafblind charity here in the UK. This has been a real time of reflection for me about both my son’s journey and ours as a family with deafblindness over the last 18 years.

I recently visited a school for children with special needs. The cohort of children going there are far more disabled than my son and it reminded me again, how lucky we are that despite his deafblindness, he does have some useful vision in one eye and is in good health otherwise. I met so many other children in this school, who were totally deafblind, had serious medical and mobility issues or were unable to walk at all and were locked in their bodies almost. Struggling to communicate with the outside world.

SENSE is involved with a lot of these children and offers advice and support to all their families and to the staff at the school about how best to help these young people have opportunities to communicate with a world outside of themselves. They help with raising money to buy specialist equipment or to create sensory rooms which may help stimulate a young person.The work they do is phenomenal. The money I raise will help them to help others. Have a loook at their link to see where your money will go.

click here to see whre your donation goes!

Most of you send your children to school with the confidence and knowledge that the WILL learn to read and write and with aspirations of them becoming doctors, lawyers, authors, programmers or what ever their little hearts may desire. It is presumed that they will learn the alphabet and how to count. It is taken for granted that much of what they know and understand about the world is just absorbed by them before they have even arrived through the door of their first nursery school.

Take this for example….. When I was heavily pregnant with Middle Child, First Born would have been about 7. Most kids by this age will have absorbed from observation and hearing conversation, the general gist of the birds and the bees and where babies come from and how they need to be looked after. First Born was trying to figure all of this out through observation alone and what I could demonstrate to him through sign and books. Even so, it was still all very confusing for him. He was in the bathtub and pointed at my tummy and stated that there was a baby in there. My boobs of course, at this stage in the pregnancy were much fuller. He pointed and asked me in sign what I had in there. I explained that the milk for the baby was in there. OH! MILK! His face lit up with understanding and he pointed at the other one and remarked that the orange juice must be in that one then?! No…. I explained to him. They both have milk in them. First Born was very confused at this point. Trying to explain to him with my fractured sign language what was going on in the world around him was difficult and incredibly frustrating for him. He looked at the taps on the bath tub and his eyes instantly lit up again…. He pointed at my boobs most excitedly and remarked; Like the taps!!! Hot and cold!!!! Ah…. I could only hug him and treasure how much more simple his life was than everyone elses.

Fortunately for him and my family though, with the vision he has and with the improvement of sign language as he got older, his ability to read and check things out himself, he has a much clearer understanding of how the world works though he still does miss out on things we take for granted. He won’t necessarily hear sounds that may alert us to things and prompt us into looking out for them. He may not hear a car coming down the street at great speed and has to be ever so much more vigilant than you or I do. But even so… he is luckier than some.

I met some wonderful children last week. Desperate to be able to communicate with others and desperate for people to communicate with them as well. I know from experience that sometimes people can be afraid to communicate with my son because they don’t know how to sign and that can be hurtful. Imagine how a child who can’t sign or write might feel? My son is able to grab a pen and paper and write something down for a shop assistant if he needs to. What about the kids who can’t use their hands even?

I came across a wonderful computer at the school I was at. It was attached to the wheelchair of a girl who did have some hearing and vision. She was able to use retina recognition technology to LOOK at the on-screen keyboard or pictures on her screen to send messages to her teachers and carers. Before she had this piece of equipment, she was unable to communicate with anyone around her at all. The computer is programmed for her and her alone. It costs TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. But it gives ger some independence. It gives her a VOICE! A voice most parents take for granted because it’s the most natural thing in the world to expect your child to have.

sensory room

I visited the sensory room at the school as well. It was one of the best ones I had ever seen. In the room were children who again, were completely locked into their bodies. But there were mats that they were able to lay on which allowed THEM to change the colours of the lights or the sequence of the flashing based on their body movements. These are HUGE milestones for them. Again, we take these things for granted. Normal milestones like first steps, or walking or talking, first words, matching colours which 99% or the population achieve before they hit a preschool are milestones that some of these kids will never reach. For some of them it’s being able to communicate yes or no by blinking an eye, squeezing a finger or learning that pressing a button has an effect.

This is a most important milestone for kids like these. If they can be taught that pressing a button has an effect, they can learn that pressing the button on their wheelchair will make it go. If the can learn to use two buttons then they are flying. They have opportunities to use specialist equipment to communicate. All of this equipment is so expensive. The training to teach the families and staff to use it is expensive but it offers an individual the chance to be mobile, to communicate and to have CHOICES in what happens to them. Choices in what the want to eat. They are able to say yes or no.

Would you be willing to sit in a chair all day with earplugs in, a blindfold over your eyes and legs and arms strapped down? Would you be willing not to use your voice for a day and have no means of communicating? Will you be willing to be fed whatever you are given with no opportunity to say you don’t like it? To be moved and bathed when you are made to?

THINK ABOUT THAT

Then think about what you could give to help someone not have to live like that and click the link to donate some money towards their cause.

click to donate

click to donate now!!

Happy Birthday First Born!

First Born was lucky. He wanted an iPad for his birthday. With all the apps available on an iPad now, a simple tool like this is a small investment. He can have a voice through apps that speak the words he types, or have a mobile pad to write messages where he goes. It opens up a world of doors for him. Not as many as we would like but still. They are doors and they come cheap compared to the doors that some of the other young people I have been meeting over the years. Every time I see one of them I want to cry. That could have been my son. Help me to help them. Donate a few pounds.

AGAIN, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO IS FOLLOWING, READING, SHARING AND DONATING. PLEASE KEEP SPREADING THE WORD. EVERY PENNY COUNTS AND I HAVE BEEN VERY LAPSED IN MY FUNDRAISING EFFORTS RECENTLY!!!! STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO TO REACH MY TARGET AND I’M DOING THE WALK ALL ON MY OWN NOW!!!!

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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in The WALK!

 

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Sisters….. don’t beleive a thing they say!!!


It’s an on-going joke between Lil Sis and myself about her hypochondriatic ways. (Is that even a word?) To put it lightly…. she tends to over react! So really…… I should have known!!!! Walking into the park… yep… walking… that’s me… cause that’s my new mode of transport….. her son calls her complaining of leg pain.

ImageNow, he’d been to the gym the day before after not going for some time and over did it on the weights. So of course his legs were hurting him! She directed him to his bed and we continued onto the park for a lovely afternoon.

Now, bearing in mind that this woman is an ex nurse… yes…. an ex nurse…..  I take her medical opinion seriously, though I should know better after the incident years ago when Middle was just a tot. Middle Child had taken a little tumble and hit her head in day care. The normal course of action is to monitor for 24 hours in case of concussion. However, Lil Sis had me running into the Emergency Room holding Middle Child in my arms screaming

“Brain fluid… brain fluid… she has brain fluid coming out of her ears….. HELP!!!”

ImageI looked a right imbecile. I’m sure every doctor in there was snickering in the corner wondering what psych ward I had escaped from. It turned out Middle had a little weepy wax which was barely visible just inside her ear. Personally I hadn’t even seen it, but my sister?! She gave my child a thorough examination and declared her not just concussed but nearly dead and sent me packing off to the ER having insisted she had brain fluid coming out of her ears….. did I learn????

NO!!!!!!!

The morning after my nephew’s work out at the gym, I got a call at some ridiculous hour in the morning insisting that said nephew was at home and I had to rush over there IMMEDIATELY! I was just tying up my walking shoes to continue my training for my walk of death and reached for the car keys instead.

She explained that his condition had worsened through the night and he had the mother of all headaches. She had called out an ambulance at about 6:30 that morning because she was concerned about a DVT. The paramedics inspected him and ordered her to monitor him.

Yep! MONITOR…. you know that thing you do for 24 hours?!

She left him home and went to work, calling him on her way there from the bus. Apparently he didn’t answer the phone…… Diagnosis: DVT travelled and he’s laying unconscious on the floor.

ImageI sped across town to rescue him from the jaws of death, not having questioned Lil Sis’ powers of diagnosis at all…. because that’s what you do right? When family calls and say they need you, you run! I couldn’t run there fast enough so I drove. FAST!

Got there and what do I find…. he’s lying on the sofa watching TV, exhausted because the paramedics woke him at the crack of dawn. I asked him why he didn’t answer the phone….. his response….

“My legs hurt cause I over did it in the gym and I couldn’t be bothered to get up and answer it”.

No worries…. panic over. Crisis avoided and I carried on with my day happily. Walked around the town for the next few days as I am in super diligent training and what the hell happened????

ONLY A SPEEDING TICKET CAME THROUGH MY DOOR!

So thanks Sis…… I won’t be speeding over to yours in a hurry next time you shout “Medical emergency! Get here….. STAT!” (Yes… I watch ER!) I’ll be walking over cause I won’t have a driving licence anymore! Good thing I’m doing all that walking training then!

My training for my 100km London to Brighton walk is going well though I have to admit…. my muscles are killing me! I’m still collecting sponsorship/donations for SENSE, the charity I am walking in aid of on May 12/13 2012. You can read the original story here or click the links below for more information or to donate. I will soon be starting a fund for my soon to be hired driver’s salary for when I lose my license as well!!! 🙂

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Baggage List


Today I received the baggage list for what I will need with me on my walk of death. I have been a bit worried about this over the last few days and worried about how I will hydrate and nourish myself over the 100km. For the most part it is off road and there won’t be a McDonalds in sight. Not only won’t there be a hamburger around, but there will be no water source either. Bearing in mind I will start walking at 7 a.m. on the 12th May and I won’t finish till about noon on the 13th, I figure I am going to need some sort of replenishment, even if only of the caffeine variety to get me through the night.

ImageRecently a friend of mine told me I had to ensure my back pack was filled with bananas because I would need the potassium to stop myself from cramping. Now bananas are heavy items and I figure that will hold me back so I am going to have to find potassium in the pill variety! Light and easy to carry.

ImageI have been walking for hours every day despite the fact that I am either carrying or pushing about 35k in extra weight in the form of Toddler Child. I figured that though this was weighing me down, it would be great training and would make the walk of death less fatal. This training has however already started killing me. For starters, I am falling asleep by about 8 p.m. most nights, I can feel my muscles burning. My core muscles in particular are clearly strengthening up. Why is it though that getting fit which is supposed to be a good thing hurts so much? My fluid intake has increased phenomenally. I think I am now drinking about 6 litres of fluid a day. I wake in the morning and I am STARVING….. My eating habits are completely out of whack. I used to be a grazer. I’m so exhausted at night though, I’m not munching my calories in the evening, I’m falling asleep over my dinner plate! My portions have increased and I am generally eating like a horse. All I can hope for however is that I will have the legs of an eighteen year old racehorse by the time I am finished all this exercising and training!

I was fortunate enough to have a local business sponsor the servicing of my bicycle and I am so thankful to them for this. This will make it easier to “train”. Though cycling is not the same as walking, it’s an easier form of exercise to get fit with Toddler Child literally in tow behind me. I can actually get some proper pace in.

Coming back to the baggage though. That back pack I was worried about. I have become increasingly worried as I have been wondering now more about the fluid intake than McDonalds. How on earth am I going to carry all this water I have been drinking and will need on my walk? Will I pass out from dehydration between stops? So maybe carting 35k of Toddler hasn’t been to my advantage at all but exactly what I will need? I got the official email stating what I will need in my pack. Sounds like it will weigh about the same as a small child.

 

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ImageTheir list included not just water and food which I already knew was going to be heavy enough but a whole change of clothes, spare shoes, bandages, sunblock, hats, clothes for layering and warmth in the night, a whole first aid kit with bandage care and antihistamine for bug bites and nettle rashes, head torch and hand torch for night walking…. might I point out that spare batteries needed as well and last time I checked…. they’re not light! Will also need wet wipes and disposal bags to keep the used ones on me in appreciation of the environment for my toileting needs. Crikey… the list goes on and on…..

So the way I look at it… I might not be at an advantage doing all this training pushing Toddler Child around but perhaps what I actually need to do is borrow her push chair and take it with me. Might be better to push than to carry right?!

The sponsorship has been coming in nicely and I am so appreciative to all of you who have been sending funds, kind words of support and who have been cheering me on. Please continue to spread the word and encourage others to donate/sponsor. Please use the Virgin Money Giving Link to send funds directly to my chosen charity SENSE who do amazing work for the deafblind and their families.

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Walk a day in my shoes and then tell me it makes SENSE!


In April 1994 I was happily 8 months pregnant with First Born. I was young and oblivious to the trials and tribulations that life could throw at me when suddenly at a routine check up, I was whisked off to the hospital for an emergency scan. The midwife was concerned about the size of my baby and thought hat he should be much bigger at this stage. She did not alert me to her concerns and made it sound all very normal and routine. Being my first baby, I thought this was all very normal.

At the hospital though, this state of oblivion was all very suddenly turned on its head. My first clue was the fact that this scan was already taking three times longer than all my previous scans, then there was the “Excuse me” and the return with another health care professional and talks in whispered voices. They then went away and came back with another and continued speaking in hushed tones. Suddenly the room started spinning as they told me that I was to deliver the baby early the very next morning, I was to return home and gather my belongings and come into the hospital at 6 a.m. the next morning.

I wasn’t ready. I had one more month to go and hadn’t gotten everything I needed yet. I didn’t understand. Neither did they it seemed. All they could tell me was that my baby was “small for dates” and they needed to get him out sooner rather than later.

I returned the following morning with my parents, my sisters in fast pursuit and the induction process began. It was all very fast,  much faster than anyone anticipated. After a quick half an hour delivery, First Born came into the world. Only he was not screaming. He was quite non responsive and had to be taken away and resuscitated. He was so small and so frail and delicate and it was all spinning so very fast. I still could not understand what was so wrong that they had to deliver him early. They didn’t really know either.

Health care professionals were in and out constantly, monitoring him, poking him, prodding him, taking bloods. He was too small and weak to breast feed and much to my dismay, they put him on a bottle by the end of his first night. Something was wrong. I had no experience of newborn but my instinct just told me that something wasn’t right.

The following morning, a pediatrician came to see him and I still don’t know why, how or when I had come to this conclusion, but I said to her “My baby can’t see or hear me”. She laughed at  me and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. I still had no clue why I had said such a thing or how those words tumbled out of my mouth without thought. That’s the way of my mouth though. Often things fall out without me having thought twice. As offended as I was about her laughing at me, I relaxed in the knowledge that a doctor said he was fine and as a young mother I just had no experience of what was normal.

This was just the beginning though. Soon enough an eye specialist came by and did some checks. He was rushed and at the end of an all day shift and obviously perturbed by the fact that he had been called back in to the maternity ward just when he thought he was heading home. He announced brusquely that my son could not see and left as quickly as he came. It was late into the evening and I was confused. My family were all nearby. One or another of them. That same evening, a specialist pediatrician came to see him, my mother was present. A scan was done through his Fontanelle and he announced that First Born had scarring on his brain.

In asking for more information about what this meant, he told my mother and me that it meant that we should “just take him home and cuddle him, that’s all he would need”. The world stopped spinning again. In those few days, the world was always spinning too fast or had stopped altogether. Nothing was “normal” anymore. My mother and I deduced from the sugar coated way this doctor was trying to put things that my son had brain damage and would never be normal. In fact, that he would be like a vegetable. The question of his hearing was addressed a couple of weeks later and it was confirmed that he was in fact profoundly deaf as well.

That was eighteen years ago. I left the hospital with a very tiny baby having been told that he was deaf, blind and quite probably a vegetable. I was scared, anxious but fortunately not alone. I had a most loving and supportive family around me and I had the added benefit of having slipped into auto pilot. Our days were filled with one hospital appointment after another with various specialists. Sometimes two in one day in different hospitals. By the time First Born was 3 weeks old he was having his first surgery to try to restore his sight.

Over the coming months he had several surgeries on his eyes, contact lenses, patches and fortunately had some sight recovered in one of his eyes. He was fitted with hearing aids. Not the behind the ear types but a body worn aid that looked more like he was using an iPod. It was HUGE on his little body and had grotesque beige curly wires leading to horrible moulds in his ears.

A profound moment for me was walking down the street to the grocery store one day with im in his pram. All snug and sleepy with his hearing aids in. A woman coming towards me peeped in to have a look and the horrified expression that came across her face. She actually doubled back and went around my pram to have another look. She was clearly trying to figure out why I had outfitted my newborn with a music listening device! She never did ask though. She just stared. This changed my approach to all “different” people then. I never stare or look anymore. If I really need to know I walk right up and ask.

This was the beginning of a new chapter in my whole family’s’ lives. First Born was different. We were different and First Born was one of THREE people in the country with his condition. Congenital Rubella Syndrome.  So our days were filled with nosey doctors and junior doctors or students coming to see him all the time. Lots of people from Local Authority departments were coming to see him. It was like I had given birth to Jesus with all of these visitors. However, none of them were really that useful.

My mother was a pillar of support. We could not actually get much practical help from any of them so she organised sign language classes so we could learn to communicate with him and ensured that steps were put into place so that he would get the education he needed. And sometime in his fourth year at his end of term play at school, we all went to see him. I remember I just cried and cried the whole way through. Everyone else was smiling and laughing at this Christmas play. All I could do was cry. There was my boy. It was like nothing was different about him at all. He sure was DIFFERENT to the prognosis I was given in the hospital when he was born though. He was up on a stage, signing furiously and enjoying his part in the play. He was a healthy, walking, signing and intelligent boy! He scored top of his class most times and I just couldn’t help but sit back and think of the early days. It wasn’t bright. Not like the bright spark that was lighting up that stage at that Christmas play!

Over the years he continued to thrive and prosper. He has always been in and out of hospital appointments for his eyes and ears and general check ups however there have never really been any Local Authority (Government) Agencies that have been able to deal with his deafblindness as a package. Very early on in his life we were made aware of a charity called SENSE who specialise in people with deafblindness. They have been a pillar of support and advice from the very start. And we never felt like we were alone.

First Born will be 18 in April. I have been racking my brains about what to get him. Eighteen year old these days don’t want the necklace or souvenir key. Noooo… they want so much more. Knowing my son as I know him, he probably wants a new computer especially built for his online gaming. That should only set me back a thousand pounds or so….. *FAINT* Or maybe he wants an iPad to complement his Mac Book. Or whatever else he wants, I guarantee, it doesn’t fall into the category of meaningful, sentimental or could be considered a keepsake. And it certainly doesn’t fall into the category of affordable either. So as part of his birthday present to him this year, I have decided to commemorate the eighteen years he has walked in his not so easy life with a not so easy task.

First Born has walked all these years, through all the trials that life has thrown at him with dignity, with pride and has taken every challenge head on. As hard as he may have found some of them, he made it look easy. Easier than I know most people would find it if they had their hearing AND sight ripped away from them. I am so very very proud of him. And so very grateful to my family, my friends and to SENSE the deafblind charity for walking this journey with him. But he will be eighteen soon. He will be starting to walk this path of life alone without his family soon and I rest assured knowing that SENSE will always be there for him. They will continue to offer him support and advice throughout his life even after we are all long gone.

So what better way to commemorate his birthday with doing a walk of my own. I have pledged to walk the London to Brighton 100km cross country walk across all terrain and through the night in aid of raising money for SENSE. Please help me to help them and click on the link and donate even just a dollar or a pound. Every little will help me to reach the huge target I have set.

This is a terrifying task for me. Terrifying that I have entered late and have just 55 days to meet the target I have set and also terrifying that I have committed to walking 100km. I can’t even remember when was the last time I walked as much as 2km at a time. I have never been in a marathon and I don’t exercise regularly. I can’t even repeat what my mother told me when  I told her what I was doing….. in a nutshell all my friends and family think I am crazy… but you know what???? If First Born can walk the path that life has carved out for him for the last 18 years and keep doing it with a smile on his face then I can walk a crappy 100km through the night over a 24 hour period of hideous uncomfortableness….. and I pledge to try to do it with a smile on my face too.

CLICK TO SPONSOR ME

If SENSE can offer the support and advice and help to all the deafblind people in the world that need it, and do it with a smile on their faces and with love, compassion and understanding in their heart… then I can do this too. Can you sponsor me to do this so we can keep this charity alive and keep a smile on my son’s face and the faces of many others like him? Click on the Virgin money giving logo to sponsor me.

Many Thanks for reading, for all of you who sponsor me and to my very dear friend for walking this walk with me! Hopefully we will still have legs at the end of it!!!!

Single Mother Stories

xxx

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in March 2012

 

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In My Life!!!!!


Sometimes there are things that I just don’t understand….. like where these children keep appearing from for instance….. However, they are here and they call me “Mom” so I guess I have to feed them or something.

IN MY LIFE IN MY LIFE IN LIFE

Today however, Toddler Child was dancing around in the kitchen in hardly any clothes….. this is normal. Nudity is her preffered option so the fact that she was wearing something…. Well that was good for me. She likes accessorising and she’s pretty funky and it sems to come naturally to her. Todays accessories of choice were a colourful scarf that Middle Child left on the floor in the hallway and a hat. Not any old hat…. Nooooo! My girl has some serious style. She must have watched too many episodes of Project Runway or something. This hat my friends was in fat the silicone mould for a giant cup cake. A bright red one.

Added to this… Toddler Child can groove! She sure loves dancing and she was dancing up a storm in the kitchen with her accessories and jumping around and OMG! She was shouting and spinning and shouting louder….

“In My Life! In My Life! In My Life!”

I was washing the dishes and chuckling to myself. The stuff these kids come out with. It’s so funny! Where on earth would she learn a phrase like that? In my life? I couldn’t figure it out. “Into Bed!?” “Over my dead body!?” “Are you nuts?!” Those were all phrases I thought she would have heard from me perhaps. But this one? I couldn’t think where.

All of the sudden I realised it was that time of day. School run time! OMG! And of course as usual, Toddler Child is naked, Middle Chid will go mad, we’ll be late again and she’s bringing friends home. I threw a coat on the kid and a pair of trousers and made a dash for the car. I knew I could get there on time if Toddler would just get in the car seat without a fight today.

Phew…. All was going well…..till I encountered the WHALE! Yes.,…. You heard me!!! The whale!!! In the middle of the street. Middle Child was never going to believe this bloody excuse. I took a shortcut up a one way street. Only room for one line of cars. Two cars ahead of me a taxi stopped. Flipping great! They’re gonna have to pay their fare and everything. This is gong to set me back two minutes and I will hear about it from Middle for ten! This was no good! Holy Crapolas. If only it was the fare and the fare alone though!!!!!!!!!!!! What was taking this person so long to get out. I looked through the windscreens of the car ahead of me so I could see what was happening. In retrospect I should have videoed this because you are NEVER going to believe what I am about to tell you.

The cab driver seems to be getting out. FRICK! This person must have luggage or something…. No, no, no… he’s going past the back of the car onto the other passenger side….. Oh! He’s one of those wannabe limo drivers, he’s going to open the door for his passenger!….. But the door’s open now…. What’s he doing? His arms are reaching in…. he seems to be pulling…. No….. it looks like he’s getting pulled in. Why the hell is the windscreen of the car in front of me so dirty. I can’t quite make out what is going on. The people in the car in front seem to be almost getting out of their car though.

Holy Sleeping Moses…… I understand now….. He’s trying to PULL the passenger out. A man comes out of the receiving house and helps. There’s two of them pulling now and almost this cartoon like effect of a giant balloon coming out of the car door as they manage to exhume an incredibly morbidly obese woman out of the car. This is not just an overweight lady but I’m telling you. It’s like the kind of overweight you see on documentaries. Now I feel really bad for being impatient. She must have health issues and I am complaining about being stuck here for ten minutes.

I’m now like fifteen minutes late when they manage to get her on her feet but just grateful that I can get on with my journey when…. OOOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The taxi driver is helping her shuffle to the sidewalk and she literally keels over, knocks him flat and is lying on him.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BLOODY ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s it! I’m dead now! I’m never gonna move from here! I start shouting at myself and hear myself say…

“Oh God! Only IN MY LIFE

And it hits me…… that’s what Toddler Child was dancing and singing about! “IN MY LIFE! IN MY LIFE!” And to wrap up the story; yes, Middle Child was pissed but when I told them what happened and the rest of the story they almost wet themselves laughing. It turns out that the lady was not just hideously overweight but had been on a drinking binge and was so drunk she couldn’t stand. We all had to get out of our cars and save the cab driver. She was pretty heavy to roll. There were six of us and I tell you, I sure broke into a sweat. We just about managed to roll her over onto the pavement so we could clear the road and get moving. But here you have it??? In my life???!!! I mean…. Who can say they spent the afternoon rolling a fat lady out of the road and that was their excuse for being half an hour late for a pick up???

And I even taught the kids a lesson today…. They are allowed to either be overweight OR get drunk….. never both!

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in January 2012

 

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Dear Santa….. scratch the ciggies…..


bristolstopsmoking.nhs.uk

Remeber I put ciggies on my Christmas list….

well forget it. I’ve quit.

Yep….. me….. I quit…… I know you’ve heard this a million times before, but seriously….. I am NOT a smoker. In fact I never was…. I think I was just having a little rebellious streak and experimenting. It wasn’t for me. I’m over it now. I don’t need the magic stop smoking pills either.

I have tried every method of quitting smoking in the past. I did the patches, the inhalators, the e-Cigarettes, I even tried hypnotherapy. I don’t actually find quitting smoking hard. It’s staying quit that’s hard. The first 3 days are tough, then I break at the 6 week or 3 month mark. The smallest, stupidest thing can make me feel a bit stressed and one little puff turns into a whole ciggie, then the next day I convince myself it’s just one to relax, then it’s a couple and then it’s “Well, I can’t waste the pack now so I may as well smoke them”, and the next thing I know I am smoking again.

dent.osu.edu

At one point I even had a “Stop Smoking Counsellor”. They were funny. I had to go and meet with them once a week and “talk through” my smoking issues. In fact the first time I went to meet this person, my Oldest Bestie (long time childhood friend not oldest as in age) was with me. She came in and I had to use all my powers not to burst out laughing in this person’s face….. Bestie was sat behind her in the room sniggering and all I wanted to do was keel over and bust out laughing too. You might be wondering what could be so funny but here’s the deal;

guardian.co.uk

Firstly, my “Stop Smoking Counsellor” turns up 20 minutes late at our agreed meet spot. For some reason we had to meet in a really seedy part of town. Hence why Bestie came along. So we’re standing there outside said meeting building and we’re smoking…. after all…. it’s going to be my last right? There’s this hideous rumbling noise coming from down the hill and I could not tell if it was a man or a woman, but someone was flying up the hill on a HUGE Harley Davidson motorbike with tassels flying off their jacket behind them. No… it can’t be…. surely not…… “Hi there….. you here for the smoking clinic?” this voice says to me as they pull up by my feet. Notice I haven’t genderised this person yet….. I still wasn’t sure if this was a man or a woman. The voice and body frame and clothing gave NOTHING away. The facial hair was also quite ominous. A hand reached out to me and the voice said, “I’m Maureen, do come in”. Ok, so it was a woman. a scary looking, 25st worth of woman. YES 25st, you heard me right…. that’s 350lbs…. 159 KILOS!!!! Great…. if she can’t whip me into not smoking, no one can.

smokerelief.co.uk

Maureen (who’s name I have changed) went through all the reasons why I smoke with me and applauded me for being very self aware. Surely most people know why they smoke? Well at the end of the day, these were my top reasons.

  1. I enjoy it
  2. It signifies a little break from reality
  3. I enjoy it

Anyways….. back to Bestie sitting in the background sniggering. Maureen, all 30st of her (notice her weight went up… it was all I could think about sitting there looking at her and her facial hair…. gosh she had alot of thick hairs sticking out of her chin and upper lip), was giving me ideas for things I could do when I wanted to have a cigarette. Now having determined that I mainly smoke to escape from stresses of single parenting…. i.e. you walk in the living room to find that the walls have been drawn on, the sofa is covered in food and there;s chocolate milk spilt over the beige carpet and you run away to have a ciggie rather than kill someone or at the very least scream till you’re blue in the face and the kids are frightened beyond their wits ends….. Maureen gives me these tips….

  1. tvtropes.org

    Have a shower every time I feel like that (was this woman crazy? I can hardly have a shower uninterrupted as it is or for more than 30 seconds….. where the hell was I going to find the time to shower 20 times a day) *SCRATCH*

  2. Keep a box of chocolates on hand and have one every time I feel like having a ciggie. Maureen divulged that she used to smoke and this strategy worked for her. (This is where I nearly burst out laughing. Bestie was sitting behind her in direct eye contact with me sniggering. WTH was wrong with this woman? She wants me to quit smoking but substitute for chocolate so I can balloon to what I now thought was more like 32st, grow some facial hair and a deep voice and what??? I was going to be healthier? Hell no Lady Friend….. How in God’s name did this woman think that being MORBIDLY obese was healthier than being a smoker. Surely they are on par…. they both lead to death. So sorry Maureen…… *SCRATCH*

Maureen packed me off with a load of nicotine replacement patches and other paraphernalia and I had to go see her every week to collect more of it as well as talk through how my non smoking was going. This was quite succesful for a few months, mainly because I was so intrigued with how this woman kept trying to shove chocolate down me and I was determined to show her that you didn’t need chocolate or to put on loads of weight….. maybe Maureen was right though….. I lasted about 3 months and then I stopped going and blocked her calls. Jeeze… she was persistent. She just kept calling and calling and kept trying to make me come back. Trouble was though….. I enjoy smoking.

Don’t get me wrong. I know all the reasons why I shouldn’t smoke…..

  1. bestcigsonline.blogspot.com

    I want to live and be healthy.

  2. I want to smell nice.
  3. I want to save money.
  4. Ironically, I know that smoking though used to decrease stress actually makes me more stressed cause I am always trying to figure out how and when I can go have that ciggie break.
  5. I don’t want my kids to smoke.
  6. I have way more time and am more productive when not always rewarding myself with stupid ciggie breaks.

Anyways, I have stopped smoking now and want to apologise to Santa.

SANTA….. I’m sorry…. I BELEIVE!!!!

You do make dreams come true! But did it have to be like this?

Be careful what you wish for cause I sure got my wish. Of all the ways I have ever tried to stop smoking, this was the easiest and most effective, so I will share my secret with you. For FREE. Forget all these programmes where they charge you $39.99 a month for ten million months or your money back…. guaranteed…. this one is sure to work….

You may have noticed you didn’t hear from me in a while right? Last time was my Christmas list where I asked for ciggies or a magic pill to make me stop smoking. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want the ciggies really, I wanted to quit. I’ve been trying rather unsuccessfully for quite sometime. Here’s the deal though……

Now if you remember correctly, I also had on my list some sore throat spray. I’d had a headache a few days before. But one of the rules of being a single parent is that you’re not allowed to fall ill…. so I ignored it. But that sore throat…. that was hard to ignore. It was like I had razor blades in my throat for a few days. Instinct must have kicked in because I went to the grocery a couple of days early and stocked up on ready meals and soups and stuff that was easy to prepare. I did what I refer to as a “lazy shop”. Literally the next morning, I was flat out in bed with full blown flu. That darn sore throat turned into aches, pains, sweats, some serious inability to even get myself out of bed and into a shower or to the toilet to relieve myself and if that wasn’t bad enough. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t keep my eyes open for very long, I may as well have been in a coma. I was useless…… except that…… yep….. I managed to have a ciggie.

zedge.net

Can you imagine? How desperate is that? I was sooooooo ill and could not perform the most basic of functions, I had a cough from hell and was practically coughing out little parts of lung tissue, my sinuses were infected and burning and I certainly had a respiratory tract infection…… but I was managing to drag myself out for a cigarette every now and again. Of course I was also fooling myself into thinking that it was making me feel better! Told myself they were clearing my airways and giving me enough energy to cook some food for the kids. Yeah right…. but you know what….. The darn things…. THEY RAN OUT!

Of course I could not send the children to get me a pack now could I? And seriously. I was that ill. I couldn’t dress myself or even walk the 300 yards to the store to buy a pack. So I went without. I had no choice…. and trust me…. on top of flu, coughing, spluttering, worrying about whether the kids have managed to feed themselves and dismissed teeth brushing as being completely inconsequential at a time like this, the last thing I needed was withdrawal symptoms. Maybe it was a blessing though. I was too ill to care or to notice the difference between the withdrawal symptoms and what I was now considering to be a case of fatal Bird Flu. Never in my life have I felt so ill.

So here I am… over a week later and I have managed to get out of bed for a few hours. I have not managed to leave the house yet, except for a doctor’s appointment earlier today. He was listening to my chest and asked “Do you still smoke?”…. “Hell no!” I responded instantly…. This man. He knows me well. He turned and looked at me through slitty eyes and said quietly “So when exactly did you stop?”….. I turned and looked at the eye chart, pretending to test my vision and muttered as quietly as I could, “Oh, I dunno, sometime last week when I ran out but I was too sick to go get anymore…. I think I may need an eye test by the way. Can we organise one of those?”

He offered me some patches to keep it up. I didn’t see the point though of putting nicotine back into my system. It’s been over a week as it is. Added to this….. my brush with death, and I still feel like I am dying…. the last thing I want is to feel like this again. THIS must be what LUNG CANCER feels like and I NEVER want to feel like this again.

wellnessofhealth.com

So….. the moral of the story is, I have tried every method possible of quitting smoking. Patches, inhalators, tablet type things, cold turkey and I know all the reasons WHY I smoke and why I SHOULDN’T. But this time…. mark my word…. this time, this is for good. So if you want to quit smoking too. Forget Allen Carr, forget hypnotherapy, nicotine replacement, counselling etc…… go get yourself a bout of flu. Preferably Swine Flu…. one that really knocks you out. Failing that, you could ask your GP to have you admitted into hospital and put you in a coma for a couple of weeks.

P.S. I am eating stacks of chocolate. However, the advantage of using my method of quitting smoking is that you get so ill, you’ve lost so much weight, you actually NEED the chocolate!

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Dec 2011, Quitting, Smoking

 

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Dear Santa….. it’s me….. I’ve been good!


Oh how I wish Santa really did exist. But never mind. I’m a grown up now… I can deal with it, really, I can! Anyways…. The point of my story…. we all know Santa DOES NOT exist but we like getting lots of presents still. I don’t know about you, but there’s still a rather large child inside of me who loves waking up and unwrapping lots of presents. Thing is though, the world seems to be in an even bigger economic crisis than last year. So this year I thought I would be helpful. I know my family will be out buying me all sorts of presents and I don’t want them to waste their precious money.

SO I SENT THEM ALL AN EMAIL!

“Here’s a little listy of things I would like for Christmas….

A NICE shower cap…… for my new shower experience!

A set of NICE glasses for drinking in ( I am down to about 2 glass ones…. everything else is plastic and don’t ask me why, but thanks to people coming here with wine AND GLASSES… I have plenty wine glasses but NO WINE!!!!!)

Alcohol in the form of rum, cheap box wine (pink) or knock off Baileys is always welcome.

A manicure and a baby sitter while I go have one.

A house in the med – a warm part, preferably English speaking as I am too old to learn a new language.

Monogrammed towels and bathrobe for my pool by my house in the med.

Sore throat spray (just cause I have a really really sore throat like RIGHT NOW and it’s hurting like mad)

A really nice ceramic plant pot as I currently have one of my plants in nasty brown plastic containers sitting in a tupperware bowl ON DISPLAY IN MY LIVING ROOM!

Art for my wall (it’s my new thing) or frames (since I finally got a battery for my camera and plan on taking photos again)

I’d like my Kitchen Aid mixer to be fixed so I can keep supplying the family with breads and cakes and I hate kneading dough or whipping by hand

“Raising your Spirited Child” the WORKBOOK by Mary S. Kurcinka – I’d like the book too but I can maybe borrow that in the library

Some muscle men to wrestle cash out of those who owe it to me so I can get the noose of debt off from round my neck and live without fear of bailiffs.

A Lifetime supply of ciggies or a magic pill to take ciggie cravings away forever

Vouchers for electricity company so I can have some heating on! (I think I have finally succumbed to winter today… it’s cold today eh?)

I think that’s it. Of course frivolous items are always welcomed as well or in favour of…… but in light of current economic climate….. If you’re really stuck for ideas that would be of some use to me…… knock yourselves out…..

I DO NOT NEED CLOTHES, SHOES, UNDERWEAR OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT I WEAR ON MY PERSON…… UNLESS OF COURSE YOU WERE PLANNING ON BUYING ME A TWIN SET OF PEARLS, AN ETERNITY PLATINUM DIAMOND RING OR 1CT DIAMOND EAR RINGS.

Love you all!!!”

My sister called to tell me she got my list. She laughed….. I know it must be because she wants me to think I am getting nothing so I will still be surprised. I spoke with my mother and my father on separate occasions today. I KNOW they read their emails because they sent me emails about other things…. So I guess they must have bought me stuff already and are really disappointed that they didn’t get my recommendations in time. My son however…. I think he’s getting me the house in the Med! He sent me this reply…..

“Hi,

I would to like to say that i loved your writing style.. its so mad! and funny too…
Plus i wont give you the Lifetime supply of ciggies or a magic pill to take ciggie cravings away forever…it would cost me  LOTS
 And what the hell is a house in the med? 

From your silly son “

I can’t wait for Christmas…. of course I sent him a response immediately with a picture of just what I’m looking for! Hope someone gets me the wine to sit by the pool with!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Christmas

 

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