Monthly Archives: November 2005

Alton Towers

Up.. down… up… down… who’s for a ride on the roller coaster?

Sinusitis is back with a vengeance so I’m back on the antibiotics and waiting for the rhinos to depart from my skull. Honestly, guys, there isn’t really room for the twenty of you to hold a party in there, really there isn’t. And the dancing is a bit heavy-footed, if I may say so. Still, I had a couple of days peace and quiet in between, apart from the frog which has taken up residence in my throat.

Dad’s coming home on Tuesday. It will be strange not to go venturing off to Shankling most afternoons (and not having a good excuse to eat out far more often than is really economical), and strange to be back into the old routine of getting up at the crack of dawn and sleeping with the telephone by my side. It’s been a real rollercoaster ride emotionally, seeing him so ill, and then getting better, but then realising that he’s not going to get back to his pre-op level of fitness and mobility, probably ever. So far he’s handling that thought fairly philosophically, but I’d guess that once he’s home and the constant stream of cards and visitors dwindles and there aren’t the nurses fussing around him all day, the depression at finding himself less mobile instead of stronger may begin to sink in. Shame it’s the dark and wintery days setting in. But on the plus side, he’s agreed to have someone come in once a week to help him shower (I’ll do the other bathroom duties) and to have some of his meals delivered from Wiltshire Farm Foods (highly recommended by our friends.. I’m looking forward to trying some of their rather tempting looking puddings!). Having spent an evening mourning the fact that he’d be housebound, unable to leave the bungalow because of the steps, we’re now delighted to report that they’ve got him practising on a little flight of stairs in the home using a pair of crutches! Hooray!!!!

Returning to school was interesting – One good thing about being off sick is that it reinforces to senior management how difficult my classes are to teach and how the air of calm and hard working atmosphere in my classroom is actually down to a lot of hard work by yours truly (and my able assistants M and S and D). Needless to say, my little groups were in turmoil. I think the best moment of my return was hearing one lad, who’s a real trouble-maker and makes my life hell most of the time, greet me with a smile and whisper under his breath “Yes, Miss W’s back!!!”. But the best news of all is that the little group I was teaching last year and had to hand on to another teacher while I worked as a support teacher in another teacher’s lessons (which I must admit I am really not enjoying, and they can tell!) is going to be returned to my tender mercies as of Monday. It means more preparation, teaching, marking, reports to write but I’m delighted. I even did a “happy teacher dance”. Wonder if the kids will feel the same way when they find out!

Well, I never…

I know I was thinking of getting my blog a bit more up to date, but getting up an hour early in order to do it is a bit extreme. I woke in a panic, knowing full well what I’d done – when my alarm had gone off I’d turned it off instead of pressing SNOOZE and gone straight back to sleep. And here it was, half past already, and all the household still asleep on the morning I was due back at school at long last. Action stations – up and fed and washed and dressed and marshalled in a line ready to file out to the car. Smudgelet had left his reading bag next door and dashed over to collect it, only to waken a sleepy Auntie M who pointed out that it was only 6.40 a.m. My alarm had not gone off unnoticed at all…. it had not gone off ….because it was not yet time for it to go off – I was an hour early. But there you go, had I not made that mistake the Smudgelets would not now be tidying their room and I would not be doing my bleary-eyed blogging.

Life here is ticking along in its new routine. It’s been lovely having my sister to stay for ten days – I’m dreading her going on Sunday as life will suddenly seem very lonely here. My other sister J joined us for the weekend, which was riotous fun as it’s a rare thing for the three of us to get together, unimpeded by husbands or fathers (the poor sons felt very surplus to requirements!) I think the best time was sitting together round a game of Cranium Cadoo – a children’s game but much more fun for adults and highly highly recommended. It includes all sorts of rounds, things like pictionary and charades and “find it” challenges. You should have seen M racing round Dad’s bungalow against the clock, frantically searching for “something that will stick on your forehead if you press it on”… and ending up with some Super Wernetts denture fixative pads.

Dad seemed to turn the corner yesterday and at last was looking far better. We’d been extremely worried about him. It had been an ordeal for him moving from the hospital to the nursing home – he was in such intense pain and so distressed that the ambulance nearly turned round and took him back. We were just relieved to get him out of the hospital where the care had scarcely merited the name. The nursing home was such a contrast. I cannot sing their praises enough. A place where people are treated with dignity and a smile, where nursing is attentive and nothing is allowed to be neglected however small. They even employ someone to “have time” and just sit and drink coffee with the patients and chat (hmm.. I could do that job!), just in case they feel the nurses are too busy – though they seldom are. A light airy bedroom with en-suite and its own patio door out into the garden – honestly, it was so lovely that when the matron showed me round before Dad arrived there I burst into tears. In fact, she must have thought we were a right lot because we spent most of the rest of the day in tears of happiness. I can imaging Dad’s fortnight there ending with him not wanting to come home!

He has been really poorly and on Monday was considerably depressed too. He managed to walk to his door and back, with help, but struggled to do it and was beginning to feel he would never get better. A man who’s never taken tablets very happily is having to come to terms with a life of pain killers and laxatives as a fact of life and it’s taking some readjustment. But yesterday we were delighted when, to our surprise, the nurse arrived and said, quite matter of fact, that she’d laid a place for his dinner in the dining room with two of the other residents and she was going to walk him there. He had his doubts – wasn’t sure he could make it – but she was undaunted and soon had him on his feet and zimmering along to the table. He thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed sitting in the lounge for most of the afternoon, in stark contrast to the poor old man we’d visited the previous day. Talk about roller coaster emotions.

Me? I’m much better thank you very much… and if I never have acute sinusitis again it’ll be too soon. Smudgelet’s ears are better too, so far so good. Oh, and Tiddles got a commendation for his homework 😀

What on earth am I doing here at this time of night?

Have you seen the time? I mean, have you? This is a ridiculous time of night to be sitting at the computer blogging. No, I haven’t been up all night, just the last hour of it. Well, I was lying there, not really very asleep (a natural reaction to having your sleep patterns disturbed by two days in bed feeling like death warmed up) and decided I might as well get up and do Tiddles’ homework.

Yes yes, I know. I am determined not to turn into one of those mothers who does his homework for him. He’d done most of it, anyway, it just needed tidying up and some photos attaching and printing out if it was to be in on time tomorrow (a day late, actually) and he’s worked so hard on it that I’d hate it to be marked down for being in late. And he really doesn’t need a detention after two days of wearing his Florence Nightingale apron. Mind you, I’d guess Florence Nightingale didn’t need quite so much step-by-step supervision – you certainly can’t just ask Tiddles to do something, you have to talk him through it. Put the glass under the cold water tap. Turn the tap on. Let the water run until the glass is nearly full. Turn the tap off. Bring the glass of water to me. Put it down carefully on the table, holding the glass upright as you do it” 🙂

Me? I have had a miracle cure. After two days totally prone and unable even to lift my head or even keep down the water and painkillers I was trying to take, 12 hours of antibiotics and I’m an all-singing, all dancing mummy again, complete with minor headache, slightly sore throat, irritating cough and… yes… the side effects of antibiotics, especially combined with your first solid food … need I say more? I just hope Smudgelet doesn’t have the same reaction to his antibiotics – he’s off school with a chest infection and ear infection – or there could be some rather urgent battling going on when we’re both up and about tomorrow.

My sister is here at last – hooray! – although yesterday she was too tired from her journey and too keen to avoid catching the cough for us to spend much time together. She’s visited Dad, though, who seems to be gaining a bit more mobility, although still in quite a bit of pain. On Friday he’s being moved to a convalescent home for a couple of weeks where they’re going to help him master all the things that will make him at least as independant as he was before the operation. I think he’s quite looking forward to it. I hope I’m well enough to visit him before he moves. My star of a friend, M, went to visit him in my absence and as well as taking the required clean towel and flannel, had the brainwave of taking him a sketchbook and pencils. Now why didn’t I think of that?