The Montgomery Quarantine

Sep 26 2009

A virus can come in many forms and with Camille's lack of immunity we have to be extra vigilant. It came as a major surprise that it was my laptop that became infected.....

A virus can come in many forms, and with Camille’s lack of immunity we have to be extra vigilant. It came as a major surprise that it was my laptop that became infected, and as you may have noticed; my ability to log on and write my blog has been limited. All being well, I’ll be back in full control and able to get back to updating the page twice a week, in the next few days.
Last week when I last updated the blog, I was sitting in hospital with Camille while Lucia was having her birthday party. It worked out pretty well in the end, with Hayley being able to get out of the hospital for a few hours. It probably did her the world of good to get away as it has been a twenty-four, seven responsibility for Hayley, constantly looking for minute changes in Camille’s mannerisms and appearance.

Sunday was a much better day, and it was clear, even before the CT scan, that the second revision of the shunt performed this time by Mr Garnett on the Saturday had been a success. Camille was far brighter than she had been for days, and her eye was showing signs of reopening to its full size. We had asked that the Chemotherapy that was due on Tuesday could be brought forward a day in the assumption that we would be let home after rounds on Monday.

Monday morning, and the full set of paediatric consultants performed the rounds as per normal at the beginning of the week. One quick look from Amos was enough for him to detect a slight issue with her eye, probably caused by the build up of pressure from the blocked shunt, but enough for him to request a further night in hospital. Camille had her chemotherapy regardless and continued to show improvements.

I had to attend a meeting near Windsor on Tuesday morning and had notified Hayley and the hospital that it would be nearer 14:00pm before I would be able to make it to Addenbrookes. An hour into my meeting I noticed my phone displaying a call from Hayley; quickly I excused myself and ran outside to see what was up. One of the nurses was putting some pressure on Hayley to free up the bed, and with Camille still very in need of a bed she was unable to move. I managed to tie up the meeting within the hour and put my foot down to get to the hospital around 13.30pm. When I began to help Hayley get our stuff together, I noticed the nurse blatantly staring at us from the station. Strange behaviour, especially as the bed next to Camille’s was free.

We’ve now been home for a few days and Camille has had her moments when she has been incredibly grumpy but also on the flip side, bright and chirpy. It’s been nice to be home for a few days, however, the toll of my job is starting to show. Under normal circumstances, any long drive to get to a meeting would be accompanied with a stay overnight in a cut price hotel. This week I was booked to be in Cheshire on Thursday afternoon and Manchester on Friday morning, probably less than thirty minutes apart. I ignored this issue and travelled there and back on both days, leaving me knackered and Hayley tired from having the girls for two days.
I did manage to put Camille to bed last night, and her current thing is to demand a continous version of Abba’s Mama Mia while you lay alongside her. I did as she requested, and as I repeated the chorus (because that’s all I really know) she turned so that she was nose to nose with me. There are moments when things really hit you, and looking into her eyes, made me feel lucky to have her, scared for what might happen but reassured that she will always be my little girl.

Hayley, Camille and Lucia had a dip in the tub together tonight and I had the job of taking off Camille’s steri-strips covering her stitches from the weekend. As I began to bathe and peel away the strips, Lucia began to freak out. I had to get her out of the bath so she could hide while I continued to carefully pull away the strips from the tender skin. Once off, the sight was yet another bolt of realism, about what she is going through. The scar is long and the stitches are striking, and as Camille sat on my lap and I surveyed the scar, she giggled at the Mika song “Big Girls You Are Beautiful”, and Lucia covered herself completely in a towel.

The Camille’s Appeal charity is now beginning the process of building funds with a couple of events taking place this weekend. Two friends, Derek Daly and Ruth Barber have attempted the Suffolk Open Water Swim at Alton Water; Derek weighing in with a fantastic sponsorship figure, and over on the other side of the country, Guy Mitson just completed a three day trek cycling from Bristol to London, sleeping in his hammock! The chaffing will die down after a week or two. Thanks Guy(s).