Early Bird Catches the Worm

Feb 28 2010


The week began with the thunderous footsteps of our eldest daughter crossing the landing into our bedroom, followed swiftly by the chirpy calls from our youngest daughter of “Daaaddddddyyyyyy”.

No chance of an extra thirty minutes in bed then? The normal routine was followed; go downstairs, get a flush for her NG tube as she was on a feed all night. Get dressed into something from the previous day as I will have to wait for my shower. Once I get Pinky and Perky downstairs, we have to give Camille her “Medibums”, Lucia her breakfast, unload the dishwasher, make a cup of coffee all before deciding whether I can sum up the energy to go through the daily fight of getting them dressed, washed and toothed, which I normally leave for Hayley. You may wonder where Hayley is during this whole period each morning. Well the answer is simple; she’d be tucked up in bed. Yes, Hayley struggles to raise her weary head from her memory foam pillow and to slink out from the nice thick, warm duvet. In all fairness, she doe shave to take sleeping tablets to even enable her to get off at night. However, she seems to forget that we were together for five years previously where she was always rubbish at getting out of bed in the morning. It’s my birthday in less than two months, if anyone wants to get me a gift, then a lay in would be perfect.

So, the week began in the normal fashion but when I opened up my laptop and logged into Outlook a little e-mail appeared from the ACCA. Back in December I had completed one of my exams right at the beginning of Camille’s six weeks in hospital. I felt OK about the exam and was overjoyed to see that I had nosed past the post to mark that one off my list. I now have four more exams to do before I am fully qualified (not that I even work in accountancy anymore). So to celebrate, I had a day dream about having a real dream at 8.00am whilst still tucked up in my warm bed, head glancing off the memory foam, dribble slowly caressing my cheek.

So my day now consists of, child based wake-up call each morning, work all day, enjoying dinner with the family, girls to bed at 7.00pm, an hour more work, an hour on the charity, an hour studying for my next paper and then a few minutes to read my book (currently reading about the Empire, and not in the Star Wars sense).

Whilst licking my thumb to turn a fresh page of my Financial Reporting text book I received a direct mail on my Facebook account from a friend Stef. I’d approached her a few weeks ago to ask her cousin’s boyfriend to attend one of our charity events. Stef was very pleased to tell me that Mark Selby the Masters Snooker champion would be happy to come and auction himself off for people to challenge him on the snooker table. Needless to say I jumped at the offer and we are now in the process of putting together a brilliant fundraiser for the appeal.

By the end of the week I was shattered, but the great news was that Camille had been in fantastic form all week and in the best form she’d been in for many months. Hayley had gone out for a meal with the girls and our girls were fast asleep in bed, so I furiously pulled the ring on an ice cold beer and flopped back into the sofa watching the Welsh get spanked at Rugby (try reading that sentence without visiting the gutter). All of a sudden the phone rang, and as I picked up the handset I remembered that my client in New Zealand was due to call. An hour later I finally managed to slurp the can of lager in pure relaxed peace.

On Saturday morning Camille was in a little bit of a funny mood, and Hayley noticed what I had, that her right eye was closed slightly more than the left. When this has happened before, it generally means that the shunt is blocked and each time this has happened we have ended up back at Addenbrooke’s with Camille in the Neuro theatres under the care of Mr Garnett. At lunch time she was really tired and went to bed for a couple of hours, yet another sign of a blocked shunt. It’s hard not to overreact and it took every sinew not to take her down to Ipswich. This feeling was compounded when at 5.00pm after just finishing her milkshake she vomited the whole lot up, covering the playroom floor, a pair of Hayley’s shoes and the cast of Timmy Time. Again, within minutes she was back asleep in bed. We decided that we would be calm and see how she was in the morning, and if we had the slightest fear that she had any of these symptoms again we would get her to Ipswich Hospital for a CT scan. Camille’s OK with CT scans as it’s quite quick; she also calls it “watching the Rabbit chase the Mouse” but I have no idea what that’s about.

I went to bed a reasonable time as kiddie o’clock comes around way too quickly for my liking, and Hayley followed a bit later on. However, before Hayley assumed her immovable position she managed to wake Camille up and engage in multiple conversations with her on topics like CT scans, Waybuloos and how cross Daddy looks. Camille spent the rest of the night in our bed, on my side.

Camille woke up after gentle encouragement from Lucia at a reasonable time and we carefully surveyed her eye and other signs. She seemed OK, but it was difficult to tell. Addenbrooke’s advised us to watch her carefully but not to bring her in at that time. The day got even more worrying when she spiked a temperature up towards 38.0c. She was teasing us all afternoon but as it stands, she is still at home, still in her bed, and not sick.

We were able to pop over to Shotley over the weekend to see the site of the great sponsored Bungee Jump extravaganza. The position of the site is on a peninsula directly in between the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe. It will be truly amazing standing on a crane overlooking the choppy waters of the opening to the North Sea, flanked either side by industrial cranes far larger than the one I will be jumping off. We still need many more people to do the jump for sponsorship, if we can get sixty people to participate then the amount of money that we could raise could be in a similar region to the Christmas Ball.

Tuesday is a chemotherapy day; will we make it to Tuesday before being admitted to hospital? Who knows?