FISH! AHA! He Saved Everyone Of Us

Nov 7 2010

Hayley and I are pretty hopeless at waiting for most things and at the moment we have to fight all of our natural instincts to chase by sitting tight and waiting for the answer from the Proton Therapy panel to see where we go from here. Of course the week began with Camille and Hayley stuck in a hospital room, but how many weeks over the last eighteen months haven’t?

Camille’s impetigo was slowly going over the weekend and by Monday morning she was in pretty good shape even though she was showing the scars of the infection. I had a meeting in London but when I arrived home mid-afternoon I expected the girls to be home as it was after the standard 48 hours of antibiotics. Hayley phoned soon after to say that she had been waiting for three hours to see the consultant at Ipswich who could send them on their way. As mentioned above, Hayley doesn’t except being palmed off easily and knowing that the consultant was just yards away in his office for that period of time was enough for the burning yearn to find him and drag him around to the ward was too much. It wasn’t long before the Hayley exploded like Vesuvius and marched around to where his office was to take the mountain to Mohammed. I think that he was slightly surprised by this forthcoming approach to parenting, but it is certainly a trait that works very well for our family, Hayley is a perfect foil to my meek and mild approach to…… well life. Needless to say, Hayley was home before long with Camille and a bottle of oral antibiotics to help clear the remaining infection.


After being off work for so long, the last two weeks have been absolutely manic and I am completely and utterly exhausted already. I think maybe it is a few things; firstly, the time at Alder Hey was something that could change your focus on any topic, but why would anyone want to burn themselves out after putting their three year old through those two operations. Secondly, I want to be with Camille, Lucia and Hayley, I don’t want to have to get home at 7.00pm or tip toe around the house so as not to wake anybody up in the morning, or like this week stay overnight in a budget hotel room that fits the budget that my company will meet (I’m not being a snob but I would much prefer a Premier Inn than the example I stayed in this week). It may get easier over the next few weeks, but with Protons hopefully around the corner it may be that I’m just fire-fighting constantly for months to come.


We did have a highlight to the week when we received a card from Westminster and our former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. It wasn’t based upon anything in particular, it was just a very sweet card to say that the Brown family were always thinking of Camille and just sending their best wishes. We were very touched by the sentiment and I really hope that life after Downing Street is treating Gordon, Sarah and the boys well.


Since we formed Camille’s Appeal we have had some great celebrity support and as we are now putting together our auction items for the Christmas Ball I am sniffing around the haunches of the celebrity world trying to find unique items for the event on 10th December. To be honest, we are doing well with some great auction lots coming together and simultaneously we are organising an iPod auction that has pulled together some of the top names in TV, cinema and music. My “celebrity stalker” label came to fruition on Friday night when I received a friend request on Facebook from the British Super Middleweight Champion, Paul Smith. Paul has got a big fight on 11th December to set himself up for a shot at the world title, but as well as being an expert in the art of pugilism, he is also an all round stand up guy and not only a patron of the Indee Rose Trust but has been open to help me sniff out an auction lot from one of his many contacts. If you do get the opportunity, watch and support Paul when he fights the Olympic Champion James Degale on 11th December.


Camille and Lucia have used this quiet week to become pet owners. As I arrived home on Tuesday night I was greeted with the sight of Peppa and George. Yes, the girls now have matching Goldfish. Who knew that Goldfish could require so much effort? The original tank/bowl required refilling everyday due to the murkiness of the water so we had to buy another one that was bigger and better than the last, with a filter, pump and scene from Dora the Explorer. I happily looked at the tank as the crystal clear water flowed around the tank, lapping the fins of the two Goldfish, but would you believe it, as we assessed the tank this morning the water began to look murky once more. The murk murkened yet further throughout the day to the point that I’m thinking we may need an even bigger tank and an industrial sized pump. Goldfish are a huge responsibility, they are not just for a gift; they are for life.


Camille’s eating has come on leaps and bounds over the last week. She has progressed from a half a bowl of Weetabix every other day to ten packs of giant buttons every day. The pure chocolate diet is some way off her five a day requirement but she is hammering home the calories at an amazing rate. It is a little frustrating in some ways as she is still not officially allowed to eat. Following an operation in this area of the brain, the consultants require the swallow reflex to be fully assessed before allowing the child to eat properly; this is because the food may not go down in the normal way and may “go down the wrong hole” into the lungs. It’s been two weeks since Hayley was told that we had to stop Camille from eating until she had this test; we haven’t heard any more about it even though Hayley has chased. I think we can assume that her swallow reflex is fine.


Next week may offer us more information on our bid for Proton Therapy as it will be ten working days from when Addenbrooke’s should have put through the application; but again the communication has been poor so we still don’t even know whether the application has been submitted. We are due to see Amos on Thursday when he visits Ipswich; let’s hope we have some good positive news.