Sunday, November 08, 2015

What you see, what you don't see.

I saw that I was buying a pack of 3 Microfibre cloths for multi-purpose domestic use. I did not see that Monkey would rush to claim then as new 'beach towels.'

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Secret Boyfriend

Breakfast chat this Halloween morning.

Tess: Mum, do you have a secret boyfriend? 

I think I do. He presents the weather and he is gay. Why let that get in the way? It's the twinkle in his eyes when he talks about warm fronts and blocking highs. Gotta love Tomasz Shafenaker. Well, I do anyway.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A relative paradise

We were at a memorial service this week for Carey Lander from Camera Obscura and it was sad and moving in equal measure. There really was so much love for her. Her fundraising for Sarcoma UK was brave and amazing too.

I'm only having time to blog to you, this slow Saturday, as my wee girl, Tess, is lying on the sofa with an acute tummy bug. When your child is ill, you feel as if everything is suspended and very little else can be 'got on' with. It's like a vigil, half boring, half reverent. 

I met a friend recently and she was commenting on how she was irked at having to change energy suppliers and she said, 'I shouldn't moan because, of course we live in a relative paradise...' and I know exactly what she means. Life is full of the best of times and the worst of times - sometimes anyway. The sheer spectrum and scale of it all - the very randomness - never ceases to amaze.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A lovely over-bite

Ah, it's the weekend and Tess is starting to improve, on anti-biotics this time. Phew. 

I can blog about more trivial matters, like the funny compliments I got from two older women in the doctor's waiting room.

They were a mother and daughter, maybe 75 and 45, brightly dressed in 'good coats', handbags, well made-up etc. The mother had reached that giddy freedom of just saying what she thought with a twinkle in her eye.

She told me I had a great figure, (we hate you, so we do, she said) and asked me if I was an actress. No, you're a teacher? Are you a teacher? Like kids, they were excited just guessingI said it was funny, but I always wanted to be a teacher and might still apply, but for the past five years I had been a full time mum.

They nodded and cooed in glowing approval. You never get that. Then the older woman added, and you've got a lovely over-bite too, tracing her hand round her lips, to illustrate further.

Hey, at this age, slowly going grey, I'll take any compliments I can get. I've waited 47 years to get one on an over-bite. 

Is it just Glasgow or do people chat like this everywhere?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Every Breath You Take

Readers and friends, I'm in a tail-spin, trying to adjust to the recent acceleration in asthma that our wee girl, Tess, is facing.

She's five now and  she had her first diagnosis of  'possible asthma' aged three. It had always been mild and infrequent until the last six weeks or so, when  it just feels like we're fighting ever bigger waves in the ocean.

She's had three flare-ups: one requiring oxygen masks and hospital. The other two, I was more attuned to, so we caught them earlier with oral steroids from the GP, although they still were (and are) very hard for her; and not easy for me to watch. All the episodes seem to be viral-ly triggered by a cold.

I have no experience of asthma myself. Daily now, I am walking or cycling and just marveling at the miracle efficiency of my own lungs - for the first time in my life. It's something we easy-breathers take for granted. Now I can see how achingly challenging it must be when something as fundamental as breathing is not 'a given'. Poor Tess currently has the hacking / heaving cough at the slightest walk in the street.

So we have seen a consultant and my dear GP friend is very supportive, but this week just feels like fire fighting; throwing buckets of water at a burning building, thinking What? How the hell did this happen?

I'm searching the net for info. Lots of it is conflicting. Lots of it is scary and I try not to click on those links. One asthma nurse urged me to get rid of her bedroom carpet and all of her cuddly toys.

Another doctor friend said dust allergy isn't 'dose-dependent' and because you'd never get rid of it all, don't wear yourself out being over zealous.  At least one website claims evidence on dust reduction isn't conclusive.

Almost everyone I talk to knows someone with asthma - themselves or their brother, sister, child etc. Honestly world, what are you doing to us all?

In my rash moments I want to move to the country and keep as far away from our crazy car culture as I can. I know it's not realistic for us as a family, although I pine for a sunny Mediterranean break or 3 months in the pure sea air of the Hebrides next summer.

In the meantime it's a day-by-day thing. I have to get to bed early, knowing I could be woken through the night by the heart-sink cough.

Wish us luck. She's on day 3 of big steroids tomorrow, although the doc said she may need 5 days. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It wouldn't take much

Isn't it weird how being under-slept suffuses the next day with a general melancholy? I think I only clocked 3 hours last night, lying awake, hearing Tess cough and ruminating on her recent asthma diagnosis. Then today, even the sight of beautiful autumn trees provokes that I'm-not-crying-but-it-wouldn't-take-much feeling.

I remind myself to count my blessings. Our friend Carey from the band Camera Obscura is very ill and is raising money for the terrible cancer she has had to endure. It seems so unfair.