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. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pocket Paranoia

Is it just me, or are there other women out there who feel badly served by a lack of pockets? Call me paranoid, but I feel it's another subtle and unconscious conspiracy. 

Basically, I want to have my mobile phone on hand or 'on hip' all the time, especially in case the school phones to say one of my kids is suddenly ill and in need of rescuing (visions of a pale child sitting, crying, holding a bucket in a lonely corridor.)

I want to have my phone about me for other obvious reasons, but that's generally top of the list. The only real way to feel / hear my phone - is to wear jeans. Every day. Jeans were designed for cowboys - of course they are damned useful, but if I want to wear a skirt or a shirt, or a dress or just something other than jeans, it's a perpetual challenge to get a snug pocket for a phone.

It makes me mad. Men have suit jackets, shirts and trousers over-flowing with 'inside' pockets and ample deep pockets and pockets with button-down flaps on top. 

Women have flimsy, too-shallow, ornamental pockets. Or even worse: 'trick' pockets - things that look like pockets but are surface only - zips that unzip to nothing. Marks and Spencer, this season you are guilty.

Are we supposed to carry handbags everywhere? Are we not important enough for ample pocketing? Get it together designers. Get me some stylish, decent pockets. Let me feel you understand me. Just don't phone me if I'm in a dress. I'll miss the call.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

These Small Windows

Right now, for all of ten minutes, the wipe-clean kitchen tablecloth is wiped-clean; the bathroom is washed (though not the floor, tsk) and there are enough apples, bread and milk in the house.

I have a tiny window to say hello before running off to the school to get Tess. I know it sounds like I am not really telling you anything here - but, I guess other parents know what I mean about these rare little windows, floating up like bubbles. They are to be gently savoured, even if it is just to look out the real window on to the garden and think, ten minutes to play with. What will I do?

Oops, time to go now. More soon I hope.