Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a busy but brilliant Christmas we have had! Loved every minute- just posting quickly to check that I can from my iPad and then I'll be back later to round up the year..

I can blog from my IPad, whoop - that is going to be really handy.  It is such a fab gadget, I have been after one for a while and after reviewing my Company technology spend for the year I realised that I had some spare ££ to get one so on the 27th I did just that.  The kids love it too, I think there will be lots of competing for time with it in this house. 

Christmas started in an extremely festive fashion - my Brother in Law and husband cracked open the fizzy at 11am on the 23rd and the celebrations started!  We walked up to the Royal Oak for lunch and then it was back home for more drinks and playing with the kids before those guys headed back to my parents for the evening and it was an early night for all.  Christmas eve was magical, we walked up to the church for the crib service at 5pm, sang carols and heard the nativity story and then it was back home to receive a few guests for some drinks and nibbles.  At around 9.30 we ceremoniously scattered the reindeer food and all the kids left out the mince pies and sherry for Santa and signed their names in chalk on the stone hearth - so cute! 

Teya woke in a flurry of excitement at 5.40am on Christmas morning but as her brother was sharing her room I made her (much to her disgust) leave her stocking and come in to our bed until a sensible hour!  Waking up at 7.15 the fun and magic started when the kids crept downstairs, trying not to wake auntie Riggy and the Droos, to find that Santa had been!  It was a fantastic day, we were all so spoiled - parents and grandparents joined us at midday and the kids had been great and only opened 2 other gifts (aside from stockings) by then!  Lunch was great and the whole day was really fun and stress free, everyone had a lovely time and we rounded off the day with cheese and biscuits and a hilarious game of Articulate!  We were all so impressed with Andrea who held his own. 

Boxing day saw us all out walking, Zach falling in to a huge muddy puddles at the furthest point, more cooking - my cousin Matt and Uncle JC with Becky all arrived and it was off to the playpark then pub and then a big party on Boxing Day night at ours complete with my world famous Christmas Cosmos.  Ouch - much merriment was had but man we were all rather poorly when we woke up the next day!  Great fun though.  For the rest of the hols we managed to get in a few more pub lunches, trips to the soft play and even a trip to the Natural History Museum - going up on the train which was just brilliant.  On the evening of the 28th the boys all went over to Ram's for a boys curry night so Rigs and I got to have the house to ourselves, the fire on, PJ's on, big prawn curry and watched the Hangover which was just so so fun.  It was such a perfect time and the kids were all amazing despite some spats of over tiredness.  I loved having my Sister and her family to stay and felt quite bereft when they all left, my house was way too quiet..  I really didn't want it to end.  I have to say that my parents have been brilliant, such a big help and have worked so hard driving everyone around,helping with the kids, extra food and looking after the grannies, we all owe them so much but above all it was just so wonderful to spend lots of really good quality time all together.

Thankfully in all of the madness we got to visit Steve again, it was great to be able to take Rigs too and she was thrilled to see him, as he was to see us all.  He is feeling rather down right now, he is still coming to terms with all that has happened to him and is struggling with the grief and guilt.  It is easy for us to tell him not to feel that way but the poor guy has been through so much and I know that I am STILL finding it all so hard to get my head around, and I have known for 7 weeks about all that he has had to face.  It looks as though he will be in hospital for another 6 weeks, which must feel like a lifetime, but we will go and be there with him as often as we can to offer all the support and love he needs.

Lastly, as I said on my facebook status, as 2011 comes to an end I would like to wish you and your loved ones good luck, good health and good times for the year ahead.  Whatever challenges it brings, whatever difficulties you may face and whatever joy you may feel, enjoy and embrace every moment because life is precious.

We are off ice skating at Hampton Court Palace with our friends Saf and Ram and all of the kids now, so have a great evening and see you in 2012!! xx

Friday, December 23, 2011

OK i now have the guilt because it is over a week since I updated you all on Steve - but no fear, here I am - albeit a little lubricated - by the way is it wrong to like neat gin?  I am not sure that it is a tolerance for juniper moreover a step to alcoholism but still, that is where I am tonight.  We got our Christmas wish yesterday, we got to finally see Steve and talk to him YES HAVE A FULL CONVERSATION not just talk at him!! Was just brilliant and he was just like his old self, funny and stroppy and just ace to be with.  He was so angry at his state that the day before he had pulled out his cannula, his feeding tubes and his catheter and tried to stand... not a good plan.. he had fallen and cut his eye open - love him, he was so angry that his legs couldn't take him.. but happily when we saw him he had accepted his scaldings from everyone (staff and loved ones) and resigned himself to the fact that he had a lot of healing to do and that it would be a long process that that he really shouldn't fuck around with.  Poor guy though, it has taken him a long time to come round.  He still has the elastics holding his jaw together and is covered in amazing bandages/ braces/ iodine but you know what?  to us he looks better than he ever has - and that is because he is with us, laughing and grumbling and being HIM.  We all kissed him, read out the cards that all the lovely Friends have sent via us and I even fed him his coffee through a straw.  He is so overwhelmed with the love, it was really emotional for us all, and the happiness I felt seeing him awake and acting like Johnno - it was ace, a true Christmas wish.  God speed now, and I look forward to planning a second Xmas eve with him and the other Usual Suspects v soon.

Rigs and the Droo's have landed safely thank goodness!  We have had a brilliant day playing with the kids, going for a long(er than expected) walk and pub lunch and then Elf movie, fire, more fizz, hubs zzzz and lovely catch up.  Life may not always be amazing but if you live in the here and now you will find so much to be thankful for, I know I have today and will do for the rest of the holidays.  I have so much to be immensely grateful for.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Steve has been much the same as yesterday just being a bit more with it, and a bit more fidgety! He managed to pull his feeding tube out at one point!!! His ventilator tube has been taken off his throat and his neck brace removed. They put a half cast on his right arm and he managed to bend it straight away, so he now has a full cast.  He is going for x rays tomorrow to check on his new additions to his bones to make sure everything is fine. He is scheduled in for a skin graft for his left foot in the next couple of days. They were looking to move Steve back to Basingstoke today which seemed crazy, but due to the skin graft he will stay now at Southampton until that's done. The rubber bands in his mouth are likely to be there for approx 6 weeks which might frustrate him further.
Kev went up to see him as I had to work but he said that despite his immense tiredness (due to sleep deprivation from the sedatives) he is responding more, albeit quite incoherently and with difficulty due to the tracheotomy.  He did manage to give his mum a kiss and asked her to take him home :( she keeps having to remind him where he is as he is really disorientated, that may remain for some time yet.  One funny thing though, Kev said that all of the sisters on the ward were very good looking and at one point Steve opened his eyes, looked at his doctor and said, 'I love you!' before falling back to sleep again - love him!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am really happy to report some more good news in regard to Steve's progress. The facial surgery took place yesterday (after being postponed again due to an emergency taking precedence) and after 5 hours on theatre we found out that the surgery had gone well. Steve's face is still slightly puffy and his ventilator is out of his mouth - but is in his throat - but he now has carbonfibre cheekbones and a wired jaw... He has been taken off all sedatives and is now only reliant on morphine for the pain management and as a result is still drifting in and out of consciousness. They have also moved him on to the main ITU ward, which is more than twice the size of Basingstoke's, so out of his private room with a view but it is a hugely positive step. That was the last of the major planned operations and despite the fact that his temperature is still up they are not worried as they think it is as a result of surgery and his brother says he seems less agitated and happier now that the tubes have gone from his face. All good stuff! I didn't know that the average stay in ITU following a motorbike accident is 28 days.. Steve will beat that average but it looks as though things are looking really good now, so more relief all round. Can't wait to go and visit him again, might be back there on Friday, depending on Kev's work, and hopefully get to have a conversation with him.

Friday, December 09, 2011

He is awake! Just! Jay, Kev, Zach and I went down to Southampton today and after an agonising wait whilst the doctors completed their rounds we finally got to see him in his new pad (Jude has jetted off to NYC on her work jolly today the lucky duck, so we gave him an extra kiss from her!). The doctors warned us that it would be a good 24 hours yet before he was fully round, as there are so many drugs in his system. Still, when we went in to his room and told him that we were there (Jay and I went first whilst Kev looked after Zach in the waiting area) we saw the recognition flicker across his face and he tried moving his mouth around all the tubes. It was fantastic just to feel sure that he could hear that we were there and be reassured by our presence. I swear he was trying to sing along to his Ipod at certain points too! So, we updated him on what we had all been up to and informed him that we had been performing very badly at University Challenge of late - and also that he was missing a great Masterchef.. told him of all the friends who have sent their love and who are desperate to see him up and about again very soon. He does still have a high temperature and the staff aren't wholly sure why so they are still conducting many frequent tests but on the whole there are lots of positives and as soon as he is breathing alone and competently they will do the op on his face. It would be fair to say that the man has some amazing scars - bionic man has nothing on him - and in my eyes he is going to look all the very better for them, the marks of his life saved. The relief emanating from his parents is palpable too, although the whole thing is taking its toll on them immensely. I feel rather overwhelmed tonight and am going to open the fizzy, for the first time since the terrible accident, to toast our lovely friend's road to recovery and his lovely family.

We are also going to install the new fireplace (the one that I was watching, and subsequently won on ebay) and put up the Christmas trees this weekend, and we have Maya's birthday party on Sunday - so all in all we have lots to look forward to and be very thankful for..

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Someone recently challenged me with the remark, 'you don't like change do you?' I have reflected upon this and rather feel that the line of questioning probably has more to do with other issues rather than my choices but still, I feel like addressing it, becuase it is an interesting point. On speaking with my sister a few nights ago we agreed that change was indeed good. Change could in fact, with prior warning, be managed, embraced even despite initial trepidation - but enforced change - that is a different thing entirely. Having to sit at a loved one's bedside in intensive care 24 hours after joking together over twitter, having to tell a mother that her son is critically ill, a doctor having to tell a parent that their child is facing difficulties, being forced to make decisions about what to do for the best when you had no idea that such challenges would ever present themselves, that is change that I don't like. Right or wrong and I hate being out of control, as do most people, is that a bad thing? I don't know, but what I do know is that I will always strive for what is best for all that I love and I am pretty sure that can only be a good thing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Chanel blusher brush

I was given this brush by my MIL last Christmas (oops) but it is so beautiful that I put off using it for ages! Anyway, now I that I have finally started using it I wanted to share it with you all - it really is the most fabulous brush, it applies blusher evenly and lightly and is incredibly simple and soft to use. Adds a little more sparkle to my make up routine.

Finally some positive news to report! Steve's surgery indeed went ahead on Friday, Kev and Jay went down to see Steve on Sunday down in Southampton and learned that the doctors were much happier with his progress. Thankfully his infection had gone and his temperature was normal so he was able to have the operation on his hip, pelvis and foot and after hours in surgery all had gone well. By Monday morning they had reduced his sedation slightly and he was finally breathing on his own (albeit with the tubes still assisting him). We also found out yesterday that he had opened his eyes a couple of times and was responding marginally to his surroundings. The surgery on his face has been postponed, but that is only due to the fact that the surgeon is unavailable but hopefully he will have that done by the weekend so that we can all go and see him, and maybe even see him awake! Fingers crossed, I can't wait to speak to him. I was hoping to go and see him on Monday but Zach and I have been full of cold and I was too terrified about taking new bugs in to the hospital. Everyone is feeling hugely relieved and even though it isn't all champagne corks yet, things are looking so much better, if we think about all he has been through, it is just incredible. Thank god for our NHS, what amazing stars they are.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fingers crossed that Steve is strong enough to undergo his surgery today. We had an update last night that informed us that he is fighting the infection and that the MRI scan showed no further damage so with all things being equal he should have his hip operation today and his facial surgery over the weekend. We are just waiting on standby to be able to drop everything and go and see him. Two weeks today, that is all it has been. It feels like a life time.

I went to a Pampered Chef evening last night - what an insight that was - horrible American style selling at its worst! The woman 'party planner' talked FOREVER and rammed everything down our throats at every opportunity, grim grim BUT on the flip side it was a fun evening and great to see the hostess Linda and her Mum and Sister too - Lin and Tal put lots of effort in to making it a great success and were really generous. Don't get me wrong, there were a few very cool bits, I bought a kids safety night and a sandwich cutter and sealer, (and lusted over the trifle bowl and easy icer but was sensible, I am saving my pennies for the fireplace that I am watching on eBay today) but her nauseatingly gushing presentation of every item really turned me off lining her pockets at all!