A wonderful resource 

Having a child with complex needs means I often get to spend more time that I would like in hospital. In fact over the years my local hospital has felt more like home than my actual one. Livvy spend weeks at a time causing chaos on the children ward. I have some incredible memories of my time on ward some which are painful but others full of laughter. We were so lucky to be surrounded by first class paediatricians and nurses and not forgetting the support workers. They all made what was often some of the scariest times of life less fearful. 

Medicines and treatment are only one part of the solution when it comes to getting children well. They need a holistic environment that relaxes and reassures them allowing them to heal. 

This Is why I was so happy to be at yesterdays official opening of the new Paediatric sensory room on Ward 21 at the Walsall Manor Hospital by the Deputy Mayor.

I actually didn’t spend anytime on ward 21 with Livvy, she didn’t hang around long enough to visit on the new children’s wards. But the old Canterbury Ward was a place we spend many a week. A place where my youngest Brodie spend many a hour in the playroom whilst the nurses cared for her sister. She spend hours being occupied by the wonderful play support staff whose passion for the children they support is evident in all that they do.

Conversations spoken 15 years ago of wishes for a fully functioning sensory room today got to come true and I honestly don’t think you could have seen happier staff than those there today. Such well deserved pride.

The sensory room is perfect it’s going to be a place where children can relax and recover. A place where children with extra needs or not can escape the confines of the ward to a little place of harmony. Healing the soul as the doctors heal the body. 

I can personally attest to this as thanks to my visit on ward with my little man a few weeks ago we got to experience first hand what a wonderful resource this sensory room will be. He absolutely loved it. What’s even more special is the fact that the ward now also have a portable sensory unit which means that this resource can be brought to the beds of those that cannot visit the room. Those hooked up to machines or oxygen, they too can have a sensory experience at their bedside.

At the opening yesterday I was joined by a family that have walked life’s journey with me. A family who I met actually on the old children’s ward, a family who have become my family. Livvy and their handsome Ryan met on the children wards over 13 years ago and became the closest of friends. We share so many memories of them together, memories that light up our lives and fill us with joy when we recap on them. They simply were double trouble, but both of them were such great gifts to our lives. 

It was so lovely to be there yesterday and imagine our two in that room. Climbing over the equipment, loving all the lights. Both really benefitting from this amazing resource. Whilst it was nice to be lost in our memories for a while just watching the children play yesterday warmed our hearts. This sensory room is going to bring much joy to this current generation of children and hopefully many more. I know we will personally love using it if ever little man decides to visit again (please not for a while). It truly is a special place and well done to all those that tirelessly campaigned for such a resource and a massive thank you to all those that donated and fundraised towards it all.

Of course we don’t want to stop here, Walsall Paediatric unit still have a lot more that they would like in place to offer the most holistic environment for the poorly children that crosses their door. Their next wish is to revamp the waiting area in the paediatric assessment unit. A place where children are often unwell and frightened. The first point of course on their journey or stay. How incredible would in be to have a interactive waiting area that could occupy children as well as distracting their fear. I know this would be so amazing for both the children and their parents.

If you would like to support this next venture please get In touch with Georgie the fundraiser at Walsall Manor give her a call on 01922 656643 or email her @georgie.westley@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk let her know that this is the project you wish to support. Please tell her I sent you so that she knows where you heard about it. 

It is so hard when children are ill, unlike adults they don’t often understand why and what’s happening to them. This is why the environment they are treated in matters so much. This paediatric sensory room is going to be a wonderful resource in reducing this fear allowing children the space they need to aid their healing. So thank you Walsall Manor Paediatric unit for all you have done and for all you do in keeping our children well. 

Always

I am a mom that had to bury a child.

Yes I am that mom.

But I’m also a mom who was so very blessed.

I thank God every day that I got to be Olivia’s mom.

That I got to walk her journey with her.

Caring for this beautiful girl changed my life.

IMG_1629

 

I learned so much.

I learned about true love.

 

It’s not easy losing a child.

Wow what an understatement.

It’s so not easy 

I always will have a part of me missing.

Yet I would do it all again.

It a heartbeat.

 

Walk those hospital corridors

images

Wait those endless hours for appointments

Fill those never ending prescriptions.

 

When you become a mother you take on many roles.

Carer,

Protector,

Teacher

 

When you have a special needs child these roles extend

 

Nurse,

Chemist,

Advocate

Fighter 

 

At times it feels like each day holds a new battle.

And yes we do get battle weary

But our children are always worth the fight.

always

Happy birthday Daddy, 60 Today

Today my dad celebrates his 60th birthday.

I am so excited to spend this special day with him.

I know everyone thinks their dads are amazing but I know my dad is ha ha.

I love my dad with all my heart.

Let me tell you a little about my dad.

He is always there for me and my family.

The endless nights I spent in the hospital with Olivia my dad was a constant visitor. Getting cuddles or holding her hand letting her know Grandad is was for her.

He was always there for her and for me too, especially when I really needed his strength. He was my rock.

Olivia like her sisters loves her grandad. Her eyes used to light up at the sound of his voice.

When the girls perform he is always there. So very proud of his granddaughters. His friends would testify to the pride he has of them. I’m sure they have been made to listen or watch videos of singing performances or Iceskating competitions over and over again.

Yet it’s not just the girls he opens his heart too. My two foster sons both have shared his heart. The man has been covered in vomit and dribble all given in love of course.

My dad is my inspiration. I have watched him work so hard for all he has achieved. I have watched him struggle but always caring for others first.

He Is an amazing man and besides him refusing to stow me away in his suitcase when he holidays at some amazing places I do love him with all my heart.

Happy Birthday Dad here’s to your sixties being full of happiness, laughter and love.

We love you xxx

60th

Aftershock

Yesterday I had a hospital appointment to discuss a cyst that had been found on my liver. Although my GP was sure it was nothing to worry about she couldn’t rule anything out and wanted me to see a specialist.

I was sure that it was all good but in the back of mind I was doing my normal “what ifs” in full panic mode.

My health hasn’t played fair and I was frightened this would be another knock back.

Thankfully the specialist isn’t to worried she is sending my ultrasound for a second opinion but that’s just to be thorough. Liver functions are all good and I only need to just keep my diet healthy as most of us do.

So why now after the appointment and good news am I feeling so freaked out?

My husband believes because I was pretending I wasn’t worried that the relief is actually a counter shock and that’s why I’m so emotional.

An aftershock

Sounds about right.

I guess you go through life knowing about cancer and liver disease but you just pray it’s never going to happen to you. So when a GP has to mention it you find yourself tumbling into worst case scenarios.

Yesterday my tumbling got stopped and I’m truly grateful for that.

But it has also been a good reminder that I need to take care of myself.

My healthy diet has been slipping recently due to being so busy I need to work on this. Keep to my swimming sessions and generally take better care of myself.

I was lucky this time and I won’t take that for granted.

An aftershock or a warning shock ?