The week is winding down and I am definitely looking forward to the start of half-term and the chance to have a sleep-in over the weekend. One’s thing for certain, being active in raising awareness whilst eating a restricted diet really takes it out of you!
With T for Thanks being our topic for today, what else could I do, but issue a few heart-felt thank-yous to those who’ve made a difference to us in the 12 months since the last NEAW. It’s tricky to know where to start, but, in no particular order, I’d like to thank:
Our families – well it was a given really, wasn’t it? But whichever side of the ocean they may live, our families have been there in whatever way they can and supported us in the tricky decision to move M to a NG-tube and the elemental diet. We don’t know exactly what the next 12 months hold in store for us, but we can be certain that our families will be there every step of the way.
Our friends – another obvious lot, but again we couldn’t have survived the past year without them all. Their help has been invaluable: from text messages to lengthy phone conversations; early morning G-sitting to late night conversations with a cup of tea; and much-needed hugs to unexpected hospital mail, every single gesture has meant more than they can ever imagine and helped keep us strong.
GOSH – our consultant, her great gastro team and, in particular, the fantastic nurses who work with such dedication on Rainforest ward. Their care for M back in December was just amazing and without them looking after us both and giving wise words and training, we’d have struggled even more with the reality of the NG-tube and the feeding pump. We also owe massive thanks to M’s fabulous dietitian, who is always at the end of the phone or the email and has given me lots of helpful recommendations as well as reassuring me that I’m doing things right when it comes to the whole food re-introduction thing.
M’s School – I am very aware of just how lucky we have been with the staff at M and G’s school. They have been so understanding of how life was changing for both children during this school year and have made every effort to look after them and help them feel happy and safe when at school. 5 of the teaching staff bravely took on the role to learn how to manage his feeding pump, which meant that I could return to my job, confident that they were competent in what they needed to do. This week they were also quick to agree to M’s request to share his presentation to the rest of the school and every teacher made time to make sure their class could see it and ask any questions they had. This school has done a wonderful job of nurturing both my children and I will be sad when G moves on to “big school” in September.
G – the best big sister that M could ever have had. She’s loved her little brother through some of his darkest moods and, even if there’s a bit too much squabbling at times for my liking, she’s managed to continue to work on building a strong relationship with him that I hope will only get stronger in time. She’s survived the challenge of SATs, maybe not without the odd tantrum along the way, and continues to strive to do her best at school and at home. And my heart nearly burst with pride the other week when she announced at Stagecoach that M is her hero, because of how bravely he lives and copes with EGID.
Mike – I couldn’t finish without recognising the person who stands alongside me on this, the most challenging of journeys we’ve been on together, and is my strength when I’m feeling weak. We’ve reached a harmony that enables us to take turns in being the strong one during appointments and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be facing these decisions with. He also understands my need to have some time to escape from the day-to-day grind of EGID and puts up with me disappearing off twice a week to choir rehearsals.
And thanks to all of you, who’ve kept reading my blog, put up with
some… many…repeated requests on my part and have done an amazing job at sharing my posts on. Your silent show of support is what helps keep me going, even when times are tough.