Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

Hello everyone.
It feels like it's been ages since I last blogged - it's been a pretty busy few days. I get terrible 'blog guilt' when I see the little visitor counter widget on my desktop telling me how many people have visited... and I know there hasn't been anything new for them to read!
So here I am, with the latest news from our neck of the woods.
Hmmmm - what have we been up to this past few days? Charlie and I went over to visit Nanny and Grandpa last Friday - it's always nice to see them, and Charlie's latest favourite thing is to curl up on the bed with Grandpa and watch the TV! (Poor Grandpa - even if he's feeling ok, and is sitting in the lounge when we arrive, he gets dragged down the hall so Chas can fit in some quality 'cuddle time'!) Charlie's even had his tea sitting on the bed with Grandpa the past few times we've visited, which he thinks is a real treat!
Nanny's also been reading Charlie a book that I used to love when I was little - My Naughty Little Sister (a real golden oldie, by Dorothy Edwards). He's absolutely loving it, and couldn't wait to get back there for the next chapter. I remember having an LP record of the same stories when I was about Charlie's age - read by Wendy Craig, if I'm not mistaken - and I used to love them too. (Funny how kids always love to hear about someone other than them getting into trouble for being naughty!) It always really pleases me when Charlie likes the same things that I used to like when I was his age - he's thoroughly enjoying the Enid Blyton 'Wishing Chair' stories at the moment, and can hardly wait to start the 'Faraway Tree' series next!
We headed over to Bristol last weekend to have a look around the posh new shopping centre there. It's very smart, and has a crazy golf centre on the third floor. Charlie had a great time trying to knock the balls down the holes (and I had a great time watching all the men - who from the looks of it were regular golfers - getting crosser and crosser as all of their female partners kept getting better scores!) For the record, I beat Pete by one shot! (Not that I'm rubbing it in, or anything.)
We popped in to see Nanny and Grandpa again on the way home, and brought a fish and chip supper from their superb local chip shop. Dad was feeling pretty ok, and was able to enjoy his tea too, which was nice.
Charlie and I went to lunch at a friend's house yesterday, along with another friend and her kids. We mums had a good old natter, and the kids ran amok having lots of fun!
Pete left for Halifax at the crack of dawn again today, and Chas and I went to watch Aliens in the Attic, which was good fun. Dad was feeling pretty ok again, so I picked Mum up on the way, and she went for a much-needed spot of retail therapy while Charlie and I watched the film. We met up again after the film and had a little mosey around the shops, which was nice.
Mum picked up a fab blanket for Charlie - he loves fleecy material, and it's a big fleecy blanket with a hood shaped like a lion's head and two 'paw' pockets to put your hands in when you're snuggling on the sofa. Needless to say, he's absolutely smitten with it, and is currently curled up fast asleep in bed, wrapped in Leo the Lion!
I'm dropping my car into the garage tomorrow for repair after that man drove into me last week! (And yes, I CAN say that he drove into me, because I had a letter this morning confirming that his insurers are accepting liability. Hurrah - I can stop worrying over whether I did something wrong now! What is it with us women and this whole guilt thing - HE drove into ME and yet I still felt like I should be apologising!!)
Anyway, we're also picking up my courtesy car, so Charlie and I are going to go to the swimming pool afterwards. He's been itching to go again, and we've nearly run out of summer holiday, so I thought we'd better slot it in quickly.
Then later on this week we're heading up north to visit my aunt. We're also going to take Charlie to the big zoo up there (it's a much bigger and better zoo than our local one) so that should be fun - so long as it doesn't rain. Pictures will follow, no doubt.
And so, after a (not-so) brief recap on what we've been up to... the big news.
We have had a letter from the children's hospital in Birmingham, and Charlie has now been put on the surgeon's waiting list for his Fontan.
Although it was a bit of a 'gulp' moment (ok, a LOT of a 'gulp' moment) to see it in black and white ('Charlie' and 'heart surgery' are words I never hope to see in the same sentence as I'm opening the morning's post...) it does make sense, I suppose.
The letter said that now he has been put on the list, we can make an appointment to go and have a chat with his surgeon, to discuss the op, and probably for Chas to have a chat with the play specialists. Although I don't think they'll tell him anything he doesn't know already because Pete and I are very big on pre-hospital preparation, and have been telling Charlie about what to expect for quite a long time now.
The letter also said that we can expect to be contacted 'in the next six months' with a prospective date for the op - which will, most likely, still end up being after Christmas, in the sort of timescale we already discussed with Charlie's consultant here in Cardiff.
Pete is going to telephone the surgeon's secretary tomorrow, to hopefully arrange the appointment for our 'chat' for during half term. He's also going to ask whether it is possible to definitely defer any surgery dates until 2010.
What with everything else going on at the moment, it just feels like we have enough on our plates at the moment without having to take Charlie in too.
(You might have noticed that I said Pete is going to ring the hospital... this is one of the things I love most about him.
By nature, I'm a bit of an organiser - I like to know what is happening, when it's happening, and what I have to do about it. I also have an annoying tendency to worry about anything and everything - things that have happened, things that haven't happened, things that might never happen, and even things that will definitely never happen, but are worth a bit of a worry anyway.
Pete, by contrast, is truly 'Mr Laid-Back'. He doesn't really 'do' the whole worrying thing. If there's a problem, he'll deal with it when it happens - he doesn't see any point in worrying about stuff that might not happen anyway. And if Pete IS worried about something - then I REALLY need to start worrying.
Maybe that's a typical female/male thing, but that's how it is in our house.
Anyway, normally, I do everything 'householdy' - I do the finances, sort out hospital appointments, deal with mortgages and the like, pay bills, ring and moan at companies when they need moaning at... all that kind of stuff.
But some things - like sorting out stuff for Charlie's surgery - just send me into a total panic.
Once the date is set in stone, and things are underway, I'm fine (well, not fine, but you know what I mean), but it's almost like, subconsciously, I don't want to have to take any responsibility for actually setting the wheels in motion - just in case (Heaven forbid) anything were to 'go wrong'. (What was I saying earlier about women and this whole guilt thing?!)
And this is where my 'Mr Laid-Back' transforms into my knight in shining armour and saves the day.
Pete just knows me so well, and knows at exactly what point his decisive, organised, confident wife is liable to metamorphose into a woman who is sitting in the corner, howling in terror and banging her head on the wall.
Without me needing to say a word, he'll just step in, take control of the situation that's freaking me out, pick up the reins and do what needs doing - whether it be ringing the hospital tomorrow, or signing every single consent form we've ever had to sign for Charlie's treatments.
While Pete's natural inclination is to just 'go with the flow', he's always willing and able to carry the responsibility and make the decisions for both of us when I just can't face it.
He and I are polar opposites in so many ways, yet we work so perfectly together.
His 'laid-backness' stops my worrying and general 'over-thinking' of things from getting completely out of control, while my need to get things done and to have everything sorted stops him from being toooo chilled out and never getting anything done!
I really don't know what I'd do without him.
And by the way - he hardly ever reads my blog, so there's little chance of him reading this and getting too big-headed!)
...And I may be mistaken, but that is possibly the longest piece of text I have ever written in parentheses!
Well, I've written more than enough for now (enough to assuage my 'blogger's guilt anyway!) - and I have warned you previously that you'll have to put up with more random ramblings as Charlie's Fontan draws ever nearer... so for now, I'm off to bed! Night, all!

1 comment:

The Cryer Family said...

Hi Ali - that does sound scary - hopefully you will still be able to say 'next year'. Good old Pete. I know what you men about polar opposites - same with me and Scott too. And you have good taste in books!!
Sorry about not getting together yet. We are terrible. I know you went to the chocolate factory recently. Do you still want to do it, or something else?
Helen xx