Talk about turning up the heat – what chaos!
There’s hasn’t been much down time, time to just ‘be’ a normal family doing normal family things. Instead life is full of physical therapy, a lot of appointments, a lot of planning, a lot of packing and unpacking the car, a lot of special needs equipment, a lot of extra planning to do the most simple of things. With overseas medical treatment there’s a lot to sort out, and with local medical treatment there’s equally a lot to manage. A lot of decisions that need to be made in terms of Chiara’s ongoing medical needs, what type of therapy, what type of equipment, what type of medicine, what stage of development requires specific needs – it’s a complex web that gets more intricate as you traverse deeper into the journey…
And so with all the therapies and appointments, sometimes it’s hard to see when things are falling between the cracks.And they have been – big-time! Only I just couldn’t see it. There have been those little tell-tale signs trying to get my attention, if only I’d slow down and listen…
Our garden is like a jungle, our gutters are blocked causing the balcony to flood every time it rains, our pond is so murky that I feel guilty every time I pass by (poor fish), our fence is falling over, our balcony railings are rotting, paint is chipping, my laptop has been maxing out and finally blew up today along with two external hard-drives! (Yep that means all my files, I hope I can get them recovered!) Everything is full to the brim and crying out for some attention!
There hasn’t been enough time to get to all those seemingly little jobs looked after, so as a result they all turn into big things, which leads me to the next thing….
Grace, I took her to the doc’s a few weeks ago with an ear infection, she seemed to recover quite quickly with lots of love and rest. A week later though, we started to notice a mild cough which seemed to come and go, the doc gave it an all clear and we continued on with our busy schedule.
A week later I’m sitting in the doctor’s office concerned, I asked if he thought it could be whooping cough. His response ‘no, not at all, she would be a very sick child if that was the case.’ So the diagnosis was croup, and off we went with a script for steroids.
Three days later I return, this time a lot more worried. ‘Are you sure it’s not whooping cough I ask?’, same response of ‘No, definitely not’. We were told to continue on with the steroids for an extra two days and all should be fine. But things we far from fine, in fact it started to feel a little frightening.
I knew that something wasn’t right with Grace. She’s my pillar of strength, my radiant little sunshine, my absolute everything. Her cough was distressing, so after having no luck with the doctor, I booked in with a local Naturopath for an acute session, and within 10 minutes she nailed it. ‘Natalie, I think it is whooping cough’.
So I went back to the doctor (4th visit this time!) and asked if he would please test for whooping cough, he said it would be highly unlikely, however agreed. He also gave as a script for treatment that we started on straight away, I didn’t want to wait a day longer. I could see that things were indeed slipping through the cracks, Grace was seriously unwell. I’m petrified of anything ever happening to her, already with so much heart-ache and worry with Chiara and her array of medical issues, I give thanks often that Grace is healthy.
We kept a close eye on her, things were going downhill rapidly. All of a sudden she stopped breathing after a coughing attack, we were terrified. We called 000 and before we knew it we were on the way to hospital. I was running on two hours sleep, we huddled in the bed together I held her close to me and reassured her at every moment.
At 3am, after another coughing fit, watching her gasp for air I felt so helpless. Thank God we were in hospital. They monitored her through the night, a clear chest x-ray gave a little reassurance. In between checks from nurses, beeping machines and emergency announcements over the PA, Grace and I managed to sleep. The room was air-pressurized and kept at a very cold temperature to kill off any bugs, it was the isolation room for infectious diseases (more like a prison cell) and we weren’t allowed to leave the room. Any time a doc or nurse came in to check Grace, they all wore masks, even the x-ray crew. All I could think about was a hot bath, tropical island and chai in between my worried thoughts as I wrapped Grace into my arms and kept her warm and snug.
The following day were were back home, we had another scare later that afternoon which required another ambulance call out. I can’t even write about it – it was that full-on.
I’ve had many heart- stopping moments with Chiara and her multitude of medical issues, but the last week took things to another level. I have been sick with worry, that awful feeling when life spins out of control and the two most precious things to me (Grace and Chiara) seemed to be under threat.
Why now? Actually why ever?
But, no matter how tough things get, and things have been pretty shit mind you, I am reminded often that we are never truly alone. With Gill delivering home-made healing stock, sauce and wisdom quotes, Nonno helping Mauro at the RCH visit today, Nonna coming over tonight, my parents over yesterday (which was amazing timing) and all our beautiful friends and family holding us in their hearts – we will survive anything that comes our way.
I believe in signs, I believe in timing and I believe in divine chaos. Life is shaking things up for us, and when things settle we will look back at this time and understand it’s purpose. Finding balance is definitely up there!
In the meantime, we will give our worries over the tiny little Guatemalan worry dolls that beautiful Nonna brought over for Grace tonight, and rest a little, with divine chaos and all..