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Friday, May 25, 2012

SHE WAS SO ILL

.

She stopped breathing twice.  Relied on a nebuliser to make it through most days.  Saw numerous specialists, had countless invasive tests, and endured endless emergency hospitalizations.

All the while, "Here we go again" playing punchbag with my heart.

By then, although Sweet Sam, her older brother, was still largely undiagnosed, the common consensus with the experts favoured faulty genes for his mental and physical "delays".  (Of course, this genetic speculation only came two months after Beccy's conception.  With hindsight I'm glad, as had we known prior I doubt we would've been brave enough to try for a third child - but back then our entire world caved in.)  

See, with Sam it was only beginning to dawn on us these weren't delays, not really.  "Delay" infers arriving late, doesn't it?  Just an interruption,  a longer than expected journey between the start to the finish line.  'Twas bloody callous holding out such hope, implying as it did to me I could actually make it all better, if only I could be a good enough, focused enough, intense enough, loving enough, worthy mother to him. 


So when Beccy developed serious health issues, and also began to  miss those critical milestones, I guess t'was only a natural assumption for us to fear for the worst, that it was happening all over again.    I asked if Beccy would have a shortened life-span, the doctors shrugged and scratched their heads.  It took four long, agonizing days before the results of the sweat tests came back clear.  She didn't, thank God, have Cystic Fibrosis after all, and neither did Sam.  Check another one of their so many terrifying stabs-in-the-dark off the list.

It's hard to laugh and play, with a permanent rattle in your chest, when you're always short of breath and too tired to eat.  Especially if most foods hurt your tummy, and usually make you puke up. Minor things such as toileting and speech do tend to be placed on hold, to the back burner.

(Don't please DON'T lecture or advise me on food allergies and intolerances; aside from having a qualified dietician for an irritatingly knowledgeable big sister, I have completely lost patience over time with all the well meaning Numpties who think I haven't already written the book, designed and modeled the t-shirt, as well as stocked the whole buggerin' gluten/lactose/additive-free bakery with all that stuff!)       

So yes, she was VERY ill.

But a fighter.  

With her frequent absences, she struggled with missing out on so much at school, and had to run just to barely keep pace with her class.  She didn't have many friends, as she wasn't as able or as energetic as her peer group to be socially interactive with them.  Thank goodness Abby had arrived (hubby having foolishly postponed his scheduled vasectomy until AFTER running the London marathon one particular year, and YES, upon receiving the news 'tis true, all our friends and family thought we were stark raving bonkers, and nothing short of certifiably insane - which probably wasn't too far from the truth.  At that point, my dad, with terminal lung cancer, had just moved in).


The foundation educational stepping stones Beccy had missed out on, were soon, via Abby, able to be re-visited again.  They BOTH read to me from the self same books, tallied their numbers, and learned Abby's homework together.

Ever so slowly Beccy began to catch up.  Miraculously, she also strengthened.  The hospital trips lessened, her tummy became more tolerant, and her breathing difficulties not only gradually improved,  eventually, over time they inexplicably near vanished clean away.



Far from overnight, and sure, she had her set backs, even to this day she still often needs her inhalers, but overall, each passing year proved a blessing.

Now here's the thing - Beccy not only moved forward, she actually began to scholastically over-take some of her class mates.

  
Better still, she also took to sports like a cheetah does to running -  and eventually excelled to become a key member of virtually every "A" team at school.  She currently holds her sporting "colours", one of only four girls in her year awarded such an honor.

Academically, she is brighter than her sib's, though Matt, the eldest, is much more competitive, works far harder, and usually achieves the better grades.  Beccy coasts, doing enough to gain merit, but not anywhere near enough to break out in a sweat.  She's "Miss Popularity", a constant chatter-box, and the elected Head Girl of her school House.


I can't even find fault with her boyfriend (hard as I've tried).  He's a dream - polite, easy-going, set for university next term; a tall, handsome rugby-playing Adonis, who obviously worships the ground he believes she floats above - and the feeling appears mutual, they have known each other for years, went to the same school, share the same friends, and, as far as I can tell, haven't exchanged so much as a cross word between them, not in the entire 18 months they've been together. 

Oh, don't get me wrong, she knows better than any how to push all my buttons, and often drives me to complete and demented distraction like as in when the boyfriend was stuck last month, in a Vietnam hospital with his exploded appendix, and she blithely gave herself permission to run us up a nice phone bill totaling over £300).  

But all that aside, just look at her - she's happy, she's healthy, and appears nothing short of positively thriving.  What parent in their right mind could ask more?


                       (From a spoof fabric conditioner ad she recently shot)



Yes, I am stunned, proud and often utterly amazed at how far my fearless eldest daughter has managed to travel, especially considering the awful start she had to life.

And as sweet coincidence would have it, it just so happens to be her lovely birthday come the morn..

       Happy 17th,  Dearest, Beautiful Beccy  
  

86 comments:

~Babs said...

OMG
My heart is doing flip-flop stabbing kinds of things, and my eyes may be leaking a bit to boot.

Your family
your trials
your stamina
♥♥♥♥

This GORGEOUS creation of a girl!

I won't bother saying how blessed you are, as I know you know.
With all you've endured, all they've endured, all have come up winners, in spades!
And just so you know:
You are their hero, Shrinky.
Believe it!

Now tell us: Is she doing a commercial, or was this video done just for the creative, (beautiful) fun of it?
She certainly is model material, all will agree with that!

Happy, Happy 17th., beautiful, healthy Beccy!

Bone said...

Well, that was simply beautiful, Shrinky. Watching a child struggle at anything is just heart-wrenching.

Happy birthday to your gorgeous daughter!

(Also, I have no idea what a Numpty is. But I get the feeling I don't want to be one.)

cloudia charters said...

blessings! How wonderful!



Friendly Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
=^.^= > < } } (°>

Furry Bottoms said...

She is smashingly gorgeous!!!!

Shelly said...

She is beautiful and amazing. What an inspiration!

Barbara Shallue said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! I sympathize with those early years - all three of mine had severe asthma when they were small and I would often have two nebulizers going at a time. Now they're all healthy and only need inhalers every so often, too. I'm glad Beccy's the same. She is an amazing girl, but I'm sure her mom was a huge influence and inspiration to her!

Vince said...

It's never a good thing to be liked by your girlfriends parents at ANY age. So basically if you want rid of one turn on the welcome like the long lost prodigal has arrived and the door wont see his shadow ever again.

As to that illness, don't tell me only ask me. I had my tonsils out at three and lived on antibiotics till well into my 20's. The one boon. While I sipped a beer or wine I was ill way before I became drunk so never really got a taste for the stuff. Anyhows, I've a few theories. But one certainty that every doctor is a thick ignorant controlling fool. There are other words but well, I'm a guest here.

It's four you have; M,S,B and A. I was confused.

You did well girl, she's a looker right enough. And congrats at getting her to 17.

Marianne said...

What you both endured to get to this point...amazing. Thank you for sharing your story. And if that was my daugther, I'd fight the urge to sign her up at a convent. Too beautiful for words (in more ways than one).

Crack You Whip said...

Wow, she certainly is beautiful!

Ms. A said...

I started reading this post and thanks to you... I scorched the bottom of my gravy! I hardly ever cook, so that's a big dang deal. Even as big a deal as that is, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BECCY... which is a much bigger deal!

PS: I love that room!

Joanne said...

Hooray for mothers who won't give up, either.

Skunkfeathers said...

A Happy Birthday to 'Beccy, and a pat on the back to you ;-)

Leslie: said...

Tell her your Canadian friend says "Happy Birthday!" and I'm sure hoping she'll be around when I come to visit. I love talking to teens and hearing their viewpoints and all they're learning at school. Can hardly wait to meet your entire brood, in fact!

Brighid said...

Happy Birthday to Beccy, and hugs to you for being the fantastic woman you are!

mrsnesbitt said...

Happy Birthday to Beccy C, see you soon! xxxx

chewy said...

Your love nourished Beccy, she grew and has blossomed beautifully. Happy Birthday, Beccy.

That silly commercial is quite enjoyable and fun.

mythopolis said...

Well, A very Happy Birthday to Beccy. She just completely blossomed out from all those difficult childhood days. I loved the photo of her room as child. It is so warm and magical looking with the big tree mural. And the commercial was too cute and wonderfully silly for words. Loved it, and I got my first chuckle of the day watching her with the pink sock. Nicely edited too! And what a devoted mom you are! Bravo!

Bijoux said...

Happy, Happy Birthday to your gorgeous daughter! Isn't it amazing when a child overcomes such adversity? And I had to chuckle about the allergy folks! How many times have I heard that whole spiel?? GAH!

May God continue to rain blessings on your family! XO

Shrinky said...

Hi Babs,All you say the nicest things, no she's not doing any commercial, she often helps out friends who are studying film and photography, but she never gets paid for it.it's all a bit of fun really (smile).I am just waiting for her and her friends to get home so I can do my own photo shoot of them. They are also out for a meal tonight..

Shrinky said...

Hello Bone, trust me, you never want to be a Numpty! Don't worry, I'm sure you're not. axed for the birthday wishes, she and her boyfriend are out walking Jake at the Glen as I type, it's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and all is right in her world (ah, to be that young again,eh?).

Shrinky said...

Cheers, Cloudia.

Shrinky said...

well I think so, but then I am hugely biased, Furry bottoms (wink)..

Shrinky said...

Hi Shelly, what a lovely thing to say, thank you for that!

Shrinky said...

Oh Barbara, you too, huh? Gosh, how lovely to know they managed to mature and grow into the lovely, healthy lads they are now - does it seem a miracle to you? It always does to me.

Shrinky said...

Actually Vince, I think I'm happy to keep this one, thanks (wink)better the devil you know it all that.

Gee, Vince - I had no idea you had such serious health issues as a child growing up. Yes, I agree with you, initially I was foolish enough to trust in everything the doctors ever told me, but as time went on I grew more and more disillusioned, and slowly came to the realisation that they hadn't a clue most of the time as to what they were doing. they certainly don't have all the answers, and I grew to treat a lot of their conclusions with a healthy dollop of cynicism. Most of them were just as clueless as I was, if not more so.

Yes Vince, for my sins it's four that I have – God help me.

As to the alcohol thing, some might consider you lucky on that (smile).

Shrinky said...

Hi there Marianne, och, she has a good, wise head on her shoulders, this one, all the same I'm glad we live on this sleep isle.

Shrinky said...

Hi Crack your whip, she has been blessed, that's for sure.

Shrinky said...

Haha, Ms. A, now there's an image to conjure (laughing)! Aw, thanks for your well wishes, the celebrations are well under way at this end now..

Shrinky said...

Aw Joanne, I'm sure there are many times we are ALL tempted to just throw the towel in and be done with it - thankfully, it isn't really an option, though..!

Shrinky said...

Thanks Skunk - days like today bring their own sweet rewards, count on it (grin).

Shrinky said...

Well Leslie, as you know you're going to be with us over Alan's birthday, so I'm crossing my fingers our whole brood will be around to sit down for a dinner out with us - getting them all under one roof at the same time is often like trying to herd cats, but I'm hopeful!

Shrinky said...

Sheesh Brighid, stoppit, you're making my ears turn pink - shove!

Shrinky said...

A week today, Denise!

Shrinky said...

It's kinda' cute, isn't it, Chewy? (Grin)

Shrinky said...

Hi there Dan, oh, it broke my heart when after selling up that house, I drove past and saw Beccy's "fairies" (lazer cut outs I had made of wood nymphs dancing above her window pelmet and wardrobes)tossed out on the skip out front (sigh). All the kids rooms were themed, I had such a great time giving my imagination free reign!

Shrinky said...

Oh Bijoux, I can see I am talking to a fellow long-suffering casualty of all those well meaning idiots who think they can "fix" the problem by simply pointing out to us how mis-guided we are with our children's nutritional needs ('scuse me whilst I wallop my head off the wall)..!

Akelamalu said...

There is nothing worse than seeing you child ill, it must have been a nightmare for you. What a beautiful young woman your daughter is. :)

M said...

WoW!
You are a wonderful mom for seeing past all that. I can sympathize some as my daughter is a childhood cancer survivor...it all sucks and thankfully is behind us.
Happy Sunday!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Beccy is stunning-- Happy 17th to your beautiful girl

And YOU are a ROCK STAR MOM!!!!

Blessing you you and yours.

xoxo jj

Furtheron said...

Can I swap your daughters perfect boyfriend for the football team of morons in baseball caps my daughter seems to be a magnet for?...

Happy birthday...

An incredible story - reminds me to be grateful for all I have and have not had to endure.

Shrinky said...

I wish I'd had a crystal ball back then, Pearl (smile).

Shrinky said...

Hello M, how lovely to see you in here! Oh gosh, it sounds as though you and yours have certainly walked through the fires - it does make you value and appreciate much of what you may once have taken for granted, doesn't it?

Shrinky said...

Haaaaaaaaa, oh Furtheron, I am sure I'll encounter the full line up of undesirables too, given time (don't forget I have FOUR little darlings to give me ulcers)..!

Rock Chef said...

Wow.

You know I delayed reading this one because I thought it was going to have a bad ending - but how wrong could I be?

BTW, I loved the rant about people who think they know better than you. The number of times I have had to bite my tongue...

Sounds like Beccy has got the whole study thing right - no point burning out at 17, best to keep something in reserve!

I am sure there is no real need to ask if she had a good birthday - I know you will have done a great job.

Shrinky said...

Hi RC, yeah, sometimes miracles really DO happen (grin). Oh my, I'm sure you too have had umpteen folk thrust their well-meaning and un-asked for advice down your throat - gahhhh, doesn't it wear you down? She's taking her exams all this and next week as I type, I don't expect any A*'s, but she'll do fine (shrug). And yeah, she had a good enough day, took her mates and the boyfriend out for a slap up meal (on my credit card)..

Vince said...

It just dawned what you'd written about the phone. What was wrong with Skype. I thought that was designed for just such situations. And £300, was she living in it.

From the Mind of a Madman said...

Wow.... what a story. I cant believe all you went through... and I find it hilarious you "like the boyfriend" even though you tried hard not too... I think thats funny! Cheers to you both!!

laughingwolf said...

kudos to you and your dear family, shrinky...

amazing what kids do, given the opportunity

and yeah, she IS a beauty, in many ways...

X. Dell said...

(1) Regarding the previous post, I was kinda disappointed that the software spells without a burr.

(2) As a political researcher and writer, this story confirms a lot of my feelings towards eugenics--and now neo-eugenic-programs.

So the doctors say "Faulty genes." Yet those same faulty genes gave you four kids you can take pride in. Any one of them, including Sweet Sam, can wind up making a valuable contribution to society at any time. I shudder to think how much poorer we all would be if we lived in a world where doctors do considerably more than advise patients not to procreate.

Shrinky said...

Yeah Vince, what's wrong with SKYPE, indeed? I mean, she uses it all the time anyway, y'know? BUT (and it's a fair enough but)I've got a bit of sympathy, just don't tell her. See, it was touch and go for a bit if he'd pull through - he had no laptop there, and was in a ward of about a hundred patients - no one, not even a doctor spoke English, and all the families of the patients were camped out, sleeping on the floor next to their relatives, as they needed to provide the food and nursing to their loved ones. Luckily Ben had a friend to sleep on the floor at his side, and to help see him through - but he was hospitalized for three weeks, in misery. I'm not saying she was right - but I can see the distress that drove her.

Shrinky said...

Hey Mind of a Madman, so glad to make your acquaintance! Ack, it's hard when your kids embark off on relationships, your protective instinct wants to lock them up in a tower out of harms way - but um, it's probably you who'd end up locked away if you did! That said, I'm relieved she's chosen well for her first love, it gives me hope..

Shrinky said...

Hi there X. Dell,

1. Hmmn, the jury's still out until I try it working with a wireless headset, I do mistrust it still, as I spend much time to verbally correct what it mis-hears - we'll see..

2, You've touched on a topic very dear to my heart, X. Dell. We are in a very dangerous place indeed, if individuals are valued less when they fall outside of what whatever parameters our society presently deems "normal". My own Sweet Sam has led me on an amazing journey, he gives far more back to society than he ever receives - his dad has discovered the best friend that most people can only ever hope to find, he seeks his company not out of duty, not even out of love, but because of the joy Sam brings to even the dullest of days - he sees the wonder and good in everything he encounters, and it's highly contagious to everyone around him. Sam cannot lie, but he is also entirely without malice - he doesn't lash out in anger, but will readily become confused if people are cruel. He teaches me each and every day the true value of a life lived well. The world is a richer place for anyone who knows him - how on earth can anyone consider him "damaged"? To seek to breed out people such as he, is to do our society a grave misdeed.

Shrinky said...

Hi Laughingwolf, yes, kids - drive you demented the one day, have you putty in their hands the next - but I guess it's ultimiitely worth all the pain for the joys they still bring, eh?

X. Dell said...

"Sam cannot lie, but he is also entirely without malice - he doesn't lash out in anger, but will readily become confused if people are cruel."

That seems to me something of considerable value all by itself.

Suldog said...

Happy 17th, Beccy! The one thing your mum didn't mention outright, although she skirted the edges of it, was to mention that you are also a very beautiful young woman. I don't doubt that you could make those spoof ads into real ones someday.

Shrinky said...

What I should have qualified within my post, X. Dell, is our world caved in at that time not BECAUSE of who Sam is, but for our terror of his vulnerability, and our fears of how his future would play out, once we are no longer around to protect him. In many ways we are fortunate, his siblings and him are very close, and they fully support our decision to leave everything we have in the form of a trust for him, which they shall administer. Our other children have already received their inheritance via the private education they've received, and are relieved to know their brother will always have whatever care and support he may need to lead a happy, independent life, free from any institutionalized restriction many in his position are often sadly forced into.

Shrinky said...

Aww Sully, you betcha' I revel in her gorgeousness, but she's turned down and never sought out any modelling assignments - the only ones she does is for fun, helping out her student friends who are taking film or media study projects. She is set on University to read English - probably to pursue journalism or writing (I hope)!

Jayne said...

And absolutely stunning, she is, Shrinky. She has a lot going for her, and at 17, the world awaits. May she always find much happiness and good health.

Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter. (She says, as she wipes a tear from her eye.)

Beautiful post, Shrinky!

X. Dell said...

Shrinky, I assumed as much. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Forgive me if I did.

Dave said...

That's a wonderful 'success' story Carol. Happy birthday to Beccy - Dave

Shrinky said...

Hey there Jayne, what lovely words, my friend - thank you for that (see my wide smile?)!

Shrinky said...

Oh Gosh, X. Dell, no of course you never implied that, reading through what I've written I now see how defensive it comes across, which is not at all what I intended - gahh, guess it's just I find this such an emotional can of worms to open, I end up rambling!

Shrinky said...

Cheers Dave, I can safely say she had a blast on the day (smile).

bill lisleman said...

very appealing ad - now I want to smell some socks

Secret Agent Woman said...

My 15 year old gave us a CF scare as well - turned out to be reactive airway disease and a number of other serious physical ailments, but I know just how terrifying it all is.

A very happy birthday to your lovely, HEALTHY daughter!

Shrinky said...

Bill, funny you should say that - I've actually put the pink sock she used away in a drawer - I plan on keeping it to give her when she is old and grey!

Shrinky said...

Thanks Secret Agent. I sure hope your daughter, like Bec, has managed to overcome those health issues now?

Giancarlo said...

Felice weekend per Te....ciao

Shrinky said...

Thank you, Giancarlo, I hope you have a good weekend too.

foam said...

foam said...
oh, the heart wrenching pain and helplessness of a parent when their child suffers! i could so feel for you.
my youngest periodically suffers from migraines. the worst case was a month long migraine which kept him in bed when he was in 5th grade
happy birthday to your beautiful (inside and out) daughter! May she have many more healthy and happy birthdays.

June 1, 2012 7:30 PM

(I knew I'd posted a comment. Found it in your blog post below which I actually had read. Glad the sneaky thingy is working for you ... sort of.)

foam said...

It's supposed to say speaky .. Autocorrect, ya know?

Shrinky said...

I think you got it right the first time, foam - it's as sneaky as hell when it drops in the odd word or two I've never uttered! Gee, I can only imagine the horror of living with a week long migraine - owwwwwww, that poor kid. Has he outgrown the worst of these, or are they still plaguing him?

foam said...

Fairly rare these days..

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Gosh, she is luvly...hehehe....ooo my beads ar goin all warm...heheh...did she do an ad abowt Lenor wiv pants in it?

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh, thare's an echo!

Hilary said...

Awww Shrinky, your beautiful baby girl has come so far. I can't imagine having a child so frightfully ill. How your heart must have ached. But she appears so healthy now. And a beauty at 17. Happy Birthday to your Becky.

Shrinky said...

I'm so glad to hear that, foam, although even rarely is far too often, isn't it?

Shrinky said...

Haha, hello sweet Bob, you always bring a huge wide grin to my face when you visit (I've managed to solve that echo problem)! Yup, she's had a good old pants frolic, BT, you would have been proud.. (wink)

Shrinky said...

Aw, thanks Hilary - I'm so happy to say those awful times seem well and truly behind us now (fingers crossed), and I often have to pinch myself at how blessed we are now!

Vince said...

Watching things on ITV4 late. Pure gas to follow the route since I went around it on the Google Earth. You just don't get the drop over that mile from the start to the cross.
I saw an interview last night with an Ozzie who ran it in a car. He mentioned that the road is all humps and bumps. Do they really leave the road as you use it and not primp it up for the bikes.
And what's the drop off at the end of your road to make that turn. The braking there must be near as devilish as zipping through the cross and up past you with the hammers down. Hell those granite kerbstones might as well be guillotines. Better sun today eh.

Shrinky said...

Ah Vince, there is far too much I wish to reply, to do any justice to your enquiry in here - I'll make it the subject of my next post (and I thank you for the opportunity)..

Margaret Benbow said...

Shrinky, you were the rock who never gave up and who brought her through. Congratulations to Mother and Daughter on seventeen brave years that also became happy ones.

bill lisleman said...

The jubilee is over - right? Looking for a good British post instead of royal barges and tri-colored palaces. Got any good royal jokes?

Shrinky said...

My dearest Margaret, I've made many mistakes along the way, believe me, but one thing is sure, we truly DO appreciate and savour these better times as they come (grin).

Shrinky said...

In truth Bill, the Queens Jubilee celebrations have completely passed us by, arriving as it has midst our own TT week, over here. We've had friends staying plus many more visiting, watching the bikes speeding past our drive - what with that and keeping the BBQ fired, we've barely noticed what's been going on over on the mainland!

Middle Child said...

This had me in tears. Our youngest struggled so long with her health... unsure but she was really well till her 15mth vaccination and then became ill...for some time - so many times I thought she wouldn't make it but she did...not as ill obviously as your beautiful daughter - but I know how precious it is just to have health...and that little sister was sent by the angels no doubt... its actually a miracle your story. Happy 17th Beccy