Monday, 26 January 2015

I came third :-(

Tara came joint-third in a speech contest today...and she's disappointed. Before, and after her performance I told her how proud I was of her, and I loved her. I clapped loudly as she took the third prize, smiling sadly.

There were 10 children speaking their hearts out today, 6 of them went home with nothing.

As a parent is my job to tell Tara how well she did and not to be disappointed? Or is it to tell her she did well, but would need to work harder if she wanted to get a higher place and not be disappointed.There is no doubt that not much practice went into this speech contest. Luck and hard work both play a part in the final outcome.

In the end all I did was hug Tara, and say three things:

I love watching you perform
I hope you enjoyed what you did
I love you

The Husband and I had a lot of cuddles for her, and told her how she made us feel enormously proud going up in front of so many people and speaking so beautifully. As evening came, Tara relaxed and went with us saying she actually did feel proud of herself, and all she wanted was for Mummy and Papa to be proud of her.

A round of chocolate eclairs sealed the evening and we all went to bed happy. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


I hide my "issues" well...I think... I give a pretty good impression to the outside world of a calm, collected in-control person.

The reality however is that I am extremely on-edge,  sensitive and would always choose a boring, peaceful life devoid of any excitement over an eventful life. I wasn't always like this. In fact I was the opposite of this a few years ago. I am probably aware of all the reasons for this change, but am not currently interested in the "whys" of it all.

As a Mum there are new issues and challenges that crop up every single day. I will say I manage,  because Tara is paramount in my life. But I won't deny watching endless travel programmes showing a remote monastery or mountain top beckoning to me on many occasions. I obviously don't have the time or resources to chase the whiff off the pristine temple flower....but a girl can dream...

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hope for the disillusioned Mum-Part 2

Hunting for alternative therapies to drain the "glue" from Tara's middle ear, I came across a device called "Otovent".

This device has been around for many years, and is also available on the NHS on prescription. It is available in pharmacies - over the counter for around £7.

Not once has it been mentioned by our GP.

Otovent involves blowing a special latex balloon via a nostril. This causes air to enter the middle ear cavity, which is meant to displace the fluid by pushing it out of the eustachian tube. In many cases the ear is completely drained of glue and replaced with air-as a normal ear should be.

An average of 60% success sounded good enough for me to try, as it is said to be 100% safe. After weeks of research I bought the device, and Tara has been using it like a good little girl morning, noon and night. I have booked an appointment with our GP to examine her ears in a week or so, to see if the fluid he noticed in December has gone or dramatically reduced.

I hope it works. I am also bracing myself for the possibility that my little girl may fall in the 40% category. I haven't yet explored the "what then" scenario because I am very focussed on the task in hand.

Initially I was furious as to why the Otovent wasn't even mentioned to me by our GP.  Now I am channeling my energies in achieving a positive result instead. At the end of it all, if my Tara's ear problem is resolved, all is forgiven.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Just for today

I wake up each morning to a practiced routine. One part of the morning is the welcome cup of tea while catching up with the news of the day.

Lately, this routine has moved from the relaxing catching up of minor concerns to words I've come to strongly dislike.."Breaking News".

Just for today, I am grateful for no "Breaking News". I can deal with an escaped bird causing trouble, or a broken down tractor causing traffic tailbacks, but just for today thank you for no "Breaking News."

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Hope for the disillusioned Mum-Part 1

Finally...a small ray of hope. It's still a hope because efficacy will be revealed after the GP check up in a few weeks time. I am cautiously optimistic, and will be unabashedly grateful if this works for Tara.

Since she was about two or three Tara has suffered ear problems. I have been up and down to the doctor for years now, with no clear understanding or explanations given. All I get from the doctor is

a) A smile and a shrug
b) Wait and watch
c) Nothing can be done, she will probably grow out of it.

Now I have nothing against the above three responses, as long as they accompany some sound explanation. In the absence of any explanation by the experts in the field of medicine, it makes a Mum feel disempowered and angry.

After many interactions with doctors, some of whom were benign, others sharp and abrupt, I turned to the wonderful internet for some self education. After getting past the initial frightening worst case scenario reading on the topic, (A given when you get on the internet to look up anything), I settled into a more common sense balanced approach, and understood that Tara had something called Otitis Media with effusion, commonly called glue ear.

Basically the ear has three parts. The Outer ear, The Middle ear and the inner ear. Glue ear is caused in the middle ear area where the ear drum resides. In a normal human, the space behind the ear drum is filled with air. But for some people, (usually children under 7), that space gets filled with a glue like thick liquid. This causes the ear drum to not vibrate freely thus causing hearing problems, motion sickness, and other issues.

The usual exit for any trapped fluid in the middle ear is via the Eustachian tube. In adults it is more vertical so fluid naturally exits the space. In children below 7, the tube is not so vertical causing fluid to remain trapped, increasing the possibility of infecting this fluid and causing more serious infections. There is also sometimes blocking or narrowing of the Eustachian tube enhancing the possibility of glue being trapped and possibly infected.

Simply put, the solution to this problem lies in getting the glue out and air back in.

The current approach used by doctors is to wait and watch. If the child is lucky, the fluid gets absorbed by the body in around 3 months. In some other children it can take up to a year! In some unfortunate souls it doesn't disappear even after a year. Now this is assuming the child is fit and healthy and doesn't suffer back to back colds or illnesses, (like Tara). This reduces  the possibility of the fluid ever draining away completely.

Grommits. I hate the word. It conjures up evil images in my head. These are inserted via an operation into the child's ear drum as a sort of a dangly pipe to drain fluid out of the ear. Their effectiveness is debated and there is the likelihood of permanent hearing loss at the worst, should the ear drum scar while healing. Not a route I want to go down, nor has my GP recommended it yet.

I have "waited and watched" Tara suffer for years now. Some days we rush to A &E because she wakes up screaming..extremely ill with ear ache, vomiting, fever and "sounds of the ocean" in her ear. We are stressed while travelling since she always vomits in a car, train or plane. I regularly ride in the rear seat with Tara clutching bin bags to catch her vomit. Life with glue ear is horrible, mainly for the poor child and also for the helpless parents. be continued...

Friday, 9 January 2015

Tottering, but on course

I try not to make resolutions, but when I do, it is usually a resolve of steel.

1. Eat fruit.
2. Go to the gym at least twice a week, starting the 12th of January.
3. Start de-addiction from sugar.

I have succeeded in eating portions of grapes, bananas and pears every day :-)
I have been to the gym once, even though I am due to begin next week.
I have gone cold turkey with sugar, except the smidge of stevia-brown sugar I'm used to in my tea anyway.

There are many other things I need to sort out but haven't resolved to doing. First,  I have to be kind to myself. I will not over burden myself with harsh resolutions that would sit uncomfortably with my personality. I have to slow down, I have to try not to get stressed with packing school lunch and doing  the school run, I should not panic if my check list is not ticked off, I will not berate myself if one or two meals are not made from scratch.

Today I'm grappling with the checklist issue. I have achieved a lot on it but as usual find myself focusing on those other things I haven't done. I know it is impossible to check off a list of repetitive chores, but I just need to "get" it.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Uphill Task

The last two weeks went by swaddled in the love and comfort of the company of loved ones and friends. There were plans, reflections and resolutions...the warm after glow of the festive period.

Today we are back home, The Husband, Tara and I. Resolutions already at breaking point, the spirit of the season  -evaporated and real life with all its frustrations and challenges staring me in my face.. Sheesh..Bah !!!

One week of 2015 has already disappeared, with nothing achieved from the list..except perhaps drinking more water. I'm thirsty...and how!

Tomorrow Tara goes back to school. I have mixed feelings about that. The Husband goes back to work on Wednesday. Then it will be me, left to my own devices, (which may not be such a bad thing) to get the house back in order, get the healthy cooking plan rolling, hit the gym and get the bikini body ready for our holiday in March, complete all the holiday loose ends, get a handy-person in to sort out the issues around the house, (it's been a year since we moved here and there's no excuse not to have things sorted out by now) etc. etc.

Its much easier rolling into a ball under the duvet..but Im going to fight that this year. Time for Tara's lunch..

A Happy New Year to all out may never read my words, but the wishes will reach you  :-)