Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tara to Receive Second Darwin Award 

Remember the incident last summer, where she decided to fall asleep on the rope swing and got trampled ?

This latest escapade beggars belief.

She lost her second milk tooth yesterday, and, for reasons quite beyond my comprehension, thought it would be a GREAT idea, to put it in her ear.

A sharp, very slippery tooth. Wonderful.

So now we have to drag ourselves off to London, where she'll be given a precautionary transfusion of factor VIII concentrate in case of bleeding, and a general anesthetic. Perfect.

Naturally, we're very worried, but at the same time, almost incandescent with fury. She's not a stupid child. And we're tired of people telling us that, "all children do this kind of thing."

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that only toddlers did this. She's six in June!

Maybe I am being a bit harsh. What do you think?

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Touch and Go 

On Monday, Tara was on the verge of death, following a nosebleed which we had thought had stopped bleeding. (It was bleeding behind the clot, and she was swallowing the blood, so we couldn't see it).

She had a bad bleed at New Year, and her haemoglobin levels were already low. Another thing we hadn't been told - that it can take months for levels to stabilise. Haemoglobin, for non medical people, and for parents of VWB children, although they don't tell you that, is the stuff that carries oxygen via blood. Low levels can be fatal.

So there we were thinking the bleeding had stopped, and the listlessness was due to a bug. There has been a bug in our town that has produced symptoms identical to those Tara displayed. Indeed, at the time of her hospitalisation, more than half her class were home from school with it.

Sunday night she vomited lots of blood, and lost consciousness briefly, so we summoned the paramedics, who failed to recognise the signs of low blood oxygen, and called London. The "on call" doctor told us to bring her in the next day.

By the time we got to the hospital, her lips were white, and her mouth blue. She could barely keep her eyes open.

They took one look at her, and gave her a transfusion.

Several actually.

The lack of oxygen in her body could have caused respiratory / cardiac failure or brain damage.

Now - given the two sets of advice we acted on, you can understand how mad we are to have been rebuked for leaving it so late bringing her in.

And that we didn't look "panicked".

Well of course we didn't. Firstly, we had no idea she was being suffocated. We're not Doctors. Nobody had ever mentioned the haemoglobin stuff before.

Secondly, we believe that no matter how concerned you are, you DO NOT let this show in front of your kids. It makes things worse, right?

Don't get me wrong. Tara's condition is not a textbook VWB case. The doctors are also on a learning curve with it, and once admitted, the care was great, the ward clean, the food and staff / patient ratio excellent. She even had her own phone and cable T.V over the bed. Better by far than our local N.H.S hospital, although parking fees in London are a disgrace. £3.50 per hour!

However, do you get the feeling that somebody was trying to pass the buck, and cover their own asses?

If, as we were told yesterday, we should bring her in WAY before lack of consciousness occurs, why we were told to wait until the next morning?

She's fine now. But we're not. We had "hospital fatigue" last week, which prevented us for being as assertive as we should.

Follow-up appointment next week.


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Friday, November 18, 2005

Public Service Announcement 

This blog is closed.

Thank you for your kind words.



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Friday, September 30, 2005

Punting: It only sounds dirty. 

Last Sunday, we decided to go to Cambridge. Beautiful city, and home to 18,000 of the world's most smug undergraduates. Fair enough. This is St John's, the second richest college. I'd probably be quite smug if I lived in this building.

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Despite the fact that it is only a 90 minute drive, I have been to Cambridge only three times in my life. The first time, I was a child, and my parents took me to visit Trinity College. I remember being most unimpressed by the building, but intrigued at the notion of "tutorials". Having your teacher all to yourself sounded quite good.

My second visit came about in my early twenties. A friend had finally graduated after spending eight years in the place, and I was invited to "Cocktails on the Lawn". This sedate and civilised sounding affair involved drinking Pimms from eleven in the morning and ultimately falling in the river.

Returning to the city as a proper adult, one with a child and husband, was fantastic. (Although I did keep my sunglasses on in case anyone recognised me), because we went punting!

We didn't attempt to punt ourselves, and went for the "guide" option. Our guide was an undergrad with floppy hair and a voice like Hugh Grant. The stories he told us as we floated gently past these amazing buildings were fascinating. He was also amusingly scathing about the more recent additions to the university.

At one point, there was nothing to see but glorious architecture, and it was like we had gone back in time.

Best day out I've had in years.

Tara looked cute in her lifejacket and enjoyed seeing ducks!

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Define "good", please. 

The day before yesterday, I was coming out of school with Tara, when she ran off to hug a young man at the school gates. I recognized him as being one of the leaders of her theater workshop. I didn't catch their entire exchange, but I distinctly heard him saying, "Are you good at school?"

Yesterday I received a letter, via the school, from said workshop. Apparently the children are to perform at a charity thing on Saturday. Real stage. Real audience. The letter requested that we call to confirm attendance, given the short notice.

I called and said, "Tara would love to be there, but are you sure you want her?"

I could have been joking, since I made no reference to her previous performance.

"Oh, don't say that. She was really good last time", the organizer replied.


That was one of her "good" moments?!

We'll go on Saturday. But only if I can stand in the wings with one of those hooked sticks so I can yank her offstage if necessary.

And I'll be sure to bring sunglasses and a hat. Possibly a fake beard and a stone to crawl under.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Show business is my business now! 

Today was the end of Tara's theatre workshops. Back to school next week. We were invited to watch a performance showing the songs and dances they had learned over the summer.

We get there, and see a child at the door rattling a can for voluntary donations whilst the other twenty children are singing. That child is Tara. All well and good, I think. She's one of the littlest, cutest kids.

When all the parents have arrived, the children are assembled to sit in silence in front of the mics. There is one child speaking to her neighbor. That child is Tara.

During a routine, the children have to suddenly leap up and smile. One child is pulling a grotesque face. That would be Tara.

In the middle of the performance, a child has to go to the bathroom. The only child in the whole damn group that needed to do so. Name that child!

I watched in horror, as she proceeded to disgrace me. Deliberately facing in the wrong direction, refusing to sing songs I know she knows, and trying to engage other children in conversation mid-performance.

At the end of this fiasco, Tara is given the microphone, and says, "Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed my show."

It got a laugh from the audience. Guess who wasn't laughing?

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Daddy's taking us to the zoo park scary underground place tomorrow! 

Perhaps you have seen this picture:

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We pass by this sign quite often. It's something of a habit of ours to drive aimlessly around little villages, salivating over Georgian manor houses and shaking our fists at rich bastards who build palatial "executive mansions" which spoil the look of them.

So we took a new turn today, and found a sign saying that we were actually at the "secret" bunker. Seeing as the entrance fee was only £5 per adult, we thought we would take a look.

It was quite eerie. We were the only tourists there, although there were plenty of CCTV cameras. We walked down a long, steep forest path.. and entered. There was a tunnel. The bunker itself was protected by huge doors made out of the steel they use to make tanks. It was cold, but that was good. I'm guessing the owners (it was bought from the government as an attraction) pump plenty of oxygen in there. I had started to panic about being so far underground, until I realized that there was plenty of air.

It was great! There was a "broadcasting room" with a waxwork figure of Margaret Thatcher addressing the nation. According to the posters, she would have been telling people to "leave the elderly and bedridden. You can do nothing for them." Lovely!

"John Major" was in the P.M's bedroom, asleep. There was a room full of machinery which was the telephone exchange system in the 1950's. Outside of that, was an archaic P.C and fax, with a note on it saying how that machine alone, could do the work of all the equipment in the previous room.

I liked the command centre. Full of the best technology the 1980's could provide. It was funny, how we used to laugh about Jeff Goldblum saving the world from his Apple Mac laptop in "Independence Day", but how they expected to get shit done here.. my God.

Tara kept asking why there were so many maps and charts on the walls. Sign of the times, I know. I had to keep explaining that in those days, one couldn't just call up information on the internet.

And all around the walls, little plaques showing where each minister would have been sitting at their machines. That made me laugh. I said to Alex, "can you imagine, in the event of a crisis, how shocked the lazy bastards would be at actually having to get together and work for a change?"

For a mere £2 in "The Honesty Box", you could dress up and take a photo. I was an air force Sergeant. Tara didn't like the gas mask, so she is wearing army greens and a little tin hat.

To be honest, I didn't understand a lot of it. We were going in to "The Plant Room", and I was thinking, "Oh, that's a good idea. Having lots of plants to make oxygen. You would need that if you had to spend up to four years down here." Turned out it was an engine room. It smelled good, though!

My mind is odd like this, but I was also thinking, "wouldn't it be mad if there was a nuclear strike, right now, and we'd have to stay here. Just us, and the guys who run the canteen. Pretty soon, we'd have to start eating the tinned spam.. and Alex would have to fix all those computers!"

Speaking of Alex, he was shaking his head in disbelief. "They didn't have a clue, did they? You can imagine what the bunkers are like these days, but back then.."

For more accurate information, the website is HERE

Tara's verdict? "Can we come back and visit the spooky place again, please Mummy and Daddy?"

We are a strange family. I don't deny it.

UPDATE: Blogsister Boudicca comments: "leave the elderly and the bedridden. There is nothing you can do for them."

Well, there goes Palm Beach County!

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