Monthly Archives: July 2014

Siblings united




Sick times!


If anyone is wondering about my lack of writing here recently its because I’ve been in hospital. I was admitted Friday 6th June and am recovering from pneumonia in Marymount Cork. When they recommended I come here at the hospital in Cork I was terrified. Marymount is a hospice and hospital but I felt so unwell I thought they were sending me here to die. But when I spoke to mum she was so enthusiastic that it was absolutely the right thing to do I agreed. Two weeks on now and I’m so pleased to say I feel great! With the help of a fantastic staff of nurses, doctors, consultants, care assistants and cooks I recovered. Needless to say if it wasn’t for the support and help of family and friends I couldn’t have pulled through. Even my brother flew in from the other side of the world, New Zealand to offer help. I’m so lucky to have such a great family. Jonnie continued to stay with me at night. L’arche Cork where he works are amazingly supportive.
I know now that everyone feared for my life. I can say I felt the same. When I arrived in luxurious Marymount I was asked by the doctors what I wished to achieve there “get well enough to go home ” I replied without a moments hesitation. I had spent two horrific weeks in Cork University Hospital getting my lungs hoovered out three times daily and without eating their terrible food. My body had got so thin I looked like somebody who spent time in a concentration camp. I might add that my time in CUH was one in which if I hadn’t gone there I possibly wouldn’t be alive today. Such a tremendous staff there; over-worked and probably under-paid. So my sole wish was to get home to my kids asap! But there was anticipation around my hearts desire due to my physical condition. So it was a question of wait and see.
I had to walk through my own hell first.
Such was my state on arrival to the hospice /hospital plus lots of medication I felt unbearably weak and completely exhausted. Working the Eye Gaze was practically impossible, there was no give or release, just a constant unforgiving struggle. I never felt so alone.
Lucy lay on the bed with me to rest together. I said ” I think I’m dying “, she replied in true Thich Nhat Hahn style bringing me back to the present moment, ” no, you’re resting “. Good on ya Lucy, even though my body felt traumatised and weak, your comment really helped me.
The following Thursday morning, a week after admission, I began to feel my energy return. Almost afraid to acknowledge it for fear of speaking too soon, I wrote an email to my cousin Nickey ” think I’m getting my energy back! “. She had love-bombed me with a host of emails sending love from from family in New Jersey she even wrote to Simon Fitzmaurice, fellow MND sufferer. He in turn emailed me some compassionate and understanding words which made me happy.
They allowed me an afternoon visit home first then another and finally a weekend before I was discharged. This was ideal as it gave me time to adapt and address my needs. The kids ran in to say hi and ran out again to play with their friends in the wonderful sun! I woke one morning when I got home to catch Rowan standing at my bedroom door smiling in at me. That was a good enough reason to make my struggle worthwhile.
I am so pleased how I actually recovered. So proud of how the body can heal itself with time and nourishment and rest. Tomas my brother in law would give me updates on how well I’m doing compared to the previous week which was helpful. And Justine, my main carer, was really patient.