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.


6 responses »

  1. Oh Good God Emma! What a journey through hell! It must have been completely terrifying. You are without a doubt the strongest , bravest person I know . What an utterly amazing spirit, mind and body you have, so strong! You know my heart has been with you… and this is what I was waiting for.. the other side of hell.. you back to a routine at home, the kids happily flitting in and out, and your post telling us all that you had been through.
    I agree with you, the body’s ability to is so incredible! And rest,good food, and love are the most remarkable medicines,(and you are the most remarkable woman in the world!).
    So happy you’re home .
    All my love to you, Jonnie and all the Famille,
    Nick oxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxo

  2. Hi Emma, so good to see your post on here and to hear that you are re-gaining your strength again. As Nicky says you truly are the strongest person with the most determination and it is wonderful to hear that you are back home. I hope that you continue to feel stronger day by day, and lovely to see that pic of you beautiful siblings and kids on this post, family is the best! Sending tons of love to you all, Rach xxxx

  3. Emma, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through but very relieved and happy to hear you are home again with your beautiful family, where you belong.
    Much love to you.
    Susan x

  4. Bonjour Etoile!
    Have read this one soooo many times. What a STORM it was – the sun is truly shining once again though!! I would like to remind you & tell you how blown away I was after that particular day we were resting together that you mentioned here. After “that” rest, despite what you were going through,you sat up and got straight down to business organising the kids week at the OEC making sure the correct ones were booked and paid for immediately to avoid disappointment – it was the first thing you did! Then a couple of texts to your beautiful friends. You are an INCREDIBLE mother and sister and I love you so much. Jonnie is one INCREDIBLE husband & B.I.L too & I felt so supported by him during that time. Looking forward to more movie nights like we had this summer! Present moment – only moment xxxxxxx

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