It’s been a tough few weeks, with a burst of ‘beauty’ in the middle.  It’s very hard sometimes to not let life get the best of you.

A little over a month ago we found our much loved cat collapsed in the garden.  We rushed him immediately to the vets and after an initial examination they concluded he had a blocked bladder.  The urine inside him had built up to a dangerous level and he needed unblocking immediately.  Our vet was due to close so we were passed to the emergency weekend vet.  This to and froing between our vet and the emergency vet went on for nearly a week!

Carrying him with a catheter, bloods and fluid bags in a cage, in the car with his big head collar on proved to be some of the most stressful car journeys I have ever had.  He pulled out nearly every catheter 😢, infected his wound site and his bladder re-blocked twice and he had to have an op to clear out the ‘sludge’ in his bladder.  So very quickly our vets bills became over £6000, thank god for Pet Insurance.

Our 3rd vets (Manor Veterinary Group) I believe saved him.  They were fantastic, I went every day to see him at their request,  another 2 weeks of trauma.

always be grateful

When he came home, he was on 16 pills a day.  He also had to be confined to a single room and wear the dreaded collar.  It was a big stress, especially living in a house with 5 kids and another cat and dog.

In the meantime we were only a week away from our annual holiday.  For the first time in years we were going for 11 days.  However, sadly, there was no excitement to the build up, just worry.

4 days before our departure my Nan fell in the bathroom.  She smacked the back of her head on the corner of the shower.

She dragged herself to the bathroom and pulled the emergency cord.  Nan is 85 and on Warfrin, so she bled for 2 hours 😢.  Dad, Mom and my Aunt took her to the hospital and eventually they stemmed the bleed and sent her home.  Just an hour after getting home the hospital phoned to say the scan on her brain had been overlooked and she had a bleed on the brain, so she was rushed back in.

The following days passed in a blur.  The anxiety of leaving for our holidays with all this going on was hard to cope with.  My Aunt was strong and took the lead with Nan’s care.   Nan was monitored and showed no signs of complications.

When life is that mad and crazy and then you land in a country with beautiful weather, in the prettiest spot, boy do you appreciate it.  We had a wonderful holiday, I had run myself down and had a sore throat for the first 5 days.  This seems to be my bodys weakness and having that sore throat always proves to be very lowering.  However, I never fail to not appreciate the good days.  Perhaps because we have our fair share of crap days, that I honestly believe it makes the good days so much sweeter.  Staring out to sea soaking up the warmth on my bones.  Laughing and joking with family and being simply grateful for all I have made me feel so humble.

As lovely as our break was the laughter was cut short with an unexpected case of chicken pox for Alfie.  That moment as a Mom you see the dreaded spots and realise you won’t be going on a plane anytime soon 🙈.

The mood of the holiday very quickly changed, we all knew that I would need to stay and the rest would go home.  Mom was in tears, many a moment saying she would stay with me.  Her anxiety was through the roof, if pushed we could have got her to stay, but it was time for me to be strong and tell everyone I would be just fine. And I was!  I had dreadful anxiety and my poor tummy was in knots, but I hid it well.  Our hotel closed so we had to find somewhere else to go but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Lots of people have said “why didn’t you just take him on the plane?”.  I knew the risks to other people on the plane, i.e. pregnant Mom’s, people with a lowered immune systems, the complications of them catching Chicken Pox were greater than a few extra days for me and Alfie in Spain.

We were thrown out of our first hotel 🙈.  Foolishly we had been placed by the tour rep in an adults only hotel, that felt very much like “God’s waiting room”.  So when me and the spotty kid arrived we did kinda stand out 😂.  To say the hotel manager of the ‘Yaramis’ was like Cruella Devils double is an understatement.  She had us pack our bags and be out on the street within a hour.

Scared, tired and emotional, like a homeless person, I clutched my broken suitcase and was guided by the softest TUI rep to our new abode.  The insurance company were brilliant and found a more modern place just 5 minutes walk away.  So re-homed and safe, a massive relief flooded over me, and I sobbed all through the check in, the poor receptionist.

Those next few days had me feeling all sorts.  I missed my tribe so much, Alfie was golden.  We played, chatted and had some beautiful quality time together, a gift we otherwise we would never have had.  However, it felt so wrong.   I missed Steve so much, we have never spent time apart and we both struggled.

On his birthday I crashed.  I so wanted to be home and celebrating with him. Without sounding sickly, I really did feel like part of me was missing.  23 years together not a day apart we kinda don’t work unless together 💔.

That night I took Alfie to the little park next to the hotel.  He was playing on a slide as big as him, and a Dad wheeled his daughter into the playground in an adapted wheelchair.  She was around 7 and oxygen dependent, Alfie like his Momma spotted the little girl straightaway, I could see him looking on.  The little girls Dad whirled the wheelchair around, laughing and stroking her hair.  Her eyes were still like her body, he spoke to her about the playground, a baby brother toddled onto the slide and a little ‘yappy’ dog was tied to the park gate.  “Mommy why is the big girl in a pushchair?” asked Alfie.  “She’s a poorly little girl Alfie, but she likes the park so her family took her there” he accepted my statement and played alongside the little boy.  Suddenly those past few week’s seemed like nothing.

I watched as the family made the best of their life.  They, I’m sure were aware of what the future held and I’m  sure shed many a tear, but that Friday evening they were out as a family and that was enough.

I have thought about the family lots this past week, and I have failed in the don’t let life get you down also many times.  But when I stop and really think, I recognise just how lucky I am, sometimes you must stop and like the old saying “count your blessings”.

The car has been badly scratched by a speeding car this week and is leaking water.  However, you know what?  There are people out there far worse off than me, and just sometimes you need to remember that ~

Always Be Grateful




8 Replies to “Always be grateful ❤”

  1. Another amazing insight into real family life,it’s ups and downs, the reality of invisible illness and how it affects us, when for others they would sale through! Thank you Stella and glad you are all together again xxx

  2. Chin up, chest out, and best foot f’ard there, Stella. I always knew that you have what it takes. I have also long since known that life can be so tough, and that those of us in the real world oft have bad days, or even weeks, lol.

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