24


Image24

24 years married today!

googled 24…got Jack Bauer, NHS 24.

so tried to decide how to mark the 24 years….and decided maybe pick a view on each year.

  1. 1988 this day was a dry, crisp day. Had the choir sing carols at the Wedding. Looking back now so many folks not there any more…but outstanding fact is ! “What possessed me to pick that dress?” – could i have had any more detail on it? Went to Madiera on honeymoon …water-poisoning…spent a week in bed in tears…thought I would NEVER get home! But we did , home to first house and to a wee puppy Tootsie – so it felt like a home 🙂
  2. 1989 – still very much the junior staff in school. Very easy picking for a hateful boss – and she was! Not a happy period for me.Suffered panic attacks about the way i was being treated in work. Thankfully Jimmy supported me through it!
  3. 1990 – we went on holidays to Acapulco. Was a fantastic and really special holiday. Never experienced heat like it, or luxury in hotel…we had a pool with underwater barstools. Felt very sophisticated and very happy.
  4. 1991- was time to start thinking babies. Discovered i was pregnant in June – very exciting. First grandchild in each family. Remember the day i booked in at the clinic…was late to work – and called in with an excuse, but my imbalanced boss was having none of it. Remember her bringing me to the office when i arrived in late – remember i HAD called in – and she stabbing the desk with a letter opener, as she told me how unacceptable a migraine was  – and me just having had a scan and seen my baby  (blob baby as it then was!) oh other memory Met Placido Domingo in December.
  5. 1992- in February my baby was born. A gorgeous,perfect little girl, with beautiful dark hair and dark eyes. She was so loved, so carer for, so spoilt. A demon to get to settle in her own cot, but otherwise a dream child. We had a big Christening for her – almost like a mini wedding, but wanted everyone to see out girl. Took her on holidays to Cyprus with us in Summer , was no problem at all. I do remember that her first Christmas she had to wear the ugliest frilly frock – as my sis-in-law bought it as her “Christmas day outfit” – GROSS. Santa brought her a little tikes bike, and a glow-worm. She was walking a little by then.
  6. 1993- seemed obviously the time to have some company for daughter, so became pregnant again. Was a very different experience. Very sick until 8 months! But had been checked for twins, and wasn’t so knew was just a big baby. i remember it was an incredibly mercilessly hot summer. And the hotter it got, the clingier my daughter got as she perched on my ENORMOUS bump! Also remember had a close family relative in end stage cancer at the same time as i was due, so i was very brave as i gave birth to a perfect son at 9lb 9oz as i knew what real pain she was in. I had to get out of maternity ward for the funeral. He was a very independent baby – starving, and then ready to sit in a bouncer and fall asleep. He really was no extra work.
  7. 1994- Went to Majorca. And aware of how big a handful two wee babies would be, we brought my sister, and our child-minder’s teenage daughter – who babysat for us. Was a great holiday – and still have giggles about it.
  8. 1995- Our first year in Forida for holiday. We loved it! Was larger than life, and made for convenient living. I do remember the first time we went being PETREFIED of mugging, child abduction…and all other attrocities! But we had a great holiday. Children thought it as so magical. So happy.
  9. 1996- Broke my foot at a gig in the Empire in Belfast. Took  two whole days off work and then thanklessly and stupidly hobbled in on crutches for the rest of the 6 weeks. Never realised how long it took for a person to grow up! We went back to Florida – a wee bit more brave – and kids being so much bigger were able to take part a lot more. We also had learned that you can not physically do 2 theme parks 2 days in a row or you are wiped out!
  10. 1997- We moved house. A very very instant decision, and possible one of the best we ever made. Within 6 weeks of seeing the house, we had bought, agreed, signed over, sold ours and moved in. This house was big, had floors, doors, fittings we loved and have never regretted the decision. But i found the actual moving so incredible stressful that swore NEVER again!. I will be waked in a corner of this home. Kids all love this house – and the neighbourhood.
  11. 1998- My mother-in-law collapsed with septicaemia – we had 6 months when she was in intensive care for organ failure…on and off respirators, ventilators, and unaware of so much of it. We had bags permanently packed as the call would come at any hour and we had to run to Dublin. She recovered enough to go home to live a further 18 months at a terrible level of dependency and no standard of life.God makes very harsh decisions!
  12. 1999- not our easiest year as a couple. I was very insecure and ill at ease. We had become complacent and took each other for granted. We talked and talked and eventually resolved to make changes…and to have phase 2 of our family – 2 more…one wouldn’t be fair! At the end of the year my asthma feel dangerously low and i was traumatised by being admitted to hospital on Christmas Day. I was in early pregnancy. And was on IV steroids, antibiotics, and all sorts of doctors making all sorts of “oooh” noises when they were told i was 14 weeks pregnant. But was told if i didn;t take meds i would die and therefore so would the baby…
  13. 2000- My mother-in-law slipped away. We felt so sad for the loss of dignity she had endured due to her cancer and the complications following her treatment. She would have hated the end of her life. Our son was born – strongly resembling his late granny. He had acne, but otherwise nothing that i could see- as i was still very aware of the drug cocktail we had taken! This was the year also that a family member almost pulled us all underwater with his mess – the world he had created. It was  horrible and unbelievable period in family life. Mam became very anxious…we thought…it was the trigger for her alzheimers.
  14. 2001- We tried a key camp holiday – and a disaster from beginning to end. Freakily bad weather, ant infestation, cold, rehoming us on Bastile Day, eventually in a hotel that resembled a nursing home. On the homeward ferry i thought we were going to die! We hit a freak thunder and lightning storm . Took an extra 10 hours on board – 10 hours when everytime you raised your head you were sick, all 5 of us lying in 2 bunks listening to the creaking of that ship. NEVER again will we ferry or mobile home!
  15. 2002- Our youngest son was born – delivered over 5 weeks early. I had been hospitalised 5 weeks before that due to a memorable pregnancy rash. I had to be drugged up and he therefore had to be monitored. Anyone who suffers long-term itch has my sympathy. i thought i would go mad! I remember ringing home to tell the older kids they had a new brother, and my daughters disappointed voice when i said it was a boy – will never forget it, She had listened to people saying was the same shape as was with her…. But when she did visit i remember her exact words: “mammy when i heard i had a brother, i was really disappointed – but now that i have seen him , i love him so much!” – and she did.
  16. 2003- Mam’s health at this stage was obviously degenerating. She was at the stage of repeating sentences, and making inappropriate comments. My sister had a terrible period in her life. She had within 14 months 2 babies who died – unrelated events. One delivered when she had a very bad strep infection. Her second was diagnosed on her scan as having “incompatibilities with life”. Both little boys were born alive and died in her arms. I felt so useless, as i could only do stupid things like make physical calls , but in terms of real help i was useless.
  17. 2004- we were discussing possible diagnoses and reasons why our child was immature in ways, advanced in others, petrified in crowds, yet life and soul at home…test after tests…differences of opinions..
  18. 2005- Son’s aspergers diagnosis. so decision to spend more time with him and the other children than at work. So applied for 2 years working a 3 day week. Thought 2 years would give me the time to make financial readjustments. Was a great change. All the children loved the benefit. I could do on my off days what we used to spend weekends doing…shopping! So weekends became family days PROPERLY!
  19. 2006- Things started to become complicated with our eldest child. We tried to decipher, to no avail and when we did eventually – after so many many months, she was so ill it was way beyond our expertise…wont elaborate further for her sake…but was like the bottom fell out of our world. Our asperger’s son had a terrible fall and suffered stoically as always as his pain threshold was so high. He had a fractures skull and a brain hemorrhage. Thankfully made a full recovery.
  20. 2007- Retired from work due to ill-health. Had been hospitalised with severe life-threatening asthma attack. It was given emergency treatment and i was put on usual maximum steroid treatment. Didn’t respond to treatment, and developed Cushing’s Syndrome due to long term use of drugs. Was up and down to regional specialist for treatment and supervision. Something had to give – and for the past 5 years had been nebulising regularly and remaining at work, so the ONLY variable in my life was to remove the 3 days work and hope that helped. Had also been having back pain and was diagnosed with upper back, shoulder problems.
  21. 2008- Me being off work gave me time to help bring kids to appointments, and worked out fortuitously. Was a time of revelation. the real friends from the people you know – and was like de cluttering my life! One of the removed people was a close family member. This person had been a very heavy burden on us in many many ways but eventually pushed us to a position of no return – and for self-preservation, this was undoubtedly the right choice. And it WAS at the end of years trying every other method of helping them. Now we faced them up to what they were and that we were NOT able to continue being doormats and struts.
  22. 2009- my heart condition became a problem, and not surprisingly. life had thrown a lot at us. I needed surgery and had it. It seemed to repair the problem – but was temporary. Needs be repeated.My health was now really getting to be a mental burden to me, and my level of disability something i hated.
  23. 2010- Had a minor car accident . Sounds nothing. BUT it was life changing. I have been in constant lumbar back pain since then. It affects mobility, lifting, sitting, sleeping, ability to play piano, my LIFE. I sit using supports, I lie using supports, I take huge amounts of painkillers, and i have to have radio frequency ablations- to burn the nerves which control the area in pain. That will be as good as it gets. Thank you little boy race in white van – you wrecked my life!
  24. 2011- Admitted to hospital several times with severe migraines. Was definitely stressed due to health, and did have complication from a heart diagnostic test, which further heightened my awareness of my limited heath. On several headache episodes which did last days – not hours, i had noted numbness in my head, and was admitted with suspected strokes. They were ruled out but i was still having these events. They involved horrendous drug cocktails!
  25. 2012- our annus illnesses! Never did we dream that this would be the year it was, We buried my father-in-law, one of life’s nicest men. Our son was part of the winning MacRory Cup – the school trophy for gaelic…and went on further to become all Ireland runners up. Those were the positives. There were too many negatives to name them all…but they included cancer, drug adverse reactions, diagnoses of brain abnormalities, increased osteoarthritis, new heart abnormalities…. Mam has become so advanced in her illness it is bleak to watch… but we have had to develop a black sense of humour, as nobody would believe it in a televised drama! Well maybe a Clarlie Brooker…

am NOT projecting to 25 as how could i ? so many tests, and illnesses are continuous, and so many unresolved. but at least we are battling together… whatever life throws at us…but it couldn’t throw much more? COULD IT??

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3 comments

  1. Helen, you must have been a child bride 🙂
    Many congratulations to you both!

    The year by year idea is really interesting, and not a little scary- we’d all have our ‘not grown up’ moments, illnesses (though NOBODY has illnesses like your family 😉 !!) bereavements etc, but I’m not I’d want to see them laid out. HH- brave woman x

  2. by todays standards i WAS! engaged at 22… i meant to do an item per year, but became more and more like the mapping of my autobiography…
    when its all laid bare, you really realise how toughly you judge yourself.

    brave maybe…stupid maybe also??

    Hx

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