12 December 2015

Re-evaluating with Strawberry Brown



I have been absent from here this past week.  It was not an intentional absence.  Sometimes the path we are following through life takes us some place unexpected, the consequences of which can be good, bad or a bit of both.  Our life took an unexpected turn this week.

Last Saturday dawned like most others in the past month or so.  We have had many storms recently, all those with names have hit my part of the world, Abigail, Barney and Clodagh.  They have all merged in to one, at least that's what it has felt like, there were dry pauses but they were short.  It has been all about rain and high winds most days.  Then along came Desmond arriving on Friday [4th] afternoon bringing more high winds and rain which fell onto completely saturated ground.

We pottered about during the day, staying inside to escape the weather.  The fire was lit, the house made cosy, Christmas cards were made, letters written.  Outside the rain came down and down and down.  The field over the road turned into lake, the road flooded as did our drive in places.  In the end 14" fell in 24 hours.

That night I lay in bed listening to the wind howling and the rain lashing against the window, next to me lay Alice with a very high fever and breathing fast and shallow, between the two I couldn't sleep.  I lay there knowing that I would need to go out and drive through the awful weather and at 2am that is what we did, driving a completely empty road, with only fallen lorries for company, abandoned on their sides like a scene a small child had created and left.  The wind buffeted us as I drove slowly with my precious cargo towards the help we needed.

Lucky for us the first hospital was empty, we were seen straight away and an ambulance called within minutes we needed to be moved to a bigger one.  My suspicions about the cause were confirmed, pneumonia.  We spent four days confined to the corner of a room, we didn't need any more than that.  The chaos in the outside world was shut out, too much for me to comprehend.  When my husband asked me what I wanted him to bring for me do I requested a book.  I couldn't contemplate anything else.  In the end I only read a few pages, most of the time I just sat, still, in the moment.

We returned home on Thursday.  Coming out of our cocoon like butterflies, except that it was a little grey and cold which is not what butterflies usually see when they emerge into the world, has been slow.  Even the drive home was highly stimulating on the eyes.  We are taking it slow, very slow.  Alice still needs lots of rest but she is so much better than she was this time last week.  I always want a very quiet Christmas and now we will be even quieter.  There may be less presents, that is good too.

Whilst I come to terms with what has happened to Alice, I have been trying to comprehend the scale of the devastation caused by the weather.  My beautiful county has been utterly devastated.  So many houses flooded sometimes entire small communities.  So many roads are closed damaged by flooding, landslides or because they have a bridge that has yet to be checked, there are hundreds.  We were lucky to escape flooding.  Whilst I was getting the help I needed on the phone my neighbours were outside until the early hours ensuring the defences they had built were holding, the water we were defending was run off from fields above our house.

But we are safe, warm and on the road to recovery.  We are immensely thankful.  Thankful that we have a free health service run by professionals who gave their all and more to help Alice.  Thankful that Alice is home with us and we are a family again.  Life has a new perspective and it's a good one.

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So I guess you are wondering who Strawberry Brown is?  Well she is that very sweet bear in the picture.  She was given to Alice in the first hospital we visited by a kind and thoughtful nurse (she even checked her favourite colour first).  She has been a constant companion to Alice this past week.

48 comments:

  1. Thank goodness. I'm just so sorry you've all had to go through that ordeal. Take care, take it easy. Quiet Christmases are the best sort.

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    1. They are the best, I am looking forward to it now :)

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  2. I am so happy to hear that Alice has weathered that storm. That must have been very frightening.
    I wish you a peaceful and uneventful run up to Christmas now.

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    1. It was frightening, although somehow I had shut the bid of brain that could create panic. I was surprisingly calm despite the circumstance.

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  3. Goodness, how scary for you all. I'm so pleased that Alice is now on the mend. Quiet Christmases are good, just so long as you are all together.

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    1. That is what has become important now, being together. It always was just even more so now.

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  4. Gosh how awful for you, I'm thrilled Alice is on the road to recovery x

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  5. I'm sorry for all of you that you have been through so much lately. I'm glad Alice is on the mend. A quiet Christmas sounds like just the thing. Take care and enjoy being together.

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    1. We are enjoying being together, even more so now :)

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  6. Oh thank goodness you took her in when you did so you didn't get trapped by the storms. And yay much yay for the lovely NHS and the road to recovery for Alice. X

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    1. Yes I am lucky I didn't get stuck as many did that night. I was also lucky the ambulance could get to us as they had many calls that night from people they couldn't reach.

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  7. That must have been so scary for you all, as you say thank goodness for the wonderful hospital staff. Wishing Alice a speedy recovery and a peaceful, restful xmas for you xx

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    1. Thank you. It was scary although I didn't really dwell on it, I think I was in survival mode.

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  8. What a period of trials for you - the weather would have been enough to worry about, without a hospital stay for your daughter. So glad to hear that things are calming down.

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    1. It was almost too much. I am ready for a long period of quiet now.....

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  9. I had been wondering about you when I heard about Cumbria and storm Desmond. So very glad you are all safe and dry and even more glad that Alice is OK. For all its faults the NHS so often comes up trumps when needed and how thankful I am that is so. Enjoy a peaceful and quiet Christmas and so what if there are not as many gifts you have the main gift anyway. There will be time for extra giving in the Spring if you feel the need.

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    1. There will, that is exactly how I feel. The best gift is my family :)

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles and all that Alice has been through. What an awful time you have had. I wish you all a speedy recovery and quiet, restful Christmas. Hugs, F x

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    1. Thank you. I am looking forward to my quiet and restful Christmas.

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  11. thanks god you are all safe and Alice on the mend. Wishing you peace and calm for solstice and in these last few days before xmas.

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    1. Thank you. It does feel good to be back together safe and well.

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  12. Funny how things make you re-evaluate what is important. So glad that things are improving for Alice it must have been very worrying for you. My thoughts are with you. Let's hope that the rain eases soon.

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    1. They do make you re-evaluate don't they. It wouldn't have been my choice to make that happen but there is a part of me that is glad.

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  13. Your poor baby. I know what that feels like, our daughter had pneumonia when she was about 3 and it was very scary. She seems prone to catching it, she's had it twice more since then. I'm glad you were able to make it to the hospital safely, I'm so sorry about the devastation elsewhere.

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    1. Oh no! The doctors told me Alice might get it again in the future. It is scary when they are so little.

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  14. That must have been like living a nightmare. Best wishes to Alice on her road to recovery. The devastation from floods and storms is heart breaking, everyone affected are in my prayers.

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    1. It did feel a little nightmarish, I think I was in survival mode.

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  15. That bear in a very odd way will not only be a wonderful companion but a very precious memory maker. I am so glad that she is making a good recovery hope you have managed to have some much needed rest too.

    Xxx

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    1. She will be a memory maker, they are inseparable at the moment.

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  16. I can't even imagine this, so sorry for all that you have been through. Glad to hear Alice is doing well, and recovering at home. Take care of Alice, and yourselves, and know that thoughts and prayers are with you through the holiday season. xo

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    1. Thank you Kim. I am still trying to make sense of it all.

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  17. Goodness me! Glad Alice is OK, and that you managed to get to a hospital in all that dreadful weather. Take care. Hope the all floods and storms have stopped.

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    1. Thank you Emma. The rain has stopped now, hope it doesn't start again any time soon.

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  18. I am so sorry you had to go through this!! I hope dear Alice will recover completely as soon as possible and will enjoy her Christmas to the fullest! And you are right, these things help us to reevaluate what is truly important... Sending you and your family my best wishes!

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    1. Thank you Alina. Alice is doing really well.

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  19. I am glad that your Alice is good and healing and I'm so very sad that you had such high stress and terrible destructive weather...I hope the clearing and cleaning comes swiftly and your town looks like your town once more.

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    1. Thank you Karen. I am doing ok considering, but I don't think I have taken it all in yet.

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  20. so glad that you are home safe with Alice now, I hope that she continues to make a good recovery. what a releif that you managed to escape the flooding, the devastation is awful, my mother in laws house didn't escape.....

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    1. I am sorry to hear about your mother in law, so many houses were flooded it is almost too much to take in.

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  21. So glad that Alice is well on the way to recovery now. What a terrifying experience for you all. I feel so sorry for all those poor people affected by the flooding; I can't imagine watching your home disappear beneath the water; so terrible. Love the bear and what a great name. Wishing you a far more peaceful week. xx

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    1. I am enjoying my peaceful time at home :). I am so grateful that out house wasn't flooded but there were people in the hospital whose houses were.

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  22. so glad all is well and hoping things dry out. it's a bit wet here too. wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday. <3

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    1. It is drying out slowly we just need a decent period without rain. I hope you have not been effected by flooding, I had heard it was really wet in your part of the US.

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  23. Yikes! So scary to have a sick kiddo. Glad to hear she's on the mend and hope you all have a restful holiday season. And so sorry about the crazy weather. Hang in there, mama.

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  24. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I am very glad that your little girl is on the road to recovery. You must be so very relieved. How awful this must have been for you all. Sending you love xxx

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  25. I am so sorry. I can only imagine what a harrowing few days you must of had. I am so glad that your daughter is recovering. Hugs xxx

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  26. I'm only just catching up with everyone so I missed this post. I'm so glad to read that you all came out the other side of storm and sickness relatively unscathed.

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