Monday, 23 January 2012

A difficult choice.

The dreaded vaccination letter fell through our doorstep for Christopher just after Christmas. It has been sat up on the fridge as a thing to do but actually is being put off !

When I was 15 months old I had my vaccination and at the same time seemed to turn into a happy baby, walking, pulling stuff from shelves into a child that went pale over night, had fevers that never have left, rashes on me and swollen knees and ankles. My parents went to their GP. The GP didn't know what it was, they just told my mum it was a developmental phase, to go home and give me Calpol.

This didn't do any thing! Around the same time as my vaccinations I was also stung by a bee on my head apparently ,so my poor immune system was clearly massively under attack and no wonder it went into mega overdrive. Some months passed, my first word was "hurt" and all I did most of the day was point to my knee and say "hurt".

Eventually I got an ear infection which the doctors thought might have been the problem, I was nearly aged 2. I had grommet surgery and I came out completely swollen in all joints with high fevers that they couldn't control easily. Then and only then did it dawn on the medical profession that my mother never has been nor ever will be one of those silly drama people, clearly her child was very ill. I don't know what happened then but I was kept in Bath hospital for weeks, my parents were so frightened, they took me out for a walk with them into Bath and they stood outside the Bath Abbey not aware of anything or any one around them, both sat there desperately worried that I might have a terminal illness.

Fortunately I didn't! I have a debilitating illness that changes with the wind so one day I can stand up and walk about with ease, the next day I am stuck on nasty NHS crutches and in an old biddies electric scooter! I go from lively looking,petite woman, to ancient old hag in 24 hours hahaha. However my parents have said to me recently that they were elated when I got my diagnoses for Juvenile Arthritis as they knew you couldn't die from the illness. I don't think they had much of a clue about child arthritis or the madness to come, the year in traction on my bed being schooled at home, the endless surgery and months spent in hospital in London, the nutty splints I had to wear at night and calipers on my legs in the day,the help I would need to get dressed, helped on to the loo and off, help washing my hair etc. However we all muddled through it. I had a bit of a shout during my teenage years as frankly who wants to be 15 and needing help on and off the bog. My dad who rarely looses his temper, saying to me in the hallway to "bloody well walk" on two sticks I had been given and was struggling to use. I hated him that day aged 16, went to my room and cried feeling fat and useless. I don't think I can ever thank him enough for that though because it made me think right you bloody old git I will walk and I practiced standing in my room on my own at my table and then with my mum. I haven't looked back since!

Now I am the parent, I must decide whether I want my son to have these vaccinations, the possible cause of my illness.He has two parents both with severe youth arthritis so I guess he may be more predisposed towards getting it himself. Equally I need to tell myself that it would have been far worse for my parents to return from sitting outside Bath Abbey to be greeted by a doctor saying I had meningitis so I know what I should do really.  Any way if he gets arthritis, what more could an arthritic child ask for, two parents who really do understand how hard it can be, who can show him you can do any thing, it makes no difference how bad your joints are that day, rubbish joints do not need to stop you living a happy good life.

I can hear my son awake, before I go and get him up I shall pick up the phone and call the GP practice, get him booked in.


Friday, 20 January 2012


Right time for some me time.

I may have the added advantage of swallowing Pacman every day in the form of an anti inflammatory that eats every thing I eat and if nothing in my stomach will eat stomach lining! However I still want to keep petite and light on my feet for the sake of my old replaced joints and now am carrying a baby about I need to be double careful. So I am in detox, spring cleaning my body.

I tasted Green tea for the first time, why do things that are good for you taste rubbish!?!
I also purchased pure blackberry and blueberry fruit juice as these are also good antioxidants and immunostimulators. I am also taking some supermarket own vitamins and minerals along with another tablet which is Olive leaf extract which claims scientific evidence as an anti biotic, anti fungal and antioxidant. So in two weeks I hope to be blogging about the huge energy level I have, how I feel as strong as Popeye and look ten years younger as well as fairy light on my feet. I am sure all that is not much to ask being that I am putting effort and money into all these potions!

Off to drink some Blueberry juice now.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Health visitor motor skill check up

Today was Christopher's year old check up/MOT to see if all things motor skill were working as should be.

Long story short all is on track perfectly. She and I were surprised being that there is no one available in this house, not even healthy assistant dog, who can do much physical play with him but I had a door frame bouncer (had two but only the "Tippitoe" is workable for my husbands bonkers hands), which he has been using since he was six months old, a "Bumbo" seat which is sold as a seat designed to encourage your child to learn to sit independently which he has been in since 5 months and a fantastic walker which actually puts a child in standing position called "Babylo walker" since six months.

All the above items are great aids for parents who struggle because of their mobility issues,in getting their child to do some of those physical tasks such as sitting on own and weight bearing.

I was given a paediatric Physio self referral card today and "parents to be" this is important. If you are completely unable to put a child in a walker or door bouncer (I can manage putting son in walker but the husband has to be on door bouncer duty) then think about self referral to a paediatric Physio probably when your child is reaching three months. Talk it over with your Health Visitor when they come and visit at the three month stage.If you know you will find it hard to be able to get your child weight bearing it is no shame, heck our children will get ten books read to them a day and lots of time instead and many mums find that hard to do, get your child referred! A paediatric Physio will be able to advise you of exercises that you can or should be able to do with your child to help move on your child's motor skills, they will assess your physical difficulties in moving your child and work with you. This week I have felt a failure up until the health visitor came, I haven't got the only car seat I can manage yet, the order is taking forever, so still not been able to get my son out, was worried Christopher was not standing on his own etc. However I need not have worried so here is another tip don't worry, you can only do what you can do and your child will get there in his own time but equally don't listen to any one around you who has babies because they will be not very usefully telling you what their child did at aged one and most of it will be an opportunity to boast!

Verbalising, well my son takes after me and babbles for England, smiles and now says the word "Doggie"! So we have "Duck", "Doggie" and "Tedd". I wish my ankle joint would hurry up and land on my surgeons desk (maybe the same company used to deliver my axiss car seat are being used to deliver my ankle joint!) there is so much fun and life out there to be had that I really need it now, not for me, for my son, I want him to have the childhood fun that I couldnt have as a child but will make sure I can try and share in with Christopher.

Happy Able Parenting all x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Physical activity.

My lovely son and I playing with a favourite car. Brum brum brum.
Husband,son and I went to a shopping mall outside of Bristol, on Sunday.Every year my parents give us John Lewis vouchers as they do for my Brothers and sister so we all make an annual Middle Class Pilgrimage to the department store, the only time any of us can afford to do so as we are all paying hefty mortgages! My assistant dog had a day off as she spends a lot of time being nearly ran over by my son in his walker or having board books thrown around her from a high chair height and she picking them up continuously until she or my son realise the game is getting silly.

We spent some time slowly walking through the levels of the store, mainly because both my husbands and my ankles are needing replacement and we can't move up a gear in walking but also because we like to make the most of spending our vouchers and if we are going to spend a relatively large amount we like to think, think some more, coffee and think, think about the future use of a chosen product, the now use of a product but more importantly the robustness of a product as our little man is getting active!!!!

He isn't walking yet, is that normal? He has just turned one. However he is standing and grasping onto a sofa in front of him, he can wiggle around on his bottom or tummy really well and zooms around in his walker. It won't be much longer before the Wii the DVD player, the TV remote controls need to be at a high level.

MY QUESTION: What is normal for a one year old child, are our illnesses restricting his physical development? My biggest concern is that my sons life is not impeded on because he has been landed the misfortune of having creaky parents, sure he loves books, he loves advanced books, he will probably read War and Peace by aged 2 but I don't want to think that he doesn't play, he doesn't climb trees, he doesn't splash in puddles or kick footballs or know how to play like a little boy should because his father and I can not show him how. Time to bring in the Uncles,Aunts  and 8 year old football mad cousin I feel!   

Getting our son active has been costly on our joints and health but so worth it, we don't care how ill or sore we are as we live for our unit, we have the view that you just have to deal with it to get any where in life, no one deals with it for you or will want to help a misery sad sack.He has 30 mins in the door frame bouncer every day (Tippeetoes is the easiest brand for weak or poor dexterity in hands, put child into harness on a bed and put the door frame clasp on bedroom door frame so you are not lifting child too far).This works the little chaps legs followed by 20 min periods of time in his walker which also gets him moving. My husband and I will also find odd ways of standing him up when we are holding him just to trigger those neurones into action that aid muscular activity for walking. I am 4 foot 11, my reach is that of an ant and so my way of practising standing with him is two fold:

1. Sat on the edge of a bed I put my bent arms under his arm pits, and place lower him vertically between my knees whilst resting my dodgy wonky hands and arms on my thighs, his feet are firmly on the floor. I sing "I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow" and it all makes it jolly good fun.

Here is my long suffering "Canine Partner" assistant dog celebrating at a party for my son. She is sporting her party hat here. Just put that in as it makes me smile. 
2. On the bed again (soft landing for boy if any thing goes wrong),using my old plastic knee, due for re-replacement any way,don't do this if the NHS has just forked out for a new joint for you, I sit said boy on knee with his legs either side of my knee, I bend my leg, he then takes his weight and I just bend my body so my head is behind him supporting him, bit of a headache at the end of standing practice but worth it as he giggles the whole time!
Dog is hiding under the sofa as here is our son on Christmas day in the dreaded walker that my dog hates!

I always feel that whatever a Mummy or Daddy want to do, no matter who they are, they find a way, it is some instinct in us that kicks in to do our best, to give the most to our offspring.  We don't splash in puddles but we get washing bowls and fill them up with water, sit on the bed with the bowl and play splashing with our hands, or throw plastic toys into the water with our mouths.Our son has a dog who although only listens to me, can catch a ball very well, maybe that feels like football, I mean you stand in a cold field for an hour getting muddy so surely it is similar.  He goes to the park, he brings back a buggy full of cones, he has had his first Pilgrimage to John Lewis and he had blooming £26 worth of books from Waterstone at the weekend so he can't complain  :o)

My husband and son stirring the Christmas cake and making wishes.  
Mummies and Daddies I think every one questions themselves, I think it is healthy to do so and shows care for our Children, I do have big concerns for my child but that is another blog. Good night people x

My father and me holding my son on his first birthday, with my tall nephew who is actually kindly sitting down,tall sister also sitting, you can see I am a big person trapped in a small persons body, thank you very much steroids! That is why my son is gigantic, it is in his genetic make up! 

Friday, 6 January 2012

DUCK! Also look at Maxi Cosi Axiss!

Christopher's first word was spoken on the 3rd of Jan at one years old and 4 days, so proud!

Right down to business, if I can pass no other help to disabled parents please take heed of this advice.

GET A MAXI COSI AXISS as soon as you child is 9 months.

You can pretty much get any car seat up to this age because they are all inaccessible if you have poor dexterity, painful hands, arms, back and or poor reach.

I wish someone had told me about this seat earlier as I would have been able to go out with my son and meet other mummies and babies as opposed to stuck in most of the first year of his life.

My grip is rubbish so if I can work the leaver on the side of the axiss to rotate the seat to face me then any one can.

The belt button is tricky but do able with rubbish hands and fingers.
The seat turns 360 degrees so the seat faces the car door entrance making doing seat belts easier and putting child in and out of seat a godsend in easiness.

Thank god as I was getting a bit depressed at not being able to take
my son out especially as being good socially is important to me.

The seat can turn either way so if you find getting your child out easier utilising one arm more than another then think about this when getting the seat put in the car. My right arm is stronger although fixed in a bent shape it seems a rock solid Popeye arm to me!

Anyway I await the seat to be delivered as I tried it out in Halfords but the seat was pricey at £200 and I managed to get it at "Precious Little Ones" for £150 but Amazon are doing them for £160 as another source.