Clinging to hope

On the morning of Friday, 8th February, Abi had another CT scan – her first scan after the two operations. Taking her for this scan wasn’t a quick process for the care team; just to move her to the scanning room was a major task as all the equipment had to go with her. We left them to it and waited another couple of hours for this to be done and for her to be brought back to ICU.

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Intensive care … is intense

Seeing your child in intensive care is a scary prospect, it’s not called ‘intensive’ for nothing! The machines are the first thing that you notice, but you know that every wire and machine is there for a very good reason so they become less daunting after a while. I almost got used to them, even the alarming beeping noises, which sound dramatic but are actually just notifying the nurses of something like needing a fluid top-up.

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Fight or flight… going to A&E

Picking up from my post on CPR (CPR – do you know how?), where I described the distress of Abi’s collapse, I thought I’d try to describe the panic I experienced during Abi’s transition to A&E, and how that changed to a numb acceptance that helped me deal with the hours of waiting that followed. While this is incredibly hard to recount, it is also interesting for me to examine how I felt at various stages.

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Organ donation: Abi’s parting gift

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As Dying Matters Week draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my personal experience of organ donation. It’s vital we feel able to talk about aspects of death like this. I have shared, in quite some detail, the process that is necessary in order to donate organs to another – a dilemma we were faced with when Abi died (so grab a coffee and a tissue!). If you are considering joining the organ donation register, you may find this post useful. It contains details of the steps involved and how complex the process is, which was something we certainly never realised until we were there.

Abi had collapsed into a coma following a sudden brain haemorrhage at home. The prognosis wasn’t good but the brilliant neuro surgeons at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol operated on her anyway the same night; she had just a 5% chance of survival at that point, but any percentage was enough to give us a slim hope.

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Four months on… what is grief anyway?

[This blog was taken from notes I’d written whilst sat with Abi at the cemetery around 10th June 2013.]

Four months on, is that right? Have I grieved? Have I even started…?

What is the point of all that crying if at the end I still feel such deep and painful sorrow? Crying usually releases a tension, helps me feel better. But these tears are different; they flow easily enough but the emotion changes from despair and hurt, to sadness and depression. I suppose, if I didn’t feel able to cry, rant, write or talk then I’d be in a very bad place by now. So, to grieve must be to let my emotions surface as I mourn my darling child, but it feels like that is all it is. There seems to be no benefit, no end to it. Yet, even still, I can see that recently I have been able to laugh sometimes, though not as sincerely as before; I can converse, can think, can function apparently normally.

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