Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Like most people, New Year is always a time I find myself reviewing what has been and what we hope, as well as what we fear, is to come. This Christmas, so many people wrote in our cards greetings about hoping 2007 is a better year for us! The same messages were written in the Christmas cards in 2005, when William was in hospital for more than half the year. Infact, the message was even there in 2004, following William's premature birth as a result of me being very ill and spending a month in intensive care before hand. To many people, it must seem like we have had a dreadful 2006. It started with William in hospital, where he had been for many months, and the news that he was probably not going to get better but that we needed to learn how to look after him in the home within a framework of pallitative care. Then, in February, we nearly lost him in a very scary incident of septacemia. He eventually came home later in the month and, after so long being a pretty fragmented family, we had a somewhat difficult period of re-adjustment where it was clear how much the girls needed their Mum and how difficult it was for them to adjust to having such a sick brother and feeling so different from their friends. Luckily, with the help of child bereavement counsellors and sibling days at CHASE, the girls are on fantastic form now. William continued to have medical emergencies throught the year but we have learned to deal with IV antibiotics etc at home now so he only stays in hospital when he is dangerously acutely ill. Of course, things had taken a bit of toll on Paul and I and we often took that out on each other Things were just beginning to settle when it became clear that William's problems were more than just his intestines and he was developing physical disabilities. We were told he had a wider neurological condition and then, the very next day, before we could get our heads around that, Paul had his accident. Paul was then in hospital for a month, followed by 3 months with an external frame on his leg. He is still in plaster and further surgery is a very strong possibility. On top of that, poor Paul had the flat he still has in Tooting flooded and, last night, just as the year was coming to the end, it was burgled (as found today by his parents who were round to get it ready for the huge rebuilding work needed following the flood).

When you look at all the facts, it has been a difficult year. I have purposely not put any new pictures here. There are plenty to post and they will come tomorrow, but for now, if you would like to see some picture, look back over the ones there are on previous posts. Think for a minute what you see. OK, there are the odd ones of William poorly and the washing that results from his never ending and uncomfortable fluid loss. What shines out, far beyond any of that though, is happiness. William is the happiest child I have ever known. Hope and Ellie are now back to their very happy selves. We have had some amazing times this year, CHASE has been a huge positive impact on us all and have helped us cope with things - as well as providing some memorable days: a special zoo trip, Legoland, family fun day, sibling days, music therapy, swimming, parties... Then there were the meetings with footballers and pop stars. Above all this are the wonderful people we have met and made close friends with because of the situations we find ourselves with William. I have spoken of these friendships before and how important they are. Many of these friends have lost their children. We nearly lost William and we nearly lost Paul - but we didn't and that must, surely, make 2006 a fantastic year!

So, has 2006 been such a bad year. Look at the smiles and judge for yourself. I think, a challenging year is what it has been and, will 2007 be better. Well, in those terms, probably not. William is in the same position medically as this time last year but now has emerging physical disabilities to learn to cope with. He is getting older and noticing things so this will probably be the year when he begins to understand some of the ways he is different to others. He will carry on having his emergencies. More surgery is a certainty, in fact, this begins on Thursday when he has to have a new hickman line. We may well have to think some more about transplants and other similar treatment decisions. Paul may well have surgery. Hope goes to secondary school. Of course, we still live with the very real fear that the very worst may happen to William this year. Some may look at this at the end of the year and feel the need to write, "may 2008 be a better year!" But this isn't a going to be a bad year for us, it it going to be another year of what is now normal for our family (Paul's leg is not so normal and lets hope that is all sorted by the end of 2007!!!). It is going to be another challenging year and, let's hope, an easier one because we are learning how to deal with these challenges so much better. We will have our sad times and I remain vulnerable to sudden tears when we are having a fantastic day because I never want this life with William to end and, one day, it probably will. I'm sure this year will see lots more happy photos of a family having a great time! There is also the small thing of the marathon on April - as if I didn't have enough challenges!! Above all, we will carry on making the most of every day and living 2007 as full as is possible. I hope you all have a fantastic 2007 too and for those of you who have given us so much support, from our parent's who we could never cope without, to those who leave such encouraging messages on here - THANK-YOU!!! It makes a huge difference to us.


Katie H said...

Happy New Year to you and all the family - and i hope it is just that, a year filled with fantastically happy moments which can hopefully balance out the difficult times. The strength in your post reminds me of a certain pink person, your attitudes are to be aspired to.


Shadow said...

Happy New Year to you all.

You, Sarah, along with all of your family, are an inspiration. You have had plenty of hard times, yet you look back and the fun eclipses them where other people would feel clouded over. Without the bad times there wouldn't be good and looking back would be most boring.

Thank you for sharing your lives with us over the last year. I've really enjoyed spending time with you, on here and in person. I hope to meet up with you again before too long.

Hugs as always.

Mum said...

With such a positive outlook, how can you do anything other than recognise the happiness which is all around you!! I am so proud of you all!
Lots of love, Mum xx

Tinypoppet said...

A very happy new year to you all, a wondeful post...2007: Bring it on! Much love xx