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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Skinny legs

Sometimes on Facebook you get the odd video popping up on peoples feeds. Inspirational stories, horrifying stories, funny stories a lot of them come from a site called Upworthy. This has become one of my new favourite places to time waste when surfing the world wide web of distraction.

Recently a short animated film appeared on a news feed entitled Cuerdas. It is in Spanish but you don't need subtitles to understand the beauty of what the story is telling you.

Basically I can't watch it without using a full toilet roll to mop up my wet face simply because the little boy in the story reminds me of Zack. His little floppy socks, his skinny legs, the chair. 

The director of the film, Pedro Solis won the Goya Award 2014 for best animated Spanish short film. I knew that the person who created this story also knew first hand what Cerebral Palsy is, what someone looks and acts like, how people react to children who are different. Pedro has a son who like Zack suffered starvation of oxygen at birth. In this article he talks about his son.

Pedro Solis

The film is an idyllic reflection of what can happen when barriers are broken and friendships are made, heart-breaking and emotional. I warn you have tissues at the ready.

The link I have put for this film has subtitles just click on the choose language drop down bar and pick Spanish 39%, odd but it works.


Monday, 7 April 2014

And I never dropped the child

Finally got to see Zack's ENT doctors at Manchester Children's Hospital. The doctor thought I was coming for a chat about hearing and grommets, and whilst, yes, that is interesting, I was there to talk about the endless sleepless nights Zack has when he gets an Upper Respiratory infection.

Every cold turns into a problem with breathing through his nose, which is made all the more difficult when he is lying down at night. Hence, no sleep for anyone. The doctor was great, I explained about the four courses of antibiotics, the secretions and the blocked nose. He asked if Zack has ever had a blood test to check his immunity levels, errm no. Blood test booked in that morning. 

Second stage of investigation is for Zack to have a sleep study, to see what his oxygen levels are like at night. He will stay overnight in hospital for this procedure.

So having had a good appointment I waited in reception for Zack to be called in for his blood test. Oh did I mention I also had Scarlett with me. Yes. For anyone who knows the hospital there are about four waiting rooms in one huge area, a bit like an airport lounge. The small child took herself off to watch a television behind me. I stood up to see where she had got to whilst holding Zack in my arms. In comedy fashion my heel got stuck in my trouser leg and for what seemed like seconds in slow motion I could feel myself losing my footing. I can't fall, I reasoned with myself I have Zack, how will I stop myself, oh I know I'll scoot about like I'm running on the spot like one of those cartoon mouse characters. Eventually I fell onto my knees, bang. In front of an audience. And I never dropped the child. I thank you.

Never a dull moment.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Operation Bluebird

Easter, that means chocolate, eggs, rabbits, Spring and a Bluebird.


Yes. That was Zack's given title in the Easter assembly at school. Oh how I like a challenge and any excuse to do a bit of creative crafting. 

There I was 9pm at night sticking blue feathers all over a hooded top, all over me, all over the house. Earlier on operation Bluebird was stopped thanks to the three year old saying "I'll help, I'll blow the feathers". 

I have to say i was pretty proud of the costume, not sure Zack was impressed with it. We went to watch his Easter assembly at school. What an absolute delight. I have never seen so many happy children, a little boy performed the beginning of Coldplay's Yellow with some musical bells and a lovely boy sang the song. 

However, Zack's class looked amazing dressed as garden characters and wow, was I so proud of my Bluebird when he came zooming in on his standing frame, dancing around with the help of one of his teachers. It was brilliant. 

Bluebird Zack

Zack testing out the costume

Well done Zack.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Job titles

Before I had Zack I worked in marketing. Mainly within the education sector. I liked my job, it was interesting, if a little stressful at times. 

However, since having Zack I have developed an abundance of new careers and having written that last post it got me thinking (stand back I am having a Carrie Bradshaw moment) how many job titles do I have? 

Here's the list:

Health Advisor
Occupational Therapist
Speech Therapist
Administration Manager
Personal Assistant
Adaption Officer
Managing Director

Think that covers it all so far.  By far this job is the hardest, busiest and most stressful. And by far this job is the most rewarding, stimulating and motivating. Bet all you mums and dads of children with special needs are thinking of some I may have missed, feel free to add.

Nudge on my shoulder

I have lapsed in my skills as a physiotherapist. I remember a time when I would do some physio every day with Zack, until life and another child got in the way. 

Don't get me wrong, I would at least do something once a week or even little bits here and there but not every day. I noticed that during a period of illness Zack had got very tense. He hadn't been to his conductive sessions for at least six weeks. Last week he returned. When I collected him, he was a different child, very relaxed, loose and not at all, tense. I mean, granted he could be in a state of shock having been put through the equivalent of a DVD session with Davina, but it did him the world of good.

And this nudge on my shoulder prompted me to instigate an after school regime. 

So now every day, after he comes home from school we get the mat out and do 15 - 20 minutes of physiotherapy. This includes stretching, tummy lying and sitting up. 

It also includes an assistant coach called Scarlett. More like an extra in a fitness DVD she sits by the side of us, stretches her arms up, and does splits with her legs. All, whilst watching Curious George. 

Zack seems to be enjoying after school physio. The other day he sat unsupported for six seconds and managed to pass six trumps too. Nice. 

It goes to show that if we want to we can fit things in to our busy schedules.

Oh yeah, if that's true, then why can't I fit in twenty minutes of exercise? Seems I am more motivated toward my son than I am at being fat free at forty.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Happy Birthday Scarlett

And we cannot go any further without saying Happy 3rd Birthday to Zack's amazing, beautiful little sister Scarlett.

Happy Birthday Scarlett, you still rock.