It is fast approaching, 31st March 2019 and I don’t know what has happened to the last few months let alone year. 2018 brought me the best gift of motherhood the second time around and I am exeptionally proud of that as well as very grateful. It isn’t something we are all gifted with the opportunity to be and I count myself lucky daily. Why do we need one day to say to our Mum how much we love and appreciate her? Well..
2018 also brought one of the darkest times in my life where, I almost lost my own Mum. It is one of those things you don’t think about, even though we all think we will live forever. When you are suddenly faced with something tha threatens that, you realise the sheer fragility of life and that it comes with no guarantees. I NEVER not once believed that I would get that phonecall that would shatter my world into tiny pieces. Immediately thought of what I wouldn’t have, time with her, photographs of her, meeting my soon to be daughter who was quietly growing inside me. Being able to see her face, her smile, her her voice, her advice.
The photograph above I took in 2017. I have hundreds of phone snaps but I don’t treat them with near enough respect as I should and had things gone the other way, I would be clutching at every single image I had left.
My Mum went from healthy and enjoying life, to very seriously ill in a matter of moments. Though I knew she wasn’t well, I didn’t know why. We all get colds, headaches, tummy bugs.. this was different.
During that call, I broke. My world shattered into a million pieces at that diagnosis of a brain haemorrage. All I could think of was ‘What? How? Why?’ My mind was racing as fast as my heart was and I just didn’t know what to do next. In my past working history in nursing, supporting patients with such devastating diagnoses was part of my day, every day, though it was incredibly humbling and such a priviledged position to be in, never did I know what it felt like to be in that position, hearing that news.
The next hours were a blur, as I prepared to go and visit her in the hospital and I didn’t really know what to expect, though I knew she was still able to talk to me and respond. Upon arrival, I could see how poorly she was and we were made aware of the plans for her transfer to a bigger hospital with the facilities and expertise to treat her.
So here we are, awaiting surgery on her brain to secure the bleed and prevent any further complications. Brain scans, blood tests, monitoring, drugs.. Was this really happening? I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t think straight.
Following the initial surgery (yes she had to go again) she was immediately transferred to intensive care. I can’t count the number of lines, tubes, monitors that were there, all doing the job to keep her alive. Her blood pressure was maintained at levels I would have considered dangerous but in reality, it was necessary for preserve her brain. She didn’t react well to anaesthetics and this had a negative effect on her immediate recovery. This felt like a backwards step and was frustrating and very scary. Though the neurosurgons reported that the surgery was successful (BIG SIGH OF RELIEF). We were not over the horizon yet, she had to return to theatre for another operation and that was stressful for us all. Consent forms to sign and agree to, the risks that presented with the surgery. There isn’t anything worse than reading that. Health professionals whizzed in and out all the time. The nurses were absolutely incredible. I know how much so, but so see, feel and experience their love and care was ever so precious in an ever stretched health care system, bursting at the seams.
A few days later she had the second procedure and the consultants decided it would be best to keep her anaesthetised for 24 hours to gently help her brain heal and improve her post anaesthetic recovery. This. Scared. Me. I know, she looked asleep but I was gripped with fear and didn’t stay long. All night I cried. By the next morning, My Pops had called the hospital for details and she had been woken up from her induced slumber and is recovering VERY well. This was like heavenly music to my ears. It was like the sun rising after a stormy night that seemed to last for hours and hours on end.
Every day she got stronger and stronger and after just over a week in intensive care, she was beong prepped for a transfer to the ward. Another glimmer of hope. Only minor complications since the incident. Is this even real I wondered? I know that this could have been so so different and I thanked God every day.
On the ward made me really understand that we were so lucky. My mom can walk. Talk. Do many of the things she could before. Different but STILL. Eventually they were happy for her to be discharged home!!!! SUCCESS. My Mum is coming home! To rest, recoup and heal. Overall this lasted about 3 weeks but I am sure it felt like a lifetime. Each day was a struggle for her, but she took it in her stride. I am so proud of how well she managed it all, she has done amazingly. How lucky, grateful and appreciative of the extra time we have!
Of course, this is a whistle stop tour of how tough last year was. It doesn’t bear thinking about most days.. I plan to take more photographs this year. This made me realise how important she is to me, my daughters, my family. An awful way to learn that life is a gift. What a weight photographs hold. A moment in time that passes so quickly otherwise.
Mum, I thank you. I love you. Thank you for teaching me how to be a Mother. For raising me, loving me, caring for me. If I can be half the woman you are, then I have done GREAT. I don’t know what I would have done without you being here.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I decided to make available some time for you to preserve some memories. You won’t regret that. Very limited spaces available.
Save £40 by booking by 11th March 2019 at 12pm.
As a gift, those who book by then will receive a complimentary 9×6 mounted print, frame ready. Further details are below, though if you have an enquiry – please get in touch.
Speak soon, T x