Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mr and Mrs

I appear to have so much to say this week. You lucky things. Who ever 'you' is. It's a bit long, get tea and some sick bags.

Let's begin.

In my opinion it takes one hell of a patient, loving, understanding, dark humoured person to be the spouse/boyfriend, whatever of someone with a serious health condition such as CF.  Or at least to be with me. I'm lucky in that my husband has all these qualities, plus it helps that I'm head over heels in love with him. No, I haven't been drinking but I am off my face on codeine. Yeah!

It's no secret that I've been married before - well I hope it is no secret because otherwise Tim is going to get one hell of a shock when he reads this. Can you imagine? 'Honey, there is something I need to tell you. Just read my blog... I'll pop back in a minute once you've read it and don't want to kill me.'

My first marriage ended after my son's dad left when he was a baby. So I decided that I would never ever marry again. Then in 2002 I met Tim. I saw him across a crowded room as he was sat tucking into some party food. He didn't notice me. I wafted my bare breasts past him to get his attention. That might have been a bit much seeing as we were at a kids birthday party but I had to get his attention somehow. 

As it happens I did get his attention because only six years later he asked me out for a drink. SIX YEARS!!! SIX YEARS! SIX. YEARS. I know what you are thinking, it was all so quick. Young 'uns eh? We have no sense of responsibility. 

So Tim sent me a message through Facebook. After six years (did I mention it was six years?) I was so pleased to hear from him that I replied after two weeks. Or if you like fourteen days. Or if you like three hundred and thirty six hours. Etc. Tim still gives me grief for this. I was on holiday and also on IVs. He thought I wasn't interested and got in a mood with me. I made that last bit up, although he was a bit put out that I didn't reply straight away and assumed I wasn't interested. Anyway, I replied and we had our first date in the romantic sounding drinking establishment called 'The Slug and Lettuce'. I wore my best flip flops and even brushed my hair. He impressed me by singing the periodic table to showcase his scientific knowledge. Yes you read that right. He SANG the periodic table to me. How can any woman resist? 

One of my main concerns was not only the fact I had a ten year old but also health issues. I didn't want to inflict all that on someone. After all a ten years old can be so irksome. Tim however took it all in his stride. I explained what I could. It's not easy to describe Cystic Fibrosis (or a ten year old) and how it can affect you especially when you look so 'well' to someone who has no experience of it. I'd lived on my own for nine years and any problems I could 'hide away' or just deal with myself because that is how I like to do it. My independence has always important to me. My son and myself were an unstoppable force.

After a few weeks of being together I had to have IVs and I was really worried about him seeing that because it seemed (in my opinion) more sort of 'graphic' than my usual treatments. Silly maybe but it was how I felt. I decided to throw him in at the deep end, handed him a syringe and medication and showed him how to mix it all together. I thought he would either accept it or politely ask to leave. In any case I'd bolted the door and hidden his shoes so he was going nowhere. After a while in captivity he learned to love me. No of course not. However we did have an amazing time together and we quickly realised that this was going to be more permanent. 

Tim came with me to most of my clinic appointments and what he didn't know he soon found out. My CF nurses are the best people ever in the world of CF nurses and they were so great in having him about and explaining some of the complex details to him. After eight months of being together, we went to a birthday meal for a friend of his. It was then he told me that he knew he wanted to marry me. Luckily I was sitting down and had no drink in my mouth (a rarity I know), otherwise I'd have spat it out in shock and fainted. The best part was that I felt the same way.

One thing that worried me was that when we met I sort of knew that I probably wouldn't be able to have another child because of my lung function being too low. At that time it was 35% (lower now) and you can't carry a baby with lung function that is so compromised. Not without major damage to health/death.  I spoke to the CF nurse about it and was advised that it would be a no go area. Telling Tim all this really scared me and I was convinced he might have second thoughts about our relationship. To be honest I was devastated but it's okay for me really because I already have a child/human. We spoke about all this in depth and whatever we have said to each other, we know that we love each other. Some things are just not meant to be, however our love for each other IS meant to be. Sorry if you feel a bit sick now. I don't usually write bile inducing things. It's true though.

One thing when you are a new couple who are still of so called 'child bearing' age is when people say 'Oh, it'll be a baby for you two next,' We have to smile politely and try and not to swear at them. We got told that SO many times. If we had got together earlier who knows what might have happened? However we are living in the 'now' and we are happy. It is other people's problem if they think that us having a baby is the best way to cement a relationship. Tim is the most amazing step dad to my son - our son. I can't say that I don't still worry about it when we see friends having children because I feel I've robbed Tim of something precious but he disagrees vehemently. 

When we had been together a few months, due to the nature of Tim's job he was able to take almost a year off work and so we got to know each other and spend the sort of time together that wouldn't normally have been possible. We still both agree that was one of the best periods of our life. We had so much fun and it cemented our relationship. We got to know each other inside out. Wink wink.  After about a year of being together we got engaged and then got married the year after that in 2010. We've been together for four years now and rather cornily it's like we've known each other forever.

My health has been very up and down particularly over the past two years but Tim deals with it as if it is all normal which is one of the many things I love about him. He finds it hard working in London (he commutes every day) because he does worry that I'll start rebuilding the house or something in his absence.

Not wanting to sound morbid, we don't know how my health will progress in the next few years and it has become obvious that my lung function likes staying low. We don't know how long we have together, who does? However we have the luxury (weird as they may sound) of knowing our time might be limited and so we make the most of it. Even if it is just gardening together or playing rock band  - it doesn't matter. The simplest things can be the best things. Plus we have the best of rows (and the worst of rows) sometimes. You have to.

I'm lucky to have such an amazing man in my life who is my husband. Ahhhhhh. (dispose of the sick bags on your way out)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dog's Dinner

I've not blogged in a while. Found things a bit pants since my last entry. However I have a story of the day.

Yesterday I walked the dog. The sun was out, yes I said the sun was out. It felt like Christmas but cooler. The dog and myself had a right lark. She swam in the river - I watched. She ran for the ball - I watched. She did a poo - I looked away. I picked it up - the dog watched.

We got home, I kicked off my wellies and the Minnie rolled all over the carpet to dry herself off before shaking off every last water droplet near the pile of clean washing. Then she went in the garden for a lie down to dry off what was left because you know she can't roll in the grass or shake in the garden to get dry, that would be silly.

I decided to feed her. She refused to eat the day before so I knew she was hungry. She watched me mix it all up, squashing the smelly meat between a fork whilst I told her how yummy her 'din dins' is. Why? Why do I do that? I've recently realised that I talk to babies in the same way. 'Look at your 'ickle face, look at youuuu, look at your face.' Whilst speaking those words my face contorts into a way that no human or living thing should ever see. As if doing this enhances the words.

So anyway, I fed the dog and went off to do other things. The dog watched me and followed me. Every time I stopped to turn round and look at her she would stop and paw my leg. I went room to room and she obediently followed me round, stopping to paw me every now and then. It was a bit irksome to be honest. Then I realised she was trying to tell me something. Some disaster had happened. My god!!! She was like a canine version of Skippy the kangaroo or was a new Lassie. I knelt down in front of her and said in my best Australian accent 'Strewth! What is it Minnie, tell me what's wrong?' She just pawed me and looked at me intently. At least Lassie made you follow her/him, at least Skippy had a series of clicking noises that you could decipher. I just got a paw and a sad face.

I had a think. 'Are there any children down the well? Is there a fire? Is there a fire down the well?' My accent had slipped a bit by now and sounded more Indian but I doubt Minnie really cared. I raced outside to check the local well even though there is no local well. Oh. I looked up the street expecting to see plumes of smoke. No smoke. Typical. There were no children in difficulty. Stupid children.

I decided to go to the kitchen to see if anything had happened in there. Minnie perked up and looked excited. I KNEW IT!  The sink must be on fire with children in it and Minnie was letting me know. God knows how children had got into the house never mind them getting stuck in the sink. I made a mental note to check I'd locked the back door properly. The sink was empty of children. The dog was now sat looking intently up at the work surface. I KNEW there was no children on there because it's too cluttered. Cluttered with you know, various utensil holders, salt and pepper shakers, bits of cereal and the bowl containing the dog's dinner. Oh wait. The dinner for the dog. I hadn't actually given it to the dog. This was no disaster. I felt disappointed. I gave the dog her dinner, and she had the cheek to give me a withering look whilst she ate it.

Have a before and after photo when I planted stuff in my garden.