Tag Archives: Illness

Book review-The night the angels came, by Cathy Glass

I just finished this book a few days ago. And as usual it was a great read.
This is Michaels story. It is an unusual case for Cathy in that Michael did not come from an abusive family or one that neglected his needs. Michael was very much loved.
The reason Michael came into foster care was that his dad was terminally ill. He was dying of cancer. He needed someone to look after Michael when he went into hospice and when he eventually died.
The book is poignant in so many places. Patrick who is michaels dad is such a kind, caring, gentle man. He wins Cathys heart and the hearts of her family.
In the early part of the book Michael comes to Cathy while his dad is in and out of hospital due to his illness. Each time he stays a couple of days or weeks. He is not a permanent foster child in Cathys home like in her other books where the child she’s looking after stays for a long time maybe a year or more.
Patrick also gets to know Cathy. They go out together for a meal, and they’re two families are closely in contact with one another, they go swimming together, and do other activities to allow michael to get acquainted with Cathy and her children. But while all this is happening of course Cathy and her children become very close to Patrick.
Patrick realises this too and during one of his hospital stays he makes the decision that he should put some distance between himself and Cathy and her children for the sake of everyone. He doesnt want them unduely effected by his illness and impending death.
Cathy takes Michael to visit his dad in hospital. One of the most poignant parts of the book is the very last time Michael visits his dad when his dad is unconscious in the hospice. He sits talking to his dad and just spending quality time with him. And on that night his dad dies.
During the book patricks friends nora and jack, and coleen and eamon are prominant figures. They are patricks dearest and oldest friends. It turns out that Coleen and Eamon offered to look after Michael when pat dies. But so did Cathy. She had mentioned this to pat early on when they’d been out together. Cathy did not know that Coleen and Eamon had also offered to look after michael, so it came as a huge shock. In the end Michael does to go Eamon and Coleen, because they are his god parents, and also they’ve known him since he was a baby. In the end it is the decision of both stella michaels social worker, and Michael as to where he should live. And he chooses to live with Coleen and eamon.
It is a really fabulous and touching book with a lot of depth and emotional parts. I really liked it and I’m sure you will too. Be prepared for many emotional scenes and sad parts but also lots of happy moments too. I think anyone whose going through terminal illness or the death of a loved one should read it. Also foster parents, social workers etc.

Nitros vet visit

So last Saturday morning I took Nitro to the vets. Usually he is good at the vets, although he doesnt particularly like having things done, being poked at by the vet etc. I initially took him in because I thought he had ear mites and also he needed his anal glands expressed. The vet is lovely and first she weighed him. He’s a little overweight so needs to lose a few kilos. He’s already lost 2 kilos and when I weighed him on Saturday he was down another 300 grams. He needs to lose about 5 more pounds, but he’s steadily losing the weight so I’m happy with his progress. After I told the vet about why I brought him in, she checked him over. She said she’d do an ear swab to check for mites. But when she put it under the microscope she said he didnt have any. She said his ears looked very red and inflamed and so she thought he had allergies and an ear infection too. So she gave him a steroid injection and an antibiotic in injectible form too and then she gave me a weeks worth of antibiotics for him and also some ear drops for a week. She also looked in his mouth and said he has a lot of tartar on his teeth, he’s pretty young to have gum disease and stuff going on but she told me to buy a solution to put in his water, that should hopefully get rid of the tartar, and if not, he’ll have to go on special food. The total bill was 150 euro, I was shocked at that. The drugs at 90 euro were the most expensive part of it. But I was so proud of Nitro he was such a good boy and didnt even flinch when he had his ears cleaned, he actually seemed to enjoy it, like it was a relief to him or something. I’ve to bring him back for a check up next month but I usually go once a month anyway to buy his food, flea treatment, etc so that suits me fine to do that. Since he started the drugs he’s doing a lot better and he isnt shaking hardly at all which is a good sign.

Death of a family member

So I’ve posted on our blog a few times, that our grandad was very ill. It was kidney failure he had.
He died last Sunday. At 1:25 in the afternoon. It was a really peaceful death, but the lead up to it was awfully hard on him. The week before he died he was extremely sick. The toxins from his kidneys went into his brain. He had severe agitation, confusion, etc. It was really awful to watch him go through that.
On Friday morning he got a morphine pump on…and that was the beginning of the end. He slipped into a coma then and only woke up for brief periods, where his eyes would flicker open and he make little sounds. We were all there when he passed, all of his six kids, and 10 grandkids. He died smiling.
The funeral was yesterday. It was so very sad. But it was also so beautiful. He got cremated. That was his wish. The service was beautiful, with lots of singing, readings, my aunt spoke about him, and we did the prayers of the faithful. I almost fell apart as I read them but somehow I held it together.
Its been a really emotional few days. To be honest I am glad its all over. It has really taken an emotional toll on us. I know my grandad is happy now and he isnt suffering any longer. Its a relief for him really. He had such a fear of dying, however he fought such a courageous and brave battle. He inspires me to be positive or try to be positive about life and keep fighting and battling on even when I dont want to.

Mothers day

So its mothers day today in Ireland and I think in the UK too. We gave our mom her mothers day present already on Friday evening. We gave her a bunch of flowers, chocolates and a bottle of baileys liquoir. And of course a card too. She was thrilled with what we gave her and kept thanking us.
We were meant to be going for a meal today but our sisters sick. She got a stomach bug and she was so sick with it that she had to go to the out of hours doctor and get an injection. The pain was so bad that she was crying with pain. I felt really sorry for her. Both her partner and her little boy have had it so it did stand to reason that she’d get it also.
I seriously hope I wont get it because its awful. If there is one sickness I cant stand its vomiting and diarroea.
Mom said tonight that we could go for the meal on St Patricks day to make up for not going on mothers day. For St Patricks day we’ve decided to go to a local parade and then we’ll probably go for something to eat afterwords.

Our dads brother, an update

So as your all aware, our dads brother is in hospital and has been there almost 3 weeks now. It will be 3 weeks on Monday.
Well, first, the good news. He’s awake, he’s off the ventolator, he’s kind of talking, but mostly its mumbling, you cant really understand what he is saying a lot of the time.
He is being tube fed, and he currently has chest problems, an infection-pneumonia which they are trying to get rid of with antibiotics. They are also suctioning him through a tube in his nose.
Yesterday morning he became really agitated and pulled out all the tubes and wires that he’s attached to, so they put these gloves on him that are like boxing gloves, to stop him from doing that again.
The bad news is that he’s mostly unresponsive and he’s not progressing as much with his rehab as they thought he would. For instance his swallow is not great, he’s having speech therapy and physiotherapy too but he’s just not responding as much as he should be.
So…it is most likely that in the long term he will be going into a nursing home. He wont be able to live independently any more. I think its really sad that he’ll have to spend the rest of his life in long term care. Nothing has been arranged yet and probably it wont be for a few weeks. A meeting will have to be arranged with the doctors and a social worker first to arrange things and discuss the plans for where he’ll go.
His whole left hand side is dead and even though he’s getting physiotherapy on it, its unlikely that it will ever work again. He only has a tiny bit of movement in his fingers of his left hand and in his toes of his left leg.
Its a terrible situation for our family. Our dad is very depressed as you can imagine. He didnt want his brother to end up like this. None of us did.