Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Home (Again) …

We’re back. Journey was (surprise, surprise) long, but relatively uneventful. Apart from getting stuck in a hour long traffic jam in Germany we made good time. We thought the porta-potti was going to get it’s first major outing when Adam announced he needed a poo whilst we were in the middle of said traffic jam. However, once he was sat down he decided it was only a wee. It happened a few times over the latter part of the week so we’re pretty sure it’s something to do with the treatment, or the drugs. He feels as though he wants to go, but after getting into the required position he realises he doesn’t actually need to go. Typically the traffic began moving again at the least convenient moment; so Alison whipped round to assume the driving position, whilst I’m stuck in the back trying to tidy up the portable toilet and slide it back in the cupboard under the seat. After which I’m stuck in the back until our next stop watching Jimmy Neutron with Adam.

We stayed at Ibiz St Niklaas again on the way home, though I’ve downgraded my opinion on it now, and we won’t be staying there again. First time was fine, but unless they can guarantee rooms 401 and 402 I’d give it a miss – unless you’re a smoker. Both times we’ve stopped on the way home the rooms have smelt of smoke. Whether people had been smoking in our actual rooms (they were fitted with smoke alarms?), or elsewhere and it was carried around by the ventilation systems I don’t know. But it’s not pleasant.

Adam continues to do well. We are lowering his dosage of gabapentin gradually, he will be off it altogether by the end of week. His eating was a bit variable on the journey back, but even though we’re doing the best we possibly can, it’s not exactly an ideal environment in which to maintain a strong appetite. When we got home he bounded round the house, and couldn’t wait for Jake & Jessica to get home from school. He went and stood behind a tree outside the front, ready to surprise Jake as he came round the corner. After fifteen minutes of waiting, no sign of Jake, and Adam becoming a little bored, Alison pointed out that my watch was still set for European time and Jake wouldn’t be out of school for another hour yet! Adam wasn’t best pleased with me.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent playing, eating, and generally destroying what small semblance of tidiness had previously existed. By the time Adam went to bed, an hour past his normal bedtime considering the time difference between here and Germany, he was absolutely shattered. But his homecoming, much like the second week out in Germany, was in total contrast with the first round. Now to continue like this for the next (almost) three weeks until it’s time to pack up and head out again. Fingers crossed.

There was more drama at home than in Greifswald this time round. Alison’s parents stayed to look after Jake & Jess for the first week, and my parents took over for the second. On Saturday evening Dad developed a nose bleed, but not just any nose bleed. A full-on gushing nose bleed by all accounts. Turns out he’d burst a main blood vessel up there. A trip to Epsom A&E was followed by ambulance transfer to the Royal Surrey Hospital at Guildford. Our neighbours stepped into the breach to look after the kids, and take my Mum up to RSH with clothes, medication and what-not for Dad. Not being local, the lateness of the hour, and being in a bit of a panic, would not have been the best combination had my Mum had to drive herself down there. Meanwhile I’m 800 miles away and pretty helpless, my sole contribution ensuring Jake is able to get to his football match the following morning.

Dad was discharged the following day (Sunday), but just as he was about to turn in for the night the bleeding started up again. Ambulance out, back up to the Royal Surrey for a slightly extended stay this time. I picked him up last night after being discharged for a second time, the offending nasal tear having been bunged for 24 hours, and then cauterized.  He’s got to stay at ours now for a few days, do nothing, and see if that does the trick; if not it’s back in RHS for a full surgical repair.

So many thanks to Clare and Angus for looking after our other two, and sorting Mum out; to the Coombes for sorting Jake out on Sunday; and Sarah for taking Jessica in after school on Monday. Jake did offer to pick Jessica up after school and take her home. I did consider it for a few seconds until Jessica piped in with “Ooo yes I’ll go home, that’ll be great. Me and Jake can fight each other without anybody there to tell us to stop” …

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