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Sunday, 29 July 2012

An essential check-up for body and soul

Friday took Charlie and I to the Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW) for a check up.

the hospital's front entrance

A visit to CHW always grounds us, and I'm thankful for that. We go there and roam the corridors and enter our various clinics and realise how 'able' we all are when we can get caught up with focusing on those things we cant do or dont do well. The worries we have about the delays Charlie experiences with his speech and motor skills seem such a waste of energy when we are surrounded once again by the colourful and differently abled children that fill the Children's Hospital. 

a quick shot of the central corridor

Charlie had a renal ultrasound which revealed that his kidney's are still rather small, although this may not pose difficulties in the future - it's a bit of a wait and see. Charlie tends to become a bit traumatised when we enter the doors of the hosptial. His usual carefree, easygoing nature becomes suspicious and even mistrustful. To the point that although he has been having ultrasounds, xrays, ct scans etc literally from the day he was born, each time we return to do one is like the first one ever.  I had to talk him into lying down, showing him that the instruments that were going to take pictures of his tummy were smooth and not sharp, like needles. We read books together and  played with the helicopter just to calm him down enough to let the operator touch him! After 35 minutes of picture taking (it's quite an involved test where he requires catheterising half way through) he fell asleep and slept for the rest of the test!
Then  we raced to our next appointment in Rehab, for the Spina Bifida clinic.

heading down to the Spina Bifida clinic

We raced down to the clinic to see all the doctors and medical staff who generally oohed and aaahhed over him. Everyone was impressed with his walking and his overall progress in all areas. He refused to let me have the dummy which was very frustrating, but otherwise he performed well and charmed them, as always. I told them that Charlie was enjoying kicking the football and he has been given permission to play soccer when he gets to Kindergarten which is very exciting! We also discussed how much he likes dancing - so we may even look to see if he can have some kind of dancing lessons.

let's go, Mum
So it was with a great sense of 'anything is possible' and overwhelming optimism that we left CHW and made our way home. With so much to look forward to maybe I'll mange to persuade him to give up that rotten dummy before he starts school!

During this past week, when I have been especially busy and back to running around to seemingly endless appointments for the children, I had a reminder to not 'sweat the small stuff'.  I have a friend who is currently coping with many cancerous tumours whilst also trying to fulfill an important dream for herself, her husband and 2 young sons.by attending the Olympics in London. Jane has struggled with cancer for a number years and has endured more pain and trials than I could possibly imagine. Her sheer vitality, strength and courage and her absolute refusal to let the cancer 'win' is inspiring to say the least. She makes the cliches into life lessons : such as 'that life is for living', the importance of 'making the most of every second' and to 'not get bogged down with the stuff that doesn't add to your life'.

So between Charlie, who is constantly redefining what is possible for him, and the remarkable strength and courage of Jane, I have two amazing reminders to start this week looking beyond the small, irrelevant frustrations of my daily life and to be mindful of the vitality in the people around me, the joy in my children and to continue to believe in and strive for my dreams....

Thank you Jane, for this important lesson on living better. My prayers are with you for less pain and greater enjoyment in London, a wonderful time in Hong Kong, and a smooth trip home.

Kate x

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