Gratitude

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January 19, 2013

thankyou
 

Well life is very strange sometimes.

Early January, I posted on my Facebook page a question... "What would you like my next blog subject to be?" There were a few options given and the most called for were the 'gratitude' and 'detox' blog options.

See, I thought I could finally talk about REAL and DEEP gratitude after an experience I had on my summer holiday so that was option 1.

But as a naturopath, I always seem to answer a lot of detox questions this time of year, so being early January, I went with option 2 - the Detox blog.

Fast forward to present day and I am now writing my blog on gratitude with a whole different perspective since posting that question just 3 weeks ago.

My initial gratitude blog was going to go something like this...

My family and I have been through a pretty rough year, 2012 was, lets say, the bumpiest ride so far. We had just moved from WA to QLD and hubby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just as he was starting his new job here in Hervey Bay! That's okay, we adjusted quickly after the shock of that diagnosis at 39 years of age and once on the insulin he needed we had our old hubby and dad back.

I was pregnant with my second bubba and my first (Arwen) had just turned one year old. Our second, Sam, came along in March and was born with a few health issues including silent reflux, which if any parent out there knows, can be pure hell. The first 4 months of his life he screamed and screamed and we just constantly wore him. I don't just mean put up with him, we actually 'wore' him in his Ergo until the right medication finally kicked in. That took its toll on me and my husband but with my hormones all over the joint, (I fell pregnant with Sam while I was still breastfeeding Arwen who was only 6 months), and being a stay at home mum with 2 bubs 15 months apart, one which could never be put down, in a new place with no family nearby, I eventually crumbled and fell.

I had recognised my symptoms of extreme anxiety, no sleep (even when we got Sam to sleep) but just took lots of St Johns Wort and carried on, as you do. Eventually I got to that scary point (you know it when you're there) and sought medical help. Everything looked up, we had Sam stabilised, mum stabilised, dad stabilised, and Arwen, well she has always been there putting smiles on our faces when it got rough.....

Then we learnt that Scott's new job that we had relocated from WA for might be in jeopardy and that hung over us for 6 months until he finally got a redundancy e-mail the day before Christmas. Again, that was okay. We had seen it coming, made some preparations and just thought we would go where the universe pointed us and start 2013 afresh.

So here I was, not long after, sitting in a day spa in Noosa during our Christmas holidays (sounds very fancy but let me just point out that it was my first day spa experience ever as well as an eagerly awaited birthday present from my darling hubby) and I had this huge feeling of gratitude wash over me.

It was like nothing I had experienced before. I didn't have to sit there and wonder what that nice feeling was, it was just an overwhelming strong and blanketing emotion of gratitude that tears sprang into my eyes.

I was startled until the epiphany reached me.

It sounds so obvious, but you can never feel the depth of gratitude I felt that day until you have gone a long way down and then been at peace again.

Live  

Now, the rest of this post (nor the beginning for that matter) is not to make you feel sorry for me or my family.

Sure, writing about it is very cathartic for me but what I really want to do now is describe all the things I was and am still so very grateful for, in what was to follow.

So 2013 rocked around (our year to start fresh, no more bad luck please universe)! My kids both started getting sick for like the gazillionth time in the last 12 months. High temperatures and what looked like a sore throat in both of them. My daughter, Arwen would only eat watermelon for 2 days and Sammy was off his bottles and solids and they were both miserable. Normal viral type symptoms. Then in the middle of the night, I heard the unmistakable croup cough coming from Sammys room. Yes, Sammy the barking seal. Doctor visit confirmed croup and steroids were issued for the swelling.

At the end of the second day on steroids, Sammy took a sharp turn downhill. His breathing was very laboured and scary sounding and his chest was heaving and I called 13HEALTH (QLD medical advice line).

I held the phone up to his mouth and the nurse on the other end said very calmly, "stay on the line, I'm calling you an ambulance". From there, a whirlwind of awfulness ensued and I now just want to say thankyou and write what I'm grateful for. I don't want to go into all the details of what went wrong as Sammy's procedures and follow up's are still ongoing, I just want to express a lot of thanks...

Sammy in ER  

I'm grateful for all the doctors and nurses at Hervey Bay hospital and The Royal Children's hospital that kept my Sammy alive. I'm grateful for the paramedics, the helicopter pilot, the modern medicine and those bleeping machines and drugs that kept Sammy breathing. I'm grateful to live in Australia where this is all covered by a public health system.

Arwy and nanny

I'm grateful for my beautiful mother who looked after our boisterous 2 year old for 2 whole weeks so Scott and I could pour all our energy into Sammy and his recovery. I'm grateful to my dad who gave his support by driving to see us and be by Sam's bed for a while to give us a break.

collage 1

I'm grateful for my amazing sister who visited nearly every day for 2 weeks even though she has a brand new bub of her own and kept bringing us things to make me feel better, a home cooked soup, magazines, so much food and snacks, did our clothes washing and even brought me a pic with an elephant with its trunk up. Because elephants are good luck with their trunks up. (I'm hoping some of you will think of the Aussie movie 'The Castle' now.)

I'm grateful to my brother-in-law. I'm grateful for my in-laws, sister-in-law and bother-in-law who are all down in Victoria but sent flowers, prayers and rang or texted us every day to keep us strong.

collage 2

I'm grateful to all my beautiful friends who lent their support by listening to me cry on the phone and send me countless words of support via text and Facebook. We have a friend, that brought us home cooked dinner one day and a bag full of goodies from my favourite healthfood store another day and generally just made her presence felt even without being at the hospital. Some other very close friends (Arwen's godmums) took us away from the hospital and out to lunch one day as well as bringing a really cool shirt for Sammy to wear when we could dress him again!

collage 3

I'm grateful for all the little things that took my mind off things for a wee while. The book I was reading at night, the care packages from the hospital, the day my hubby went and got me a cupcake and finding an organic gardening magazine in the hospital newsagent marked $8 down to $2. I just really love a bargain!  

collage 4

I'm grateful for the first time we held him again.

collage 5  

I'm grateful for Sammy's amazing recovery.

Sammy in highchair

I'm so so so grateful I called that phone number when I did and so grateful to that nurse on the other end of the line that rang the ambulance when she did, Sammy stopped breathing before being airlifted to Brisbane and if they hadn't got that tube down in time so a machine could breathe for him, well we might not have him now. This photo above is lunch time the day it all happened. Things can happen quickly.

family at southbank  

I'm grateful for my husband as without him, I would not have been as strong. He has always been my rock. Most of all, I am grateful to be at home again with the most important people to me, all under one roof again.

Lastly, I want to say I am very grateful to the likers of my page and my new Facebook and blog family. You kept those lovely words and wishes rolling in and for that I will always be grateful. Thankyou xxx

I thought I knew REAL gratitude that day in the day spa but lucky for me, I was shown how you can live with it on a daily basis.

Have you ever had something that you can remind yourself with every day, that no matter how shitty life can get - you are a lucky, lucky person?  

Love Alisha and Family    

***Update***

After a bronchoscopy we found that Sammy had been born with a floppy larynx and floppy trachea also known as laryngotracheomalacia. These kids haven't formed the cartilage needed to give these structures a rigid frame so they flop in and can obscure air space. During inflammatory viruses, the air space reduces further as the respiratory system swells. The age they grow out of it is usually between 2 and 5 years old but can happen sooner or also later! Some kids still present with it in their teens but of course the common cold gets less and less scarier the bigger they get as their airspace naturally widens as they grow. 

At the age of three now, our Sammy still battles to breathe with each cold he gets but hospital visits aren't as frequent and we generally have the confidence to see them through at home. He is an absolute superstar and takes it all in his stride and teaches us to do the same 🙂

thankyou

24 Responses

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

April 13, 2013

Thank you iSophie. My heart goes out to you and your family to have been through this as well. We are so lucky to still have them xx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

April 06, 2013

Thank you Kelly x

Brenda Janschek
Brenda Janschek

April 06, 2013

I was nodding my head all the way through this Alisha, remembering my own story and feeling yours at the same time. What doesn’t break us only makes us stronger right? You’re family are blessed to have you and you them. So much to be grateful for. Bren x

iSophie
iSophie

April 13, 2013

This is so close to my heart, I have tears in my eyes as this was almost our story too. We had caught it earlier luckily, but the Dr later told us (once he was recovery) our Baby was an hour away from heaven when we brought him to the ER. I have popped over from Rebecca Mudridges’ site and so glad I did, thank you for sharing your story. I have written mine, called Our Darkest Days if you ever had a spare moment for a read.

Since that first time he has had pneumonia twice more, and Scarlet Fever last year aswell. I have 4 sons, but this one has copped the lot. He is incredibly brave and resilient.

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

February 15, 2013

Thanks Bek, that means a lot to me, I was so unsure of posting something so personal but very glad I did now.im glad you enjoyed it xx

dogrosehealing
dogrosehealing

April 06, 2013

Beautiful – thank you for sharing your raw and honest story Alisha.

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 20, 2013

Thanks jade, and you are lovely for your kind words but we are so blessed, as families have been through much worse than us. I feel so lucky and grateful. Thankyou for your gorgeous flowers also, leashy xxx

Bek Mugridge
Bek Mugridge

February 14, 2013

This made me cry! And it made me smile and it made me feel grateful. So grateful. I am SO glad your beautiful boy is ok and that you and your husband have each other and such great support too. SO glad about that nurse, your intuition and Qld health taking care of your boy. As a mum I cannot imagine how it must have been…
I had an awful year last year becoming a single mum, going through a seperation with two kids and having a medical diagnosis I didnt want but I’ve never had to face something like this and you did on top of so much stress and moving and everything and your beautiful take on finding gratitude through it. Amazing.
You are such an inspiration.
Thank you for sharing such and honest and moving post, it really touched me and inspired me XXX

linda
linda

January 19, 2013

This brought a tear ,im thankful for you recognising your innervoice, dont forget to give yourself the credit you desearve for being a present mother, there is nothing like a challenging year and seeing your child in hospital to slap you in the face with what really matters. ( i had one of those years too in 2012 it made me feel helpless and grateful all at the same time) I hope the rest of 2013 is smooth sailing for your lovely family.

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 20, 2013

Hi Linda, thanks for those lovely words and taking the time to tell me that, Alisha xx

Jade
Jade

January 20, 2013

Oh wow Leashy,
Thankyou or sharing this update and your words on gratitude darling. It really puts things into perspective. It does for me.
Am so so relieved and happy for you and your beautiful family that Sam is better and back home. You guys are amazing with what you’ve endured to get through this. Lots of love for u all xxx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

Hi Megan! Thankyou and can you please thank everyone involved if you come across them? I especially wanted to thank Peter Stevenson and mike the nurse manager who held on to me and kept me from falling to the ground a lot. I am calling in this weekend but don’t know if they will be there? Xxx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

That should read lovely face! Xxx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

Thanks Kylie, I got used to seeing your lovely fave on your profile pic whenever you posted a supporting comment. Love my WA girls xxx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

You are biased selly but thankyou and I love you x

Megan
Megan

January 19, 2013

Alisha, as one of the nurses in the Hervey Bay Operating Theatres, I would like to say thank you for sharing your story and updates. We are all very pleased Sam is doing well, we have been keeping up to date on his progress from your posts.

Kylie Mc
Kylie Mc

January 19, 2013

You have a wonderful family and it goes to show things do not go according to plan but we can work through them with family and friends. Xx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

Thanks Sonia, for everything xxx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

Hi Hayles, sorry to make you teary, wont it be nice when we see each other again one day? xxx

Selena Freebody
Selena Freebody

January 19, 2013

You write beautifully Leashy, I am thankful for the health (now) of my family x

petajo
petajo

January 19, 2013

What a beautiful post, Alisha! Giggling at The Castle reference. :)

Not to say that what happened with Joad (hospitalised with swollen lymph nodes on Wed night) is anywhere in the same category as what happened to poor Sam, but I have a new level of appreciation of what you were going through… and yes, I have a new level of gratitude for the people and things around me. xx

thenaughtynaturopathmum
thenaughtynaturopathmum

January 19, 2013

thanks peta, im so glad Joad is ok after reading your post today…and im glad i got a giggle out of you :)

Hayley
Hayley

January 19, 2013

Leash, this was beautiful and difficult to read all at the same time. Brought a tear to my eye to read of all the challenges your family has faced. I’m glad people either made you lean on them or let you lean on them when you really needed it. Much love to you all, especially young Sammy. Hold Arwen and Sammy tight and kiss them often. All my love and best wishes, Hayles

Natural New Age Mum
Natural New Age Mum

January 19, 2013

Beautiful blog post Alisha. I am so glad he is okay. xxxxx

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