Monday, 4 August 2014

Mum is ill and everything goes to pot.

So I left you hanging last time, in the blog before I cut and pasted The Telegraph article, with an ellipsis after the words, "I can't breathe very well." Like this...

As you many have guessed by my silence ever since, I got ill. After antibiotics and steroids I  ended up on a nebuliser at my local surgery. Here I am…

That summer cold turned out to be flu. It went to my chest and aggravated my latent asthma. Asthma I never had as a child and only developed after having children of my own, and living in London, and pushing a double buggy up a steep hill, next to a busy road, for years on end...

There I was ignoring the warning signs that I wasn't up to much and just carrying on… Writing a couple of articles (one of them about the joys of doing nothing, ha!) attending an awful lot of meetings, going out to see the movie Boyhood and the play Bring Up The Bodies and the Italian fashion exhibition at the V & A and the local comedy festival and taking a child to and from a sleepover in West London... Oh and a trip to the outdoor cinema in the park, in the drizzle, to watch Thelma and Louise and have a picnic with mates. In fact, I was a bit of a twit...

Because mums can't afford to be ill. It's not like the washing and cooking and 'mum-ing' will wait. It won't.

So even when I couldn't breathe and the doctor said I might end up in hospital and could die of a fatal asthma attack at any minute (yes, she really did say that, which rather put the wind up me), I cooked the dinner every night and managed to put a wash on. 

I perfected a way of sitting next to the laundry bin on the landing and lifting one item out after another, to make a pile, and then asking one of the boys to carry it down to the machine, where I met up with it again and slowly loaded it in and switched it on.

I waited for husband to get home each evening and then asked him to chop things for dinner, and to arrange ingredients into piles, before gingerly getting off my pew and standing, as still as possible, in front of the hob to stir, or fry, or simmer...

And the children? Well Eldest spent most of the day in bed recovering from whatever he'd been up to the night before, so he wasn't much use, although I did get him to hang out the washing, once.

Middle One spent all day every day on the computer watching blues, or jazz, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, or whatever the hell he's into nowadays, while also playing the guitar and then the piano, and then the guitar again.

Youngest was my biggest worry. What to do with him? He was in danger of reaching a Club Penguin world record.

A friend rescued me, or rather him. She took him to the Lido with her kids three days in a row... 

I still had to help him find his swimming trunks, of course, which were exactly where I told him they would be, of course. And I had to find him a towel, and some money, and cover him in suncream, but at least he got out of the house and I knew he was happy. And my friend even made sandwiches for him.

Where would mums be without our friends? Up the creek without a paddle, that's where. 

So thank you friend, if you are reading this. In fact thank you to all my wonderful friends, who texted me constantly to ask how I was, who wrote lovely supportive things on Facebook when I posted that picture of me on the nebuliser, who offered to get me some shopping, who generally made me feel supported and loved... 

Because being a mum to three boys who are 12, 15 and 18 can be a tough and lonely job when you are ill. Having lovely mum-friends to get you through makes all the difference. 

And luckily I do.

Love E x

I haven't got round to telling you about how I managed to pack for Center Parcs even though I was ill… and what the decorator did to our beloved Virginia Creeper on the front of our house while we were away... "What do you want doing with it?" he asked. "Oh please just trim it," we said, "because we love it". And did he? I'll tell you next time…

And here's a selfie (my first and only selfie, honest!) taken BEFORE I got ill, when I had just had my hair done and was feeling swanky. It's here in the name of balance, you understand, just to show that I don't always look like a knackered old lady with a nebuliser on my face…

And btw - it's Day 20 without booze. Think my next drink might have to be by the sea, on holiday... 

Cheers to that!




  1. goodness methats a bit scary! but the slefie does look swanky x

    1. Thanks! Yes, nothing like being faced with your own mortality while trying to put a wash on. E xxx

  2. Crikey that must have been frightening. You need to do more nothing!

  3. I know! The week I wrote that piece turned out to be totally manic. Ironic! E x