Month: January 2017

The dangers of sick bugs galore

I’ve been somewhat quiet on the writing front over the past week or so. I’m currently working out which antibacterial brand I should be taking out shares in. The Vital Baby Acquaint Sanitising Water is a pretty good one. I think I’ve also used about 100 of these Flash wipes. I have been pretty much house bound since last Thursday and it looks like I have at least another two to three days to go. One by one my three children have been dropping like flies with a really nasty sickness bug. Freddie was the last to get it. I got a call from his special needs school yesterday to say he had been sick so I got in the car and rushed over to get him. His poor yet amazing TA said they were all in the dinner hall at lunch and he started to look unwell. We think he is having Absence Seizures so she thought that was what she was looking for. Unfortunately, sometimes the signs he is going to be sick look a bit similar to the absence. The next moment, the whole table and all the food on it was no longer looking very appetising. Argh, it’s just too horrid but they still had a sense of humour about it. (So sorry to anyone reading this whose little ones go to the same school. Eek.) I now know I am also quite adept at driving carefully and catching sick in a paper receptacle on the move. It really really makes me heave.

Bella is back to her usual self but Jago is really poorly so he has gone to stay with my Mum-in-Law to be looked after. This is something I’m feeling really guilty about, although I know he is in very safe hands. I’m so lucky to have this support because although it’s not nice for any child to be sick and feel so poorly, it can be really dangerous for Freddie so it means on this occasion I can give him my all. He has an unsafe swallow and doesn’t chew his food well at all so we have to be really careful what he eats. He also doesn’t very often wake if he is sick in the night and he doesn’t really move in bed. This means I have, in the past, come in to find him laying on his back with sick everywhere and lots of pieces of undigested food all over the place and still in his mouth. Such a choking hazard. So, last night he stayed downstairs with us until we couldn’t stay awake anymore and I stayed up with him all night to keep him safe and comfortable. We are now just trying to keep water down. We have gone from trying to pipet 1ml of water into his mouth when he was an infant because he wouldn’t/couldn’t drink it, to now withholding water to only small sips when he actually wants to drink gallons.

Also, I now officially have old lady hands from all the cleaning, washing and use of antibacterial. For anyone else who has this problem of incredibly sore hands, my top tip is to either buy some Burts Bees Hand Repair Cream or my other favourite, L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I swear by them. To top it off, we are having some work done to the house so no water or use of a washing machine. Thank you AM for walking my dog and taking home a basket of laundry, don’t know what I would do without you and thank you LN for being such a fab friend.

After spending the last 24 hours with increasingly rapid breathing and heart rate, frothing in the mouth, constant throwing up and choking, Freddie is finally sleeping on the sofa. It’s given me the chance for a hot cup of tea and few minutes to update my blog. Plus a little rest from all the jolly kids TV I have been subjected to for the past week.

I hope you are all staying clear of this horrid sickness bug.


Last week was a first for me. My friend and Mentor, Clay Lowe, invited me to take part in a Podcast with him. We talked about Aimee Mann Mentoring, the first in a series of events that I am facilitating, hosted by Entrust Care Partnership and what it means to be Undiagnosed and the support I have received from SWAN UK. It was a great experience and I hope to do another one again in the future. If you have a few minutes to listen, maybe whilst doing your ironing or you can log on to Radio Warwickshire and listen to it in the Car, please do have a listen to learn a little more.

When 20 pairs of eyes are all on you…

This morning was a mad dash, more so than usual. I had been invited, in my other capacity as Volunteer Parent Representative for SWAN UK to meet with 20 Paediatricians, consultant and trainee level, at our local hospital. It was infact the hospital where all three of our children were born and where we spent our time in SCBU with Freddie.

I was there to tell them about Freddie’s story and the importance of having a sense of belonging to a community who understand you, having access to good quality information and knowing that the professionals who are supporting you have somewhere to signpost you rather than telling you to go home and to wait and see what happens. This elusive support network and raft of good quality information is often very hard to come by when your child has no diagnosis to explain their problems. SWAN UK, however, was my saviour.

I always hated public speaking and I used to be a lovely shade of beetroot even when presenting in the corporate world but as time has gone on I have learnt to love it. My worst moment ever was appearing live on one of the shopping channels, I was terrible. Ah how I laugh when I think back now. I could have taken part in The Mannequin Challenge and most likely won it.

When I first started public speaking for SWAN UK, I realised very quickly that I knew my topic inside out and that gave me the confidence to speak.

When I first arrived today and looked through the window I thought I must have looked like one of those cartoon characters who’s heart is pounding out of their chest.

That feeling really only lasted about five minutes though. Once I started to tell them all about Freddie and our experience it all just started to flow. The reaction was such a positive one and I loved it.

SWAN UK made such a impact on me in my state of limbo and distress that I took on the parent rep role and this is one of the things, along with my other supporters such as Entrust Care Partnership, my coach, my lovely friends and family and of course Ollie which have given me the confidence to set up Aimee Mann Mentoring to really support and guide parents of children with special needs and disabilities with or without a diagnosis.


Time for some Zzzz’s

January 3rd brings with it a holiday day, The Festival of Sleep.

A very sleepy tiny Freddie getting in some Zzzz (2012)

I can hear the sounds of sarcastic laughter ringing in my ears. With so many of us running on empty and trying to managing our sleep debt, the thought of a whole day dedicated to sleep and rest seems very far fetched. Although its origins are a little hazy, The Festival of Sleep is like an official duvet day. Ah I remember these days fondly, days before children, working in the city or my university years. Whole days spent in my PJs, drinking tea and watching terrible TV. Finally getting showered and dressed just in time to make it to the shops to buy food for dinner. Brilliant.

So, although the majority of us won’t be able to achieve a whole day of rest, do try to take 10 minutes, half an hour, a 20 minute walk to just be and rest. Don’t look at the ever expanding To Do list, don’t put another load of washing in and don’t do any paperwork. Just be. If you can get time to do a favourite activity or have a nap then grab the opportunity with both hands. Light the candles, read a book (or at least a whole chapter, I’m still trying to finnish the latest Jilly Cooper) have a bath or play some music you like. Here are some of my all time favourite things: The Little Book of Mindfulness, some beautiful candles, aromatherapy and some lovely bath salts or bubbles by Neals Yard.

Be kind to yourself.

My wonderful Mum-in-Law had all three of our sprogs to stay the night so that we could go out for New Years Eve. My poor hubby had to leave for work at 8am this morning so I found myself alone. Even the dog had a sleep over. Although feeling very guilty knowing I could be ticking many items off the huge To Do list I have created, I took my Mum-in-Laws advice and took some time for me. I have had a very cheesy 1980/90s morning watching Cocktail and Pretty Woman whilst drinking HOT cups of tea. I’m not totally sure when this opportunity will come my way again so I decided all the jobs could wait and I would pretend I was 22 again and chill out for a bit. I could have gone back to sleep which would perhaps have been the most sensible but I’ve loved my cheesy one off morning. With that said, I better clean up the house a bit and go collect my children.

Happy New Year Everyone. I hope it is a positive and kind year with lots of opportunities for wonderful memory making with your children and the odd time of rest.




(This blog contains some affiliate links through Amazon Associates UK)