Being lucky

For us, being lucky was something we never thought we’d ever come across again…

It’s not only funny, but its strange how time changes your perspective on life.

August 2013,  5 appointments at Haukeland, planning to build a bathroom extension and training room for Jennifer,  an operation in waiting,  new splints being cast, EEG again, new car we need to apply for and probably something else I’ve forgotten. …that just on top everything else normal families do.

Visit from Great Aunty Carol
Visit from Great Aunty Carol

Settled down in our new house, routines in place and the comfort of knowing there’s a hospital within 12 minutes of our house.

Everything in place for Jennifer, physio and occupational therapists, special educators and an assistant at kindy who was our inspiration for choosing that very kindergarten.  They have made us feel more welcome than we could ever have imagined!!

I picked up Jennifer today, and was told that there is so many people who want to work with her. I guess that too is an advantage of living in a city, where the population is accustomed to people being different.

I speak English to Emma, always have, always will. I notice that when I do it here no-one looks, but when I did it in Stord everyone stared, probably trying place me as the husband of the daughter of the bloke who runs the butchers at the old warehouse where his Dad once had bought a stale slice of meat or something country like that…..

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We’re lucky to have a system that is being administered and people who believe they can make that system work.

I never got that toilet cleaning job I’d wished for, so I travel to Stord 3 days a week and work from home 2 days.

I’m lucky. …The company I work for, and have done for 10 years,  is not only supportive, they’ve never once made me feel guilty for taking the day off to take Jennifer to the hospital,  nor have they put pressure on me or my family with regards to Jennifer.  They offered me a home office, and although I had a job offer in Bergen, it was hard to say no to them.

I applied for I think 3 or 4 jobs, I got 1 interview and was offered that job. The offer wasn’t great, a little less money and work every other Saturday.

The money’s not the biggest concern, but working every other weekend and Odrun every 4th is!

But the one thing I remember most about that interview was when I got to ask questions, I’d found out just about everything I needed to know but had 1 question left, my turn to turn the screws a little.

So I asked ” what does an employee mean to this company” …….

Not only was it silent, I never got a straight answer.

I guess being lucky doesn’t just concern Jennifer, and it goes to show that even the best plans don’t always work out 100%, or maybe they do but in disguise.

Odrun wanted to go back to night shift, 7 shifts a month for almost the same money as she had when working 80% day, evening and nights.

She also applied for 3 or 4 jobs and the first interview she had she got it.

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Night shifts gives her more freedom, and with 2-3 appointments on average every week with Jennifer it allows us to do that without the guilt of having to take time off work all the time.

Those negative thoughts that make you think cleaning toilets would make life easier generally comes because of instability.

But recognising those feelings and understanding them takes time.

When times are busy, when Jennifer’s not at her best and Emma is upset because she can’t come to the hospital the only thing you want is to be able to a somewhat normal life.

We get depressed by it, but we’re old enough and experienced enough now to know that it’s just a period.

You never really get to get off that roller coaster though, sometimes it stops to let others on, some even take a few trips with you, but that metal bar is firmly strapped over our legs whilst others hop off to carry on with their normal lives.

The period of Jennifer’s instability is easing, like most things about her, things are starting to stabilize.

Her body is crippled…..but she does the best she can with it.

Her spirit’s not damaged though, far from it. Her personality is gorgeous, it’s growing every day.

Her understanding of her everyday life is as good as complete, her expectations of what’s coming next, understood.

Gone are the days when Jennifer sat stiff and scared, gone are the days when a trip to hospital resulted in a sleepless night, gone are the days of the endless crying for days at a time….

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I love my daughters equally, but to be honest, it’s taken longer to fall in love with Jennifer, because it’s taken a hell of a lot longer to understand her!

I’d like to think that the choices Odrun and I have made for our family has contributed to Jennifer’s blossoming personality, I’d like to think that we’re making a difference….

I’d like to think that everyone can see life through our eyes sometimes, but at the same time I’d like to think that our life is becoming somewhat normal too…..

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