Monthly Archives: August 2014

Life and death

Beautiful words. Tragic loss. Death and life and yes we should talk of it more Hannah you are right. You have inspired me and I will write my own tale of those moments of pain on time. Be safe and thank you for sharing so eloquently. I am sorry for your loss.

hannah richell

Earlier this week I stood outside in our courtyard, balanced on a wooden bench, picking dead leaves from the vertical garden my husband and I installed just a few weeks ago. It’s been unseasonably warm in Sydney and the new plants are thriving – mostly; yet here and there curled shoots have fallen by the wayside, lost in the shock of their recent transplant. As I stood there with the sun warming my back and a hand full of crisp, brown leaves, my mind raced ahead to a vision of myself as an old lady stooped over a garden, pruning dead shoots and faded flowers. I have been asking myself in recent days how long this pain will last, but standing up there on the bench, I was struck by the sudden realisation that this pain isn’t going anywhere. Many years from now, I will still feel this ache of losing my husband. Wherever my life goes from here, there will always…

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I have spoken about this before. My small boy has big poo problems. This has been going on for 2 years now and quite honestly is breaking us. Not just him or me but the whole family.

It impacts on every part of our lives in every way possible. Even when it’s an okay spell we are watching and waiting because we know we are probably on borrowed time.

I am constantly watching him, watching what he drinks, what he eats, how many times he has been to the toilet, has he had a poo yet today. If he has had a poo what was it like, does it look like constipation overflow, was it enough. Will he need to go again?

I don’t like to go out until he has been and if it is a particularly bad day (the other day I had to clean him up 5 times) then we don’t go out at all. People say to me “oh just take spare pants and trousers and wipes”. They don’t understand that it is much more involved than that. It is not just cleaning up what inevitably will be very messy runny poo. It is dealing with the outpouring of shame and consequently anger that he will lash out with as he is only 4 years old.

He will scream and hit and scratch and sometimes bite. He will break things on purpose because he is angry at himself, at what he is unable to control Sometimes he will hurt his sister. Sometimes he will hurt himself. The other day he gave himself 3 nosebleeds in a row by ramming his fingers up his nose and scratching and picking. That was the day he went through 5 pairs of pants.

His sister has to sit by and watch him get what looks to her as all the attention. She tells me that she feels left out. She tells me that wishes all of this would stop. She comes and hugs and kisses me when I am in tears for the hundredth time whilst stroking my hair and gently whispering “shhh Mumma it’ll all be okay”. She is 6 years old.

We had almost 2 months recently where things got really good. By that I mean almost normal. He was realising that he needed to go and going to the toilet by himself. He was so happy and proud and we all felt like a weight had been lifted. I even took them to
Legoland for the whole day without my husband and it was okay!

Then one day he just went in his pants again, 5 times in a row. He wasn’t ill, we were at home and he told me he was too busy to go to the toilet. “You’ll clean me up won’t you Mummy?” He said whilst laughing.

I wasn’t laughing.

I’m still not laughing.

I want there to be a happy ending to this post but all I can say as that we’re all still here. I want to give up but I can’t so I’ve done this self indulgent brain dump instead.

He goes to school in a month. Big school.

I am scared.

I’m trying to smile.

I’ll keep you posted…