A dad's journey into health


March 2017

The New Guy at a New Job

We’ve all been there, the new guy (or gal) in the office, being introduced to the team with absolutely no hope of remembering  any of their names, having to learn new, alien ways of working and trolling through reams and reams of policy, induction gubbins.

Well this week it was my turn, yea new-guy-me.  It has been so good to get back to the world of work after so long in the redundancy wilderness.  Not just get back to work, but a work that is very interesting and for a supportive organisation.  Things for me have definitely taken a turn for the better.

Unfortunately I started too late in the month to get paid at the end of March so we have a barren and fraught April to endure first.  But and end is in sight at least.

It was so easy to get out of work mode and truth be told I do miss a lot of aspects about being off, like having time to clean the house, spending more time with the kids and Xbox time (cheeky wink).  I will not miss, however, the stress, the rows and the lack of being able to afford anything.  I would like to take this time to say thanks to the government (I know, right……Whaaaaaat).  Honestly, the amount of money you get for being a job seeker is low but it also allows you to work 16hrs without impacting on that amount, so working a few days and getting the allowance really helped us to keep our heads above water, till more work came our way.

Hopefully those days are over for good but I guess you never know and I will never be so complacent about work again, look after number one.

But back to the positive.  I have a new challenge and feel like a new me, I feel good and have started working out again and it seems to have coincided with the sunny weather of spring, so positive vibes all around.  Now I can focus on fun with the family, completing Uni and for the first time in a very long while, booking a family holiday.

I have another week of new experiences and knowledge to gain and am looking forward to it.  We’ve had to make childcare changes to accommodate my new hours but we are getting there.

I really struggled through redundancy, listening to peoples wisdom.  They would say ‘something will turn up’ and ‘things will be okay’.   I felt it was bollocks and just people wanting to get out of an awkward conversation (and maybe sometimes it was) but this is just something every family goes through (or hardships in general), I guess, it’s all cyclical.  They knew, and now I do too, that things on the whole will be okay and if you have people around that give support and love, you find a way.

Stay lucky guys

Toodles muchly

Happiness in the moment

I have a niggle, something gnawing away at me.  It’s not that important, it won’t change the world.  But it is annoying me.  I have a lovely life on the whole, great family, good friends and what I hope will turn out to be a good job.  I’m a happy, positive person and am always being told how laid back I am.

All that being said I seem unable to ‘enjoy the moment’ to appreciate things as they are happening.  When I need to get something done I am pretty task focused and attack it till the job is finished,  some might say that this is a good quality to have and in some ways it is.  However I seem to miss out on opportunities to connect with people or just to enjoy the thing unfolding in front of me.  I’ll give you an example, many years ago I queued up for a long time to get an autograph (for someone else) from the group ‘James'(oh sit down, oh sit down etc) and when it came to meeting them I was so focused on them writing the message on the damn cd, that I totally missed having chat and banter with them that could have led somewhere, like a great story to tell people.  I came away having completed my task, yay.  But they must have thought, ‘what a dick’, boo.

That’s an extreme example but you get the drift.  I notice it more when in stressful situations like having to ring the bank or  making sure my child doesn’t get left out when meeting Santa.  Get the job done, seems to be my subconscious mantra (Damn’it subconscious, don’t make me come in there).

Am I alone in this???????   I don’t want my kids to grow up adopting this silliness.  I want to be able to embrace things and seize the day, or just being relaxed enough to take part and enjoy.  I know that I’m not worried or scared of these social transactions, could it be a kind of stress or a need to get things done? (don’t want to go to deep here I may open a gate).

This is just the nonsense that niggles me in my more idle moments.

Hope you are all carving out some happiness for yourselves

Love ya

Losing my boy

So this week, we lost one of our family, Gus.  He was amazing in ways I can’t describe here and he has left a huge hole in the family.

It all started just over a month ago, he was a happy and (seemingly) healthy dog.  All of a sudden he developed a cough, we went to the vet and they said that he had a respiratory infection and started him on a course of antibiotics.  16-10-06_1611 This did help at first and he perked up again, soon though it came back and we went back to the vet.  A stronger dose of antibiotics was prescribed and he perked up again but by the end of the week he had slumped.

Walking him was fine for about ten minutes and then he became exhausted, something wasn’t right anymore, I could feel his spine, something I had never been able to do in the past due to his impressively strong and muscular back.  His fur had also lost it’s shine.  He was struggling to take a full breath now.   We went back and asked for an x-ray and the vet agreed.

The day came and we took the big fella in, hoping for the best but fearing the worst.  We were told to ring back at 3pm to see how he was.   No more than an hour later, we got a phone call from the vet.  We had gone out to the supermarket to keep ourselves distracted. The vet sounded very sad and told us at there were multiple tumours  in his lungs and there was only about 21% of tissue left.  By the time he started with a cough (the first sign anything was wrong) it was already too late.

They said that he had only days left and that we had to decide to put him to sleep now (when he is groggy and free of pain) or take him home for one last night.  Gus, doesn’t like the vet and we felt bringing him round and then taking him back again just wouldn’t be fair on him.  We would have loved more time with him but we had to think about what was best for him.

Needless to say we ditched our shopping and headed for home.  We had the conversation through tears and heartache and decided Gus’ fate.   So we called the vet back and said that it would be best to put him to sleep now whilst he was comfortable and we would be there in five minutes.

We headed in and he was there on the table with a big blanket keeping him warm.  He was awake and saw that we were with him, he then closed his eyes (for the last time) and went back to sleep (he was still quite sedated).  We held him and loved him whilst the vet did what was needed.  We had been told previously that the hearing was the last thing to go, so we stayed with him for a while longer.  Leaving him there was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATelling the children that night was tough, and I’m still not sure they have come to terms with whats happened.

I have come to terms with it but it’s the little things that affect you the most. No-one greeting you at the door, no more Labrador shadow following me round where-ever I go, no more barking at the busses and no more cuddles.

That’s the story of the end of Gus’ life, but he was so much more than his final month.  He gave us over ten years of faithful unconditional love.  He made us laugh, ate our food (and furniture), made us cry and he always knew when you were upset – saddling up next to you and dumping his head on your lap to comfort you.

We’ve had so many adventures together and I was lucky enough to walk with him twice a day over the last ten years.  Walking by his side literally thousands of times.  He has brightened our lives and we were lucky to have such a happy, loud, affectionate and sometimes grumpy brute in our lives.

Gus was my dog, and my friend and I miss him every day.

Good night…………………my boy 

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.  (Dr. Seuss)

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