Friday, 30 December 2011

Amazing people

Everyday someone tells me that I am ‘brave’ or ‘amazing’ for ‘being strong’.  The reality is that I am none of these things.  Jake’s family and I are just keeping on keeping on; we have no choice, we are simply dealing with what we have in front of us each day.

The amazing people are those who choose to be there.

My family have been wonderful; from making sure I am not alone when we are at a moment of crisis to postponing Christmas so that I could be with Jake Christmas day (special mention goes to my nephews who chose not to open their presents until we celebrated on the 27th!).  I am also embarrassed to admit that I have been foul to my mother and sister at times and they have met this with good grace and humour.

Our friends have shown themselves to be resolute and true.  They visit Jake often, ensuring that he is never left alone if I need to be away, humour me endlessly, keep me entertained and are consistently thoughtful and supportive.  The Woods have been my particular saviours, even making sure that Santa knew where to find me on Christmas morning!

My employers and colleagues have allowed me to be completely absent for the past nine weeks and are unfailingly gracious in picking up my share of the work without complaint (I happen to know it’s been very busy, but they all shrug this off if I mention it).

Then there is the St George’s neurological team.  It’s not just their medical knowledge and expertise, but also their faith in Jake’s ability to recover and their care not just for Jake but for those of us that love him.  Sometimes their communication leaves a little to be desired, but for all their brilliance we can forgive them that!

Of course, the most amazing of all is Jake and I am sure you are keen for an update.  There was much excitement yesterday when, having had the shunt adjusted the night before, Jake was more awake than he has been since his accident.  He then dipped again and has remained flat since yesterday lunchtime. The theory is that as the shunt drains off the excess cerebral spinal fluid, a subdural gap develops which fills with a different fluid (the one they drained off when they drilled into the cranioplasty last week).  We understand that getting this balance right is very difficult, sort of like trying to balance a spoon on the blade of a knife, in a storm, blindfolded.  So that is the current challenge, he’s certainly keeping them busy.

This is unbelievably frustrating as it feels as though they will never be able to stabilise Jake.  The medical team clearly don’t feel this as they keep moving ahead, trying new things and staying focussed on his recovery. I wish I could remove the terror, be rational and remember that they warned us that it would be a long, rollercoaster of a journey which we are just at the start of.  Instead I will keep on keeping on and try not to be dismissive or ungracious when someone tells me I’m being brave, amazing or strong.


  1. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. So glad you have good people around you at this time. You need it. Lots of love.

  2. As Father Christmas lives opposite it was but a moments work to pop over and let him know.