Not Our Expected Sunday

Last Sunday started out pretty much like any other Sunday. My husband had got up and made me breakfast in bed – just one of many reasons I love him! Our son had also got up and made sure everything was ready for him to go to church to do sound for today’s service. After he had left, I got ready and then my husband and I also left for church.

As it was a lovely day we decided to walk the 3 miles to church. We were about halfway there when my phone rang. It was the church Worship Leader informing me that our son had had a seizure which had lasted about 3 minutes, that an ambulance had been called and asking if there was anything extra they could do to help. Another friend came to pick us up from where we were and we were soon at the church. Our son was lying on the floor with a paramedic by his side. Before we knew it , he was being put into the back of an ambulance. As he has Aspergers and is also needle phobic, I was given permission to go to hospital with him. On our way, I messaged a few friends to ask them to pray. Very soon, messages arrived assuring me that we were being prayed for.

We arrived at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey and were whisked into the A&E department, where several tests were taken including the much dreaded blood tests. After he’d had his blood taken, I was asked to leave and advised to sit in the waiting area. It was pretty empty and felt a lonely place to be. I decided to put a post on Facebook to let friends know what had happened. It seemed like I had sat there for hours, although I know it wasn’t, before someone came to give me an update. It wasn’t the best news – Kieran had had another seizure. It was a much shorter seizure than the first one. It had only lasted about 45 seconds this time, but would mean that he would probably be kept in overnight. I was advised to wait before going home as one of the medical team looking after him would be coming to talk to me. Almost immediately, the Worship Leader from church phoned me which was great as I could pass on the latest news to her. Normally I find phone calls difficult to cope with, but that phone call was just what I needed – it was so good to hear a friendly voice. God knew what I needed!! Messages started to come in thick and fast via Facebook, WhatsApp and text. In some ways it was so overwhelming and may have caused me to have something in my eye on several occasions, but it was so wonderful to know people cared and were sending love, virtual hugs and praying. Soon, a doctor came to talk to me and said that he needed an x-ray as he was complaining of back pain and that they would definitely be admitting him. I was advised to go home. I was asked if I could say “Goodbye” to him and was told “No”, which is understandable in the current circumstances, but as a Mum it was hard to hear.

I decided to walk back to the station, rather than get a bus, so I could clear my head a bit. My husband rang whilst I was on the way and I immediately broke down when I heard his voice. I’d really missed his support during the day! We chatted for a bit and when I felt a bit more compossed, he rang off and I continued on my way. I’d got to the station to find I’d just missed the train and the next one wasn’t for an hour. I bought a ticket home and waited on the platform for the train. After a few minutes, my phone rang – it was the hospital. My heart raced! Had he had another seizure, was there another problem….so many questions wnet through my head, all in a split second. Thankfully, it was just to say that he was having a CT scan and provided the results were clear, he’d be able to go home. I almost ran back to the hospital!

It was a long 2 hour wait, but finally a doctor came to see me. However, it wasn’t the news I’d been hoping for….he was being admitted after all. The hospital were waiting for our local hospital to send over his last CT scan results so they could compare them with the one done that day. They hadn’t been received, so they couldn’t discharge him. Needless to say it seemed a long, lonely walk back to the station. When I arrived back in Feltham, my husband was waiting for me and I collapsed into his arms and the tears flowed. Although I was utterly exhausted, we walked home so we could talk as we walked along. It was good to be home, but it somehow felt strange without Kieran there.

After a restless night, I woke hoping to hear from the hospital that Kieran could come home. By lunchtime I’d heard nothing, so decided to phone the hospital. As I said earlier I find phone calls difficult, but this was a case of ‘needs must’, so I took a deep breath & dialled the number. They tried to transfer me to the nurse in charge of looking after Kieran, but she was busy. As a result, I was passed on to have a chat with Kieran which was absolutely brilliant! We had a lovely chat whilst waiting for the nurse to be free. He mentioned that he was fine, but bored as his phone battery had now died. That chat really put my mind at rest that he was doing well and I felt more hopeful that he’d be home soon. When I spoke with the nurse she said that they were hoping he’d be home later that day or the following day. They were waiting on yet another call from our local hospital about Kieran’s medication. She then passed me back to Kieran so we could say “Goodbye”.

I posted an update on Facebook and happened to mention that Kieran was bored as his phone battery had died and he didn’t have his charger with him. Within minutes a friend messaged me to say if I wanted her to take a bag of things that he might need (including a battery charger!) to the hospital for him, she would. I hurriedly got a bag together and within half an hour or so it was on the way to the hospital to be passed onto Kieran. It was just a small act of kindness, but it meant the world to us. I sat at home waiting for my phone to ring to give me an update, when I noticed there was a WhatsApp message……from Kieran! It said to save us going to the hospital, they were booking transport for him – he was coming home! He arrived home and was given a gentle, but big hug. I then updated the good people on social media that he was home which seemed to trigger a massive outpouring of joy & love!

God has promised to always be with us (Immanuel) and he certainly was during all of this. He was there through the people who helped Kieran (those at the church and the NHS staff). He was also there through all the people who checked in with us, offered practical help and prayed for us. We have really seen God’s love in action over the last few days and for that we are so thankful.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

Lynnette

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2020 – A Positive Year?

It’s almost the end of 2020 and if we’re honest it’s been a year like no other! This time last year I doubt anyone could have imagined Covid 19 arriving and all the changes it would bring to us. We’ve been wearing masks, many have been furloughed from work, have had two national lockdowns, Zoom has become a regular part of our lives and so much more. Sadly, there has also been many families who have loved ones become ill and in some cases they’ve died. On the day that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said, “2020 has been just a terrible year, hasn’t it?” In some ways he’s correct, but has it been all bad? Has there been nothing positive in our lives?

As I look back over 2020, I’ve tried to see the positives rather than the negatives. This isn’t to say that I’ve not been affected by what’s happened this year. My mental health has been a bit of a rollercoaster at times and I’ve had anxiety about using buses, wearing masks, using Zoom etc. I’ve only spoken to a handful of people outside of my immediate family since March and there have been many friends that I’ve been unable to meet up with. However, I’ve found that looking out for the positive moments each day has had a positive impact on my mental health. So what have been some of those positive moments? Here are just five:

Weekend Walks

At the start of the first lockdown, we took the decision to go for a walk every Saturday as a family. We had talked about doing regular walks at the weekend for many years, but lockdown prompted us to actually start them! Initially, it was only walk on a Saturday, but quickly a post church walk for myself and my husband became a thing too! These walks have not only helped both our physical & mental health, but have also given us time to spend together as a family. Amazingly, there have only been a few walks that have had to be cancelled due to poor weather.

Nature

One benefit of lockdown is that I’ve noticed the world around me a lot more. I’ve spent more time at home, so have watched the birds visiting the bird table. I can now recognise the song of the robin and blackbird. The sparrows and starlings can be really bullies to one another and I’ve seen many an angry confrontation between them when it comes to who should be on the bird feeders. We’ve also had a sparrowhawk come into the garden (I didn’t even realise we had sparrowhawks in this area!). I’ve noticed the seasons change in more detail than I normally do, squirrels chasing along the back fence, butterflies and bees flitting from one flower to another. On our walks we’ve watched ducks with their ducklings, deer and swans in Bushy Park, ladybirds, leaves changing colour as Autumn approached and then them falling as Winter started to arrive and flowers blooming and then fading as they then went on to produce seed heads. Noticing the world around me has been a real blessing and has been a little bit of normal life in the midst of the strange times we’re all in.

Peckett Puppets

My husband & son have used puppets within church for many years, but in 2020 Peckett Puppets were born! I heard the theme song for Spring Harvest’s Big Start (the morning all age session) and thought it would be great for the puppets to perform. We contacted Spring Harvest who agreed that we could use it. We soon produced a video of “Glow” and uploaded on to YouTube. It has had just over 900 views to date. There have since been another 8 videos uploaded (with more planned) and the puppets now have a Facebook page, Twitter profile and Instagram account in addition to YouTube. Two of the videos were made initially for our church services and other videos have been used by different churches too. From having little to do with the puppets previously, I have now become the stage manager and social media manager for them. At times it has been hard work, but it has also been a lot of fun.

Writing

Having said that I wasn’t a writer and would never write anything, 2020 has been the year when I’ve started writing! I was never good at English at school, so never thought I’d write anything that could be published. I much preferred Science and Maths and it took me until the 6th form for me to get my English O Level. However, this is my 2nd blog post of the year. My first blog post was written for a friend’s blog a few weeks ago (you can find it here). Since then a few more ideas for blog posts have surfaced in my brain, so I thought it might be time to dip my toe in the world of blogging. I’ll be honest that I don’t know how good I’ll be, but I’m going to give it a go.

Church Services

Going to church has always been an important part of my life, but back in March the way we went to church changed. Church buildings were closed and services (and other church meetings) went online. Going to church for a large part of 2020 has meant walking downstairs about 9.30am, sitting in my chair with a cup of tea and accessing the service via YouTube. I’ll be honest, initially it felt really strange worshipping as a group of 3. However, we soon got used to it and God was able to use those online services to teach us and speak to us. We are very grateful to all those who worked behind the scenes for approximately 7 months to bring the services to us. We went back into the church building for the first time on 1st November (ironically the day before the 2nd lockdown!). Due to restricted numbers the church livestreamed the service and I’m hopeful that this will continue in the future. Services resumed in the building again on 6th December and we will continue with a mix of ‘in building’ and ‘online’ services

Yes, 2020 hasn’t been the year we had hoped for, but there are positives. These are just five of mine. What could you include as your top five?

Lynnette

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