It feels like a very long time since I blogged… and that’s because it has been a long time. The last year, almost exactly, has been pretty difficult. Over last Autumn and Winter I went through a major depressive episode, family illness, personal illness, accepted a new (exciting, but stressful) role at work… and then something really crappy happened.
I got a call at Cubs that our youngest, then aged 4, had been bitten by the neighbour’s dog. By the time I got home the ambulance crew were already there, making plans to head to Birmingham. When I caught up with them in A&E, he was dosed up on morphine and the consultant asked if I was squeamish before showing me the photos. It was only my previous clinical experience that let me hold it together.
Waiting while he was in surgery for hours the next day was hard, but during the afternoon he started to improve. Family and friends came to the rescue in dozens of ways, large and small. Both workplaces told us to forget everything except our child and each other. Nurses found us food and coffee and the Ronald McDonald House around the corner found us a room with a shower long after midnight.
A few days later and he was doing really well, wandering along the ward in between doses of painkillers and raiding the chocolate I’d brought in for his Mum. We took him home less than a week after he’d arrived, with boxes of fresh dressings and a balloon. Pretty much every member of staff went out of their way at some point, and we saw them doing the same thing for long shifts with every child on that ward, helping every tired and lonely parent. They were amazing, and we wanted to do something to say thank you.
So this is why I’m writing; as those of you who follow me on twitter will know, I’ve been training for a running event. In just under three weeks I’ll be doing the Great Birmingham Run, a half-marathon, in aid of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The kids are running various smaller events on the day, and probably laughing at my face as I struggle to the finish line. But what would really help is if some of you might like to sponsor us.
Thank you for reading, and to everyone who at various points in the last year have offered moral or practical support during tough times.
TL, DR: I’ve been blogging for years, and although it’s led to many great freelance opportunities I’ve never asked my readers to send cash my way. (Admittedly, I have linked to fundraising for Humanists UK, MIND and a few other charities.) This is, I hope, the last time I will be asking that if anything I’ve blogged, tweeted or otherwise shared has been useful, that you could say thank you with cash.