Search This Blog

Thursday, October 17, 2019

One of those bumpy patches in life.

I haven’t written a post for a while; the last ones were written using hotel wifi in Copenhagen, saved as drafts and then published when our 3 SIM cards worked in various Baltic ports. But those posts were just about Ireland and I fully intend to write posts about the rest of our holiday as they make a great record to look back on. We have been back at home for not quite 2 weeks 
and this post is about what has happened since we’ve been home. 
We arrived home on the Saturday night and on Sunday night DD1 let me know that her little girl had a cough and was coughing until she vomited. The little one was taken to the doctors on the Monday and she was diagnosed with a virus probably caused by teething. The doctor apparently wasn’t perturbed that C’s temperature was 39.9. DH and I visited them on Monday night and C was a bit grizzly and wouldn’t eat. But at 2am Monday morning she woke up crying and was inconsolable. 
Our son in law once again took her to the doctor and this time the appointment was with the family’s regular  GP who immediately diagnosed pneumonia and organised an ambulance to take C to their local hospital. This hospital confirmed the diagnosis of pneumonia and X-rays showed a partially collapsed lung with fluid. 
The local hospital did not have the paediatric specialists that were required so C was transported to the large children’s hospital here in Brisbane. On arrival she suffered cardiac arrest but was resuscitated. 
Within hours she was again heading towards cardiac arrest and the decision was made to connect her to a life support machine known as ECMO. This requires surgery to open the chest and connect the heart and lungs to the machine. This was to save her life. The medical team met with the family late Tuesday night to explain the procedures. 
That was then they broke the news to us that C had developed sepsis. Google it, it is scary. I was the only one in the family who knew about sepsis; my favourite nurse in Call the Midwife died from sepsis. In C’s case hers developed in the fluid in the lung. 
While the ECMO kept her alive, the doctors could concentrate on wiping out the sepsis and the little one was put into an induced coma. The particular bacterium causing the sepsis was identified and so they knew exactly what antibiotics to target the infection with. The sepsis has now been defeated and C came off life support on Sunday. 
It has been a nightmare as you can imagine. The family have all pulled together to help DD1 and her husband. 
The medical team are gradually changing the sedation ready to eventually bring her back to full consciousness. The sepsis damaged the circulation in her left leg, amongst other damage, and the doctors have warned the family that it is a 90% chance that C will lose the leg. We have an extremely long road to travel with our little girl and her poor parents. 
I took this photo yesterday when I was sitting with her. She is well covered up as she is on dialysis until her kidneys start to function again and apparently people get cold during dialysis. 


The staff asked my daughter to bring in loved items so the baby blankie that I made her last year when she was born, is folded ready for when she’s conscious. 

We’ve been encouraged from when she was in the induced coma to talk to her, sing to her, touch her and read to her. I do that each day. I’ve been telling her funny stories about her mummy when she was a little girl. After all, that’s what grandmas do 😉😍. 
And this was today’s photo. 


With the change in sedation, she had been opening her eyes and today she looked straight at me for a few seconds but I don’t think she really took in who I was. Poor little love. 😞

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Our Ireland Tour; the Waterford Factory

We nearly missed out on our tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory when one of our tour members became lost while visiting the Blarney Castle which meant we were running a bit behind schedule.  Apparently the factory is very strict about group tours and time tabling leaves no room for negotiation. Luckily the lady was eventually found by a a fellow tour member who jogged around the area between the bus park and the castle. And Dave the driver pulled out all stops to get us there on time. 
While we had our introductory talk I noticed this crystal clock...


Pretty soon we moved into the factory...





We saw some glass blowing...


Then the next section...



The next section the pieces were being trimmed/beveled on machines...it is a very specialised skill...






We watched as this magnificent bowl’s edges were finished. 


This man was using a computer system in the finishing  department...




There was a display of special orders. Apparently the company always makes 2 of these special orders in case something goes wrong...they have a spare! 




Loved this one in particular 😀












The gift shop was full of beautiful crystal pieces but I resisted them all. Lol 😂 
Waterford Crystal has a history of over 200 years but during this time it was endured various highs and some extreme lows...even closing down at times or being in receivership. More information of its history here

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Our Ireland Tour; Avoca Woollen Mill

We visited one of the oldest remaining woollen mills in Ireland. There are still some hand looms but also mechanised looms too. 








One of the non mechanised looms...






The mill buildings appear to be built from stone I thought they looked so quaint! ( I found myself using this adjective and picturesque so often during this tour 😀) 







It had a stream flowing through which possibly had been used to wash fleeces etc in the past. 


Pretty little culvert built from rocks too! 


The mill was set in lovely gardens too.




And from the extensive gift shop I bought a soft merino scarf for me and a few gifts for friends. 

The plan originally was to replace a very much loved wool and cashmere scarf that I had bought in Scotland in 2008. Despite caring for that scarf, it had become the victim of a moth or silverfish. Avoca Mill had cashmere scarves but the price started at €122 so it was amazing how quickly I changed my mind about buying such a scarf! The price of the merino was much more reasonable as you can imagine and it is actually as soft as my cashmere scarf. 
The items for sale in the gift shop such as mohair throws, woollen coats, hats, toys etc were all gorgeous but I left them for others to buy! Lol 😂 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Our Ireland Tour; Killarney National Park

We signed up for an excursion described as ‘taking a jaunting cart ride into Killarney National Park’.
We discovered that it’s a horse and cart ride! 

Here we are in our jaunting cart...there were 9 of us in our cart...









Sometimes the cart behind us got quite close...










In the park people could hire canoes...





There were deer in the park but I was unsuccessful in getting a photo of them. But I did get a photo of these Irish Black cattle grazing.


After half an hour, we stopped and alighted from the carts and went to explore a castle ruin in the park. It is Ross Castle built in the late 15th century. 







There was a lake near the castle...




DH climbed up so that he could have his photo taken looking out from the castle. 


It was obvious that this place wasn’t habitable 😉


No roof for a start! Lol
When we walked back to where the jaunting carts were parked, I got quite brave for a city slicker...


It had become quite chilly as the afternoon turned into evening so on the way back some of us availed ourselves of the blankets provided in the cart. 


It had been another great experience!