Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cuddlier You

Why hello there.
I have a layout to share today which touches on a not so happy moment. Well in fact it was pretty much the worst week of my life ever! It is the story of when Chloe was very sick and had febrile convulsions, they were scary!
I knew it was something that I wanted in her scrap album. It was after all a pretty big something that happened to her. But, like I said, it isn't a happy thing. And lets face it we all like to scrap the good times!! The perfect photos!!
So I continually put it off. That was until I saw this months challenge over at Once.. Upon A Sketch. The topic was 'Journey' and I had recently been talking about Chloes seizures with a friend and how I think she become a bit more affectionate after them. Finally I found a way to have a positive spin on it. So here it is:

The Journey To: A Cuddlier You

Not only did the topic of a journey make me think about this page but each month at Once Upon A... Sketch to journal topic, as the name suggests, comes with a sketch and this also made me think immediately about this story and the photos. The challenge can be found here.

The reason why the sketch jump at me for this layout is the detail in the background, it reminded me of the red plus sign usually associated with a hospital. So I decided to keep that idea going using a red and blue colour scheme like the emergency lights.

The 3 photos I have used are each a collage of the different stages in the story, they are not great photos and I didn't have that many to choose from, taking pictures wasn't really on my mind at the time. The first is Chloe at home on the Monday not looking well at all. The second is in the hospital ward with a Bert balloon that she choose from the gift shop, there were plenty of pretty girly/pink/princess type ones but she wanted the Bert and she loved that him! And the last is her playing in the Pediatric Ward. There are hidden tags behind each photo explaining this.

There are very few embellishments on the page, the story is kinda a design feature by itself. What is there was cut out when I was back home with my Aunts cricut (told you I had been thinking about doing this page for a long time)

I got to this point in the creation of my layout and considering leaving it there, it looks complete enough, possibly journalling on the back. But this time the story was more important to me then the photos. It is the size of an essay for journalling and is not going to win any type of writing award! Its just the facts of what happened. I did want to put feeling and my emotions into it but got teary enough just writing this much.

For those of you who are interested this is what the journalling says (feel free to scroll past though, its kinda long a tedious):
"As a baby you were not very cuddly. Not from lack of love, more the need to move and play. That was up until your first birthday. 
At your party you caught a very nasty flu and by Monday we were off to the Doctors. Panadol and rest were recommended which at first worked a treat but the second dose of Panadol came straight back up along with everything else. So in the bath with you. while getting dressed for bed Suddenly you went completely floppy! I desperately tried to catch your gaze but you stared blankly! It looked as though there was no life in you! My heart sunk! I called for daddy then frantically cuddled you while he rang 000. We followed their instructions and within a minute heard the sirens roaring to our place. 5 ambulances showed up, including one that had actually finished their shift. You had started to move again but your temp was 40.2oC. that is when you had your first ever ride in an ambulance. 
At Sutherland Hospital they told us about ‘febrile convulsions’ - seizures caused by a fever, you were given a different Panadol, some Neruofen and kept for observations until your temp went down. After what felt like forever you were given the all clear to head home with strict instructions to keep up the medication and you shouldn’t have any other seizure in the same illness. 
Dad stayed home from work Tuesday and the day went smoothly but again when getting you ready for bed you convulsed. This time a normal type seizure, full body shaking and jerking, eyes rolling and face going blue. I put you in the recovery position on the floor, assuring you (more myself) that you will be ok and once again dad stayed perfectly calm and called 000 and you got your second ever ride in an ambulance. The doc that night was not very helpful at all! She sent us home even before your temp was down. 
Wednesday went a lot like Tuesday but by this time we had noticed a pattern and it was happening again! So we drove ourselves to the hospital and sure enough your temp was super high again! Although after a few hours it was as if you had never been sick in the first place! “Maybe we over reacted”, home we went. Then that was the worst night ever! Your temp would NOT stay down, you were tired but couldn’t sleep, you wanted cuddles but body heat made you hotter, you needed assistance but had maxed the medication amount. I ended up trying to sleep with you on the floor of the bathroom with a wet face. Whenever I woke (which was a lot) you would be snuggled up to me hot again I’d have to move away and fan you, at one point I vaguely remember waking and seeing your limbs blue! 
When morning finally arrived we went to the usually docs office, you didn’t feel hot to me but the thermometer said 39.6oC. I shudder to think of how high your temp DID get! Dad and I made the decision to take you to the Royal Childrens Hospital. Unfortunately they were extremely busy and it was a long long wait. The entire time all you wanted to do was sleep on one of us, we could not put you down. You were paler then paper, your eyes were red and begun to ooze and you were completely lethargic. You got your first ever X-Ray and the docs agreed you were really sick but wanted us to head home and come back for a checkup tomorrow. This time Daddy was not taking that and insisted that we might aswell stay the night. They put a cannula in your hand (which was horrible to watch) and I asked them to check your temp again as it was around this time each day you were going downhill, reluctantly they did and sure enough it was spiking again. Finally they agreed it would be best to admit you however they were out of beds and we were sent back to Sutherland Hospital. 
The same nurse had been on each day and was disappointed to see that you hadn’t been admitted earlier. They set us up with a cot for you and couch for me in the Paediatric ward, it took you a long time to drift off I think from the discomfort of the cannula. We were both completely exhausted and with the comforting thought of doctors nearby we slept until 10.00am! After another smooth day they sent us home on a ‘leave pass’ so that if we had any concerns later on we would come back and by pass the emergency room. Thankfully we didn’t need it and over the next few days you steadily began to improve. It truly was the worst week ever! 
I hated seeing you like that. But the silver lining is every now and then you don’t mind a lil snuggle!!

So that's the story. She has had another convulsion since then however now that we know what they are and what to do for her its not so bad. I honestly feel for the mothers of epileptic children, they must be some of the strongest women is the world!
Anyway. I must say a huge thankyou to the Once Upon A... Sketch people. If it wasn't for this challenge I might have never got this story down.
XoXoX Nicole


  1. Nicole, thanks for sharing the story of your journey with Chloe, her illness, and how it affects your relationship with her. This is a touching and special story. I'm so glad you included the journaling on the front as part of your page design. Even though it's too late for the prize consideration, I think you've won the biggest prize of all in creating this special page!! Thanks for sharing on our OUAS FB page!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

    Garden of Grace

  2. Nicole, I absolutely love this layout - imperfections and all are what make it completely perfect. Having gone through a very similar thing with my little girl at 6 months. I totally relate to this layout. You are so right we do always want to scrap the perfect photos with the pretty stories... but these are the day to day stories that mould us and shape into the people that we are meant to be. This is why I scrap. These are the stories I want my kids to know and you are right taking pics at a time like this is the last thing on your mind... so we put the stories down anyway. I am so glad that even though you missed the deadline that you shared this layout with us. This is a super special one for me and I congratulate you for doing.... Love this <3 thank you so much for sharing this with us too. So glad that you played along with us at OUAS and I hope that you will continue to be inspired by our sketches and themes.. :D

  3. God Nic, I remember how scary it was when you rang to tell us about Chloe. Reading this layout has me crying - again! What an excellent idea to journal this. Maybe it may help Chloe with her own children one day. Let's hope she never has to experience it, but if she does, your story will certainly help her I'm sure. Fantastic effort. XXX