Well, we're back! Mike, Owen and I got back late last night after our two week visit to the UK over Christmas and the New Year. It was fantastic, and just the right length. I'm so glad we made it over there with the babba, even if the travel itself was a complete nightmare. For future reference, flying for eight hours with a ratty, tube-fed baby with GERD is NOT recommended. On the way there he screamed for about six straight hours, and I'm not exaggerating an ounce. He was so much better on the way back, but I think that's because the timing of the flight was more suitable and he's a little under the weather (meaning he's sleepier than usual).
I think he's caught some nasty bug from me, because while we were over there I came down with some vile throat thing that made swallowing almost an impossibility and I completely lost my voice. I also had a cough, which is the single most irritating symptom of any illness in the world ever. And that's the truth. You can quote me on it. Now Owen has the cough and if it's no better by tomorrow when his nurse comes to visit then it's off to the doctor we go. Sigh.
ANYWAY, back to the UK. Some interesting stuff happened, including noticing the formula we'd packed so carfeully was an astonishing three months out of date and we'd been using it since the start of December. As we get it shipped directly to us by our insurance agent it was their fault - they'd sent us cans with September's date on and we don't get through it slowly enough for it to have been some stuffy cans I'd let fester at the back of the cupboard. Plus, having worked in retail, I'm really, really careful about rotating our "stock", for this very reason. Oh, and ALL of the 14 cans were out of date, so their entire shipment was old and crusty. I contacted them from the UK and threatened them with legal action if they didn't get us replacement stuff, to which they rightfully shat themselves and fell over each other to help us. In the end we got a good enough replacement to last us the rest of the visit and my insurance agents are footing the bill. Quite right, for making me feed my son potentially dangerous milk.
Owen got spoilt rotten over Christmas, which was absolutely fantastic. An award for Outstanding Contribution to the Turner Family goes to his Grandad (my dad) for being the ONLY member of my family to be proactive and learn how to feed Owen by himself. My mum did one feed supervised, and then always found an excuse to bugger off when it needed doing again. Oh well. Owen also discovered the art of grabbing the mouth and cheeks of whomever is holding him, which has caused endless amusement for me and a few scratches near my ear lobes. I think he's so funny, but I always have done. He just has to raise his eyebrows when I ask him a question, or punch me in the face so he can grab my chin flab and I crack up.
So yes, a marvellous time was had by all. We went all over the shop, despite the "horrific" weather the UK is having at the moment. "Horrific", my arse. My driveway is "horrific"! And we're expecting another 10" overnight, so you can feck off if you think I'm shovelling my way out of the house at all for the next week. Owen and I are going to hunker down, watch movies and eat Cadbury's chocolate until winter buggers off. Then we'll reminisce about visiting Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Aberystwyth, Rhyll, Blackpool, Isleworth, Hounslow and Richmond and how much fun we had at my nephew Stanley's Christening where Owen also got blessed. My only regret is that the suitcases weren't big enough for more chocolate.
So now it's back to reality. Back to medical appointments, battling reflux and being alone with Owen during the week. Back to the depression, I suppose, because for a while there I seemed to be recovering. With all the activity and celebrations I felt better than I had in months, but now I'm back home I can feel the dark shadows hovering outside the door again. I suppose I'll just have to suck it up and get on with it, because I don't really have any other choice. And speaking of medical conditions, I think I MUST be anaemic again because I've started getting very odd bruising on my legs. Really big, dark, painful ones too, but I don't remember ever banging my legs into something. And even if I have, it's certainly not with the frequency with which the bruises have been appearing. I know I ought to get to a doctor and have a blood test done, but I'm beginning to loathe all the paperwork. Also... I researched leg bruises and fatigue online and one of the scarier explanations is leukemia, which I am really not prepared to even contemplate at this point. So I'm going to bury my head in the sand a little longer, see if things improve and up my iron intake. Fingers crossed.
Even though I loved being away, and even though coming home means facing Owen's upcoming surgery, it's so GOOD to be home!