Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | DAD BLOGS: Mrunal | Christmas Past

Christmas Past

Christmas is a happy and joyous time. Families come together, eat and make merry to celebrate the Festive season. Every year, however, we are encouraged to think about those less fortunate than ourselves for whom Christmas ends up being a dark and difficult period. Personally, I don’t have to work too hard to empathise with those people because for the last three years Arun has ended up in hospital over the Christmas period.

Christmas day 2008 was absolutely perfect. Arun was 10 months old and after spending the first 6 months of his life in hospital, he was starting to prosper at home. Clare, Arun and I had a perfect nuclear family Christmas. We all ate turkey at lunchtime, opened presents and watched Doctor Who.

On Boxing Day, we went for a long walk around the local woods and along the banks of the river in crisp, cold winter sunshine. However, when we got home at lunchtime Arun was clearly not well and started vomiting. After twelve hours we decided that we needed to take him to hospital. We ended up spending two nights in our local hospital before they decided that they could not deal with Arun’s illness and put him in an ambulance for emergency transfer to Great Ormond Street.

Within a couple of hours the miracle workers at GOSH had diagnosed the problem and had rushed Arun into emergency brain surgery to replace a blocked shunt (a piece of plumbing in his head to treat hydrocephalus). It was as difficult a time as I can remember. All I knew was that my tiny, precious son was in a lot of pain and could be taken from us at any moment. I cannot describe the waves of relief and gratitude that washed over me when the surgeon told me that the operation had been a success and within hours Arun was back to his old, happy self

The following year, Christmas 2009, it was December 22 when Arun fell ill. Again, he was vomiting and could keep nothing down. Alarm bells went off in our heads and we took him into our local hospital fearing that his shunt was blocked again and he would require brain surgery to fix it. The local hospital, used to us by now, transferred us to Great Ormond Street almost immediately. This time though, by the time we got there Arun was starting to feel a little better. The tests at GOSH indicated nothing more than a severe stomach bug and after a couple of nights in hospital we were discharged on Christmas eve and managed to spend quiet, tired but relieved Christmas at home.

Last year it was nothing so dramatic, Instead Arun had a filthy cough that would not abate. By the time we got to Boxing Day we decided that we needed some help with it (Arun also has chronic lung disease which means that any respiratory infection can rapidly lead to problems). The only Doctors’ surgery open on Boxing Day was being held at our local hospital. So, yet again we were back in hospital, albeit this time to simply have him checked over and have antibiotics prescribed.

So, fourth time lucky I figure and this year we are hoping for a quiet and uneventful Christmas. On the day itself I will though spare a moment for those who cannot enjoy Christmas at home for whatever reason. I just hope that I am not one of them.

So, I will take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all at Dadtalk and may yours be a happy, hearty and thoroughly uninteresting one.

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

Too old for this

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

Too old for this

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

Every day at Dad.info we talk with parents who are struggling through costly court hearings. We strongly believe that mediation is a route that can take the conflict out of separation. Hands up who would like £500 towards mediation sessions? Too Late for Court...

5 simple ways to boost your health today

5 simple ways to boost your health today

Living through the last couple of years has been rough on not only our bodies but also our brains. It was also recently reported that life expectancy in some parts of England has fallen- even before Covid. However, there is good news. Up to 80% of chronic disease is...

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Returning to work after children is tough for everyone, whether you are on shared parental leave or returning after a brief paternity break. It can often make life choices for you, whether you decide to return part-time, go freelance or start paying heavy childcare...

Pin It on Pinterest