Posts Tagged ‘work’

Trials and Tribulations

March 15, 2011

It’s been a tough start to 2011 for Hannah and I, I believe. For both of us at work there have been some tough times; for me handling various management things that come around at IBM at the start of every year plus a good deal of what we call ‘plan churn’ over the past two months has been quite draining; for Hannah there have been a number of things at school that have been stressful. Add to all of this Hannah’s big operation that she had last week.

Back at Christmas Hannah had a big bleed in her right eye. It’s been a long time since I’ve covered Hannah’s eyes on this blog, but the problems related to diabetic retinopathy have never been far from our lives. Her right eye is not the best one, but the bleed made it nearly useless, and therefore judging distances became harder and reading etc was far more tiring. We had a couple of visits to hospital over the Christmas period, including Christmas Day itself, when the only option to have the eye properly checked was an air amublance to Southampton (the only reason that didn’t happen was because Southampton General wouldn’t have been able to fire up their diagnostic equipment). The long and short of that period was a big bleed that lasted pretty much until three weeks ago, so Hannah managed half a term at school with basically one eye. A while ago the consultant had diagnosed a cataract in Hannah’s right eye, and so she was put on the waiting list for the surgery and Hannah had pretty much chosen to have it scheduled this coming Easter. Events at Christmas brought this forward to last week.

I could describe in a lot of detail what has happened in the past week since the operation, but I won’t. The op itself took 2 hours, and was a combination of the planned cataract removal and lens replacement, and (warning on the next link, it’s pretty gruesome) vitrectomy and an unplanned freezing of a retinal tear. Hannah has had a lot of pain since then, as you might expect, with a hefty cocktail of drugs. She should have been out of hospital the same day, but had a faint in the afternoon after the op, and so they kept her in overnight, itself not an enjoyable experience for Hannah. After that she stayed with her Mum, Barbara, until the weekend, and my Mum, Clare, was here looking after Ella, so I could get off to work. Then on Sunday, Hannah had another faint, and so we spent a few hours waiting in hospital for a fairly thorough check that proved inconclusive. Therefore she’s been back with Barbara to make sure there’s a watching brief on her.

Today Hannah was much brighter than she has been, and is finding her vision improving lots, which is really good news. We’re expecting it to take 4-6 weeks for the after-effects of the operation to clear, so the progress Hannah is reporting so far is a real boon.

I’ve had Ella over the past couple of days, when not at work, and she’s been great. In the morning she does ask where Mummy is, but is happy enough with the explanation that she’s having a sleepover at Gan-gan’s. Ella has been fine going to school, and her usual self around the house when at home. When we were hanging around the hospital on Sunday she was very good, hardly complaining and playing with some kids in the toy area of the waiting room.

September Time

September 13, 2009

We’re well into September, and that means Hannah is back to school and the nights are drawing in. Even Ella has remarked on that, pointing out her window at bedtime and saying ‘it’s dark’. How do you explain the seasons and the rotation of the Earth around the Sun to a two year old?

While the return to school doesn’t mean much to Ella (other than less time with Mummy, which is, of course, important), it does mean that Dancing Tots has restarted and she can get her weekly fix of dancing randomness lessons. Apparently she really enjoyed it this week. She does do lot of dancing whenever she hears music, which I guess must be a good thing.

What isn’t improving is her ability to share. No doubt I’ve mentioned this before. Yesterday she pushed another kid at the play-park who tried to share some climbing equipment with her. Usually she isn’t that aggressive, but it is something we have to constantly watch out for and coach her to let other children near whatever she is playing with, whether it’s large or small.

As I said above, Hannah is back to school, and already complaining that she might be losing her voice. I think that’s normal at the start of the school year. She did get a big promotion at the start of term, which recognises her as a very good teacher. She is very pleased with that, and Ella and I are very proud. The start of term also means that choir is back. Check the Facebook group for friends of the choir or on YouTube for stuff on Medina High Community Choir. The early reherseals have been tough going, as Hannah has introduced some trickier new material, but I’m sure we’ll work our way through it. Some of the new material has been arranged by Hannah, which isn’t a new thing, but now is digitally enhanced, after I finally cracked how to use Cakewalk Music Creator, that I bought for Hannah several months ago. Having worked out how to use it, I realised it lacked some features for printing music (ties, repeats as examples), so downloaded a rival product, Finale PrintMusic, which once we got the right version, does almost all Hannah needs it to. Cakewalk might be good for other things, but not for printing out music. As part of this success, I managed to get Hannah’s Clavinova to talk to her laptop (by simply finding the right instructions and following them). This means Hannah can play the music on the Clavinova, and the application on the laptop will write up the music notation. Cool when it works.

Obviously I’m working away too, having been very focussed on a process milestone at work. That’s nearly done, but IBM being IBM, I can say no more.