Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails

“Normal” in our house


Renata over at Just Bring the Chocolate has set a little blogging challenge – to define ‘Normal’ for our house.

Anyone who says that their family is normal is lying… or in denial… or just mad. There is no such thing as the normal family, just varying degrees of weirdness. Just like the pile of things that sits hopefully at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried up day after day, after a while, we don’t even see our own idiosyncrasies. Parents of special needs children, arguably, embrace this weirdness to a more impressive level than many other families, and, should you come across us, you shouldn’t be surprised if some of it leaks out into everyday life.

You can read the rest of this (flatulent dogs and all) here

So, normal in my house involves medicine and syringes in most cupboards, handbags, drawers and on some surfaces.  Drugs for me, bleed management drugs for the Cheetah Keeper, anti-reflux drugs for his sister.  Plus the ‘normal’ stuff of paracetamol and antihistamines etc.  It’s having wipes/tissues/swabs/kitchen roll handy at all times (handbags, surfaces, pockets) ready to clear up whatever bodily fluids whichever child decides to produce at an inappropriate moment – the general rule being, the more awkward the situation, the greater the quantity of blood or refluxed stomach contents will be produced.

It’s being on first name terms with my GP (and several others at the practice to be fair), and their receptionists.  It’s ringing up for an appointment and being greeted as ‘Jenny’ not ‘Jennifer’.  It’s not being questioned when I ask for an urgent appointment and knowing the number for Great Ormond Street Hospital off by heart.  It’s being able to park at and navigate around pretty much every hospital in the area with confidence.  It’s knowing to keep an extra copy of every letter we receive from a hospital because somewhere along the line, someone will have lost their copy.

It’s being worried about every bruise, every nosebleed and whether the children complaining that something hurts is genuine or if they’re just being ‘normal’ (and making it up!).  Oh, and it’s being able to teach teachers about how to manage the children’s conditions and convincing them that because the children are doing ‘ok’ at school doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re finding it easy and that their coping mechanisms may work well but may not be good for them…

There’s a little snapshot of ‘normal’ for us – there’ll be more…

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Author: Jenny

Life, photos and recipes mixed with family life, additional medical needs and a whole load of imaginary friends

13 thoughts on ““Normal” in our house

  1. Syringes and baby wipes… There’s a good title for a song if ever I heard one! Fabulous post Jenny (can I call you Jenny? I know I’m not as pally as the receptionists) although I did wonder if the hat made of of cake might be your celebration of your family’s eccentricity… I can’t wait to see the pictures. Hope you’re not cutting it out of any cheetah fur!

    • I’d rather you call me Jenny than the other stuff… the easter bonnet made of rice crispie cake may be our post next week… and just to confirm, no cheetahs have been hurt in the construction of these cakes

  2. Funny how we adapt to ‘normal’ situations that others couldn’t even begin to understand.

    A year ago, normal for us was something very different from what it is now.

    BW Jenny,
    Lesley x.

  3. thanks for sharing this – popped over from renata’s
    your post totally sums up the “i’m a gallus mummy and i’ll so what’s best for my children” kind of attitude that becomes our normal
    (i though gallus would be better received than bolshie afterall i don’t know you! i am however both – that’s normal for me!)

    • Thank you for popping by – I’m sure I’m bolshie at times – but have realised that building the relationships seems to work better (even if it does mean making more work for myself) 😉

  4. What a fantastic post. I’m so with you on the more awkward the situation the greater the quantity of… Only we’re lucky (!?) in that it tens to be snot or bile rather than blood or stomach contents 🙂

  5. Pingback: Redefining normal every day… « lexilil

  6. Hi,

    I came across your blog via a couple of others, and felt compelled to write. I too have EDSIII and a host of other things so was immediately drawn to your blog.

    Although I know this challenge was aimed at mothers of children with complex health needs, I could see so much of what I’d read in other people’s blogs in my own life. I don’t think the statistics exist for someone with the combination of conditions I have, but whether I’m unique or one in 10, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m trying to live an active and fulfilling life.

    So what that my life isn’t how people/ or I expected it to turn out, it doesn’t diminish the value and I think outsiders forget that. It’s my life and I’m living it to the best of my ability.
    People say they don’t know how I do it, but what option do I (or anyone else have)? I’m trying hardest to achieve everything I want to- whether I do or not I don’t know, but I’m not giving up without a fight.

    My medical team are pretty good, particularly at patching me up, which is very handy. The local hospital is referred to as hotel NHS between my friends and I. If I’m not seen on Facebook for more than 48 hours, there’s at least one text asking if I’ve been admitted again 🙂

    Normal is never used about my situation (abnormal perhaps!!), but I wouldn’t want to be normal, it’s boring!!

    Not really sure what the point is of my comment, but just wanted to say hi from another EDSer.

  7. Popped over to see your version of normal. Blood outside Wilkinsons does NOT sound fun! Thanks for the insight though – I look forward to reading more. x

    • Thank you for popping by – blood outside Wilkinsons was a new low however we’ve done blood at the zoo, blood in the supermarket and other joyous locations – only when did the blood come (and not stop) in front of the consultant did we start finding out what was going on…

  8. It all sounds familiar – but from a long time ago when Smiley was small. Even after 15 years they still remember her when we go to the local children’s hospital. I hope it will get easier for you too. Thanks for sharing in Love All Blogs

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment – we are often recognised by the Cheetah Keeper’s beloved cuddly ‘Tesco’ before anything else – but it’s nice to have an identity of some sort!

Thank you for your comments! The Cheetahs and I really appreciate them.

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