The last couple of days have been very busy, one of our grandsons has been staying with us whilst his mum has been at work. Six year old Chris suffers from quite severe asthma that can flare up in a very short time and often results in him being admitted into hospital. Last weekend he had a bad attack and over the last week has had two more bad episodes. His temperature has been fluctuating rapidly and the usual steroids and his inhalers have had very little effect on his condition, and he’s been so tired and lethargic. But that hasn’t prevented him from telling me how to make his thermometer work. My technical expertise is limited to the toaster and my laptop.
It’s so hard to watch Chris struggling for his breath, to feel his little heart beating so fast you could almost imagine it exploding, and being utterly powerless to stop it. Two nights this week he’s had next to no sleep, napped for short times throughout the day and had little energy to do anything except watch cartoons on the television. His grandad took Chris for a walk to the park, but he didn’t have the energy to play, and asked to be brought back home.
He misses so much of his schooling, which is worrying. He could get some work from school to do whilst he’s off school, but he wouldn’t have the energy to do it. Consequently, he has to work twice as hard at school when he goes back. There are so many children who suffer from this debilitating illness. Some children however do outgrow this condition, but sadly Chris is not one of them. But despite all this, he is a happy, amusing young man, who loves to chat to people, who never complains no matter how bad his day, and who is so cuddly and loving, you just can’t help but love him back.
Mind you, when he stays with us he works hard for his keep. He’s my little tester for the busy books and activities I make. He loves to try them all and tell me what he thinks is good or bad about each one, and helps me decide how and what changes I may need to make. Which is one if the reasons why I rarely make two things exactly the same.
He’s also keeps an eye on his Grandad, monitoring his driving and telling me if he says any naughty words. Only yesterday he told me his grandad had said the the ‘s’ word. My friend and I thought for ages but couldn’t think what he meant. Then Chris whispered, “it starts with s and it has a h next to it, but if you put them together it makes sh. And there is it at the end.” He then proceeded to sound out the word, quicker and quicker till he was saying it. You can’t get angry with him he is so funny. He’s a special little boy, unique in so many ways.
When his mum came to collect him tonight he just wanted loads of cuddles from his big brother whom he’d missed so much. Together, they laid out an Easter egg hunt, round my house, using the baskets Chris had made earlier on in the day with his grandad. Chris really enjoys making things, solving problems and adapting things so they work the way he wants them to. He loves nothing better than getting in a mess whilst creating something, the messier the better.
He never moans about how hard his life can be, or how poorly he feels. He manages his condition so well, he’s able to tell me and his grandad what we need to do to assist him, how many puffs of each inhaler he needs and when he needs them.
Chris is my little hero, an inspiration.