Final story from Sorcha this week - August and that Greek holiday that went horribly wrong .....
Posted Jan 14 2011 3:56am
We went to Crete one August. It is very hot. Murray was sick on the plane, in the taxi, and right in the middle of the hotel lobby. So it was just a normal holiday with Murray. Mummy had just got a new hip. This was great, she is going to be able to do lots more things now. Daddy said we all needed a good holiday.
We had a really nice time for the first few days. Everyone was very happy. We played at the pool, we went to the beach and we had lots of ice-cream. The hotel was very busy but there was two other Irish people there too. This was very lucky. They were also on holidays from Brussels and we kind of knew them. Well, the wife was a friend of a friend of Mummy’s! Her name was Karen and she had no children but she soon got to know a lot about children.
We were there four days and Murray wasn’t very happy in the hotel restaurant every night because it was a bit posh so Daddy said we should get a taxi to a local village and have dinner there. That sounded like a good idea. Murray didn’t get sick in the taxi which was great and we found a nice restaurant on the beach to have our dinner. We had a lot to eat and drink because everyone was happy and it was a great meal and Daddy kept saying what a good holiday it was. There was a beautiful sunset over the sea and I remember we took photos of it. Murray was very happy there so we were all happy. He loved looking at the sunset.
We left the restaurant and went for a walk in the village. There were lots of little shops and Mummy loves jewellery shops so we stopped and went into one. Mummy was standing at the counter when she turned around to check on Murray. I heard the noise but I didn’t know what it was. The lady in the shop heard the noise but she just looked puzzled. Mum looked very pale and very strange. She just held onto the counter and said ‘Colm, quick I need help – my hip has dislocated!’ She was really very calm about it, because we were stuck in the middle of a tiny jewellery shop in the middle of a tiny fishing village in the middle of Crete and really this was a bit of a mess. There was no ambulance. The lady in the shop said an ambulance would take too long to get there. Mummy was very quiet and very pale and Dad was getting very nervous and Murray was getting really confused and I was just getting – well, I don’t know – I guess I was getting upset also.
A taxi came and Mummy was helped into it by two men and Daddy. She had to hop out of the shop with her right hip just kind of hanging there. She was in a lot of pain but she had to get out of the shop and to hospital. Getting into the taxi was not fun. She was kind of lifted in and put on the back seat. She didn’t cry so Murray wouldn’t cry. Daddy sat in the front with Murray on his knee and I sat beside Mummy in the back on the floor and held her hand.
The first clinic the taxi went to was just for people to go to get treated for cuts and if they get too much sun. They wouldn’t let us into the clinic or out of the car . They just told the driver to drive on to the next town where there was a big clinic. When we got there some men came out and lifted Mummy into an ambulance but it was a funny ambulance and looked like a car for a dead person Dad said. Mummy was put in the back and there was no room for us so we went in the taxi with Dad to the hospital in the capital, Heraklion.
When we got there Murray was really upset and getting sick a lot and Mummy was trying to pretend she was okay to Murray. We left Mummy in the hospital on her own because Dad wanted to bring us back to the hotel but that was on the other side of the island. More sick later, we got there. Murray kept crying "where Mummy, where Mummy".
For the next few days, Karen the Irish lady who we knew but didn’t really know had to mind me and Murray as well as the Belgian girl who worked at the reception desk. She minded us when she was on her breaks. Murray didn’t like this at all – strange people minding him and he cried and cried and got sick and kept crying "where Mummy, where Mummy".
Mummy had to spend three days in hospital before Dad could get her sent back to Brussels by air ambulance. It was not a nice time for Mummy in that hospital Dad says. First night they tried to fix her hip back and put her on the floor in the hospital but because we had all eaten a big dinner they could give her no medicine. They pulled and pushed but her hip would not go back in place. A few hours later they give her some medicine to go to sleep and pushed her hip back in. Dad went to see her the next morning and she was not very happy. Her leg was hanging up in the air and the doctor said she would have to stay in the hospital like that for three weeks. Daddy said “no way – she’s coming home to Brussels”. Daddy had to get very mad for a few days to get people to do what he wanted. The holiday company and the insurance company did not want to do anything to help Mummy or us!
In the hospital Mummy was very lonely because Daddy could only go in for a few hours a day because we were a long way away in the hotel. Mummy was in a room with lots of other sick men and women and all their families. In Greece the family come in to mind you if you are sick but Mummy had no family to mind her. She didn’t even have any clean sheets or a pillow. When a man near Mummy died another patient came over to Mummy and gave her his pillow.
Lucky for Mummy, the old lady who was dying beside her had a daughter called Stella who was there all the time minding her and she also minded Mummy. She gave Mummy food – because the hospital forgot to feed Mummy. She made Mummy coffee beside the bed every morning and she got clean sheets for Mummy and she even had to help Mummy go to the toilet. There were no nurses to find – Daddy got more and more mad every day. He took photos of all the dirt and mess everywhere. He kept telling everybody at the hotel that the hospital was a disgrace.
On the third day everything got better – Murray and me got to fly back to Brussels with Daddy and Mummy got to fly home with a special doctor to Brussels but she had to go on her own. I missed Mummy but Daddy said she would be okay. She was not very happy I think and it was sad that she was on her own. But Daddy said we would see her soon in Brussels. Murray was not happy at all on the plane. He kept asking "where Mummy".
We got home to Brussels and Murray was sick a lot – in the taxi, in the plane, on the road – everywhere. Daddy was very mad at everybody and Mummy was in hospital again in Brussels. Daddy said we were never ever going on holidays again but we did.
Murray looking at that sunset in Sissi, Crete minutes before his Mom's hip dislocated!
So, that's it folks, a few stories from Sorcha this week about living with Murray and I guess all the family. It hasn't always been easy for her - but she is a much more responsible and mature kid because of all that has been going on in the family over the years. One thing though, if you ask her, would she like to be a doctor, a nurse, a physio - her most definite response is .... "absolutely not"!
A lot of siblings of kids with special needs do go into the 'caring' profession but Sorcha reckons she has had enough medical exposure to last her a life-time! She's probably right!
That holiday disaster in Greece was all that and more ... but we laugh about it now and Stella - the wonderful Greek lady who looked after Murray's Mom so well is still writing to the family 9 years later. We have of course been on lots of holidays since - however we still haven't been back to the Greek islands, not yet anyway!
Murray has learnt to cope a lot better with holidays over the years ... he may still get sick in transit but once we are there - he is fine now. He looks forward to his holidays now and even plans them now with great excitment.
We hope you have enjoyed Sorcha's stories this week - they are just a little insight into life from a siblings point of view. Having a special needs child in the family means that you may have to approach life a little differently at times but the benefits can be immense. Murray makes us all view the world through different eyes and that we wouldn't swap that experience for anything.
We'll be back with more dog related matters next week ...