Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


A Trifecta for Lisa

This has been a week of lots of little happenings and I wish that sometimes I had the discipline to keep a diary of my daily doings. Then if I did that people would find out how boring I really am. My time has been occupied by twitter. The @ireland account chose me to curate their twitter feed for the week. It’s a good idea, replicated throughout the world, whereby a guest curator gives their unique view via twitter of all things Irish. This week I’ve discussed Cardinal Brady, sandwiches, coffee, full moons, tourism, rural decline, family and education among other things with people from Dingle toPakistan. It’s been great, exhausting fun and has opened my eyes to the potential out there. The great thing about Twitter is that it can be done anywhere so I’ve tweeted from my shop, Green Street Dingle, the top of the Conor Pass, my bed and even now whilst I’m writing this. Now I’m cuddled up to Freddie, he’s eating lunch and looking forward to moving to the new house later today.

Monday evening Ruby and I were late home for some reason or other. Freddie was excited to have us back with him,eventually. He was settled in the front room and Lisa brought him his dinner, home cooked ham and veg. After Lisa left he didn’t look too happy “I don’t want the ham” he said looking up at me, looking very sad, so I went to the kitchen to find an alternative.  When Lisa and I came back with some chicken he’d keeled over, these bloody seizures just won’t leave him alone. Not a bad one this time but enough to knock him out for a while. After a snooze of less than an hour, he woke up. That waiting to see if he’s in bad cluster, if another seizure is going to happen before he wakes, is horrible, only horrible. Thankfully, nothing materialized and after eating some of his dinner, we all settled into an evening of Freddie watching. Once again, we managed to avoid a hospital visit and Fred slept the night through. The usual night for us now of me slipping off to bed about midnight leaving Fred, Ruby and Lisa asleep in the front room. Again, about 3am he threw the door open and came in to cuddle me for the rest of the night. About 6.15am he had another seizure in my arms, a mild one and he continued his sleep afterwards. Lisa collected him about 7am to give him his medicines and get his day started. Routine, routine, routine. Unfortunately, he had another one in the front room, a bit bigger than usual one and we had to give some diazepam to settle him. After another snooze he woke and demolished the breakfast I prepared. We are constantly hoping against hope that the ferocity of the seizures is declining and the current payoff seems to be more regular, smaller ones. It’s come so now that we’re counting time in terms of not visiting the hospital instead of seizure-free days.

Wednesday morning and I have to take Ruby over the road so she can be collected by the school bus for a football competition in Mallow. Don’t know how it happened but we fell into a massive row with me refusing to take her. Eventually I end up on the Castleisland Road with Ruby screaming in my ear, swearing worse than her mother, looking for the bus that’s left without her. After what seems like forever, we find it and she storms off, wiping the tears away and leaving me rubbing the ringing out of my ears. Oh the joys of parenting. In fairness, I know she didn’t mean anything she said but the ferocity of it left me shocked. Recuperating at home before I left for work, Lisa and I decided to try ground her for a month. She’s a strong, very strong character; I blame the mother, so imposing the ban won’t be easy.

At work, I try to relax and my spirit is lifted when Ed Galvin comes in shortly after I open. He’s just back from ten days in Malta and it’s great to see him. The father of two grown boys I tell him how lucky he was to avoid the teenage girl hormones. We laugh at that one but he does tell me how his granddaughter was dropped over recently, hoarse from fighting with her parents. There’s comfort in knowing you’re not alone and I have to add I wouldn’t change Ruby for the world. A strong character is a blessing once you know where you’re going with it. Ed goes off and comes back with a good strong coffee, just what I need to put the morning behind me. About 1pm, Siobhan calls and offers to take me to lunch. She’s gone through the teen daughter years so we swap stories over soup outside in the sun. All this kindness from friends makes the day go a lot better. After a day of work and tweeting, Ruby texts me about 2.30…

“Just leaving Mallow now, bus not going back via Tralee….”

“I’ll wait here for you” I reply.

About 5.30pm we meet in the street, she looks wrecked after her day of matches, three in total I think and they hadn’t any subs so they all played every minute. A tired hormonal teen and an hours drive ahead of me….

She gets in the car.

“Sorry about this morning Dad.”

My heart lifts,  not only did she apologise but also that she knew to. Immediately too I know that any hope of grounding her for a month has been greatly diminished! We journey home in peace; in fact, she sleeps through a lot of it. All that shouting first thing in the morning can be very tiring for a teenage girl.

On Friday morning I get a call from Kev Moriarty home fromEnglandfor the weekend. After losing his job two years ago, he left for London last August and has been back and forth ever since. We have lunch with Keith inAdamsbar and after an hour of chat and teasing, I head back to work. Despite Kevin working in the city of streets paved with gold I pay for lunch…Back I go to more helping tourists and tweeting.

This morning Fred had another tiny Frontal Lobe Seizure about 615am. These ones last about 5 seconds and the fact they don’t break through is a sign that maybe one of the medicines is working. Lisa is still weaning him off the Topomax and the Keppra, a long process but getting him off these two may let the Tegretol do its job. After getting up with his Mum he had another tiny FLS about 7.15am. Fred’s epilepsy always manages to make a stressful day even more stressful and today is no different. Trying to move house and keep Freddie relaxed isn’t easy, he wants to be part of everything. Poor Lisa is doing all the work, I hurt my back yesterday and of no physical use. Talk about a trifecta of problems for my wonder-woman wife. Therefore, my job for the day, as appointed by Lisa, is the lie on the couch and watch TV with Freddie. Not the toughest job in the world. We’ve got away with it for a few hours now.

So far so good…..



Posted by John Verling

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