Dreamscaping

 Dreamscape
24 x 16 inches on wood

For Sale

£149 GBP
(approx $239 USD)
+ shipping

Last week, I was lying on a hospital bed with my head in a cupboard. For some reason I thought it was poetic, to be lying with one’s head in a cupboard (the bed folds out from a cupboard down). Next to me, in his own bed, lies my 26 month old son with breathing difficulties. He’s got an oxygen level monitor taped to his toe and an oxygen dispersing pipe taped to his t-shirt blowing concentrated oxygen into his little face to help him ‘work less hard’ to keep ‘his sats’ up. When you’re healthy, your oxygen saturation is around 97/98/100%. When Dylan first came into hospital it started at 88%. They think it was bronchiolitis and if you don’t help a little one breathe when they have this, they can become too tired from working too hard to get the oxygen in which can – in serious cases – be fatal or at least cause some kind of ‘not so fun things’ to the brain. So, I kept watching the little red numbers go up and down, 91%, 88%, 94%, 96% and tried to be ok with yet another nurse forcing a nebuliser or ventilator on him which terrified him.

The first night, sleep was horrific, though Dylan – so tired – slept through all the noise. Wards are really not my thing and if I could decide where my tax money goes it would be on health and education only and first priority is to create single rooms-only in all hospitals. Wards are not conducive to healing. Sleep and good food are top priority to overcome illness and the hospitals don’t provide either of those. Ridunkulous.

There is something so inexplicably difficult and painful about seeing your own child suffer. To see the fear in their eyes, to see them going through uncomfortable (or downright painful) experiences. It requires such a zen mind on the part of the parent, to ‘let suffering be’ and be strong so that you can be there to process it with your child afterwards. It requires a type of strength that I didn’t think I needed to have. What your child needs is for you to be strong and there for them, but when you see them kick and scream against the people who hold him down to put a mask on his face, all you want to do is break down, fall apart and scream and kick too. (Particularly when you are 8.5 months pregnant).

Luckily, I’ve been told by a friend (who is also a child psychologist) that the key thing for a child not to be scarred for life from a traumatic experience is to be able to process the experience afterwards in however way they need to. If there is no adequate outlet to process the experience, it is much more likely that long term scarring might occur.

So, empathy is needed after the trauma. A way to express without being told ‘you’re wrong to feel that way’ or to be dismissed for what you were feeling, nor to be told that you ‘should be a big boy’ or to be denied that the experience was the way it was for him. A child needs to be able to express and then be reflected back to. So, the reflecting back would sound like: “you were really scared weren’t you, when they put the mask on your face?” – “you really didn’t like when they put the tape on your toe” – “it was very upsetting for you when daddy had to hold you down, wasn’t it”? It’s a simple reflecting back of what he was feeling – no need to say: “but it had to happen”, “you don’t have to feel that way” etc.

Within the NVC process of communication there is an element called ’empathy giving’ and this is what we use when Dylan is distressed. Whenever he is upset and we empathise with him, he calms down within minutes. All he needs to know is that he is being understood and heard around his pain. Sometimes we offer a small explanation as to why what happened, happened, but not usually before he’s calmed down. When he is upset, we reflect and reflect and empathise. It is an amazing way of providing support for someone in distress.

I am incredibly grateful for this tool as I am always worried that some of his experiences might ‘scar him for life’. I’m so glad to know that most long term scarring can really be avoided as long as the traumatic event is properly processed and empathised with.

Dreamscape - detail

 Dreamscape
24 x 16 inches on wood
For Sale
£149 GBP
(approx $239 USD)
+ shipping


When we were finally allowed to go home (I sobbed in front of doctors who told me we had to stay another night – not because I was worried for Dylan – he was doing fine – but because I thought I’d go insane having to stay there another night! At some point I hysterically exclaimed: ‘If I’m going to have stay here another night, you’re going to have another patient!’ – Crazy pregnant lady alert that was), Andy fell ill!

Now, we’re a week later, and we had planned a ‘baby 2 day’ yesterday to get all final preps finished for the next arrival (due in 2 weeks) and: our childminder fell ill! (She still is today).

So, 2/3 weeks before giving birth, one bit of chaos after another jumps into my lap! Is the universe trying to tell me something you think? ;) Are these ominous signs from the babe to come to warn me to prepare for a chaotic child? ;) Or, is this the ‘storm before the silence’? I hope so! Ha ha.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I’m tired now.

And on top of all of this, I have continued with all my driving lessons (my practical exam is on 3rd of November, lol, which is a week before due date). Talk about too much on your plate eh. But hey, I do like me a good big meal! Although I don’t always eat it all.

Dylan is fine now and he continues to grow physically and cognitively on a daily basis. Yesterday, he started singing ‘baa baa black sheep’ out of nowhere but with all made up words, it went something like this:

“Baa baa back sha habboo any wuuuul? Yes sa yes sa dee bag ool”. That sort of thing just makes me so crazy happy. It’s those moments that make every hard thing worthwhile. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

Andy is also ok, we’re just now waiting for the childminder to find her footing again. We did manage to get some stuff done for babe 2 yesterday, but it’s like this poor one is not going to get the royalty treatment Dylan got.

I’m ok too, but tired, have to pee every 2 hours at night, stomach feels like 6 basketballs packed tightly together and when I sit down I have to have my legs wide to let the stomach hang in between them. Charming no? ;)

I’m still passionately working on Life Book – people continue to sign up which is also SO happy making (we now have over 300 students!!) ! And I’m about to publish the weekly year schedule, so that everyone can see what will happen on a weekly basis! How cool is that?

Here are some more detail shots of my newest painting I did a week or so ago. I love this painting a lot, one of my most favourite ones that I’ve done. :)

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

Dreamscape - detail

 Dreamscape
24 x 16 inches on wood

For Sale
£149 GBP
(approx $239 USD)
+ shipping


Back to work lovely people. I hope everyone is doing well and sparkly. :) Big hugs! 

****
Do you want to join the 300 + Life Book Students and have an awesome year of art making in 2012? 

THEN COME JOIN US NOW BY CLICKING 
:-)

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