Forgive me followers but it has been 23 days since my last confession, I mean blog! I hope you are all keeping well?
I’ve been slowly easing myself back into society since shielding was paused at the beginning of August. I’ve found some aspects of it to be fine but others a little unnerving such as a first visit to our local Asda, where it was almost like a free for all in the narrow aisles. Back to the online shopping for now and we’ll pick up any ‘bits’ at Sainsbury’s where it’s a little more tranquil with more space in the aisles. A lot more expensive mind but I can live with that for now!
As a family we’ve still tended to still keep the kids at home, we’ve also had local lockdown to contend with but our borough is to be released from this very soon. We did visit Lytham one afternoon during the spell of good weather (it seems a long time ago now!) and it was great to see Mila-Rose and Alfie feel a sense of freedom. The smiles on their faces was priceless. We were able to find a spot on the beach that gave us plenty of space and we could control the social distancing. They had so much fun playing in the sand and we treated them to a McDonald’s on the way home. Their reaction was like they had won the lottery!
As I said in my final lockdown blog we want to return to some form of normality and they both deserve to start making memories again. I’m not saying we will ever put them both at risk, it will always be that if it’s not comfortable or it’s overcrowded then we can easily remove ourselves from that situation. It just requires nothing more than common sense.
Men’s Support Group
During the final few weeks of lockdown I’d started to explore the possibility of a Men’s Support Group. Having personally waited 8 months to get a counselling appointment on the NHS, I feel that some men may struggle to wait that long to talk about their problems. This could lead to a tragic outcome. I’m exploring a few avenues in regards to starting one in my hometown.
I’ve also reached out to a some well known charities and I’m pleased to tell you that Together for Short Lives, a charity who support families who have children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, have asked me to voluntarily run a Men’s Support Group. It will go by the name of Brew’s Brothers via Zoom and will start in mid-September. I believe that basing this group around an informal chat it will encourage men to sign up then speak up. I’m looking to base it around a football chat forum ie. discussing Favourite Goal, Best Player etc. A bit similar to the chats I mentioned with my mates during lockdown. It’s something I’m really looking forward to hosting and will hopefully be beneficial to other Dad’s in a similar situation to myself. I’ll keep you all up to date on the developments.
Another discovery I made during lockdown was the launch of an app that goes by the name of Friendili. It’s a social network for families facing health & disability challenges. You can find friends, get support and talk to others who’ve been there. It’s free to download and helps to connect families sharing health, disability and SEN journeys. As Duchenne has many complexities I’ve found the app covers a wide range of topics and will be very useful not just now but in the future. I’ve also written a couple of blogs that have been posted on the app. You can read them by following these links Dad’s Have Feelings Too and Learning to Live in the Moment. You can download the app by following this link Friendili App.
Finally we’d just like to say a massive thank you to local rugby league players, Gregg McNally and Martyn Ridyard for their amazing fundraising efforts for Action4Alfie and Two Hips, One Knee. They raised a staggering £4,371 by running 4 miles, every 4 hours for 72 hours. How they did it I do not know, the weather was extremely hot over the weekend of the challenge and they deserve all the plaudits for amazing resilience to complete it. Can’t wait to see how you’ll both top that next year!!!!
So that’s it for this blog. I just wanted to update you on how we’d eased ourselves from shielding and just to get back on the horse in regards to blog posting.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.