In amongst the grind of daily life with a medical mystery (granted, a very handsome one), there are occasions when you just have to laugh. 

This week have come close to breaking me; daily battles with adult mental health teams (for Dad) while chasing up surgery dates, paying for therapies (for Sam) and sorting out accommodation for our biannual jaunt to Devon  (Sams Snowdrop therapy visit) have conspired this week to take me to the brink of a nervous breakdown.

It should have been a relaxing, calm week!

It was half-term and Sam has spent a lovely week at our childrens hospice, resting and recovering his energy after a hectic few weeks at school.

Having respite gives us all a chance to recharge, Sam gets a break away from Mummy and Daddy, gets lots of attention and enjoys lots of activities that we wouldn’t be able to do with him at home.

We also get a chance to recharge the batteries; no meds to prep. We don’t have to deal with the frequent beep of the feeding pump claiming it is blocked, again… And then there is Merlin.

Our beloved blonde idiot of a dog, currently in training as an assistance dog for Sam (and me).

Gorgeous, loving and utterly wonderful in (almost) every way.

When Sam is at home almost everything is an opportunity for training – alerting to seizures, picking up dropped items, etc.  So while Sam is in respite it gives us a chance to dote on the dog a bit more… he is only young, 18 months, so much like a toddler really.

Merlin has missed Sam as much as we have this week. And like all young animals whether they are human or not, Merlin has been playing up a bit for attention.

On Wednesday he surpassed himself and snaffled a mince pie, which I had been looking forward to…

Now. Anyone who knows about dogs will likely know that grapes/sultanas/etc are notoriously toxic to our canine friends.

I have never been so grateful for Sam being in hospice respite, as it meant that there was no need to either sort out care for him or pile the poor sleeping child into the WAV, we could just get the dog in and race off to the out of hours vets surgery… which, conveniently enough is just up the road from the hospice.

One emetic injection and £345 later, Merlin was discharged (still as bouncy and happy as ever) to return home and commence of a 24hr dosing schedule of activated carbon to absorb any remaining toxins from his digestive tract.

The most expensive mince pie.Ever.

And to think, I usually complain about Sams feeding pump causing problems…

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