Hello. Welcome back. It’s been a while and oh how I’ve missed you.

Things have been a little quiet here at Happy Tokens recently and I just wanted to explain and share.

The last few months of last year were, quite frankly, unbelievable. I’m still a bit in shock myself! There I was just plodding away, running my business, shipping the children to and fro and organising Halloween when my oldest took ill. My oldest is 19 so really it usually means she takes painkillers, goes to bed and I pop in now and again to check for general signs of life. But this time was a little different as she was in Cambridge (we live up North). Worse still she was on a train (or several) from Cambridge to Liverpool when she became so ill, she rang and said I needed to be concerned. 

She may be 19 but as any parent will know in your emotional head age has no relevance and when your children are in need they immediately appear to be about 4 years old to you!

Upon reaching Liverpool she was in bed for 12 hours and was becoming worse, so my husband had no choice but to drive and pick her up and bring her home. She was only home a few hours and we realised she needed to go to hospital. Once there she was diagnosed with appendicitis and while waiting for surgery her appendix ruptured.

The staff were amazing, and I actually received a post-surgery phone call from the surgeon himself to explain it had been quite an operation, but she was out and recovery should go well. Over the next few days we shuffled from ward to ward and a few complications crept in which delayed discharge but on the whole, she was a trooper. The hospital staff did their jobs well and the surgeon even shared photos of how horrific internally things had been. 

Once discharged my daughter was only home a few days and needed to be readmitted with complications no-one had foreseen but again she was beautifully brave, and we muddled on. Juggling child care, car sharing, and mum guilt were all factors to deal with but as a family I have to say we smashed it! So pretty soon my daughter was home once more and on the mend.

Life resumed but not for long. My husband came down with the tummy bug everyone was talking about and to be honest it wiped him out. At one point he was fast asleep in a chair while some of the children played a board game, others played on the PS4 and I had a natter and catch up with my daughter! Those were some noise levels but he was oblivious. 

I finally got him to take himself off up to bed by arguing that if this bug had made him feel so rotten what would it do to the younger children. But being banished to the bedroom didn’t help him recover and that night I ended up calling an ambulance for him. He went into hospital at 3am and underwent an emergency appendectomy at 8am!

Scouts honour, he had exactly the same thing as my daughter had a few weeks earlier. Can you believe it? Honestly, I struggle to believe it even now! His appendix didn’t rupture and there was no necrosis, but it was enlarged and inflamed and a bit of a bugger to remove by all accounts. Once again, recovery was dotted with complications which prolonged his need to be in hospital, but I came to realise that by leaving it so late to go to hospital the complications suffered by both of them were inevitable due to the level of degeneration.

Having a husband in hospital is a very different experience than having a child in hospital. combine that with 2 birthdays, Christmas, nativities and school fairs, it was a mad busy and very lonely time. Hats off to single parents, I know it’s not usually a choice but I’m not sure I would be able to cope on my own. I did cope because like others I simply had to and like others I found my children were my drive. Although I, of course, had friends and family on hand it did change my outlook a little.

Once we got my husband home, we were able to focus on the important stuff and I have to admit it was the least stressful Christmas we have had to date (and the cheapest!). We focused on together time, family and magic. We focused on memories, childhood and fun. We did things differently, kept traditions and started new ones and above all loved one another.

Everyone is on the mend now and I’m able to finally get back to work as often as I want (I so so missed it). I’ve taken this new positivity into my work life and I’m hoping it will shine through the new products I develop and the collaborative projects. 2019 is a year of positivity, growth and care. I love my work because I am passionate about supporting parents to guide and nurture their children. So, watch this space…