Good thing number – 31
Classification – homemade
Time taken – 1.5 hours
My lovely friend and colleague Heather is doing something scary… her PhD and she’s working her socks off. As seems to be a right of passage when completing a PhD this can be rather stressful at times, so anything to help keep her smiling through her PhD journey is worth investing in isn’t it?
Both Heather and I have been lucky enough to travel to Finland a few times for work purposes and one thing that Finland isn’t short of is Moomins!! Luckily, we both love Moomins and on my last trip I bought some Moomin fabric (yes I have got a slight fabric obsession!). Heather and I spent ages deciding what I could do for her for a good thing, but the deal was sealed when I brought my Moomin fabric in for her to see…. you guessed it… a bag! This one has a daily purpose – this is a PhD materials transportation device, this is intended to raise a smile even on days when smiling is the furthest thing from Heather’s mind.
As with my other creations – this one is reversible – I’ve used a funky 70’s inspired fabric for the lining and handles… well… Moomins have a bit of a psychedlic feel really don’t they?!
Talking of the slightly hallucinatory effects of the Moomins…. exhaustion can have that effect too!
As a volunteer on the last trip I can honestly say it was the best and most rewarding experience of my life…. however, it was also the most exhausting! I’m not someone who will tend to sit back – I like to throw mysef into things and make the most out of experiences (you may have noticed this from this mission!). As a result, exhaustion by the end of the trip was what you might can an occupational hazard!
The kids experience this tenfold, dealing with lifelong illnesses, travelling thousands of miles and having full on fun whilst pushing themselves physically throughout to make the most of the experience of a lifetime! By the end of the trip, the amount of treatment needed does increase a tad, but thats ok… that’s why we are there, but for one girl this did result in a very amusing conversation! (Note. the treatment we give does compensate for this, we don’t put the kids at risk).
Her condition had deteriorated during the trip and we had increased pain medications, instigated increased Physio treatment (I even made a collar and cuff sling out of a cut up tshirt on the coach one morning to give her the option of elevating her hand to prevent swelling) and contacted her mum to try and arrange a review appointment on her return to avoid any delays. She got the gold star treatment all round …….. except for maybe on the flight on the way home. I would love to meet up with her and look back on this ‘conversation’.
The poor girl was experiencing high levels of pain in her hand and hip. During the trip, no matter what, her gorgeous smile never left her face… except for on the flight on the way home. Heavy turbulence was making it so much worse and there were no other pain meds we could give her. We didnt have any heat packs… the air stewardess was lovely and gave me a tray of hot towels which I layered on as fast as I could, but the heat dissipated really quickly so it was fairly useless. Only thing I could do was sit with her, hold her hand and try to distract her. I think this was the only point in the trip when I had to admit defeat and ask the girl who was looking after her that day to take over for a while. I was trying to talk to her about her favourite book, but the exhaustion and darkness had got to me and I kept drifting off… I was still trying to join in.. but Im sure I woke at one point talking about mushrooms riding on elephants… her look of confusion was a picture. I’m sure thats in one episode of the Moomins!!!