Posted by: christinelaennec | September 30, 2011

Dafter Update

Last evening in Portland, April 2011. Mama and Dafter.

I’ve received so many truly supportive and kind comments on this blog – it’s been a wonderful surprise to me, over and over, and I thank you!  The kindness of strangers is just one more thing I never imagined when I started blogging.  As I wrote here, I’d thought that this blog would have a lot more about writing in it, but as it turned out my lovely Dafter has had a rough year and she has been my top priority. And as I wrote here, she and we recently made a rather heart-stopping leap to yet another school.  She enjoyed her first day there, and then fell ill.  And although in between course 1 and course 2 of antibiotics she went back for two more days, she has been home unwell ever since.  We have been in a strange land of illness for four weeks now.

This past week the doctor had been thinking perhaps she’d developed ME (having ruled a number of other things out).  However, having seen her this morning it seems the infection is still there.  It seems strange to say that this was sweet music to our ears!  But if there is an identifiable cause to her total lethargy, and it can be treated, that’s great news.  So fingers crossed that this third bout of antibiotics will have the desired effect.

I’ve been very tired and frightened for a while now, but I know this is all part of family life.  I’ve been wondering whether I would be able to keep on working, but my colleagues have been absolutely brilliant in accommodating me working from home, rushing off for appointments, and so forth.  So I do hope the basic framework of our lives can stay in place, and that the Dafter will regain strength, and will be able to settle in to her new school.

No matter what happens, every day I count myself so lucky to have had a Dafter at all.  For so many years I thought I would never be able to have children, and I have had two!  She is a great girl and gives us so much pleasure.  I have a clear picture in my mind of her happy, laughing and confident, as she was at the end of primary school and as I know she will someday be again.  It’s a cliché but my children and my family are the most important thing in my life and so I just pray to God to show me the way and I will take it.

Thanks again to everyone for your interest and all the good wishes you have been sending us.  I’m sure they’ve helped!

Enjoy your weekend.  Can you believe it’s OCTOBER already?!



  1. My dear Christine, it has been a rough year for you and your family indeed and I hope and pray that all will be well in the end. I wish the Dafter well and a very speedy recovery from here. On a different note: I love your cardigan in the photo. Happy thoghts from Wales x

  2. Hope the Dafter gets better soon, one of my sisters had glandular fever at a critical point in her schooling which totally wiped her out but she made a full recovery. It must be a worrying time, thinking of you.

  3. I am thinking of you and the Dafter and praying for a speedy recovery! I know you are worried sick and I can feel for you. You have wonderful colleagues to allow you to work from home; such a blessing. xx

  4. I hope and pray that your lovely dafter gets well soon. It is so horrible when they are unwell 😦
    I also hope that this new school boosts her self esteem. Being a teen is tough at times, but it is clear that she has a wonderfully loving and supportive family which is such an incredible gift.

  5. There can be little more precious than the happiness and well being of our children. All good wishes for a speedy return to full fitness. Antibiotics for the infection, love to soothe the soul. Things will balance out in their own time, I’m sure.

  6. Oh Christine – what a worry for you all. But a relief to Know the cause. Poor Dafter. Sending all our love to her – she is a great girl, indeed. xx

  7. You are all going through the mill it seems, I am so sorry. I’m crossing everything that your dafter gets well soon and can pick up school again. You seem hopeful, keep hanging in there!

  8. Hi Christine! I recall when my eldest had a very tenacious infection that normal rounds of antibiotics would not heal. She ended up having to take a strong antibiotic for a full 30 days before she was really well. That whole time was disconcerting and worrisome for her mama! Prayers for a swift recovery.

  9. Oh your poor girl! Thankfully the investigations have ruled out anything more worrying, but you’ve had worry enough. Sometimes the body is the last manifestation of mental strain, and at a point when you think that it’s all over. I had this experience after I’d left a particularly horrible job. Sending all good wishes for healing.

  10. You are in my thoughts and prayers. And some clichés are true: family is the most important.

  11. I’m really sorry that the Dafter has been ill for so long, and I can imagine it must be very worrying for you and Michael. As it happens, I know a few other parents who are currently very troubled about a child’s health or well-being – and sometimes the ‘child’ is actually a young adult. It reminds me that being a parent is a huge joy, but it also makes you really vulnerable. Anyway I hope the antibiotics are helping, and that she will soon be back to her old self. In our family we find a cat makes a very good nurse when people are not well..

  12. Hope your lovely dafter gets better soon.

  13. Dear Everyone,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all these good wishes, healing thoughts and soothing words. As Martin says, I’m sure things will balance out in their own time. The teenage years are such stressful ones, overall, I marvel that I ever survived them myself! I’m just determined to stay positive. We have a loving family and I am blessed to have such a dedicated and hopeful husband to do all this with me.

    Katherine and Ellen, it’s true that some children and teenagers just do suffer illness. (I’m pleased they’ve ruled out glandular fever in the Dafter’s case.) I think our society doesn’t like to recognise that illness is part of life, particularly in the case of young people who are supposed to be madly full of energy and confidence.

    Suzy, I do think that once she settles, the school will boost her self-esteem. So I’m focusing on that!

    Linda, I think what you say is absolutely right. She was under so much stress, but was determined to make a change. When she cleared the hurdle of taking the entrance exam and winning a place, the illness really flattened her almost because she’d worn herself out getting that far.

    Flora, it’s interesting to hear that others are going through similar things. I have been amazed by the stories I’ve heard just here in Aberdeen. And – agreed about cats! Tilly is good company and definitely a healing presence in the house.

    Heike, thanks! It’s ‘Joy’ by the brilliant Kim Hargreaves, from Vintage Knits. Because of all the beads, it weighs a ton and is a bit like putting on chain mail! But I love it.

  14. I’m just seeing this post now Christine. I can’t tell you how much I love this photo of you and the D. And I’m so sorry to hear she’s not well. I’m thinking her, her mom and her dad.

  15. I’ll be praying she is soon well and full of energy! When our children are sick, Moms hurt too. I’ll be praying for you as well…

  16. Dear Cathy and Dianne,

    Thanks very much for your good wishes and prayers. She isn’t much better – but she isn’t much worse! I know we will get through this one way or another and the school has been great. Thanks again!

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