Hello. I’m writing this from a hospital ward in England where I am tentatively recovering from Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease which went undiagnosed and untreated for five months due to a systemic healthcare failure since my consultant appointments were consistently cancelled and rescheduled by the hospital, despite my worsening condition. After nearing dying two weeks ago from acute blood loss due to not being treated in a timely manner, this is the first time in several weeks that I’ve been strong and able enough to type at my laptop, I thought I should let the readers of this blog know since many of you have sent messages. Thank you for your concern.
This summer has been the worst time of my life. In mid-June, my full-term son was born by emergency c-section but with catastrophic brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. He died the next day and I have never ever known such profound grief, such palpable torment. We named him Rupert Charles, with all the Stuart connections those names have. He was such a beautiful baby, so very loved and wanted. I was lucky in a way that I was able to hold and cuddle and kiss him before he died. We were finally able to give him his burial last month, and we’re still awaiting the results of the numerous investigations about him. We had no sign anything was wrong. Someday I may write more about all of this, but for now, it’s too raw, too painful.
In the significant trauma following little Rupert’s loss, my husband, our daughter, and I went on a road trip around England. We couldn’t be in the house, which was filling up with sympathy cards and flowers from kind friends and family. I couldn’t bear to see his room, with the cot and mobile and nappies and baby clothes all ready…it was too much. We left home, desperately needing the mental and physical distraction, which we did find and which did help. I will endeavour to post about those places and perhaps readers of this blog will enjoy them, despite the horrible context.
Being in the hospital has had one positive benefit: I’ve been able to read through some of the backlogs I had of review books, another necessary distraction. I have let people down in recent months because I have not sent book reviews in a timely manner. I’m behind with so much work. My Barbara Villiers book, which was nearly ready to submit, has to wait. It’s simply too hard at the moment. But I feel I can somewhat concentrate on book reviews and posts about the places we visited over the summer. I’m going to try to concentrate on those, and try to get stronger physically and mentally, over whatever time I have left (I have four blood clots in my lungs and kidneys now, so who knows? ha!) and I hope you’ll bear with me.