Travel StoriesNorthern Ireland By The Water
It's A Bumpy Lumpy Ride
Chaos Date - Several years leading up to September 2020.
By Sharon Parker.
Northern Ireland... do we, don't we? Should we, shouldn't we? Lockdown meant no then it was lifted so yes, then restrictions came into place that meant no, then yes, then finally no. A house share was no longer an option now barely a week before departure. So that was the accommodation out. Sooooo do just Ren and I still go? If so where do we stay?
Ren likes precise plans with detailed planned timetables. Covid ensures chaos. But Ren needs a holiday, being home alone during the lockdown did him no good at all. I need a holiday, I think I'm cracking up. Not due to Covid but, well, because of the lumps and bumps in my life.
I did wonder if to go into detail about why I write so little here these days. I didn't want to depress anyone by explaining in a gut wrenching, bleeding heart dispatch the absolute horror of seeing your daughter fading before your eyes as you fight every doctor, every surgeon, everyone and everything to save her life. But I felt some explanation was needed for my lack of input to Bikes and Travels of late so here we are.
Fighting for my daughter's life is where my energy went, all of it and some. A fight of over 2 years, a fight against a medical profession that would not listen, that did not pick up on red flags, dismissed us, ignored us, insulted us. They misdiagnosed Beth and made us both cry in anger and frustration and fear. But we did not give up.
We even learned to laugh instead of cry, albeit a bit hysterically. Giving up for me was never an option. I could see Beth getting more poorly every month, her symptoms piling up, her pain levels off the scale, her life ebbing away. But I kept searching for answers, knocking on doors, kicking others down until eventually this led to a surgeon who is a most marvellous man. A man of immense skill and compassion. A man who believed us and who knew what was wrong. A man who saved my daughters life by successfully removing her brainstem tumour.
Beth's bravery and fighting spirit combined with her surgeons skill amalgamated to create a miracle in which she smiled and talked and walked after a surgery that is the most dangerous of all surgeries, one with the highest risk of death and one with a huge risk of paralysis. We count this blessing every day. I could write a book on all the horrors we went through to get to this amazing result but this will do here.
I would love to say that all is now well. But sadly life is not a movie. We have now learned Beth has another cyst or tumor in her brain so her battles continue. My other daughter Meg is undergoing scans to try to locate a suspected painful schwannoma tumour in her ribs. While I myself may have another schwannoma growing in my neck.
Me and my girls.
Regular readers will know I have had two removed previously. One on my rib the other within my spine. Both myself and my daughter Megan have a genetic condition called schwannomatosis which causes, usually benign, tumours called schwannomas to grow on nerves. Hence they can be and usually are extremely painful. Strangely my other daughter Beth does not have schwannomatosis but despite this has had her own tumours, the brainstem one being a hemangioblastoma.
So err yeah I been busy with lumps and bumps. No doubt as the road is not yet smooth and I am still on a lumpy path at present I will come and go on the site as time and energy levels and other distractions allow.
I did not write the above for sympathy, I just thought maybe some explanation was warranted. I just wanted you all to know that I have not completely lost interest in motorcycles, or that I have not care for our readers. Just sometimes life is a bumpy lumpy ride with no smooth tarmac to get a leg down on and stop long enough to write.
Zen the 125 still turns a wheel.
So yeah back to Northern Ireland. Well a lack of accommodation proved to be one problem I could easily sort with the power of booking.com. I booked a nice looking chalet and with that, as long as no more Covid 19 restrictions came into place in the next couple of days, we were going. Well probably, err maybe, urghhh.
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Northern Ireland - A Covid Prologue
The lead-up to this journey seems to have been a bewildered shambles. So how did The Dynamic Muppets manage to rescue their trip from the tangled mess of 2020?
It's A Bumpy Lumpy Ride
Sharon's life is never simple. While getting ready for maybe, possibly, perhaps going to Northern Ireland she takes a moment to explain why she's been so quiet on here.
An Easy Ride To Carlisle
It's an easy, lazy and relaxed start to this holiday with a handful of miles to cover and the weather behaving itself for once.
Sharon's luggage situation has improved but it's going to take a while for her to unwind, chill out and settle into today's journey. Aaaaaaand relax.
A Ferry And Hint Of Northern Ireland
Ren is doing what Ren does best - flapping.
A Dip Into Irish Waters
Today's lesson - don't place yourself behind angry small mythical critters.
Causeway And Coast
Getting into The Giant's Causeway poses a challenge for a miser like Ren, can he avoid his wallet seeing the light of day? The Causeway Coastal Route and Torr Head Scenic Route may ease the shock for him.
Giants And Hobbits
Sharon enjoys a rather wonderful day exploring more of the Causeway Coastal Route. Languishing in luxury on the back of Ren's bike while he does all the hard work. Sort of.
Ards Peninsula, Wonderfully Modest
Today it's the turn of Ards Peninsula to be explored. Throw in the regular dose of disorganised nonsense and some fair weather, it might be a good day!
A Bit Of Irish History
A history lesson and tomfoolery by The Queen Of Rain. Thing is, it's not raining. Something is wrong here, very wrong.
Lough Neagh And Money
The Dynamic Muppets circumnavigate the largest lake in the British Isles. Is this the sort of place where a prudent miser like Ren would fit in?
Another watery day in Northern Ireland and still no rain on the horizon. Sharon contemplates the many and varied lives we get to live.
Ferry, Friends And Mostly Scotland
In a remarkable twist Ren is not flapping! Nor is he ready to go home. But alas and alack 'tis time for this all-too-brief inspection of Northern Ireland to end. Take comfort in Scotland Ren.
North Pennines And Epilogue
It's the end of the journey for the dynamic muppets yet there's still time for a little detour, or two. What did Ren make of Northern Ireland?
Ross said :-
Cripes! Difficult to know what to say without sounding trite, but thanks for letting us know what's going on. I value and have missed your contributions to the site but can see why you haven't been posting much recently...wishing you and yours all the best!
01/10/2020 09:05:22 UTC
crofty said :-
That was a sad read Sharon, respect to you for taking up the fight against the medical profession and getting a result.
all the best to you and your lovely daughters
01/10/2020 09:28:32 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Sharon, (M.M.), Beth and Megan, life really knows how to kick us when we're down. I've just read it twice to take it all in and I suppose I could say it's tragic, sad, awful, which it obviously is, but more than anything what I felt was the strength of you all jumping out of every line and paragraph.
Well done to you all, keep up the good work, be strong for each other and please take a little of our strength to help you along the way.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Thanks for sharing but we're very sorry you've got the story to tell. We wish it wasn't so.
01/10/2020 09:50:20 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Just to add my best wishes and hopes for the future.
01/10/2020 11:41:49 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Wow, that puts my own little aches, pains and grumbles well and truly into perspective. Keep up the good fight Sharon...
02/10/2020 08:41:06 UTC
Marv said :-
Hi Sharon, wow you've all been through some very tough times. Your fighting spirit is certainly a factor that has got you and your daughters this far, and will get you all even further.
Best wishes to you all, for the future.
05/10/2020 21:21:56 UTC
Badger said :-
So sorry to read of your troubles, wishing you all the very best, thinking of you all, from here in Wales.
08/10/2020 19:05:41 UTC
SHARON said :-
Thank you all for your caring comments x
11/10/2020 21:33:08 UTC
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Travel StoriesNorthern Ireland By The Water