My Catalyst: Living in Limbo

 My Catalyst: Living in Limbo 

It’s day thirteen since mum was rushed to hospital. It was my first time in an emergency resuscitation room, somewhere I hope never return to. Thirteen days of sitting next to mum holding her hand, whispering encouragement, singing songs, telling her how much we all love her and waiting. Waiting for any sign that she will be OK and come through this. We take one step forward and two steps back, at least there are steps. Today mum is propped up, she has eaten some food and has smiled. The recognition is no longer there, but a squeeze of my hand makes everything a lot more bearable. We will not resuscitate echoes constantly through my head, we can only make her comfortable and hope for the best. Well I am hoping for the best, today is brighter than yesterday.

My outside life, my family, my friends and work all in limbo.

I do occasionally manage the odd tweet and am grateful for the wonderful support. I know these beautiful women are all going through a lot too; Trish My Little Drummer Boys, Eden Riley Edenland, Renee About a Bugg, Cate Bolt Foundation 18 and Beth Baby Mac all have something major to deal with in their head-space right now, it’s tough, it’s life, it can rip out your heart and step on it real hard yet we continue one way or another we continue and we pull through.

I know there are many in worse situations than me  thirteen days in hospital I have seen and heard the most painful heart wrenching cries and screams from families and patients, from the very young to the very old. We all have pain, pain is non comparable pain is hurting and we all hurt sometimes. A hospital is a highly intense vacuum of emotions from the euphoric news of someone making it through, a new birth, and the gut wrenching horrific news that changes peoples lifes forever.

At present all the days and hours are a blended blur. Initially my heart would pound so hard as my mind would keep going over and over,the worry for my mother,  the guilt of not seeing my children,  the amount of work piling up, the mess at home, my general lack of hygiene and appearance but  slowly my mind has quieten down, my energies focusing on mum and the moments I get to return home to my Mr and my children. It has been my catalyst.

Being out of the loop has actually been good for me, it has been my catalyst to continue being who I am. I  use question who I am  and what I do daily. I feel weak yet internally stronger and the passion for my family, my work and my life is definitely heightened.

 My Catalyst and Lessons Learnt


1)    When you have to stop the world continues.

2)    Listening 100% with no distractions as in technology  creates an awesome connection.

3)    The elderly love children. Mr 7 has a temporary Grandfather in Mr H. Their bond is just wonderful to see.

4)    If you see an injustice, stand up and voice how you feel.

5)    Every one has a story if you have the time to listen it can make a difference.

6)    Being grateful for lots of little things does help with emotions and perception.

7)     Quality time doesn’t mean a long time, small bits of  quality time make a major difference.

8)    Making patients laugh is the best medicine.

9)    I have a warped and very sarcastic sense of humour, probably due to lack of sleep.

10) You need to have a passion and genuine care to work in hospital. The nurses are amazing. Some doctors need to work on their bedside manner and their high and mighty “I’m a doctor” attitude, especially interns who speak so rudely to nurses.

11) I can now officially sleep anywhere

12) I can only do what I can on any given day.

13) Life will always have ups and downs. The difference comes with the attitude I do things.

14) Magazines all have the same articles; lose weight, change your life & gossip. Blah, blah blah.

15) A smile makes a difference.

16) I appreciate all my clients and all the children I work with being so understanding in my lack of contact.

17) I cancelled my trip to Blog Her and instead hope for a mini break with my family.

18) My inner strength and perseverance is pretty good. I completed one of those giagantour crossword puzzles.

19) My passion for Easy Peasy Kids and Blogging for Good Causes is firing internally on all cylinders for when I eventually return to work. I have an amazing auction lined up.

20) OMG thank you for all your support and I know it’s not a numbers thing but hey I’ve reached 5000 likers on Facebook.

21) My Miss 16 got herself ready for her three week trip to South Korea for the World Expo Taekwondo Championships, she left this morning. I am a proud mum. It’s my right to feel proud.

22) You can seize moment to make a change.The hospital car park machine broke and on the spur of the moment I asked people to donate half of what they would have paid for parking to Foundation 18. They all did raising $146 in under thirty minutes. Thank you to Will for his $25 donation 😉

23) The elderly male patient next to mum, never receives the Vegemite he requests for breakfast, I bought him a jar of Vegemite. Apparently I will always have a place in his heart. Proof that little things make a difference.

24) It’s OK to cry . I can now cry when someone just says hello. I put this down to emotional exhaustion or human connection.

25) Human Behaviour is complex, don’t try and over analyse everything. You will not have a fantastic amazing connection with everyone you meet, no matter how hard you try. This is not your fault. Their loss not yours.

26) Alzheimer’s has taught me more than I could ever imagine.

27)  Explaining Eminem rap music to elderly Mr H and have him listening to Eminem’s music on my iPod warms my heart.

28)  My children have survived a diet of dim sims, pizza, ice-cream and toffee apples.

29) Grateful to the mother at Mr 7’s School who surprised me with a home-made lasagna. I owe you a lunch date. Thank you to my friends K, J, M, S and M for everything you have done; listening to me, your messages, sitting with me, bringing me food and collecting Mr 7.

30) I pick up a lot of stuff subliminally.Having run out of clean clothes I rushed  out to buy some jeans. Purchasing some bright red ones on impulse as I was drawn to them. On returning to the hospital I now blend in with their exact coloured red laundry baskets.

31) Darling Mr, Miss 16 and Mr 7 I love you so much, thank you for being wonderfully you.

Have you ever had a life changing moment. What was your catalyst?

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Nathalie Brown

Child Behaviour Consultant at Easy Peasy Kids
Child Behaviourist and researcher. Creator of "Less tantrums. More smiles". I look at the bigger picture and think outside the box when working with children and their behaviour. Their world is different. As adults we sometimes forget this. Happiness Creator in my spare time. Eater of chocolate and cake.

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  1. Dear Nathalie, your insights are always amazing and seem even more as you go through such an intense time. You have made me smile with your hospital activities and ache with your pain all in the one blog entry. May your friends and family continue to uphold you during this time and please know that you have plenty of online friends thinking of you also. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Dana* xx

  2. Oh nat… I am so sorry. I really hope your mum recovers.
    If you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask. I am not far from the Alfred or St Vincents most days of the week. If you need to talk or want some company, just ask x

  3. Marita Beard says

    Your are as beautiful inside as you are outside. I'm thinking of you and hoping for you.

  4. love you beautiful woman.


    • Love you more, your messages have always come exactly when I needed them most. Looking forward to margeritas, hugs and a new tattoo when we finally catch up xxx

  5. You are the best Nat. And maybe you needed an experience like this to see what you are made of, but the rest of us saw it long ago.

    Even though the Alzheimer’s has taken it’s toll on your mum, I hope she can feel the love that you have for her.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

    • Hey lovely lady, we only ever get to chat briefly but I think you are the best, always so welcoming, friendly and so very genuine. Look forward to seeing you in the near future love & lots of stuff N xx

  6. Can totally relate to this Nathalie. Limbo land and a suspension of time which you have to get your head around or it would drive you insane. I also found there can be lots of comedic moments to be found and the connections made are very special. My love & hugs to you and yours. X You are and will continue to be one strong special lady (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) xxx

    • Gorgeous Sharon, what a year here I was expecting a relatively smooth one but it wasn’t to be. Have definitely had some very funny moments and the laughter is so very helpful like a large G&T pick me up. Big love and hugs to you too xxxxxx

  7. Eden Riley says

    Nathalie, I just love you. Such a beautiful soul.


  8. Danielle says

    I read this on a whim and it made me cry. I am so sorry for what you are going through and wish your mum the best. Everything you said touched me and I hope it doesn’t take something like this to happen for me to see the same as you. I see you have a great support network, that makes all the difference sometimes x

    • Danielle we all have our own catalyst and if course we all see things differently. For me appreciating the small things makes life a little better xxx

  9. Lisa McLean says

    I love you, too, and will be eternally grateful to you.

  10. Nathalie, I just love that you bought that man some vegemite – speaks volumes about the person you are. I’ve had a few life changing moments in hospital, they have a tendency to do that. Don’t worry about the rest of the world, we’re all still here x

    • Being in hospital practically 24/7 gives you such an insight of how different things can be and for that I’m grateful. Thank you for your lovely words, I hope all is good with you beautiful xx

  11. Thank you so much for thinking of others, me included, while you are still in the middle of all this stuff yourself. I related to these two tonight…

    12) I can only do what I can on any given day.

    13) Life will always have ups and downs. The difference comes with the attitude I do things.

    Yes and yes. I am learning and sitting in hospitals gives you lots of time for reflection, so I am determined to have them ingrained in my psych over the coming weeks.

    With you in thought Nat and please, please, just sing you if you need anything at all.

  12. Thank you so much for thinking of others, me included, while you are still in the middle of all this stuff yourself. I related to these two tonight…

    12) I can only do what I can on any given day.

    13) Life will always have ups and downs. The difference comes with the attitude I do things.

    Yes and yes. I am learning and sitting in hospitals gives you lots of time for reflection, so I am determined to have them ingrained in my psych over the coming weeks.

    With you in thought Nat and please, please, just sing you if you need anything at all.

    • Renee there is so much time just ticking away some days but now I’m thankful that I saw and felt all the array of emotions, shows our human side and makes me thankful for all that I do have. Hope your mum makes a speedy recovery xxx

  13. Oh Natalie I love your beautiful soul.
    You help give me strength to cope with my own situation with my mum.
    So I guess Twitter is one thing that has changed my life in recent times as that is where I have met you and many other wonderful online friends who have supported me through this most difficult sad life changing time.
    Mum going into a nursing home has been a major life changing time for me.
    I agree with so many of your points above especially number 7.
    I have become close with two ladies who came in the same week as mum.When nurses are with mum I go visit them and help when needed,even if it is just to listen to their woes or give them a much needed cuddle.Another who sits by the front door looks forward to my daily Freddo Frog I give her as I leave.Simple things that make a huge difference to anothers life.My two special ladies rely on myself and my hubby for a daily dose of a small chat.Like you said 10 minutes can make a world of difference to anothers life.
    Yes I will be forever changed by this nursing home.Watching my social butterfly active fit mum become unable to walk or remember much of anything.The nurses were right though,the more I visit the more she is becoming aware and getting some strength back.I am grateful for this even though my mum will never be the same as she was when her hub moved her away 3 months ago.
    I will also be forever changed by the others around my mum who I have grown to care deeply for.Also the beautiful staff who care for my mum and go out of their way to make her smile.How wonderful is that.
    When I was a nursing sister in a nursing home I always cared for my patients but it is so very different when you are on this side.
    Though all of this is very heartbreaking there are changes going on inside of me that I know will make me a better person.
    Thankyou for this wonderful post and many others as your positive attitude has always been my strength through my change.Xx

    • Darling it’s it real crappy and so very hard and I too have days where I wonder why and feel for mum seeing her as she is and I remember what she was like and what she would have done. You are making a difference you are making in other peoples lives too. If you ever need to talk, vent or just a shoulder it would be a pleasure to chat. Lots of love xxxxx

  14. You are an amazing soul Nathalie. Truly amazing.

    Big love & big hugs xx

    • No I’m just me, I have my flaws, completely overwhelmed, stressed and moody at times. Thankyou for the gorgeous comment, big hugs back Nx

  15. can’t wait to get home and give you a hug and help in anyway that I can. You are never far from my thoughts.
    I laughed out loud at you laundry basket jeans though.

    • Tomorrow for you I will wear the jeans and stand next to the laundry basket and send you a pic. Thank you for always being there and your thoughts xxx

  16. Thinking of you and amazed by your strength x

    • Hi beautiful hope all is well with you and the your new daughter, I’m sure we are both averaging about the same amount of sleep. Big hugs Nathalie x

  17. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. In fact I’m not sure if my heart could go there. We’ve been in and out of hospital with each of the different members of my family recently. My mum, my sister and just last weekend, myself. I think one of the biggest things in the healing process is just knowing you’re not alone. And the fact that you’re mumma clasps your hand is proof of that. You’re an inspiration to many people Nathalie. Thanks for sharing.

    • Knowing that I have support makes a difference. The blogging community have been awesome. Hope all is well with your family. Love Nx

  18. I don’t know what to say. I am sending all my love to you though and hoping today is brighter still.

  19. Wow nathalie, even in a time where you could be totally selfish and that would be ok you manage to think of others. you are an inspiration. I have been thinking of you.

    • I have selfish moments in that at times I’d love a little time alone with no thinking. Thank you for having me in your thoughts xxx

  20. Meggsie says

    You may feel guilty about the rest of your family, even if it is temporary, but you will NEVER regret this time you are giving to your mum, who must know she is loved, even with Alzheimer’s. Yes you are just you, but you should be the poster girl for how the elderly should be treated in their twilight years. I am assisting my near 90 year old fit and healthy dad with his daily needs. It’s a walk in the park but I know I will do anything for him to make sure he knows he is loved and not alone. Bless you. You are an inspiration.

    • You are so very right I don’t regret being with mum at all, I only regret she is no longer who she was. I imagine the elderly as someones mother or father and know that I haven’t walked in their shoes and they too have a story. Happy to hear about your dad, you are a fab daughter xxxx

  21. I’m sorry that your mum is so unwell. Please don’t forget to look after yourself. I hope your daughter has a great trip away.

    • Thank you I try and get some small pockets of time for me and my daughter has arrived in South Korea, unfortunately her luggage has not, but she is totally fine about it. Nx

  22. Kristine says

    I can relate to your situation. My pop (my best friend) passed away in the early hours this morning, after about 3 weeks of constant suffering. Its a relief he is at peace now but there are no words to describe how heart broken i feel. All the best to you, your family and of course your mother xx

    • So sorry to hear about your pop, how beautiful he was your bets friend. All his good qualities will live on through you. Sending you a giant virtual hug and lots of love.

  23. You have been in my thoughts often, Nat. As much as you always look out for others, I do hope you’re looking after yourself too. Take care. x

  24. Veronica @ Mixed Gems says

    I’ve been meaning to read this post for almost two weeks now. You haven’t posted an update but I hope things are settling down. I echo everyone’s sentiments above. Wishing you and your family well.

  25. Mandy Kingston says

    you are a beautiful soul your mum is so lucky to have you xxx.

  26. Gillian says

    Thinking of you you and sending lots of love Nat. Xxx

  27. Denyse Whelan. education Specialist says

    Hello my friend, just popped in to say “hiya” thinking of you often…and much love sent your way. Denyse xxx

  28. I have just been thru a similar experience with my mum she had bowel cancer…….I was under the extreme deception that life would always plod on the same way with the same people and circumstances forever….. I think I grew up real quick! Thanks for sharing, you are not alone.

  29. I have just been thru a similar experience with my mum she had bowel cancer…….I was under the extreme deception that life would always plod on the same way with the same people and circumstances forever….. I think I grew up real quick! Thanks for sharing, you are not alone.

    • Yes, I'm not sure if it's the 'it'll never happen to me' or what but I can certainly relate to the 'limbo land' time.. It does bring a new perspective on life doesn't it? 🙂

    • So sorry to hear about your mother, it is so hard to find some kind of balance in real life when you get side swiped by events that crush us, yet some how we do xxx

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