26 June 2013

Concussion and Conferences - Not Great Allies!

'The Butterflies' Penny Alexander, Clare Anderson, Gemma Mathieson, Michelle Pannell, Michelle Garrett, Me. 

People give me credit for the Fearsome Four Year Old not yet having been rushed up to A & E and I'm quite proud of the fact, seeing as it's a full time occupation to keep him out of danger.

He's an incredible little thing - bright and energetic, a whirlwind of curiosity and excitement and he likes to live life on the edge.

But it was the edge of his badminton racquet that got me - in the side of the head, as he swung it with all of his might in order to hit a shuttlecock he'd picked up whilst I was bending down to get another.

To say I saw stars in an understatement.

I saw the osteopath and the GP too.  Concussion was diagnosed.

Have you ever heard of a Butterfly with concussion?

The headache appeared on Day Three.  The conference was on Days Four and Five.

The dazed feeling is still around, although it no longer feels like my body is walking alongside itself.  I don't remember much of last week and seeing as I barely slept, it seems strange to have achieved so little!

Lying down stops the world spinning, but this wasn't possible at Britmums Live  I'm sorry if I didn't talk to you / see you.  I apologise if we entered into a conversation that made no sense whatsoever.

Some of me functioned properly, some of me wonders what really happened.  I did my bit - basically suggesting cups of tea to anyone who would listen and attended sessions like 'Bloggers and Brands,' presented my books to a (very encouraging) Literary Agent, tweeted my way through the Awards Ceremony to keep everyone not able to attend abreast of events and met Ericka Waller who writes Mum in the South  (Winner- 'Family' Category) for the first time, which was something we'd both been trying to achieve for a while seeing as our children attend the same school!

Meeting up with people who are now considered to be old chums is always the best bit of these conferences and keeping Anna Timms (Adventures of Ageing Matron) under my butterfly wings for the entire party, 'saving her from all manner of fright' as she put it, escorting her around it picking people off her wish to meet list was definitely a highlight and, being a Vicar's wife, she definitely kept me out of too much trouble.

By far the most inspirational person on planet Britmums that week-end was the wonderful Katie Piper, the young lady attacked and burned by sulphuric acid at the age of 24.  She gave a moving presentation about what that was like, her recovery, her work with other burns victims and her positive attitude which has helped her through the last five years.  Her mum was her 'honoured guest' but we were the ones 'honoured' - to hear her, to be in her presence and witness her words.

That incredible talk, which opened the second day, will stay in all our hearts for ever and, suddenly, the concussion and the using my brain making my head feel like it was going to explode, seemed surmountable.

Thereby followed the 'Finding Your Voice' seminar and a Social Media Crash Course by the blogosphere's equivalent of Morecambe and Wise - two brilliantly funny Award Winning ladies, mammasaurus and Mummy Barrow.  They're so popular that there was standing room only, which, unfortunately, got the better of my condition, so I had to duck out before the end, which was a real shame, because this duo don't only know what they're talking about, but are aware of how to pitch the information to those of us that only half know stuff.  I hear there are hand outs ....

And then I went home, missing out on all the afternoon sessions and the major highlight, as always, the Bloggers Keynote, where some of the strongest posts of the years are selected and read out by the very person that wrote them.  This was particularly disappointing because I missed it last year and my friend Older Mum was reading out hers but, when they've taken out the delightful host Katy Hill's  hilarious 'oversharing' we can catch up with them too!

So concussion and conferences are not meant for each other, but I have really missed being there since coming home, where coping with the kids and concussion isn't easy either.

'At least I can lie down and watch loads of telly,'  I thought - only to discover it's Wimbledon fortnight.  We won't be watching any racquet sports.  And I hope the Fearsome Four Year Old will forgive me, but we won't be playing any either for the foreseeable future.  But at least he's safe.  Rather me than him.  Let's call it an occupational hazard!