Rory Gardiner's Webpage

25, Oct, 2009

Sunday 25th October 2009


We have made the most of the fine weather over the past couple of days, getting out into the wilds of Northland.  Yesterday (Saturday) we said goodbye to Sam.  He was heading over to Dargaville (Bayly's Beach) for one of his best mates, Conor Wily, 10th birthday.  It was good to see Kay and the boys again.  They were over on the east playing cricket so took Sam back with them.  Sean, Rory and I picked up some food for a picnic lunch then drove out to Ngahau for a walk along the beach.  Rory enjoyed sitting in the warm gritty pale sand, making patterns with a stick.  We drove over the hill to Mimiwhangata.  We saw Chris the Doc Ranger and went over the ridge by his house to a long flat beach.  Sean and Rory had a half hour sleep in the sun in the car while I curled up with a book.  We then walked the length of the beach, Sean looking for shellfish in the shallow water while I pushed Rory in the buggy.  Rory had a container on his knee.  I picked up unusual shells and flotsam off the beach.  We talked about what I had found.  Rory discarded the treasures he didn't want, cleaned the ones he did with a towel and put them in his container.  It was neat watching him at work. 

Rory stayed at Whakapara with Grannie and Grandad Gardiner today while Sean and I went goat hunting in Kaiikanui/Mimiwhangata, a forest managed by DoC.  I felt anxious about leaving Rory.  I think I cling to him almost as much as he clings to me.  Sometimes it feels like we are two magnets.  I certainly feel the pull when he is out of sight.  It is hard to be away for very long.  It was amazing, and therapeutic, to be back in the bush, and off the beaten track.  The forest was enveloping with its many layers and cloak of green, brown, yellow and orange.  There was an amazing diversity of plants.  When we go hunting I follow Sean.  I'm not sure how he navigates when we are bush bashing, and tracking feral goats, but we always to end up in the right place.  There were some beautiful large kauri in the forest and steep waterfalls.  Many of the trees and shrubs were in flower.  We saw tomtit, kukupa, tui, grey warbler and wax eye.  I found the skin a Puriri caterpillar had shed and brought it back for Rory, along with a piece of kauri gum, and a blue rosella feather.  Sean shot some feral goats which were like lightening in the bush.  Rory had an equally enjoyable day, and it was a valuable opportunity for him to be independent and 'normal' for a few hours.  He and Grannie baked up a storm; cheese scones, sponge, and chocolate chip cookies.  He played with his new Play Doh Magic Swirl ice cream machine (complete with sprinkles playdough), went for walks around the section, watched a little tv, and played the Playstation.  He also helped Grannie around the house. 

On the medical front ..... Rory is still receiving his milkshake overnight.  It is flowing at 80 ml/hr so takes a little over 12 hours to get through a litre.  He is taking maxilon three times per day to move the milkshake through, and this weekend has taken an antibiotic to protect his lungs from pneumonia.  He still has a runny nose, but the cough is lessening.  He continues to wake once or twice a night for a pee, and in the early hours of this morning, without Sam in his room, he was distressed about being alone so I crawled into his bed and gave him a cuddle.  We must have fallen asleep for a couple of hours as when I woke it was light.  He has enjoyed sitting on the deck in the sun at Whakapara.  He is almost like a lizard, soaking up the sun, using it to heal and re-energise.  He is very pale, and grey around the eyes.  He received an injection of GCSF today to keep his blood counts up.  He takes the injection in his thigh like a trooper, yet little things often distress and hurt him, such as walking on bumpy shells, or scratchy grass.  He can go from bothered to panicing and crying very quickly.  I think he has been traumatised by what has happened to him this year, and when things are normal, familiar, and cushioned he can cope.  But when something is strange and different it causes trauma he can't cope with.  I know he needs time, which hopefully isn't too far away. 

Happy Birthday Nana Honnor for yesterday (Saturday)!