Sunday, 1 November 2009

Think Big

See this fat git here:

He lives down the road from us in Ipswich and is supposedly the world's fattest man. He costs the British public £100,000 a year to look after (which has so far totalled £1 million). He lost a load of weight once - 10 stone - during the time he spent in prison for stealing mail while working in a sorting office. But apparently he doesn't want to lose weight now because he's enjoying his new-found celebrity status. He is, in many ways, an odious individual.

He gets a mention here because I was chatting about him with my friend Matthew today. I was wondering whether it was right to say that it was horribly unfair that he gets all that money spent on him when, at the same time, there's a real lack of resources and staff in areas such as children's health. I wanted to believe that it was silly and irrational and mean-spirited to make that comparison. But, of course, it isn't silly to make that comparison because, on every level, that fat git is much less deserving of NHS money, time and effort than my daughter.

It's been a couple of days of ups and downs for Maggie. Sometimes she's breathing well and managing to control her levels and sometimes she isn't and needs suction and oxygen. The problem is that she still hasn't got her swallowing sorted - something that is causing us a great deal of anguish. It's why she still needs to be tube fed. More than that, it's a real reminder that things aren't good for her.

Both Shannon and I believe it's time for the people at the hospital to be a little more active. Less sitting back and waiting - more treatment and advice. Maggie was supposed to be seen by the speech therapist last week but the speech therapist was on holiday. Maybe if that fat idiot in Ipswich stopped wasting NHS cash they could afford to employ another one. Maybe.

See how this thinking goes? Not good is it?

Shannon was on the internet last week and came across a new, pioneering treatment for developing the swallow reflex in new born babies. Our consultant, however - and anyone else at the hospital - hasn't mentioned it. Which suggests to us that we're going to have to do a lot of our own work here. And it looks as though we're going to have to kick some arses.

We'll keep you posted.

Alice is a real sweetheart. She sleeps pretty well, waking every three hours or so (so Shannon and I are just about managing to stay awake during the day). We had a milestone last night when we had her sleeping without the radio on and with the light off. She's piling the weight on too and should soon be the proud possessor of big fat Saxton cheeks. Ample Alice, that's what we'll call her. Hey, if we keep going like this we could make her the fattest baby in the world and claim our £100,00 a year from the UK taxpayer. Hurrah!

Our friends Ben and Julia came to see us yesterday, armed with a cute pink suitcase full of goodies for the girls: bunting, lotions and teddy feely things. And today we entertained Matthew and Maria (and Patrick and Joseph) who brought lovely home-knitted dolls, hats and a jacket. Thank you all!

Pics of the girls, taken today:

Maggie & Mum
Alice, Maria & Patrick


  1. Love the picture of Maggie and Shannon....Maggie looking at her mum while holding her little hand.

    Vent away.....things become all too personal when it is happening to you. It all boils down to money sucks.....we love it when we have but it sucks when it's not there for what we want it for. Seems like it's cheaper for a woman to get fake boobs than it is for a woman trying to get some help having a baby.....why is that fat old man getting more money than Maggie to help keep him alive? Not fair.

    Definitely start calling those doctors out on not doing enough. Maggie's had three weeks to get her act together and start sucking.....time to stop the wait and see game and find out what else can be done to help little Maggie along. Come on Maggie, you can do it! You are, after all, a Saxton/Forbush are unstoppable little one!

    Mary and Bob

  2. I too totally think this is an absolute crime that this fat git is allowed to have all the money and help that he gets. My mum is a district nurse and she spends much of her time visiting people like him who have got too fat to visit the doctor and think its a real achievement that they are too fat to walk, I think the term is "off their legs"

    Lovely photos and great to see Maggie looking so alert and looking adoringly at Shannon. Maybe time to start taking this info to the doctors and challenge their "waiting" strategy. It must be so hard for you guys as it takes a lot of energy to fight and you must be absolutely shattered juggling home, hospital, work, etc.

    Hurrah for Alice and sleeping without radio and lights.

    And Hurrah for Shannon and Paul.

    See you guys soon.

  3. Nah, he's not the world's fattest man. He's just the fattest git in Norwich. Probably. We spent August in Florida and, I can tell you, you ain't seen nothing until you've seen the fat gits there. They make this guy look like Charles Hawtry the morning after a particularly disagreeable curry. In a scientific study, I spotted that over 50% of Americans are officially bloody fat bastards. We saw them on their super-strong electric bike things literally dripping over the sides, running over their own folds of fat. I saw one of them try to take a corner and come rolling off like a ball of sweaty dough falling out of your bowl when trying to make a pizza for a large family gathering. I mention this visit to Florida because we went with Tom and Olly, who were both in a similar pickle to Maggie when they spent their first 6 months in hospital. We had a fantastic time in Disney and Tom found that his wheelchair status gave him direct access to the rather lovely Snow White. I never thought - way back when - that we'd see the day. But it came. Jonny.

  4. Oh dear! I'd just like to apologise for my husband's outburst. And, particularly, for his comments about Americans which, I can assure you, were made in jest and just part of his wonderfully "British" sense of humour. (He thinks he's funny.) Please, American readers, forgive him...

    What we both agree on though, are Paul's sentiments on those who cause themselves ill health then rely on the NHS to care for them. This might sound harsh but it's hard to feel sympathetic when you are fighting for the best provision for your own child (who has done nothing to deserve his/her predicament) in a world where demand will always outstrip supply. I remember feeling particularly angry as I fought my way through the thick fug of cigarette smoke to get to the neonatal unit. 90% of the smokers were pregnant women...

    Enough said. It's great to see more lovely pics. Maggie looks really alert. Thinking of you all.

    Again apologies to all you lovely Americans out there. I hope he hasn't scuppered our chances of getting through immigration again...


  5. It's rare for us to comment here but... you do know that Shannon is American, right? And that, consequently, the girls have dual nationality? They have to choose which to be when they reach eighteen. I know which one I'd go for.

    Still, don't worry - Jonny's comments were taken in the spirit in which (we hope) they were intended!



  6. Hopefully it will be the one time they disagree with you Paul :) They certainly will make gorgeous americans....My love to all of you.


  7. When I said "I know which one I'd go for" I meant American! Really.

  8. God Paul, I'm so sorry if Jonny caused offence. He really didn't mean it. I read your post and told him that he should reply as you sounded exactly like him and I remember him getting so angry about similar issues when the boys were in hospital. For some reason he went off on a tangent...and managed to insult an entire continent. He's dumb. Ignore it. I do believe that in some strange and offbeat way he was trying to show empathy. He says he didn't know that Shannon was American(!) Not that this is an excuse...

    On a lighter note, he came back from his holiday in Florida so overweight that he embarked on an ill-advised health kick which resulted in him damaging his back and requiring weekly physio. What goes round, comes round...

  9. Helen. Don't be daft. No offence caused. At all. I responded because it seemed as though you didn't know that Shannon was American - I thought that was funny. Tell Jonny we were very pleased to see his comment here. And yours, of course!

    Paul x

  10. Thanks! You have averted the huge domestic...

    Glad to hear that Shannon has received some help and support from the Speech Therapist. It's helps to be proactive, psychologically as well as for the girls.

    The pics of Alice in the bath are amazing. She looks so calm. Christian used to scream his head of when I bathed him, feeding off my obvious fear of getting it wrong. Well done, Shannon!

    Keep on keeping on