Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Over the weekend Miss Rose lost use of her arm and seemed to be in substantial pain whenever I moved it to get her dressed or strap her into her buggy. Assuming she had slept on it funny we decided to leave it over the weekend to see how she was doing, then take her to the GP on Monday if there were no signs of improvement.

There were no signs of improvement.

We took Miss Rose to see Dr Fletcher. I was, I confess, terrified. I was terrified that some how, somewhere, I had hurt her. I couldn’t understand how I had managed it but my tendency towards mummy-guilt overcame all logic and I felt I must be to blame. I was terrified that something was wrong, some malignant growth was terrorising her little body and her immobile arm was the first sign of the war waged by a tumour. Dr Fletcher was so kind and so gentle, she happily played with toys one handed, chattered away to him, and let him inspect her. He referred us to the hospital. The sickness that then burbled away in my stomach, threatening to knock me out cold, was nearly overwhelming.

My mother, myself and Miss Rose headed to the hospital.  Those nurses were so beautiful with her. Miss Rose was in her element if I’m honest. There are paintings all over the walls, prompting a chorus of “Baa! Fish! Oooooooh moo!” From the ceiling hung stars and planets, which she regularly wanted lifting to so she could smack and make them twinkle. There is a room full of toys and sofas, a colouring in area, and a waiting room with a table covered in trains and cars and jigsaws. Nobody complained as she charged hither and thither about the corridors to inspect the paintings or chatter to passing staff. Passing children with obvious physical damage or illness, their desperate looking parents, made me feel extremely sad. Miss Rose, though suffering something unseeable, was by all accounts perfectly happy.

She was X-rayed, good as gold standing for the machine, giggling as a nurse wafted a fluffy dog in front of her. The X-rays came back clear (thankfully!!).

When she had her bloods taken she sobbed, she sobbed and she screamed. The first sign of unhappiness since we had arrived on the ward hours previously. The complaint was more due to being held still, as she had been smeared in a numbing cream on the area the cannula went in, and as soon as she was released she cheered up immediately. I, on the other hand, having been the one to hold her still whilst her blood was sucked out had a secret sob. I didn’t want her to see me distressed, as she had been coping so well, so I hid in my mum’s shoulder and blubbed. The blood tests also came back clear (also thankfully).

Later on a really sweet orthopaedic surgeon came to examine her, earning himself a lot of eyelash fluttering and cooing (more from my flirty daughter than me… but you know… I am still a woman). He said he would get the consultant to check her X-rays again and we would go from there.

After my mum left to go to dinner at a friend’s house, Miss Rose and I took to spinning with another little girl on the ward. Ballet style pirouettes around the ward as we waited. Miss Rose held just one hand aloft, which I tried not to get too upset about (but failed).

Later her father arrived, much to her delight, and she delivered him toy after toy for his inspection.

Eventually we were allowed to go home. We have to go back for a check up, but the expectancy is that it’s a trapped nerve, and time will heal it. There is no level of explanation I can offer to show my relief. My utter, complete, all consuming joy. My girl is alright.

That night we had a shocking one. She was awake a lot. But in the day she had no nap, she was outside of her routine with bedtimes and meal times, and she had a thoroughly disrupted day. I am not surprised she had a bad one. At four thirty I gave up, and we came downstairs for a bottle of milk, a BIG mug of coffee, and watched Deal Or No Deal on the sofa under a duvet. Since then she has perked up. She is moving her arm a little, starting to be able to grip toys with it, and generally seems far happier. I got her into her pyjamas without any sign of distress, and she held her bedtime bottle with two hands whilst I read to her.

I have been overwhelmed by the love she has been given. I didn’t put anything on Facebook until I knew what was going on but my mum did, and the outpouring of love and concern was just amazing. I took her into the gym today, her favourite place, and the girls who work there just swooped in and showered her with attention and praise. The gratitude I feel towards the people in her life is immense. She is loved. She is growing up surrounded by adults from all walks of life, and in all capacities, who just adore her. What a lucky little girl I have.

You can check out all my contact info an links on, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!


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