Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Years End

Well it is very close to being the new year and I thought that I would make a short post to end the year so I can begin a post in a brand new year. All fresh and rearing to go maybe? Who knows? It is very much a day by day thing with me. This is the last look at the Christmas tree, before it was quickly pulled down and packed away for another year. Or not. Might have a real tree next time, or even no tree if we go away for Christmas. Now there's an idea. I would love to travel to a cool, but not freezing place where we can all be relaxed, well fed and watered and enjoy the time we spend together. May have to out it up for discussion.

I don't make new year resolutions. I do write plans and list what I wish to achieve during the new year though. Not ready to share just yet though. The bloke and I sit down and go through our lists as we make both individual and joint plans.
You may have noticed some changes to the blog title. I am trying to make a new one but as I am a little sparse in the brain department due to the apnoea, (good excuse eh?) I have asked for some help. We are both still working on things but I hope that soon a very pretty heading will be up there.
I look around and see the most gorgeous headers and feel left out in that area.
So without further ado I want to wish my readers, family and friends the greatest of new years.
May all your dreams and wishes come true.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

So here we are on the eve of Christmas 2011. A special day for our family as it is my third daughters birthday today. Emily, yes the girl of the car crash fame is 23 today. We are having a small soiree for her this evening with a few friends and some family. It is a tradition in our family, to see Christmas in this way. I love it because it is a way of seeing those who you might not be spending Christmas day with. Of course at this time of year it is one for looking back over the past 12 months, reflecting on the good times  and the bad, and there have been plenty of both around here. I am bracing myself for 2012 as there will be lots of exciting things happening of which I will talk about in the new year.
I am also grateful for my family in blog land who have enriched my life tremendously with the camaraderie and generous support. In my position it is often difficult to maintain real life friendships, however I do have a few special people in my life, and those people I cherish. However I have 'met' so many cyber sisters over the past few years that help add the jewels to my life.
I want to thank those who read the blog and comment and also those who read the blog but don't comment. I hope you get something from my ramblings.
I am going to sign of now  because the girls are arriving soon for brekky and I want to publish this before they arrive and my peace is disturbed.

Until later


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busy Times for All

It's been busy here in the past days. I don't know where to start so this post could start and end anywhere. On Wednesday of last week I had a phone call from our middle daughter Em who told me that at a quarter to five, and knock of time, she was told her role had been made redundant and she no longer had a job effective immediately. To say she was shocked is an understatement. Still she had felt for some time that she wanted to move on, just not that quick and without a more stable financial situation. I told her that she could pack up and come home, there were plenty of jobs here. So with that she started packing. As she has a small car she packed essentials and left the rest with her auntie to be picked up at another time. She also has a cat. Now we are not a cat family. I love them but I also love the birds who visit me on the tree outside where I sit all day. But in the circumstances, we couldn't make her give him away. So he was duly sedated (under vets orders) and packed into a crate for the long trip (approx. 1000kms) to home. She text messages me from every town, I ask that all my girls do that when they are driving. Anyway at about 3pm she called me to tell me something that I have always dreaded to hear. Mum IvĂ© had an accident and I hit a tree. My blood ran cold, and my heart skipped a beat. Before it hit me that if she was talking to me then she can't be to badly hurt if she is able to talk. Indeed, she had swerved to miss an emu and ended up on the graveled edge of the road, lost control of the car, skidded sideways across the road and ended up hitting a small tree. She was unhurt. I was so happy. The damage was great and the car undrivable so I called her father who borrowed a car trailer and some supplies and headed up top get her. She was by this stage about 300km's from home. She remained with the car all that time as she was worried that it might be stripped before it was rescued. Oh by the way the cat survived to in fact he was hiding under the front seat and it took a while to convince him to come out. They were home again by 1am, and the bloke had a few hours sleep before getting up again at 4.30am to go to work.
See told you it's been hectic around here. The below picture shows her Nissan Tida, worse for the wear. And the panel beater is nearly certain it will be written off.

As I most Christmas times I decide to make all kids of things both food wise and sewing wise. And as usual, I fail to complete said ideas.
The only things that made it throught this year are 1 cushion I made for a sister, 1 over sized lap quilt for another sister. My first ever batch of rum balls. These ones were called Dark and Stormy rum balls, as they had 1/2 packet ginger nut bisuits as well as the milk coffee, and a few lids of rum. The bloke made our traditional fruit cake last night and the smell was very nice permeating the still night air. We wont eat it yet as my eldest DD and I want to ice in so we get practice for her wedding cake.
Well yeah that's about it then, not much.
I am running out of energy now so want to leave it here and post this so you know I am still here.
Oh one last picture of me sewing the lap quilt I made with Bali Pops, my first time with using them, and they are gorgeous.

Till later,


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday's Notes

Well its Friday again. How fast are these weeks going? I think its a case of I move slower than time passes. I am no where near ready for the forthcoming festivities, but then when have I ever been ready? I really don't have to cook anything but I am the supervisor in this place. I see to the overall buying, cooking, cleaning and arranging for the big family lunch. It's at our place this year. Our second eldest had wanted to do the whole thing at her place but in reality it is just too hard for me to access her house and then get a comfortable seat.
I know it is disappointing to others when their plans have to be altered to suit me, but there is little else I can do except stay at home.

He menu for the lunch is as follows: Baked, glazed ham, turkey, roast potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, gravy.
Dessert is trifle, fresh fruit and if our eldest can she is making one of her very popular cheesecakes.
All in all there will be plenty of food, laughter and a lot of noise.
We will have all five girls here this year, the first time in four years. I must try and remember to take photos.

On Tuesday I went into hospital to have my second iron infusion. I had to wait quite a while while they found the doctor to insert the cannula. He told me that my veins were hard to detect due to my size and also because I was quite dehydrated. I never realised I was. Anyway after two sticks he managed to get it in right and I was set up with the iron. Lucky for me it didn't take as long as the first time. It does get boring sitting there. Lucky the bloke is adept at packing some nibbles for me and a lovely sanga for lunch. But by 2.30pm I was finished. I thought I would show off my battle wounds. This is the first stick that didn't work. Pretty colour bruise eh? Does not hurt at all though.

The bloke does not like being exposed to the world so this is the only picture I am allowed to put up of him here. But I do it so that you know he is real and not a figment of my imagination. I know he almost seems to good to be true. For all the things he does for his family and especially me I thank him. As my mother would say he is a 'Diamond in the rough'. Yes mum he is. :)

Talk to ya soon,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Final Episode

I hope you weren't waiting with excitement for my next exciting post cos I was AWOL for a couple of days. I was not feeling like writing plus was lucky enough to have visitors.
But this story will conclude today so it may be lengthy. Or not. I will see how I go.

My experiences of being pushed in a wheelchair are mixed. On one hand I was so pleased to be able to go with the bloke into shops and other places without wondering if I would make it. Well in fact at this stage of my life I most definitely would not have. I can walk a few paces with a lot of puffing and groaning. It almost takes all my breath and I do become quite anxious. It is a most horrid feeling to struggle for air. I am also a little more anxious because for the few years before my mum died she suffered with emphysema.
Anyway where was I? Oh yeah, on the one hand I had the safety of the wheelchair. That is if you dismiss the blokes uncanny knack of pushing me into any object in our vicinity, but on the other this was all done in the public eye. The first day I was quite surprised by my lack of concern at the stares, glares and pure stunned ogles. lol This is a big thing for me. I tuned out of others possible negativity and tuned into the happiness of the bloke and I. He was also pretty pleased at having me with him. He often says he loves shopping but he wishes I was with him, as that would make it even better. Gotta love him eh?
It is quite confronting to rely on someone else in this manner. I worked for about ten years in the disability sector. First as a support worker, then co-coordinator of an agency and then later on as the executive manager. And although I had great rapport and empathy I did not fully understand until I experienced similar things. Like not fitting in some shop doors, or down the aisles.

Well folks I have been writing this blog post for the past three days. I just didn't have the energy to complete it in one sitting. Yes things are that bad. I am not happy to report that I am still having issues with overcoming the claustrophobic sensation of the masks. I am working on it with desensitising or flooding as it is also called. There is another thing I am doing but honestly I can not remember what it is. This is a legacy of the brain being deprived of oxygen. Not a good thing. My brain is so tired that it is shutting down on me. Memories, especially short term is very much affected.
So with that I will leave it all there.
I really must give in to this urge to nap...

Till next time....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday-Part 3


Well today we get to the whole reason we went to Perth last week. I was referred to the sleep studies clinic to see how bad my sleep apnoea was. There was no question if I had it; my symptoms  quite clearly showed that with extreme weariness, lack of concentration, memory loss and irritability.
 I first met with the sleep specialist, a man of few words. I was booked to sleep at the clinic on the Wednesday evening and had to report in by 7pm as the technicians have to put all the recording devices on you. From the top of my head to the legs I was plugged in and very uncomfortable. I was also laying on my back on a three inch foam mattress; it was a recipe for disaster. I only ever sleep on my side as I have back pain and also it is easier for me to breath. I was unable to turn over in this slim bed and so was in quite a lot of pain. The bloke thank god stayed with me all night. Actually the staff asked him to so that he could attend to my needs as they don't have nursing staff in the clinic. He was assigned the next room to mine.
 If anyone has had this test they will understand how difficult it is to sleep. There is also a camera above your head to record any movements.
I moaned and groaned all night, was not able to sleep despite the blokes best attempts at massaging my legs and feet which usually does the trick at home. I eventually sent him off for some shut eye.
I had to ring the buzzer three times as the pain was intense and worsening and I was getting anxious and feeling ill. At 3am I decided to get the technicians to call hubby back in. It was decided that as I was unable to sleep they could let me leave. I was happy with that. Apparently even though I thought I never slept a wink they assured me I had slept enough for them to take data.
I was informed at the follow up appointment on the Friday that my case was quite serious and that I stopped breathing 196 times an hour! They issued me a cpap machine which I am to trial for 4 weeks after which I then return to the hospital so they can decide on the course of treatment which will likely be me having to purchase a machine of my own and use for the rest of my life. The following images courtesy of Resmed show the woman with the full face mask on. This is the one I was most anxious about as I am claustrophobic and this one as you can see encompasses both nose and mouth. I was anxious and hyperventilating when the technician tried to put it over my face. I took it from her and placed it on myself which made me feel more in control so a lot less anxious. The other mask worn by the woman at the bottom is the nasal pillow.  This was less cumbersome but still a presence felt over the face. I had thought this would be the one to use for me but after trialling both I am not so sure. So now I am alternating the nights and working out which one is for me. This is very serious for me and the health consequences if I don't use the treatment are rather dire. I am giving it 100% effort and if it fails it wont be be for lack of my trying. the other pic is the cpap machine. It is very not to large and very quiet. FYI the original cpap machine was a vacuum cleaner in reverse mode. They sure have come a long way since then.

Well if your still reading good on you. Not to sure if this has been interesting reading or not but it is my experience and all that I find.
If your still keen I will be back for a final part and some exciting news, for me anyway. :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Part Two-Tuesday

Hi, as promised I am back to report on last Tuesday's activities. In the weeks leading up to the trip I had researched and located a business that hired out equipment for people with disabilities. I was able to book a large wheelchair and we were to pick it up early on the Tuesday morning. Of we set with map and address . Of course the search for the place was made that much harder by the ever present road works. The street we wanted was blocked by bitumen trucks so we had to detour, but with some good driving and detective work by the bloke we found the place and quickly loaded up the very large wheelchair. We then headed for the nearest shopping mall which was Westfield Carousel. Leading up to this day I had been very worried about how I would cope going out in public after a few years at home. I worked out that it had been about 7 years since I had been into a shopping centre. After sitting in the chair, I made sure that my skirt was covering my legs so that no-one would be affected by a flash of my brilliantly plump legs.

pic from bariatric product catalogue

I steeled myself for the expected looks, comments and rudeness. As we bumped across the car park (yes we had parked on the outskirts of the car park as the ACROD bays were all gone I wondered if the bloke was going to tip me out of the chair or get me run over. We made it to the doors and as they slid open my senses were assaulted by the noise, smells and visual smorgasbord. We were in. First stop was the chemist where I purchased a new pair of sunglasses. My reasons for doing this was I had misplaced my sunnies and I felt that if I wore the glasses it would help shield me from the stares. Yes a bit of ostrich like thinking there. ha ha.

 Then I saw that they stocked the toiletries that we use so we bought those before heading further into the mall. Of course I noticed that people were staring. I expected it but the surprising thing for me was that I was so happy to be out and about buying able to buy some things for myself. The magazine kiosk with racks of colourful goodness drew me in like a moth to a flame. So much choice. I was in heaven.

 The bloke pushed me from one end of the mall to the other and the poor thing he did a great job as it was hard work to push someone so large. I couldn't get over the amount of food stalls in the food court. The blended smells of various artery hardening products made my stomach to flip flops. After a couple of hours or so I asked the bloke to get me out of there. The noise, the piped Christmas songs, the crowds, the hustle and bustle the overwhelming plethora of shopping temptations had taken its toll. Oh and when we went into the Telstra shop I was left unattended when I was sitting right in front of the counter waiting to be served. The young man didn't appear to see me or the bloke standing there. He looked to the young girl behind us and asked her if he could help her. I was stunned and turned to look over my shoulder and then saw the look on the blokes face at the same time as he muttered we were here first. I am not sure thought whether he genuinely did not see us, or if he was put off by the site of the fat, middle aged woman in a wheelchair. Never the less when he served us he was business like and helpful. Turned out he couldn't help us as I had not taken the ipad in with me. Oh well that happens.

The medical appointments were to follow later that same day but I will leave it here as I am shutting down in the brain department now.

So until tomorrow, take care and thank you for your interest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Part One-Monday

Hi I have returned. I have so much to tell. However to prevent my news becoming bigger than a novel I will break it down into different parts. Please don't get too excited, it's not the stuff of nail biting climaxes, rather some observations on my experiences.
To start with the tip to the city was as expected. I was only in the car for fifteen minutes when the pain started. The knees, feet and lower back were all pinching me very unkindly. Panadol offered no relief. There were quite a few stops so that the bloke could lift my leg out of the car and allow me to stretch it. I am so grateful for his help. My legs have lymphodema and they get worse when stuck in the car like that, very swollen and harder to move them.

Anyway we made it to the city but before we booked into the motel we had to head toward the city to pick up my ACROD permit. For those not in the know, ACROD is the organisation who organise the permits for those who have a disability of some sort to access buildings.
It took us ages to locate then find a car park in this busy suburb, but finally we had my permit. The only reason we had to pick it up was that they did not send me a renewal and so had to be reissued and it was easier to pick it up.
After unpacking the mountain of stuff the bloke went in search of a few supplies as this unit was not self contained and we needed to buy brekky and snack foods and fruits.

It was so good to stretch out in the cool of the air conditioned room.As I pondered on the upcoming appointments I wondered how I would cope with the wheelchair I had arranged to hire. I have not been able to access shops or anything much for some time and in fact we think it is about 7 years or more since I have been inside a shopping mall.

Stay tuned for part two, hopefully tomorrow, but please forgive me if I don't post as I am very tired.