Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Check up...

I ventured into Sth Yarra this afternoon to see my lovely surgeon. Whilst he did not do lovely things to me today I am still very grateful for his expertise and care. He removed some internal stitches and did an unpleasant flushing thing. When I walked out the city air flowing into my nostrils was startling and refreshing. He is pleased with my progress and is confident of a good result (so am I just quietly, it has all gone very well)

Whilst I was waiting I was interested to read the information posters on his waiting room walls. I knew he went volunteered to operate overseas in Vanuatu but I hadn't quite realised the magnitude of it. The posters had photos of the primitive operating room and the grateful locals. Included was a snap of a handwritten poster that seems to capture the spirit of the people involved on both sides. I found it tonight on the internet and will definitely put it in a scrapbooking page.

Life is an Adventure ... Dare it

Life is a Beauty ... Praise it
Life is a Challenge ... Meet it
Life is a Duty ... Perform it
Life is a Love ... Enjoy it
Life is a Tragedy ... Face it
Life is a Struggle ... Fight it
Life is a Promise ... Fulfill it
Life is a Game ... Play it
Life is a Gift ... Accept it
Life is a Journey ... Complete it
Life is a Mystery ... Unfold it
Life is a Goal ... Achieve it
Life is an Opportunity ... Take it
Life is a Puzzle ... Solve it
Life is a Song ... Sing it
Life is a Sorrow ... Overcome it
Life is a Spirit ... Realize it
Not sure where it originally came from but I love these sentiments.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I watched the movie 'the Help' to fill in some time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Down side was that at the end my weepiness made my nose run which was not pleasant. I thought the performances were all really good and loved Celia & Hillys' mother as much as the 'help'. I hope to read the book soon, I've heard that it is a very good read also. Fittingly I watched 'Guess who's coming to dinner' the same day. I had my fill of civil rights and wondered how I would have felt living at that time.
I was also entertained by the Oscar presentation. I love the fashions and the frocks and thought they all looked fabulous. All except Melissa McCarthy and Meryl Streep, not my favourites at all.

This was my favourite, but it was hard to choose just one.

 I have a list of movies that I want to see including

with my boyfriend Ewen McGregor.

Erin and I popped into the library so I could swap over some books. I have started Jodi Picoults' 19 minutes and have absolutely devoured it.  I'm up to page 312 of 588 and will back into it any minute now. Its one of those books that is hard to put down to do the necessary things like cook a meal, sleep etc.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Thankfully in my recovery time I've still been able to read. A friend who had a similar op a few years back told me she couldn't read or watch TV for any length of time so I was concerned how I was going to fill in my time.

In my diary this year there is a section to write in the books read, movies watched etc and so far this year I have been able to write in quite a few novels. It started in our beach holiday and has continued after a conversation with a friend at work who leant me several books and put me on to a couple of authors that she likes.

I discovered that this year is the National Year of Reading 2012. Fitting that their push for literacy is in keeping with my appetite for reading this year. Also helping is my discovery of the on-line access to the local library.
 This is what the library used to look like. The ugly building is still there but is not the library any more
New library

 Last year our library was rebuilt in a lovely modern, bigger facility. I can now order books I want to read (some of the recommendations from Lyn) and I get a text message when they have arrived from other libraries in the region or become available. I can then go into the library and do self checkout with my library card. I can also do an extension on line if I need more time. The less time spent inside the library means more time reading. I haven't even needed to check out the toilet facilities in the new building.

We all know what browsing in libraries and bookstores does to your gastro-colic reflex.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rhino update...

Things here at recovery central are going along well. Just resting up and sniffing. Able to do some reading, time on the computer and TV watching. I'm better than I expected to be. I haven't needed to take any of the strong pain killers I was given, my nose is sore not painful unless I try to wrinkle up my nose or wipe it, then the tears come to my eyes which makes my nose run and...that smarts!

I have been sending correspondence to our neice who is away at camp all this year. Testing the postal system with hand written letters and cards. I have not received any letters back from her yet and in this day of instant communication I am getting impatient. I used to write to my grandmother when I was a child/teenager and miss those letters in the post, it is a habit I'm trying to get Erin into as well.

The other thing I am keeping my eye on from my sick bed is the current industrial action. The governments' refusal to negotiate has pushed things to boiling point. We need to keep fighting the good fight to protect ratios and conditions.

I'm there with you in spirit.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The rhino experience...

For the next two weeks I'll be looking for quiet things to do whilst sitting upright. In between spraying stuff up my nose and not blowing it.

Yesterday I had a septoplasty on my nose. Just like boring out my airways to make breathing a much easier thing to do. Might make for less huff and puff when running too.

I got up at 05:50 to have some breakfast before the official fasting time of 6AM. Then I fronted up to the hospital mid morning to sit around and wait until 4pm to go under. Being a patient at your work place is quite reassuring but maybe a little disconcerting for the others on the list. I'm sure they were wondering who is this woman who seems to know everyone from the clerical staff to the gardener and everyone in between.

But being a staff member still does not stop an emergency caeserian from holding up your turn. Oh well, I had my book and read many more chapters than I thought I'd get through. Everyone was lovely and very professional as I knew they would be. I came out with both eyebrows in tact and no tattoos. No pics on facebook either. All good.

Before I went into theatre I had my first (and only) experience with cocaine. A little of the good stuff is put on a cotton ball and placed up your nose to shrink the mucus membrane and reduce bleeding intra-op. Not sure of the dose but I was waiting for some kind of effect other than the shrinking membrane, but no. Chris thinks it is because I didn't use a $100 dollar bill to administer it.

The lovely anaesthetist needed 2 attempts to cannulate me, the pressure of being an oncology nurse was too much for him. Then he blamed the safety cannula as being blunter than the ones he likes to use!
When he gave the morphine he said I might feel a bit itchy, the feeling was more of a flushing all over and an ache in my shoulders...quite strange. Then he said something about a metallic taste in my mouth with the propafol and I was gone.

Waking up in recovery was hard, I could barely open my eyes and the movement of being wheeled back to my room made me quite nauseous. That nausea came in waves as I dosed in between gasping as I remembered to breath through my mouth. The combination of cocaine/morphine/paracoxib and panadol meant I had no pain just nausea. A little vomit and some antiemetic and I was on the road to feeling better.

The family visiting for a short while was lovely. With good intentions they said I looked funny, smelt funny and made fun of my drip catcher's official name 'the nasal tampon'. Hayley said when she first came in she left because she didn't think it was me. But she came back to crack a few more jokes and takes some unflattering photos. Even Callum came in for a short while and stood around and looked very uncomfortable. I put him out of his misery and let him go. I'm glad he made the effort.

During the night I had broken sleep between observations, medications, sips of water, application of lip balm my IV going off and a wobbly trip to the toilet. Burts Bees pomegranate lip balm was a god send and a must do tip for others having surgery where your nose is blocked.

This morning the nasal packs came out which was not as bad as I was anticipating. 2 seconds of pain and then I could breath through my nose again. As the morning has progressed the swelling is returning and will subside over the next few days.

I'm feeling good, no pain as yet (expecting not to have much). Its nice to be home although I wont get quite as good service as I did in hospital. I had the first cup of tea made for me but I've just made a coffee, after 24 hours with no food and very little water I've got some catching up to do. I'm not allowed to run for the next 2  & 1/2 weeks either, it will be a bit tempting to go overboard.

Its going to be hard generally to do not much and sit around and heal, but it will be worth it in the end.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Because it's right...

Today I had to read a transcript of an interview I did recently as part of a study. I was a bit horrified at the way it read. The interviewer had typed word for word our conversation, which in itself wasn't the bad bit.

Every little um, ah and (laughter) was included. The content was fine but it was a reality check for me. A little like listening to yourself on a video (agony). It seems I say cause instead of because and I say it a lot. Even when I was explaining to Chris this afternoon I couldn't stop saying it even when I was aware of it.

I have a thing for correct grammar, correct spelling even on texts and facebook posts. The one that grates the most is your/you're followed closely by people who use k on the end of words that end with ing. Even as I type the word thing I do a little freudian slip and type think instead.

And as I proof read this post it seems I use even a close second.

Just because.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A big week...

It not going to be a normal week for us.

Chris will go off to work.
Erin will go off to school, guitar lessons, do homework and watch telly.
Hayley will go off to work plus a day at TAFE, go to the gym and socialise (she's good at that)
Callum will apply for some more jobs and hopefully get some responses.

I will work for 2 days but on the third day I will spend in my hospital on the receiving side not the giving side. I know I will be in good hands, the best actually. And after a bit of recovery I'm hoping to be tip top to continue my training for my next run in 6 weeks. I've got some books and DVD's lined up and of course some scrapping.

After being on the waiting list for 3 years I think I'm ready.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Garden update...

Things in the garden are blooming. Regular rain and watering and a bit of attention have turned our yard into a nice place to be.

 This little bloomer hangs at the front door and the flowers match this bigger bloomer.

Now some before and after pics.

A very bad before...
 In progress..
 After planting...
 Today! much better.
At first Chris didn't like these grasses but he admitted they are 'growing' on him...groan.

Another before..

 And today...

This little shady area is outside Erins' window and finally the grapevine is growing and filling in just how I imagined it would.
 Soon after planting...

And now.
 And lastly my tomato plant which for the first time in my gardening career has produced enough fruit to justify the cost of the plant. Previously I was lucky to get 2 tomatoes. Not so successful with the strawberry plant which has only produced about 8 small berries. The zucchini is well on its way and the herbs around are doing well.

So far so good, Mum would be proud.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More lightning...

Today was the day the rain fell.
It fell in a spectacular storm producing 30 mls of rain this afternoon. We also had thunder, black skies, lightning flash flooding and a power failure at work. There is always that nervous moment when it all goes black and quiet and you hold your breath waiting for the generator to kick in. That feels like the longest 5 seconds. Then breath a sigh of relief ...7 dialysis machines to hand pump with 4 staff = a nightmare avoided. The generator is meant to kick in immediately but today there was enough time for us to look at each other and wonder if it was.

I'm reposting the lightning pic from last Thursday night (once a week storm, now that's freaky) with an edit to highlight the face outline I can see. Maybe its a bit like clouds, only you can see a particular shape.

Hope some rain fell gently in your part of the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More layouts...

The weekend has flown by with not much achieved, oh well we don't need to be hectic every minute.

Here are some more layouts

Number 6
 Love this girl beyond words

Number 7
 and her funny ways

Number 8
Also love this one, love them apart, love them together.

Love all of them.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Last night we saw a spectacular light show in the western sky.

I captured some of it on video, which is not as good as the real thing, but as close as I could get.

We came in after a while and checked out the bureau's radar page to see that the activity seemed to be centred over Warrnambool. It was very intense and I was glad not to be camping out with that going on. No rain fell on us, maybe tomorrow we'll get some.

I can see a face in the cloud, can you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Queen of the Lake...

Albert Park Lake to be exact.

I was up bright & early and saw a very pretty sunrise on my way into the city to run in the Brazillian Butterfly sponsored  'Queen of the Lake' fun run.

My anxiety about car parking was relieved when I arrived at 7:10 am to find the "limited carparking" was easy to find and only $2.30 for an all day spot right next to the start line. I picked up my race bib and timing tag, perused the stalls, watched a fashion parade of sports gear (all looks the same to me) and made use of the facilities before the 0830 start.

The weather was warm, already 24 degrees at 0630, cloudy and windy. We lined up in 3 waves and I got stuck in the middle of the second wave. Even a novice like me knows that if you are going to walk you need to stick to the back of the pack so we who want to run don't have to weave and stumble around you. Not today. Many walkers slowed down many a runner.

Other than that the event was well run, the track around the lake very nice to run on, apart from a pipe that had broken overnight & left an unavoidable puddle & bog that cooled off my feet. The head wind on the way back made choppy waves on the lake and slowed us all down. We had to tuck our heads down & keep plodding on.

At the end we picked up our goodie bags, including a visor and a bottle of this refreshing water

Thanks Emma & Tom for a very refreshing drink. I'll keep my eye out for their products in future, it was just what I needed to quench my thirst.

Got my results early in the afternoon: Overall place 460 (2,500 registered for 5km/10km/walk) in 34:59.3. Age category 68th.

I was home by 1030, in time for a shower and lunch before heading down to Maddingley park to help out at the First Aid Tent at the Car Show

It was still hot, very windy and very very dusty. Mandy & I spent the afternoon chatting, no medical emergencies major or minor diverted our attention. Mandy was very well set up with the portable O2 cykinder and automatic defib. 3 bandaids were dished out for the whole day.

Then it rained a least thats one night off the watering

Then I did my ironing...I'm sort of ready for the week

Then I finished my book...and I'm itching to start another but maybe I'll go to bed early instead. Or I could read in bed and pretend I'm resting.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Friday...

First up this morning I battled horrendous traffic (for Bacchus Marsh) to get Erin to school. She started back on Wednesday and the traffic was bad but today was worse as we had to drive past the other school which was having their first day today. The 4 km trip took 18 minutes because we left a little later seeing as I was not heading to work.

Instead of heading to my favourite running spot I left the car at school and set off on my first day of the 'Bridge to 10k' program. This turns out to be quite a good route. The school is on the edge of town and this road is an unsealed country road. Only 3 cars passed me ( one of which sped past me and showered me with dust and stones ... a** hole). As I was running I thought to myself how isolated it is out here, what if I get knocked over, no-one knows where I am, I don't have my mind was playing tricks on me because out in the middle of this nowhere land I thought I could smell pancakes or waffles or cake or something delicious. About 5km out I came to a railway crossing and wouldn't you know it the bells start ringing and here comes the Ballarat train! I waved to the driver so he knew I was waiting. After it passed I turned back anyway, now I know that the rail line is my half way point.

I'll use that route again, very few people, no dogs, no dog poo, just flies and the cows and me. But next time I'll tell someone where I'll be.