Thursday, September 30, 2010

A self of one's own

Work continues on maintaining one's self, in relation to one's self, rather than only in relation to external things (even very close and beloved external things such as child and husband, or life-sustaining and useful external things, such as work).

Of course, it may be rather self-ish, I don't deny.

Things that I have been doing:
  • personal trainer with a colleague at work (one of those colleagues with whom there is such sympathy that I hope she becomes a proper friend)
  • belly dancing with a colleague who is quite bossy, but very funny company
  • attending trivia night next week (with work colleagues - anyone seeing a pattern here?)
  • study (which is actually kind of work related I suppose, a lot really)
  • reading.
Things I have not been doing:
  • writing (except for blogging).
  • spending time maintaining non-work friendships with non-electronically connected friends in far-flung places (ie places where I used to live but don't any more).
  • making non-work friends.
A person is starting to feel a big head of researching and writing steam building up. If I don't write it could get nasty. If I do write it could get nasty.

I need an exercise book.

At work I am acting up. I love that it's called that. I am being a person who is a person who gets paid more than I get paid to do responsible work. Despite trying to find a successful and integrated self generally, it's quite fun to pretend to be someone else for a while, and get paid more to do it as well. Also, it gives me more confidence about my work than you might think. I like being a person who is considered a responsible person.

One day I promise I will write about something that isn't myself.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

So because I've been lying around in bed recovering from being sick, I've had time to think. I'm starting to think that having time to think isn't such a great thing, actually. It gives the opportunity to think about things you'd rather not think about. I like denial as a life strategy (except in other people, then it's just annoying).

What I've been thinking about is fairness and hospital and the kind of life you'd choose to live if you could and privilege and luck. The kid is feeling righteously pissed of at the moment because his illness means he won't be going to Vietnam (and I have been feeling a bit begrudging about that too I must say). And then he has been teary at the unfairness of it all and why why why and so on. And this morning we were thinking about that (while having coffee at the Fyshwick Markets - I recommend the cheap bakery) and I was thinking about how lucky we actually are, because here we are with clean water and healthcare and abundant food and leisure time and I have a job that both gives me generous leave and lets me use it and here we all are together.

Then, of course, I started giving the kid a lecture on why the healthcare system in the United States is really, really unfair, but the husband stopped me before I made him cry, so that was good. And then we bought the vegetables.

Other things I have been thinking about is this whole hospital thing (in the context of realising how bloody amazing the care available to the kid is and so on). It is a very strange thing to sit there and let all kinds of people do all kinds of painful things to the kid. He is strongly of the opinion that the cure is worse than the disease. Except for the bit with the painkillers when he was in lots of pain. He approved of that bit.

This last time in hospital has opened up all kinds of opportunities for reflection, because there were no life-threatening moments this time. The doctors all took the kid's health very seriously*, they were very assertive in treating his rhabdomyolysis and they were also very responsive to his personality and his anxieties. So in one way it's incredibly reassuring - we can go through this kind of experience without it having to be as frightening and hideous as the first time and we won't be left on our own panicking. It also helps having things happen in your own language, of course.

On the other hand it's very daunting, because it means that people who really know stuff (unlike us who operate on a mixture of second-hand knowledge and fear) were really, really worried as well. I would prefer over-care than under-care but O, it's not a good feeling knowing that the kid might need it one day and we'll never know when (fingers crossed for never, ever again, of course).

Now the kid is pretty much back to normal, or would be if he would blow his nose a time or two and clear the snot out. Urk. He's still slightly more tired than normal, but is getting around and running again and all that good stuff.

I don't have an ending, because that's how it feels. It just runs on into life.

*As evidenced by the air ambulance flight to Sydney, and the expression on the face of the neurologist and the fact that an intensive care team was waiting for us in Emergency, just in case. Blessed be them, and thankful unto infinity that we didn't need them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Live Grand Final Blogging

2.30 pm - Brisbane isn't in the Grand Final.

3.19 pm - Brisbane still isn't in the Grand Final.

4.14 pm - No change.

5.27 pm - Turns out that Collingwood and St Kilda had as much chance as winning the Grand Final as Brisbane. Astonishing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The sound of slightly strained silence

Strained throat, that is. I seem to have collected a virus.

Of course, I've had some kind of sore throat every September since we moved to Canberra, but this one totally wins the sore throat thoroughness award. I keep just clocking off to sleep without realising it as well. Swallowing, oh the horror.

I am very bored, but I suspect the family are quite happy with the quiet, sleeping version of me (for a day or two at least).

I have to go to work on Monday, or I will incovenience several people who really don't deserve it, so please send all kinds of rapid healing thoughts Canberra-wise.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On being in hospital, from the horse's mouth

Actually, from the typing fingers of the kid.

We visited his paediatrician today, who read out the notes from our last visit 2 months ago which said, 'good progress, no need to see again for 12 months unless unexpected complications'. Hah to that. Otherwise he was no earthly use, except to arrange follow up tests and look mildly chagrined and chuckle at the kid's jokes.

We have cancelled our Vietnam tickets. The husband will still go, but the self and the offspring will not. I can't face this sort of thing there right now. And also I don't think any medical insurer in the land would be putting up their hand to insure us. ('Pick me, pick me - I love throwing shareholder's money away' I hear them shout, as they shove and push each other like movie bridesmaid's at the throwing of the bouquet. I didn't throw my bouquet, because I liked it and wanted to keep it, which made no sense at all because I was leaving for Vietnam the next day, and even gum leaves and flannel flowers don't survive for three weeks on their own once cut and bouqet-ed).

This morning I did the most boring work ever, including the time I stuffed 10,000 envelopes and the beer machine job where I put rows of plastic cups under a beer tap and pushed a button which filled four plastic cups full of a brand of beer I would never, ever drink. I am glad my work is not usually like that, because I would have to creep under my desk in the restful dark for a while, and that is obviously a bit odd and unhelpful for career prospects.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Luckily there's a damn fine post about what's it like in a hospital ward with kids and other families over at Ramping It Up, so I don't have to write about it.

I love you other bloggers, doing my work for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So much to say, so little to say it with

The words, they are not interested in coming today. And I don't feel like making them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Big day at our house.

The husband cleaned the kitchen while I postponed cleaning the bathroom. I did manage to cook a roast (with tasty red wine sauce) and chocolate mousse. The great thing about tasty red wine sauce is the left-over tasty red wine. A sip or two has been just the ticket after a rather trying week.

The kid progresses extremely well. Yesterday morning he could not sit up by himself, and today he was sitting at this very computer playing computer games. He sat up for his breakfast and dinner, but took his luncheon reclining.

This morning he needed help to balance when walking, but can now manage by himself, although slightly teetery). He stepped up three steps this afternoon with only minimal help. It's hard to believe that he could not move his legs at all at the start of the week and was in such pain that he needed quite serious pain relief from the hospital.

His spirits remain high, so long as there are novels, card games and computer games available. He is keen to get back to school.

On other fronts, it seems we now have a proper government with ministers and everything, so it'll be a good time to get back to the Best Department Evah, although it won't be for a few days yet because the kid still needs monitoring and therapy and has lots of follow-up appointments this week.

And now I wish I had eaten a bit less dinner. Ow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update on the kid

Well, here we are in the glorious metropolis of Sydney, where the kid was transferred on Sunday night. Neurologists, it seems, can be nervous nellies just like rest of us (although presumably they know which particular nerves are involved). The kid is fine and so on, but the specialists wanted him close to hand just in case. He is improving like anything and is expressing firm views on everything. He is eerily cheerful, though. I think lying in bed with as many books to read as possible and an assortment of random science information as his 'schoolwork' is pretty much his dream life anyway. If only there was cricket on TV as well.

I also managed to negotiate the shower on the ward this morning, so I am also feeling pretty good (and so are the nurses' noses no doubt). The kid is expressing irritation that he needs to keep cleaning his teeth, even though in hospital.

The husband is taking the night shift tonight, having driven over from the heart of the nation this morning. I am going to the hotel to have a beep-free sleep and a proper shower.


The Kid - everything on the planet including Samurai Kids (again), The Lives of Christopher Chant, The Silver Chair, Horrible Histories, Nanny Piggins again (glad to hear others are finding it hilarious as well), random science facts.

Me - hard to tell, because every time I start reading I wake up ten minutes later snoring and drooling.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little bit sick

The little bit sick kid is spending a few days in hospital - he seems to be fine but they are taking a cautious approach because of his history and existing condition. Hopefully we'll all be home tomorrow.

I'm taking a short break at home to have a shower and eat some food and get that weird hospital taste out of my mouth, and then I'll be back while the husband takes a break this afternoon. The kid has run out of books to read, so I have to get back pretty quickly. I stayed last night, and I can tell you, the fold out bed is enough to damage your back to levels requiring hospitalisation in itself.

Nice nurses, one major spillage incident (apple juice, soapy water, clean towels), no coffee allowed on the wards!!! The apple danishes at the downstairs cafe are flakey delights, the coffee is close to vile.

Kid is in good spirits, but a bit fed up. He does not see the value in Cartoon Network.

Lucky I got my licence last week, eh.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sick,sick of waiting

Little to report.

Work goes on in its bizarre, no-government kind of way. The list of things that needs to be done when the government comes back grows ever longer. We hope and hope that we'll have a decision soon so we can get started on it. The luxury of time is becoming a burden on us all.

The kid is a little bit sick today. Which rather spoiled our father's day plans, so the husband will have to be content with a modified day and very minimal presentage.

Plus the weather is rather extreme, so I have not yet exercised my right to drive unaccompanied.

But we haven't had an earthquake. So that's nice for us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


A person has earned the legal right to drive a motor vehicle. Will have relevant piece of plastic tomorrow morning.