Day 49

Of #the100daychallenge l finished a series of 10 postcards.

For my pen pal in Queensland
For my Pen pal in Germany
For my Soul Sister in the US

So l’ve been keeping busy in #lockdown gardening and doing different arty bits and pieces. My Husband has taken to walking with me and we have seen places we didn’t even know existed in our neighbourhood.

Each day (except we forgot today) we take a walking selfie!

On First of June the government is unlocking us to allow us to go camping. I cannot tell you how excited The Bloke and I are!!

We have missed camping. We had to cancel a planned camping trip and my trip to America was cancelled. Hopefully we can reschedule but who knows when overseas travel will reopen. In the mean time Winter creeps closer.

In one of my art groups this months theme was “Nature” so l started a nature junk journal collecting bits n pieces on our daily walks. I had so much fun l plan to do one signature for each of the seasons!

So from my crazy locked up family to yours stay safe and wash your hands 🤪

Arty stuff

Today is day 18 of #the100dayproject.

I’ve been pretty slack with my art this year, so l decided to go for the challenge and l made it fairly loose, “create something for 100 days” but l know me and l know l’d go to the studio and sit there and think “What shall l make?” Which would probably lead to me making nothing and so l sat down and broke the challenge into 10’s.

I called them “Weeks” until l realised there are NOT in fact 10 days in a week… not one of my brighter moments!

Then out of the 10 NOT weeks l chose subjects like “Chakra and Yoga Symbols” there are seven chakras so l added three yoga paintings as well. That was my first “Not a week” series.

This “Not a week” series is “Collages” so l went a step further and broke it down into five subjects and l’ll make two of each. So last night l made “multi coloured collage” that was the second one today l made one of “Stamped images”

Multi coloured Collages
Stamped images collage

I am going to use both of these pieces in an upcoming “Not a week” series.

This was the collage that started it all off! My daughter got the idea on Facebook and we ran with it! It looks great framed on the side dresser.

And last night while l was thinking about “What shall l create?!” I made a video of my art studio..

So l can honestly say l am enjoying #The100daychallenge its getting me back into my studio and keeping my mind active!!

Happy Anniversary…. but wait…

So I just got this email from WordPress to say “Congratulations”

And it made me think when was the last time I even wrote a blog post?!

But what can I write? And who would want to read it? Am I just rambling? Who am I that I should write a blog? But then I thought ok, I’ll pop in and do a quick update and see if anyone reads it.

Today at 4:00pm my MIL was cremated and due to the whole Covid 19 drama no one was present. Instead we opted as her family to have her cremated and instead of having ONLY 10 people when there are three children and their partners and then ten grandchildren and their partners and then thirteen great grandchildren, how do you pick who would attend a funeral?! So we said No! We’ll have her cremated and then when this drama is over we’ll come together and have a party and scatter her, her husband and her Mother’s ashes all together.

So Congratulations and Commiserations.

At 4.00pm those of us who live in my house raised a glass and shed a tear.

https://youtu.be/XZBB6s1pQBg

So if you have a glass of anything lift it in memory of Tanny! And enjoy this song on her behalf.

Another busy week.

This week its been full on!

Monday was a public holiday for the Queens Birthday weekend, so my husband took me camping, we felt like Star Son was able to hold his own with the help of his brother and sisters. I had had a rotten headache for three weeks, l kept waiting for the next “symptom” so l could go to the Dr. More symptoms never came. So l spent the long weekend camping on the banks of the Murray River but feeling like a zombie.

On the Tuesday Star Son had his first visit to the ID (infectious diseases) clinic back at the Austin Hospital. So we had arranged for me to get my blood test first and then off to the hospital l had woken up feeling good, so l was convinced his Blood count would be low and they might remove his PICC line. We got there ahead of time and still sat and waited. Eventually we got in to see the Dr who we had seen the first night of his admission. He brought us smack back down to earth telling us, “We’ll keep the PICC line in for two more weeks” which will take us up to the maximum of six weeks. Because he is young and they don’t want a chance of re-occurrinance, they’ll go for the maximum time and still he’ll be on oral meds for a few weeks after that. He was less than impressed but l tried to explain to him why it was happening and wishing l could teach him some patience.

Back at home we had an appointment with the school to see where Star Son stood in regards to finishing year 12. He’s been adamant he didn’t want to go back and for his mental health l was siding with him, but his Dad was not convinced, until his Year 12 Co-coordinator said “He’s missed too much, he won’t catch up!” So it’s official his schooling is done. Part of me was relieved, everything in him was relieved! Dad was disappointed. But also because there is no “end date” for his illness, he Is not a good risk to let back into the school even without his PICC line. I feel a little bit sad that he won’t have the Year 12 Graduation or the formal things that us parents like, but he will still attend with his Girlfriend.

Then l had a day off on Wednesday, as much as my aching head would allow.

Thursday l had a 9.30am appointment to get the blood test results of gout blood tests l had taken Tuesday. But l let everything come pouring out, every little ache, every little pain, even a few tears escaped, l just want this headache to go away!! He asked about my appetite which has been on some days non existent. Other days l force myself to eat but it tastes like cardboard. He expected that answer. So then he wanted to know about the pain, where it was what other symptoms, yes l get dizzy, yes l feel light headed but my arms and legs feel like concrete. So he says “You’re off for a CT scan! So we can rule out anything sinister.”

Back home the male Nurse, our favourite, R arrived and l asked him about it showed him my referral letter and asked him

“Will it hurt?”

“Oh No!!” He said “it’ll be all over before you know it!”

So l booked it in and took myself down there.

My husband is in some kind of denial that there is even anything wrong with me, l guess I’m not looking sick enough but I’ve been telling him for weeks “I don’t feel right it’s not normal, l feel weird!” He kept saying “Oh you’ll be fine!” He didn’t come home to attend my CT scan, l did it myself. I closed my eyes and took deep calming breaths and before l knew it.. it was all over.

So now we are waiting again, it takes two days to get the results so it’ll be next week now.

Today l spent the morning with my cousin she was doing some work at home, so she handed me the remote and said “You choose a movie!” I found one with Sarah Jessica Parker and Renee Zelweigger, about a singer, so l chose that, about two minutes into the movie SJP is meeting with her Dr and finding out she has a brain tumor!! I looked at my cousin and said “Well that’s serendipity and a good choice!” It was a crap movie though!!

Waiting, waiting, l wonder where l get my patience from!!

Where else would YOU be?

I just had an Ah Ha! Moment while l was standing at the stove stirring Deluxe Mac and cheese. Not all macaroni cheese is created equal.. when l really need comfort food l go for the Mac and Cheese deluxe option. It’s the packet that comes with a tin of cheese sauce! I dread to think what it is made of before it goes Into that can, But gosh it’s so good!

I have had a head ache for three weeks, l keep waiting for the next symptom to tell me “Something is wrong go to the Dr. ” but so far I’ve been able to ignore it, but yesterday l went to physio and had a sook! I said “It’s probably nothing but can we rule that out first?” I keep my stress in my shoulders always have… but when l find my shoulders are so tight and up near my ears well it’s time to see someone. And let’s face it May was a pretty stressful month.

I tried to make excuses, maybe l need a new pillow, maybe it’s this new bra, blah blah blah… she took one poke at me and said “Oh dear!” For half an hour she poked, prodded and massaged and then did some ultrasound therapy, and reports, “You have two very large trigger spots (knots!) In your shoulder and the base of your skull” so, see! I wasn’t making it up I am sick!! But she also said 3 week headaches are not normal and that my body seems to be fighting off something else. So if it’s not much better by Tuesday I should see a GP and ask them for tests. We’ll see.

But last night l walked out and l could move, and for a little while l felt almost normal. She said “Go home and rest with a heat pack on your neck and shoulders and don’t do anything else” so l did, but oh my gosh by the time it was bedtime l was in the worst pain and l really just wanted to die, l had a fever, I had pain everywhere and wondered how my husband could possibly believe I’m not sick…do I not look sick?

All my life when l get in uncomfortable places l imagine where else I could be.. one time l was really sick almost hospitalised and l was hallucinating l was in Japan with the cherry blossoms, another time l was in South Africa watching the wild life.

When I spent so much time in hospital with Star Son we talked about where we would rather be and where we still want to go… running away from real life is what l do.

Maybe that’s why l am such an avid reader, maybe that’s why l like to write to escape, and those tear jerky movies that l love to re watch!! “Bridges of Madison County” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” and we can’t forget “Eat prey love” all goes with my “Escape theme”its one I’ve used my whole life.

So this week when I feel like crap, my husband in planning a camping trip for the three day long weekend, honestly it’s the last thing l feel like doing BUT l need to do it to break this cycle. I’m almost 100% certain once l get started I’ll love it.

Today l forced myself out of the house with daughter number 1 and two of the Grandchildren, it was hard but l did it and rewarded myself with Mac and Cheese. As l stood here stirring the Mac and Cheese l listened to the back ground noice, Tim McGraw singing “On my Mamas porch” and then my family theme song “Family” (it’s on shuffle play) and l listened to child, 3, 4 and 5, they’re playing some game online, they’re in a group, and sitting in the same room telling each other “Brother look out behind you! J go back and save A! We’re going to make this I’ve got you” and l smiled, if only they were so good together in real life, and then came the waft of well cooked macaroni and hot gooey cheese sauce.. and I wondered

“Where else would I want to be?”

They is my family, they might be crazy but they is my family!!

One week home..

Today was a week since Star Son got out of hospital. A busy week of catching up with his family, nieces, nephews, sisters, brother and brother-in-law. Lots of noise and movement, very different from the hospital environment.

It’s also been a week of waiting, each day we get a phone call from a nursing agency to tell us “The nurse will be visiting between 10 and 1pm” that was the biggest window sometimes it’s just an hour window, it’s ok though, we have no where else better to be except yesterday… we’ll come back to that.

Each day a nurse arrives, the first one was here the longest, l felt sorry for her, she got a bit panicky about the pump “It’s a new model l don’t know how this works, l need to read instructions.” So we waited in silence and let her read. Then she didn’t know how to open the pump, we found her a key, and then she couldn’t get the drip feed to start, l didn’t want to rush her or Interfere, so l quietly mentioned l had the Hospital in Home direct number saved in my phone if she needed guidance. They talked her through it and an hour and a half later she left.

Star Son was angry, angry he had to wear the stupid pump, angry that she took so long, he was hating on life, l calmed him down gave him an icy pole and sent him back to bed.

He’s been eating much better, we sat down as a family complete with a note pad and pen and made a list of every meal we have cooked or wished to cook, separated them into different section, so “chicken” “beef” “pork” “vegetables” “assorted” (things like carbonara and ravioli) and then l asked each individual person “do you like, love or hate it” there are three camps in my house “I hate that NOT eating it!” (Yeah she’s 27!! Her 5 year old daughter’s got more bravery!) And then there’s the camp “Well l don’t love it but I’ll give it a try!” And then there’s Middle Son-24 years old “It doesn’t matter I’ll just eat it!” Bless his cotton socks! So now we have a list of meals l or any of them can cook and beside each meal initials of who WILL eat it… menu planning just got so much easier. Tonight Star Son and his Gal had a date night, they missed there 17 month one while he was in hospital. Madams 27 and 5 were out somewhere so we put aside the “meatloaf” idea because everyone loves Mumma’s meatloaf and Son in law had never had meatloaf till he met my eldest girl. And we asked the only child home “do you want a steak sandwich?” He’s a carnivore of course he did!! Star Son is home in his environment with his familiar foods and drinks he’s starting to look good.

Saturday nurse S on her second visit to us removed his stitches and we got to have a good look at his knee. It looks good!

Two little stitches gone!

Also on Saturday we had my cousin’s Surprise 50th birthday party. I had warned her daughter if he was not home l would not attend, so it was kind of a relief to be able to attend, there were plenty of sitting spaces for him. And best of all only one child and daughter in law and beautiful Grandbaby was missing, we like to party together!

Me, Eldest girl, Middle Son and Madam 27.

Added in Star Son and the always smiling Breeza.

Cheeky monkeys.

My grade 4 school teacher was a special guest of honor he took one look at Madam 27 and said “Oh you MUST be Kim’s daughter!” Everyone says we look alike.

Also present was my bestie.

30 plus years of friendship love her to bits!! Saturday was a good day.

Sunday the nurse took blood from his PICC line, still keeping an eye on his Blood levels. He went to see his football team play, he came home miserable, so we chatted and l asked “Was it hard watching them play without you?”

He said ” No Mum it was cold and boring” Exactly my thoughts most weeks.

Monday l had a date day with my cousin she’s off on long service leave so we planned to go to the movies for her birthday, but the Surgeon wanted a blood sample take early in the morning before his appointment today. Times like this l wished that window of “The nurse will visit…” was a bit longer.

We had to get Miss 5 to school then get Star Son in the car and down to the Clinic, through all the peak hour traffic, it’s just a walk in and sit and wait appointment but we had to be home by 10am and my Cousin and l had to be at the cinema by 10am as well. We just scraped it in.

Star Son was nervous about the blood test because those nurses are not allowed to touch his PICC line so they had to do it the regular way and after his veins collapsing on the 16th May, he was worried it would happen again. Thankfully the Nurse was in and the tube half full before he realised but the look of relief on his face was immense. We got back in the car and just turning into our street when my cousin drives up from the other direction, so it was literally, jump out of Madam 27’s car, help him into the house, torrential rain making his crutches a slipping hazard and then jumping into her car and going, and wouldn’t you know it.. that one day the nurse was there closer to ten than eleven! We made it though. And as selfish as this next bit is going to sound.. it was just so nice to sit and enjoy a movie and a laugh with my cousin! Not worry about pills schedules or nurses coming, or drip pumps beeping.

Today we had our 8 week check up with the Surgeon. I’m always hopeful for good news but the “good blood nurse” warned us the results might not be back. They were AND not only that THEY WERE GOOD!!!! His blood count is down to 45!! When we left hospital they were 70 and they told us anything under 100. So to hear they have halved again, l wanted to do a happy dance and hug and kiss him. Oh and have l told you how cute his Surgeon is?? McDreamy!

So now after all our happy news we are waiting again.. next Tuesday we have an appointment with the ID (Infectious diseases) Clinic, and we are praying they will be suitably impressed and remove the PICC line, he’ll then go on oral antibiotics, which will mean two daily pills and no nurses!! We are feeling hopeful for that, also he has been asked to take away one of the crutches and start using his knee to weight bare more. Its all looking really positive.

And that’s where l love you and leave you for this post.. my pillow calls and lm learning to listen to it.

Lucky 13!

This morning l woke up feeling less than good, much different than yesterday’s waking up… But l took a deep breath and got myself ready and we headed in a little early to be sure we saw the Drs!

Star Son was nervous and less than chatty. Today the team came minus the Big Boss Dr and his second in charge. So another Dr spoke up and told us they had conferred with the Surgeon and he was happy for Star Son to go home!!

13 days, and we were being set free!

They spoke briefly about physio and did we have one? Yes! His football coach was my Physio first! So plans were made to visit him (Dad had already organised that last week 🙄)

Next we discussed Hospital in the Home nurses, ✔ we had met her the day before they were waiting for their say so.

Next they discussed visiting with the Surgeon for a follow up, again ✔ we have an appointment on 4th June.

So we all congratulated each other and they left and l packed his clothes!

So then the rush began, first the Pharmacy visited, discussed what he was taking and what he could stop taking. She returned a half hour later with a brown paper bag and Star Son and l “high fived” each other, another step closer!

Then came our lady from Hospital in the Home, we briefly went over the paper work from yesterday, she showed us how to turn on the pump, and she went away to assemble that while his dressing was replaced.

Next our male nurse Ran came to replace the plastic skin that covered the PICC line, and while he did that HIH nurse was back with the pump. She hooked him up with enough antibiotics to last him 24 hours, then a nurse will come and replace it.

Physio came by with a letter to tell our physio what he had been doing in hospital. Ward nurse came by with a letter and a Dr’s certificate.

And then we looked at each other and asked “Is that all?”

We had boxes of supplies to take home for the nurse to use, his Bags and my bag.

All in all it was 10.36am by the time we walked out of the front door.

All week, last week he wanted KFC, so we stopped on the way home and got his junk food fix.

Then once at home we let him settle in, while l set up the dining room table as the Nurses station.

Now it’s almost bedtime and l think l will sleep well, simply because he’s back where he belongs and l don’t have to do the early morning runs.

Day 13 was a lucky one for us!