Wednesday, 13 November 2013

I am still here!!!!

I know - more than 12 months since my last post.

Ah, what a year. Of change and growth and loss and gain!

I gained 2 grandboys - both born on December 14. But not twins! Arthur was ten weeks early at 11.47 a.m., Elliot was two weeks late and born at 11.47 p.m. The amazingly clever darlings of my two older sons, cousins three months and 12 hours in age difference. They are both doing extremely well, sweet babies!

I had a scary time in April when my belly went from it's usual 'looking eight months pregnant' 125 cm to 85 cm and I lost 13 kgs in one week and was really unwell. Then three weeks later I wasn't unwell at all. Since then I have been remarkably lively. The cysts are still in my liver (and some more in my kidneys for luck, grrr) but not the HUGE pregnant belly I have had so much for the last 2.5 years. And no more surgery - had a second opinion and that surgeon also said he wouldn't operate. But now I am getting back to me!

My darling neighbour Maureen died at the end of  February. She had breast cancer ten years before, and it came back in a big rush and she only had a few weeks of not wearing her lovely hot pink lipstick and she was gone. I miss her terribly, she was a good friend, a good neighbour and always such a delight to be around. Such very sweet memories.

In May I had a Big Oh birthday and settled down to at least a month of partying.
But a week later my Mummy had a massive haemorrhagic stroke - whilst I was speaking on the phone to her. So when she started to not make sense I called 000. Who had to ring 000 in Queensland who had to them call me back in Victoria. Despite that, the ambulance got to Mum before she had totally lost consciousness.
However, she isn't really good - she has gone from being totally independent to the opposite, and is now in a High Care Residential place. One where she used to  'play piano for old people' when she first moved to the Sunshine Coast, so it is all familiar to her. She thinks she is visiting with friends and is very relaxed. (Which may be a function of the Zoloft sheeis now on, and none of the other 19 meds that two different doctors who didnt communicate with each other (GRRRR) had put her on over the last couple of years. :-)
But I miss my Mummy - it isn't the same person on the end of the phone, but is still rather fun talking about all her travels in her mind. Way more distressing for me than for her...

I have now got Alice, a Jack Russell/Fox Terrier cross - rescued from the RSPCA at Christmas. Sh espent her first 9 months in a backyard in Ballarat, no name, not housetrained, skinny and just ACHING to be loved!! She is a funny, snuggly and grateful lively dog - learned her name and housetrained in three days, has added 1/3 of her size since I got her. Inc old weather she snuggled down past my shoulders and stretches across my feet like a little living hot water bottle!

This past Sunday I sang Love and Justice again. This time in Melbourne Town Hall at a celebration for (former Prime Minister) Julia Gillard. Credit Where Credit Is Due was organised by The Victorian Women's Trust - read all about it in the link.
They also commissioned my friend Kavisha Mazzella to write the Love and Justice anthem in 2008 to celebrate the centenary of women getting the vote in Victoria. It is the most awe inspiring anthem - I LOVE singing it, especially in such a huge, dynamic, amazing women's choir!
This performance there were *only* 260 women in the choir. And I opened my mouth and said I would make a quilt for Julia. With signatures of all the women on it.We only had three rehearsals and I didn't think about it until the second one. So only had one rehearsal to gather signatures - and the performance day of course. I think I have it covered.
Am making purple and green Friendship Stars with white siggie squares in the centre of each. Made about 130 so far (half way, WHEW!!) but think the back shall be a chequerboard of siggies with also the words and music of the anthem, and photos of the choir performing.

Been knitting, and quilting (again, hooray!!!), and chopping and stacking firewood, and gardening, and doing little stuff around the house - the lack of $$$ still curtailing my flights of bathroom fancy.

Oh, and the Sweetheart and I are no longer together. That fell in a heap earlier in the year. Haven't heard from him. But then, he hasn't heard from me, either... :-)

I shall try to figure out how to add photos from my phone to here next post cos photos are a good thing in ablog. My Mac is ailing (a good reason why I haven't posted here) and I am using a loaner laptop for the time being.

Thanks for waiting for me!!!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Getting there!

Blogger hasn't been nice lately, and wouldn't let me write.

I am so sorry for being so utterly miserable last month. Just after I wrote that whiny whinge I got really sick. Spiky temps and shivery hot/cold, ghastly pain, diarrhoea, slept for two days and woke up with a flat belly. In hindsight I should have gone back to hospital but I was feeling too awful to think that far outside my body!! I think the cysts must have popped or leaked, at least they seem to have gone away.

And since then have remained almost flat bellied, and progressively getting better. Slowly. Certainly am not sleeping 15 hours a day, and having to go back to bed to recover from showering.
Have even been doing gardening...!

Today I head back to hospital for the gastroscopy and colonoscopy that was ordered back in July. Been drinking that ghastly stuff and am on my last 500mls of "prescribed fluids" - I haven't eaten anything for 24 hours and I have a caffeine deficiency headache.

I went to my first spinning group on Tuesday. My neighbours gave me a bag of their fleece and two carding brushes/combs at Christmas and then another friend told me about her MIL's spinning wheel which had benefitting in her shed for twenty years. And when we went to pick it up the MIL told me that it had been sitting in another shed for twenty years before she got it...
I carted it along to our local spinning group on Tuesday, and sat next to my friend Janine. I taught her to quilt about 15 years ago so now she is teaching me to spin! She started spinning when she was 15, and has just had her 50th (which she celebrated by joining a roller derby group!!!!).  She has a room full of plastic bins of her wool she has spun, beautiful stuff. She has sold some of her wool through our other friend Alex who owns ZigoZago  - lots of yummy wool there!
Most of the other women at spinning group are either members of the 80s Club or aspiring to shortly become members. So Janine and I are treated as daughters! They are a wonderful group, very friendly and supportive and helpful.
One of them said "Come over here and try my wheel. I want to know if it is because your wheel is awful or if you just can't spin". And then said I was a lovely spinner, a natural! And that it was the wheel which is probably only good for putting in the garden and planting a vine over.
I immediately looked up some wheels on eBay and some of them gathered around my clever new iPhone and were most impressed ("it's a tiny computer, how clever!") and also helpful about which wheels were useful.
My wheel is a home made one and has been changed from having one string around it to two, and the bobbins are broken, and also where the wool gets sucked in is pretty rough and rusty. It was magic to,try the other wheel where the wool slurped onto the bobbin like butter. Whereas I had to keep stopping and winding the wool on by hand...

And I have been knitting, socks for grandbabies, and also bibs. S3 brought back lots of yarny treasures from  Ireland when he was on placement in May-July including balls of cotton which I have knitted into bibs. Half washcloth flowers - they are very cute. And also knitted a couple of shawls, and scarves. It has been fun.
Yesterday I got three balls of Debbie Bliss wool and cashmere at the opshop for ...$2.50. And five balls of Patons Bluebell for $3. Both cream. both so soft and smooshy. So I am knitting a scarf to keep my hands and mind slightly occupied. Size 9 mm needles, both the yarns held together. I started with three stitches and have been doing some KFB, and YOK2tog to make it all lacy and holey. I got to 250 stitches so have decided to stick with that - mostly cos there isn't any more room on the needles...

I will add some photos when I am on my phone and on the net (woohoo, LOVE what it can do. Considering my previous did very little except calls and excruciatingly tedious texting with my nails breaking all the time on the tiny keys.

OK, must go and think about what I am to do at 12.30 today...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Puzzled of Newstead

I don't understand at all how, last year with one cyst, I was on URGENT list and this year, with two AND bleeding inside the cysts, that I aren't.
I was supposed to have that colonoscopy and gastroscopy within 90 days. Which expires today.
I just got a letter informing me that the appointment is next month. I rang and asked about the 90 day thing and was told that it was "an average" - some people are seen sooner and some are seen later than that. And I was one of the ones being seen later...
I don't think that is right but I can't see what is wrong with it. It seems so LOGICAL.
I was also told I could come back to A&E if I felt unwell.
I DO FEEL UNWELL, I feel like crap, I am so tired of pain. I can see why people die on waiting lists. They kill themselves because they feel worthless. I do.

I know there are people out there with private health insurance, who get medical procedures much quicker than this. I wish I had private insurance. But it wouldn't make any difference apparently. I asked the surgeon about going private and he said he didn't want to operate anymore. He said it is too dangerous to do it again cos of where the cysts are located. That didn't stop him last year.
I really I haven't had enough spare money ever for private insurance. I spent a lot of my life bringing up my boys as a single mum and fighting the ex for child support. My boys didn't get overseas trips and private schooling and a home with three bathrooms like his next wife's kids did. Instead we got to fight every inch of the way to survive and I didn't have extra $$$ for health insurance.
And now I am being punished for having brought up lovely sons who benefited for having a mummy who put the as her priority. Maybe I should not have been so unselfish, maybe I should have continued my uni education, or stayed working and let them be latch key kids, and had some money in my super fund. And private health insurance. And a house with bathrooms.
No, I wouldn't swap they way my boys are for any of it.
Except for a little understanding of how the health care system works. I wouldn't mind that. I can always go private The Sweetheart says - he sold his 911 so I could. But I don't want that, besides the surgeon said it wouldn't make any difference, he still wouldn't operate again as it is too dangerous. I don't understand that either. Why wasn't it dangerous last year????

Is that too much to want?????

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Vintage books

The previous blog about the vintage knitting book I once owned from my Kiwi MIL was less than useful without any photos of the books I thought it may have been.

It could have been any of these. It had a section at the front with all sorts of patterns with number of stitches per repeat etc, and Fair Isle and lace charts etc; then a section of garment patterns for the entire family that could be customised with the first section patterns; and household stuff - tea cosies and bedspreads etc. and probably an English publication, or possibly even printed in New Zealand. It wasn't American - not many American things in NZ in the 1940s.

This is the bedspread square, it is knitted corner-wise, and four blocks together make the flower:
Bugger! Can't load the photo - failed the test of iPad and dated operating system... I had to download Google+ and I still can't add the pics...sigh.

Have a look at the pic on this site, it is EXACTLY what I made from the MIL's book:

And, no - cant ask her, she is long gone in all senses of the term. She was a great knitter and patch worker, however!!!

The book she gave me is quite possibly one of these in this blog entry:

Please let me know if you have this book, find it in a garage sale, know about it, recognise it...bugger again, -Blogger is going lopyWould so love to have it back, especially as Nana Molly i

Friday, 21 September 2012

More GRRRRRR!!!!!

When I was in hospital a couple of weeks ago the registrar asked me to see the surgeon Monday week ago and when I rang at 0900 to confirm was told "no appointment TODAY! It is October 29"...
OCTOBER 29???????
So I cracked the shits big time, and they made an appointment to see the surgeon the next Mon (which was now last Mon, the 17th).

(Did I mention being in hospital, at the end of August? The Sweetheart had to take me to A&E on a Monday as I had shoulder tip pain, agonising right side pain, sweatings. Was in a bed in the Hep Bil ward within 1.5 hours. A record in this public health Lib State Gov era of coronary patients on gurneys in corridors for days! Was in for three days, had lots of blood tests, few L of fluids, CT scan and ultrasound. There was a possibility of a recent bleed into cysts).

Saw the same surgeon as last year (whew!) who said that the cysts wouldn't cause this sort of swollen belly as they are *only* 8 and 6 cm. When I said that it was the same last year and after surgery I had gone back to being skinny he said "Lots of women lose weight after surgery", and I explained that I hadn't 'lost weight' but had GONE BACK TO BEING SKINNY!!!
I even showed him the size 10 (US 6) Spanx I wore to my nephew's wedding in May which now doesn't go half way across my 120cm belly, though does still fit across my back...*
He was very dismissive, and again said about 'losing weight'.

Said I need to have colonoscopy and gastroscopy to see what else is wrong that will be causing bloating. Because I may have 'ulcer or coeliac disease'. NOBODY IN MY FAMILY EVER HAD EITHER!!!

And said that there is 90 day wait to have the procedure.
I said "What about when I was here in July and signed a consent form for this? Haven't heard a thing". There was NO RECORD of me having seen anyone on July 9! Remember? I wrote of the doctor I saw whose name I wasn't allowed to know 'for privacy reasons'. Fortunately, I had handed the consent form to the front office so the slow cogs were in motion for me to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy within 20 days! Haha, saved 70 days...??
He wants me to have another CT scan in 12 weeks. That is CHRISTMAS. And I am still feeling like crap.

I am so miserable, so tired, so much pain, I look like I am very pregnant, I KNOW I don't have an ulcer - even a symptomless one, and certainly not a genetic disease like coeliac and so I feel like am being duck-shoved.
A least I am getting some knitting done...see my Ravelry list:

*I actually bought new one cos I felt a hit icky about showing him underwear I had worn...!