Just One Piece

I’m playing along with Hellowl’s My Place and Yours this week and the theme is to choose one piece of furniture from your house that you would take if you could only take one piece across t

he country.  I thought about my desk

first which is a

 

recycled white wooden kitchen table with a green and white laminex top.  I do spend a lot of time here but there probably are better des

 

ks out there.

I’m such a dag.  I couldn’t live anywhere now without my Ikea storage unit inherited from my boys who used it for their trains and now has been re-purposed as my craft centre.  It is not particularly beautiful but is extremely functional and it makes me happy to sink into the recliner beside it and choose something to play with.

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Taking Positive Steps

I’m back at work tomorrow and still feeling a bit fragile.  However I’ve done my first group fitness class in years this afternoon – aqua aerobics and lived to tell the tale so it doesn’t appear that I am going to break any time soon.

I saw my wonderful GP yesterday expected her to to be buried under a mountain of paper work from both hospitals.  She had heard from neither!  After some discussion and pushing on my poor sore chest I was diagnosed with Costochondritis  – Tietze’s Syndrome which is described below:

Costochondritis is a condition that causes chest pain due to inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall. Also called Tietze’s Syndrome, costochondritis occurs when there is inflammation at the junction of the rib bone and breastbone (sternum). At this junction, there is cartilage joining these bones. This cartilage can become irritated and inflamed. Depending on the extent of the inflammation, costochondritis can be quite painful.
This information comes from here and is the best explanation I’ve seen so far.  My GP wrote down the name of what I had because she knew I’s be coming home and googling it.  The nasty thing about it is that the symptoms mimic cardiac symptoms so they have to be well and truly ruled out before it can be diagnosed.  It makes me wish I could have gone from work to my GP but that wasn’t possible at the time.  If, God forbid, it ever happens again I’ll be much less anxious because I know just how healthy my heart really is.
Before I saw her yesterday I went to the gym that I joined in  (ahem) July) and got set up with a basic program.  I was a bit naughty but I explained to my GP and she was fine with it.  I admitted to having high blood pressure and Obstructive sleep apnea but I didn’t admit to the recent chest pain issues because I knew it wasn’t cardiac and I also knew that they wouldn’t let me near the place if their was the slightest suspicion that I might drop over from something.  My blood pressure was in fact brilliant when it was taken yesterday so she was more than happy to write me a little letter for the gym stating that she was very happy for me to begin a graduated program of exercise.  My instructions are to take anti-inflammatories for a week and no heavy lifting for a month and she has written that in the letter to work.
So last night I planned meals and today had a quiet day at home.  I did some knitting and some de-cluttering and then took myself to the library, the chemist and to Coles for some provisions.  I didn’t get the apricot chicken into the crock pot for tonight’s dinner as planned but it is ready to go for tomorrow.  Dh is having a half day to play Bowls so he will get it out of the fridge and put it on at lunch time.
On Sunday I went to knitting as usual and it was like the “Teresa Support Group”.  What a truly wonderful group of women.  They understood.  They said all the right things.  They gave me hugs and encouragement rather than lectures and advice.  I took myself off to Mass late that afternoon as well because I felt in need of some time with God both thanking Him for getting me this far and asking for strength to move ahead.  It was also the day that Mary MacKillop became Australia’s first Catholic saint.  Praying, singing and receiving the Eucharist all felt so right.  It was like coming home.  I obviously need the spiritual health overhaul as well as the physical one.
I’ve got my clothes out for tomorrow, lunch planned and dinner organised.  I’ve asked for dh to pick up boys so that I can go to the gym do my weights (very carefully) and some cardio after work.  The house is still messy but I’ve got most of the clothes ironed (by Mum) and it is pretty clean (once again thanks to Mum).  Most importantly I’ve scheduled everything for the next week and put it all up in the kitchen so everyone can be “on the same page”.
After massive fights on Sunday between the boys I have also overhauled (or rather created) a set of guidelines for Wii and Computer use which are working spectacularly well for both them and me.  But more about that in a later post as I need tocatch some ZZZZZZZZZs before I go back to work tomorrow.  I’m not looking like the lady in the picture here but it is something to aim for I suppose!


Change in Normal Programming

It has always been my intention to keep this blog as an upbeat, positive way of sharing things that work for me in my roles as museum educator, wife, mother, crafter and so on.  However in a change to “normal programming” I’m going to share about my week because while things didn’t really work for me, I am still alive and able to tell the tale  and along the way I have learned a few more things as you often do when life throws you a “curve ball”.

First some background.  I’m overweight, have high blood pressure and have recently been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea OSA which means I can wake up to 29 times in four hours of sleep.  Last Sunday night I had a follow-up sleep study which determined what sort of mask and c-pap machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) would work best for me and the settings at which the machine should be set.  I wasn’t all that thrilled about needing the machine – after all it is a very unsexy look for someone about to turn forty but I did understand the need for it and the fact that I have been feeling drowsy when driving was making me quite anxious.

So on Monday I had a day off to recover from the sleep study which went well but only involved about 3 hours sleep because of difficulties with their monitoring equipment.  Then on Tuesday I drove to work in the rain ready to start dismantling and packing away a fairly large activity area that has been used for a recent event at the Museum.  While packing boxes and pushing stuff around on trolleys I started to feel very unwell with severe chest pain.  Ended up having a night in Ipswich hospital and a night in the Wesley Hospital, several blood tests, several ecgs and a stress test which thankfully have all shown a healthy heart.  But with episodes of chest pain still happening I do have to get things further investigated and I have an appointment with my wonderful GP tomorrow to begin that process.

Some things I learned:

  • The staff at Ipswich hospital are fantastic including a wonderful cardiologist who explained all the connections between my various issues and insisted that I get the c-pap happening asap.  Thanks to him I was able to get things moving at the Wesley and came home with a c-pap machine on Thursday night.

  • If they are not sure what to give a new patient for dinner at Ipswich hospital you can be presented with a plate containing three types of puree.  In defense of the hospital kitchen however I was probably the only one in the room with teeth.

  • Some people say very helpful things and some people say very unhelpful things.  Unfortunately the people you would most want to say helpful things don’t.

  • Ambos are not amused by stories of people with acute chest pain being driven to hospital by one of their colleagues.  Even when I told them this particular colleague was a legend they were still unimpressed.

  • If you don’t have a change of undies in hospital they have very attractive paper ones – think of an adult sized huggies. (This was the highlight of the whole episode for Daniel)

  • When you enter a toilet shared with three males to find wee all over the seat and floor the urge to get down on your knees and clean it up does happen until you remember that you are NOT related to these three males.

  • Hospitals have Wonderful showers.

  • The new cardiac wing at the Wesley is like Heaven on Earth.

  • On the purely practical side it is probably a good idea to keep a change of clothes and one set of medication in the car or with you at all times especially if you work somewhere that is some distance from where you live.

  • Husbands don’t think a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant are warranted for an overnight hospital stay.  But dirty looks from emergency department nurses do wonders!