The View from Here

The camera worked for long enough this afternoon to get a shot of my very unattractive ankles in socks and splints.  They look a bit powdery because I need to put on prickly heat powder before the socks so I don’t get driven mad with itching and it certainly makes me glad not to be in plaster.

Today hasn’t been a good day.  I’ve been down, teary and tired all day.  It was a combination of things.  I was still pathetically exhausted after my trip to hydrotherapy yesterday, today was bit of an anti-climax because I wasn’t going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.  Hydrotherapy will only continue once it is approved by Work Cover as I already had had the five automatically allowed physio sessions while in hospital.  It is really my only prospect of getting out of the house because we will be reimbursed for the cab fare.  I’m not able to drive yet and I don’t know how long it will be before I get behind the wheel.  If I was to get taken somewhere like a shopping centre I would have to hire a wheelchair and then have someone to push it.  The potential “someones” are either a bit old to be pushing me in a wheel chair or they have small children to deal with.  We can’t afford to spend any money on cabs that will not be reimbursed as my work prospects are going to be limited once again and for who knows how long.

Dh is working full time 5 days a week and may be doing overtime on Saturday and of course the boys are at school.  They will be off on holidays at the end of next week but we will still be housebound because it is too far from here to get to any public transport and we cannot afford cabs.  The book club girls took me out last night for coffee and book discussion but I came away from that realizing that everyone is still really busy and the fact that I am out of action doesn’t change that.  So while plenty of people have asked, “What can I do to help?”, I’ve really only been able to ask for people to bring the boys home from school and even that was quite difficult to organise.  Life goes on as normal for everyone else which means they don’t have time to stop for visits or cups of tea.  Everyone balances multiple roles and has a busy schedule including me when I’m not on crutches.  So I can hardly ask someone to pick me up and cart me around in a wheelchair and no one really has spare time to spend here with me.  I think all of that hit home for me this afternoon and I felt really black.

The flood of phone calls and text messages that happened while I was in hospital has dried up to almost nothing.  I’m lucky if I get two texts in a day and no one has time for phone calls these days.  There isn’t really much to say either because I don’t know when things will improve with my ankles and there is nothing happening here at home.

I also realised that I wouldn’t be able to get to Weight Watchers tomorrow night as I had planned because the boys have hockey training.  I cannot ask them to miss it as they missed out already last week while I was in hospital and it is on every Thursday so with great sadness I changed my Weight Watchers subscription to “on-line only” even though I need it and the meetings especially now more than I ever have before.  My weight has made this whole injury thing even more complicated and I really can’t see things improving while I am so sedentary and while I am relying on everyone else to supply me with food.

Dh really is doing all he can.  In fact he has been quite legendary since I’ve been home.  He sets up the lounge room each night ready for me the next day with the TV left on stand-by, the remotes all put where I can reach them and most importantly, makes sure that the floors throughout the house are almost completely free of clutter.  We are both terrified of what could happen if a crutch slipped on something that shouldn’t be there and went out from under me.  He gets the bathroom ready for me to take a shower each night with the transfer bench half in and half out of the bath and everything where I can reach it.  Then he puts on my socks and splints for me afterwards in the lounge.  I get a coffee made for me in the morning before they leave and yesterday he left a ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge and the sandwich toaster out on the bench.  I was so glad to find that when I got home from hydro!

As for the boys, the novelty has well and truly worn off.  They are usually very put out when I ask them for anything or to do something for them because it takes them away from their all important computer games.  And of course, their projects and activities must always come first.  Eric was very impatient for me to get to the computer and help him fix a flyer he was making this evening and kept coming out to ask me when I’d be there despite the fact that I didn’t have my splints back on.  The flyer was about him offering his services as a cross country coach for the the other kids at school but that’s another story!

My parents came to help out today but even that is a mixed blessing.  While I truly love that our bathroom got cleaned and the sheets on my bed were changed I didn’t need to be told that I must not apply for any job until I am off crutches, that knitting is waste of money (again!) and that I really must do something about my weight.  (If I didn’t already know the last one it was brought home to me when I had to crawl up our back stairs on the night of my fall!).  I know they mean well and they are really the only ones that are in a position to offer us any help but some moral support and encouragement would be nice once in a while.

That is the end of my whining for now.  There are some good things happening.  Unlimited time to knit, stitch, read and watch TV. Time to read lots of stories to Daniel.  I get to sleep in because there is nothing to get up for and I would be in the way during morning rush hour anyway.  I have a couple of projects to tackle –  writing and researching some pieces for the school magazine and doing the “end of season” achievement cards and certificates for Little Athletics.  The latter is an enormous but tedious job but I certainly don’t have the excuse of not enough time to do it.

It’s awful to say this but I am dreading today (I’m writing this after midnight which shows how ell my sleeping pattern is going).  I’m going to miss a couple of my regular Thursday activities, my ankles will still hurt and I will still have the long day on my own.  But I guess I just have to take a deep breath and think “this too shall pass”.

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Personal Shopping Angel

She will know who she is if she reads this blog!  I was spending some time at Threads and More yesterday to get some more work done on Daniel’s cowboy cardigan.  But I have also been hankering after a new knitting project and this time it was to be something for me to wear.  I had an idea of what I wanted but hadn’t been able to find it – a vest with long lines that would cover some of the lumps and bumps but still fit well.  My personal shopping angel just waltzed off to the bookshelves and came back with exactly the right thing first try! We did look at a few other things in magazines but it was the first idea that was the best.  Another idea we gleaned form the magazines was to add some wool embroidery and possibly some beads to the finished product so it will really be one of a kind.  So, I’m going to be knitting a Paton’s Button-Up Hanky Hem Top with side inserts to create more “swing”.  I’m using some delicious Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in “Heather” – 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% cashmere.  I have found myself stroking the balls of yard more than once since I came home with them yesterday.  We had to do a couple of tension squares to work out exactly which yarn and needles to use but I’m glad we did because it means I am way more confident about the finished product.  I’m excited about the embroidery part as stitching was really my first love so it will be awesome to combine two things I love doing.  I just need to get going on the assembly of Daniel’s cardigan so I can start.

At any rate I will have something to knit next weekend while I’m at the Qld Little Athletic Conference – just in case the lengthy debating of motions put forward by various centres is not absolutely riveting!


Plan A and Plan B

As I write this the working week stretches out in front of me as a blank slate.  I have no days of work lined up as yet and I don’t really know what will be happening.  However I have to plan a few days in advance so that I get things done and I stay in touch with people or else I can end up at home doing not much at all.

So, Plan A for tomorrow is working if I get a call in the morning.  Plan B is taking the boys to school, helping in Eric’s classroom and then making an appearance at the gym hopefully not causing any heart attacks amongst the staff seeing as how they haven’t seen me for so long.  I also predict some ironing and “finishing” work on two different knitting projects.  I’d like to get dinner done ahead of time because Dan is having a swimming lesson but I’ll have to see what is happening.  I’ve also got two after school “coffee dates” organised with colleagues during the week and book club on Friday night for which I gave myself a night off from Little Athletics.

(Just as side note, there is another good reason for not appearing at Little Athletics on Friday night.  Master 6 disgraced himself yesterday afternoon by “mooning” the Under 7 girls while they were together waiting for an event.  Maybe a night off will give people more time to forget!  It is Centre Championship weekend so I will be there on Saturday afternoon anyway.  We have laughed a lot at D’s antics but there have also been some stern words about what is acceptable in mixed (or any) company!)

If I don’t work on the other days I’m going to go around and deliver some more “relief teacher” letters to local schools.  I’m also searching the job sites each day for any new prospects because I’d much rather have weeks that are planned to be full of action rather than facing the great unknown every Sunday night.


Thankful

holy experience
My list is growing and I’m still finding it a really useful exercise.

33. Air conditioning

34. Internet connection for friends and for finding up to date information

35. One GP who listened

36. My great country – celebrating Australia Day tomorrow

37. Big athletics carnival at Ipswich with big challenges for the boys

38. Home made Ice Blocks

39.The chance to see so many kids achieving as I update little athletics cards

40. Nutritious leftover for dinner

41. Brown paper and plastic for covering books instead of contact!


Taking Care of Me

I have to admit that as the start of the school year draws closer I’m feeling very “homesick” for school because it is where I have always been at this time of year.  I am uncertain about what 2010 has in store for me and to some extent I have to literally wait and see what happens.

However there are some things I can do and have been doing to make me feel good and to take care of myself.

  1. I’m working hard on the sleep routine.  I’ve had a couple of late nights with athletics which have shaken things up but in general the sleep is better.
  2. I’ve asked to be referred to another doctor for a second opinion on my ongoing anxiety/depression.  I’ve been with the same doctor for seven years and I’m struggling with the medication I am on.  I had to be bit assertive with the GP to get a referral but it is important so I persisted.
  3. I’m dipping my toe into bible reading and praying about my situation often.
  4. I’m talking to people.  This is a big one.  I’ve had in depth discussion with a couple of people about how things are going to pan out this year and what I can do to make things better.
  5. I’ve gone back to Weight Watchers (again) and I’m giving it a really good go (again).
  6. I’m trying to stay busy with purposeful stuff. I’ve been updating Little Athletics record cards, covering books for Eric, knitting and trying to do things around the house.
  7. I recognized that the first day of school would be a hard one for me because simply put, I won’t be there.  My plan is to drop off the boys and then I’m using the voucher for a day spa treatment that my colleagues gave me when I resigned.
  8. I’m considering things that I can do to get myself out of the house on a regular basis during the day bearing in mind that there may not be much supply work initially.  One of those things was to offer my services for 1/2 day a week in Year 1 at school (Daniel’s year level).  I’ve e-mailed the teachers, offered my services and they will get back to me with a day and time that suits them with the  understanding that if I get called into work I’m going into work.
  9. Yesterday the boys had a big athletics carnival at Ipswich.  I knew it would do my head in sitting on the hill for six hours + so I volunteered as a recorder for one of the long jump pits.  I still got to see both boys compete in long jump and all their track events, I was kept occupied and the recording was one less thing the long jump chief had to organise for each event.
  10. Today I did the grocery shopping by myself, ate a nutritious lunch and had a pedicure and manicure (there was a special offer on).
  11. If all else fails I have lists I can consult for what to do next although more often than not the answer is “laundry”.

So all in all, despite the fact that it is a somewhat sad time for me as school starts without me there, I’m doing my best to rise above the sadness and to keep doing things that improve my situation.


Not Astro Boy…

 

 

But unfortunately I’ve had “Gastro Boy” with me today.  He stayed home this morning and even though he complained of a sore tummy I really thought he was having a mental health day.  That was until we were driving to the drs and suddenly he was throwing up all over the front seat of my car.  So he got examined at the drs as well and most likely has one of the gastro viruses lurking around.  He was full of beans in the drs office but then started throwing up in the car on the way.

So what has worked for us today?

  • still carrying baby wipes even thought Dan is 6. I could whip his shirt off and clean him up before we got to drs
  • staying calm while driving along a bust main road with the passenger vomiting copiously beside me
  • Wii, Foxtel and TV to keep a boy amused
  • Air conditioning – seriously hot here today
  • Weak green cordial
  • a helpful elderly neighbour who minded the patient while I went to get Eric

So we’ve made it through the day and I’ve even managed to sit down tonight, after a late night last night doing the same thing, and I was able to finish the Little Athletics achievement cards – around 230 of them.  Whew! I’m glad to have them out of my life until after Christmas.  I’ve also filled out piles of paperwork for income protection insurance that we can claim as well as going on-line and printing out several payslips.  This afternoon I worked with Eric on his list of jobs for the Handipoints site and we negotiated screen time from points already accumulated.

So, in theory, everyone should be fairly happy tonight!


Blessings and Challenges


Today had definitely had its ups and downs. I’ve been blessed by:

  • see Eric run his hardest in the 100 m and 60m hurdles in a the junior pentathlon
  • seeing Eric thoroughly immersed in reading
  • great company and conversation at my social knitting group this afternoon
  • Anthony tidying up the living area and vacuuming to give me a head start on the housework for the night
  • Scribing a letter for Daniel to his new pen friend in California

However there are also some challenges:

  • A very strained conversation about my work (or lack thereof) and how we can manage just on one much smaller income
  • The great unwillingness and mini tantrums being thrown by one son whenever he is asked to help out with anything.
  • Piles of laundry everywhere that must be dealt with before Thursday (when I’m leaving on a jet plane, la la la la la la la la)