It’s been a while

I am feeling deliciously drugged up! Let’s back track a wee bit. I had my shoulder surgery at the end of April and just like the surgeon promised recovery has been long and slow. On the upside it has gone well.  The first 6 weeks I had to keep my shoulder as immobile as possible. I wore a very large navy blue sling during this time. Husband type person (HTP) of course was sent off to do Defence business and so I was sent to my youngest daughters to be looked after in Townsville.  For those not in the know Townsville is way up north and the temperatures in winter rarely get below 25. Given I have been in a deranged state of menopause for the past three years, I was not looking forward to the heat. I was meant to stay for 2 weeks but ended up staying for 3. It was the first time I had been to Townsville to visit her and her partner since they moved there in August 2014. It was really a lovely visit. My youngest is not a nurturer but she did her best and I was grateful. We spent many hours seeing the sights of Townsville and surprisingly there is quite a bit to see.

I commenced my return to work at the beginning of September so the months in between after the initial 6 weeks of trying to keep my shoulder immobilised I became a professional patient. I had physio twice a week (and I still have physio twice a week) I see a psych once a week as apparently I had a nervous breakdown in the midst of all this. Tis was caused by the appalling lack of care from Comcare, the insurance company that is handling this workplace injury. This case has been going on for 8 years, yep, 8 bloody years. The amount of paperwork that they have lost or “never” received is mind boggling. I have had over 40 case officers and every single one of them could never answer a question. How they manage to keep their jobs is beyond me.

BUT slowly but surely I am improving, I have 85% usage of my left shoulder and my range of movement is really good. There are two things I need to improve on, my confidence in driving and blow waving my hair. Both of these tasks I find quite tricky.

I am loving being back in the office, that was one of the killers of being home all that time, it was very, very lonely.

Girlfriends

Girlfriends, kidney friends, the women that keep you sane.

I have spent the past week with a friend, not a fly by night friend, but a friend who has known me and mine for over 20 years. We went through pregnancies together, we share things that no one else knows, dreams, indiscretions, times when we thought we were horrid mothers, bad wives, and when we drink to much we dance under the stars and are grateful that our friendship has survived broken marriages, ungrateful children, living in different countries and still we have a bond that nothing can compare to.

I took leave from my job recently because I knew she needed me and my husband of 30 years knew that I needed to support her and so he booked my flights and said “”You fly out on Saturday 28 March and you fly home on 4 April so we can be with our grand babies on Easter Sunday”.  SB lives on the other side of the country, Perth.

SB and I can tell each other anything, there is no judgement, what there is, is unconditional love and support. It is the type of love that I can walk into her home and say, darling your garden needs my attention and for three days I will prune, trim and repot. She is a gardener but not like me, gardening is my passion, I find it soothing and relaxing. What makes it fantastic is that she trusts me completely, she does not question what I do or why I want to do it. We do fight over who pays for what plants, I think because her garden needs a particular plant that I am happy to pay for it. It was our first “domestic”. But I let her win, because she thought she had secretly hidden in my bag money but I found it and with that money I will purchase an identical rose and I will look at it and think of her. It is a peace rose, yellow for her and pink for me.
She is the type of friend that I can open her pantry, her fridge and say, honey this needs my attention. She makes me drinks and I sort and I put things In order and I throw out things that are past their use by date and she smiles and says, only you. And the thing is, I like it, I love doing that for her and strangely enough I find it soothing as I know her life needs uncluttering and she knows it too but just right now she is not strong enough to do it but I am. As I said to her, let’s start with the little things first and then we can deal with the bigger things. I’m also trying to do the same with my own life.
We talk about our children, my grandchildren and I had the challenging chat with her daughter that had to be had. She is with a mam who seems nice enough but even after meeting him for only 20 minutes those alarm bells went off and I asked her the question, “Darling, do you think he is the one, does he make you laugh, can you talk about anything with him, is he a great lover.”Now I get that may have thrown her but I think as the “special” aunt I can ask these things. Both her mother and I don’t want her to settle for second best we want her to be happy and cherished. Unfortunately what it did do was make her think about her relationship with her man. This meant that she took her anger out on her mother at dinner. I felt so bad and thought perhaps I had overstepped the line and so when we got home I sent her a private message on Facebook, explaining why I asked the hard questions and that I was truly sorry if I had embarrassed or offended her. Her response was wonderful. She was grateful that I had asked as she wasn’t sure how to broach such things with her beautiful mum. I assured her that her mother was perfectly equipped to handle such questions and that believe it or not we were her age once and had the same fears and questions but wasn’t sure if we could talk to our mums about such things. As I have two daughters I was determined that whilst I never wanted to be their best friend that I would always listen and offer what ever advice I thought was appropriate. Anyway the upside was that all is well.
I have a few, of what I like to refer to as “kidney” friends, these are the women that should they need a kidney, I would be at the front of the line.
Over my lifetime I have made heaps of friends, some were stayers but most were not. These were the friends that my mother referred to as fair weather friends, they only contacted you when they needed something. I think I have weeded them out now. Oh trust me there were friendships that I would thought would last a life time but they didn’t and the breakups were hard and hurtful, there are some that even though the break up happened years ago still make me sad because at the time I thought we could weather anything, obviously they did not.
So the point I guess I am trying to make is, treasure the friends you have, if in your lifetime you have friends that you can call in the middle of the night and bail you out of jail or just hug you because even after 7 years you still miss and ache for your mum, they are the ones you want in your life, they will come no matter what, they are the ones you should nurture. Send them cards that tell them you love them, call them at stupid o’clock, just to tell them you love them. Acquaintances will come and go but true friends will love you no matter what.

Facebook – A world of ideas, recipes and things that perhaps we should not try.

I like Facebook, I really, really do.
It is a great way of seeing what family and friends have been up to and from time to time there are some very funny quotes, quirky stories blah blah.
There are also recipes, and I do from time to time share these recipes because they look sensational and I always think to myself, “Yes, HTP (husband type person) will like that or the GBs should like that”. But, alas, I don’t think I’ve ever made one of them.
Not a salad in a jar, that according to the comments, will last a week in your fridge. So should you be the domestic goddess that I think I am, you can prepare a weeks worth of delicious, healthy salads on Sunday evening (after you have ironed all the laundry from the weekend) and then each morning as you calmly leave the house just pop a salad jar in your bag and you are set. Pop it into the fridge at work (hopefully no one will steal it) and come lunch time, just tip it into a bowl and it will look and taste simply divine. And the money you will save, what a fabulous idea.
Not 4 ingredient chicken with Russian dressing (I had to Google Russian dressing as I had no idea what that was, and just in case you don’t either, it is just like Thousand Island dressing), why you would want to drown chicken in Thousand Island dressing is a bit of a mystery but the picture of said cooked dish did look rather delicious.
Not one of the endless cakes, slices, cheesecakes or biscuits, but as I said I do share the ones that I think I just might bake one day so I can easily find them on my Facebook Timeline.

So why did I think that a foot softening soak which consisted of the following ingredients, Listerine (the poster said that blue was their favourite and so that is the one I bought), white vinegar and warm water. I even Googled this and the few responses I read were varied.  Of course being the speed reader I like to think I am I quickly skimmed the comments, taking in what I thought was vital to a successful Listerine foot soak on the hope of baby soft feet, rather than the Shrek hoofers I currently have.
Now, when I Googled what people thought there were two main pieces of advice. The first one was to double or even quadruple the quantities. I must admit I thought that was a good idea as 1/4 cup of Listerine, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water really did not seem to be enough to cover and soak my feet. Hmmm, excellent, very useful information. The second one was that 15 minutes really is not long enough, if possible soak feet for about an hour. Yep, right good idea, absolutely guaranteed baby soft feet, all that dead skin will just wipe off.
So last night I made myself the Listerine foot soak. At last, baby soft feet are but an hour away.

HTP from time to time would look over to my preparation area (the kitchen). “What are you doing”. “I’m going to get baby soft feet” I confidently replied. “Hmmm, good luck with that”. Seriously HTP you really could be more enthusiastic I think to myself. “Hey Bub, do you want me to make one for you”. “No darling I’ll pass”. Pffft, I shrug my shoulders and think oh well his loss. And so I perch on the kitchen stool with my feet soaking. It feels quite nice and so I settle in to catch up on who is who in the Facebook Zoo and attend my Farmville Farm.
About an hour later I think, right that should be long enough. Completely prepared, I have another kitchen stool at just the right height with an old hand towel on it so I can just pop my feet onto it and wipe off all that dead skin. What is that, I think to myself. “Bub can you turn the big light on please”. He does. Surely not. I vigorously rub at my feet and look again. What on earth. “Bub, Bub, come here”. I am sounding, perhaps alarmed. “What’s wrong”. “Can you just come here and look at this”. Up he gets and he looks at my feet. “Darling, your feet are blue”. I look at him completely stunned. Not one tiny bit of skin has rubbed off and I do have blue feet. They feel a bit softer, BUT I HAVE BLUE FEET. They are not bright blue just a horrid looking blue. Immediately I go back to Google, surely they would have mentioned blue feet, I mean that would be fairly useful information, would it not. This time I read the articles thoroughly, no mention of blue feet in the first one but in the seond one, which I might add was written by a lady who said she did get baby soft feet and that whilst ALL the dead skin did not come off after one soak she would definitely do it again as there was a most visible improvement, there it was, a very brief mention that her feet, did indeed turn blue.
HTP thinks my blue feet situation is hillarious. “Hey let’s take a photo and put it on Facebook” is his suggestion. My suggestion to him was a very sharp “Fuck off”.

The lesson here is, should you think a Listerine foot soak just might be what you need, then buy Listerine or indeed any mouthwash that has no colour. No dead skin wiped easily from my Shrek hoofers but they do feel softer. Most of the blue came off in the shower this morning and today I chose to wear my beautiful black Gucci court shoes, so only HTP and my avid WordPress followers are aware of my blue feet predicament.

Some days you just need to cry

Do you have days like that? I am having one today.

I miss my Mum, she passed away on her 79th birthday in 2007 and I miss her, oh how I miss her. I miss her soothing voice, I miss her smell, I miss her laugh, I miss holding her hand. I know I am so lucky, we had such a wonderful relationship, we could sit for hours, chatting, laughing, just being together. I want her to meet my grand babies, I know she “sees” them as my grand daughter talks about her all the time and mum had passed away several years before she was born. Sure I have photos and memories but what I would give for one more hug.

I miss my Dad. He lives 4 hours away and we talk nearly everyday, we try to get up to see him once a month but it is always such a rush and he is getting on and he is getting forgetful, I would dearly love him to move closer to us but he won’t leave the home he and my mum shared for 50 years and I do get that. I cry because my brothers just don’t get it, they live so close but it will be weeks before they think to pop in or give him a call. He tells me it does not bother him but I know it does and so I shed a few more tears.

I cry over Tara who was murdered so brutally by someone who was a friend and I cry some more because before ICE he was a fun guy, a happy guy and  I cry for the 3 children that now have no mother to hug, love and cherish them.

i cry because I want nothing but the best for the wee village I have created. My baby girl is so far away and I miss her, terribly. I cry because I love my grand babies so much.

i cry because at the moment I can’t be the strong woman I usually am. I am tired of pain, drugs, Drs visits, specialists visits and I cry because I want it gone.

Valium, Friend or Foe

On Tuesday my neck and shoulder on a pain level rated 15 out of 10. However off to work I trotted to be greeted by statements, such as ” OMG you look dreadful, you are so pale, are you Ok”, Yes I’m fine, my neck is just a bit sore.  At 3pm I called my Drs surgery and as you’d expect, Dr Emily has nothing available until the 20th of never.

Wednesday is GB (grand baby day) so we did the school run and I had to promise a billion times that I would come to assembly at 2:15pm to watch the entire school do the chicken dance. Masters 2 and 4 were Angels, thank god, however Master 2 is in training to become either the Hulk or a Sumo wrestler so lifting him onto the change table was slightly tricky but I did it. We arrived promptly at 2:15 to applaud and cheer all the little chicken dancers, Miss 5 spent a good amount of time waving at me and a small amount of time chicken dancing.

Yes yes the Valium, I coming to that.

Thursday morning I was a mess and so, within 20 minutes had showered and was waiting out the front of the surgey by 7:50am on the hope on getting an emergency appointment. The Angels were watching over me as I got one with my Dr for 9:30am. Back I trotted at 9:25. Dr Emily greets me with, “Michelle, you look dreadful, what’s going on”. My neck is rather sore, if I move a millimetre its like an electric shock that runs down the left side of my body. Dr Emily prescribes Valium. You must take it 3 times a day for at least 3 days, apparently this will relax the muscles which have gone into spasm.

How good is that stuff. I can see how people become addicted. Thursday and Friday pass by in a rather warm haze filled with mindless TV, you know some of those gadgets they sell look really good, but I do know that that is the Valium making the world a better place, mind you that vegetti thing really looks good and that fruit pop thing, how much fun would the GBs have with that. So come Saturday I think, you’re doing OK let’s give the Valium a miss, rookie move, by lunch time I knew I needed another.

Sunday we head off to the hot air balloon festival and I am feeling fine, I can move without feeling I am being poked by a cattle prod, yay it would seem I am over the worst of it. So what do I do on Sunday afternoon. I decide it would be a great idea to dig up some camellia seedlings and pot them up. Now I did this very carefully, not lifting any thing heavy and using my little spade to put dirt into wee planters. Two hours later 20 or so camellias have been potted up along with some crocouses. I am most pleased with my efforts.

This morning my neck and shoulder are far from pleased. Today I will pop another Valium and be good, very good and watch TV and imagine all the wonderful things I can make with the vegetti and the fruit popper thing.

When you get it so wrong.

Finally, after 8 months of being dragged from pillar to post my surgery has been approved. 21 April is the day surgery takes place, the relief is wonderful.

Feeling relieved I thought, right I’ll have a quick look at the news online and then attack a stack of papers that I had been artfully colour coding and writing little messages on to remind me what needed to be done. I open the website and there is my friend. A great big picture of him. What on earth is he doing on the news. I read the article and my head spins, my face must have drained of all colour as Bell who was waiting to speak to me, took a step back. I knew I was going to throw up and with every ounce of strength I raced to the ladies room.  My dearest friend, who I just happened to work with came racing in after me. She made soothing noises and lay cool wet paper towels on the back of my neck and wiped my face and tears. In shock, I blurted out that my friend had murdered his parnter. He put an axe through her head. We had heard about it over the weekend, it had been on the news and had lots of coverage but they had not given any names, just a suburb in Canberra. I clearly remember saying to my husband, oh god, I bet it was domestic violence, and it was.

I thought I knew who he had killed and went into protection mode, defending my friend. You see he had gotten involved with a vile toxic woman about two years ago. We spent many Friday nights gently and not so gently telling him she was bad news. She told him she was pregnant, it was his, it wasn’t his, she was having it she wasn’t. She played mind games. She trashed his car, he had to sell it in the end as she kept slashing the tyres and smashing all the windows. He had to take out an AVO against her. It was a horrid relationship and she sucked him dry, she stole from him and lied to him and she used ICE. He rented the granny flat at my best friends house. We spent a lot of time together, drinking, laughing,cooking and solving the worlds problems, he was a great guy and I liked him.  I defended his actions to several friends. I kept hearing that this woman who had been murdered so tragically was an angel, a loving mother, daughter and work colleague. And I kept thinking to myself, how the hell can they get it so wrong and I cried at the thought of what my friend must be going through.

Then two days later I found out that it wasn’t the toxic one he murdered. It was another woman, a beautiful woman and her name was Tara. She had two boys 11 and 9 and had just given birth to my friends daughter, she was four days old when her father ripped away her mother.  You see, last contact with him was around November and he was with the toxic one. And so I thought it was her.  But no he had met a wonderful woman, a caring gorgeous girl who had a baby with him because he so wanted a child and a family to love. But the toxic one came back into his life and he let her in. He was given an ultimatum and he chose the bitch and ICE. As it all hit home I felt sick again, and horrified at the ugly thoughts I had had about the woman who he had brutally murdered. I immediately contacted the people I had defended him to and set the record straight but still there is this lingering guilt. I feel that I have defamed her, I thought I knew but I didn’t.

His family, Tara’s family are shattered. We don’t know what happened on that horrid Saturday afternoon just over a week ago. We only know that three children now have no mother. That she was murdered by a man who I once knew.

Am I On A Path To Self Destructiin?

Not 12 months ago I looked OK. Happy enough in a bathing suit, one piece of course. I always felt I looked good as I sashayed out the door, whether it was to work, or for dinner or even to look after my grand babies. But, during the last 6-8 months all I do is eat. I eat all the time. And I eat badly. The worst possible foods imaginable. Bread, lots of bread, slathered in butter, chocolates, biscuits, cheese, cake, nuts and fruit. It all gets shoved into my mouth. Every night I say to myself as I get out of the shower and look in the mirror in absolute horror, tomorrow you stop this. You are disgusting, you just stop and yet I do not. I have even taken food from the fridge at work. What the hell is wrong with me. Nothing to horrid, just a piece of bread to slather more butter on when I have run out and I do go find the person and tell them what I have done and offer to replace it but seriously, I’ve already eaten it what on earth are they going to do or say.

Most of the time I am not even hungry when I eat and I  don’t even enjoy it, so why do I keep doing it, Is it a path to self destruction, do I really loathe who I am so much that I keep doing it. I see my reflection in shop windows and it upsets me so much but nothing changes, I keep on eating. My clothes do not fit me any more and I am reduced to wearing elastic waisted pants and over sized shirts as all my lovely clothes no longer fit. I feel disgusting and I look fat.

For gods sake wake up and stop.