Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Happy birthday to our first born!!

Today we celebrate an 11th birthday. With two days of lasagna, ice-cream, carrot cake, toasted marshmallows, movies and a quiet sleepover (who am I kidding??)
We are very proud of our 11 year old and look forward to the next eleven years (I think) :-)
Check out here for last year's birthday post. Ten years seemed such a huge milestone to have achieved.

Last year's cake was posted here. No fancy pants cakes this year. I'm going for quick and scrumptious (with lashings of cream cheese icing).

Happy birthday to our lovely girl. We are very thankful to have you in our lives.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The impatient patient!

Ok's Friday and I should have done a Thankful Thursday post yesterday, but I was in such dark mood I didn't want to injure anyone with my sharp words.

Woke up this morning, feeling a whole lot more positive, and after a walk on the local beach with a mate and feeling the rain on my face. Yep, I realise I'm still ok and happy to be alive.

I seem to have another disease, and some dis - ease it is sure causing me. Yesterday's dark mood was born from what I refer to as the "recovering person's impatience". I actually feel fabulous at the moment. My fatigue is well and truly under control (with a good diet, and plenty of sleep etc), and my physical and cognitive self are totaly 'with it'.
But my eyes are not :-(

I have ongoing swelling (which takes a LONG time to go down) which is completely confusing my eyes. As I was always slightly shortsighted anyway, my brain has got a whole lot of shite to deal with. I feel as if I'm in a bubble behind streaky or blurry glass. My head feels clear, but my bubble is not. As I'm also not permitted to drive for another four months I feel a little trapped in this bubble of mine. I can't share this bubble with anyone, no body else can truly understand. I feel so energised and well at the moment, it doesn't seem fair to have to keep still so my eyes can cope. The closest I come to real exercise (except for the occasional supervised beach walk) is the cross trainer, where I can take a simulated walk as such because I don't trust my visual judgement to go out for an actual walk by myself.

So I was feeling very sorry for myself yesterday. I wanted to be thankful, but I could only think of yucky things like snails and puppy dog tails. So sulked on the couch for the evening.
You see I have this thing about being positive on my blog. I don't like spreading misery.

But just to let you know, I will always try very hard to be positive in these discussions with you. I'll try not to let you worry too much. I don't really want my blog to become an agony aunt or medical consult. I just want to chat. Maybe vent a little, but there are days when this whole thing is SO yuck. I just want to bury my head in the sand and pretend life is normal.

A new normal. A couple of people had said this to me and I appreciated it. Like after an earthquake as well I guess. Our new normal. My new normal.

So what to do when you feel yuck and burying your head isn't the answer? When all your vestibular system can cope with is sitting still.
I got out the guitar. Funny, 'cause I can't even play the damn thing!!! But I could remember three chords, the arm responded by strumming fairly evenly and I'm thinking that I don't even have to have my eyes open to make music. Not that my playing can be called music............yet.
But I've got all the time in the world haven't I?? Sitting still, healing, strumming gently, humming a tune. Doesn't sound too bad huh? By the end of this whole process I might even know more than my three chords.

I would like to share my thankfulness though. Seeing as I'm in a much better head space than yesterday.


I like to thank those organisations that are allowing Cantabrians and fellow New Zealanders the opportunity to support the Christchurch recovery and rebuild from afar.

These cool t-shirts can be purchased here!

Check out The Edge website as they have some very cool ones also.

These bands can be purchased online from here or at many local postshops around NZ.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursdays are back!!!

Today I am grateful that I can muck around with the camera and my baby girl. Despite the unmade face, the partially shaved head and carefully positioned head band, and dodgey post- operative eyesight..............I'm still very thankful!! Thankful to be playing with a 2 1/2 year old. (I doubt I'll ever complain about little pet-shop role-play games ever again LOL)

Have a great weekend..............and be thankful!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



So I have been thinking about some post operative stuff.

I spent an hour or so rereading all of Mark's posts he wrote while I was being operated on and then after.

All I can say is.............gee wizz.

I cried through most of them. Crying for me, Mark, my children and my friends who followed the saga.

I didn't cry because the content was new, no, I had caught up on the operation and resulting consequences. I cried because of the fear and worry that was surrounding me and the situation at the time. I was overwhelmed with the feelings involved.

I'm so pleased that Mark felt he could update the blog so regularly. I hope it helped him cope with his feelings too.

But reading these posts brings and unsettling thoughts to the surface for me. While I was in rehab I was surrounded by people trying to overcome varying types of adversity. I found myself talking to many of my fellow "inmates" trying to encourage them to stay positive and strong. I was sad that so many of these beautiful people felt let down by their bodies, brains, medical system and lives.

Eventually I began to feel a bit like a fraud. My brain was making new connections very quickly. It was becoming obvious to those around me that I was "different". I actually left rehab two weeks before the staff anticipated because I felt I had outgrown the place and my home environment could offer me the challenges I now needed.

Scientifically and medically my brain looked a bit messy on discharge from hospital into rehab. The prognosis was grim. Sure, they all thought I'd recover, but to what extent and in what timeframe was still in question. Poor old Mark was told I should recover in 18 months.

Good grief............

So why?

Why did my brain decide to get cracking and come back. How come I got a second chance??
Why can't these other people in rehab get their brains working again for them yet??

I'll never forget a conversation I had with a man who was recovering from a stroke and had just discovered that morning that sensation had returned to his paralysed hand. I was overjoyed for him and with him. It made me feel like their was hope and I encouraged him. Telling him that this happened to me...........I could share and empathise.

Why do some people just accept what is happening to them and yet lose hope? I guess when recovery is slow, the progress is so less obvious that they feel less motivated.

When I woke in hospital I assumed I was no different. I gradually became aware that I wasn't quite as I was before the operation. I now realise that I was actually setting myself goals all along the way. To get out of HDU, to move into a general ward, to get to the toilet unaided, to move my hand. Small but very important goals for me and my family.

Why? How?

So now that I'm beginning to feel stronger I'm starting to wonder what I'll do with my second chance. I need more time to recover, but I can't help wondering. It's in my nature, to plan, review and prepare.

Will I use words to help others in a similar situation? No idea.
Will I go back an encourage others struggling to stay positive during recovery? Quite possibly.

Whatever happens I am very grateful for my second chance. I'm glad to have a future to plan for. Even if that does mean going through more treatment and living with this growth for the rest of my least I was told I have a future. Time to set some more goals and be grateful for coming back to my lovely life.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getting back in touch with the blogging world.

Ok, so if I was in charge of managing this blog.....I'd have probably have fired my sorry behind by now.

Sorry , for my absence. You all know how much I enjoy writing and this blog in particular. I miss it.

But arriving home has required a certain amount of adjustment.......for all of us. I'm learning how to manage my new self. Which is actually a lot like the old self, that just needs a little more care and attention.
Mark has removed himself from blog writing for now as he is now looking after me and the kids full time as a well as juggling some hours back at work. He cooks healthy, brain loving meals for me EVERY DAY!!!! I don't make the lunches either. This is why I am able to manage my fatigue levels so well. Because I am very much loved and cared for.

We're actually doing ok. Everyday is a little different.
Two days ago I was having an emergency CT scan (just checking for fluid build up etc) and today I was strolling along the beach with my family. You can guess which day I preferred obviously!!!

BUT....................I don't just lie about the house sipping cocktails either. I have discovered that with a good daily plan I can achieve quite a bit. Breakfast and showering is now less exhausting. Rallying up the kids for school is manageable (even if I am still in my dressing gown) . I even baked muffins this afternoon!!! (As you all know, this requires following a recipe and remembering not burn the oven's contents. I did all of that!!). My memory is really very good now. I can and have helped with homework, which is great for my cognitive processing etc etc. I surprise myself how quickly my brain wants to repair itself. I was so worried that I may never teach or work in education again. My confidence is returning.

Fatigue is my current enemy. But I have been reminded and I also believe that if I fight it or treat it as the enemy I'm really not ever going to be able to move forward.
Fatigue is the reason why Mark isn't back at work in full capacity yet, the reason why I nap before school finishes each day so i can cope with the noise and commotion. It's why I chose one job to achieve each day eg a load of washing, wiping down bathroom.

Rehab has taught me to be kind to myself, listen to my body and let it repair itself. If I don't, the fatigue is likely to hang around much longer. I am listening, I promise you.

To change the topic. I am horrified at the devastation I witnessed in Japan. I can't believe I was sitting in my lounge, watching a giant wave hit the coast LIVE. Isn't the media awesome and horrific all at once. These sort of events certainly remind us how precious and unpredictable life really is.

I hope your life is positive at the moment or you are at least able to find the positive around you.


Friday, March 4, 2011


I am home.................phew!!



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