With apologies for such a long absence! So much has happened since I visited with you last, I am not sure where to begin.
I'll start with Naomi commencing her bakery apprenticeship last November. You might remember I have home educated all my children. Naomi (just turned 18 March 14th) has always loved cooking/baking and decided to do an apprenticeship at a local Bakers Delight store. It is a four year course but can be finished sooner if you work hard enough. (My older daughter Josie did a hairdressing apprenticeship in three years due to her dedication and hard work. Josie has her own mobile hairdressing business now) Anyway, Naomi started work and as she doesn't have her drivers license yet, needed to be driven there at the unearthly hour of 3 or 4 am in the morning!!! You read it right!! Quite a culture shock for her and me! (and Zoe, who drove her when I couldn't, but I am still coming to that part)
Also last November, just before Naomi started working at the bakery, I tripped over my dear cat Tess (1994-30.3.2012) and hurt my knee. For a couple of weeks it was just a little ache. Then suddenly, after going up and down my stairs a few too many times, it was severe pain and I could not weight bare : 0 After unearthing Brittany's crutches, borrowing Cam's better ones, numerous tests and doctor's visits and many many pain killers, I was diagnosed with a severely torn lateral meniscus. (Google it, I did) Google said nothing I wanted to know!!! It would not apparently repair itself, it would require surgery! I don't know about you, but already being on crutches, the thought of spending even longer on crutches did not impress me!!! I am sure you have a busy life, as I do, and being disabled in the mobility department was never on my wish list!!!
The appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon was made and the wait began. Three weeks on crutches unable to drive. That was a test. It is not my nature to sit and do nothing, but that was what I had to do. I had to keep my leg up! I looked for the life lessons I had to learn from this enforced inactivity and dependence. Patience was a big one, delegating was the other, being thankful was another....in fact the list went on and on as the time went by! It is very humbling to be dependent.
Why didn't I blog? Good question. I wish I knew the answer. There isn't one, sorry. I read two books. Both highly recommended but both sad. Sarah's Last Wish and Without Due Care, both real stories of real people and real medical negligence and abuse. I felt so helpless reading them, and if you have any illusions about our health care system being safe and friendly, they would make you seriously reconsider.
The families in these stories had to battle every step of the way for their loved ones, they were mistreated for being informed and asking questions, they were made to feel powerless. Being well informed/educated about things medical is not always well received by the medical fraternity, who prefer you to regard each of their words as irrefutable and almost holy. Sadly, it would be foolish to make those assumptions in the light of overwhelming evidence that they are only human and often make mistakes. If you think I have a healthy skepticism about such things, I do, and with good reason.
I was a nurse many years ago (1974-1977 and then again in 1979/80) and was witness to many things I never questioned at the time. Hey, I was a kid of not even eighteen when I started my training, too young to know anything about much at all, never mind life and death being in a doctor's/surgeon's hands. In hindsight.....I avoid hospitals! I call it sensible! I have several posts in me about my hospital experiences over the years, but for now I will just catch you up since November ; )
Anyway, after three weeks of not driving and being waited on hand and foot (thanks girls) I was a little stir crazy and had to get out and drive again. I pushed the car seat back as far as it would go and with minimal movement of my knee, I could do it! Thankfully I have an automatic Tarago van!
Next was Christmas. I couldn't shop the usual way! Challenging, you bet! I discovered the joy of online shopping and making the most of what you have! I probably saved a lot of money not being able to go to the shops ; ) Coles online brought the food into the kitchen, bless them, and Australia Post delivered the rest. It was our first Christmas with Tish (9) and she had a wonderful time and was mega excited about it all! It was precious to share her delight! Christmas Day I hobbled around and managed to produce the usual fabulous traditional Christmas lunch with lots of help from, the girls : ) I missed Josie of course, my daughter who lives up at the Gold Coast and has the lovely baby Bonnie, almost one now on April 9th.
Boxing Day morning Zoe headed out to the airport to allegedly pick up a friend and next thing I knew Josie and baby Bonnie walked through the front door! I never suspected a thing! Big surprise, many hugs and baby cuddles and joy, joy, joy!!! They had planned to arrive Christmas night but their flight was cancelled due to bad weather. Little had I known. I love surprises : ) So I had my five girls plus the adorable Bonnie under my roof for a few nights and it was a wonderful time!!!
Then it was 2012, a new year and finally a visit to the surgeon. Hmmm, again, not what I wanted to hear. Surgery on the torn meniscus may or may not be successful, 50/50 he said. He also looked at the MRI and told me that the torn meniscus was not the biggest problem in my knee, the osteo arthritis was! My knee was collapsing on the inner side and making me walk knock knee'd. The worst arthritis was behind my knee cap, which explained all the pain there when the lateral meniscus is at the back of the knee. Then he said I needed a total knee replacement!!! You all know I am far too young to have this kind of joint problem ; ) and being a registered coward with too much experience in the hospital system, both personally and with loved ones, I have decided to do nothing! My knee feels much better now, and I guess when I can't stand on it again it will be time for the surgery. Meanwhile, I will just count my blessings and take pain killers when I need them and take one day at a time.
In February I took Brittany, my major "carer" up for a short sweet visit with Josie at the Gold Coast. I thought I may as well hobble there as at home ; ) It was a lovely break away and I caught up with my Brisbane family, my mum and dad, sister Judy and niece Marnie and nephew Luke and my great niece Gabby (and her mum Nicole) who is one now. Couldn't walk far but enjoyed myself just the same. I did hire a motorised cart in a couple of the bigger shopping malls, and that was more fun than you can imagine!!! hehehehe Freedom to move faster than a snail and without pain was sweet! Funny, and fun!
I will give you a break right there, and I promise I will be back much sooner than in the past....
love and blessing to you all