Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Our adventure and how we turned into burglers

Knowing Ipswich was about to flood and anticipating a shortage of basic food, we made sure we stocked up just in case we couldn't get out. Also thinking we might lose power for a short while at some stage I boiled the jug, filled the thermos and we had the candles ready. Most of this was done by Monday evening.

Now you think your prepared but suddenly Tuesday we realized I had forgotten medication. Racing out and trying to find a chemist open which we luckily did after visiting about 4 of them. This was around 3pm. 

That night at around 9 the power went out. Our neighbours still had theirs, as they are on a different grid to us. By morning they were also out. We have a small generator for times like this to get Ryan's ventilator going, so that was all good. 

The next morning we got a radio going.... tip for people if you need D size batteries and don't have any, you can get 2 A size and wrap masking tape around them and they will work instead ( might have to start up a handy hints show lol ). All the men, as they do, convened out on the road to talk over the latest events. Noticably absent was our neighbours. A call to them and they had gotten trapped at their rental they are doing up. We asked if we could borrow their generator since it was bigger than ours and might run the fridge. "Yep no use to us". 

We got the generator and put it on our fridge for a while, then it went to the other neighbours, then up the road to Peter's boss. The whole neighbourhood was sharing generators between 3 or 4 families. I have never seen our street so busy with foot traffic haha. 

Our neighbour was worried about her cat and asked for us to go and buy some food to feed it. That wasn't happening as all shops had closed and weren't reopening any time soon. So the cat was going to get my John West tuna (yes Leanne I was going to feed it, not kill it or feed it to spanner lol ).

That morning when I had rung the electric company they said power would be on by 6am thursday. At lunch time it had gone to 3pm Friday, then 5pm Friday, then 5pm Monday. So everyone started getting desperate to save their food.

Unforunately the generator just able to keep things cold. So then it was everyone trying to share what they had before it went off. 

Troy and I went and took some of the pics I put up and found a way out of our area - although we still couldn't go that far. Petrol stations had run out of petrol and ice, it wasn't until Thursday we could get some when the roads opened up a bit after the major flooding.

As soon as we could get out we went to Peter's mums and had a shower and washed hair haha. The simple things were what we wanted. We charged our mobiles - not that it was much use then as we didn't really get service until Friday due to dropping in and out and us having no home phone service.

Floods bring out good and bad in people. A lot of people were stranded at our local shops unable to get home. They were sleeping in their cars. When hubby went up early wednesday morning he offered for those there to come back to our place. They decided not to but went to the evacuation centre, which had power. But when saying to a person in the area about it, their reply was "but they would eat your food". I'm sorry but I don't get this attitude. I also don't get how some shop keepers could charge $10 for a loaf of bread or $20 for milk. This was on the radio with people complaining about the costs.

Thankfully the good override the bad though. We had lots of laughs, wine and bbq's with neighbours. Shock at friends who have lost everything as their houses went completely under in Karalee. Its as Ryan said, we have food, our home and each other. A lot more than some have. He said it was like camping at home lol.

Oh now if your wondering how we became burglers. Our neighbours still can't get home. Feeding the cat, hubby noticed the liquids coming from the fridge due to food rotting and the smell. Knowing we had to get in, we found a way to break in and clean out their fridges, freezers etc. When I rang and told them they were so grateful. It was the one thing they were dreading as a friend of theirs had gone home to find maggots everywhere. The relief in their voices was so worth break and enter lol. 

For now Black Hawkes flew in a big generator for our area, which hopefully will last until they can fix the problem with the transformer. Until it is though, we won't be buying any food to stock up the fridge and freezer. 

Unforunately Jade's work went right under water and until they can get it up and running again she is out of a job. The agency Troy has his appreniceship through is also flooded and not working for a while yet. Thankfully the government has set up help for them and those like them. 

Do you remember when ...

I not only remember when people did not have mobile phones but also when hardly anyone had a home phone - you used the phone box to ring the luckly ones that did - and I even remember using phones that you wound the handle and spoke to an operator. :o

I remember black and white tv. Saturday nights were spent watching Walt Disney welcoming you and seeing innocent family movies. Sunday nights was watching Molly Meldrum and countdown so you could talk about it at school the following day. Tammy, Gidget and Doris Day were our 'role models' on tv.  Who could forget the Leyland Brothers followed by Alby Mangles in later years. TV usually closed down around 11 and the Queens Christmas message would stop a nation.

The cinema showed shows like World Safari, and a trip there with school would mean watching Lord of the flies not Harry Potter. Your price also included 2 movies not 1. There were Jaffas to roll down the isle or throw over the balcony. Then came Rocky Horror, Rocky Balboa and Aliens.

Drive ins were everywhere and you could smuggle your friends in by putting them in the boot. Choc topped icecreams were the go and mattresses in the back of panel vans were the go.

10 cents worth of lollies was more than 1 lolly, hell it was more than 10 lollies. You got free milk at school. The majority, not the minority of mothers helped at the school tuckshop. Working b's meant parents turned up to help. 

Teachers smoked in the classroom, teenagers smoked in the cinema, in fact people smoked everywhere.

All kids would go out playing and come home when hungry and before dark. We would go bike riding, horse riding, yabbying, swimming and just general play.  The baker, milko, fruitman and softdrink man all came to your house. 

I remember ipods, cd's, cassettes, 45's, 33's and even 78's. Dvd's, tapes, and when your choice was Beta or VHS. 

The ensuite, the bathroom with separate toilet, the flushing toilet in a room on the verandah, the outhouse.

Milk in bottles with silver foil lids, real cream milk that you had to shake to mix before drinking. Milk in metal buckets or in the tins at the end of driveways waiting for the factory to collect it. 

Everyone played sport, everyone had a veggie garden and every child walked or got the bus to school. 

I have lived through flares, ponchos, tartan, cheesecloth, taffetta, long boots, short boots, riding boots, jesus sandals, joggers, sandshoes, stillettos, ballet shoes, thongs, minis, maxis, big hair, permed hair, short hair, straight hair and most have returned at some stage or another. 

Everyone older was Mr or Mrs or Aunt or Uncle. Every suburb had a least 1 corner store, service station, phone box and mail box.

Stores closed at midday Saturday and didn't open again until Monday. Nothing was opened on Good Friday or Christmas day. 

Trains use to have red carriages that had doors to benches that faced each other with just enough room for someone to stand on your feet in the middle at peak hour. You had nothing to hold on to and would constantly fall onto the lucky person to get a seat.

Dual lanes on the highway was when you indicated and overtook the person going slow in front of you. 

There is so much more and so many memories. 

A challenge for those strong enough to try.

Just moving some of the stuff from facebook to here that I have written.

Yesterday I had a phone call from a mum who had 2 boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - the same as Ryan. Her boys passed away over 20 years ago. We were talking about how some things hadn't changed in all this time. One of these things was understanding. How people don't seem to understand what it is like to look after someone with a physical disability.

Now this got me thinking and apart from me putting here what I do as a carer, I could get some of you to do something that Ryan's primary school use to get the kids to do.

Do this when there are 2 of you around and you can even swap roles at a later date. Now the only movement you have in your body is your hands... not your arms, just the wrists down. You can't even move your neck... but your mouth works fine. Now I can see you’re wanting to type a reply to me. You can, you just have to use the onscreen keyboard with your mouse. Don't have a mouse?? Well tough you can't reply then.

Now the other person that is there has to help you. Your leg is itchy or there is a fly on your nose - they have to scratch the spot with only you telling them exactly where it is, or they have to stay around shooing the fly away.

Your thirsty and hungry - they have to get you a drink and give it to you.... use a straw otherwise it will go all over you when they tip it. They have to cut your food, listen to you tell them how you want it and what order and when you’re ready for you next bite. Now let’s hope they get all the crumbs off of you and especially that one that went down your top and is annoying the hell out of you. 

Your arm is uncomfortable where it is, get them to move it back, out, over so it’s in a better position for you. I hope you haven't moved your legs yet, because where they are is where they are staying until someone helps you to shift them. And it better not be hot where you are. It is getting them to lean you forward so they can fan your top so it stops sticking to your body. 

Oh look there is a message on your phone... hold on, you can't look at it. You need someone to get your phone, hold it up in front of you so that you can read it. The same if you want to view a paper or book - someone has to hold it up for you and turn the pages. Hate what’s on TV or the radio atm, tough!! Unless someone comes to change it, it’s stuck there. 

Want to go to the toilet? Don't ever leave it until the last moment or try hanging on. You have to allow time to call out to someone and them to come, get bottle or hoist (depending on what you’re doing), move/remove clothing then you and go. Same with shower. You will get hoisted onto bed, clothing removed and then transferred to shower chair, wheeled in, washed by someone else, dried, hoisted back to bed to get dressed. If you then stay in bed you can't move. You have to get the other person to move your arms, legs, head etc to a comfy position. Then if you want to roll onto your side or back, you have to get them to do that as well. 

When going out you have to have someone with you all the time. You would never want to have any issues with privacy, because whoever is with you is going to know your pin number because you can't key it in and it’s ok to say you will use cash, but how are you going to get it without someone to do that for you either. 

Now if you can do even some of this with another person for an hour or 2, I can almost guarantee that by the end of that time you will have yelled at them for not moving something right or not being quick enough. But chances are you moved to do it yourself or show them and this isn't an option for someone with a physical disability. 

Then if you really want to get a good handle on things, set your alarm for every hour. Hop out of bed and walk to your spare bedroom or kid’s bedroom and then back to bed. That’s 1 night, try and see how many nights in a row you can go and still function the next day. 

Everything you do and every move you make during the day and night is something that Ryan and boys like him can't do. Everything you do and every move you make during the day and night is something that parents/carers have to do for them as well as their own movements and activities. 

Physical disability does not mean intellectual disability. 

Another thing I would like to add - If you see me (or any other parent/carer) and I am grumpy or unsociable. Its not because of something you've done. Its more likely that I am tired or worn out. I normally have 1 day a week  when Ryan goes out or weekends  and I can do things on that day which normally include such things as hairdressers, donating blood, catching up with friends, drs apts etc. Every time he goes into respite I end up spending the week doing the things I can't get done in that one day instead of resting. Peter is fantastic and helps heaps but also has his jobs to do, so can't be here all the time.

flying high

Wow!! That is how my last week has been. Nothing really explains it, except Wow.

It started with the girls coming over, the cruise being booked, another cooking class and then a phone call to say I had won a competition to cook with Jamie Oliver.

It didn't matter that I am to have more root canal and dental work done and it took my mind off worrying about Peter and his upcoming tests. Life just couldn't get better than this week.

I have felt like I was literally walking on air. At one point, Ryan even caught me skipping around the house, singing 'I won, I won, I won'. Yes I know, not a very good visual haha. But you know what ...... I don't care lol.

You know when you read a book or watch a movie and it says about everything looking different? Well for the first time in my life, that is how things are looking right this minute for me. The sun is shining brighter, colours are fresher and life in itself, seems lighter.

If you couldn't tell - and most friends could - I have really been struggling the past few months with coping. I had gotten to the point of wondering, how much longer can I cope with this. Yes I have been jealous of others my age and the freedom they have. I get to leave the house twice, sometimes 3 times a week, when Ryan is home (that includes grocery shopping). The constant demand of someone needing you 24 hours a day, is not something you can explain and unless people have been through it, they have no idea (and lets be honest. Most people in society don't want to understand).

And while I am on two different anti depressants and trying to get the right balance with them, this past week has done more for me, than they could ever do.

So yes, I am going to be crowing about it for a while and enjoying this feeling for all its worth.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Isn't it funny how times change and the things you live through. No one could imagine what the future would hold.

I can always remember having a television. A black and white set, then a colour and its only been this last year, that we have had one that isn't a foot deep. Of course don't forget that the first tv's didn't have remote controls - the remote was your legs lol

Our first 'stereo' that I recall, was a huge brown thing, in sort of a tortoise shell finish. It played records in sizes of 45, 33 1/3 and 78, and we had ones in all those sizes. I think it had a radio on it as well, but don't know if this is right or not. Next was cassette tapes that everyone loved, since they didn't scratch and you could copy them for your friends. Cd's replaced records and tapes and now more popular is the ipod or mp3 players.

While on stereos it reminds me of video players. In 1984 we bought a beta video player. It would play large video cassettes. The same size cassettes were used in video recorders, which then went to super 8 tapes that were around the size of a music cassette, then they went onto internal hard drives or sd cards. Video players, turned into dvd players and now onto hard drive recorders that will also play dvd's. 

Cars also took advantage of this technology. They had no radio, to tape players, cd players and now radio/cd/ipod players. 

The first telephone I remember, was my grandmothers. It was one that you had to wind the handle on and ask the exchange for who you wanted. I think I was around 6 at this time. We didn't get a phone until I was around 12 or 13. When we did, it had a lock so we couldn't make any calls out. The first thing we did when around 14 we had one we could make calls from, was to ring the time. Who remembers ... 'On the third stroke, it will be ... o'clock'? lol 

We got our first mobile phone around 1988 or 1989. It was around 10 inches long, 2 inches wide and about an inch and a half thick. Certainly not something you could throw in your pocket haha. How many remember that you had an aerial on them, that you had to pull out to get reception? All I can say is that I am glad they got a lot smaller. 

At school we used manual typewriters that meant you had to retype any document you made a mistake on. Electric typewriters came next, and they used touch typing instead of the pounding of the older ones. They also had a built in white out, so that if you made an error you could correct it. Then came computers.

Our first computer back in 1994, was a second hand DOS that I got from a friend. You would have to enter in commands so that you could use it to type up documents. Our first computer that had Internet access was back in I think 1995 (around when I first met you Bob). They were extremely slow and not many people had it. A whole new world opened up to everyone with it. You could 'talk' via icq to people all over the world. The monitors were big like the first televisions but on a smaller scale. I loved meeting new people and still am in contact with some of the first people I met - Bob, Kathy and Chris. 

Now there are laptops and broadband and in some areas cable. You can have Internet on your phone and the world has become a much, much smaller place. From needing to have a phone, television, video player, radio, etc we now just have one device that does it all and will fit in your pocket instead of your whole house. 

Won't it be exciting and amazing to see where technology takes us next!

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Do you remember when you were a kid; people back then just use to call into visit friends and relatives. These days, that seems to be something that has died. Now it seems to be that you have to ask someone over or arrange to catch up.

I know your asking yourself, 'why is she bringing this up?'. Well let me tell you.

Last week, I had the pleasure of two lovely ladies calling in to visit me. I haven't know these women long and was so touched, that they took the time out of their lives to visit me. To be honest, I think I was more surprised than anything.

I have a couple of friends that do visit, but 99.9% of the time, its more that we have prearranged for them to visit, rather than a spur of the moment thing.

Being stuck at home with Ryan, its more a wear myself out, meeting up with people when he is out or in respite. Don't get me wrong, I love catching up with people, its just that I have less free time than someone that works full time. I can't take a sick day or 4 weeks holiday a year or any other benefits that people get these days.

When I was a kid - yes, back in the dark ages. Most people didn't have phones in their home, mobiles weren't invented and neither was email, messenger or any other form of electronic communication. So if you were going to visit someone, you had the choice of dropping in, or writing a letter and posting it, to say you were visiting.

Due to this technology, people now stay in touch by sms, email, phone etc. The art of seeing people face to face, is becoming a dying skill.

I suppose the other thing that went through my mind, was that I didn't think I was that nice to want to go out of their way to visit. I don't mean not nice as in nasty, but more that I get carried away when I see people and just talk and talk and talk and forget to let others talk as well. I think its the craving for adult company that sends me that way.

So to these women I say "Thank you!" What you did that day - even though it might have only been a small thing to you - made me feel extremely special. To know that I had only known you for a short time, but that you took the time for me, really mad my day.

People get out and visit your friends, don't tell them you are coming (or do), but think of someone in your life, who may be home with children, parents or illness. Get out and see them, and make them feel as special as I did.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Today my mission is to decide which of the fools running for the State election deserves my vote. So in saying that, I have sent the following email to them...


With all the crap going on in Federal politics, the Qld election is getting a bit lost. I am wanting to know, what policies you will look to bring into place to help carers?

As a background –

We have a 23 year old son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The only movement in his whole body is very small moves of his hands. This means he can drive his electric chair and use the computer, using the on screen keyboard. His mind and speech are the same as any young man his age.

We do not have any hour of the day or night that we don’t need to do something for him. If he wants to be fed, toileted, arms or legs moved, scratched etc, we have to do it. On a good night, he will get rolled every hour, on a bad night, it can be every 20mins.

What we receive is 2 hours personal care 4 nights a week, 1 day of 7 hours, that Ryan uses to go out with a carer to see friends, job search etc, and we have 2 nights that we have carers come in from 11pm to 6am so we can get some sleep and this we contribute out of our pockets to.

So out of 168 hours a week that we have to give care, we get 29 hours help. Not much is it?

We are getting older, having trouble keeping up care and everywhere we turn for help, we are told they don’t have enough funding.

So my question is, what are you going to do, to help carers like us?

Thank you

Kerrie Czernia

Lets see who replies and what the response is. I am sick of ringing up and being told 'No, we can't help'. It's not even much we have been asking for - 2 hours a fortnight. 

The older we get, the less help we get and the harder it gets. 

It is time they started to look after carers, who for many documented years, have problems with back, arthritis, depression and a whole host of conditions. For the sake of an extra couple of thousand a year, they could save thousands through Medicare on carer illness. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I want to pinch myself.

I am sitting here and my inside feel like they won't stay still and there is just so much nervous energy flowing through my body. My whole body - legs, arms, chest and stomach is like this. I just want to pinch myself to make sure it hurts and is real.

Why? Because one of my dreams is coming true. Let me start at this morning.

Today started off as a pretty shitty type of day. I had an argument with Foxtel, was tired and cranky. I then received a phone call from Montrose, saying that due to Ryan going in there in April and the following week being ANZAC day, that they would let the boys stay in over the weekend until the Tuesday the following week.

As soon as we heard that, we rang MDAQ and asked about them helping with the cruise we had spoken to them about. They confirmed they could get someone to look after Ryan on the Sunday until he went into Montrose on the Monday.

We then rang the travel agent and asked about the cruise that week. There was 1 cabin left on the outside and it was reduced in price and a $200 onboard credit. We grabbed it. Ryan's carers worked out and once paid for, the excitement has set in.

We haven't had a holiday away with just the two of us, for over 20 years. We have had the once a year night or two down the coast, but nothing like this. I just feel that this is going to be a year to remember.

This will cross off another thing on my list and the week we get back will cross off another when I attend a dawn service.

Life might begin at 40, but for this little black duck its 50!!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Update of 50 things for 50 years.

Just putting up my list again so I don't lose it.

1. Read 50 40 books in the year. Doesn't matter what type but as long as its 50 and I will be able to keep track with my new kindle.
2. Do another cooking class. At least 1 but hopefully 2. 
3. Go on a holiday, hopefully to Melbourne. I was last there in 1984, so just a few years ago lol
4. Go to a horse 'cup' day
5. Go down another 20kgs
6. Get a lot more writing from my autobiography done - Been doing heaps of that
7. Have lunch or dinner at Bretts wharf or Aria Brisbane
8. Go through the glow worm caves at Springbrook hopefully when the glow fungi is out as well or the fireflies
9. Do a charity event - with not a lot of walking (am doing the MD walk, so much for not walking lol)
10. Have a tarot reading
11. Go to a musical (booked for Jersey Boys in July)
12. Go to gold class movie
13. Go on a cruise - probably won't happen but you never know
14. Get a fish - either fighter or gold fish or two. When I was single I had 2 goldfish, 1 black and 1 gold called Abraham and Lincoln lol
15. Go to a zoo
16. Go to brisbane city markets
17. Brisbane's koala and river cruise
18. Toowoomba carnival of flowers
19. Attend a dawn service
20. Go to Q1 lookout
21. Have a flying lesson - Changing this to do the flight stimulation first, then maybe a flying lesson
22. crystal castle at mullumbimby
23. do a cross stitch
24. have a facial
25. have a massage
26. try a new food
27. aqua aerobics classes
28. be part of a flash mob - now where does someone find these people
29. Drive a convertible with the top down and music blaring.
30. Get family tree in order - got heaps of this done
31. Go on a retreat
32. Go to the comedy club - got tickets, just have to find someone to look after Ryan or go when he is in Montrose
33. Play blackjack at the casino - must remember to take extra shirt to lose since I have never played it lol
34. Swim in the ocean - haven't done this for many many years
35. Go to an opera or listen or an opera singer - don't know if I could sit through a whole opera.
36. Spend a night at maleny/montville
37. Hold a snake - to overcome a fear (Went on the Brisbane wheel to overcome fear of heights but had to get off, so only went around once. Never again lol )
38. Attend the good food festival
39. feed the homeless - was looking into this a couple of months ago but didn't do anything about it. (contacted agencies but none have gotten back to me yet)
40. do a belly dancing class - well I have enough belly to wobble haha
41. try a new drink
42. queen mary falls walk
43. drink a cocktail - last cocktail was in about 1979 and it was a fluffy duck and its the only one I have ever tasted.
44. host a murder mystery dinner party - have the game here, now to organize
45. Put $5 a day into money box - use it for something special at the end of the year. - been doing this 
46. Have a games night with friends
47. Put $50 on black at the casino for my first and only bet at the table.
48. Trike ride from Gold Coast to Mt Tamborine wineries
49. Ride on a carousel
50. Have a kick arse birthday party

Have tried a lot of new foods, gone for a ride on the green bike rickshaws in Brisbane, got a new camera to stay in bag and take pics of the year. Also have another cooking class this week

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Please don't see me!!

Reading a book at the moment that is quite funny. One part likens going into Maccas on a par with going into a sex shop or strip joint - you don't want anyone to see you.

Again my little brain starts ticking over and my fat thoughts come into play. I thought I would give you an insight into how a fat brain thinks.

Its okay to arrange to meet friends for coffee at Maccas. After all, with friends around you aren't going to order the double quarter pounder, with giant fries and large soft drink and large sundae. No your going to have a coffee, maybe even a mugaccino and if you indulge the smallest size cake from McCafe. If anyone sees you, then its okay: You're there with your friends.

Now if your calling in by yourself, that is a whole different matter. It doesn't matter if your just going to buy a bottle of water. You will more than likely use the drive through, as it gives you the best chance to get away before anyone sees you. If you do walk inside, your head is down so that eye contact cannot be made. You feel like everyone is wondering 'why is the fat girl here'.

Thinking about it, it is probably more comfortable walking into a sex shop. You never run into anyone you know there haha.

Doing the grocery shopping is an art. You can hide anything that isn't healthy under your fruit and veggies. And if you have enough experience, you can make the pile look like its only fresh food in your trolley. At the checkout you will try to get it on and off the conveyor belt asap. It doesn't even matter if its not for you, but someone else in your family. Everyone will think its yours.

I think fat people that turn thin should become super sleuths. They have had years of practice in camouflage and disguise.

How many larger people that you know, will say 'I shouldn't have this' or 'I am trying to watch what I eat'? They say this because that is what they think you are thinking and they want to get in first. A skinny person saying this to you, gives the impression of 'I am like this because this is how I think and if you did, then you would be thin as well'.

Its not just food you know. Lets take shopping for underwear. This is probably the best way to explain to thin people, how fatties think. You need to buy a new pair of knickers. You pick up a pair of nice Lacy ones or something in bright pretty colours. You don't really care who sees them, no matter what size they are. But then you go shopping for the big, Bridget Jones, suck them in and push it in undies. Now you don't want anyone to think you are wearing these, so normally hide them under some other purchases or your handbag. If you did happen to run into someone you knew, who just happened to see those undies, you would make some joke about them to cover up your embarrassment.

People will say that fatties shouldn't think like that. Here is something that happened this morning and happens quite often to me.

I had done an online health assessment with my health fund and they ring to see if they can give you any information to you on things that you have wrong. The woman that rang this morning started off with my asthma, then said about my weight. Did I know that a healthy bmi is this and that overweight is this and that I am in the very overweight range and how did I feel about that? My reply was yes I knew all that and that my bmi now being under 50 was good. I told her that I had lost 60 kgs so far. Her reply to that wasn't 'good on you, and are you still losing', it was ' well you need to be down to this amount and how are you going to do that?'

After getting off the weight side of things, came blood pressure. She said that mine being 121/71 was fine, but being overweight wouldn't be helping that and losing weight I could get off blood pressure medication. I told her I wasn't on any blood pressure medication (earlier in the week when I went in for tests in hospital, they kept asking me if I was sure I wasn't on any. Duh I know what goes in my mouth.). So she went on to say that if I didn't lose the weight I would have to take medication.

She asked about cholesterol and when I said it was in the high end of normal range, she again went on about my weight and that I should go and see someone about my cholesterol. The same with diabetes. I said its like I don't have it any more and its diet controlled. So again with the losing weight.

This is a normal occurrence for an overweight person. People will assume that because you are overweight you have high blood pressure, diabetes and that you don't eat properly. They don't bother to ask questions first - a simple 'has your weight been stable for the last  6 months?' - would tell them a lot more than what they presume to know. Yes a lot do have these problems and a lot are doing something about it to reverse these problems. So ask first before you make the person your talking to feel like they are a failure.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Life is like ....

No truer words have ever been spoken, than the famous line from Forest Gump - Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

This is one of my favourite movies. The life lessons are all through the movie, if you take your time to really watch it. But the above line is one of my favourites.

When you are at school, you most likely had 1 of 2 dreams. Either to get married and have kids, or to get a job, get rich quickly and travel. Now I have to say, looking back at the people I went to school with, well not many are rich. Some have done a little travel. One or two have done a lot of travel.

Now with those that dreamt of getting married and having kids, how many did life turn out like they thought? I bet not many.

My story was like that. I was going to backpack around the world, but never seemed to have the money to do so. I did have driving holidays that I loved doing.

When Peter and I got married the plan was for me to work a few years, then have 4 kids. Well we got married in June, got told in July that I might have to have a hysterectomy, but luckily at that stage they just took an ovary. But it meant starting to try for kids then.

We both had problems with fertility, so had to use fertility drugs. Three miscarriages and over 3 years later, we had Ryan. We started fertility drugs straight away and in less than 6 months, had an ectopic pregnancy. Again drugs and we had Jade. We decided that our 4 kids, would just be 2.

We had already decided that when the kids were older, they would be attending Sacred Heart School and that we would move back to the Sunshine Coast before they started high school.

Again life changed. I fell pregnant with Troy - our little miracle - then Ryan was diagnosed and we had to rethink schooling for them all. We also had to work out if moving back to the coast was the right thing to do or whether staying closer to specialist was better.

So instead of moving to the coast, we sold and built a house that would suit a wheelchair and be near the school that the kids would be going to. Instead of me going back to work, when the kids were at school. I had to be at home, to be able to go to specialists and therapist appointments. Oh and I did end up having that hysterectomy at 30.

With your kids, you plan on what activities they are going to do. I always said that I wasn't going to have a daughter who did dancing. Mainly because some I went to school with that did it, were a bit snobby. Well I bet its not surprise to hear that Jade danced for around 17 years.

I pictured Troy playing football. Well he played soccer and found success with tenpin bowling. But I do have a daughter that works at a football club. Guess that counts haha.

You think your kids will be at home until they get married and leave (and hopefully that is before they are 25), but that doesn't happen either. You imagine travelling when your older and having the money to have freedom to do what you want.

You learn along the way, that other couples on $100,000 or $200,000 a year or more, are no happier than you on your $40,000 a year. They also had their life planned out beforehand and had to change along the way.

So in reality, just about every damn chocolate you pick from that box, is in the wrong wrapper. And yes you will feel disappointed that it isn't the one you were expecting, but you adjust your thinking and enjoy the one you have.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

People watching

While out and about today, I witnessed a guy riding a trike into the car park. This guy only had one arm. Thinking to myself, how wonderful it was that he could still ride and more than likely enjoy it. 
As I was leaving an hour or so later I passed his trike. His number plate was 'ugly'. I immediately thought 'how sad'. I wonder if that is how he sees himself? To me, I saw someone who was brave and enjoying life. 

It then brings me to one of my favourite hobbies when out - people watching. 

You can do it as you walk around, or sit in a shopping centre or park. I like to look at people and imagine what their life is like. 

One day I was at a restaurant and their was this old couple having lunch. The woman had trouble speaking and couldn't feed herself. The man with her - who I imagined was her husband - fed her and wiped her mouth after eating. He was very loving and caring with her and it was as if no one else in the world was there. You could see the love he had for her. It was very moving and you felt a bit like an interloper witnessing it. I imaged that they lived in their own little cocoon all their lives, madly in love.

When people watching, you can make up widely exaggerated stories about them. You might see a worn out mother dragging her screaming brat along and imagine she is going to get him home and gag him while he is tied up on the lounge, so that she can sit in peace and enjoy a cup of coffee. and sigh. 

You could imagine that the homeless man that you saw outside the art gallery, was really the artist wanting to see reactions to his work. The snooty woman, who pushed in front of everyone at the store, probably goes home to a household that ignores and pushes her around. 

So maybe the guy today, didn't think he was ugly, but it was just sad thinking that he might.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

New and not so good

Well today I did some new things. I had decided to go on the Brisbane Eye and thought after going on the sky safari at Taronga Zoo that I would be fine. I was going to go on it at night first, as I figured then it wouldn't be so scary. Since we were at South Bank today, we decided to go on it.

I asked the woman when we bought our ticket if it rocked. She said 'no, not unless you make it'. She told me there was an emergency button and if you pushed it, they would get you off. I was nervous, but we got on and I started to take some photos with the camera. I could feel my nerves getting on edge a bit, as it was swaying and figured that I would just look straight ahead and I would be fine.

I took my eyes away from the camera and WHAM it hit me!! Panic surged through my body and I felt like I couldn't breathe. They were stopping us on the top to load in more people. I was gripping Peters hand so I didn't fall. I could only just get out to him 'push the button'. I was paralyzed with fear.

I can't remember it going down, only that when it got to the bottom, I didn't think it was going to stop. There was no way that I could of stayed on it for the 12 minutes you go on it for. I guess at least I can say, I went on it.

When we got off, the green rickshaw bikes were there. One asked if we were interested and so we said yes. Told him to take us where he wanted. lol. We went to GOMA where we had a drink.

Even though these 2 things weren't on my list. They were things I had said I wanted to do. So now we have. Nothing like pushing your comfort zone. While I might not do that again, I will still try to push my boundaries and live life.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

God's Will

I was reading a book today that is full of true stories. A lot have to do with stories of faith and miracles.
I class myself as a Christian. I have my beliefs and I respect everyone's right to what they do or don't believe.

One story is about a family that have had a baby that is unable to breathe on his own. He has to have a lot of operations to try and drain fluid from his brain (which isn't fully developed). At different points in the story, doctors and nurses advise the parents that it might be kinder to take him off all machines and let nature take its course.

The mother gets hysterical and abuses them all, saying that he has to stay on the machines and that its not their choice to decide when/if he will die, its God's. Now I haven't finished this story, so do not know whether he lives or not at the moment.

Reading this bit though, made me feel angry. There are probably some deep psychological  reason for this, but on the surface what made me angry was their reason. They did not want doctors playing God and taking him off the machine! Isn't keeping him on the machines playing God?

There are people that will say their reasons for doing/saying things are because of God, but it only seems to be in situations that suit them at the time or as a 'God is in my argument so I am right'. Yes this mother would have acted on fear and would not be thinking clearly, but this has been written years later and the feelings of God is right is still strong in what is in the book.

Yes I know, a very controversial subject lol

Babies and journeys

Now last month I had the post up about how we found out about Ryan having Muscular Dystrophy. This is a follow on from then.

We had spent the 3 weeks from Ryan's blood test, going to specialists and then being told he had to have a muscle biopsy to see what type of MD he had. This ended up being scheduled for February 10th.

On this Monday, we had to take Ryan into St Andrew's private hospital on Wickham Terrace. Ryan would be going in for day surgery. In the ward were a lot of kids having their tonsils or adenoids out. I was trying hard to be brave and strong for our little man. I was fine until he was wheeled to theatre, then I fell apart.

The other mums wondering why this heavily pregnant woman was a blubbering mess, who had to be taken out of the ward by nurses, asked what was wrong. When they were told what Ryan was having done, it wasn't just me upset then, they were as well.

Ryan came through it all fine and I took him home to where our friend Colleen was watching Jade. Ryan was suppose to rest, but the anaesthetic sent him hypo and he just kept running around and wouldn't stay still.

We would not get the results from this for a couple of weeks. I can't exactly remember how long it took as the next few weeks were a bit of a blur.

So that was the Monday. On the Thursday night I went into hospital to have a c section the next day.

Now I don't know if I have told you this before, but will again, as it relates to this time.

When I was pregnant with Jade in 1990, things went a bit pear shaped. I was due in July, but when I went to my gyno on June 1st, he found that my blood pressure was up and so were my triglycerides. He said I needed to go into hospital for bed rest. I said I couldn't go, as it was our 15th wedding anniversary. We came to a compromise and I would go in after we went out for dinner that night.

In hospital was a girl I went to school with on one side and a friend further down the hall. I split my time visiting them, which ended up with being told that I had have to complete bed rest, pan and all. By the time it came to the morning of the 6th, I was told it was a case of get the baby out or we both not be here to see another day.

I went into surgery, having an epidural the same as I did for Ryan's c section. We were all joking around, as you do in theatre. Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery and being told I had a girl. I didn't understand what had happened. It turned out that the epidural epidural had been patchy. When they tested it was fine, but when they cut me, I apparently just about went through the ceiling. Of course I don't remember this, since they give you something to forget.

Now not only did this happen, but I had requested a pethidine infusion but was given a morphine one. The problem was that it was faulty and so the whole lot went through instead of a controlled amount. I remember a nurse staying with me and saying that I had to stay awake. They called the anaesthetist who refused to come in - he turned up the following day, saying to me 'Its like cricket. Some days you get a century, other days you get a duck'. To say I was speechless was an understatement. I had the director of nursing and head of the hospital all coming to see me. It had me confused as to why, until my Aunty pointed out, that they were worried I would sue.

On top of all this, Jade was in a humdicrib and I hadn't seen her. My pediatrician came in and went off at them not bringing her down to me. He marched up to the nursery area and unplugged her and wheeled her to my room and plugged her in there.

Now back again to Troy. When getting ready for theatre, all my doctors wanted me to have a general. I insisted that I was having an epidural. One of the main things they were worried about was what my reaction would be if I had a boy, knowing that he could also have DMD. I kept telling them it was fine, I was having a girl. I was convinced I was and everything would be fine. Nothing they could say would make me change my mind.

Lying outside of theatre, waiting to get wheeled in, I started thinking. As they moved me, I told them to stop, I had changed my mind and was going to have a general. You could hear the audible sigh of relief from them.

When I came to, a nurse was there to tell me that I had a boy. From my reaction then, I was probably lucky to have been knocked out. I started to cry and shake and just couldn't seem to stop. They kept me there for a long time, until I calmed.

In my room, they again had a nurse sit with me. This time though because they thought I might harm Troy. I knew I never would, but they had to make sure I suppose.

Knowing that there would be no control over what the results would be, I said that prior to Troy having any testing, I wanted to have his baptism. I wanted it to be a happy day, with no sad faces at it.

After this we had a CPK test done on Troy. It came back inconclusive. It was again done at 6 months, with the same results. Then again at 12 months with the same results. As you can image, by this time I wanted answers once and for all. They redid the test and it came back that he was clear.

Relief flooded through us and we could finally let ourselves get close to and enjoy our baby boy.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Losing weight, giving up smoking and more.

I have now decided I need a waterproof notebook in the shower so when ideas come into my head to write about I can jot them down lol.

How often have you or others you know said "I need to stop smoking" or "I want to lose weight" or "I am going to start my diet"? Heaps I am sure. I know because I was one of these people. And while you say these words, it will not happen.

Now I can hear you thinking to yourself, that plenty of people have said this and its happened. Have they really? Have they really used THOSE words?

I smoked for 32 years. For years I said "I need to stop smoking". I also did the 'setting a date to stop'. I tried the patches, gum, hypnosis etc. And it didn't work.

For years my weight kept going up and I kept saying I had to do something about it. I tried Jenny Craig, Gloria Marshall, dietitians, fad diets, quick start diet (can never eat soup with celery again after this one) and set dates to start and none of it worked.

Now its not just diets or smoking that this applies to, its doing exercise, cleaning cupboards, gardening etc. Anything in life.

You will not achieve these things until you change how you say things and mean it.

For smoking, I woke up one day and said 'I don't want to smoke any more and am not going to'. Now I am not saying it was easy, and even now, nearly 6 years later, I still can get the craving for it. But I made the decision of 'I am not going to do this' and that made it easier.

For losing weight, yes I got the lap band, but it was 'that I am going to lose weight and this is the tool I am going to use'. I knew that it meant that I would have to stop having bread, cake, steak, soft drink  etc but again it was the 'I do not want to have them' thinking that I used.

Now to get to this way of thinking is not as easy as it might appear. Normally there is a reason why the change happens.

For smoking, it was knowing that if I kept smoking I wouldn't be around to share my kids lives with them. I wanted to see them grow older, get married and have kids. I was sick of being sick with chest infections, asthma and everything else going around. So I said I am not going to smoke any more and didn't.

With losing weight, it was embarrassment/shame and forgiving. I was embarrassed about my size and having to get clothes made. When I had the fall, I was embarrassed thinking of how they would have to get the fire brigade in to lift me (well they probably wouldn't have had to do that, but at the time that's how I was thinking). For the forgiving, it was that I could forgive myself for Ryan having DMD. That it wasn't my fault and that if the order of parent passing before child didn't happen, then that was okay and it is how our life is meant to be. I was able to get to this thinking with the help of a psychologist. I wasn't seeing her for weight management, but for grief counselling.

When you see professionals for help with these things, you are normally seeing someone who has never smoked or been overweight. They will give you plans to follow to break the addiction. How many though deal with what is behind why this is a hold on you. If you deal with that, then you are able to finally say 'I am not going to do this' and until you can say this, you will not make it happen.

You have to deal with things in order. You wouldn't get dressed then have a shower, would you? So deal with the underlying problem first, then the rest will fall into place for you. It won't be easy but if it is truly what you want, it is worth it.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Summer of '69

Isn't it funny how the strangest of thoughts come into your head as your laying in bed trying to go to sleep.
Last night when I hoped into bed (and I have no idea where it came from), I remembered back to what would of been grade 2, and having to get dressed as an angel for a Christmas performance. I can't remember if it was a play, or something for a church service, only that I had to dress as an angel. It came back to me, the house we were living in and the layout of the room and me standing having my photo taken. Funny thing is, that I don't think we even have that photo. We also only lived in that house a couple of years, so not like it was a long enough time to remember it all 43 years later.
While remembering this, I also thought about my brother and a kindy play he was in that same year. He was one of the 5 little ducks that went out one day lol. He had a yellow costume, and the hood that was attached to it, had the beak coming out that sat roughly around his forehead.
This was the same year that man walked on the moon and I can remember sitting in the school hall watching it on a tv set. We sat in canvas chairs and it was upstairs. Thinking about it, it might of been above the school, not the hall.
My brother also appeared on Romper Room that year. I recall that he got a brand new metal garage, that had a door that folded in half upwards, so that cars could be put inside. He got this so that he could take in on the show, as they had a show and tell session. My mother, myself and our neighbour Colleen and her two daughters Suzie and Kathy were in the audience. At the story time, we got to sit and listen and be on the show as well.
It was also the year my sister was born. On the day, my Auntie, whose mother was my teacher, came and collected me from school. I can't remember who looked after us while mum was in hospital, or where we went, but I do remember being told I had a sister.
It was the year, which I have spoken about before, that I became scared of heights, that we got a trike for Christmas and we went to Cairns in dad's semi as a family holiday.

As I said - funny what pops into your head when your trying to go to sleep.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Humerous moments etched forever in my memory.

As a parent of now adult children, you look back at the journey you have all travelled and the things that stand out the most are the little funny things that happened along the way.  Its those moments of complete innocence at times, that give you the memories you will bring out at their 21st.
My children are Ryan, Jade and Troy, born in that order with 40 months from first to last.
I still remember the complete look of horror on my husband’s face, when he went into Troy’s room when he was still in nappies. My son had taken off his poopy disposable nappy and painted – his cot, the walls, himself and anything else he could touch. Put your hand up if you have been through this. I bet a heap of you have and when you finally cleaned up the mess, saw the funny side of it as well.
When the oldest two  Ryan and Jade  were about 3 and 4, they were having a shower together in our ensuite. I was in the bedroom and could hear them talking. Ryan, did a wee in the shower. He turned to Jade and asked her how she weed. She told him that it came from a hole and proceeded to wee as well. Meanwhile Ryan was crouching down, watching and quite loudly proclaimed ‘I see where it comes from’. Needless to say I had to control the fits of laughter that were threatening to explode from me.  The innocence of it all.
When Troy was born, Jade was 20 months old and still had a dummy.  I brought her brother home from hospital and she took one look at him with a dummy and threw hers away, saying with as much determination that a 2 foot tall little girl could, ‘I am NOT a baby, I DON’T need a dummy’. And yes she never did have one again.  
One Christmas the three of them had been particularly naughty. When they woke up Christmas morning, they found a note on the big present for them all. It told them that Santa had come, but knew they hadn’t been good lately. It asked them to behave from then on. Their eyes were huge like saucers. Each Christmas they still bring up the letter and how ‘Santa’ wrote to them and have a giggle about it.
The story they tell about their childhood has to do with me getting hurt. Ryan had hermit crabs. They loved playing with them and caring for them. They would put the crabs on the floor for them to run around. This particular day, I picked up the crab to hand it back, to go in its container. It was sitting on my palm, when all of a sudden it gave a death grip onto me with its claws. No amount of shaking, running water on it, or pulling would get it off. The kids had to run to the toilets since they were laughing so much. The crab finally let go, but not before it took a hunk of skin off.

Forget super nanny, I was using time out well before she came along. Only thing was that I didn't use the minute per age time, I used the wait until mummy calms down time. The kids would have to stand with their noses to the wall, all spaced out. They weren't allowed to talk and had to stay until I said they could move. It was better here since if they went to their rooms they had toys to play with. This way they knew they were naughty. 
Only problem was that one day I forgot they were there and after about 30 to 45 mins they asked if they could move. Its another thing they laugh about.

With our life the way it is, we use humour a lot to cope. Some people can get shocked by our dark sense of humour that we have. One instance was when Peter's dad passed away. Peter went into Lowes to buy a suit. They were on special, so Ryan said he would buy one as well and could wear it to the funeral and when he dies. I made the comment ' We will have to check its a flammable suit'. We were laughing, but the sales woman was horrified. 
Another common comment in our family is that Ryan is going to buy a memory foam pillow. Its so that my hand prints will be in it when I smother him because he has driven me mad.
There is also the times I tell him it would be fun to put him on the time of our hill on free wheel and let him pretend to be a crash test dummy.
Ryan in turn says that when I die, they will play ding dong the witch is dead. 

There are many, many more stories like these. Your children grow up so quickly and moments are memories to treasure. You don’t tend to remember when they were naughty, but you do remember the funny moments that you enjoyed.
Start a blog when they are young and put every funny little thing they do in it. When they are older you can print it out and have it bound as a gift to them. Can’t you just see the surprise on their faces when presented with happy childhood memories that they can share with their children?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

weighty issues

Last night I was talking to someone who has had lap band done as well. He said some things which I have never voiced, but that has played and in a sense still plays on my mind.

He said that when he was at the 236kgs, he would only go to places to eat that had chairs with no sides. In fact all places he would think about the chairs, as he was scared of getting stuck in one.

While I have never voiced this until now, I too had those concerns. I wouldn't go to musicals as I felt that I encroached on the next person space. It also would run through my mind that I might get stuck and how embarrassing that would be. Its why I always book end seats where possible for shows even now. That way, I can lean to the empty side to give the person next to me space.

I wouldn't go for a massage, as I know the tables have weight restrictions and worried I would break it. I would never go to somewhere that I needed to change shoes to ones that laced up, because I couldn't tie them. I certainly wasn't going to ask anyone else to do it for me - except for family at home.

I wouldn't go out much, due to difficulties with some personal hygiene. Going out to eat, would mean sitting there, thinking that everyone was looking to see what the fat girl was getting to eat.

I won't wear an tops with no sleeves, unless I am around the house. My arms are terrible and huge. I make sure that if I do happen to be in a place where others can see me in my swimwear, that I am covered until that last minute of getting in the water and my towel is right beside the steps to grab when getting out.

People might say not to let what others thing get to you. But really, think about it. How many times have you been out and seen a person with crop top and muffin top over hipster jeans and commented on how wrong it looks? Or it might be someone covered in tattoos, giant holes in their ears, see through clothing, or even something simple like a black bra under a white top. How many times have you thought that someone needed to iron their clothes, wash their clothes, or that their skirt was too long, too short etc? People judge others. Its a fact and I know no one who doesn't do it.

What I do, is to try and make myself look less disgusting to others that might see me. I now am going for massages. Yes I still feel like a blob, but know that I am of a safe weight for their tables. Most of the times now, I can do my shoes up - only can't when my back is giving me hell. I am going to shows and musicals as well. I still feel self conscious, but not as much.

On the biggest loser recently (a show I think is wrong on so many levels), they did make a comment that I think a lot of people might of just fobbed off. It was about being too big to be operated on in a hospital if something serious happened to you. People might not realize how true this is. When I first decided on getting the band, I researched and decided on the doctor I wanted to do it. I got a referral to him and went along. He really wanted to do the operation, but the hospital he worked in, had a weight limit. They went on bmi (from memory it was around 45 or 50 bmi). I was 60+ bmi, so they wouldn't take me. Prior to this, when I had been taken to hospital for what they thought was my heart, the ambulance guys asked me how much I weighed, as they had a weight limit on the trolleys.

While I am a lot thinner, and can now go just about anywhere to buy clothes, I am on the inside still an extremely fat person. Even though I look in the mirror each day to comb my hair, I don't look in the mirror at my body. That happens very rarely. I am my biggest critic and my mind set still needs a lot of work on it.