Well, it’s been a while since I was on here. The last time I updated, I was still in the hospital following surgery, and here it is, 2nd January 2017. The time between these two posts has gone fast…and slow. Crazy really.
I had these grand plans of what I was going to do with the enforced 12 weeks recovery that was being imposed upon me (FYI, I was a good girl and did follow recovery instructions). Maybe I followed them a bit too well, because I pretty much did squat. Nothing. Nada. Hardly lifted a finger. Well, for the first 4 weeks anyway.
We were very lucky in having my mum drop her entire life and come and live with us for about 4 and a half weeks. I think on reflection however, mum has a new found respect for what I deal with on a daily basis. Over the years, my mum has often come to our house (she’s here a number of days most weeks) with these grand plans of what needs to be done, what rooms needs to be cleared out, what should be planted and how something or other is going to be redeveloped. But after spending those 4 and a half weeks of just keeping all the shit together here and keeping the place sort of functioning, I am confident that I won’t hear of any grand plans for a while. I mean, for me, if everyone has clean undies on, is fed and I haven’t killed anyone, I’m having a good day. If there is something else that gets added into that mix, well that’s just a bonus. And I deserve a bloody medal!
So as I said, I had all these grand plans about what I was going to do with my limited physical capacity over the 12 weeks. I was going to sort out the hell hole of a mess on my computer. I was going to back up and sort out the half a million photos that we have on various computers, solid state drives, flash discs and dropbox. I was going to finally get around to putting all the kids professional photographs into the various albums (one for each kid, one for the family and a school one), I was going to be super organised and get out Christmas cards to all and sundry in an end of year last gasp of card making. And I was going to read through about 3 years worth of New Scientist magazines that have been piling up and causing me much angst because they are wrapped in biodegradable plastic (which turns out REALLY is a thing and REALLY does disintegrate all over the place).
But I did nothing of it. And here I am, 12 weeks down the track and I have nothing to really show for my recovery time. Except for the fact, that I am recovered. I do have some residual pain in my neck – which is a bit frustrating because I never had ANY pain prior to surgery on a constant basis!! Ironic hey? – but I am whole, healed and not about to die anytime soon.
In the time of my recovery, Mark’s back became a lot worse than it has been in years (he’s had it operated on before for a bulged disc and had a microdiscectomy, by the same surgeon I had, back in 2009). Mark came with me to my post op review and after determining that I was fully functional, and the surgery was a success, Greg lost interest in me and turned his attention to Mark. We left that office with me off pain meds, and Mark on them and an MRI slip in his fist.
In the weeks since that meeting, Mark’s back has really deteriorated, however finding the time to get the MRI and knowing it will mean surgery with a 12 week recovery period is not something that Mark wants to face right now. On top of that, the damn staph infection that he developed months back reappeared and needed to be retreated. In the end, he felt so crap that he relented and went see the local doctor about general poor health. A full blood work up has shown that he is sick, but we won’t really know too much until mid week when specific tests come back. And there is still the back issue, just waiting there and reminding him everyday that it is not going anywhere and in fact, is getting worse.
About 3 weeks ago, Biddy had to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy for ongoing and acute abdomen pains (happening since she was 3yo). She was 9 on Christmas Day, so 6 years is long enough to dilly dally around the edges and do bloods and stool samples. The surgery was at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne, so due to the nature of the preparation, we had to go down the night before. I will just say right here that I am NEVER TAKING BIDDY TO SURGERY AGAIN. Ever. Ever. Both times she has gone into theatre, it has been a traumatic, upsetting, emotionally charged event. And that is just for me and the theatre staff! On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is completely chilled out, relaxed and calm and 10 being over the top nervous, anxious and upset, Biddy ranks a 20. I’m not kidding. We had 2 goes at getting her into surgery and then because she was sedated to get into theatre, she didn’t remember going in and screamed the place down about not being done and that she had to go back. Recovery was an absolute nightmare!!!! The theatre nursing staff were so pleased to see us head back up to the children ward!! Initial results are showing that she is likely to be developing Coeliacs but this is not the reason for the pains in the first place. Oh joy! Another kid with allergies! We await more results in the New Year.
New Year’s Eve saw me back in the doctor’s office with tonsillitis and on penicillin. Honestly! Can one year get any worse? From a business, health and financial perspective?
I can honestly say, I have never looked forward to the end of a year before. We have had some crappy things happen (Henry’s anaphalatic episode, his increasing allergies to various things, Tom’s migraines, my surgery, Biddy’s surgery, Mark’s back, Mark’s staph infection, my aunty dying unexpectedly, the damn dairy crisis, the death of a few family pets etc..) but I have to admit that we did have some good things happen too (trip to Carins and Port Douglas, one cousin having a new baby and another 2 announcing that they are expecting in 2017, the girls doing ballet and acro and participating in the end of year concert, Bella finishing her first year of primary school etc..).
Honestly though, I don’t believe that the good has outweighed the bad this year. If I were an accountant and I ran a “T table”, we are in deficit. Whilst I know that 2017 is still going to provide us with health and business challenges, I hope that we move forward into it, with more positives than negatives. I look forward to getting back into the pool with “my kids”, I look forward to planning the development of our new property at Gellibrand, I look froward to spending time away with us just as an immediate family and – after my sort of close to death experience – I am looking forward to doing the things that I want to do and not worry so much about what I think others want me to do.
On behalf of Mark and the kids, I wish all our readers a very happy New Year & 2017 and hope that you make of your’s what you want.
Mark, Sam, Tom, Biddy, Bella and Henry Billing on Christmas Day 2016