A place where lazy bloggers can come and feel better about themselves. The rest of you are welcome too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Barry Newsdesk is THE news.

Barry Newsdesk is a Citizen Journalist. He was made redundant at the start of the year and decided to use his powers for good by starting his blog.

The interwebs being what they are, you have to take people at face value but you also have to keep in mind that they may actually be pretending to be an entirely different person. So at the risk of offending him, and I really hope I don't because he's a top bloke, I have to say that I can't work out if Barry Newsdesk is an utter genius or someone who had a minor head injury as a child.

Decide for yourself when you pop by his blog. Best post so far has to be one of his latest: Crazy Crazy Crazy Night. Read it and laugh. Or weep. Or maybe do a little of both.

Thanks youse fullas

Another week, another hospital trip. Yawn.

I think I'm in the 'meh, over it' stage of the post-nearly-dying process. But this time at least I was only there for three days.

Anywho, now I'm trying to get back to our normal lives. This week Remy has gone to home daycare on his usual days and Jules has gone to work. I've been trying to keep things pretty low-key and have a sleep most days. Friends have been amazing - they have been ready to take Remy for a few hours, and even to vacuum my house. Outstanding.

And I'm getting there with my replies to the amazing comments, emails and gifts I have recieved from you wonderful internet people. You guys ROCK.

[Edited to add: hahahaha! I've just realised that I wrote this with the assumption that I am not going to get sick again. Take that body and your stupid internal bleeding! No more getting sick because I've told everyone that we're back to normal now].

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Food, glorious food

Don't you hate it
when you restrain yourself
from buying junk food
during the day
and feel virtuous about it
but then come night time
you find yourself prowling
around the kitchen cupboards
for the very same junk food
but there is no junk food
in the cupboards
because you were on
the very same health kick
on the day
you did the grocery shopping.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

5ives: The Hospital Edition

1. My first words to the surgeon who saved my life: "I like you".

2. FECAL ODOUR ELIMINATOR anyone? It's magic the way that it changes the molecular structure of urine and fecal scents. Picturesque, oui?

3. I had time to do Sudoku in hospital. Lots of Sudoku. About 31 puzzles. And I had time to learn that I suck at Sudoku. About 31 times.

4. The week before The Big Stay In Hospital, I found a darling little bed jacket in a local thrift store. I'd never seen a bed jacket in real life and fell head-over-heals in love with this one. I needed the perfect opportunity to wear it. I dreamed of coming down with something like TB (not actually TB because yes, it's romantic in stories, but romantic in real life? Definitely not). I pictured myself sitting in bed, frail yet luminous, reading my Agatha Christie novels and totally looking the part with the cutest little bed jacket ever.

But then real life came along and kicked that dream's butt. I went straight from the Doctor's to hospital. I didn't pass Go and I couldn't pick up my bed jacket.

5. Amount of weight lost during all of this? 3 kilos. Yuuuuusss.

The Hospital: (a very reluctant) Part 4

I don't really want to write this post but I feel a strange obligation to my future self to be completely honest about what I went through. And maybe someone out there might appreciate reassurance that the path to recover is not straight and predictable. So here it is. I'll let it out of my head.

It was 12 days after the operation and I was feeling extraordinary pain. Again.

And I was tired of it all to be honest. So very tired in my bones and my mind and my spirit.

But instead of hiding like I wanted to, I went to the doctor. Oh yes, I have Learnt My Lesson about soldiering on.

The doctor called the ambulance. I cried and cried and cried because I'd promised Remy that I wouldn't leave him again. And he cried because he couldn't understand what was happening. He looked at me and asked "Happy? Happy?".

I had had another internal bleed. Apparently it had been going on for several days, and had all collected in some obscure spot and formed a ball the size of an orange.

I overheard a doctor reassuring a nurse that, yes, these things are painful, and yes, she is genuine, and yes, she will be admitted into your ward.

This time in hospital I was overwhelmed with insomnia. Mostly my nights were spent staring at the ceiling, listening to the nurses, and thinking about death. But this time I barely thought about our dead baby; it's like the imprint of her has been beaten out of me by the constant and rapid fire medical jargon.

This time I thought about what my death would mean for Remy.

And even though I convinced the doctor that I was fine and to send me home much earlier than he'd planned, the thoughts about death followed me home. So did the insomnia.

And that's where I am now. Trying to be comfortable with the fact that, by sheer accident, I am alive. That my continued existence is a result of mistakes and successes.

But maybe that's the case for all of us?

Beach Treasures




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An accident waiting to happen


I've been playing around with a series of ideas for photos for an (imaginary at this stage) exhibition.

I want it to be a bit gritty but this image just plain old scares me. Maybe my subconscience is trying to tell me something?

Friday, June 19, 2009

A suitable craft project for an invalid.

Upcycling an old Karen Walker tshirt into a cushion cover, also making use of that denim you got as a bargain from the op shop.

1. Cut out the denim roughly the size of the cushion. Cut the tee however you like. Take everything to your mother to have her cut it all again, but this time more cushion-shaped and with straight edges.

2. Ask your dad for a hammer. Navigate around the massive gaping drain he has recently dug in the back yard to fetch the hammer from the shed. Thank god you didn't fall in the drain and dirty your last pair of clean(ish) pajamas.

3. Count the number of snap button thingies you have. Divide this number by the number of sides of the cushion. Curse your expensive-yet-clearly-inadequate girls' school education and work it out on a calculator.

4. Sit the piece of tshirt on top of the denim and make wild stabs at where the snap button thingies should go. Snip the fabric, grab the hammer, and damage the tiles around your parents' fireplace by hammering in the first button. Quickly scan imagination and come up with story about a small earthquake. That happened while they were overseas. Before they had the tiles installed around the fire. Oh shit.

5. Take everything outside very quickly while your mother is putting the chickens away in the coop for the evening, and before she can see what you have done. Preferably move everything in front of your toddler who immediately wants to help because hammering stuff is What He Lives For.

6. Negotiate hammering in the 600 other bloody snap button thingies with a 23 month old maniac holding the hammer. Kiss the ground when you get to the end and have lived. Turn to your child and check that he has also lived. Congratulate yourself on avoiding an awkward conversation with his father.

7. Take a break to watch game shows on telly.

8. Muster enthusiasm to finish project. Tell yourself that you'll whip up the rest of the cushion after the child goes to bed.

9. Feign extreme pain/breakdown/minor amputation/mental retardation in effort to convince your mother to finish project for you. Suddenly remember that this technique has not worked on her in 31 years when she is starts to ridicule you.

10. Take all parts of the unfinished project home with you and swear that you will finish it. Soon. Consider taking cunning photo of the front of the cushion to make it look like it is finished so that you can blog about it. Fail spectacularly and blog about it anyway.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shhh, mummy's sleeping

I'm going up to the farm today with Remy. Jules is going back to work tomorrow and I still can't look after Remy on my own yet, so my mum is generously taking us in until Sunday.

I'm going to be a bit cheeky and take some of my vintage fabric stash in the hope that my mum, quilter extraordinaire, will have time to teach me the finer points of rotary cutting, but mostly I will be lying about and getting better.

The farm exists in quite another era, and is the land that broadband forgot, so I won't be back here until Monday.

See you all then!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What a meanie

It's time to say thank you for the good, healing thoughts and wonderful messages. It's meant a lot to know that there are so many, many kind souls out there willing good things to happen to me, and it must be working because I'm starting to feel like sometime soon I could leap out of bed and spend a whole day in real clothes.

And I'm sorry I made you cry. It's quite something to make such a large number of people cry on their computers.

So next time I'm going to attempt to make you all laugh and spit up tea on your computers. You know, for a change.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Hospital: Part 3

I'm home now and I'm getting better every day. Every day is marked with another small achievement.

My little boy comes home tomorrow, and damn if I'm not going to smother him with all the kisses and cuddles I have stored up.

I have such an ache in my bones from missing him. From missing his warm milky breath in the mornings, those tiny chubby hands reaching around my neck for a cuddle, his constant chatter describing his world. I can't wait to hear him telling me 'very much', our secret code for 'I love you very much'.

They tell me we can try to have another baby in 6 weeks or so. That's all, six weeks. I'm pretty sure we're not going to do that. There is still healing to be done, many steps to take.

But first we need to find a way, a private way, to say goodbye to our christmas baby.

The Hospital: Part 2

I got a call from my doctor's office. Come and see us please. Now.

In the waiting room, with other people waiting, my doctor (not my friend Thomas) told me that the results showed I might have an ectopic pregnancy.

The only thing I knew about ectopic pregnancies is that they can be fatal.

In my head, I just knew that couldn't be true. I had already been told, unequivocally that it couldn't be that.

For the first time since I discovered I was pregnant, I was given a pregnancy test. I was in his office and he said that it looked like it was negative.

Minutes later I was told an ambulance was on its way.

The test was actually positive.

Hospitals can be such dull places. On the telly it's all life and death.

In real life, sure, it's life and death too, but on a different scale. People talk about what's important to them, most pressing at that moment. Have you fed the cat? How much was the power bill? Has Penny called to ask about me? Did you eat the last of those bread rolls before they went off?

They want to know what's happening in the outside world. They want to know about the weather, the important murder trial all over the papers.

They're not going to talk about dying. They're not going to tell you that they cry in the night. That they miss being more than the sum of their medical conditions, that one time they were a dancer, a lover, an artist.

Days are highly regulated. Breakfast at 7.45. Doctors do their rounds. Milo at bedtime.

Time passes. One day I woke to see snow on the hills.

Jules and I spent long hours together. Talking, reading, staying close with Jules only going out if he really needed to and couldn't put it off any longer.

I was told that I was lucky to be here. That the internal bleeding had been extensive. That the operation was complicated. That I lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion.

In the night, I felt pain that I never want to feel again.

Somewhere far away, I could hear crying. I could hear a hurt and tortured soul calling out and I wondered who it was.

It was me.

I was really sick. It was confirmed for me by the way the doctors looked at me, the way the students made nervous notes when standing by my bedside.

I had another blood transfusion. I had drains and stitches removed. I had a lot of drugs.

It had all happened so quickly but so slowly all at the same time.

I was in shock.

I was angry and sore and shocked, so very shocked.

Mostly, I cried for my baby, the Christmas baby I would never have. The baby that suffered an undignified, unfair and highly medical death. The baby that no one was talking to me about.

The Hospital: Part 1

Just over a month ago, I was pregnant with our second baby; with Remy's little brother or sister. Our baby was going to arrive at Christmas, our Christmas baby.

I felt like I was having a little girl. Somehow I just knew it. Maybe it was because this time was so different than when I was pregnant with Remy. I had nausea, sure, but I wasn't throwing up on the pavement like I was with him. I didn't need to carry airsick bags with me.

I was getting a tummy. Jules would talk to my tummy and tell the baby how much we loved her and wanted her. I started making some maternity clothes because I knew my other stuff wasn't going to last too long.

I was at the baby store on a Tuesday afternoon when I went to the toilet and saw blood. Lots of blood. I panicked. I shut the shop and ran over the road to my doctors' surgery. I saw my friend Thomas, a doctor, in the waiting room and started crying.

He took me into his room and I told him about the blood. He was worried, but told me that while it looked bad, it could all be ok.

I went home and went to bed. I cried. Mostly it was fear, not knowing what was going to happen. Hoping that our baby was going to hang on.

But I didn't have a lot of hope. I'm not stupid. I knew that it didn't look good.

The next day we had a scan; the woman was blunt. It was bad news. The baby was gone. It was now a matter of waiting for everything else to pass.

We went home, numb, crying, shocked.


That night the pain was too much. I lost consciousness, I was in agony.

Jules called an ambulance and we went to hospital.


Days passed. Weeks started to form around us. Life carried on.

But I was in so much pain every day. Something was wrong. I couldn't sit down easily, picking up Remy was painful, lying down at night was something I came to dread. I bled and bled and bled. I was so emotional; crying one moment, angry the next. My patience with Remy was short and I felt so guilty.

I visited my doctor. Always the same answer. You don't have an infection. I don't know what's wrong. I'm puzzled. Go away and see if it gets better.

I missed a follow up scan. I couldn't face all that intrusion. Not again. It had already been a medical problem with no medical answers. My baby was dead and no one would talk about my baby. They talked about pregnancy tissue. They referred to products of conception.

The pain got worse. Daily life was hard.

I got a letter from the hospital for another scan and I put it on the fridge. It made me angry - the date of the scan was exactly one month after I started bleeding. Why the hell would they bother with this if there was nothing wrong with me? Did they need me to comply so that they could complete the paperwork?

I wasn't going to go. I did. But I have no idea what made me go this time.

It was the same woman as last time; she was blunt. It was bad news, there was something wrong.