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About this blog

still sorting life out

Entries in this blog

 

Venturing out again

I don't know about you but I am a bit scared about venturing out again. After 13 weeks my thoughts about being out in the community have changed so my question to anyone wanting me to go anywhere is : "Is it safe? And is it necessary?" Not that I am unwilling to go anywhere but I also want what I do to be for a purpose. I think before Covid-19 struck I just went out, anywhere, everywhere, filling in time, now I don't want to do that anymore.   I have actually grown used to being home a

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Hello on a cold winter day

It is the second day of winter, it is cold with a bitter wind, it is raining.I have enough of this already. I was planning on shopping today but can't see the logic of that. Life should be opening up for us now here in Australia, the numbers of people in hospital or locked down with the virus are very small, hardly any new cases, so we can go to cafes or to the BEACH (really? In this weather?) so we should be grateful. But because of the contrariness of life it is also the beginning of the snow
 

Is there a road ahead?

Hi everyone, how are you doing? I am trying to keep busy but I haven't got much to do now, except those fiddly jobs I don't really want to do. I do talk to a lot of people, by phone, on Messenger, even by Zoom now and everyone is struggling during this Pandemic. My friends are divided, some are just carrying on, we will get over this and come out stronger they say, some are frightened, they are alone and who will help me they ask. I have always tried to help people but I'm in self isolation so t
 

Fear of falling

Some of you know that about four weeks ago I had a fall. I fell about five feet onto cement pavers, gashing my head, a wound requiring six stitches. Luckily it was on the opposite side on my head  to where I had the aneurysm clipped last July. In falling I also hit my right shin and my left shoulder both of which were giving me a lot of pain when I arrived in the hospital. So I had x-rays on shin and shoulder,  a CT of my brain to make sure I had not had a bleed and after all that was clear, the

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swilkinson

 

Home alone

This is my Covid-19, so far so good,  update.   This is Autumn, daylight saving is over. We are going through a wet period. Okay we needed the rain, in our part of the country rain comes west to east or down the coast from the tropics, we seem to be having both. Our inland and coastal areas that suffered the bushfire damage need the rain so I can't complain about it. But it does eliminate sitting in the sun on the front verandah from my daily activities. The farmers need the rain to gr

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Hello from home.

A month ago I was embarking on my cruise. I don't care what the world thinks of the Ruby Princess my heart goes out to the wonderful crew those who served us so well and cheerfully, courteously and compassionately. Thanks to the Captain who managed to get us into every scheduled port. And thanks to those passengers who helped my friend with dementia when she lost her way and asked them: "Have you seen Michael, have you seen Sue."   It was the passengers from the cruise after ours who c

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A new adventure

I have just been on a cruise. The last time I went on a cruise I was  twenty and went to Fiji and Tonga, we can't go from here to Tonga any more. This time I went to New Zealand. I shared with the sister-in-law of an old friend, the old friend and her husband went too. Also on board were two couples from the Stroke Recovery group WAGS that I still belong to.   It was good to have other friends on board and I did spend quite a lot of time with Bill and Jill. Bill was on his scooter. Bei
 

My secret place

Life does not always go the way we plan. Sometimes when I am sad and lonely and I want to give myself a lift I lay down and shut my eyes and go to my secret place. It is a rose garden. The scenery is based on a real garden in a little country town I have visited but the nice thing is that in my meditation it is whatever I want it to be. I can build a pergolas and cover it in pink roses. I can put garden seats along a long wall. I can even have a fountain if I want to, it is my secret place.

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swilkinson

 

Rain at last and other news.

You all know about the devastating bush fires we had in January. They were accompanied by high temperatures, the very hot and dry westerly winds and added to the dry bush conditions what devastation they caused. Well we have rain at last. Here on the Central Coast it is very welcome, a full day yesterday and some showers today. In some places there has been flooding  and a couple of the lakes with a sea outlet have been "let out" which is a good thing.   It has been a strange year so f

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The word for this year

My word for this year is "SING". This came about in a strange way. I was in a lift and when I got off the man who had been in the lift stopped me.He said: "When you hum are you singing the words in your head?". I had to think about that but the answer was "yes". I was a bit embarrassed really as humming in company is not exactly good manners. Then the man smiled at me and said: "Oh you are a mind singer like my wife and daughters!". I had never heard of mind singing but was relieved that humming

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Kick back, relax, Christmas is over.

After Christmas is over there is a short period where I can relax and recover from that chaotic run-up to Christmas that happens every year. There is always far too much to do in December and I wore myself once more. As usual I accepted too many party invitations but probably enjoyed them less than usual. This year being invited to a so called party meant paying your own way at the designated venue, usually a restaurant or Club, then in my case trying to find things I could eat with no dairy or

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Time flies...

Well I complained last month about how fast October went and so indeed did November and we are a week into December already. My life is back to being routine again. It took a lot longer than I expected to get over the brain op to clip the aneurysm and it was difficult for me to go through that but I feel I am back to normal now. Thank goodness. I can deal with a whole day now without a nap, do three things in a day instead of two and don't have to run home for a nap between 2pm and 3pm. I found

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Where did that month go?

They do say as you get older time goes faster but October flew by. I didn't go anywhere or do anything different, I have just lived life day by day as I usually do. So why do I feel as if I just lost a month? When I blogged in September I didn't have the date for the next operation, the thyroid operation, now I know it will be in March 2020, a long wait but the side effects of the brain surgery should be just a distant memory by then. And I should be a lot better too if I embark on an exercise p

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swilkinson

 

Looking forward to more fun in life

I have started to get back to my old routine again, this has some good and some bad aspects. The good side is more socialising and going out when I want to go out. When I had the carers it was shopping once a week on Wednesday afternoons and coffee or lunch if someone volunteered to take me. I felt isolated and frustrated. Then after I saw the neurosurgery team and got permission to drive I regained my  freedom, now I can go where I want when I want.  The downside is that I am expected by the ch

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swilkinson

 

I'm a success

The title is a little ambiguous but I have just been to my 18 month check up for my lymph node dissection and my six week check up for the brain aneurysm clipping and both were determined to have been successfull. The area of the lymphoedema has not increased and is about the same as this time last year and the neurosurgery team is pleased with my mental condition. When I consider I have had three major operations in two years that is a miracle.   I have just started to drive again and

swilkinson

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Getting out a bit more.

I walked into church today at Bateau Bay Anglican Church and five people lined up and gave me a hug. It felt good to be welcomed back after being away for three weeks. Some of the church people I saw last week when the  care worker escorted me to the shopping centre, others I had spoken to on the phone. The lady who often sits beside me took a card out of her handbag and gave it to me apologising for forgetting to post it. It is something I have done myself so I just smiled and thanked her.

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swilkinson

 

Back home after the operation

I arrived back home from hospital this afternoon. The operation to clip the aneurysm has been deemed a great success. When they said a headache for two weeks  I wasn't thinking of a face ache but that is what I have. The medical team have been thrilled with the success of the operation in " an older woman". I must say I am pretty pleased myself. I will endeavour to post a longer blog at a future time. I just wanted to let you all know that our prayers were answered and that apart from heavy brui

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Looking ahead as cheerfully as I can

It is only a few days before I am off to Sydney to have the brain operation. I am not scared, my angel still has her finger on the problem spot. I am packing an assortment of bed wear keeping in mind I may not necessarily be able to pull anything over my head. I know it is a long recuperation but do not know the stages of healing. I have spoken to people who have had the operation but for most of them it was in their 40s not their 70s.   The school holidays are here and Alice and Trevo

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swilkinson

 

Holding patterns

If no news was good news life would be so wonderful. I have paperwork in for both operations in two different Sydney hospitals now with a pre-admission interview on the 11th for the aneurysm clipping operation. I know you all know the importance of this operation as it will save me having a stroke, at least that is the way I am choosing to look at it. With a good surgeon and a lot of prayers it should be fine. I am not looking forward to it but I am no longer afraid of it.   We have ju

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Home is where the heart is

I had five days in hospital and got home late Friday afternoon. It was so good to be home. I went to hospital because I got cellulitis in my melanoma affected leg. It was my own fault, I scratched an insect bite and set up a bacterial  reaction. Without the protection of lymph nodes to fight off the infection spread and on Monday I realised I was in trouble. I consulted my doctor and then rang the Melanoma clinic and following their advice finished up in the local hospital. Needless to say that

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Back to cooler days - still awaiting news.

It is always hard to wave goodbye to Trevor and Alice. They live so far away and with all my medical woes I won't be going out to Broken Hill for a while. But we had a good week, no big dramas with Alice settling in.  Not as much  time together as usual as they went down to Sydney for two full days, one to Taronga Zoo and one to the Royal Easter Show where they met up with the cousins, Tori, Alex and Oliver. Alice is very close to Oliver who treats her as his little sister so she follows him aro

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Always waiting

I went to the throat specialist, he said the thyroid operation was the way to go but probably the right side of the thyroid removed would be sufficient. I don't know how I feel about that. Anyway I agreed and now await an operation date, probably in May. He also asked me if I wanted to have the brain aneurysm surgery first but as the thyroid is the lesser recovery time I said let's do it first. This may be the wrong decision but I hope not. I really miss having someone else who can help me make

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Hard decision time

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer this morning, my melanoma specialist Prof Saw will find me a throat specialist who can see me locally but who operates in one of the Sydney hospitals.  Then the throat specialist will liaise with the neurosurgeon who wants to operate now on my brain aneurysm to see who gets to operate first. Not a good day.   I wrote that to a few friends yesterday. I was in shock, I had gone to the doctor to discuss some options and he read out the biopsy report and

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swilkinson

 

Thankfully very few changes

I have a lot to be thankful for. My daughter Shirley took me to see the specialist in Sydney today. Luckily the heat of yesterday was replaced by  drizzly rain but as  usual that just made the traffic worse and so our two  hour journey took half an hour longer. I know why I love my part of the coast so much, it is because  I would  much rather listen to the sound of waves rolling in to shore than the sound of squealing  brakes and the horns of  impatient drivers. Or park by the lake instead of t

swilkinson

swilkinson

 

Looking ahead but not too far

Every now and again something jolts me back to reality, today it was the post on Facebook by Steve Mallory announcing that our friend Denny (Dennis Jeffries) had died. Denny and I talked frequently during my years when he was a chat host on Survivor Chat and I was chat host for Caregiver Chat. He was also my friend on Facebook. Like so many of my friends on Facebook and Strokenet we never got to meet in person but nonetheless we were friends. In this modern age this will be so for many of our fr

swilkinson

swilkinson

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