Wednesday, April 29, 2009


What would we do without it? Our lovely daughter and her, also lovely, eldest daughter are coming to the rescue of we two oldies. Pop has to go to hospital tomorrow for a procedure and, as I am still not driving after my last hip replacement op, we were wondering just how we would manage it. Checked out taxi prices...gee, they are high these days....but thought that would have to be the way to to solve the problem even if we probably would be $50-60 out of pocket. Then, our daughter telephones and says "About Thursday....I have a meeting at work that day but can get off for an hour or so in the afternoon and I will ask "CB" if she could drive over and take Pop to the hospital in the morning".

This has relieved us both of a huge dilemma....I was feeling I'd let the dear old chap down as I'm not driving yet......but thank goodness there are still some in our family that are always there for us. These two are very precious to us and, not only that, we will also spend a short time with our gorgeous great-granddaughter as well; me the longest as, after dropping Pop at the hospital, they will come back to me for a cuppa before heading home again.

I don't think these two precious people will ever know how much all this means to us. Most of our close friends have departed this life and others live so many kilometres away that we were somewhat stuck, but not any more. Thank you so much.

Yes, I know, I really must get back behind the wheel. Just a case of regaining lost confidence I guess. It's such a jungle out there on the roads these days but if my aunt could start driving again when in her early eighties (my uncle, at 86, had decided his driving days were over) then I can do it too. I will. I will. I will.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This may sound such an everyday occurrence to many people but it has become quite an adventure for me to go to the shops over past months as I can't walk too much or stand for very long.

Tomorrow my oldest granddaughter, with her little girl, is going to pick me up and we are going to Spotlight as both of us want to buy some items that only they seem to have these days. Not many shops cater very much for those who want to sew, knit and crochet. We have a new Spotlight not far from our home and I am looking forward to visiting it.

I know this sounds a very mundane event but to me it means just so much. I am going somewhere I really want to go and with someone who is taking the trouble to pick me up and bring me home again. She will never know what it means to me to have her do this. Another day for me to look forward to and I hope all will go well.


As many people now know, I was adopted when a very tiny baby. The story about who I am and about my natural parents is too long to recount here but one little story I would like to tell is this.

Eventually, when in my late 60s, I met some of my birth mother's siblings which was a real thrill for me and they were so very nice to me, and accepted me without question, which made it even better. My mother had died prior to this and when I met an uncle and his wife for the first time, she brought with her a gold slave bangle that had belonged to my mother. She also gave me some lovely photographs of when my mother had been a bridesmaid at a couple of weddings and in these photos she is actually wearing the bangle on her upper arm.

I was telling my physiotherapist about this today and said I thought people would perhaps think me silly, but I had hung the bangle on the post at the head of my bed so it was always close to me when I slept, and occasionally I would take it and give it a polish to keep it bright and shiny. After all it would be all of 80 years old now as my mother was born in 1910, nearly 100 years ago.

Unfortunately, I was never able to meet my birth mother but I feel that this bangle is so personal to her that having it there makes me feel closer to the woman of whom I am very much a part of. It is to her that I always quietly say "Thank you for giving me life. No matter what the circumstances were regarding my birth you chose to have me. If you had known me I would like to think I would not have been a disappointment to you."

I had wonderful adoptive parents but theirs is another story for another day.

Monday, April 20, 2009


After having missed half of Easter in hospital and missing out on seeing any of my family, the week has certainly ended better than it began.

I've been taking it quietly (do I ever do other than that these days?) as I was told to do for a week after my angiogram. On Friday our lovely daughter spent three hours with us which was fantastic. She brought me a beautiful bunch of Sweet William which 4 days later are looking as fresh as ever. I've never seen them for sale as cut flowers before but would certainly recommend them. Must ask her where she bought them but I think it would have been in Fremantle and thank you my darling.

On Sunday our oldest granddaughter, her hubby and their delightful 14-month-old daughter (our youngest great-granddaughter) came for afternoon tea. It was wonderful to see them and I was actually able to pick the little one up and pop her on my knee. Not that she wanted to stay for long as she is a real live wire but it was just great that I was able to do it after all this time. I was able to give them their Easter eggs (others had to be sent on to grandies via their mum...I am sure they got them O.K.) and GGD knew just what to do with her little rabbit....but darling you are not supposed to eat the silver paper as well!! AND who was it pinched my apple??? Your mum didn't know you could eat a whole apple did she, but she soon found out you knew just how to tackle it. I think she might still cut them up for you untiil you are a little older...just in case.

Today I actually went shopping (took my walker of course) and had no real problem which was also terrific. We decided to have a light lunch so had some delicious hamburgers at a little cafe we often visit. They were really yummy too.

My granddaughter had told me yesterday that she wanted to learn to crochet so I bought her a lovely book on that subject and also some yarn same as she'd seen at my place and liked so now she can also do the knitting she was wanting to do. Nice to have someone in the family that is that way inclined....likes to knit, sew and crochet which are pasttimes/hobbies I've always enjoyed so much. She will possibly be better at them all than I have been as she has a wonderful imagination.

So....the week ended on a better note and with much of tonight's dinner already prepared things are so far going pretty well. The old ticker still skips a beat, or pops in an extra one, whichever it is, but why worry about that....I was told that I am okay so why not believe what I'm told. Who am I to argue with experts??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Strange Week To Be Sure

Nothing could be more accurate that the heading on this blog.

Easter came and I saw not one member of my family except my husband and he and I exchanged Easter eggs. I gave him a Lindl 70% dark chocolate egg and he gave me a dark chocolate rabbit and I only ate half when everything went pear shape.

I still don't know what went wrong but my blood pressure shot right up, my heart was beating fast and all in all I felt rather unwell. I rang the wonderful people at the 1800 medical help line after about 30 minutes and, after I spoke to them for a few minutes, I was transferred to the ambulance personnel. They told me to stay on the 'phone and they would be there shortly.

We have rather a narrow driveway so they backed the ambulance in as far as the gateway and they were wonderful the way they cared for me. Eventally I was able to more or less walk to the ambulance and they must have spent at least 15-20 minutes stabilising me, doing tests, etc. before taking off for Fremantle Hospital.

I stayed in the Emergency Department until after midnight when they took me up to the Coronary Care Unit. I had blood tests, ECGs, you name it I had it!!! Had to have bed rest the next day but fortunately could have a shower in the afternoon which made me feel a little more human.

Tuesday...surprise, surpise...."you are going down for an angiogram" and I was so fortunate that the specialist was one I had seen previously and, in fact, had done an angiogram 18 years previously. He is such a delightful chap and he discovered that the old ticker is in pretty good shape for an 'oldie'. Nice to be told that and off I went home that evening. Didn't have time to feel nervous at all but my poor old back suffered having to lie on it and keep rather still for about 3 hours after the procedure.

The conclusion on my part is that I am just a bit of a ratbag that has strange things happen from time to time and as my dear daughter said "just stop worrying about it" which is what I will try to do. May not stop these episodes happening entirely but worry certainly won't help so good all round advice. Thanks : )

Yesterday (15 April) would have been my mum's 112th birthday. My daughter had already put a lovely little post on her own blog with a photo and I added a comment to that to hopefully both compliment and complement that blog.

As I said it was a strange week. Thinking about my mum as I have been doing so much these past two days I just may get around to doing a post about her and perhaps my dad too. Two very interesting people this space.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


It is 1pm on Wednesday, 8 April, 2009..

This comment could upset some people but I sincerely hope they read it through thoroughly and take in what it is I am trying to say. I think it is the advent of Easter that has probably brought these thoughts to the front of my mind.

I am not religious....have tried to be but have failed. Although not from a Catholic family I attended a Catholic college from the age of 5 through to 11 and although I did not take part in the catechism lessons the other non-catholic girl and I always sat at the back of the classroom so, of course, heard the whole lesson anyway. Even at that tender age I found myself questioning a lot of the beliefs that were being taught to the other students, i.e. a baby is born with mortal sin on its soul..."How could an innocent little baby have mortal sin on its soul?" I asked myself. Unfortunately, being a rather shy child I didn't query this with the nun who was taking the class. My daughter many years later did actually question much that was taught by the by nuns (she too attended a Catholic college but from age 13 to 15 which probably made a difference...a little more cheek at that age!!). She actually passed Divinity (forget the proper name of the subject) as a Junior subject so something certainly sunk in. She lives a good life and tries so hard to do right by everyone in her life which is not always easy.

My father was an atheist and my mother had been baptised in the Baptist church in England when she was 15. I did attend Sunday School for a short while when I was about 8 years and then from age 12 to 14 I attended a Church of England college where, strangely enough, we had to attend chapel every morning before classes began. Why did none of this religious teaching 'rub off' on me?

When I was nearly 12 I decided I wanted to be christened and also change my given name. I don't know why but we went into St George's Cathedral in Perth and saw Dean Moore. He christened me and then I was confirmed a few months later. He was one of the most wonderful men I have known in my life and was fantastic with young people. I used to go into Perth every Sunday morning to attend the special Communion service that was for younger people. Dean Moore would even tell people that if they were on their way to the beach then to come in their shorts as they were always welcome as long as they were decently dressed. He would tell them they didn't need to dress up but 'just come here first".
For some reason even with all that, religion itself failed to grip me.

When about 15 or 16 I attended St Hilda's C/E in North Perth and was actually asked by the minister to become a Sunday School teacher. This thought horrified me (I preferred to go yachting on a Sunday anyway) and for some reason from then on I drifted away from going to church altogether. I didn't know enough to teach at Sunday School anyway so would have failed dismally.

Many years ago I even attended a Billy Graham presentation at Claremont Showgrounds (it was packed) but when the time came and he said "Come on down" I wondered at the number of people that made their way to the front. Why did I not feel anything at all? What was wrong with me?

I have always tried to live my life doing unto others as I would like them to do unto me, definitely honoured my father and mother, tried not to lie and am a pacifist so would not kill or injure anyone deliberately. These are the beliefs that most religious people live by but what makes them religious and not me?

Mother Nature I feel is what controls our planet and much of what happens to us and even the specialist I had for the birth of my two children seemed to have that belief as well. I know he was a Roman Catholic but when my daughter was born prematurely and I asked him why, his reply was "Mother Nature knows what she is doing. You were heading for problems so she took over and now you should not have any problems." Mother Nature obviously took over two years later when my son was also born a month prematurely!! Happy to say both babies grew up to be healthy people.

I do not say I am an atheist as I do have my own (perhaps peculiar) beliefs but I do not feel the need to pray to a higher being for, to start with, I doubt any deity would have the time to bother with a mere mortal like me when there are so many other needy causes. My mother (who you could be considered religious to a certain degree) once said she believed we lived our heaven or hell on earth and perhaps she was right.

For some reason I don't feel I am lacking anything in my life. I don't want to die but know I must eventually and the thought doesn't frighten me. Just later rather than sooner please.

I love to take time to see the stars at night, the flowers that bloom and nature itself I find so wonderous, even though at times it can be quite violent.

I sincerely hope I have not upset anyone by what I have written today and that was certainly not my intention. I just felt I needed to get this out of my system and try and explain more of who I am or am not whichever way you look at it.

Incidentally I have friends who are religious ranging from Roman Catholics through to protestant and not one of them has ever tried to change my beliefs nor would I ever consider trying to change theirs. We appreciate we are all different and leave it there. I feel everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and if they feel better for having those beliefs then I am glad for them. As long as people didn't fight about those different beliefs the world would be a perfect place. We must have respect for each other; that I feel is the most important thing of all.

To anyone who reads this I wish them a happy, safe and peaceful Easter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


2.30pm Tuesday, 6 April, 2009.

I am really beginning to wonder if I will ever do or say the right thing!!! Are people today becoming more sensitive; is it the pressure they are under in these uncertain times? I do and say things quite innocently at times and with no ill intent and seem to be always treading on someone's toes and, boy, are they quick to remonstrate with me about whatever it is. Surely I am entitled to my opinion without being made to feel that whatever I think is wrong. Can people no longer agree to disagree and get on with their lives with no hard feelings?

I was chatting to a dear friend yesterday (yes, she too is in her seventies) and she said she was feeling exactly the same way. We agreed one can say something quite innocently and before long you seem to be landed right in it. Is it because we are now too old to be considered as having any brains and what we say is utter rubbish and we need to be taken to task about it?? She and I are certainly bewildered by people's reactions. Is it because we are elderly that we are now to be treated like naughty children who should be seen and not heard??

In my life I always thought I had tried not to deliberately say or do anything that would be too hurtful to others although I realise that some things I have done have certainly not always been to other's liking. That is unfortunately true, but sometimes, for one's own survival, it is necessary to take certain steps that are going to impinge on other's lives.

This apparently was the case with me having left my first husband when my children were still in primary school. Many years later my son, who had always been particularly close to his step-father, suddenly decided to stop having contact with all members of his family apart from his wife and his two children. That was over seven years ago and although the hurt has lessened I am still awaiting an explanation of why this occurred. Did my son have a sudden brain storm and blame everyone for 'something'. He has a lovely family, a terrific home and a good job so I can see nothing that we had done years ago that could have caused this sudden break.

This is what I mean about things that one does that obviously have an affect on other's lives, even if years later, but are unavoidable at the time they happen. If I could speak to my son today I would apologise if it had upset him but it would still have happened. I have written to him but have never had any response at all.

I am very grateful that I have this blog where I can air my feelings but I think that is enough for now about that particular subject. What I have said above will probably come back and bite me on the backside but I had to get it out of my system and, so there!!! I have done it.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had the doctor write me a script for Panadol Osteo which I had doubts about but thought I'd give it a go. She said to take 2 tablets night and morning but I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that as you are allowed to take 6 tablets daily then why not go the whole hog? I have now been taking them approximately every 8 hours for about 5 days and I think they are actually taking the edge off my pain. It has not gone, nor will it ever go completely unless I take strong painkillers which turn me into a zombie, but I will persevere with the Panadol Osteo and hope for the best. Even a slight lessening is better than none at all. Not sure one should take them ad infinitum but if I stick to the prescribed dosage hopefully all will be well.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Oh, no!!! it happened again. I obviously click somewhere on the keyboard and whooosh!!! the blog has gone. I really must try and sit up straighter and concentrate more.
I am having an issue with bad language being 'out there' so much. I guess it is because I was brought up in a home where nobody swore at all, nor did they drink for that matter. I don't think I ever heard my dad use a swear word and the worst thing my mum said was "jam and plaster" which actually was said instead of "damn and blast it". When I was about 19 mum heard me say 'bugger' when something I was doing was going wrong and the look she gave me meant I didn't say it again : ) (My mum said Dad actually could use bad language and that I had just never heard him when the cows on the farm they had wouldn't go through the gate into the other paddock. She said the air would turn blue so obviously he could control his language at other times and in front of people).
Some of the expletives used on TV, in film and by family and heard occasionally in passing from complete strangers, are getting a little out of hand. My husband and I enjoy a show on ABC on Friday nights and we really like the chap that plays the main character "Rebus" but even in that show the "F" word is heard at least 6-10 times in the hour and worst of all the lady boss who is well groomed, well spoken etc., uses it and it just doesn't sound right coming from her.
I know my grandchildren (admittedly they are all over 25) use that "F" word as well as others but I just wish they would try and control it a little especially when it comes to actually putting it in print.
Now, please don't take me for a "Goody Twoshoes" as I do swear at home and I actually blaspheme (now that is a big admission eh? and I know some people would be horrified with that) but I do try and control when and where I say it and feel I have a good enough command of the English language not to use those words too much in general conversation when at home.
Strange thing about 'blaspheming". I went to a Catholic school for 6 years and I can remember the nuns exclaiming and saying things like "Holy Mary............" etc., which apparently is not considered blasphemy by then and that has always confused me somewhat.
My family will tell me "Oh, you're getting old Mum" or "Grandma", whichever the case may be but if I can control my language why can't others, especially if they know it could offend some people. I am sure that none of my family would have used bad language in front of my mum (their grandma or great-grandma) so why not use that control now.
If I have been watching programmes or films on TV and find bad language being over-used then I turn it off but you can't turn people off apparently. It seems it is part of modern life but some of it appears to be completely gratuitous.....just for the sake of it.
Gee, I've said a mouthful there but it is just something that rankles with me and I can't help feeling that way so my apologies to anyone whose toes I've stepped on as I don't mean any hurt to anyone by what I've said.
Another thing that has been on my mind of late is this....why is that you only hear comment from some people if you happen to do or say something that they don't agree with or don't thnk you should have done? You rarely hear a kind word from those people which is something you could sometimes perhaps do with but step out of line, even innocently, and you will hear all about it. We are all different and I am glad of that as, if we were all the same, what a monotonous old world it would be but, if you are going to have a go at somebody for something done or said, then make sure you also say nice things too when they are warranted. Always remember, it is easier to smile than frown as you use far less facial muscles, so therefore it is much less tiring to smile and smile lines are nicer than frown lines too.
I know that underneath I am a happy person that really enjoys laughing and hopefully I can laugh at myself too. If you saw me you'd probably laugh as well!! No, what I mean is that at times it is difficult to be happy when joints and muscles ache but you do have to try and rise above the pain as much as possible because if it is going to be a constant part of life it can surely get you down and they do say that back pain is associated with depression. I will NOT go down that path and my resolution is not to let it get me down even though there are so many things I cannot do now......thank goodness for such a wonderful husband who can still do those things, albeit more slowly these days.....and wonder will I ever be able to do some of them again. I still refuse to be depressed....I keep telling myself that and hope that it works.
I asked my doctor for a script for Panadol Osteo this week as a friend has told me it works so wonderfully well for her. I have taken 6 tablets since yesterday and I have to admit I've not noticed a lot of decrease in my aches and pains. My friend told me she had also been taking Celebrex but no, it was the Panadol Osteo that was doing the trick. I have strong doubts about that but will persevere for a week or so and keep my fingers crossed that I will improve. According to the information I downloaded (it was information meant for the medical profession) Panadol Osteo works much better than ordinary paracetemol but then I don't find they work very well either. Oh, what a wonderful world it is!!! You have to laugh otherwise you'd cry and I am not going down that path either.


Friday, April 3, 2009

A good day today

Not sure what happened just now but I am not really a person of so few words : )
It is now 11.04 on FRIDAY, 3 April (wish they'd get the dates right on this blog) and I am feeling good.
My dear husband had a great day talking to the medical students at UWA yesterday and did make the comment about how many more Asian students there seem to be each year. His comment was that he feels that the parents of Asian students are much more strict on their children about study and the like and I think he could have a point there. They do work hard and their are some wonderful Asian doctors. Our dermatologist is Asian and he is a very caring young man and it is always a pleasure to pay a visit to him. He looks after both of us very well.
I think one reason I am feeling good today is that a confusing incident had arisen on eBay about payments received/not received but it has now all been sorted out hopefully to everyone's satisfaction. There can be little problems now and again on eBay but this one was a beauty. All about a person not leaving a reference when making a deposit and the other person's bank being dreadfully slow in making the transfer.
The main reason today is good is that my lovely daughter is popping in to have lunch with us. She works hard at her job, and her spare time is always pretty well booked up as well but it will be terrific to see her even for an hour or two. She tries to divide herself between her four children (mainly her three daughters actually), her husband of course, and us. Not easy to do but I do my best not to be too demanding which is not always easy as I just love to spend time with her. If this worldwide financial crisis had not arisen she may may have contemplated working less hours and perhaps job sharing but with superannuation being hit so hard much thought must go into when or if a person will work less hours or even think about eventual retirement.
Had my (half) 'flu shot yesterday and even so that spot on my arm is a little swollen and warm but not as bad as previous years so will have to decide whether or not to have a 'full' shot next year. The next few days will probably give me the answer. I wish more people would consider having a 'flu shot as it seems to have protected my husband and me for several years. We did contract a nasty virus about 16 months ago but it arrived via passengers from a liner that was docked in Fremantle. That virus had affected about 50% or more of the passengers on the ship (and some very badly) and it was thought to have been brought on board by people from the U.S. so it was quite possibly a strain not contained in the 'flu shot we'd had that year. Have to check when we had our last anti-pneumonia injection as that should be every 5 years. Mmm, important to check on that so must make a note in my diary.
Oh, my daughter could be here in a short while so best get myself into gear and make sure I have all I need to make our lunch. 'Bye for now.

A good day

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting there....slowly (& other things)

It is now 10.37am on Thursday 2 April, 2009 and I am on my own for the day as my husband has gone to UWA (University of Western Australia) to talk to medical students about diabetes, a condition which we both have. For several years I used to go as well and it was good to be able to explain to the students just how diabetes affects the lives of those who suffer from it and how we come to terms with the rules by which we have to live but don't let it become overwhelming. I unfortunately can no longer spend the day doing these things because of my arthritis but am so glad that he can still do so and now two or three times a year and not only to medical students, but dental and podiatry students as well, as diabetes is a complaint that can affect so many parts of the body. I do hope he enjoys himself again and I know he correctly feels he is doing something really good to help future generations of diabetics and their dealings with, and being understood by, the medical profession at large.
Now for something less serious but about which I am really feeling pleased with myself. As mentioned before I have had bi-lateral total hip replacements over the past 10 months and as it can take up to 12 months for total recovery I still have a way to go before all is completely well. Yesterday I returned to my Wednesday morning exercise group run by my physiotherapist. I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received from others in the group....a hug here, a kiss on the cheek there....and was told that even though I'd not been for nearly 3 months not a week had gone by when somebody had not asked Jenny (physio) if she knew how I was going. They are a terrific group of a dozen or more people (all over 77) and we have so much fun and I had missed them all so much and, nice to know, they had apparently missed me as well. I was able to tell a couple of good jokes to make them laugh and was told I must be there again next week. None of them are likely to read this blog but it was so wonderful to feel so welcome and my thanks to them for that welcome.
Of course having done that I decided, while on my feet, I'd go with hubby and do some grocery shopping, and mustn't forget the Easter eggs. I spent an hour walking around Woolworths 'cos when I shop I like to walk down the aisles just in case there is something I didn't put on the list.
Had to then rush home for a quick lunch as we both had appointments with our GP and to have our annual 'flu shots. (I only have a half shot as for a couple of years my arm would come up in a large red lump which would be painful for a week or more...but the half shot still works okay...or at least has done for a few years so 'touch wood' that it will this year as well).
Problem arose later in the day when I was just so stiff and unable to move much and was very, very tired. Compared with things I used to do just doing an hour exercising and then an hour shopping doesn't sound much does it? Makes me realise I really AM getting older even though sitting here I don't feel much different to when I was say 35 or 45. I think that mentally I am still pretty well on the ball (others may disagree - I dare you!) and that is why I forget I am what is these days is considered 'frail aged' (that is over 75 years of age). Trouble is (as happened when I walked in to the group yesterday everyone said "you are looking really well?) people see me....a reasonably large, healthy looking individual and I get no sympathy at all : ) I am not even sure that my doctor takes me seriously and usually says "Oh, you'll be fine" even if my B/P is a bit high etc.
Speaking of blood pressure...our endocrinologist said it would be a good idea for us to purchase a good blood pressure machine and perhaps check our B/P daily. My husband has been told by another doctor he is seeing to do this twice daily for 3 weeks as he has a problem which can cause his B/P to rise a little too much. So far it has been good so the new medication he is on seems to be working. Anyway, the long and the short of it has been that when we check our B/P at home (particularly my own) it is always much lower than when it is checked by a doctor. It was suggested we take the machine with us when next visiting our GP which I did yesterday and asked her to use our machine before using her own. She checked that I was using it correctly (and I was) and would you believe the two machines gave almost identical readings, albeit somewhat higher than when I do it at home.
Do hubby and I both suffer from "white coat fever" perhaps? The GP explained that we are usually more relaxed at home and not to worry about it being that much lower. Apparently both machines were made by the same manufacturer and she also told me that the machine we had was a very reliable one which is good to know.
I have gone on a bit here but I feel so good about what I did yesterday. I wish I could do more, and doing more for me probably won't be all that much more, but at least I did it and will now keep on doing it. I don't have a lot of friends as so many have left this mortal coil but I will look forward to that hour on Wednesday mornings which I will spend with a group of people who don't judge me for what I am but who I am for which I am very grateful.