Sunday, December 30, 2012

Not quite a resolution

It is the end of another year. One that I can say has been quite tough. I have found myself, like many others, wishing for a better 2013. Which really is a strange thing to do. Tomorrow the sun will come up, and another day will start, that won't be too much different to today. Just because a new calender year has begun it doesn't mean that the hurts, trials and tribulations of the previous year go away or stop being an issue.

Nevertheless, I do wish for an easier 2013. I say most years that I don't do New Years Resolutions. However, the start of a new calender year does make a convenient time to revisit goals, and make plans for the months ahead. So here are my not quite resolutions for the coming year:

  • Get off the dex: Over the last month, I have managed to drop my dex dose down to 1mg. I am really happy about this, but it has been tough. The nausea, fatigue and dizzy spells have been very taxing. But I managed, and at a time when we have been particularly busy too. The dex has been a bit of a mental crutch for me (I feel that without it my brain will swell, that I can't cope and so on) but now that I feel more stable I need to do without it. The side effects are terrible. I feel like the old woman who swallowed a fly in that I am taking medication after medication to combat the side effects. Also I need to discover what I am like without the dex as I don't know what my symptoms are following the radiation. In the first week of January I will drop down another dose, with the hope that I will be completely off it by the end of February. 
  • Lose some weight: 10 kg to be specific. Which is alot. I have been blaming the dex for this weight gain, and it has played a large part. However I can't blame the dex for what I put in my mouth. I've still been managing to go to the gym once or twice a week so I need to increase that slightly. Strangely, I am having urges to start running. In the past I have only ever run to catch transport, or to chase children. However last week I hopped onto the treadmill and spent 5 minutes running (ok, ambulating along at a slightly higher speed than walking is a more accurate description) and I felt ok. Until I stopped, then blobby went a bit spacko and let me know he didn't like it. So I might not do the treadmill again, but I might consider going for a jog. I think I like that I can set a clear goal (eg. run 5km) and work towards that. Irrespective, I need to focus on eating healthy and moving more. 
  • Go back to work: I have been talking about this for such a long time. Being an OT is so important to me, it is part of my identity. As much as I have enjoyed not being at work, I need that mental stimulation as well as that sense of satisfaction that being part of the workforce gives one. Not to mention the finances desperately need a boost! However returning to work scares me. I don't want to do it until I am off the dex. And I am still so tired at the moment that I worry I wouldn't cope. And then there is the daunting part of actually finding a new job. But I hope that by March I will be medication free, feeling stronger, and looking for work.
  • Be more present for friends: I feel that I have let a lot of our friends down this year. I have spent so long worrying about myself that I haven't been there for others. And for this I am sorry. So next year there will be more playdates, more catchups and messages sent!
Of course there are many more things I wish for 2013. I hope that my children continue to stay healthy, and happy. That Charlotte continues to do well at kindy (she officially starts this year). That our friends and family know happiness and good health. But these aren't resolutions, just things I always hope for.

So whatever may have happened in 2012, I hope that you can look forward to what may come in the New Year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Best not to taunt the universe

I haven't posted for quite a while, for a number of reasons. One is I've been giving my brain a bit of a break and a rest from some things (like thinking), another is that we have been so busy. So time for a catch up.

About 3 weeks ago James went overseas for business. I actually coped quite well on my own. I managed without a nap, the kids got fed, the house stayed clean. I even managed to dispose of a dead fruitbat I discovered in our garden and no less than 3 spiders! The saturday before James came home I was feeling pretty exhausted. That day began a series of storm cells that rolled across Queensland. I was quite anxious about these as we have a large gumtree next to our house and I am just terrified it will fall down in a storm. I survived that night (thanks to a friend who chatted to me online just about stuff, she kept me from losing it entirely!) and so I may have posted a status on facebook along the lines of "Come on universe, what else can you throw at me?!". Perhaps I should not have taunted the universe so boldly.

Sunday morning arrived and another storm rolled through, but it was all ok as James came home not long afterwards. That evening we were preparing a yummy dinner of homemade pizza (I've probably said it before but James really makes the best homemade pizza's) and I was watching the weather radar. A severe thunderstorm was coming directly towards us, but we didn't expect too much. Maybe some wind, and a bit of rain. I went up to close the windows upstairs and stood at our back window to watch for a few minutes. I heard a roar like a train, and realised that that was the storm coming. After another few seconds of watching, a few choice expletives were issued, and I grabbed the kids and ran downstairs. The hail hit a few seconds later but I was huddling with the kids in our front entrance way (I had thoughts of standing under doorways, away from windows etc). Which was a good thing as a few seconds later our skylights broke. Glass, hail, rain and debris started flying around. To say I was terrified was an understatement. Within 15 minutes it was all over although it felt like so much longer.

We popped outside to see the damage, as did all the neighbours. Our wonderful neighbours across the road called out if we were ok, which we weren't really, so they came over to help. Sadly I have to admit being in a bit of shock, but they were wonderful. They looked after the kids while James and I cleaned up the glass and water. We had debris everywhere. all over the kitchen bench (and sadly dinner. Pizza which you have to pull glass out of is not much fun), and I was worried about water damage as we had water everywhere.

Thankfully the rain stopped that night, as we were left with huge gaping holes in our roof. Even though we called the SES immediately (such a wonderful organisation) they didn't arrive until 11pm the next day to tarp our roof. Unfortunately they couldn't remove the remaining shards of glass so we had to get the insurers "make safe" team to do that the next day. That was an incredibly stressful time, knowing that shards of glass were dangling above our heads.

In terms of other damage, it was extensive. Roof tiles cracked, pergola roof damaged, rainwater pipes shattered, gutters bent out of shape, air conditioning units shattered, bathroom window broken. And then there were all of the kids toys outside as well as so many little things like my pegs and peg bucket. Not to mention the damage inside the house as water flooded the kitchen and a lightning strike just up the road shorted out a few things. It was almost like someone had taken a machine gun and peppered the house. The garden was a sight, and all up and down the street the damage was the same. We were lucky in that only one window had broken - many houses in our street have had several windows broken. And yet, one street back, there are houses with no damage at all. All of our damage was caused by hail and rain. Our big imposing gum tree is still standing. We didn't even lose one branch!

Two weeks on and I have no idea when all this will be repaired. We finally had the bathroom window fixed today. We have had two insurance assessors already as the damage is so extensive. In the meantime, I dread any the onset of more rain on our tarped roof. And without proper insulation the house is so hot. We finally turned on the ducted air conditioning yesterday as we couldn't stand the heat (it was nearly 30 degrees inside the kitchen) and so far it hasn't exploded! I know we aren't alone in having to deal with this, but I do wish that we didn't have to. I am constantly looking at the house wondering if there is more damage we have missed. I am grateful for insurance, and so far, they have been good (we have had the contents approved which is good, we can now replace the kids toys and things like the toaster which got water all through it).

I do however promise to not taunt the universe again. I'm not saying that you win mind you, but let's just call a bit of a truce.

The storm in progress

We really shouldn't be able to see the sky

The aftermath out the front. Hail and shredded plants

Skylights tarped but still rather unsafe