The Cranky Edition

Day 4 and I need a chill pill.

HI there!

Grab a cuppa, let’s chat… I’ll wait…

Ready?  Cool!

I’ve had internet problems. It may have been me, it may not have been me (okay, it was me) and I am soooo annoyed. I wanted to chat and couldn’t, but can now, so let’s get on with the waffling shall we!

Whilst I’m on the annoyed band wagon I’d like to moan about the bloody microwave in the combination oven in this apartment.  I can’t get it to go. Again, it might be me, it may not be me or it just may be un-figure-out-able.  The 24-year-old daughter couldn’t work it out, the baby-faced concierge couldn’t work it out, so I have absolutely NO HOPE of EVER working it out (slaps forehead in red faced flabbergasted frustration).

The weather’s been shite, I almost ran a red light, was impatiently beeped three times, casually turned into a one-way street (thought stuff it and kept going – meh, no one got hurt), trying to get in and out of parking bays in a Chrysler people mover in Melbourne is as frustrating as trying to put a jumper on a very wriggly tantrum throwing toddler – no bits end up where they should. I wasn’t young enough, pretty enough or a Dad with a bulging wallet enough to get assistance in a shoe shop and to top it off there were two foreign bodies in the roof top pool today – on further investigation they were leaves that looked like turds – crisis averted. Except the poor lady who brought it to my attention didn’t get to do her water exercises because she wasn’t convinced.

Yes, I’m cranky! It’s the weather’s fault.  I do not do well in the concrete jungle if the weather is dreary and crap. It’s supposed to be Summer for God’s sake!!! Moving right along…

Friday, we drove to the hospital because of the weather.  It was a shame really because walking through Fawkner Park the day before was such a lovely distraction to calm the nerves before treatment.

Mass plantings of agapanthus in soft shades of mauve and blue bordered many a path.  Young golden elm trees glowed in the sun while people sat in their welcome shade reading books, sipping coffee or resting with their puffed out furry friends from ball chasing.  So many joyous dogs bounding about having fun with their owners.  You can’t help but smile.

The lift situation at The Alfred is a test of one’s patience.  COVID-19 regulations state only two in a lift at one time.  I understand this precaution and respect it.  The Alfred is one of the busiest hospitals in the country – think about that for a moment if you are trying to get to an appointment on time.  We decided to walk from the underground carpark to our destination. 

The parking guy at the entry and exit to the carpark started waving his arms around at me as I pushed Doug up the exit ramp in his wheelchair.  I was on a mission not to be late so just nodded and smiled and gestured to the lifts throwing my arms in the air comically, waved friendly like and kept going.

Could. Not. Understand. One. Word.  

Again, meh… no one got hurt!

The nursing team and technicians at the radiotherapy centre are a lovely bunch.  Even with the mandatory mask situation their faces just light up and you are instantly at ease.  Compassion, care and a willingness to make a difference – there’s an art to that – and they’re authentically genuine in carrying it out.

They place Doug on a hover mat on the bed (an air thingy) so it’s easier on his body (and their backs) to transfer him to the treatment bed in the radiation ‘room’. His comfort and pain management are top priority to them. So professional and competent.

However, the mask Doug needs to wear during treatment to keep him still is causing problems with his left shoulder.  The day after he was fitted for this mask two weeks ago in preparation for his treatment his left shoulder started to pain… a lot! Due to Doug’s limited mobility with all of his joints we think muscle or tendon has been strained and aggravated.  We’ll need to talk to the team tomorrow about the way forward possibly without the mask.  There is no way he can tolerate 6 weeks of this pain and the lessened mobility it’s causing to his only good, functioning arm.  I’ll let you know the outcome. 

Upside of spending time in Melbourne is two of the grown up off spring live fairly close to where our accommodation is.  Friday afternoon was spent chatting over cups of tea with the daughter and it was all kinds of delightful (I used to say she was ‘delightfully exhausting’ when she was little – Doug once told her she could talk under water and one day by the pool he actually witnessed that magical feat with his own eyes and ears). 

COVID-19 had kept us distanced for the best part of last year.  It’s been really nice spending time together again.  Catching up with the first born later in the week.  Can’t wait.

Saturday was mostly about relieving shoulder pain.  Hot showers and pillow puffing was the crux of the day. If the bloody microwave was playing the game, he could have had a heated wheat bag on that shoulder. A few phone calls to health professionals in the know resulted in me jumping on a tram to find a chemist and an arm sling.  It has helped a little.  Also, I didn’t get lost. Super pleased. Go me. But guess who forgot to purchase a hot water bottle while out because ‘dodgy microwave’?!  (hangs head in exasperated shame).

This morning we both slept in.  Doug’s pain level only just manageable today. I slipped out for a little while this arvo while Doug was napping. Grabbed a few supplies (forgot the hot water bottle AGAIN) and while out managed to get my legs waxed.  Bloody hell that’s torture but at least the mohair situation is under control. I’ll be able to cut laps in the pool so much faster now without the drag of that leg hair slowing me down! Ha!

Well I think I’ve caught you up on the mundane, the cranky and the important news. You probably worked out there is no treatment over the weekends. Too tired and Doug in too much pain to even think about going home for the weekend.  So, we just stayed put.

I’m yet to catch you up on how this ride all began but I promise I’ll get to it.

Let’s hope tomorrow (Monday) brings some relief for that shoulder.  Doug’s radiation appointment isn’t until later in the afternoon so I think I’ll phone the team and give them the heads up that we’ll need to chat.  It will also give Doug a bit more rest time before being tossed around.

Fingers crossed the weather improves tomorrow.  Sunshine always helps.

Hope you’ve enjoyed todays cuppa and chat.  It’s so lovely to have you here.

Until tomorrow, stay safe my friends.

Love always,

Sandra.  Xx