Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Ensemble Gombert quiz night was a bit of a disaster, though our table was quite good. It was nice to catch up with Dr Dennis again in particular. Today, visits from Michael Hurley, Lesley, Louise and Michael and my Olds were welcome. Michael is off to Praetoria to evaluate an AIDS program in about a week, and there is a possibility that Lesley will hit Rome soon. We're off to Brisbane! C'est la vie.
Anne Deveson was on Compass tonight: not a really impressive program, specially when
Geraldine Droog started hectoring Anne about believing in God or somesuch nonsense. It could have been a LOT more interesting. I hope, though, that it sends more people in the direction of the book.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Have had a couple of days getting back into regular 'things'. On Wednesday, I went to my first Melbourne Writers' Festival meeting in six months or so, and on Thursday to my first Meanjin board meeting in about the same time. I spent Friday in bed! I think that it might have been a bit much all at once, and missed going to dinner on Friday night with the old Penguinis, but I was just too tired. I'm pleased that I did it though, and will try to go to the Ensemble Gombert quiz night tomorrow night. I need to get out more and I suspect that the more I do it, the less tired I will get.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Continuing the correspondence with my fellow rhinectomy survivor in LA. As I suspected, he IS gay. Has a nine-year boyfriend called Roger, and a cat, would you believe, called Babs, who is nineteen. I've told Spencer if he lasts to nineteen we'll rename him Babs, though Peter is not too keen on that idea. Anyway, Steve is still full of useful information and experience, and is friendly and witty to boot.

Monday, February 23, 2004

A busy Sunday: lunch with the Olds and my sister and brother-in-law at a joint in Wantirna. Probably the weirdest ploughman's lunch I've ever had, but never mind. Got home to find Lorraine was visiting to sort out music tickets with Pierre, then Joe Blake and Ann Brushfield dropped in. They were in Adelaide yesterday (taking their son Sam to uni.) and in Melbourne today (taking their daughter Kate to Melbourne Uni. which she is starting this year). What devoted parents! It was good to see them, and they reiterated their invitation to come and stay, though they are still working part-time till July at least.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Saturday: Pierre was not feeling too hot this morning (a recurrence of the tummy bug which has been plaguing him) so he went to the Health Centre while Frank and I did the shopping. Again, off to Victoria Gardens as I am getting really annoyed by the slovenly nature of the cleaning and other aspects of Safeway in Fitzroy. It's as if they are saying, 'We don't care, we don't have to as we are the only supermarket here, and you are scum of the earth anyway.' Frank and I agreed that Vic.Gardens Coles had a better class of helper (apologies to Elias at Safeway) and on balance the shopping experience was better than Fitzroy. The fruit and veg at Toscano's probably tips the balance.
We had lunch at home (pastrami and rolls, AGAIN). An afternoon sleep was followed by panfried sardine fillets for dinner.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Thursday: Same old, same old! Helen, my main health centre nurse, has decided to 'de-bride' my wound, based on advice from another nurse with experience in plastics. I must admit to avoiding this, however, I know it is necessary. She had Chris (a doctor at the Health Centre) give me some valium to take before I go, to calm me so I don't react so quickly. It has worked and in three days she has cleaned up the wound brilliantly.
Also, her idea of checking the internet has worked. I've found a 'five-year rhinectomy survivor in Los Angeles' called Steve Blue, who is full of useful advice. Things the Surgeons Never Tell You: like how to blow your nose when you haven't got one. The full resources of UCLA Berkeley medical did not answer the questions like Will you be able to smell afterwards (Yes!), so I shouldn't be too hard on the Melbourne. Unfortunately, Steve is a Real Estate agent. You can't have everything. He is voluble and quite willing to share experiences (having done it on his own for five years).

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Tuesday: a busy old morning today! Dad went off to the hospital (Melbourne) as my sickness benefits are due to run out in a couple of days. (We won't go into that saga, but they were only processed up to the 19th of February YESTERDAY, in spite of being lodged around the 19th of January). The Health Centre actually missed out on Tony Abbott's five dollar bonus because I didn't have a current health card, even though I was entitled to one. However, one of the social workers at the Melbourne has orgnanised a three month extension, bless her, so I should be okay until the 19th of May. I might even have a nose by then! Dad took it down to Richmond Centrelink and got it receipted, so it will be interesting to see when it is processed.
Meanwhile, I went to the Health Centre where Helen (the nurse) is assiduously getting rid of the nasty bits on the wound. She sent me off with some valium today so I'm a bit calmer about it tomorrow and the day after when she hopes to finish the job. It doesn't actually hurt too much, but it is very uncomfortable and a difficult process. I hope that the valium helps.
More rabbit for dinner tonight. It's Bender and Curtis' twenty cloves of garlic with chick peas and rosemary recipe. We had the first instalment last night and it was delicious.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Sunday: Pierre and I went into town to go to the old Art Gallery (National Gallery of Victoria International) to look at the Impressionists, Post Impressionists etc. It wa well worth the visit, though it confirmed my mystification at Victorian genre painting (sheep mother wailing over dead lamb as the crows gather around). I came home for afternoon sleep and Peter stayed for a music concert next to the Arts Centre (Vika and Linda Bull etc.). Lorraine E. turned up as well so he didn't get sunburnt alone.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

A busy day: first up, Frank came around early as it was Market Day, so we went down to the Farm for a bit of a buyup: rabbit, bunch of basil, 'local' olive oil, tomatoes etc. Then we whizzed off to Glenferrie Road so Frank could buy his German textbook (he is doing simple German at CAE), then to Victoria Gardens for the rest of the shopping. Back home again for a simple lunch (rolls and pastrami), and Sally turned up later than expected. She is busy at work, but otherwise okay. It is superhot today (supposed to be 41 degrees) but that hasn't stopped Spencer from disporting himself in the back yard. However, for me, an afternoon sleep is still on the agenda.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Another week of mainly going to the Health Centre. Apart from today, which was Peter's rostered day off, so in the afternoon we headed out to Heide for their Surealism exhibition. Surrealism is not really either of our 'thing's but it was interesting, especially as the examples were not recent but from around my birthdate which as you all know is a very long time ago. Also, in Heide II, they had photographs of winners of annual architecture awards, and you get to vote for your favourites. We had a light lunch at the cafe there which was pleasant (they even had iced coffee, unlike Federation Square, and FOOD).
One of the Health Centre nurses thinks I should have a bit of counselling now that I'm out of the woods temporarily. She is a bit worried about post-nasal depression. (Sorry about that one.) But I think she is right. It is now, post-crisis, that I probably should talk to someone, and she has put me onto one of their counsellors, Helina. I'll phone her on Monday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Tuesday: A long wait over! The Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic say they think they have got all the cancerous bits. This is not infallible! You just have to wait and see. However, it is good news that at least they THINK they have got it all. The bad news is that they have extended the healing period to four weeks. (What happened to two weeks?) And then and only then, will the prosthetic process begin which takes two to three months. So, allowing for delays, I should have my new nose by June. I suppose I should be doing cartwheels right now, but in fact I feel a bit deflated. The crisis is over and it is now the long haul. Anyway, I should be getting dinner ready. Frank is coming over, and it should be a bit of a celebration.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Monday: All's quiet! Yesterday, P and I went to the Ian Potter Gallery (Federation Square) to have a look at the supposed anti-Howard artwork that has been complained of. We discovered an even more subversive phenomenon - no food. The two eateries on the ground floor were out of rolls, baguettes and sandwiches by 2pm. So we went up to the third floor. The Peter Rowland eatery up there turned out to be more of an artwork than food shop. They DID have a few meagre sandwiches, but on requesting an iced coffee (clearly advertised on the sparse menu board), I was told that no iced drinks today as they had no ice cream. Is there something the State government is not telling us?
We found the offending artwork, in the Indigenous section, and it turned out to be about Iraq and was no more subversive than any newspaper editorial you care to read.
We went to Frank's for dinner last night (curries) and watched the teev. Today, just another visit to the Health Centre for dressing, and a pasta dinner at home.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Saturday: Sorry for the lack of blogs this week, but it has been a very boring week. Daily visits to the Health Centre for a dressing change and not much else. The highlight of the week was taking Spencer to the vet with suspected cat flu. (The vet has given him antibiotics and pulled one of his rotten teeth. He (Spencer not the vet) is surviving well, in spite of wailing the whole way to the vet in the car in his cat basket.) We are a pack of crocks in this house. Peter is having tests at the Health Centre for a crook stomach and insides (possible gyardia). I am probably the healthiest one, pending news on Tuesday when I got to the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic for results of biopsies and so on.
After shopping this morning, we went to the Gypsy Bar in Smith Street for brunch, and guess who turned up? Michael and Mark, of course, doing the same. A good time was had by all.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Monday (again): We had to turn up at the hospital at 10am, which turned out to be an early call for arvo surgery. I was actually meant to be first cab off the rank for 1pm, so it meant a three hour wait after fairly simple processing (as I had done it all only a fortnight before). Then the surgeon was delayed to I actually hit the anaesthetic room at about 1.30. I came to in the recovery room (the first time I have ever seen it) at about 3.30pm, and was out of the place by 5.30pm.
There was some discusssion about whether to keep me in overnight for observation, but the go-home faction won out.
I feel quite reasonable, though I daresay I'll be a bit more painful tomorrow. I have to go back to the Collingwood Health Centre for re-dressing daily, then back to the Royal Melbourne next Tuesday for the results of biopsies etc and checking.
Haven't actually seen what's under the new dressing from today's effort but from the size of it, it doesn't seem to be much extra. I just hope it's the lot! Everyone seemed very apologetic today for not having got the lot first time. I don't know why. It's a nuisance but hardly anyone's fault.
When I got home I went to bed almost straight away, and had a couple of hours' blissful sleep.

Monday: a fairly quiet weekend. Went to the Health Centre for dressing change on Saturday morning, which delayed shopping somewhat. Then after dropping Frank (and his shopping) home again, Carmel dropped in for a visit. Sunday was even quieter. Spent most of it snoozing, with brief surfacings to see the olds after they had been to the family barbecue (which in the end I gave a miss to). A good roll up though, but no good gossip and scandal.
Just waiting now for Dad to turn up to head off to hospital for round two of surgery. I hope (along with all the wellwishers) that this is it! And I can get on with life.