Friday, March 26, 2004

Lesley P. and Frank P. flatter themselves that they have TWO readers of their blogs. More like each other. Sorry folks, I'm only being bitchy as I read them as well. Anyway, both Lesley and I will be off the air for a week. Sadly, she's in Rome and I'm in Sydney and Katoomba. No comparison really. We both have to sing for our supper to some extent.
Today, hooray, I got my first 'secondhand' nose. And apart, as Sondheim says, 'from some minor inconveniences, they were very happy'. Mind you, this is at the start of act two of 'Into the Woods' before the disasters start. The gluing process is a bit boring but not too difficult, and I don't seem to have too severe a problem with 'drip'. ('From a lack of community property, and a feeling you're getting too old, a person could develop a cold.' Another famous musical.)
Tonight, I am packing for Sydney and trying to make sure I have all the medical and prosthetic necessities. There are quite a lot of them. And I haven't even checked the blood pressure tablets yet. No wonder the country's health bill is enormous.
Anyway, into the woods, to Sydney, and see you in just under a week, all three readers. Greg, the prosthetician, won my heart forever by telling me that he could tell I was resilient just by looking at my eyes. He also rang me at 5 today to see how the prosthetic nose was going and whether I had any problems. Bless him!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I've realised that the last couple of posts are a bit churlish. It is great that I am getting a secondhand nose as a temporary measure. (We won't think too much about where it came from. It's been well disinfected.) I keep humming to myself, "Secondhand nose, they call it secondhand nose." And the cobbler/elves are great. When my dad said it was nice to come across someone in the hospital who had empathy, one of them (I'd better not finger him) said, "I think the management of this hospital has had an empathy by-pass." I've actually spent most of the night, when I should have been preparing for Monday, gleefully contacting people and telling them the good news. There's a part of me that says that it's too good. Something will go wrong. I have to believe that to avoid disappointment.

Bon voyage, Lesley.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Have been to see the cobbler/elves at prosthetics, and they are moving a lot faster than I thought. I am going back on Friday to get a secondhand nose as a temporary measure, then they will fashion a more permanent one. The seepage of information continues. It appears that implants to hold the more permanent nose in place have only a forty per cent success rate because of damaged bone tissue (from radiotherapy) plus all the usual hazards of surgery so it is not often done. So much for that one!
The cobbler image is not so far off the mark! Greg (one of the cobblers) says that in medieval times prostheticians were needed to replace parts hacked off with swords, but in those days used leather or wood crafts, not plastic.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Denise (the other main nurse at the Health Centre) said I made a 'leap' today by cleaning out my wound myself. It feels good, and I feel like I've made an advance. And moved outside my 'safe' zone. But I feel a bit pressured by next Monday's performances at Katoomba. It's as if I'm being compressed into more than I can deal with, but I have to. I suppose it's a Sondheim kind of situation. I can do it, and I will.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

A very quiet week with a lot of sleeping. Helen (nurse at the Health Centre) says it might be because I've been taking a valium before going to be de-brided, to relax me and stop me from reacting as badly. (I admit it; I'm a wimp when it comes to that sort of thing.) However, one valium a day could hardly be making me sleep quite so much. Perhaps I've now created a 'safe' zone or zones for myself and am not wanting to move out of them. Whatever, I've got to get my presentations for Katoomba done in the next week and a half. They are part done, but I've got a lot of fine tuning to do. SO - less sleep and more work.
Peter heads off to Brisbane on Saturday, and I've got a week before I got to Sydney to work away at it. Tomorrow night, another go at Madame Butterfly.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Very busy day shopping on Saturday as it was market day at the Farm, so we went down there to get some things, then we went to Brunswick, as it was time to do a rerun of the Continental Deli. to get bulk olive oil and grana padana (cheap).
Peter and I had a very nice dinner with Noel Tovey who is off to Brisbane with the Flying Fruit Flies, so Peter has booked tickets for himself and his ma and bro. to go and see it there. Noel's book is out with Hodders in late May and his own one-man show is being repeated in Sydney in October. Busy budgie!
Sunday was going to be our opera day with my parents. After a really nice lunch at the Gypsy Bar in Smith Street, we headed off to Her Majesty's only to find that the reason for going was not appearing. I should have guessed Rosamund Illing would not do the matinee. SO - after a lot of haggling, I managed to change the tickets to Thursday night. I don't know what tipped the Ticketek instransigence, but eventually they caved in and changed the tickets. Perhaps it just became obvious that I wasn't going to move until there was some action. I hope we don't turn up on Thursday night and find Illing has a sore throat or something.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Very uneventful day today. Helen at the Health Centre did a splendid job on cleaning me up today and I have advanced a tad in my researches about the Singletons who founded the health centre. I've made contact with the librarian at the Barwon Health Centre who is writing a biography of Doc Singleton. While he thinks that what has been neglected about Doc S. is his evangelical side, I think what has been neglected is his irascible side. He says that every Saturday or Sunday afternoon throughout his adult life, unless he was travelling or ill, or had been temporarily banned by the local prison governor, Singleton visited prisoners in gaol. Let's await the next instalment.
Lesley P. has come up with the perfect characterisation of the prostheticians:
"For some reason I always get a mental image of one of those fairytale cobblers when
I think of them. Locked in a corner of the palace, making handmade noses to
fit the prince or something."

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Today was full-on medical. Because of Labour Day holiday, I hadn't been to the Health Centre since Friday so went to be de-brided before fronting to the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at the Melbourne Hospital. The Registrar there was pleased with how I was going (i.e. healing) and was about to do a come back in four weeks, when my father asked about prosthetics. The end result was a referral to prosthetics in three weeks and deferral of ENT to six weeks. When we tried to make the appointment to prosthetics the appointment desk said they didn't do those and sent us up to the seventh floor to do it in person.
There was only one man in prosthetics who was very welcoming and made an appointment in a fortnight (19th March) and was very sympatico. He gave me some eye patches to try out as nose patches, and seemed to be really ready to treat me as a person, not a disease. Yeah!
The other question my father asked (with an eye to sickness benefits) was whether now I would be sent back to Peter Mac. 'No,' said the Registrar, 'but you are likely to be a patient here for at least ten years.' Not so yeah! But I suppose I should be grateful for the follow-up. It outlasts my 'guarantee' from the renal clinic.

As it was a long weekend, I didn't think we'd find any accommodation, but there was one room left at Warburton Motel for Saturday night, so we took it even though it was rather cramped for three (Peter, Frank and I). We were surprised at how hippie trippy Warburton had become (the old synagogue now advertises tribal belly dancing once a week). But at least it means there are plenty of reasonable places to eat.
We went to the treetops rainforest walk which was the main reason for going, though it is less of a walk and more of a shelf out over the forest, and then you go down a zillion steps to the walk which is along the floor of the forest. Very nice all the same.
In the evening, we went to a rather disorganised Polish restaurant, which was very busy, being the long weekend. We discovered why when the proprietor, who was carrying a baby on his back while waiting tables, told us that his wife was cooking for this busy restaurant on TWO gas rings. She should have quit.
Next day, we walked to La La Falls which was an easy walk, though uphill all the way, through very attractive forest. It was very nice to get out of the house and into a demedicalised environment. However, after the walk and the drive home I was very tired and didn't do much but nap for the rest of the day and the next day.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

It has been a very uneventful week, except for Spencer. He went yesterday to have some of his teeth out (poor little thing, well poor big fat thing really). The vet's receptionist said he was in good condition for a cat 'his age'. He was a bit woozy when we picked him up at six o'clock, and retired upstairs to look badly-done-by. But by this morning he was up to have something to eat and drink and is looking a bit more lively, even purring. As it is so hot today, he has come downstairs to recline under the dining room table and looks slightly less as though his dignity has been affronted (which it has).
Meanwhile, I have been going for daily torture at the Health Centre. It's really not that bad, but I don't look forward to it. So I feel a lot of empathy with Spencer. I haven't taken to lying under the dining room table - at least not yet!