Living

I’m going back into work on Monday…after being off for the past seven weeks.  Seven weeks!  Thankfully I’m going back three days a week for the rest of the month so I’ll be taking it easy…and making the most of being able to say no to things for a while.

“I can’t do that, I’ve got to take it easy…doctors orders” will become my most used phrase.

The cardiologist I seen this week said he has no concerns at the minute, not even that I feel my heart flutter/do a mini jump a few times a day – which is a bit unnerving when it happens – but he wasn’t bothered about it so it must be normal.  I go to see him again in three months to do a shit load more tests when he’ll be able to tell if the heart has repaired itself.

On top of adjusting to my heart being a bit rubbish, I went to see the hand surgeon again on Monday and I need to have a second operation on my wrist. Last years surgery didn’t work.  So he’s cutting me open again and doing some other ‘bone graft attached to blood vessels’ thing in my wrist next month. Joy of joys.

Although I feel good in myself, I could do with going out and getting shit-faced, but I can’t.  Like the rest of the world, I’ve been advised against “binge drinking”, but in my situation having more than a couple could course problems at the minute. “Everything in moderation: a couple of units are ok”…which I translate to: it’s not even worth it. I’d drink them before the barmaid had had a chance to give me back my change.  Weekends just aren’t the same…but I’ll be back!

Before Christmas, when I’d send an email to the family in the UK telling them I’d done something brilliant over here, I’d always sign off ‘living the dream’.  Now I’m just signing off with an alive/dead status: “Living…”

Yes, I am that funny.

(I realise that last paragraph doesn’t fit in with anything else in this post, but sod it. It just popped into my head and made me laugh).

Post Op

The surgery went well – I’m told it went well at least – I’m not an expert in these matters.  I did end up getting nervous whilst getting wheeled into theatre and then I had the anaesthetist sticking tubes in my arms.  I couldn’t see much apart from the ceiling and theatre lights (I was laid flat out),  so I nervously made small talk with him as if it was the done thing (like asking a cab driver if he’s been busy and what time is he working until..)

Me: “How many people are in here?”

Him: “Six of us”

Me: “oh, ok.  Cool”.

Then I heard them all discussing their kids names, one of them had a kid called Jasper.  Jesus.  I was about to be operated on by people who call their kids Jasper.  What did I do to deserve this?

Obviously I’d already said too much to the anaesthetist as I don’t remember anything else.

The next thing I remember was being in recovery, with a nurse asking me if I wanted an Ice Block (Lolly Ice).  Don’t mind if I do.

Spent the whole of the night being woken by the nurse who checked to see if I was still alive and also had the aid of morphine button to help the pain.  Which I didn’t end up using too much, so they let me out of hospital a day early.

The pain has been a bit unbearable the last couple of days though, so much so that the pain was taking my breath away every time I sat down/up or layed in bed etc.  It’s more painful in my hip than in my arm.  But it seems to be easing up today. I still haven’t been brave enough to look underneath the plaster on my hip where a 5 inch black bruise has developed.

I go back to the surgeon in 10 days, until then I have morphine tablets to last me another couple of days and then painkillers to see me through.

It’s been novel trying to get around and do things 1 handed the past few days.  Especially as I’m right handed (they operated on my right hand).  But I haven’t found anything I can’t do…yet.

As the x-ray shows and my mate said, “at least you finally got a screw in Sydney”.

New Housemates Round 2

Landlord had lined up another 6 people to come and view the room last night, so I had to play host again.  All was going well until l got a text from the landlord saying someone couldn’t make it, but is there any chance of meeting me them and viewing the place….via Skype.

Modern technology eh?

Reluctantly, I agreed and surprisingly the Skype girl was probably the best fit of the bunch so I’ve made my recommendation to the landlord.  Two other girls were “alright” and I’ve said I’d only hesitantly recommend them two, so I hope the first one works out, or they line up more inspections.  At least the landlord is giving me a say on who I live with – they could just throw anyone in here and tell me to get on with it.

I think I made the right choice with housemate #1 at the weekend, we’ve spoken a few times now and she seems pretty cool.

Anyways, the rush to organise inspections has been because I’ll be in hospital for a few days now and the landlord wanted me to meet people.

I’m off to have my hand/wrist/hip sliced open to fix that broken bone today.  Work colleagues seem more concerned about the whole thing than I am….I’ve been more nervous going the dentist (I’m not scared of the dentist). One of them have agreed to help me home on Friday when I get out of hospital (doctors orders) and most of my little team (little in numbers….I don’t work with a team of dwarfs), said they’ll come and visit me on Thursday – which is nice of them and I don’t know anyone else over here to help/visit.

Next time I write I’ll be plaster-casted up to death and hobbling around like a hobbley thing in hobblesville.  Probably.

Falling over is expensive

Looks like falling over the couch is going to cost me about $2000.  Hopefully it won’t be any more than that – as long as my GP and surgeon tell my insurance people it’s not a pre-existing condition I should be ok – otherwise it’ll also cost me for the 2 nights I need to stay in hospital (I’m not sure what this cost is, but I’ve been told it’s expensive).  What an absolute ball hand-ache.

I’ve got another visit to the hand surgeon tomorrow so I might get to see an exciting boney picture of my hand.  Hopefully I’ll find out when I’m going to have bits of my hip chiseled off too.

In other news, my two housemates have decided they’re moving out – which is another pain as I feel settled with them.  Thankfully it’s not because I’m a shit housemate, they’re moving out for work reasons, one has got a job in another country and another is moving to Melbourne.  Maybe I’m that bad a housemate they feel they need to move that far away…!

Thankfully I’m paying rent only for the room (rather than the cost of the whole apartment being split between 3 of us), so it doesn’t add to my costs and I don’t need to panic to find new housemates.  The landlord (who doesn’t live here) is advertising for new tenants and I will, at least, have the final say on who moves in.  Anyone want to live with me?

Although it’s a bit annoying they’re moving out – I feel like I’m starting all over again to some extent – but you never know, it might work out for the better.

Today’s lesson: don’t fall over the couch

A few months ago I fell over the couch (don’t ask) and landed on my hand/wrist awkwardly. It swelled up at the time but was back to normal within a week, and I had full movement in my hand so I left it, as I thought it’d healed ok.  But it didn’t heal properly as I still get pain if/when I put pressure on it.  So yesterday I went the doctor to have it checked out. 

The doctor sent me for x-rays – which I also had yesterday – and after looking at the results this morning he referred me to a hand surgeon.  Amazingly, I got an appointment at the hand surgeon within 4 hours and seen him this afternoon.

It turns out a bone called the scaphoid is broken in my wrist/hand and since I done this a few months ago and didn’t get it seen to…it has slightly chipped away some bone and obviously hasn’t mended.  

The outcome is that I’ll need to have a bone graft (I didn’t think I was injured that bad)!  They’ll have to chisel some bone from my hip, to put into my hand to join the broken bone – which they’ll then seal with a screw.  Brilliant, not!

On the plus side, I’ve been walking around with broken bones for 2/3 months *flexes muscles*

I need to go and have a CT scan done on Monday, then another visit to the hand surgeon next week to organize the surgery. 

I’ve managed to go 32 years without doing any damage to myself, my time had to come sooner or later I suppose.

Tomorrow I’ve got the bureaucratic insurance/medical system to navigate to find out if my insurance or the Australian Medicare system covers the cost.  The surgeon thinks it’s a bit more complicated because of my visa type too.  I hope I’m fully covered as it’s already cost me nearly $500 in doctors/x-ray fees (you have to pay upfront over here, but you get all/most of it refunded through Medicare).  Not to mention the surgeon quoted $2500 for the operation alone. 

Anyone good at DIY?  I’m open to tenders and Brennig has already offered his bolt-cutters. You just need some steady hands, a hammer and chisel (preferably not covered in paint/plaster), a decent knife and a needle and thread.