Friday, 31 December 2010


Well, here we are, one week into our holiday and what a week it's been. When we set off on Friday it was warming up, and by the time we got to Point Turtin it was in the high 30's. Hot. The wind was hot, the awning got the afternoon shade, and there was no way to cool off. We thought Dobby could go for a swim but there were only rocks under the pier and silty muddy sand further along, which Dobby and I sunk halfway up our calves in. Won't do that again!

Then, Christmas day saw wind and rain. We thought that would be the end of our lovely outdoor Christmas lunch but it fined up later. It was also hot and sticky. We feasted on prawns, crackers, dips, nuts and nibblies. Even the dog enjoyed himself.

Boxing day was cold, wet and windy. So was the next day. Tuesday finally saw some lovely weather but it was too late to rig up lines for fishing, so my fishing holiday was for nought. We did do plenty of relaxing because there was simply nothing else to do.

One present I did score for Christmas was an SLR camera with two lenses. Wow. And an 8-session class to learn how to use it. Can't wait! As I am only on a little Internet connection which will quickly take up all it's value, I won't post photos just yet, but I will put some up when we get home.

Anyway, Wednesday we moved up to Port Augusta. What a dump. Everything has bars, locks, high gates, messages to lock up your valuables. Sends out a great vibe! But the pub close to the caravan park had lovely meals and we were happy. We set off early the next morning, and took about five and a half hours to get to Ceduna.

This place is worse than Port Augusta. There are no shops to speak of, except for the local Retravision, which doubles as a camping store, clothing store, gadget store. Everything! Fluffy realised he didn't have a charger for his work phone (there has always been a Nokia charger in the van but somewhere along the line it's not here now), and Lo! They had one of those too.

It was so hot here, we had the airconditioning going flat stick and it couldn't keep the van cool. The fridge wasn't even cold. Luckily the freezer didn't thaw out. We are right across from the beach and I took some lovely sunset photos last night. Again, I'll pop those up at a later date, when I can score some free Internet. Point Turtin had some but everyone else charges like a wounded bull.

Anyway, the Freemantle Doctor came through last night so things are somewhat cooler today. Windy though! We have two whole days here, and there is f***k all to do so not sure where we will head today. Grocery shopping first I think. Stock up on supplies. Then, well... I don't even have phone reception out here. Fluffy and Dobby do, with 3 network, but now I am on Vodafone I got nuttin'.

Anyway, the washing machine is calling me. I'll check in again soon. Bye!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Winding down

So I've not really got much to write about this week. Compared to last week, it's been kinda slow.

Dobby has had a couple more hospital visits to check she is mending properly. The redness and swelling have gone down in her naval, and the itchy red rash from the bandages has all but gone too, leaving just scaly skin. The funny little "nubbin" of swollen skin has almost disappeared too. All in all, a great result.

When we went for her last visit on Friday morning, she saw a Lady doctor who pronounced her all but cured. They gave her another round of anti biotics just to be sure, and much to Dobby's joy there was no mention of exploration of the cause, meaning no laporascopic procedure to see what's happening. She just has to go back in January for a follow up. Fluffy can do that one.

On Monday last week, I had to leave work to take Dobby for her first hospital check up, and as we were leaving my own doctor phoned to ask if I could move a scheduled skin cancer removal from 5.00pm to earlier. As I was already off work I told them I could come now. Then I phoned the boss to tell him I would be even later back. Stuff it.

I nipped up to Blackwood, and while Dobby waited in the car I got my spot taken off. I got quite a shock when I looked up because the bit he dropped into the sample jar was easily the size of my thumbnail and just as deep. It required several stitches and I could feel him pulling so hard it almost lifted me off the table. Horrible feeling that.

Anyway, I took Dobby back to work and Fluffy collected her not long after. I stayed back until 6.00pm.

The rest of the week was pretty quiet. Monday night though, Doctor Fluffy and Nurse Dobby had to dress my wound. It's in a spot that I can't even reach to scratch when it gets itchy! As the drugs had worn off it was quite painful, feeling somewhat like someone was tearing my skin apart. Very horrible. But I survived and they did a great job.

I have to have the stitches in for two weeks so Fluffy has to dress it for me each night after my bath. I don't like to ask but they (Dobby has done it too) just do it for me. They're good like that.

Thursday night Fluffy had a business dinner (after a day of meetings too, I am so proud of him getting a kind of promotion), so Dobby and I dropped him off and headed down to Marion. Took 2o minutes to find a car park. Ugh. Then I couldn't do what I wanted as there was no way I could have gotten a trolley through that crowd and I couldn't carry the kitty litter. So we just wandered around and spent a bit of money. I had stopped at Millers earlier before coming home and bought 4 tops, two pairs of pants and a dress for $120. At KMart I found a pair of pants for $10 and 2 pairs of shorts for Dobby for $5 each.

After dinner in the food court at 8.45 we headed home. I wasn't sure what time Fluffy would be ready so Dobby went to bed and I waited up. I had a headache and couldn't take anything as I was supposed to be driving to pick him up.

At about 10.45pm I gave him a call just to see what he wanted from me and he told me to go to bed he'd get a taxi. No problem. Quick shower, headache tablet, and vege on the couch. I was going to go to bed but remembered he didn't have a key so I would have to get up anyway to let him in. I did my best to stay awake but at 12.45am I nodded off. At 12.50am he knocked on the window to get me to let him in. Haha. Timing!

Then, on Friday morning I snapped awake at 5.55. Oops! Fluffy's alarm wasn't set! He was supposed to be up at 5.15! A very hurried dress and off to work for him. And, I had to leave early with Dobby for her doctor's appointment. A very rushed morning for all.

But, Friday evening it was great to just sit and relax. Saturday morning Fluffy went to pick up a couple of fridges from the head office and put them on his ute to take to his office Sunday. When he got back we all went to Marion. We found a carpark in Bunnings and then battled the crowds inside.

A few weeks ago we updated our phones, and Fluffy ordered a Samsung Galaxy. But they finally told him on Friday that they are no longer available in Australia. So Saturday he set out to get something else. See, we swapped phones. He is on a $29 plan and I am on $49, but he wanted a phone from the $49 group, while I wasn't worried. So my phone came in, but his didn't.

So at Allphones, the people we updated with, he checked out what was available. And they had his Galaxy. Mind you, it was the Allphones head office that told him they were no longer available! Sucky mob, won't go through them again. We are still with 3, but as you may know, they are now affiliated with Vodafone anyway.

So Dobby and I did some shopping ourselves and hooked up with him for lunch. He was so proud to show me his new phone. It's something entirely different to what he wanted because when he was shown a couple of others, this one seemed to beat all the rest, even the much revered Galaxy.

But, what he forgot, was that it was MY plan that was being updated. Which meant, that my SIM in my phone was no longer any good. And, the new plan they put him on is with Vodafone. The SIM wouldn't work in my phone.

As soon as he finished eating he had to go back down to Allphones with my phone and get them to unlock it so the SIM would work. Job done. Now his phone is keeping him happy and I have a you-beaut new more expensive plan with unlimited talk, text and stuff and 1GB of data. When the plan comes into affect. It still wasn't letting me on the internet last night...

Saturday afternoon, Dobby got a call from a friend asking if she could go for a sleep over. No worries. The mum picked her up and off she went. Aaaah, that lovely sound of silence again. Fluffy and I spent some time in the internet looking for cases for his new toy, and found a couple he liked. Nothing too flash. While at Marion I found a lovely pink sparkly leather flip case for my phone and a stick on embellished letter C. Lovely!

Anyway, Sunday, Fluffy got up early and went to work. Now I was truly in heaven! I got the floors vacuumed, the kitchen floor washed, the dog blankets washed, and then it was time to visit my friend Marg. And it's p*****g down rain! Fabulous! Quick dash into the supermarket for some flowers and off I go.

We chat for a couple hours then when I leave she gives me a little box of Lindt chocolates. MMMMM. My favourites. And a box of them for Dobby for Christmas.

I go down to pick up Dobby and while I am there we get a small hail storm! It's really weird standing on the patio, waiting for the rain and hail to stop, and only being able to see blue sky from our vantage point... very weird indeed.

We make a quick trip to Harbourtown to see if a particular shop has a particular shoe which would be ideal for the caravan, but they don't, so off to Rivers. We buy a pair each and Dobby now has her first pair of casual slip ons which she can also wear out. Very nice they are. We also stop in Ice and find 3 tops for $10 each, and two pairs of shorts for $15 each for her. happy chicken.

Maccas at the drive through then race home. I bath the dog, and then Fluffy comes in not long after while I am sorting yesterday's laundry. I still have lots to do. Dobby helps me cut up bread for chicken stuffing, and I put on a baked dinner. I also change the kitty litter tray and tidy up.

Then I pulled all my drawers out of the caravan, brought them inside and changed over my clothes. I am now officially ready for our trip. The only thing left is the last minute food items and some softdrinks.

After dinner, it's now time for a bath and book, change the dressing, then early night.

Aaah, one week to go. I'll try post on the road sometime, but don't hold your breath. I sure won't be holding mine!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Froggy Fables - Bumper Edition

So you know I didn't get to post last week. I mean to, I actually had a little to say. But, well, life gets in the way.

Last week was rather eventful in itself. Dobby had been complaining of stomach pains and she said she could feel a lump behind her belly button. I didn't really believe her. Well, that is to say, given that she had been on crutches, I thought she had just pulled a muscle. So I told her to wait a few days and see if it disappeared. It didn't.

So on the Monday after the caravan rally, her dad had a doctor's appointment and I asked them if she could go too. She did.

The doctor thought she may have a small hernia and sent her for a scan. We did the scan on Thursday, and in the mean time, a small lump started to appear inside her belly button. Just a little one. Nothing odd really.

I had an appointment on the Saturday for the doctor to get a skin check, so I took her along to that as well. He looked at the pictures and it was confirmed, she had a hernia.

He also found a spot on my back and took a biopsy.

So, Dobby has a hernia. Just a little one, about 2 cm, and the neck of the hernia is only about half a centimeter across. Hop up here on the table and lets have a look. Dobby lays down and lifts up her shirt.

Doc looks stunned for a tick and calls me over. "How long has this discharge been here?" Her naval is filled with pus. Oh dear! That's new! Doc prescribes anti-biotics and instructions to come back Monday for a follow up.

Wow, we weren't expecting that. Where did that come from? Her belly is still quite sore, so we go do a bit of shopping and buy her medication, then head home.

Saturday evening saw us over the other side of town at a birthday party for one of the blokes from the caravan club. While there we strike up conversation with another lady who we hadn't had a lot to do with. Turns out she is quite lovely and not at all like our first impressions. We both feel quite like we have made some type of contact.

That's the birthday boy. Very funny lad, and that cake was to DIE for!

Dobby is having a great night, and asks if one of the girls can come back to our place to sleep after. No worries, as we had planned to go back to that area the next day. But the friend is going out for the day, so asks if Dobby can sleep there. She has no clothes or anything but it's agreed she can. Fluffy and I take our leave about 11.45 and make the 45 minute trip back home alone.

Next morning I had promised to take Dobby to Tea Tree Plaza which is not at all far from this place, so I stop by just before eleven to collect her. She has borrowed a tee shirt from birthday boy and a pair of shorts from his daughter to wear overnight. Because for once she was actually wearing a dress!

She gets changed into the clothes I bring while I have a cup of tea and chat to birthday boy's partner, who is very lovely.

We leave just before noon and head out to the shopping centre. The sky is pretty clear so we leave the sun roof open. It promises to be about 37 degrees! What better place to be than the shopping centre.

Now, purpose of this visit? I have arranged for a meeting with one of my Blog friend Khristina. We live on opposite sides of Adelaide, but have been meaning to meet up for ages. As I had been planning to give Dobby a surprise, it was perfect we meet there.

See, for Dobby's birthday this year I had promised her another earring in her ear. But it never eventuated. So I decided that I would get it done at the same time. What do you think?

She loves it, of course! She chose a lovely silver stud with a "diamond" birthstone.

We take a look around for Christmas craft things before meeting Khris and her lovely daughter for coffee. Well, coffee and sushi. Yum!

After our coffee and chat we decide to do a spot of shopping and take the girls to Jay Jay's (Dobby's favourite store!) and I buy her a couple of tee shirts. While there birthday boy's partner phones to say Dobby had left her shoes there and she was dropping them down to the shopping centre for me. That's service with a smile!

Now, while all this is going on, Dobby is constantly checking her stomach. The little lump has blown out to almost fill her navel. It looks terrible and the weeping has intensified so much. It's all cruddy and smelly. As soon as we get home Dobby needs a shower and to clean up her belly.

We bid farewell to Khris and her beautiful daughter and head to the car. And as we drive out the driveway, it starts to rain! Whew! By the time we get home the storm is raging and roads are flooded. A few minutes more and with that sun roof up, well.....

Back home, and after her shower the wound actually starts running pus so we are forced to cover it. As she has an appointment with the doctor on Monday I tell her just to leave it and try not to worry. An angry red triangle has formed under the belly button and it's quite hot to touch.

Monday she went to school but was very quiet before she left. About ten past ten I got a call from the school saying Dobby was in the office in a good deal of discomfort, could I come get her. I phoned Boss who said to see if I could get her into the doctor.

As we are extremely busy at work, I wasn't sure if this was a good idea, but phoned them anyway. Sure, they said, bring her up now and we will squeeze her in.

I did. The doctor took one look at the mess her belly was in and told me to take her straight to the hospital as it needed to be surgically drained. If they didn't admit her I was to bring her back the next day.

So, we phoned the specialist and made an appointment for her hernia on the way to the hospital. We got there just before lunch, and were seen fairly quickly. The same doctor who saw her two weeks earlier about her ankle saw her again. He thought we looked familiar...

He put in a call to surgical registrar for an opinion, but he was on his way into theatre, so we would have to wait a bit. They decided to stop all food and drink in case he had to go in with a knife to drain her belly. Plus, they put in a drip shunt thingy. She and her dad called it a floppy thingy if my memory serves me well.

While we were waiting, she showed me an insect bite she had gotten over night. I wonder what did this?

It looked pretty certain she would be in over night, they just had to wait for the surgeon to confirm it. And we waited.

We waited, and waited. The doctor saw her about 1.00 perhaps. By 3.30 they decided to move us from our observation cubicle to another little room around the corner with two beds in it. During this time Dobby had a couple of little naps. I didn't want to eat in front of her so I had to suffer as well. I hadn't had breakfast since 6.30 and Dobby had only had a couple of crackers for morning tea (she usually skips breakfast). While she was napping at one point, a nurse offered me a cup of tea, and with it came two tiny little cellophane wrapped biscuits. I was as quiet as I could be, but next thing, the middle finger appeared over the shoulder of Dobby, who had her back to me. Tee hee. Cheeky.

And we waited. Fluffy came in at about 4.20 as he had been in the city interviewing new staff. I was getting fairly stressed at this time, because when I left work, I had fully intended going back. I left my computer on, the air conditioner on, and the front door was only locked not bolted. Boss was out of town. He phoned me about then and said that they were on their way back and he'd lock up. That was a relief.

Finally, about 5.oo the surgeon arrived. Yes, he said, there is definitely rubbish under the belly button. He couldn't find the exit point though, where it was coming from, so he suggested a very heavy barrage of anti-biotics given intravenously for the next day and see what happens. He ordered a scan for the next morning to assess the internal damage.

So, Dobby was finally allowed to eat, and so were we! The nurse brought her some lasagna and jelly, and I went off to get Maccas for Fluffy and I, and to bring back some clothes for Dobby and feed the animals.

When I got back. she was still waiting for a room... It's well after seven by this time. Boy, those parking fees sure do add up.

Anyway, just before nine she makes it up to her room. She has 4 beds in the ward, with a shared bathroom, and an accordion partition down the middle. There is no one in the bed next to hers so she has the room to herself. She changes clothes and hops into bed, settles down to watch tv until well after midnight... Fluffy and I take our leave about 9.40 or so.

Next day I decide to nip into work for two hours before I go to the hospital. Dobby phones me and says the doctor has already been. Dammit. But I had to get that stuff done for work.

When I get there Dobby is hungry and tired. But in pretty good spirits. Her scan is scheduled for eleven, and just before that I ask the nurses if there is anything to entertain her, as she's bored. They say they may as well take her for her scan now, so a lass walks us down to radiology.

The attending physician is quite intrigued with Dobby's stomach. The device causes her considerable pain but she grits her teeth and doesn't say much. He leaves the room and another lady comes in. She plunks herself down on Dobby's bed and chats to us while the technician does her thing.

It appears there is no sign of a hernia, but instead the red inflamed are is severe cellulitis, and there is an area of pus beneath her umbilicus with a clear drain to the surface. So that's what's been doing all this! And, there is no hernia.... Strange. It would appear what they thought was a hernia was in fact a lump of abscess type thing. Well, that's good.

Back in her room, she can't eat until the doctor has looked at the scan, and decided if she needs surgery. Hours later, close to 3.00, he finally puts in an appearance. Again, because she can't eat, I won't eat in front of her. Boy, this is tough! We sit and amuse ourselves. She is a good patient, just watching tv, dozing, chatting away. We get along just fine.

The surgeon says that he won't operate, but keeps her in another night for more strong drugs, and she should be okay to go home in the morning. Yes, you can eat. Yay! They bring her lunch (lovely chinese chicken noodles and ice cream with custard) and I go to the cafateria for a foccacia and juice. Not too badly priced. $7.90 for the sandwich, and I could only eat half. Dobby had a go at the rest.

Fluffy decides to save on parking I will meet him at home around 5. So I bid farewell to Dobby and make my way home. I have to laugh, cause she phones me 3 times in an hour wondering when I'll be back, because I've been gone hours!

I am not happy though. I phoned Boss to tell him she will be in overnight again, and can I have tomorrow off as well. No, I cannot. I have to go into work. It hits me like a ton of bricks and I want to cry.

I have been at this hospital for two days, and nothing is done at home. There are still dishes in the sink, mess on the floor and dining table, there is no pet food and I am tired. I really needed that extra day. But no, I have to go to work. Fluffy is very angry and tells me I need to get a medical certificate to give me the day off work. I don't. I just go with the flow. Fluffy refuses to come to the Christmas party now. I'll deal with that one later.

I send boss a short text saying I will be in at 12. I don't bother to answer his reply inquiring about Dobby.

I meet Fluffy at home, collect some things for Dobby, and back to the hospital. Only $8 for parking this trip.

Fluffy naps in the chair, Dobby watches tv and I sit and stare. At nine, after Dobby has dozed and woken again, Fluffy and I take our leave. We are very quiet on the trip home. I am as close to being depressed as I have ever been.

Another late night. I make Fluffy toast and coffee because he didn't stop for dinner, and at 10 pm I find myself ironing shirts so he has uniforms for work. Man, this sucks.

Next morning I am again up when Fluffy goes to work. I drag myself through my morning routine, making sure I am dressed for work this time. Today is a big day for Dobby. If they allow her out she will be going to Charlie's Diner for lunch with the class, and then Graduation in the evening.

She is very intense today, waiting to be told she can leave. She dashes in to the bathroom and changes, freshens up. She refuses to shower there, waiting instead till she gets home.

The doctor comes around 8.30 and tells her she is going home. One happy Dobby. We are actually out and on our way by a little after 9.00. The pharmacy sent up her medication, and I paid $20 on our way out, another $8 at the car park, and we're free.

We got as far as King William Street in the city (which, if you are not a local, is about 1km from the hospital) and the phone rang. "Is that Samantha's mum? I'm from the lab and Dobby's swab results are in. That medication we gave you is not going to work on these bugs. She needs this other one that she has had an allergic reaction to. You'll have to come back".

Great. She said that we should try this medication again as it was possible that that reaction ten years ago was related to the virus and not the medication. Sigh. Well, I'll have to come back later.

I took Dobby home for a shower, washed a few dishes, did a very quick and basic tidy up, and dropped her off at school.

I decided that, because I had told boss, via a very short text message, I would be in at 12, and it was only 11, I would go back to the hospital. When I phoned to see if the medication was ready, the lass did it up while I was talking to her. And while she was sympathetic that I had already forked out $20, she could only reduce this one to $10 and I wouldn't get a refund. Once it has left the pharmacy they won't refund. Great.

Before heading to the hospital I stopped off at the Entertainment Centre, tried to find the Ticketek Office, found it unattended, wandered around looking for someone, finally found a cashier, and picked up Dobby two tickets to see Good Charlotte. I bought them a week ago but couldn't get time to get there to pick them up.

Back to the hospital, a quick park in the 15 minute drop off zone on the other side of the hospital, and another attempt to get a refund for the other medication, and I was on my way back to work. And I took a wrong turn and had to go miles out of my way. Not a good start to the day. I was almost in tears when I got to work, and didn't even say good morning to Boss. He was not my favourite person that day.

Anyway, it's graduation day. Dobby phoned me after their lunch to ask if she could get ready at a friend's house. Sure, you can. She had already gotten the friend's mum to wait at our place while she grabbed her dress, shoes and bits and pieces, little rat.

I left work late, rushed over to pick up Dobby, and she' wasn't even dressed. So much for taking our time and not being rushed. However, she had done her hair and showered so all she had to do was put her make up and jewellery on. I did both.

And this is the result....

Sometimes it's hard to believe she is only 13. I was so proud of her. We had already spent two whole days with just our own company for the most part, and that meant some quality bonding time. So to see her looking like such a lovely lady was just a wonderful culmination of a stressful couple of days.

We rushed off down to the school and left her at the library while we took our seats inside. I don't have very good photos of the ceremony and stuff because my camera wasn't good enough to take flash photos that far away, however I have been told some are coming my way from a wonderful family we have known for years.

This is Dobby and her friends after the ceremony

And this

This is her and her teacher

A friend took this one of us

She's beautiful, isn't she?

Back to school Thursday with her school jumper for autographs. It is totally ruined but at the moment her most prized posession. She loves all the signatures and notes on it. Something to treasure for a long time.

Last day of year 7 today, and she is both excited and sad. It's the end of 6 years of friendships, teachers, experiences for a lifetime, but I know she will be the best person she can be for it. I am very proud of my big girl. Love you Dobby. xxx