Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

It’s fair to say that it’s been an awfully heavy month. I have done little else but work, cry, look after mum, try to keep the family sane, stitch & attend bootcamp. I can report that of all those, only work & Mum is the bit where I can consider it a pass.

If you don’t want to read on, you can take a pass here too. Thank you for your kind thoughts & prayers & comments over the last month. They are very much appreciated.

Let’s divide these up into sections:

WORK: I am up-to-date thanks to Jille taking care of one of my in-boxes for a week. I am currently starting at 6am, finishing just after 2, & picking Mase up from school, & into “normal” stuff after. I have run out of leave, as the rest of the adult family didn’t step up (yes, I am a little resentful here). I have another 4-6 weeks of this routine. It’s hard not having a proper lunch break/walk/escape from the office time. One of the buyers is also not speaking to me, the weirdo, as her work crush has been speaking to me! Umm – he has to, we work together?!! I have little patience for child-like, bitchy actions from people in their 50’s! I am treating this like a game & currently we are at day 12. I wonder if this can last until her retirement? Cross fingers!

 

BBM: I tried going to 2-3 of these a week. Unfortunately I’ve re-injured my wrist last Sat at the Strength HQ morning so can’t do half the stuff. I can’t STITCH either! Slowly going insane…cue the CRY. And the migraine, which is completely stress related. The GP yesterday put me onto Rizamelt, which dissolves in the mouth. So I’m more likely to gain a benefit, as the fast-acting migraine the other day left me vomiting.

 

MUM: So the 4 hour hospital appt turned into 5 days. The surgeon taking the lung biopsy cut thru her lung, & so she needed a chest drain. This gave rise to further complications. She doesn’t remember much, as she was pretty out-of-it, but at one point I honestly thought that she was going to die. Lung illnesses are scary stuff. The funniest point was when (high on morphine) she was glaring at one of the nurses, totally convinced the poor woman had kicked a squirrel! Yeah. We don’t have squirrels down here. Not even close.

The upshot is that we don’t yet have a comprehensive diagnosis. This is making Mum giddy, & it took a lot of talking to get her to understand that YES SHE IS STILL SICK and NO YOU CAN NOT GO BACK TO YOUR NORMAL. She likes to bury her head in the sand and ignore what she doesn’t like, which is one reason she got so ill, because she wouldn’t go to the GP until we forced her.

Her ANA tests are sky-high, which indicates an auto-immune disease. Her body is attacking her lungs. Usefully she tested negative for the more common strains, like rheumatoid arthritis etc. Her lung specialist has referred her to the RA clinic, as they deal with the auto-immune complications more than the respiratory clinic, then we go back to respiratory in 3 months time.

In the meantime, she has to eat regularly (at least 3 times a day, one meal fibre cereal & only 2 pc bread a day, which unknown to us was all she was having a lot of the time). Poop every day (instead of once a week). Take vitamins. Walk daily (cue a multitude of complaints). But she has lost 9kg since starting to see the specialist, so that’s good (it took 6 of us to move her in the hospital, as she was in so much pain she couldn’t help us). In another couple of weeks she can go back to the GP & see about clearance to drive & “work” at playgroup & school reading recovery again.

She will have to keep a healthy routine now for the rest of her life, and avoid people with respiratory illnesses themselves. I know this will be super-hard, as she needs to feel useful, but that should be a worry for another day.

If you got to the end of this, thank you! Well done! It was like a mini-marathon to run, & I guess you can tell that my personal stress level is super-high. I’m thinking I should probably take advantage of the work Employee Assistance Programme & the free counselling. Especially as I can’t stab things…

everything that could go wrong

Did.

I won’t give you all the details but suffice to say C needs all your prayers. She was admitted to a ward last night, after the delayed surgery yesterday & subsequent procedures. She is in a lot of pain, on morphine & we aren’t sure what is next.

Thanks for your kind words.

Blog Hiatus

Hi everyone

yesterday was fairly traumatic. We’ve had some medical issues with a family member and also a close friend & frankly, I need to hibernate. I’ll most likely be stitching up a storm as I find that hugely therapeutic; & there are already scheduled review posts so I won’t be totally gone. I’ll probably be around on Instagram but not here or FB.

If you pray, please pray for C & her surgical team; for K & his quick recovery (to add to his burden, his mum has just had ankle surgery so there’s two down in that household). And that I can hold it together & be brave in front of the kids. And that J can cover my leave requirements without breaking down herself.

Thanks heaps.

Movie Review – Cars 3

This one has been eagerly anticipated in my household. It is perfect for a family date night – Louise at 22 even came along! The target market is probably still parents like me who enjoy Pixar, and little boys like Mase who love cars in general, not just Cars, but it’s definitely a whole family show.

cars 3PLOT: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! (Pixar).

Cars 3 is a much better sequel than Cars 2. It’s uplifting and encouraging without being preachy or PC, & while the female character becomes a lead and learns to achieve her goals, there is so much that you can apply to your little boy too. Learning to accept or embrace change, learning from the past, having an all-inclusive attitude to others – massive life lessons.

The story arc is a natural progression from a young, brash Lightning to his (Cars 2) hot young thing to his now need to learn who he really is. I can see a potential continuation to Cars 4 (please!!!!) & really enjoyed the view of who Doc Hudson was and how he came to be the Doc we met in the original Cars.

mcqueen beach cars 3.jpgGraphically, it’s so rich and lush. Parts look so realistic, you could think you were watching drone footage. Full kudos to the whole Pixar team that are involved with this movie. Even the end credits are perfect. I so want the Mater as ET poster!

And as I’ve told Si, I plan to get the paint job Lightning has at the end applied to the Toy Car. He is not as impressed as I would hope. Mase plans to buy the DVD as soon as it’s released.

WIP Wednesday

Hello you lovely people! How have you been? I’ve had a pretty busy week, all in all.

  • Watched the first rugby game of the season (Waitakere beat Avondale college, hooray!)
  • Picked up my new toy, a Galaxy S8+. The camera is amazeballs. The moon shot was on auto; imagine if I had taken the time to not have post bootcamp wobbles and had changed to the proper setting!
  • Ordered MIL her Pressie Box, which should be ordered today. http://www.thepressiebox.co.nz for some beautiful things and great customer service.
  • Watched the first hockey game of the season (I fail, I keep calling the ball a “puck”. And Icing is of course not a thing).
  • Survived both Normo’s birthday set (49!) and my own (shared with Lavinia, we had 10 minutes of EMOMs). Not surprisingly, didn’t go to the small session last night!
  • Started my portion of Julie’s round robin. Si liked the colours in Emi, so that is the Nora Corbett pixie that I started.
  • Made another flosstube video. Mase made a cameo appearance. Look for Paula SewScrapMuse on youtube. Yes, my accent is “cute”. Huh.
  • And 3 year anniversary with WordPress. I don’t miss Blogger at all!

Sharing is Caring: An open letter to my 4 sons about 13 Reasons Why

This. This is so powerful and says to my children all the things I wish to articulate. PLEASE SHARE with your family, your children, your friends’ children, random strangers. Suicide is not an end to pain. It begins it for so many.

The article below was in http://www.stuff.co.nz

Katherine Langford stars in the series 13 Reasons Why, about a teenager who commits suicide.

BETTER DUBBER/ NETFLIX

Katherine Langford stars in the series 13 Reasons Why, about a teenager who commits suicide.

My young men. My crew of human beings that fill my days with emotions so deep I have no words to describe my love for each of you. Individually and collectively – you are my reason for rising and always my reason for being comatose by 11 pm.

From the moment of knowing that you were a life being grown and nurtured within I have felt this deep need to be there, provide for you, keep the world away for as long as possible. And for each of you, as you grew and engaged with the world beyond my arms I held my breath each time you fell over, you were pushed, someone stole your favourite sandpit toy.

Your skills have grown – walking, talking, riding a bike, driving a car and I have been there for each of those moments, anxiously looking for dangers, helping you to develop your skills and your resilience. Deepening your capacity to deal with the physical, social and emotional knocks of life.

Claire Orange: It should be called 13 Reasons Why Not.

SUPPLIED

Claire Orange: It should be called 13 Reasons Why Not.

And now the world impacts on you through your viewing, your interactions, your education, our family and extended family – some of which I can be there for and continue to hold up my invisible shield, to take some of the impact. Some, I can’t and the older you get the more I have to let go and let you experience life’s events and absorb life’s learnings.

 

Do I think about and worry if one of you is having a tough time socially, academically, emotionally every day?
Yes. Do I worry about times when you seem overly down, anxious and disconnected? Absolutely, yes. Have I ever wondered about whether you have had, entertained or lingered on some suicidal thoughts? I really wish I could say no, but to be honest, yes I have. Give me a second and I’ll tell you why.

And now we have this series – 13 Reasons Why influencing and impacting your thinking. Playing teen dress-up with suicide. Wrapping it in the rich colours of teen angst. Hiding its ugliness in the common colours of teen sport, friendship ups and downs, betrayals and hurts. Somehow, I feel like the ultimate ugliness, the clanging finality is hidden behind this facade of fitting it perfectly into the usual difficulties that define that transition between your childhood years and your adulthood.

My boys, I know the scar that suicide leaves. Not just until the funeral is over. The faces of the family aghast, ashamed, unsure, bereft, devastated. Not just until you have children of your own. No, that scar lasts forever and when something brushes against it, it causes unimaginable emotional pain and hurt. You see, a friend of mine took his life when we had just left high school and it still impacts on my life. I didn’t choose to see life through that lens. The lens of fear, of having not been there, of being a possible contributor simply through not being there at the right time to say the magic and lifesaving words.

I simply can’t imagine life without every one of you. Having to endure a lifetime of self-blame and self-hatred that would blacken my soul and create a void that could never be filled, lightened or lessened. That’s what suicide leaves. These are my 13 reasons why suicide is not the answer:

1. There is always someone there. Always. And if not me – because today I’m not your favourite person – then a grandparent, an auntie, a cousin, a brother, a friend.

2. Despite what’s happened to you or what you have been part of by choice or proximity, I will always love you as much as the moment I first knew you were there. I might not love what you’ve done but I will always love you with my entire being.

3. You are here for a reason. You have a life ahead full of love, relationships, achievements and setbacks. And I will be there beside you.

4. However busy I am, whatever else is happening for me, I will put it aside for you. Hell, I’d lay down my life for yours to sustain.

5. You are loved.

6. You are valued.

7. You are resilient.

8. You are more than the sum of your experiences, more than anything anyone can and will ever say about you.

9. This too shall pass. Life is a series of stages, each with its own unique teachings and learnings.

10. Nothing is too big, too embarrassing, too… anything to talk about. I’m honoured when you confide in me, but remember your safety net of people. They love you too.

11. Every life – yours, mine has high and low points. Storm clouds gather, they might linger but they won’t be there forever. Promise.

12. You come from a long line of resilient survivors. It’s in your blood.

13. My love for you is more powerful than anything you’ve seen on a superhero movie. My love transcends time. It will be there for generations to come, wrapping itself around you and your children one day, and their children, and theirs.

My sons, 13 Reason Why should be called 13 Reasons Why Not. As viewed material, it now forms part of the complex neural network through which you interpret and respond to life. Let’s keep talking, learning from it and making it part of your lifelong love of, lust for and link to life.

My sons. My life. My breath.

Claire Orange is a children’s wellbeing expert – therapist, author, speaker and mother of four.

Where I Am At Home

On her blog this week, Tsh Oxenreiter is celebrating the release of her new book, At Home in the World. I picked up (totally cover lust) Notes from a Blue Bike a while ago and liked it.

On her blog, Tsh is inviting people to write about three things:

  1. Share about a place where you feel at home in the world.
  2. Write about a city (of any size) you love. (there’s prompts for this submission)
  3. Tell me whyyou’ve chosen to stay wherever it is you call home…

 I’m picking number one. And for me, number one is Te Henga or Bethells Beach, Auckland.

IMG_20160703_184259

It’s a wild, windy West Coast beach with all that the geographical location implies. There’s no swimming here (except in the lagoon that is formed by Waitakere River) and the surf patrol is only during the high season. The coffee cart is in the clearing next to the main carpark – and often the eftpos is down, so make sure you take some cash & don’t expect to be able to use cell phone data or WiFi – and the public toilets are paved with the black sand from where people have showered or simply rinse their feet off before going home.

Walking down the sheltered entry you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing much going on here. The carpark may be full but it’s rare that you’ll encounter someone else, except when the tide is out and all the kids want to explore the cave. Dogs run freely down the south end of the beach, wheeling around like the gulls they chase, bouncing into the surf after tennis balls and driftwood. If you want to explore, head left at the heads and climb over towards Ihumoana Island (now fenced off due to rockfalls) and further north, past Kauwahia Island and surf at O’Neill Bay.

Head right, and stretch your legs down towards the old wharf and the caves. You can keep going, moving down the Hillary Trail for hours or days. Your head will clear of anything and you’ll come away reinvigorated. It’s a great place to walk & talk to God, to your significant other, to your kids.

Resources: http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/cnlser/pbr/plans/pdf/tehenga/rmptehenga_pg9to20.pdf