Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Dear Spark Friends,
Just a quick note...I am running so far behind in catching up on blogs, so firstly I apologise for not getting to any blogs you may have posted lately. I have had a stack of notifications and hope to read an reply to blogs as I can.
After battling viral symptoms in July - both Mum and me - I had to reschedule a number of appointments and other arrangements and somehow they ended up quite bunched up during this past month. That has meant it has taken me a long time to recover in between, with a great deal of fatigue and increasing pain symptoms, back spasms, etc. I have been so tired some days that I could go back to sleep after breakfast, and often have fallen asleep during the day in the middle of doing something.
It's also been a sad month. Not only with the anniversaries of the deaths of people we knew, but also news of a number of deaths of people we know of, or those who are dear to friends, plus deaths of pets as well. To say it has been full on is an understatement. After going to a funeral on Monday, I had to cancel my pain clinic appointment I was supposed to attend today as I was in too much pain after an outing the day before and on Thursday and Friday last week. I am just worn out.
So bit by bit I will do my best to get to your blogs. Please know you are in my thoughts. For those of you who are dealing with grief, health issues or have family members for whom you have requested prayers, I am lighting a candle each day for special intentions for those needing extra help, and this includes these Spark friends who I know of....so you are not forgotten.
Sending blessings, love and hugs to you all.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Hello dear Spark friends,
I saw this on another Spark friend's blog and just had to share it:
Don't know if this ever really happened but thought it was great and had to share. Many of us can relate!!!!
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating :
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this):
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash.........twice a day.
2.. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3... Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4.... Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5..... Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6...... The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
I love the next one!
7....... The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.
8........ Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9......... Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10.......... You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
Please share this with your friends who love - but sometimes hate - their computer!
Am trying to fight off cold symptoms at the moment...hope to post an update some time in the near future. In the meantime, hugs and blessings to you all.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Hello dear Spark Friends,
Greetings from what has been an extremely hot Adelaide since the start of the year. There had been the odd short break but then we've had temperatures back over 40 degrees Celsius. Add on night temperatures that don't fall below 20 Celsius and our house feels like a furnace. Everything inside cupboards and wardrobes is hot when you take them out! If you have kept up with my blogs you will know that for structural reasons, installing extra airconditioning isn't an option. We do have ceiling fans in our bedrooms, though it gets like a fan forced oven and we're drenched in perspiration through the night if we actually manage to fall asleep. I know how ironic this will sound to those of you who have been faced with Arctic freeze conditions!
The heat also aggravates my Allodynia condition, so a lot of the time I have the sensation of my back being on fire, and though I take pain medication, this only takes the edge off the pain. While that medication makes me sleepy, it had been a challenge to get a restful sleep of late. Hence I am rather exhausted and drained from it all, and have had more trouble than usual being able to focus on anything.
My assessments at the Pain Clinic were yesterday and on Tuesday. I was scheduled to see 3 different people on Tuesday, and 2 yesterday. When I arrived and filled in the forms, I was told the one with the nurse was not going ahead since they were short staffed in that area. They did have someone doing a fellowship in pain management and he was going to sit in on the assessments, though. I saw the psychologist first, then the physician, where a lot of prodding and uncomfortable testing took place. That would have been it for the day, but the physio had a cancellation, so I was offered the appointment with her if I wanted to wait for around an hour. I decided that was a good idea - otherwise I would have had over a 4 hour wait from the end of my first assessment with the psychiatrist yesterday, and then seeing her as was originally scheduled for later in the day.
I found the psychologist personable, the physician so-so, and the physio also personable and very helpful. I told her I had tried what I considered a basic level of exercise (including chair exercises), but anything I tried aggravated or triggered more pain. I was both surprised and relieved that she understands the VERY basic level I am at, on account of continual pain restricting my ability to function on a daily basis. She showed me some very simple exercises, and said not to worry about trying to remember them as I'd had enough to use up my energy till I go back next week for the panel's review and recommendations, when she will give me a list of what we went through. I felt a glimmer of hope that what I expect most people would laugh at as 'child's play' in terms of how simple the exercises are, actually sound doable and not as taxing as I would have expected.
Then yesterday I saw the psychiatrist who I had trouble 'connecting' with, and left feeling a bit down. I also had not had a wink of sleep due to the heat, so I already started off 'on the back foot' and found that session very draining as it seemed like I hardly had time to catch my breath in between all the questions, plus I seemed to be in a state of 'brain fog', so that would all have contributed to my feeling it was a 'trying' session. Plus it was 43 and 42 Celsius on the respective days, and even just the taxi ride there and back is challenging for me. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what they all come up with next week, and where it all goes from there.
We finally have a break in the weather this morning and after another night of poor sleep, I am going to catch up on some more sleep soon. I wanted to get this blog written beforehand though, as I knew it would be less likely to get done the longer I left it.
I notice I have some email notifications of some of your blogs, and I will do my best to read and comment on them as I can.
Blessings and hugs till next time,
Please accept this as my thanks for taking the time to read my blogs.
I appreciate all your support and friendship - and may many blessings grace your day.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Hello dear Spark Friends,
Thanks so much for your lovely comments on yesterday's blog. Still feeling a bit 'under the weather', but while watching today's broadcast of the cricket from the Sydney Cricket Ground, thought I'd write a blog about "Jane McGrath Day" and change my background picture.
Jane McGrath, wife of retired Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath, suffered from breast cancer and later bone and brain mets before her life was tragically cut short at the age of 42, in 2008. In 2002, Glenn and Jane founded the Jane McGrath Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to raising money to fund breast care nurses in rural and regional Australia, and also to raise breast cancer awareness.
To date, the Foundation has raised $12 million and funded 100 McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who have supported over 25,000 Australian families affected by breast cancer.
The third day of the test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground each year is now known as Jane McGrath Day, where money is raised for the Foundation. The ground becomes a sea of pink, as spectators, commentators and the cricket teams show support. The commentators are decked out in pink jackets, ties and Akubra hats. The Ladies Stand is renamed the Jane McGrath Stand for the day, and the Members' Village Green transforms into the Village Pink.
The Sydney Test is also known as the Pink Test.
The Australian cricket team players are each given a pink version of the traditional 'baggy green cap' that they all sign. Led by the Australian captain, they come out to the ground wearing the pink caps, which they hand one by one to Glenn McGrath. The background picture you can see on my page is that of Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke giving his cap to Glenn McGrath.
The opposing team are given a paler pink version of their own caps, which they sign, and also give to Glenn McGrath as they come out on the ground. The caps, along with the shirts worn and signed by each Australian player, are all auctioned to raise further funds for the Foundation. At the time of writing this, it was announced that so far just today, $450,000 has been raised, and of course more will come from the auction of the pink caps and players' shirts, plus further donations from the public.
Here are some pictures for pink fanciers everywhere...
The Jane McGrath banner is unveiled in front of the Members Stand:
Breast Care Nurses - and one patient, who is furthest left:
The SCG is awash with pink:
Getting into the spirit everywhere:
Australian Captain and Vice-Captain hand their caps to Glenn McGrath, watched by Jane and Glenn's children James and Holly:
I thought it was a pertinent subject to so many Sparkers and my Spark Friends, so I wanted to share some information about this special sporting day.
I send my prayers and thoughts to all Spark Friends who are touched by any form of cancer, in the hope that you all get the support you need, and God's blessings for recovery and that each day may improve, or at least be as good as possible.
Till next time,
Blessings, big hugs and love to you all,
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Hello dear Spark Friends,
This is just a quick update...
If I'm a bit slow catching up with you this week, it's because I have an upper respiratory tract infection.
I suppose one could call it a 'Summer cold"... This is day 7 of mostly unrelenting symptoms. The worst part is difficulty breathing from all the chest and nasal congestion...I'm taking a de-congestant - it just seems it has a lot of hard work to do! I'm doing all the right things, so with rest I guess it's just a matter of time for it to clear up. If is doesn't get better in the next week I'll see a doctor. Since most of these things are viral, I don't want to be taking antibiotics unnecessarily should their effectiveness be reduced any time in the future - I had to have 3 lots of antibiotics last year, so I'm very wary of this. There's no lack of distraction though - being a sports fan, there is plenty of cricket and tennis being played in Australia right now.
I forgot to mention in my last blog that I have a bit of good news... I had been placed on the waiting list for the Pain Management Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital a long time ago. It's taken 3 years, and late last year I finally received a letter advising me of a series of assessments they have booked for me in February - much to my GP's relief, as she has been very concerned at me being looked at by a someone who may be able to do more to help with all my pain issues during the past year. There are such long waiting lists for specialists, that I wasn't able to see anyone when I really needed to last year. So we'll see how it al goes in February!
I hope you are all keeping as well as possible.
Sending much love, hugs and blessings to you all,
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