Home is where you hang your cat.

I’ve been making a list of stuff that I think we need to do around the house and a couple of other silly lists of what we’d like to do if a piece of casino dropped on one of our heads and we were able to sue a money pit for damages.  Not surprisingly we’ve been sadly neglectful in the whole home ownership department over the last 7 years or so (something to do with being swamped with IVF debt) but that’s going to have to change before the place starts falling down around us.  Okay it’s no where near that bad… but the place does need some TLC and I’m just kinda trying to prioritize things a bit.  🙂

Azerbaijan’s Great Leap Forward

The "It’s About Fucking Time" List
Air conditioning overhaul  
Whirlybirds & vents     
Replace useless front security door.
Tree removed from near patio
Retaining wall                       
Back Fence  
Network cabling 
Build in cupboard dining room
Hotwater system   
Insulation glass MstB
Gutter across driveway     
Renovate main bathroom

The "If I Sold a Kidney" List
Heat reflective pain entire roof    
Extension rumpus room
Movement of current patio
New carpets throughout                
Lattice for patio
Insulation above garage
Bookshelves in dining room
Knock down walls B2 & B3
Frosted glass in bathrooms
Quote to double glazed glass B3

The "Dream On Dorothy" List

Leather chesterfield lounges      
Big Fuck off TV        
Entertainment unit           
Spa tub                           
Renovate ensuite

So now all I need to do is win lotto…. my chances of which I believe would be exponentially increased if I were to you know – buy tickets occasionally.

An orthopaedic with a bedside manner??? Surely not!

I went to my appointment this morning and much to my surprise met with an unusually personnable orthopaedic surgeon.  Just yesterday I was complaining how about how many damn specialists I have seen over the years and how anxious these awful appointments make me… and here I am this evening feeling like the earth must have titlted off it’s axis or something because something ain’t right.  There’s no such thing as a nice orthopod…. is there?

I’ve long been aware that most of these specialist surgeons think they’re small Gods.  Orthopaedic, neurological… doesn’t matter which discipline really they mostly tend to have massive superiority complexes and little or no bedside manner.   And for reasons unknown… orthopaedic surgeons are often the worse.  I know this to be true.  My GP actually warned me about how ‘brusque’ they tend to be, not realizing I have seen more than my fair share.  And he did confirm that it is not just my perception that being an almighty prick is a job requirement with orthopaedic surgeons… apparently they are actually widely reputed to be the most arrogant bunch of prats with the worst bedside manners this side of the black stump.

So imagine my shock when I met a doctor today who 1) seemed to give a shit,  2) actually explained to me what was going on with the ‘crunching’ in my neck and 3) told me that there wasn’t a lot that could be done about it but managed to convey the same with actual empathy!

Unbelievable!!!  So while this one unexpectedly non-traumatic appointment doesn’t really do a lot to wipe away the 18 years of dealing with arrogant surgeons who couldn’t give a fuck about their patients…. I have learnt one thing – the name a good orthopod in Bris-Vegas if anyone have need of one (details available upon request).

One more time with feeling…

I have an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow to try and figure out what the hell is going ‘crunch’ in my neck every time I go for a walk or have the temerity to do something truly outrageous like try to walk up a flight of stairs.  I don’t want to go.

I have a long and complicated medical history where my back is concerned and an even longer and even more convoluted history with medico-legal specialists.  I hurt my back initially in an MVA in Aug 1991… then again in another MVA in Dec 1991 and unfortunately again in Sept 1994. 

Through out this whole time I had –
a treating physiotherapist
a treating chiropractor
a treating orthopaedic surgeon
a treating neurosurgeon
a treating occupational therapist
a treating pain management psychiatrist
who were supposed to be working with my GP to resolve my unresolving chronic pain issues.

I also had three defendents in one of the most complex court cases my lawyer type friends had ever heard of.  So basically this meant that from 1991 until 1999 (when the case settled) that I had MY lawyers and ALL three of the defendents lawyers sending me off to ‘assessing or consultant’ medico-legal specialists in all of the above fields on a semi-regular basis for roughly the entirety of my 20s.

Assessing or consultant medico-legal specialists don’t treat you… it’s their job to basically try and lay blame for your injury onto someone other than the defendent who hired them.  They usually give you a perfucntory examination and get a Reader’s Digest version of your medical history.  They are generally given limited (and often biased) information to help facilitate them in making their ‘determination’ about such things as spinal function and residual incapacity etc.  Anyway I was flicking though some of my old reports because I have this appointment tomorrow and I DON’T WANT TO GO.

Over the years I’ve seen six physiotherapists, two chiropractors, nine orthopaedic surgeons, five neurosurgeons, six pain management psychiatrists, three occupational therapists, two accupuncturists, four massage therapists, an ENT, a naturopath, a homeopath, a bowen massage therapist… and I’m sure there some of them whose names and occupations I can’t even remember anymore.

But what is shitting me right now is that I thought I had this all behind me.  I don’t want to go engage a lawyer and waste another 8 years of my life bogged down in litigation.  I don’t want to find myself doing the rounds of assessing medico-legal consultants again… but mostly I don’t want to spend my time telling my fucked up story over and over and over and over and over again.

Before this last car accident in Nov 2007… I had some back pain occasionally – usually if I slept poorly or did something stupid like putting up tents for a day at festival or spent all day in the garden.  But I was drug free and I didn’t spend my every waking minute thinking about back pain.   I’ve been given so much medication I can’t even keep track of it anymore – Diazepam, Digesic, Panadeine Fortre, Talam, Ordine, Cipramil, Seroquel, Metformin, Duramine, Temaze, Panacortelone and I know there’s stuff in my drawer that isn’t on this list. 

I don’t want to go see yet another ‘specialist’ and go through my entire life’s history all over again.  And the longer this draws out and the longer I am off work, and the longer the medical bills get… the more likely I’m going to have to go and get all lawyered up again   🙁

Which is the last thing I want.

At least I have my health :(

Valentine’s Day – the post mortem.  Okay I was going to join in with Hilly’s Self Love Valentine Day Extravaganza yesterday and I sat down and uploaded my little banner yesterday and was all ready to write down something that I loved or at least really liked about myself as per the instuctions. (Post the banner, write about something you love about yourself and see if anyone else has things they love about you too).

But when I started to try and think of something that I really loved about myself… absolutely nothing of any consequence came to mind.  Sure I can rattle of a list as long as my arm of things I don’t like about me…  my fucked back and chronic pain and my infertility and the insulin resistance and the shitty metabolism and the drug fucked stupor and the cranky, bitchy and generally irritable demeanour that I seem to have (inadvertently) permanently adopted.

But coming up with one thing I really LOVE about myself? I just feel like I had nothing.  All I could think of was stupid little things… stupid little unimportant things.  After thinking about it for a few minutes I started to feel like the little things are all I’ve got to hang on to at the moment. 

Because I really don’t like where my life has been for the last 15 months.  All I think about from morning until night is pain.  I feel like I am losing myself in here somewhere.  I don’t laugh as readily as I used to (which isn’t good as I wasn’t known for being easily amused in the first place).  I am pessimistic and cynical and try hard but can’t seem to stop it from affecting the people around me.  I feel so fucking depressed all the time and there’s always tears just below the surface… when what I REALLY REALLY want is to be the exact opposite. 

Wishing for things to be different doesn’t make it so and thus far the unrelenting nature of this intense chronic back pain is slowly killing everything about me that I ever thought of as worthwhile.  If you feel like a burden on the people around you, and you feel like you’re not a useful contributing member of your family… or your community… or society in general – well then before you know it you start to feel like you’d be better off not here at all.

Given that this is where my head at 99.9% of my waking hours I guess it is not surprising that I found it difficult to find something that I love about myself.  Because quite frankly I hate my fucked up body and I hate what being in pain all the time has done to my emotional outlook and mental stability and I hate what I’ve become.  I hate what it is doing to my relatonships and the wonderful people around me who deserve so much better than this shit. 

If our realities are shaped by our perceptions… then my reality is that I’m pained, miserable and depressed and useless as tits on a bull to boot.  So no.  I don’t have anything I love about being me at the moment.

Say it with a bunch of dead flora and a box of superfluous calories and saturated fats.

Valentines Day… isn’t it fabulous?   Sigh…

The flowers, the chocolates, the romantic candlelit dinners, the fine wine, the dead sexy voice of Barry White emanating from the stereo, the extravagant jewellery, the really hot sex* you’re going to have…   Isn’t it ever so romantic and wonderful!  Why…  is there any felicity in the world such as this?

If only, every day were Valentines Day…. then we could all waste our money on this shit 365 days a year.

Valentines Day is yet another of those Hallmark occasions which I absolutely despise.  All flash, no substance and the whole thing sets you up to fail.  It’s not uncommon apparently for many relationships go totally bust after Valentines Day.  Why?  Well, because the entire concept seems to be designed to give chicks EXPECTATIONS…. and God forbid should HE fail to deliver.  It makes no sense – either you have a fabulous loving relationship and you tell each other every single day, in a million little ways, how much you mean to each other…. or you don’t.  And if you don’t – well you can probably forget about you choccies and flowers because they’re not going to help your cause.

Personally I’d rather skip the chocolates and flowers and the damn (tree killing) greeting cards, and have once sincere ‘I love you’ for my troubles.

What can I say?  I’m easy to please.   (Hey you – stop scoffing!!!)

mario valentines
* NB – This is usually proportionate to the number
and/or value of the aforementioned items here listed.