Heat, humidity and a NEW HIP for Pam ~ February 2016

If all workers thought and all thinkers worked, the world would be in a better state.

Monday 1st February 2016

We went for our morning walk and then came home and did a few chores. In the afternoon we went along to see Albert who was looking very well indeed. Happy hour once more was quiet but very pleasant.

Tuesday 2nd February 2016

We had our session with Rosie in the park and then came home to do a few things before getting ready to go and see our specialists. My appointment at Yeppoon was first. Dr Pretorius did a wonderful job rebuilding my ankle and the result of today’s appointment is he is going to give me a new hip on the 15th February.

We ate a quick lunch in the car before heading off to Rocky for Pete Mate’s appointment with Dr Heathcote. We had just enough time to call in at Medicare and lodge all the bills from Pete Mate’s operation so we can get some refunds. Medicare and Centre Link share the same building now. Whilst there we encountered two very unpleasant individuals who were extremely rude to staff members. No one should have to go to work and be spoken to in this way. I would introduce a rule if you behave badly you do not get paid this week.

We arrived at Dr Heathcote’s rooms early and to our delight they had the television on and it was the very first episode of 'The Bill'. Normally we try and sit away from any television in waiting rooms but we were glued to the set and when Dr H came out to get us he was amused to see how we had made ourselves comfortable to watch. There weren’t any other patients in the room. Dr H was also interested in The Bill and the first five minutes of the consultation was taken up remembering the old characters. Then we got down to business and Pete Mate was given the all clear – he is now officially cancer free. We arrived home in time for happy hour.

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

We went for our walk, had breakfast and showers and were out of the door for 8.45am. Pretty good going for us. We went to Rocky Airport to collect Suzanne and Leigh, two of our Emu Park winter friends. They were making a very quick visit to Emu Park to finalise the purchase of a unit. It was so good to see them. We dropped them off at their accommodation and then I had a few things to do in the village.

Pete Mate then suggested we go to Degani’s for a coffee. We walked in and who should we see there but my lovely friends, Thelma and Iris. We joined them and had a good chat whilst having our drinks.

Later Suzanne and Leigh came over to the park for happy hour which was very pleasant. We then walked up to the pub for tea. Sue took Barbara up in the car and we enjoyed a very pleasant evening. Later Sue took Barbara home. She hadn’t been gone five minutes when the heavens opened and all the rain we had been wishing for left the sky at once. It was torrential, so we decided we may have to stay longer. It then increased and we knew we were either going to spend the night in the pub or get very wet. Pete Mate said Sue would come back for us – he never doubted this as he said that is the kind of person she is. He was right. The rain was so heavy we still got drenched getting to the car. When we got home we had to strip off everything and dry off. This is when we noticed water pouring in around the toilet. As fast as we mopped the water came in, we used a number or towels to stop the flow. Once the storm passed over the flood stopped.

Thursday 4th February 2016

Pete Mate and I went over to the park for our session with Rosie. Once more it was full on and we arrived home dripping wet from the workout, mainly because it was so humid. I collected Iris and we went to the CWA for the morning. I enjoyed making cards and having a chat. Suzanne came over and caught up with a few people.

After CWA I took Iris to the doctors as she has some more cancers to be removed. I didn’t wait this time as she had arranged for her daughter-in-law to collect her. I went to do some shopping and then returned home for lunch and to do a mammoth wash as we had used so many towels last night to stop the flood. Plus, I decided I might as well do the bedding and anything else that needed washing. Pete Mate taped some plastic over the door to the toilet cassette to stop a repeat performance of last night. The weather was not the best so the dryer got a good workout. Then I prepared for the barbecue tonight. We had asked Suzanne and Leigh to come over for a barbecue but didn’t take into account the weather. We also invited Sue, Al, Stretch and Trish. At happy hour we were all sitting under the office canopy waiting for the storm to pass. Eventually it did and Leigh cooked the barbecue. It was a very good evening and at the end of it all we didn’t get too wet. Plus we have no leak in the ‘van.

Friday 5th February 2016

We didn’t walk this morning as the rain was still tumbling down. I called in to see Iris and she was a little sore but doing okay. I then collected Suzanne and Leigh from their accommodation. They had a quick chat with Lorna before we took them back to the airport for their trip home. It was good to see them and we look forward to their return.

After we left the airport we took my paperwork into the hospital ready for my operation. We noticed along the way that diesel was just under a dollar/litre; we cannot remember the last time this happened. We filled up the tank and then headed home. When we arrived Lorna from the office greeted us with some mail. It was a beautiful card with a voucher inside from Suzanne and Leigh. Very nice of them to do this but also very naughty as we didn’t mind at all helping them out. After lunch I put my feet up for the whole afternoon because I was tired and my hip was very painful. I watched the last Downton Abbey which was so beautiful I wanted to cry. We went over to the office for happy hour but it was a short one as the weather was wet and windy.

Saturday 6th February 2016

No walk again this morning it is still wet and windy. I did a few chores and then did some reading and knitting. Pete Mate spent hours trying to sort out a problem with his emails. We went over to happy hour which again was quiet but pleasant. I have now completed day four of no alcohol! Don’t start worrying, it won’t last for ever.

Sunday 7th February 2016

Thank goodness the weather has improved enough for us to walk this morning. It is also cool. We called in at Degani’s for a cuppa before heading home. Once home I did a few chores and then did some more knitting and reading. Pete Mate spent most of his day on the computer as he had a problem.

Monday 8th February 2016

We enjoyed our morning walk as it was once again lovely and cool. Once home I did a few things before settling down to do Sue’s paperwork. It all went well and I had more or less finished it by the time we went over to happy hour. Pete Mate was reading whilst I was doing this. Happy hour again was quiet but very pleasant.

Tuesday 9th February 2016

We were out early as we had to be in Rocky for our appointments with the eye specialist. We were there for over two hours and all went well. We are both having our cataracts removed in April, I cannot have the top of the range lens because of a problem with my cornea but Pete Mate is having the best. He will not have to wear glasses again but I will for reading only.

We left there and went to visit Pedder’s. We had some work done on the car last June and something is not quite right. Pete Mate booked the car in for next Tuesday. Thankfully Pedder's work is still under warranty. We were getting desperate for a cuppa by now so we headed to the shopping mall. Once that was done I went off to do some clothes shopping. I also wanted to return a pair of cropped trousers that had one leg bigger than the other. As soon as the girls saw it, they agreed the difference was huge. They changed them without any bother and I bought two more pairs. I then went elsewhere and bought a new robe as mine is far too big now.

I came out of there and found Pete Mate chatting to a young lady who was collecting for Teen Cancer. Pete Mate was hooked as soon as he realised she was giving away free hugs. We made our contribution and then decided we would have an early lunch before heading off for the next appointment. However, right opposite the café was a specialist sunglasses shop. The eye specialist recommended we wear sunglasses after the operation. That took a while, having never bought them before because we have had photochromatic lenses that darken in the sunlight so we have never needed them. There are hundreds of glasses to choose from. Eventually we made our decisions and left. We then had to hurry to the car and the next appointment.

We arrived at the Mater Hospital with two minutes to spare, only to wait as the pre-op nurse had not arrived. However, we didn’t have to wait long. I was checked out and measured for the stockings and then we went through the paperwork. It all went smoothly and I felt a lot better about everything when I left. Once out of there we made our way home.

I had invited Sue over for pancakes as it was Shove Tuesday and I had some preparing to do. Meanwhile, Pete Mate took out one of the park's mowers and did some mowing. We had a pleasant happy hour and then I came home to start cooking. Everything went well and we enjoyed a pleasant evening.

Wednesday 10th February 2016

We went for our morning walk and then once home I did a few chores before Iris arrived for morning coffee. It is always a pleasure to be in Iris’s company. After lunch we had to visit the Chronic Disease Nurse, which I think is a terrible title for someone to have. We attended the appointment to schedule visits to the physio, dietician and podiatrist. If we go through the nurse we get five visits free. Afterwards we went to do some shopping at IGA. Once home I started to prepare some meals for the freezer for when I come out of hospital. We went over to Happy Hour and Sue invited us to go to tea with her and Barbara to the Kinka Kippa. My meal of grilled fish was lovely. We did however have to share our table with a swarm of mossies. They wouldn’t leave us alone at all and it did spoil the outing a little.

Thursday 11th February 2016

We had our last session with Rosie for a while. Hopefully it will not be too long before we can return. After breakfast I went to the CWA for card making. Barbara came long for the first time and I think she enjoyed it. After lunch I did more cooking for the freezer. Happy hour was quiet and pleasant.

Friday 12th February 2016

We walked as usual. I am in a great deal of pain so it wasn’t easy. I often wondered if the krill I was taking helped with the pain; now I know it does. I had to stop taking it a week ago ready for my operation. After our walk I did a few chores before going to the beauty parlour for a pedicure. It was so nice and relaxing. I then did a couple of things in the village before heading home to finish off the freezer cooking. We went to Tiger and Trish’s for happy hour which was very pleasant indeed.

Saturday 13th February 2016

We did our usual walk and once again were amazed how well the new section of the Memorial Walk is progressing. Access was more or less blocked to the board walk. Pete Mate climbed over some rubble but I wasn’t game enough as I was in pain and the last thing I wanted at this stage was to fall over. We continued our walk until we reached Degani’s where we popped in for a cuppa.

Once home and with breakfast out of the way I did quite a few chores that needed doing. I want most things to be in order before going into hospital on Monday. Pete Mate helped out a bit which made things a little easier. It also meant I had time to relax in the afternoon. I didn’t go over to happy hour because I waited on the computer for my sisters to come on Skype. After three quarters of an hour I gave up and went over to happy hour. We had another thunder storm with a good shower of rain. Apparently there was a rainbow over the caravan but, being inside it, I didn’t see it.

Sunday 14th February 2016

We enjoyed our usual walk and once again were surprised how well the memorial gatehouse is coming along. We enjoyed breakfast at Degani's, I can highly recommend the omelette - very nice and so filling that we skipped lunch. Our breakfast was courtesy of the voucher from Leigh and Suzanne. We decided to use it today as it was Valentines Day plus the day before D-day. It was a good decision.

Once home I did a few things in preparation for tomorrow and then put my feet up and relaxed, which I found did me a world of good. I went over to happy hour in the BBQ area which was not good for me as the seating didn't do a thing for my hip. I am so looking forward to going over to happy hour and sitting without discomfort. It has been a long time since I have. That is why I drink wine. Well, maybe that was a fib. Talking of wine, I have really missed it and am looking forward to that first glass when home. I do feel quite proud of myself that I had 12 days without.

Monday 15th February 2016

D-day had arrived and we got to the hospital just before 7:00a.m. I was taken through quite quickly and the usual checks were done yet again. The nurse I had was called Judy; we know this because she told us twice. She also asked some of the questions twice. Then she said, I will take your bags through, and left them with Pete Mate. We looked at each other and decided we were glad she was not giving me the new hip.

Then we got the news I was to be first in theatre not second as planned. I said goodbye to Pete Mate and was taken straight through to get ready. Judy had to paint my hip. She asked once or twice, Which hip? whilst I was getting undressed and tried to paint my left hip. Good thing I had my wits about me. Then another nurse questioned what she had written about my medication. I then had a sulking Nurse Judy who wouldn't speak to staff, only to me. A theatre nurse came in to see if I was ready and she turned her back on her. The nurse said, Well, I will go back to theatre then and wait. Judy didn't even acknowledge her. Then Judy put me in a wheelchair and pushed me to the room before theatre. She was lovely to me and wished me well. Then it was all systems go.

Hercule De Witt was my anaesthetist and he was lovely. I do not remember anything after getting onto the theatre bed. I woke up in recovery and then went back to sleep. I vaguely remember the journey to my room. For a while I drifted in and out of sleep. Around 4:00p.m. I felt really well, I was allowed water and later was given a cup of tea and a sandwich. The nurse, at my request, took the oxygen tube from my nose as long as I promised to keep taking deep breaths. She said I looked pale and I thought, Yes, maybe a big operation would do that.

The physio arrived later and showed me how to do some exercises. Then he got me out of bed for a walk. This I did without any problem as I had to use a walker. I was surprised how soon I was back in my room and asked, Are we not going again? He laughed and said some patients ask to go back to bed after two steps. He reckons I will do well because of my attitude.

After he had left I rang Pete Mate and had a nice chat. After that I read and watched TV. I discovered Downton Abbey was on. Even though I had watched it on DVD I loved watching it again. It ended my day perfectly.

Tuesday 16th February 2016

I did fairly well today. I walked and did my exercises. Then they took my blood and found I was low on iron. I had to have a blood transfusion. All went okay. Lorna and Dougie visited me in the morning and Pete Mate came later - he had taken the car into Pedders. Hopefully they have now fixed it. In the afternoon they took me downstairs for an X-ray. I was freezing and in pain, not a pleasant experience. I had a lovely surprise of some flowers from our friends, Dawn and Phil. Once back in my room I fell asleep until dinner time.

Wednesday 17th February 2016

Today I was allowed to walk by myself. Well, actually I had been walking around my room by myself since yesterday and got caught twice by the nurses. They said as long as I buzzed them if I felt unwell or got into difficulty they would not worry.

The surgeon came in the morning and talked about me going into rehab. I told him the phsyio was so pleased with my progress he thought rehab would not be necessary. The surgeon was not convinced and, as he has the final say, no more was said.

The physio turned up later and had spoken to the boss. Their opinions on the need for rehab differed. Anyway, we just got on with it and went for a walk and climbed the steps and then came down again. No problems. I had two more walks on my own around the place, much further than I went with the physio.

The blood transfusion went well and my levels are now up. Pete Mate came to visit me in the afternoon. I enjoyed another good sleep, it is so wonderful to sleep without the pain of the hip waking me all the time.

Thursday 18th February 2016

Today I had to rest a lot as I had been overdoing the walking and the exercises. I thought if the phsyio said do ten exercises, twenty would be better. Apparently not. My leg is red, swollen and hot. There isn't any infection so that is a plus.

Pete Mate came to visit me in the afternoon as did Sue and Barbara. It was lovely to see them and we had a good chat about things. Pete Mate had taken the car back to Peddars as Billy was makeing a different noise. They found the fault which was nothing to do with the work they did last winter but they refused to charge PM. Pretty good service.

The meals here have been okay but lunch was exceptional, it was Chicken Tikka with rice and naan bread. The salmon salad for tea was the worse meal I have had here, I left it after two mouthfuls. Tomorrow I will find out if I can come home.

Friday 19th February 2016

I enjoyed another good night’s sleep. Pete Mate rang early to see if I was being allowed out of hospital but Dr. Pretorius hadn’t done his rounds so I didn’t know. My breakfast arrived so I told PM I would call him back once I had news. I settled myself down to enjoy my breakfast and had literally taken one mouthful when the doctor arrived. I said, “I just knew this would happen”. He laughed which is a rare event for Dr. Pretorius. He checked me out and said I was okay to go home if I thought I could manage the caravan. I assured him I could. He took my hand in his and said that at any time if I had questions or felt I needed to see him, to phone and he would see me. It was a rare, touching moment from Dr. Pretorius as his bedside manner is usually more cold and efficient.

I had just finished my breakfast when Stephen, the physio arrived. He put me through my paces and went through the exercises I have to do after two weeks. Stephen is very religious and in the stairwell where I practice steps, he sang a hymn to me. He has a very good voice and I enjoyed it. We then disagreed about the spiritual world and he started quoting bible verses to me. In my head I agreed to disagree because it wouldn’t have worked outside my head as Stephen is quite dogmatic in his beliefs.

Once back in my room I waited for a nurse to attend my dressing and see what time I could go home. Once that was done I rang PM to tell him the news and then went for a shower and to pack up ready for departure. All went well and I was just about ready when PM arrived. We left with lots of good wishes and goodbyes from the nursing staff. Wonderful people. Getting in the car was a little tricky but with practice we will get there. PM had a few things he wanted to do in Rocky but decided he should take me straight home. I was perfectly alright so I convinced him to go ahead. Anyway one of the things was to get me some new crutches as the ones I had borrowed were too big. I had to have children’s crutches because I have a very short forearm. We had to pick up some medication for me on the way home and as you always have to wait at the village pharmacy, we decided to go to Degani’s for a sandwich. By the time we were served, the medication would well and truly be ready; Degani’s staff were so slow.

Once home I rested on the bed and had a sleep, then it was time for happy hour which I attended. It took me a while to get there but I did it. That glass of red was nectar after having 10 days without. I did ask before leaving hospital if I could partake in a little red and was told one glass in the evening is fine but don’t drink the whole bottle! Had my reputation travelled as far as the Mater Hospital?

Saturday 20th February 2016

I enjoyed a really good sleep and got up feeling good. In the morning Iris came over for coffee which was good. It is always lovely to see Iris. The rest of the day went well, I slept a lot and Pete Mate looked after me.

Sunday 21st February 2016

We went to Degaini’s for lunch and then did some shopping at IGA. I had had enough by the time we got home and had a long sleep. The leg is still swollen and after a while it aches a lot. Friends Jill and Sandy came for happy hour which was great. It was lovely to see them. We didn’t have to worry about dinner as Sue had made us a Risotto which was very yummy.

Monday 22nd February 2016

I can now get in and out of the caravan on my own, I don’t need Pete Mate to stand alongside me. Plus, from today I am allowed to stand with even weight on both legs. I found this great as I was putting all my weight on the other leg causing that hip to ache. I can do more as well. The day seemed to fly by and it was soon happy hour which was very pleasant as we celebrated Bill being a grandfather again. (Bill is a permanent resident in the park and is married to Colleen who works in the office).

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Iris came over for a coffee in the morning. It was lovely to see her and we chatted for well over an hour. I then did some reading and sleeping. Pete Mate was on the computer doing things. We went over to Happy Hour; we have reverted back to outside the office as it is more comfortable. It was once again a very pleasant time.

Wednesday 24th February 2016

Pete Mate took me to the doctors at her request. Not knowing why she wanted to see me, I took the hip X-rays and anything else I thought she may want. I also wanted my stitches taken out from the smaller of the wounds. All she wanted was to make sure my low iron count had been followed up in hospital. That is why we like Beth, she is thorough. She decided my stitches should stay in for another week and then looked at the other wound because I told her it was sore and hot. It was infected. The nurse cleaned and re-dressed it and Pete Mate was shown how to dress it each morning after my shower. Beth gave me a script for antibiotics.

We left there and went to the pharmacy close by. The nurse came with us to make sure we bought the correct dressings. Amazing service! Anthony and Cathy who own the pharmacy are lovely people and he seemed to know I had had a hip replaced. It puzzled me a little until I remembered he is a member of the Lions and our friends Lorna and Dougie also belong to the Lions. No secrets in Emu Park.

After we left there we went up to the Singing Ship to see how much more work had been done on the Memorial Walk. They are really getting a move on. We walked around the Singing Ship and then sat on our favourite seat for a little while. It felt so good to be up there. I rested in the afternoon and then after a short happy hour, Sue took us up to the pub for tea. Barbara came as well. Pete Mate and I enjoyed our meals very much but Sue and Barbara didn’t. Sue took us home and for me it was the end of the day as I was tired. It had been a very busy day for me and my crutches.

Thursday 25th February 2016

Pete Mate went off early to take one of Sue’s machines into Rocky to be auctioned. Sue collected me at 10.00am and, along with Barbara, we went into Yeppoon. I felt good walking around the shops and then we had coffee before coming home.

Once home I was on the bed and asleep in no time at all. I then got up for lunch. Pete Mate and I were trying to do few chores in the afternoon when friend Wayne arrived for a chat. It was nice to see him and he stayed for about an hour. Once he had left we continued doing what we had been doing and then it was time for happy hour. Once again it was very pleasant.

Friday 26th February 2016

Pete Mate and I did a few chores in the morning and then we went to Degani’s for lunch. I had to buy a card and write it whilst having lunch because I wanted to post it right away. It was one of the hardest cards I have ever written. What does one say to a friend who is dying and knows he is. It made me feel really down for the rest of the day. When lunch was over we did some shopping. Once home I rested on the bed and Pete Mate went off to check out some more equipment he is selling for Sue. Happy hour was really nice - we had a lot of laughs. I think we will miss Thelma and Barry when they go home.

Saturday 27th February 2016

Just a normal day here at Emu Park. Chores done, books read and computers played with. I didn’t go over to Happy Hour as I spoke to my sister on Skype instead.

Sunday 28th February 2016

A day pretty much the same as yesterday except I spent the afternoon making some cards. Happy hour was pleasant enough but I was really too tired to enjoy it.

Monday 29th February 2016

Iris came over for coffee in the morning which is always pleasant. I went over to Sue’s to help her with something on the iPad and had a cup of tea. In the afternoon I read and we watched The Bill. Happy hour was very pleasant but we had to say our goodbyes to Barry and Thelma.

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