Archive for June, 2018

Hip hip hooray

June 26, 2018

Firstly many thanx to family, friends and acquaintances from near and far who have rung, emailed, messaged or managed some other means of communication to wish me well and to see how I was going. I especially appreciated those of you who stayed away due to having cold bugs etc, and for not sharing them with me. And to those of you who sent messages telepathically, they may have got a little muddled in translation but I got the gist! It has all been very much appreciated, and Jacky’s visit on Friday was just the tonic I needed before leaving the hospital.

Now that the anaesthetic fog has lifted and the pain meds are reducing, I almost feel human like again. Every day things are a little easier but as I have said before I am definitely the tortoise in this race.

Antony and Roy are looking after me well, making sure I do exactly as I have been told, and it is nice to be here in front of the fire and out of the damn awful weather that we seem to be experiencing. Oh yeah, it’s winter, right. The boys are honing their cooking skills showing that some knowledge is passed on via osmosis. Long may it continue.

Oh, and I have received a letter from the Bone Bank thanking me for my donation of the old hip and that the bone has been accepted and already been used to help someone else. I wish them all the best.

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Hip (h)op

June 21, 2018

The hip op is done. Monday morning we arrived at Ascot hospital bright and early ready for surgery, meeting up with both the surgeon and anesthetist very briefly before walking the long walk to the theatre. The spinal anaesthetic was quickly and painlessly administered, the sedative was adminis………and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery! Done and dusted.

Later that evening, they had me up and out of bed, walking to the loo. Next morning up and showering, which I have to admit was bliss. I won’t lie, it’s not all painfree, especially when I put weight on my leg. But after two days, I had a bit of a revelation….ask for extra pain relief! OMG why had I not thought of this before? I am on lots of slow release painkiller but didn’t think that it could be topped up before I take on some walking. Doh! My surgeon and anaesthetist both guessed that that was what my revelation was. All the staff kept asking me how was my pain, asking me to score it so I just presumed that all was under control. Well it was, sort of!

All the staff are brilliant, caring and helpful, and the food is pretty good too and it’s not often you can say that about hospital food.

morning tea one morning

lamb rack was my choice another evening

Slow and steady progress is what we are after. I get out of here on Saturday morning and will stay at Antony’s for a week or so until I feel comfortable enough to be back in the van.

I think it is going to be a long slow process, and I will have to be patient.

Trip to Kaitaia

June 16, 2018

We left Uretiti early on Friday morning as we had an unexpected trip to make to Kaitaia. It was one of those amazing blue sky days with nary a cloud in sight and with light traffic it should be a pleasant trip.

Back track a day, on Thursday my niece Natalie and nephew Stuart called in with their uncle and cousin on their way north, it was great to catch up with them all. We would be seeing them all again tomorrow. Yep, a not a photo taken, too busy gasbagging!

Back to Friday. We planned a quick, very brief stop in Kerikeri to drop off a couple of books to Roy’s cousin Stuart, books that were given to us when we were researching family connections in Mendrisio Switzerland. And it was a very quick stop, sorry Stuart, but we hope you enjoy browsing the books, until we meet up again soon.

As we passed along the coastline through Coopers Beach, we could see that the seas were flat calm and Doubtless Bay was a picture. You will have to take my word for it as I was too busy driving to take any pictures.

We arrived in Kaitaia just in time. We were here for the funeral of Beryl Lunjevich, my late sister-in-law Ann’s mother. She passed away on Wednesday 13 June reaching the ripe old age of 97 years, 9 months and 3 days!! She lived a long, fruitful and eventful life. Although a sad occasion, it was lovely to catch up with everyone in the extended family.

RIP Beryl.

Uretiti

June 13, 2018

It’s lovely being back on the road, albeit for a brief time and even better being back at Uretiti. Parked up in our favourite spot where there is no one else in sight we can hear the sea just over the sand dunes, and it’s warmer than we have been for a while with overnight temperatures dropping to 15C! A bit better than the frosts and cool weather we had been experiencing at Ardmore. And it’s so nice to be parked on grass again, I’m sure it’s probably psychological but I think it’s warmer than being parked on gravel.

parked up

Hidden behind a few bushes

And just across the road is the beach access, with a Kingfisher/Kotare sitting atop the wind indicator.

Since our last visit, the sand has built up and covered the fence line toward the beach.

with the beach end of the fence disappearing under the sand dunes.

It’s a beautiful day with hardly a soul in sight, and although the wind direction would be perfect for kite fishing neither a Roy nor I feel up to any strenuous exercise right at this moment. Never mind, there will be another time soon I’m sure.

And a panoramic shot of the beach

For him and for her

June 12, 2018

No, we are not really sexist in our views or in what we do. Roy cooks and cleans as I much I as do repairs and maintenance. However, Roy’s PC had decided it didn’t want to work properly for him, especially some parts of the keyboard which proved very interesting when he was trying to get some work done. After a few days of muttering, mumbling and frustration levels ever increasing, he went off to buy a new laptop. I could go into details of what he got, but in fact I have no idea…it’s black, it’s a laptop, there are no longer any mutterings emanating from the desk and it works, isn’t that all that matters??

It looks something like this

Apparently it does what he wants it to do and very quickly as well so he is a happy chappy.

Not to be left out, I finally found something I have been looking for for a while now. No, not nirvana or the winning lotto numbers, although I wouldn’t say no to the latter, but a pipe thingy for my handheld vacuum. Yes, I was silly when I bought my handheld Dyson a few years ago, I should have bought the stick version. But after borrowing the pipe from Brian & Marj a couple of years ago to try, I knew one would fit and it would work ok if I could just lay my hands on one, or more precisely do some serious looking for one. Last week I decided I needed to get my a into g and so I did a quick search and lo and behold Mr Google came to my rescue. Ordered one day, delivered the next, brilliant!

My handheld before –

The said stick/pipe/wand

And after

No more bending down to vacuum or crawl around on hands and knees. Perfect for post surgery ……I’ll still be able to vacuum 😂😂

I, or should I say we, can zoom around quickly and easily getting the floors vacuumed, and even reach those high places that the vertically challenged member of the household could not previously reach without precariously balancing on a stool.

Oh why oh why did I leave it so long to actually get one? I have no idea!

Escape and a bank

June 10, 2018

The tunnels were secretly dug, which one should we take? Tom, Dick or Harry? the fake uniforms ready to go and the documents were forged. In the full light of day our escape from Auckland is set and we are off like a you know what! heading to Uretiti for a week of R&R before we return in a weeks time.

on our way, Whangarei here we come!

It seems we needed a couple of tunnels, the Waterview Tunnel and the Johnstones Hill Tunnel, however no uniforms or documents were required but we did have to pay tolls before our escape was complete. Phew!

We are both really enjoying being back at Uretiti, we had forgotten how much warmer it is here even though it’s only a couple of hours further north than Ardmore and I guess being by the sea is also a contributing factor. It’s also so nice being back parked on grass and having a bit more space around us without close neighbours.

Hopefully we will be able to get some fishing in as well this week, we just need the wind to blow the right way for us to launch the kite….that’s if we can remember how to set up our kite as it seems like such a long time since we have been kite fishing.

Back to the title of this blog, and no we didn’t rob a bank on our way out of town.

On Friday I had my pre op check with the surgeon, and all is well. I have filled in the copious number of forms and submitted them to the right people and places, and now just have a week to wait.

Interestingly, I received a phone call the other day from the Bone Bank (who knew that there was such a thing) asking me if I would be interested in donating my hip joint to be used in other surgeries where pieces of bone or crushed bone need to be used. Sure, I said, it’s no use to me and if it can help others then go for it.

People with a variety of conditions need donated bone for their treatment. It’s used to treat:

• children with scoliosis having spinal surgery

• adults having repeat hip replacement surgery or needing bone grafts for spinal and other orthopaedic surgery

• children with cancer who have bone fractures that won’t heal.

I’ve been a blood donor for many many years but I did not realise that they also collected bone. I wonder if they want a couple of crappy knees as well??!!! They are next on the agenda for replacement once the hip has recovered. Soon, I’ll have a decent leg to stand on!

Done!

June 7, 2018

It’s all done and dusted, finished, completed, ended, kaput, stopped, wrapped up…..you get the picture?

Yes, Roy had his last treatment yesterday and without so much as a fanfare, it’s all over rover. I made a batch of muffins for him to take in to the lovely staff at Auckland hospital which apparently was well received.

And how did we celebrate? Well for a start with a Rum & Coke, as during treatment anything with a fizz in it was on the banned list. And for dinner I made a boeuf bourguignon complete with lots of onions and garlic (also on the banned list), accompanied by more previously banned foods as in leeks and broccoli. And damned delicious it was too, especially on a very chilly evening.

So now we return to some semblance of normality, well for a short period of time as it will be my turn next.

It’s the final countdown

June 3, 2018

We are on the final countdown, with Wednesday being Roy’s last treatment day and time for celebration. He has had no side effects, he doesn’t glow in the dark or have any superpowers although we are forever hopeful he achieves the latter! We are forever thankful that we had options and everything has gone to plan with a great outcome.

And thank goodness for Winston’s gold card. For those not in NZ, Winston Peters is a long serving MP (who will be the stand-in Prime Minister whilst Jacinda is on maternity leave) who a few years ago organised a gold card for senior citizens which entitles them to free public transport in most major cities as well as discounts at some stores. The gold card has been used by Roy every day for the past 7 and a half weeks to get the train in and out to Newmarket, then a free bus to the hospital and return. It has saved us not only many $$$’s but also in time and stress as we haven’t had to drive in, fighting the traffic, looking for parking, as well as petrol costs. Well done Winnie!

It’s been another week of catching up with friends and family. Bill & Linda came visiting last Sunday as they were having an open home is readiness to sell, so it was great to catch up with them. Gary & Marg called in on their way through Auckland for lunch on Wednesday, and of course I had my lunch “date”with Janet on Thursday. Steve & Les called in on Saturday with two of their granddaughters on their way back to Whangamata. In between we have had Drs appointments and other matters to attend to so all in all a busy old time, which is great as it means that we are never bored!

On Friday I was asked if I would drive a motorhome from the wharf to Drury as I had done the previous week. Sure, why not? So off we trotted on Friday afternoon, on the train this time into Britomart, however, I had to pay for my journey as I have a few years to go before I qualify for one of Winnie’s cards. However, this time I did take a couple of pictures of the vehicles we were picking up.

I drove the one at the rear in the above photo.

First we have to visit the petrol station just around the corner to put in enough diesel to get us back. That done we all headed off. We had discussed which exit would be the best to get off the motorway as this was Friday afternoon and it was also the start of the long weekend Queens Birthday weekend which meant that the traffic would be worse than usual, if that is all possible. Once crawling along the motorway I got to the Redoubt Road exit at Manukau and could see the traffic was at a standstill ahead so I ducked off there. Wending my way through the back roads (just as well I know my way around), avoiding schools as by this time it after 3pm and schools were finishing, however I got to Drury in good time. Then I had to wait at least 30minutes for the others to start to arrive, each one had taken a different exit hence our staggered arrival times.

The weather has been brilliant this past week, well, brilliantly fine during the day but freezing cold overnight. There is a kiwi fruit orchard over the back of Ardmore and so for a few nights helicopters have been flying over the vines for frost protection. During cold and still conditions, the down draught from the helicopter causes the slightly warmer air layered above to circulate amongst the vines, reducing the likelyhood of frost damage. Effective but noisy.

Now we have rain settled in for the day by the looks of it, oh well, at least it’s warmer.