Friday, August 31, 2007
leaving comments on my blogs. Appreciate you disregard those comments. I have no idea what pleasure people get out of doing this... and am aware quite a few of you have had this problem before. Someone who feels so strongly about certain issues should just create their own blog and leave themselves open for people to comment in turn on what they think... that would make more sense than trying to destroy other's blogs in this manner.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Melissa close to dropping her beloved sister....
I found this old photo (1977) taken of Don and some friends at the old Royal hotel in Port Macquarie. He used to be a member of the Old Bastards... but I didn't realise the history of this group and of what good they did do. It appears there is no order here in PM anymore but the old working class hotel has now been "renovated" into a trendy eatery and I rather doubt that this group of old bastards would have been welcome here in the dirty work clothes and singlets... how much we have changed since then.
(don is second from right)
I found this information on the net about them this morning and am pleased that somewhere in our rapidly changing Australia it is still an honourable thing to be called an old bastard. The history stemming from WW2 is interesting.
"What is an Old Bastard?
Day by day enquiries pour in from all States and from overseas, what is the OB’s and what do we stand for. In brief, the Order is dedicated to joviality and good fellowship, and raising money for charity. Our Watchword might very well be – “WHILST EVER HOPS GROW ON THIS EARTH, LET NO PLAIN WATER MAR OUR MIRTH”.
Membership qualifications are quite simple and demand only adherence to five elementary rules:
Rule 1. Marital status of parents (not-withstanding our glorious name) is irrelevant.
Rule 2. It is sufficient to have been acclaimed at least once by friends as an Old Bastard (and what man worth his salt hasn’t, despite his actual age).
Rule 3. Drinking habits must be jovial and hearty (which includes shouting in your turn, otherwise you will earn the reputation of being a stingy old bastard).
Rule 4. On encountering other OB’s one must administer a hearty slap on the back, accompanied by the cheerful salutation, “Hello, you old bastard” (some intrepid OB’s feel that a gentle hearty slap would suffice).
Rule 5. Membership card or badge must be carried on the person at all times. Failure to produce same when challenged by another OB incurs a penalty of one round of drinks for the table – not the bar (be especially careful when getting out of the bath to answer the doorbell – unwary OB’s have been trapped like that before).
If you sincerely feel you can live up to these conditions and henceforth be known as a Good Old Bastard only one thing more is required.
Short History of The Australasian Order of Old Bastards
Leo Bradshaw started off as a member of the I.O.O.B. (International Order Of Old Bastards). This organisation was started by Allied Servicemen who had been based here in Australia during the Second World War. They were amazed that the old Aussie saying ‘Hello you Old Bastard’ was considered a term of endearment and not an insult.
After received legal advice, Leo with a small band of other Old Bastards, started the A.O.O.B. in 1968 at the British Lion Hotel in Glebe with the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children – Camperdown, the major beneficiary. This was only the beginning. Then came years of trying to convince the ‘powers that be’ that the A.O.O.B. would be an asset to the registered charities. The name, of course, was the main stumbling block – “what would the good people of the community think?”
By July 1973, the N.S.W. Chief Secretary was convinced that because of the wonderful work the Australasian Order of Old Bastards was doing for charity, it should be recognised and registered – so the organization which believed in joviality, good fellowship and charity was official.
The Queen honoured Leo in 1982 for service to the community, particularly Children’s Welfare. Leo Bradshaw M.B.E., Archbastard and Founder passed away on August 4th 1992. His name will remain on membership cards.
The Renal Research Laboratory at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (The New Children’s Hospital – Westmead) has been named in his memory. "
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Today I read something in Don's hospital notes which chilled me to the bone and goes a very long way to explaining something which had worried me deeply and which none of us could figure out.
Just before Don had the original respiratory Arrest, and in the build up to the subsequent failed extubations 4 - I think... he would become delusional. The first time I had no idea what was happening but learned the signs and made sure they did not let him get to the actual arrest stage again... although it was close a few times.
It was the build up of CO2 gas which caused this delusional state.
But once he was on the ventilator (intubated) after the build up of CO2 was dealt with he was, apart from sedation to help him handle the tube and the lung drains which are painful quite okay - critically ill but himself.
For many years Don had had to take Physeptone (methadone) to handle the dreadful levels of pain he was experiencing, he was on a maintenance dose which remained the same and never increased. The same for the Lorazapan (Ativan) which he took at the same level since 1994 and which many Quads take and tolerate well.
Both these drugs are highly addictive Methadone is like heroin in its addictive properties and Ativan you do not ever just stop... both must be very slowly weaned.
If you have ever seen anyone going cold turkey you will understand why I was upset to read that a doctor on 27th April decided that as nothing else was working (after their big stuff up) they would stop all Don's medications which may be likely to cause pleural effusion. So they did unknown to Don who they had responsibility to inform and to me.
Cold turkey off Ativan AND Methadone, while critically ill with a frozen lung, uncontrollable BP etc etc...
All I knew was that Don was there with his arms tied to the bed and looking all over the roof as if there were things there. He was pulling himself bodily up by his tied arms, something as a quad would have been hard for him to do when totally well. This terrifying state for us all went on for some time.
The bastards. The poor bugger was treated as if he was some sort of mentally ill crazy man apart from a couple of really good nurses who would have known and treated him with compassion.
From then on they seemed to play about with his meds as if they were lollies. There was no continuity.
We all noticed that bout three days before Don died he became very lucid and totally himself again.
Now we know why...in those days they put him on a syringe driver with Morphine in it...no more withdrawals.
I have no idea why ICU doctors would do this like they did... nothing on the planet was going to get rid of that fluid after the lung was stuffed up so badly. It was a cruel and crazy attempt by them to try and rectify what one of their own had done and caused Don suffering, unbelievable suffering.
The pictures I have in my head are like a movie reel and all I see is my poor man who on the worst of the withdrawal days was like nothing you have ever seen. In his times of clarity he would look at me, right into my eyes and we both knew what the other was thinking.
What I can't understand is why he was made to suffer so much without cause? The only reason I can think of really is that they just didn't give a shit. Its a research hospital and research is much more important than patient care from what i can see and much more lucrative...all the "best" (richest) Docs end up in research.
I know people say you should "let go" of anger...thats right for some things, but if the anger I feel at this moment at what was a series of violations of his basic human rights causing his death, if than anger can spur me to make sure they are held accountable and at least have to face and acknowledge that what they have done is wrong ...rephrase that - is criminal then that sort of anger serves a purpose... the same purpose served when relatives leave no stone unturned to help bring justice onto someone who has killed or injured a family member.
One time here, about two years ago, one of the morning nurses gave Don the wrong meds a couple of days in a row. Instead of just the Ativan, she gave him another tablet which looked a bit like it and he was off the planet by the next day. We had no idea what was happening until I found the sheet of the other med in the spot where the Ativan usually was stored. And that was just a day and a bit with one drug...but add that to the Methadone and what we saw going on the outside of him, would have been chickenshit to what he was feeling going on inside him...and not being told. Not informed nor knowing why.
Bastards. Its not a rant people... i just had to get it out- here... not wanting to lay this one on the kids...not right yet...they have the notes they'll see it sooner or later.
And finally have my photos developed. I still have my lovely old non digital Minolta and have to actually wait for photos. Maybe one day... but I actually like the feeling of opening that packet and sometimes seeing the things you had taken and maybe forgotten about.
This morning was so cold but very beautiful. All over the paddocks around was a white crust, gone soon after the sun got to work...
reminds me of childhood somehow. We don't get many frosts here on the coast.
I will be happy this year for the extra daylight hours of spring and summer, because the nights have been way too long and a bit isolated from people... Once years back I used to wish just to have a day to myself, which is a fair thing for any human being... but never in a million years did I consider the reality of having day after day to myself... not that I don't see people, I do that, but find I am impatient to be away from them also.
Maybe its just licking my wounds time. Two of my sisters are going to visit here for about 10 days. While I am looking forward to it, I am not sure how I will handle things. I know it will be good for me because one of them especially has known Don since 1972 and was genuinely very fond of him... and maybe talking will be helpful. I find it much easier to write about these things than to talk about them. We all talk too much these days anyway... about things we should think about first I believe...
Ah just a ramble...its early morning, can't sleep again; weird dreams that I don't remember but wake up feeling disturbed.
I have a big two day job on this weekend...I have hired a big skip bin and am intending on getting the big shed down the back in some sort of order... Don had a couple of people doing work for him and each time they'd finish they'd just hoick all the tools and shit anywhere on the floor of the shed. We didn't go down there often in the latter months just due to how things were and when I got back it looked like a bomb had hit it... others are storing their gear there, and although warned the big rats from the creek area have had a field day this winter...
...so better get to it and stop procrastinating... the skip bin costs $$$
Friday, August 24, 2007
He's laid on his rugs beside me every night, and laid his big old head up upon the bed when Don was dying so Don could touch him and you can't tell me he didn't know. He was so gentle with him, and so focused.
What do we humans do to deserve the total devotion and loyalty that our pets give to us so easily and so unstintingly? Poor old bugger, he's got a big limp and sore shoulders...and never complains...
CS's new blog Meme'd me whatever that is as she explained its one of those tag things.
1.You have to post these rules before you give the facts. (Facts???)
2. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
So here's mine...but what is a Meme really??? What does it mean???
No middle name here either, after two girls when I was born there was no set of planned names...high hopes for the male child dashed so cruelly when I was born along with another two daughters following...dad was just buggered after that .
I liked Margaret (my confirmation name and my mother's name) but Margaret is a bit long so I'll go for Maggie instead - Mum HATED ever being called Maggie...
M. For Middle Child, the most adaptable child in the family - the hand me down child, the one who came along when the mother had it all down sweet and knew what she was doing...
A. Asking questions all the time. My eldest sister said I never stopped and would follow dad about the yard asking all of a million questions, and he actually never lost patience...(thats what she said anyway)
G. Got away from home to school age 4 by running away and being dragged back... Got away from boarding school by running away ... a long way but made it home age 14.
G. Give me a break I have already done G.
I. Idjut child at times... a great sense of justice e.g. when Sr Borgia (stole not took) my money away from me which Mum had given to me (we didn't get money often) and wanted me to give it the the "Poor" which we were, I waited till no one was about and I took (not stole) it back out of the Poor Box.
e. Eager...kid eager even now if the fancy strikes me... too eager for trouble as a little kid but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Well lets see I don't know many on the blogs with all these letters so I'll go for
BWCA's blog ,Copperwitch jahteh's blog , and Cazzie's Blog All Australians!!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
You can see that these people (my mother is the baby) didn't have much, but I never saw Grandfather come for a visit, without a suit coat and tie... even if in summer he did peel the coat off after he arrived.
Friday, August 17, 2007
This is my great Uncle Alf (McGoldrick). Taken just before he was sent to France in 1916.
He returned in 1919 after having being gassed by the Germans and having to spend time in England getting well enough just to travel home. From what I understand although he worked a full life on the land, and lived to be quite old, his lungs left him with depleted energy, and quite a few problems.
He never married and even in old age was a very handsome man who always dressed neatly, quite dapper in fact. I can remember when he used to visit I was always a bit on edge with him because he always seemed to find some small fault in things and heaven forbid if you accidentally slammed the door on the new car he always seemed to be driving...although he wasn't wealthy he loved the shine of a new car.
In common with all mum's father's people none of them drank much if at all. Not like some of their descendants!
What reminded me of him this morning was when I was looking at a photo of a utility leaning (being held up) by a wire fence...and on the back of this little photo found the writing "Alf's truck". My Grandfather, his brother wrote that and knowing Grandfather there would have been a big slab of sarcasm in writing that about "Alf's truck"
I think I may have blogged a bit of this before about the horses in WW1 but it goes a long way to explaining what I now know was Uncle Alf's eccentricities and "self containment" and I was sent this by my mother's first cousin who served on the Kokoda Trail in WW2 and was so "changed" that he spent the first 20 years after the war ended working in Papua new Guinea...he said he just could not come back to "normal life" and he explained a bit about "Old Alf" as we knew him...
"I think you said you had obtained Alf's war records (from the Australian Archives in Canberra??). If so and as I recall you may see his rank as "Dvr" short for Driver, but not of the motor vehicle kind.
Alf served in France with the field artillery which consisted of batteries of 18 pounder guns, the 18 pound being the weight of the shell they fired. These were the standard field artillery guns for the Brit army at the time. The guns plus a limber which contained ready use ammunition plus seating for the crew of four were pulled by six horse teams in tandem.
The lead horse on the left was controlled by the "Driver" who sat astride and was responsible for getting the gun and crew into action by galloping to wherever they were required and unhitching the horses so that the gun could be prepared for firing. The horses were taken a distance to the rear and held there by the "Driver" until they had to move to another position or bug out as they say.
The Driver like his mates wore leather leggings but he also had a steel wrap around "legging" on his right leg to protect it from the offside horse gear which rubbed against his leg as they galloped about.
Given the situation in France the field artillery was under continual counter battery fire from the German side and suffered severe casualties with whole gun crews being blown to pieces from time to time.
Alf told me at one time that the thing that really got to them all was the screaming of the horses when they were wounded. As time went by the army vets cut their vocal chords so the troops would not hear them screaming and later they replaced the horses with mules who seemed to be less sensitive"...
..." "Old" Alf really never recovered from his experiences in WW1. He was badly gassed and sometimes used to lie down on the timber verandah of the house in summer gasping for breath. It wasn't until I came back from WW2 that he would open up to me about the experiences that really shattered his emotional life and that of others of his generation that served in France during WW1 and I began to understand what made him tick. They call it PSTD these days. He never really
got over it and even I had problems settling down after the war which is the reason I went back to PNG as a Patrol Officer for nigh on 20 year most of which was spent in the bush on small outstations. "
"And it all happens again and again and again..."
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The "family" doctor who looked after Don for the last 7 years or so, monthly visits, visits to the home when Don spent months in bed...and I was there... the last night when he was there for a time before and after Don died...now says he won't release my husband's records to me unless my solicitor sends to him a copy of Don's will naming me as his executrix and "inheritor" I guess.
I laughed out loud when she told me this and she said she had never had a GP do this in this situation. Lucky we had a will...I'd be up shit creek without a paddle... so to speak...we Aussies have a lot of "shit" terms... but we know hwat we mean so thats okay...
Because he knows we were an old married pair.. he knew our situation etc etc... this is a country area... not a large city... We've been a pair since 1972... Our daughters which the doctor knew are 32 and 29...he met them.
what he is doing is seeking to slap even more humiliation on me as he knows I would have to then fish about and produce such proof (which I did) and knowing it would upset me...
And I have to wonder what is in those notes which is such a worry to him?
and buy time... I'd be thick as two planks if I did not smell a rat...
You know I was thinking about this today and hoping I was doing what Don would have wanted and I know I did not hear Don Chuckle at the good Doc's discomfort...but I felt that he would have enjoyed it because the little prick treated Don like a fool...but more fool him for not knowing we saw and felt all his oh so subtle digs....
one thing Don and I were good at...we had plenty of practice...we were good at biding our time, planning / needs must and many a good laugh was had at the expense of those who revere the "system"
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Jesus Mary and Joseph is there no end to this crap? I kid you not....
"Placentophagy, the practice of ingesting your placenta after giving birth, is certainly not standard practice, but some are staunch believers.They believe eating the placenta, either in capsulated or cooked form, can balance out hormonal fluctuations that play a role in postpartum depression. Many refer to the fact that most mammals consume their placentas after giving birth as proof that the practice is normal and natural. It has also been a part of Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Jodi Selander of Las Vegas, who offers a free encapsulation service, says, "We are the only mammal on Earth that went away from this practice."
But the practice is met with great skepticism by more traditional medical experts, and it has been brought to the attention of the FDA, who is now looking into the claims made on Selander's website. Mark Kristal, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, wrote a 1971 dissertation on why animals eat their own placenta. According to Kristal, there's "no research to substantiate claims of human benefit." He points out that the cooking process will destroy proteins and hormones, and that drying out, or freezing the placenta, will destroy other ingredients."
Any one for seconds people? begorrah I feel really ill....
I have been chuckling over a couple of things they have said and done since yesterday. About 2 weeks ago I wrote to Don's ex GP asking for all his notes back to Jan 2006. It was a friendly letter,
"Dear Dr S,
The family would like to request a copy of all the records for Donald William Mackay from Jan 2006 till his death 17th May 2007. We will need these notes to provide continuity with those of PMBH and RNSH. (Port Macquarie Base Hospital and royal North Shore Hospital)
Can you please arrange this and let us know the cost to you of copying and registered post and we will forward this to you.
The first doctor to see Don in the first week in Intensive Care has noted, “The cause of his illness is not clear to me. I suspect his Quadriplegia has left him with marginal respiratory reserve that has rendered him incapable of ventilating after his pleurodesis.”
Everything which could have gone wrong for Don, did. From the start there was no continuity of treatment, and only he and I know how much he suffered because of that.
Before the family can grieve properly and not remember the weeks of cruel suffering he endured, we have to ensure that the doctor who did this procedure is aware of what many doctors in ICU stated caused Don’s series of Respiratory Arrests and death.
Thank you for your time.
Yours sincerely," very polite!!!
I had no intention of really doing anything about Dr S's "care" of Don, as it was not he who did the surgery and is always the Specialist's responsibility to assess and not rely on GP or other hospital's notes.On Friday Alison rang me and asked had I got the notes...
When I said I had not heard anything she said "I'm ringing his office... I'll say you are sick"...which I was...bloody 'flu
His receptionist told her that we would receive the notes (Don's records) soon but that they were at the Solicitor's office and he was looking them over. Why?
Considering no action has begun, I would have assumed my husband's notes were still "Confidential" between Doctor and patient, or patient's representative. Alison was ropeable She rang her elder sister in another part of Australia and then I received this email from her, in the wee small hours
" Ali started to tell me about Dr S yesterday, about dad's records being reviewed by his solicitors, shouldn't we at least be able to legally have copies, maybe it's time to get a solicitor to get you a court order then they have to hand them over with no piss farting around... he's a weak bastard and he says one thing to your face - that night about getting to the bottom of this, and knowing what the problem is then backtracks and changes his story. He's the beginning of the problem and he knows it...he should be bloody worried. I get so angry with these stupid "professionals" they have no sense of decency at all, I just hope what goes around comes around one day he'll be on the other side. anyway I hope you are OK I love you mum very very much. xxxxx Melissa"
Somehow hearing my grown up daughters stepping up like this makes it all easier to bear. I felt so alone, but I was never alone. We are just by circumstance all living in different places...but not in different head spaces or heart spaces.
(Don was a little "unsure" about this setup at Christmas... a housefull of women! and no he is not wearing that McDonald's shirt because he liked them...it actually says "MacDickheads - be one to eat one")
I just love Melissa using the term "Piss farting around" when she says that I see her dad... he taught them well when to get colourful and when to be "ladylike" and they can both do this with impeccable ease.
I feel less alone. Its like there are a few people out there behind me, many of you and I am grateful but that the kids are such determined women makes my heart feel good. Don's mother's side came from Moree NSW (Australia) and the family had the gift of being able to tell stories...using a really rich "bush" language which is sadly disappearing. Their conversation was full of such clever use of language, and rolled off their tongues easy. Sometimes my jaw ached from laughing because it all went on for so long...
Sadly not many of them left. Don had a younger cousin who was a master of this. He accidentally killed himself about 10 years back after drinking too much after his relationship broke up ... he was a really decent funny guy and Don and he were best mates as kids.
Don (on the right) and his cousin Wayne in about 1959
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Maybe just the listening is enough. I have to hope so.
I spoke with the Palliative care nurse who helped us on that last night, and she encouraged us to continue with what we are doing re Don's notes, that we should leave no stone unturned in the process. Then we would be able to grieve normally.
It was clear to her, and she added to what I already knew that the operation done on Don killed him. Full stop. He would be here today but for that.
She raised the issue herself that no one should have a Pleurodesis whilst ever there is any fluid in their lung. Don's right lung had about 2 litres of fluid in it. He would never survive and the surgeon should have known that.
Also that the operation should never be done with biopsies. Multiple biopsies where done at the time of surgery.
That the operation should never be done on someone with limited respiratory reserve, and or who was unable to fully expand the lung. Don fit both.
That the surgeon blatantly lied when he said one could not have a reaction after 48hrs to the procedure, when the product sheet from the company which makes the Talc they jammed into his lungs says 72 hours at least.
There is a great anger and despair, because they did it too quickly and I didn't even have the chance to try to stop it. Don would not have know what it was all about.
Many trying to be helpful, say to "let go", but we can no more let go of this than if someone had pulled a gun out and shot him. Which would have been a lot kinder than the torture they put him through. People who's loved ones are murdered are expected to pursue justice and to hold those responsible accountable...and sometimes the "system will do that for them or help. How can it be different for doctors who are trained to know? This guy is a top Cardio Thoracic surgeon in a major city hospital - he should have known and taken all due care. Someone said to me "Oh he would be feeling awful" Bullshit. He danced about, denying everything, and although he was Don's admitting specialist, I saw him only once after Don's Respiratory Arrest, and not once more in the 5 week period. His staff were openly hostile.
They knew exactly what had been done.
But it is the why no one can answer. I am cynical enough to think that as this so called surgeon is big in Research and writes many papers... maybe he took chances he shouldn't to see what might happen...
thats the best reason I can come up with...the kindest. Other than that what?
Today I went back to the Funeral Home, and began picking out a headstone because I am traditional and feel a headstone is in keeping with how our family are. Everyone is entitled to their own thing when it comes to death. Don and I wanted headstones... sometimes I wish my daughters didn't live quite so far away as when you do these things it would be easier to be with those you care about and who care about you,
Bugger it...I am probably so miserable because I've got a good dose of some bloody virus.
I am just venting so here is another bit of vent...
it really pisses me off to think of that smug mealy mouth little prig of a doctor who walks about "all important" as if someone lodged a big broom up his bottom... "lookit me I'm the doctor" it pisses me off to know that he is probably sailing round the harbour on the weekends, or going to shows, or whatever...looking forward to enjoying the rotten fruits of his labour (if thats what it can be called - I call it murder because thats what it feels like); that he is doing this when my poor bloody man was caused to suffer so much that I can only call it 5weeks plus of torture - it was - an it plays over and over in our minds...
and I would warranty he doesn't even give Don or us a fleeting thought because I do believe that there are many people on earth like him who have no conscience at all... they know they have done wrong but it doesn't matter one jot.
Until I can resolve this so that the doctor is made to know and acknowledge...or I at least give it my best shot I am tied to that the DR.,him, if that makes sense...because a crime was committed.
I am well on the way to getting all my information typed up and in a presentable form, and I know now what I am going to do with it. The girls and I have agreed that we will go hard with it for a certain period and if we get somewhere well and good...if not Don will know and it will be known by others what happened and that we tried.
So sorry if you were already having a bad day... and also if you were having a good day...we don't need to bring each other down...
And I am not "hate filled" for the doctor and system which he relies on to protect him, I don't hate personally...I hate what they do, what the system allows them to do...and thats just being sane. I know of almost no friends or family groups who have not had a relative badly injured or killed by the pharma/medico system and its not good enough.
Its just a terrible day today. I have been trying not to post like this, recently. Other times, when my dad was killed, and later when mum died the grief was real and dreadful as it is, but there were people about me. I know I can't go on like this. I know that although I really do like my own company, we all need to know someone is rattling about somewhere...
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw dramatic chipmunk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uaw2CdjU3c james Bond