Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dropkick Murphys.

My eldest daughter Melissa and her husband Chris like the Dropkick Murphys. They combine irish Traditional with Rock sort of bovver boy music - its a bit of fun

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If this doesn't stir the cockles of your heart I don't know what will...

turn your volumes up big time and just sit back...this tune was played by a 15 year old bagpiper called Lincoln Hilton, a local from Wauchope NSW Australia at my husband's funeral in May last year...I can listen to it now without distress..well a few tears but they are proud tears if that makes sense. He didn't play this version of course but his was was unaccompanied and out under the trees as meant to be...stirring stuff...and wonderful that a kid would want to play this stuff these days...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Dreams Rosemary

This is for Rosemary who wondered if her Steve would know she still loved him, if she died - this is what Roy Orbison's song is all about - and he would have known, considering the tragedy he suffered losing his boys and wife.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My sister took this of me moments before I dissolved into a craziness wreck - bitten on the back by a "jumping ant" and ripping off my top to find it only to have it bite me on the neck because it had found a home ion my hair - if you haven't been bitten by one of these monsters - just type in "jumping ants - Australia" and you'll know what fer - a bite like a small snake and the pain is unbelievable. In my case my arm was numb and my neck and cheek bone sore - and I looked so serene here...the bastard was already in my t shirt..I guess i was out spraying weeds so maybe nature was just sorting me out....bastard bastard bastard... but then the next day i pulled out a big weed I could no longer ignore and got bitten again on the palm of my bloody hand on the same side of my body - - ah well - Its bloody sore and each bite seemed to have a worse reaction - I have a funny feeling Don would be mightily amused by all he shenanigans hereabouts.... out
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And now for something quite lovely - the last day of my eldest sister's visit was excellent and was able to explain how I feel when I am with people - how its not personal - just that I have become a hermit and feel safer in my own spot away from people... I am an exhausted little Vegemite tonight, but felt so much for my sister as she boarded the bus. She kept telling me how lucky i was because my kids rang me so often.... lucky...yes I am...I am lucky the three of us are still so close - and she is not lucky because her son has not contacted her for many months. That would be hard - and with all that has happened and all that was done to our small family - I do feel lucky - you know the glass half full and half empty thingie...

and how lucky am i that Galahs eat and drink close to my windows

and rainbow Lorikeets flock by the tens

and my favourites the maggies (magpies) are so hungry right now (sorry cazzie - these are my favourites and they are so friendly to me - but not to others!!!!)

I know how lucky I am - all this light and life around me and as Sling said some time back re feeding these birds "eat like a bird?" No way - it takes deep pockets to keep this lot going

I had terrible trouble being sociable, being "normal" such a strain - but nothing to do with my love for my sister - its just me and where I am at this time in my life...
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An early morning post.
Its about 5.30am an as normal and wide eyed and bushy tailed - I can't seem to sleep past the first fingers of light no matter how late I go to bed. I don't mind this as its the most beautiful time of the day, apart from twilight... but sometimes I think it would be wonderful to just lie there asleep or able to enjoy hearing the world start its day. If I do stay in bed after I wake up my mind starts its work, stupid work energy draining work. All the expected things, the "what if's" and "how come" and "could I have changed things?". Sometimes it descends to waking nightmares and I just fling out of the room and get started - anything rather than let it have its head.
I am finding that the only place I feel at peace is out here away from society and that for me it is tiring to socialise. Don and I had become sort of hermits before he was killed, because it was easier and we were apart from needing a couple of hours nursing care we paid for, self sufficient. We didn't mind it just being us mainly with our daughters of course when they could be with us, and occasional family visitors, because as he became more frail socialising became harder. In the early days we tried, but most people's homes had steps or were too steep to get into. We'd get the odd invite and then it'd dry up, but one good friend stuck and still has.(
This first photo was taken about a year before Don began to have breathing probelms)
I am beginning to realise that I can't handle being with people, any people apart from the girls, for more than an hour or two. Its like my head is in one place still seeing the weeks of horrible stuff that was done to Don and the surface part of me is trying to block it out constantly and this is what is so tiring. I am more determined than ever to see the story of what the hospital did to Don published and I feel that this will be a part of some return to some normality (whatever that is supposed to be), but working steadily through the editing is strange, because it all just seems to be a stream of words and sentences and pages...and then it becomes real again, and I see every corner of the room, every face, Don's face - his eyes and I feel so lost, so absolutely wrecked inside my heart.
I won't be so miserable later on when the day starts. Its just the moment and I know what I am facing today as much as anyone can know - a few commitments - but even as I consider these things I can't get out of I am wishing for the day to end - this could be what depression is - I wouldn't really know because I have been lucky enough to only endure this for short times. When I am here by myself I don't feel like hiding away. I get outside and weed and walk about in the sun and feel quite positive. But I have someone staying here now, one of my favourite people but am finding it so hard keeping up the pretext of being "happy" and she doesn't seem to be able to handle my not being happy, so I have been working at pretending everything is a ok. That as many of you would know from experience is what's exhausting.

Before she arrived I had finished putting together some issues for investigation concerning the reasons Don was forcibly kept alive against his will for five weeks. Melissa, Alison and I have realised what was puzzling us about his time in the hospital is that it felt like research, like he was a lab rat so we put this together, and sent it to all the relevant authorities. I don't really expect a response, but at least they will know that we know exactly what they were doing and why - they may call this research but it was really "torture", something the Nuremberg Convention condemned after World War 2.
"Dear So and So,
First, I would like to know what was the cost of my husband’s time in ICU, from the morning of the 15th of April 2007 after his first Respiratory Arrest till his discharge on 17th May 2007, the day he died. I would like to know the bed day cost and the cost of all treatments such as daily X Rays/scans/ bloods, everything that has a cost applied to it. I am sure that administration at RNSH would require that records of this are kept as with any other Government department.

I had a retired Pathologist look at the hospital notes and he was very curious about the amount and frequency of blood taken from my husband considering his dangerously low Haemoglobin levels and the fact that he had to be given bags of blood although he was not bleeding internally.

There were days when he had more than a dozen lots of blood taken which had to be affecting his Haemoglobin levels which were down to the 70’s and 80’s much of the time even dropping to the 60’s. It didn’t seem to matter how low his levels were they continued to take an average of about 8 lots of blood for “Blood Gases” and “Metabolism” testing along with other lots for “Heamatology”. This then appeared to be “balanced” by giving my husband bags of blood. Around 12th May, I was present when they were obviously really worried about him this way and a doctor and nurse actually force squeezed two bags of blood into Don as if it was an emergency. One of them squeezing the bag while the other attended to the connection. They changed positions with the second bag. I have no idea why this was happening. They have written the time these bags were given as being hours apart, but they weren’t. I was there. I would say they were given within an hour of each other.

This didn’t stop them still taking many lots of blood from him per day.

I have shown people with medical training these notes and all were puzzled why blood was taken so many times a day. I would like RNSH doctors treating Don to explain this please. The Pathologist was also puzzled at the times of taking some of the bloods, having himself worked at some major public hospitals in his career.

Second, what I would like explained to me given that there are three different types of blood draws covered in the notes, for three different purposes, I would like to know on a daily basis how much actual blood was taken from my husband.

I know that to have such a low Haemoglobin level for such a period of time would have added to my husband’s suffering. I know at one time he was removed from their “NICE” study because he develloped Hypoglycemia. This research was foisted upon us on his first day in ICU. We were told taking part in this might ensure he would have a better chance of survival, all paid for by the research. That day we were both in a state of shock and took anything which might change things for the better.

What I would like to know here is why when he was obviously failing so badly did they continue to take the amount of blood they did from my husband?

Third, what part did research have in the extension of my husband’s life against his wishes for five dreadful weeks of useless suffering? Even in the early days in ICU Dr Delaney from ICU said in a family meeting as recorded by our youngest daughter Alison, “Then he asked us what Dad’s life was like at home and what he did with his time. He also asked if he would be able to live that life with a trachea in place or be on a ventilator and also had he spoken of his thoughts of being kept alive on a ventilator? Mum said they had actually spoken of it and he had said he hadn't wanted to be kept alive on one.”

The Intensive Care Specialist, Dr Anthony Delaney wrote early on in ICU Notes, “I suspect his Quadriplegia has left him with marginal respiratory reserve that has rendered him incapable of ventilating after his Pleurodesis.”

Don made it very clear that he wanted to be let die from day one in ICU. He didn’t bite through his own ventilation tubes for any other reason. One time he did it in front of my daughter and I and on the outgush of air he said “Help me”. We knew exactly what he meant and so did ICU.

If a Spinal Specialist had been involved he would have clearly been able to explain why a Quadriplegic was never going to survive the damage caused by the failed Pleurodesis which caused that first Respiratory Arrest and as Dr Delaney said, “rendered him incapable of ventilating…”

It has not been explained to us why Doctors in RNSH kept information from us about Don’s condition which we had to discover after his death from the notes. Their non disclosure of serious complications, right from day one was dangerously unprofessional and impacted on Don and my ability to make decisions.

The family can think of no other reason for Don’s life to be artificially extended, at such cost to him and also the hospital when the situation was so hopeless other than research, which plays a large part in major public hospitals financially and professionally.

If you can offer another answer to what we suspect was the case we would prefer to have that than what we have come to believe after understanding the Hospital notes.
I will now list the bloods taken, the time taken and his Haemoglobin levels at that time. When you see that what I have described is fact, I hope you can then ask the doctors involved why they acted as they did and for what purpose."

I haven't listed the bloods taken as that list is pages and pages long. All I can hope for is that somebody breaks ranks inside that tomb of a hospital and has some part of their soul still left in tact. The thought that I know now why Don was tortured as he was, and there were many many other things done over the 5 plus weeks which made him have levels of pain that are unimaginable, the thought that this was purposefully done to him, to such a frail man...
(This second photo was taken about two weeks before he was sent to hospital and its obvious how he was struggling - he was frail and should have been treated with kid gloves)
what difference is there between those doctors and the doctors Hitler used?
This is all heavy duty stuff to be still dealing with but I know that if I don't do this, I will not be able to live with myself, and living with myself knowing I had the courage and endurance and love to stick with it and follow through, not allowing my self to get sidetracked is what I am meant to be doing right here and right now.
(but the shocker was finding this photo of Don taken in the last week before hospital - when you look at the first one and see the difference - then to consider putting someone as sick and as weak as he was obviously to the eye, through the five weeks of extended suffering which was research is in my mind a criome against humanity. I had forgiotten about this photo and just finding it again recently shocked me anew)

Just sometimes the missing him is too much and the spirit gets a bit low... tomorrow will be a better day

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How horrible are these photos???

Last time Ali was home, when Thorn died, we pulled out the Scrabble game... Inside are all the score sheets from games past - usually when we are all together like Christmases... We play by "Mackay" rules which is if you leave the table for ANYTHING be aware your letters will have been changed and massive cheating will have taken place - so we all leave the table at the same time and make sure we can see each other which is hard if you need a toilet break - many people mightn't like our rules but they are character building we think. We developed good 'bullshit detectors' in our kids...

But sadly when we cheated at Scrabble it was almost always gender based and don being the only male in the house had three experienced cheaters to deal with... it still makes me laugh my guts out to remember how the girls would use blutack to stick preferred letters under the table (before the game)... but what made the pair of us really laugh so hard we cried was finding this score sheet which I am holding in the first photo and if you want to see what's written on the back of it enlarge that dreadful photo...

We had a plan that if we all three of us pointed over Don's shoulder as if there was something really dreadful there "like a ghost" (remember we lived in an old dark house at the time) scene set...

we figured, he would look behind him to see what it was and in that time we'd jointly change the board and his letters...oh to be a man in a female household...

of course being old poker face Don he didn't fall for it and no doubt we looked pretty stupid... you know he won every scrabble game ever apart from one which when he realised old feisty Ali was winning he upended the game (AHEM)... no matter how much we cheated he bloody well won.

So in honour of the games we played and of Don and because we were feeling so devastated after the doggie Thorn's death we did a re run of the "looks" we should have given him to make him turn around... we had such fun...

if you look closely at the last photo you'll see the damage I did to myself when I had words with a barbed wire fence..and a tetanus needle...

and laugh... I haven't laughed so hard for a long time and bugger me then I cried!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

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I had a lovely week away as you can see, and came back feeling like my old self...just needed to see the kids .

Melissa and Chris took me out to dinner at Nicks on Bondi Beach and we had some lovely Prawns, oysters, mussels etc...yummo.

Being a country girl seafood is still a sort of novelty for me and I was about 17 before I even saw a prawn or oyster... The fish we got on Friday night inland
had to be shark.

Here is the evidence....ha

Then in Melbourne it was Alison's birthday so Andrew and I took her out for Dinner alongside of Port Phillip Bay...

After my vegetarian visitor I was craving red meat and lots of it and here I am saying "please sir may i have some more."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm outta here in an hour... Need to be somewhere sane and just have a holiday away from cares amongst to two sanest people in our family so I am going first to see this one

Melissa who lives in Sydney

and who likes big lips.... as well as having a big warm heart...

And this one Alison who lives in Melbourne and is working on the big hair thingie

because the big lips don't work on her as well and a gal has to have something (ha)
and just as big a heart as well.

I am going to do nothing intense for 10 days....

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