Stopping to smell the roses

Posted September 16th, 2009 by Penny Wise

Wow, has it really been this long since I last posted? What a lazy moo *grin*! Seriously though, my sincere thanks to everyone who has posted or emailed kind words of support, it really means a lot to me. I can vouch that spending large amounts of time in bed is an excellent way to save money! This whole experience has been a great opportunity to 'stop and smell the roses'. I know the old saying goes 'nobody's indispensible' but you never quite believe it, do you? Until you suddenly get stopped in your tracks and are forced to realise that the sky isn't going to fall in if you don't get the vaccuuming done and the kids are actually quite capable of doing all sorts of things for themselves. It's been a much-needed lesson in independence if nothing else! Although I have also realised that I'm the only person who knows how to clean the fish tanks. That's something I'll have to remedy!

As for Noel, I hate to use a soppy cliche but he really has been a rock the whole time. He hardly lets me do anything (which is a real blessing as I don't feel up to much most days!) and has kept the household running smoothly, as well as keeping up the long hours with his own job. The biggest job of all however is training for the Auckland marathon. Not me - him. As soon as I fell ill, he decided he was going to take over my mission and has stuck to the training program rigidly. He might be holding himself together with knee bandages and tape but there's no stopping him! He's looking darn fit for it too I might add, unlike me, who once more resembles a sack of spuds. Although I got the fright of my life the other day - there I was, all tucked up cosy in bed when I heard this horrendous wail. What was it? A cow bellowing? Was one of the sheep caught in the electric fence? It sounded like a man in pain and it was mighty close. I didn't really want anyone to see me in my Snoopy pyjamas but it was obviously a dire emergency so I leaped out of bed, opened the window... and found Noel singing along to the Kings of Leon at the top of his voice. He had just returned from a run and was plugged in to his iPod, blissfully unaware he was scaring the neighbours half to death. Bless him!

I've decided during my many hours in bed that I am lucky to have the most wonderful view from my window. Being two-storey, I'm at 'tree-height' and I can spend ages happily watching and listening to the birds. We have a Metrosideros tree right outside our room (sorry I don't know which type, there are about 50!) where the sparrows and dart about endlessly, along with my favourites, the dear little fantails. Most exciting however is the abundance of tui. We have never seen them in the area before but lately we have been treated to a constant presence of these beautiful smart-looking birds. I don't know why; maybe because we have planted more of the trees and flaxes that they like but they're a real joy to see and their noisy chatter always makes us smile. From my bedroom window I am close enough to touch them!

The weather here is just beautiful at the moment and it's always during spring that I feel particularly proud of what we have achieved in our little SS world. The orchard is a picture with many of the fruit trees in blossom, the chooks scratch around happily (too happily close to Noel's vege garden as far as he's concerned!) and the sheep and their lambs doze contentedly in the sun. The lambs are growing so fast! We have three; a pair of twins and one big strong boy. They are such timewasters but are so hilarious to watch!

Ali's garden is growing like mad. He can hardly keep up with the rate his potatoes are growing and is constantly having to top them up with more earth. I can't remember exactly what he's planted, I'll have to ask him but I know there is HEAPS including broccoli, beans and in particular carrots, which are very important to Ali to grow well, as for some strange reason they are the one thing Noel has had no success with growing! Will post some photos up shortly.

Will be in limbo a bit over the next few days, waiting to see whether we leave for Australia as planned next week or whether my health (or lack of it) will mean we have to stay at home. I sincerely hope not, we have far too much to look forward to! We still don't know what's wrong at this stage. On the first visit to my GP he diagnosed depression but he soon changed his mind and said that couldn't be right as he'd never seen a sick person laugh so much. I took that as a compliment! It's been a frustrating couple of weeks and we have ended up with no choice but to go private for the tests I need. After waiting in anticipation for days to hear from the hospital, we finally received the letter we'd been waiting for, only to be told that due to a lack of neurologists I had been categorised 'not urgent enough' and unfortunately would not be given an appointment. At all. Of course if my condition persisted or became worse I could go back to my GP and he could try referring me again. Heck, you wouldn't want to be at death's door, would you?!

For the first time in my life I experienced what it was like to feel as though you were 'just a number'. OK, well maybe it was the second time. The first time was went I really WAS given a number and had to sit in Forlongs furniture store waiting to see if my credit rating was approved so I could buy some new carpet. I think this time was worse however. The thing that made me laugh was, how on earth could they chuck me into a category without even seeing me? Here was someone who had gone from running a marathon to not being able to drive, make breakfast for her kids or even do the vaccuuming. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't feeling sorry for myself, I knew there were plenty of people out there a lot worse than me but I won't deny that it didn't hurt.

With my condition worsening and no more time to waste with the public health system we had no choice but to seek the help of a private neurologist. It took only three days to get an appointment and we were given a discount for paying the $362 on the day. We were told I needed an MRI brain scan and this normally cost $1000 at the private hospital but again if we paid on the day we would get a 30% discount. So I'm booked for Friday. I have to say I'm really struggling with it. I know you can't put a price on your health and all that but it's not like we have money to burn at the moment. We're going to Australia in a few days, for goodness' sake and here I am spending most of our savings on finding out whether I have a brain or not. And then what if I have the scan and they can't find anything wrong? On the one hand I'll breathe a sigh of relief but on the other I'll feel like a right plonker. Not that Noel's letting me have any say in the matter; he says I'm having it and that's that. The problem is, we're not even going to get the results through until the day before we fly out! Still, everyone's doing their best I know, so mustn't grumble and there's still time for me to sell a few more things on Trade Me! Onwards and upwards!

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