Dealing with impending puberty

My elder children are noticing the world around them is changing, friends bodies are changing and it's all very different, I talk with them about puberty etc but it seems one is rather worried about changes to her body, so I need to learn more and think about how we can make this process easier for her... any links to resources would be appreciated, it's about 25yrs since I started going through puberty so I have kind of forgotten a lot of it so I am in need of a refresher course too.

Any help would be good.

Love D

Waiting game

I had my MRI last weekend and my Specialist should have the results by now of it, so I just wait till the 17th when I see him to discuss what was found or not found and what happens next. I am slightly freaked out about it as even though I want to know what is wrong so we can move on, I am also scared of knowing at the same time. The idea of MS is hard to handle, but I think it would be better than all the unexplained stuff I have at the moment. I worry about the impact of my health on our wee kids, it's hard having a continuous headache and not wanting too much noise or being tired a lot of the time, the elder two girls have been so grown up about it though, at 10 and 8 now they are more helpful and understanding and I am so lucky to have them.

But we have had some good things happening too, Mr O turned six last week, and Miss N was four on Monday! I started blogging when Mr O was a baby so I guess I have been doing this a while. Miss N is at full days Kindy which means I now have three school days a week to myself, I am taking a bit to get use to having no children around in the daytime, it's so quiet and strange.

All four kids have been skating this year, miss K set herself a goal of going to Nationals this year and with a lot of training and a supportive coaching team she got there. It was neat to see her set that goal and achieve it. Miss L has a new coach this year and her confidence is improving which is nice to see,  and the little two have started learning, a lot of the time they just muck around playing on their skates but Mr O is doing his first competition this weekend which is very exciting for him. He is skating to a piece by the Piano Guys called Cello Wars so I have had to sort out a Luke Skywalker costume for him, he looks very cute dressed up.

This is our last competition for the year and it will be nice to have a break from training and lessons, in the lead up to nationals miss K spent upto 12 hours a week skating and I spent a lot of time sitting watching and keeping the other children amused, we have all earned the break while we head south for Christmas.

Anyway it's past my bedtime and I should sleep, just felt the need to write a bit before I slept. Love D

MRI tomorrow

We have health insurance which I applied to three weeks ago to fund my MRI, because we are still in the three years where we have exclusions I was nervous that they would say this is preexisting and not fund it. Hence why I had started fundraising to cover it. I was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday when they rung and said yes they will fund 80% of the cost of my MRI. The money I have raised wil cover the difference and anything left will go towards my next specialist appointment cost.

I rung the MRI place to book in and got rung back yesterday and offered the chance of having it done tomorrow morning, naturally I didn't turn that down. I will see my specialist on the 17th, so hopefully by then we wil have a clearer idea of what is going on.

Love D

Hello.. Anybody out there

After struggling through most of this year I have decided to find my writing voice in the hope that it might make life somewhat easier, it's been one of those times when things could have been so much better, now life is pretty good, our kids are growing up so fast and becoming amazing people but my health which I thought was all good just isn't.

That all started in May with a splitting headache down one side of my head and a sore neck so I went to A&E to get checked out, I then found my arm was sore and it got worse from there. a CT scan revealed something not quite right so I then needed a MRI which has shown lesions in the right side of my brain.... Ok we thought this is pretty scary, by then my right leg wasn't able to hold my weight very well either and my foot was dragging. Freaky stuff at 36 years old.... I ended up spending over 14 days in hospital over two periods and was no further ahead in what was wrong.....

So now we fast forward a bit, it's November and I have been suffering with these headaches on one side of my head ever since then, the latest one has lasted 2 months. I have seen a neurologist and he prescribed migraine medications and sent me back to the care of my GP. Each medication hasn't worked, and after several months of this Ben and I made the decision to get a second opinion.

The second opinion meant we needed to go private, but it has been worth it. We saw the new specialist, he did a thorough neuro test of me and has many concerns about my lack of balance on the right, my over active reflexes, my continuous sore head, the weakness in my arm, so he recommended a second brain MRI so he can see what is happening or has changed since May.

It all sounds great, get an MRI, find out what is wrong, but private MRI cost money, which as a family of 6 we don't have a lot of so I have started fundraising using the amazing givealittle site. Asking for help is hard but I am doing it and so far we are 25% of the way to our goal of $2000. is the link for my page,

So those are my problems, it will be ok I hope, one of the things the Dr is looking to confirm or rule out is Multiple sclerosis! it's scary stuff. We will cope though because that is what life is...

Love D


yay, the school year is finished and I am trying to pack to head south for 3 weeks. I am so looking forward to this break as I have been struggling emotionally for the last couple of months, I thought I was coping, thought it was all ok but clearly it hasn't been ok at all. I was talking to my Mum on the phone 2 weeks ago and kept bursting into tears, with her help I saw that I wasn't doing very well at all. Because of this I have gone back on citalopram and I am beginning to notice the difference in my mood.

I am not sure what triggered this but am sure my hysterectomy will have had some bearing on it all. I didn't think it would affect me emotionally, I thought it was all fine, I had chosen the surgery I was cool with it all, turns out I was wrong, seeing new babies at first was enough to make me want to run and hide and burst into tears. I had chosen with Ben that our family was finished when we had N three years ago, but the permanent end to my fertility hit me harder than I expected.

Its been over 3 months now and I am slowly coming to terms with it all, my health has certainly improved a lot, I am no longer taking tramadol which is awesome, I aren't in constant pain, my back doesn't hurt, the improvement has been awesome.

So now just to get through Christmas, and go camping at lake Mavora, its a place I consider to be my turangawaewae, its where my family go to get strength again, I haven't been there since I was pregnant with Miss L which is 8 years ago. We as a family need this holiday.

love D

3 weeks post surgery

This post maybe too much information so I warn you now that its not for the squeamish.

I had my hysterectomy and anterior vaginal repair on the 31st of August, pre Op etc went well and I met the surgeon doing it a few days beforehand which was great as it wasn't the specialist that I had been seeing privately. Before the surgery I talked to the anesthetist who gave me a couple of options re pain relief and if I wanted to have a spinal block and be awake, have a general anaesthetic or have both which would mean less morphine and less pain, Ben and I decided on doing both as morphine makes my blood pressure drop too much.

I have never had a spinal before so that was a new experience but the sedative they gave me to relax means I didn't feel it going in and all I can remember is being told to lay down... next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and seeing Ben and being really dopey.

Most of it went well, but it took longer than it should have due to a few wee complications like them nicking my bowel and me bleeding too much and losing a borderline amount of blood. Apparently younger women bleed more during hysterectomies due to more blood vessels etc.

Recovery was pretty good except my bladder decided to not work properly which meant I came home on the Monday with a catheter still in, this was because I couldn't pee enough, I have read that that was a common side effect though. I got it removed the following Monday after spending the morning at the hospital getting pee measured and having a bladder scan to prove everything was working well.

Day 4 or 5 I got a chest infection which meant I felt even more like crap than I had been, thankfully my Mum and Ben looked after me so I didn't end up back in hospital with dehydration, at that stage I was taking 3 antibiotics which were making me vomit and feel really ill.

Its 3 weeks tomorrow and I have driven once very gingerly but wont be in a hurry to try again as reversing the car was pretty difficult. I still have very little energy and find I go to bed early or have a nap most days. The lack of energy has been hard to deal with as I am use to being able to just do stuff. I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 3kg for another 3 weeks yet and no biking till then either.

So far everything seems to be going fine bar the chest infection and the UTI I currently have, I have to remind myself not to expect too much and that the pain will reduce and to take life easy as it was a pretty big operation. I am not too bothered that I cant have anymore children, the four I have was always going to be enough for me and there was no way I could have carried another child as my hips are still causing problems from having the youngest two.

I am hoping the next few weeks go ok, the remembering not to lift kids/stuff is pretty hard and only being able to walk the trip to school once a day is hard, thankfully Ben has been able to do the morning school/kindy drop off which means I only do one trip. We have had a bit of help from friends too in this department and people from the church where Miss N goes to music dropped off meals and baking which was hugely appreciated. Mum stayed for a week too which was great as it was the week Ben had to go back to work so I wasn't alone in the daytime.

Our big girls Miss K and Miss L have been really good too at helping me to do things and being patient when I say I need time etc because of pain issues. I have been so impressed at how mature they have been and how helpful too.

love D

date for change

fingers crossed on this but I have been told that my surgery will go ahead on the 31st of August providing the hospital isnt too full with sick people... yay,

Getting this date wasn't easy though, I rung the hospital last week to see where I was on the waiting list and was told that I wasn't, hmmm after the tears had settled I rung the specialist office that I had been seeing privately and they said they would see what they could do... on Thursday I got the call that I had been waiting for offering me surgery on 31st.

I talked to my specialist's receptionist/nurse this morning and she said that my Dr had done a clinical override so that I would be on the list, I was on the care and review list but the hospital doesn't tell the specialists that you are on that so as a patient you just assume that you are on the waiting list.

I am lucky, I have the ability to advocate for myself to get what I need, I do wonder though how many people are feeling let down by the system as they are not aware that they are not on lists. Or how many people feel they are constantly fighting to get the care they need, our health system is not perfect and I am not sure how to change things. The government claims that waiting lists are shorter but is this because people are not even being put on them?

So life will hopefully change for the better soon, I am pretty sure I wont miss having periods and the associated back pain and other issues I currently have, I am scared of this but its for the best.

love D

why so silent

well that was because I spent part of May and June parenting alone while Benjamin travelled to Germany and the USA for conferences and I didn't want to draw attention to the fact that I was home alone with the kids... hmm when I write that it seems rather paranoid or something, anyway it was just easier not to blog about it.

He had an awesome trip, he got to meet his sister for the first time in 25 years and meet cousins too. It was his first trip back to Germany since his family moved here in 1987 so was a hugely emotional time for him.

It was a good experience for me too... 3 1/2 weeks parenting 4 kids with a lot of very welcomed support from my sister (she visited for a week) and some good friends who helped to keep me sane. The hardest bits weren't the everyday routine, it was the evenings, which seemed to stretch for hours when you have no company. And the not having someone to back you up when something wasn't going right. As much as I bitch and moan at times about what Ben doesn't do, when faced with doing it alone its not a choice I would willingly take. I really do take my hat off to parents who are faced with bringing up children on their own.

WE survived though and I think its made the girls and I tighter, we work together better to get things done and did enjoy being together.

one year already

this time last year I was in hospital and they didnt know what was wrong with me, fast forward 12 months and we still arent really sure what is wrong. We have some pretty good ideas but we still are not certain that its all that is wrong.

I am on the waiting list to get a hysterectomy sometime in the next 6 months in the hope that that will solve the problems but.... and thats the biggie, is it really the problem, I have been using an app on my phone to chart my pain levels and unwellness and there is a definite pattern so hopefully we are on the right course to sovling it.

Fingers crossed.


ps Miss K and I have a pact to avoid if all possible the hospital this school holidays

Dear John

while reading facebook tonight I came across this rather well written dear John letter.... It made me grin.

Dear John,

I think it's best to be honest about our feelings, don't you?

I would be lying if I said our relationship started off great, and that it's only starting to deteriorate now. It was never meant to be, let's face it. You basically pushed yourself onto me that night in November 2008, and no matter what I did or said you just kept on hanging around. It was pretty awkward. I tried to ignore it for a while, thinking you would turn out to be fairly harmless, but the situation really is getting worse and worse. It's past the point of awkward, and it's becoming damaging. I tried to break up with you last year, but you just wouldn't stop coming back. You even brought that guy Banks with you - and you always knew how much I didn't trust him! Look John, It's been three and a half years, and I want something more from my life. I think we're better off apart.

I know, I know... You keep telling me that you want to look after me, that you care about me. You want me to have a prosperous, healthy future. But John, actions speak louder than words. If you really loved me, you wouldn't be doing half the things you do. If you want me to be happy, and have a future of golden opportunities, you need to stop trying to sell my stuff, and trying to get me to buy it back from you. You need to stop making it hard for me to live on a decent income. You need to let me be well educated without charging me through the nose, so that I can make informed decisions for myself. You need to allow me to make my own decisions about my own future.

Also, my friends and family don't like you - I know that's harsh, but you've been pretty harsh to them actually. It's really embarrassing when we go out and my mates who are struggling to find work at the moment ask me why you're being stink to them. For someone who grew up in a state house, you have very little empathy for others in similar situations. You also have this really weird double persona that makes my friends distrust you - you act like you're everyone's best mate, but then you make out like you know better than everyone else and make really dumb decisions that put everyone at risk. Just because you won on the currency trading markets back in the '80s, doesn't mean you have a great mind for business. And you have got to stop promoting gambling. Some of my friends have gambling problems, and you're only making it worse by increasing pokie machines. I know you're really nice to your own friends, but if you want to be with me then you need to be nice to my friends too.

Oh - and don't think that I don't know where you've been when you come home late from "meetings". Like that time you went to America in 2009 - you acted all innocent, hanging out with David Letterman (I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed by anyone by the way), but I know you were actually there trying it on with those glamourous bankers. Those foreign corporate hussies will flirt with you, but they don't really like you - they just know how to play you while you fall over yourself trying to make yourself attractive to them. I know when I'm being fooled, but you clearly don't.

It's not me, it's you. I've tried reasoning with you, but you just don't listen. I want your bags packed and out of here by the time I get back.

Yours (no longer),

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