Thursday, 26 April 2012

This & That


On Tuesday night it was Parent's Evening and reports were handed out, Chad's report was far better than last year, except he failed art. He did not learn for the exam at all, which was very clear by his actual exam mark, because his class work mark did not even bring up his term mark. He obviously had this whole "oh it's only art" attitude, thinking it would be easy, but fell flat with all the theory. He is not taking art as a subject next year, so from that point of view it is not serious, but failing it, doesn't look good and it brings his average mark right down. I am very proud of him overall, because his Accounting; EMS; Music and Life Orientation were all in the 70's. All of his teachers, except the Afrikaans teacher had only good things to say about him and his Social Sciences & EMS teacher said she wished all the students were like him, he was a pleasure to teach. There is a definite personality clash with him and his Afrikaans teacher and we have had a week of drama with her. He was very angry on Monday and Tuesday, because she was discussing Religion during the lessons on both days and he felt she was being disrespectful to both the Jewish and Christian beliefs, yet she is supposedly a Christian herself and the discussion became very heated and according to Chad she was fueling the anger amongst the kids. He then never did the homework that she gave them on Monday and was then given punishment to do on Tuesday. Her and I clashed as well, because I do not believe that disrespecting other people's beliefs should be encouraged by a teacher, especially considering that the school is non-denominational and their ethos is to respect everyone no matter what colour, creed or religion they are. I believe that to and teach Chad that at home. I do not even force my own beliefs onto him or tell him that my beliefs are the right. I never discussed the issue with her, but defended him for not doing his homework and I then took the matter up with the school. They are very good about investigating complaints and they also listen to the child's side of the story as well. The teacher denied saying what she did and said it was the students arguing with each other. Unfortunately, all the other kid's in the class who were also angry and offended by her comments, were too scared to say anything when the principal asked them. They were scared of being victimized, but another parent also complained to the school and the principal agrees that she should never have encouraged such a controversial discussion, because there is a very diverse group of children in the school. One thing about the school is that they do get to the bottom of complaints and she said I must discuss it with Chad over the break and if he is still unhappy about what was said, we will have a meeting at the school, but we have already decided we are going to put it behind us and just get on with school work.

First Term Report Grade 9


As for my arm and neck, there has not been much improvement since last week. Some days it is less painful, but it is always there. The physiotherapist organised a home traction unit for me, which I bought on Tuesday, but have only used it twice, on Tuesday and today, so can't say if it is helping. I am supposed to use it three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes, but just don't have the time. I did notice today that it makes my jaw "shake" don't know how else to explain it and I am now more convinced than ever before that the operation on my jaw has messed up my neck and the nerves to my shoulder. I might just not use it, until I have spoken to the physio after the long weekend, in case I do more damage. The animals are very curious about this strange contraption and the dogs always sniff it, now Garfield has also started investigating this new thing that is keeping me away from them. I think they think the water bag is a new animal in the house. It goes over a door with the material under my chin, whilst I sit on a chair and a bag filled with water for the weight behind the chair back

Top Part

Water Filled Bag


Tomorrow is Freedom Day and Tuesday is Workers day, so we have two Public Holidays, a weekend and a work day in between. Mark decided on Tuesday that we should close on Monday and go away, although I have been asking him for almost a month now if we are going to close and he couldn't make up his mind. Then decided we need a break, but everywhere was fully booked and he did not want to drive very far, because then it is not much of  a rest, so now we are not going. Then earlier today he decided that he is not closing on Monday, because they have far too much work, then said that the staff can work tomorrow and have Monday off, to have a long weekend, but the one new guy can't work tomorrow, he said he will work on Monday, so that is the end of our long weekend, because Mark is working on Monday and Friday and I will probably go in as well. I was so looking forward to a rest. So no sleeping late tomorrow. At least the weather has warmed up today. It has been so cold and dark and grey the whole week with rain as well.

That's all for now










Sunday, 22 April 2012

Certified Medical Marvel


I haven't posted for awhile, reason for that to follow as well as reason for today's title, but first things first. I logged on yesterday and was really disappointed to see the new blogger interface. I don't like it and I don't like change. The old interface was far more user friendly. The old saying - if it ain't broke don't fix it applies here. I feel the same about the new Facebook, although I don't go on Facebook much, I don't like it and far prefer the original Facebook and it is just getting worse and worse after each tweak or upgrade. Now I feel the same about the new blogger interface, it was far better before this latest change. I guess all to their own and it is no use complaining or stressing over something I have no control over, so I will just grin and bear it and hope that I get used to it, long before the next change.

When I last posted about the April Holidays, I mentioned that I had a very sore arm and neck. That day it started to feel better in the afternoon, I hadn't finished my post and left it to cook, eat, watch TV and do whatever else I do at night, then went back and did the slide show and by the time I finished the post, my arm was aching. The next morning it was really sore and as the day progressed it just got worse and worse. I spent most of the day holding it up behind my neck in a strange position, because it hurt less then or walked all hunched up. At one stage during the day, Phineas asked if I was very cold, because I was all hunched up. I went for physio in the afternoon and the more she worked on me the worse it felt and there was no relief in my arm. I did not know what to do with it, hold it up, hang it down, across my body, under my body. She even put acupuncture needles in my shoulder blades. She said that I have an entrapped nerve, which is why my arm is in pain. My fingers were also aching. I was there for over an hour and eventually said it felt better, just to get out of there and go home. She strapped up all my muscles in my arm, neck and shoulder. I was hoping that it would be better the next morning. I have had far worse pain and for most of the time I played down the pain, because it was nothing in comparison to the pain I had when I had the abscess in my tooth and jaw and almost had a tracheotomy, but it was sore and so uncomfortable. I also feel so guilty whenever I whinge and whine about having pain, because of what Clint went through and was not even given a panado, until he went to Theatre, three and a half hours later, I always feel like such a baby and hypochondriac, because he must have been in so much pain. For a very long time I suppressed all pain and aches, because I couldn't deal with it, but lately it seems that those years of trying not to feel pain has just now let rip and is coming out in full force, including the pain of Clint's death.

When I got home from physio, I lay down for a bit and in hindsight it was really stupid of me to decide on skipping a doctor's visit and go straight for physio, in other words, diagnose and treat myself. Before Clint died, I hardly ever went to the doctor and always self medicated or just healed, I was never really ever sick enough to go to the doctor. I try and do it now, but it just gets worse. I had no anti-inflammatory medication and the only pain tablets we had were panado. I decided to make macaroni and cheese with bacon for supper, because it is quick and easy. Chad was so sweet, he said he would make dinner, I must just tell him what to do. It took much longer than if I had made it myself, but at least he tried. I ended up making the white sauce and forgot to season it, so it was very bland, but over all he did a pretty good job for the first time cooking.

Chad's Mac & Cheese
 The arm and neck just got worse as the night progressed. I tried an ice pack, then heat and nothing helped. My arm starting going lame and I spent the night sitting up in the lounge, not wanting to disturb Mark, because I just did not know what to do with my arm, no matter how I lay, it hurt and was uncomfortable. The lounge seems to be my sanctuary for when I am in pain and can't sleep, my comfort zone, just like in this  post. It really worries me that the doctor who operated on my jaw did something wrong and it has caused this problem. I dozed on and off, but for most of the night, I moved my arm into every position I could think of, but with no relief. I must have fallen asleep at about four and when my alarm went off at 4:45, I was exhausted and my arm was like a jelly fish, it had a mind of it's own and I could do nothing with it, it was so scary. My three fingers were numb, middle, ring and pinky finger. I dragged myself to the kitchen, made coffee, then went and lay in the lounge until Mark woke up and told him that I did not think I would be able to drive. He said he would take Chad to school and that I had to go to the doctor. I fell asleep when they left, woke up to let Sheila in and slept until Mark phoned to find out if I had made an appointment with the doctor. It was 8am and she only starts consulting at 9. I made an appointment for 11 and Mark took me. She said I must stop physio, gave me loads of pills, Valium included and said I had to go back on Monday and if there was no improvement, then she would refer me to a specialist for an MRI scan, she also said it was an entrapped nerve. I spent most of the weekend in bed, resting my neck and arm and using ice and heat, because I needed it better by Monday morning. I went to fetch Chad from school on Friday afternoon, because I felt a bit better after taking the pills and it is not far and there was no traffic and Mark was going down to Ballito. Oh my word, was I wrong, it was so difficult to drive and as hard as this is to believe, just like my Unlucky Friday the 10th and it WAS Friday, the 13th, my car battery went flat again at the school. I waited for Chad for not even 5 minutes with the radio on, but not the lights on. Luckily, we just let the car roll back, without Chad having to push and it started, but really jolted my neck. Oh and our kitchen drain blocked up completely again, just like my Unlucky Friday the 10th. I got Rabie to try and unblock it like Mark did, but it was just not working, so I left it, we just drained the water out when we loosened the pipes and I told Sheila not to use it. Mark only left for Ballito at 5pm, Dean went with him, he had to take a beach buggy down and wanted to leave at 3pm, but I messed up his plans and felt really guilty and bad that he had to leave so late. He said it was OK and I shouldn't worry. He arrived at 12h30 and sent a message to say that he had arrived safely. I told him to phone or text every time they stopped so that I knew he was OK and that I wouldn't switch off my phone. I was awake every time he sent a message. The Valium did not even help me to sleep. I was too sore and uncomfortable to sleep properly.

On Saturday, we had to go to the shops to get something to eat, because I did not feel like cooking and did not have cash on me to order pizza, plus we needed milk, we just went up the road and again my battery was flat and poor Chad had to push me again. He stayed in the car, whilst I went into the shops so that we did not have to switch off the car. Mark came back on Saturday and arrived at about 8pm. It was crazy, going down to Ballito and then straight back, but I was glad that he did come home, because my battery was flat again when I moved my car so that he could park his. I could have used the land-rover if we were really stuck, but driving it with a stiff neck and floppy arm would have been very difficult.

On Sunday, Mark and Chad fixed the drain. Instead of digging up the whole floor, he connected it to another outlet and now we have a functioning drain and he fitted a new battery to my car on Monday.

Chad & Mark Fixing The Drain

Drilling A Hole For The Drain

Connecting The Pipes


On Monday morning, my arm was a bit better, but Mark took Chad to school so that I did not have to drive in the traffic and he said I must stay at home, because it was not that busy at work. He took me to the doctor later that day and she checked my reflexes and the numbness in my three fingers was gone, but my thumb and forefinger felt weird. She said that I must go for physio one more time then leave it for three days and then if it is still not better then go for an MRI and to a specialist. It is still not better all my pills are finished and last night I had such a bad night, hardly sleeping, because I don't know what to do with my arm. I decided to try my Hawkins machine on it. I have a Hawkins Digital Compuslim 75 Pro and it has a Tens program, I put it on for 45 minutes and it seemed to have helped, but it is starting to hurt again now, I will do it again before I go to bed. It definitely did work, because I did so much today, that I would never have been able to do yesterday. Mark bathed the dogs this morning, they have not been bathed for such a long time. First we all went to Ballito, then Mark went on his own and I just can't bath spike anymore, then my arm and neck and and and........ excuses excuses, so he bathed them today, I went on the Hawkins Machine, then I washed the bird's cage, which is a mission to clean & wash, then washed all their bowls, cleaned out the kennels, not that they use them, but still, washed their blankets, at least they get washed every week, that is easy, the bathing is what is hard. So I had a very busy day of animals.

Hawkins Digital Compuslim 75 Pro

Compuslim Pads

I am so tired of being sick with some sort of ailment and am definitely now a Medical Marvel, well I am sure that is what everyone thinks and I don't blame them. Lets hope that the Tens Machine works, because I am not going to another specialist.

And to end my busy day, I had a big bowl of the best Ice Cream ever, Nestle Vanilla Ice Cream with Bar One Sauce - Yummy and updated my blog - it has taken two hours or more to do this post.




Vanilla & Bar One Sauce Ice Cream




Saturday, 21 April 2012

Life and Death

On Wednesday, Mark needed to speak to the owner of one of our suppliers and was so shocked when he was told that he was not available, because his wife had died on Monday morning. It was a huge shock, because he is a young guy, early thirties and she died of natural causes. We have since found out that she is only 26 years old. As far as Mark was aware she was a fit and healthy young woman or so he thought. They always went hiking and running and doing outdoor things. They had just come back from a holiday the other day, so to hear that she died from an illness was unbelievable.

The medical reason is a bit confusing, but it is really sad. I don't know the guy that well, having only spoken to him on the phone a couple of times and seen him once, I know his cousin quite well, who works for him. He always comes to the workshop and chats. He told us that she had diabetes for three years, but they only diagnosed it 2 months ago and her gall bladder was completely shot, so they had to remove it last week. she was very ill and died on Monday morning. The cousin saw her on Sunday and although she was very ill, she was speaking to him. He told us that her husband, his cousin asked him if he wanted to go down to the coffee shop at the hospital with him to have something to eat and he remembers as clear as anything him saying whilst they were having their coffee how he said "at least now the worst is over" and not in a wishful thinking way, but he genuinely believed the worst was over and that she was getting better and then she died not even 12 hours later. I know exactly how that feels, because I honestly believed that Clint would live, I never once thought my child would die and I remember one of the doctor's saying the next two hours were crucial and I was just waiting for those two hours to end then I believed that it would be all uphill from there on, but the end of the two hours was the end of his life.

Life is so cruel and unfair - you are not supposed to die when you are young. They had just bought a new house and were planning to start a family, but instead she is dead. Getting old or being diagnosed with a terminal illness does not mean death is knocking at your door - living means death is knocking at your door and it can happen at anytime.









Sleep Time



This is sleep time in our house

Garfield Hidden Away On Clint's Bed

Miss Piggy & Pluto 

There Is A Jack Russel Called Jingles Under There

Spike

Last night when I came out the bathroom, Mark was already asleep and had put all the babies to bed. Not Garfield, she puts herself to bed. She has found a new spot on Clint's bed, all hidden away between the curtains and pillows. I disturbed her when I took the photo, she is usually so well hidden. She always sleeps on Clint's bed, but now has chosen a new spot. Her blankets are on Clint's bed, mainly to stop all her hair shedding on his bed, but that never works, she usually hides under her blankets,  but now this is her new spot.

Pluto sleeps right next to my bed, OK, our room is small, but there are empty spaces that would be far better, but he won't sleep in his bed if I put it anywhere else. Miss Piggy's bed is next to his, but she sleeps in Chad's bed, then comes to our bed and then eventually kicks Pluto out of his bed and he goes off to her bed or she sleeps on top of him - that is if she does not stay on our bed the whole night. So I was quite surprised to find her already in Pluto's bed last night. They are Yin and Yang; Ebony & Ivory; The Inseparable Twins. Chad's friend stayed over, so that was the reason why she was in her bed I guess. Then as I was about to fall asleep, she heard Chad's voice, wandered off to his room, was confused because he was in the lounge, came back to our room, went to his room again, went to drink water in the other bathroom, came back to bed, then stood by me waiting for me to lift her up and that went on for about 30 minutes and finally she fell asleep in Pluto's bed.

Jingles sleeps in a corner of the room away from the bed, and away from her siblings, otherwise she growls at them all night. If she is not completely covered to shivers and whimpers and makes funny sounds, almost as if she has nightmares. She is such a nervous whimpering dog. Sometimes she creeps into our bed or runs off and hides under Clint's pillows. I guess that is where Garfield got the idea from. Clint's room is her sanctuary from her siblings her irritate and annoy her.

Spike sleeps right next to his dad (Mark). Now that it is getting colder, he goes off to Chad's room during the night and mostly chases Piggy away if she is still in Chad's bed. So last night they all slept exactly where they are meant to sleep. They all wish they could sleep in our bed and take chances. Jingles and Spike can jump up quietly without me knowing till I wake up and find one of them under the blankets. Both Miss Piggy and Pluto whimper and squeal to get lifted up - or Piggy barks and Garfield wanders onto our bed from time to time. If it storms she always comes to us.

And I wonder why I have a stiff painful neck, shoulder blades and arm!!!!















Wednesday, 11 April 2012

April 2012 School Holidays

If you can call it school holidays - they were over in a blink of the eye. I was shocked last week on Wednesday, when I read a traffic report saying that the roads would be very busy on Easter Monday, because Tuesday was the start of school. OK, Chad's school started today, but still I thought they had another week. It was 10 days and this year Easter fell during the school holidays, last year they had April school holidays went back to school for about 10 days and then had another 10 days off with Easter and public holidays and extra school days off in between. This year they were really short changed and their math teacher gave them homework for the holidays- can you believe it, such a short holiday and homework on top of it.

I must say Chad did not have the best of holidays, he was at home alone and I am sure very bored and lonely, with everyone else having gone on holiday. He could have gone with Mark to Ballito, but he decided to rather stay at home with me. On the Friday that school finished, we found out that our neighbours were robbed. Well more than just robbed, their cleaning lady was tied up, but fortunately no one was hurt. The robbers came to the gate, saying they were there to spray the ants and when she said that her boss never told her they were coming, she then walked towards the house and they jumped over the gate and over powered her and tied her up and took what they wanted. that put a damper on the start of the holidays, realising again how vulnerable we are to crime. They were robbed at about 9;15 in the morning, were in the house for less than 15 minutes, but got enough to make them happy and I think Spike actually frightened them off. We checked our security cameras and he was barking at the postman and going crazy at the time that they were in the house. Sheila did not even know that our cul-de-sac was full of police cars and security vans that morning - the joys of high walls I guess, we have them for security reasons, but they also aid criminals, because no one sees over the high walls, although I must say even without the threat of crime, I wouldn't want to live without high walls. I prefer the privacy of high walls to having no walls or fences.

Dean came around on Friday night and then again on Sunday he came for a braai. I baked a Lemon Meringue  Pie and a Milk Tart. The Milk Tart was really good for my first attempt, the Lemon Meringue not so good. I will post the recipes sometime. On the Saturday, we didn't do anything, slept and lazed around for most of the day. Friday was a very late night. Dean left just before 1am and then I still had to bath, so I got to bed close to 2am - we don't do late nights!! In fact we did not even realize it was so late when he left.

Mark went to Ballito on Wednesday and I had to open and lock up at work, so I had to fetch Chad when Sheila left and take him back to work with me. I was not leaving him at home alone, after the neighbours were robbed during the day. He was not too happy about it, but there was not an option. All he did during the holidays was watch movies and TV or play online games. He has been playing online pool and sometimes chats to his "opponents" and he gets highly amused at the comments when he says he is from South Africa. Comments range from "you have a very English name for an African" to "wow that's hardcore" or shame. What the hell???? Honestly, we don't walk around in the bush with assegais and spears, wearing loin cloths. We live normal lives just like anywhere else in the world. There is nothing "hardcore" about our lives, OK, nothing hardcore other than getting robbed at 9am, but in general. Our life is very hardcore boring, mediocre and just plain and simple everyday living.

Even Our Dogs Lead Boring Lives

Leave Me I Am Trying To Sleep

Nighty - Night


Mark came back from Ballito on Saturday and Friday being a public holiday, Chad and I did nothing both on Friday and Saturday. In fact Friday we only really surfaced at 3pm when we went to go and buy KFC for late lunch early supper and on Saturday we never even left the house. On Sunday we took Chad to Gold Reef City for the day. He enjoyed himself, even though it was just him and his boring parents. I hate going on the rides, Mark isn't that keen on going on them either and after having a back operation he can't go on most of them. He went on a couple with Chad, we all went on the Raging Rapids which I don't mind and I went with to see a 4D movie, nothing to write home about, some pirate movie, but it was better than the last one I saw there.
Chad at the Science Exhibition
Chad & Mark On The Dream Boat

Cute Little Piglets In The Farm Yard - Check The Harnesses 


 I will post the other photos at the end of this post. So in effect we had a very quiet boring Easter Weekend - nothing hardcore at all. AND, we never had a single Easter Egg or Hot Cross Bun. Chad didn't want Easter Eggs, so I never bought any, we eat enough junk anyway.

On Monday, I made a late breakfast and boy did we find the mystery egg. We had this really large egg in the fridge. It was in a pack of eggs from Eggspert Golden Yolk Eggs, it was just abnormally large and as I cracked it and dropped it into the pan, I got the fright of my life, another egg was inside it, a tiny complete egg. Well that has put us off eggs for a very long time.

The Hidden Mystery Egg In An Egg - Gross

So that was our April holidays in a nutshell - a very teeny tiny nutshell. Today was back to school, back to traffic and back to routine. And for some very good news, Chad got 87% for his accounting exam - SO PROUD OF YOU CHAD!!!!!


Yesterday I had to go for physio. I have had a stiff and very sore neck for almost a week now. On Saturday, the pain started radiating down my shoulder to my elbow, so that put a damper on my time at Gold Reef City. I am becoming such a Medical Marvel, always sick with some ailment or other, that won't heal with self medication. I have to go for more physio tomorrow. It has been quite painful and the physio said that my neck is extremely stiff and sense, but if I compare it to my tooth abscess in November it is more discomfort than pain. It is starting to feel better now, I could barely type or hold my mouse earlier today and yesterday and I am sure it will be better after tomorrow's physio. We need to go buy a new bed, our bed is finished. It is 10 years old and with dogs and Chad jumping on it over the years it is now finished and that is the only reason I can find that could have caused my stiff neck. I think the massage chair might have worsened it. Instead of going on it for only 20 minutes like you are supposed to,  I carried on over and over to try and get rid of the stiffness in my neck and stayed on it for over an hour and I think that may have caused more damage.


And this is the end of our evening, OK my arm is really sore now. Earlier it was OK, but now it is starting to ache so I guess I have over done it.
Miss Piggy With Her Head On Chad's Lap As Usual

Spike As Usual On The Massage Chair  That Damaged My Neck

Jungles & Pluto Sleeping Next To Where I was Sitting As Usual
Excuse all the typos, grammatical errors, spelling errors - too tired & sore to care

Good Night

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Easter




Hope your Easter is filled with lots of Love & Chocolate Bunnies


Have a safe & wonderful Easter Weekend!!!


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Stop Procrastinating

I just had to post this image this morning when I opened my mail from Nubia Group. I am still procrastinating, which obviously has a domino effect on my Seven List. It you are wondering what a seven List is, you can read about it over here and the first on my list was PROCRASTINATING . We are a quarter of the way through the year and I have not achieved or attempted to achieve anything on my list, but that is a post for another day. Today I have to tackle my filing at work, my desk at home still looks like looks worse than it did in this post. I have not touched it this year, except to pile more papers on top of the pile.







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