Category Archives: health

Milking my family for sympathy (NOT)

More mentions of vomit within. Also a cat poo reprise. You have been warned.

After being told that I had fractured a rib just from vomiting I was, well, spewing. But I figured that I should at least get one night’s sympathy from my family. And I would milk it for all it was worth.

I started via SMS:

Me: Hope your day went well especially the Latin test. I went to the Dr and it turns out I vomited so badly 2 weeks ago that I FRACTURED A RIB omg!! See you when you get home xxmum

I was pleased with that. Caring loving parent who thinks about what is going on in her child’s life and then WHAM! FRACTURED RIB! and then caring loving parent again. Maybe she would bring me chocolate?

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Lessons in Medicine. Which gets a little gross.

I learned all sorts of interesting things today.

For example about parts of the body.

Here is a diagram of some parts of the body that I know. (I do know some other ones but it would be pretty dull if I listed all the tarsals and carpals and things. And much more interesting if I listed some of the others but I strive to keep things PG here).

ankle stomach ribs humerus ears etc

It gets icky behind the “More” link, if you are still on the homepage of my blog. Consider yourself warned!

Read the rest of this entry »


Obsessing about Teeth

How much do we all hate going to the dentist? I am completely useless about it and generally end up curled in a little semi-catatonic ball under the doona afterwards, even when the trip was just to have my teeth cleaned and checked.

My kids mostly don’t hate it, which is great – ever since a cock-up with the Bigster’s teeth when she was 6 or 7, I have taken them to a specialist pediatric dentist. They’re up to an hour’s drive away, which is not so great, but the dentist we see is so lovely and reassuring for the girls that it is worth the hassle.

We had their six-monthly checkup this morning. No fillings required, which is great, especially for the Bigster who has “poor quality enamel” and needs to take special care of her teeth. But Otto has an abscess that is going to require removing an existing filling, treating it and then re-filling it (ugh). And Bigster may need braces.

Now this is weird. We had thought / hoped that the plate she wore for nearly three years would stop her from needing braces. And she does in fact have a lovely smile. All straight and even – the issue is actually at the back of her mouth. When she bites together, her lower teeth are in front of her upper teeth. This means that over time (and we are talking decades), her back teeth will wear at the front rather than at the back. Which is apparently a line-call sort of thing.

We’re getting a referral to an orthodontist who will be able to give us the big picture. Lovely Dentist wasn’t sure that she DID need braces, but she was sure that we need to have the conversation.

If she does get braces, it will apparently mean 6-weekly visits for 18 months or so.

I will not let that influence my decision.

I will not let that influence my decision.

I will not let that influence my decision.

But yeesh.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in children, health


Bigster’s foot*: The true story.

* not to be confused with Bigfoot, please.

Cast your minds back a week or so, to last Saturday. The one before last, actually. The 13th of November. A fateful day. Bigster has returned from high school orientation camp and is hanging with a friend.

"I am happy. I think I will ride my scooter."

Ouch! I fell off my scooter! My foot hurts!

OK I can hobble on it. That's not so bad.

Some hours later …

Umm, oww

Bigster and Fraser go to the Children’s Hospital and return in the astonishingly short time of around two hours.

They think it might be FRACTURED!

These crutches will take some getting used to

And they do.

And we wait to hear from the hospital about our follow-up appointment.

We have to wait a WEEK to see the Doctor?

Finally, the big day comes, and the cast is cut off.

Believe it or not, I am now LESS swollen and bruised. I promise!

The Doctor is not sure. He even fetches a colleague, who is also unsure.

Well, we still don't know. Blah blah CT scan blah anaesthetic and tests blah screw in ankle blah my sonic screwdriver will do the trick

OK maybe without that last bit. But that would be REALLY COOL.

And so, the cast is replaced and we begin our sacrifices of large amounts of cash to the parking company at the children’s hospital. Because it’s all very well to socialise medicine, but you can’t socialise parking.

Not loving my new, bigger but still temp cast.

And we return, and have the scan, and make an appointment to return again tomorrow, no wiser.

Yah. So we still don't know what I did or how they will fix it. Sucks to be me this week!

The end … for now …


Posted by on November 22, 2010 in children, health



About 18 months ago, maybe a bit more, my ears started to hurt. Quite a lot, and fairly consistently. Also, I was even more clumsy/dizzy than usual.

For a while, I annoyed my GPs by going back there and getting them to look in my ears, and they consistently told me that there was nothing there. I stopped mentioning it and assumed I was hallucinating.

Earlier this year, I saw a different GP at the same practice. Same routine, nothing to see here – until he asked me to pop my ears by holding my nose and blowing – and we discovered that my ears don’t pop anymore.

The theory is that my eustacian tubes – behind the ear drum – are all gummed up, and they can’t see this when they look in my ears.

So far, I’ve taken Sudafed for a while, and now I’ve switched (on Dr advice) to Rhinocort nasal spray. My new plan is to ask the pharmacist whether I can start taking both, to try to get things moving. Still no popping in my ears, but I have this constant weird sensation that there are ants crawling around inside my ears.

Either that, or I actually do have ants crawling around inside my ears. Which would be even more disgusting than gunged-up ears.


Posted by on August 29, 2010 in health


Nasty crawling things

Interrupting Bordercon because my notebook is still hiding somewhere.

We got home to discover Otto scratching her head. Yes, even though the Nits Note came home from the Bigster’s class, Otto was the one with the side effects.

Monday night was all about hair. I got the hippie stuff for Otto’s hair, which meant I had to completely cover her scalp with it, then comb her hair with the nit comb. Lots of eggs and a few nasty crawling things. Ugh. I re-did it a couple of times, then let it dry while I checked the Bigster. Didn’t find anything, but still had her wash her hair with the how-many-chemicals-can-we-fit-into-one-bottle shampoo. (She hadn’t been combing her hair over the weekend, so there was no way I was going to be able to comb it out before she washed it). I got Fraser to use the shampoo too, as I think it always makes sense to treat the entire family.

Tuesday was better.  Used the combing solution on Otto and found almost nothing. Attacked the Bigster with the (cleaned and disinfected) nit comb and found nada. Jumped in the shower with Otto and treated myself, just in case.

When I say “Better”? It still took three hours.

I am washing everything they wear on their upper bodies, as well as pillowcases and towels.

Because the prospect of scratching on the plane? Euuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.


Weirdly, I think this is the third time over 4 or 5 years that my kids have got nits around the Queens Birthday weekend. This must be the peak time or something.


Posted by on June 10, 2009 in children, health, parenting


Breaking the news …

It’s flu season in Australia.

I have Otto home from school today with a nasty sore throat and cough.

Rang the GP to find out what the “rules” are for someone with a virus/flu-like symptoms, and had a bit of a chat.

We do not even for a moment think that Otto has H1N1. She doesn’t have the right symptoms, and she hasn’t had contact with anyone that has the disease.

Regardless, I have been told to keep her home for “a few days” (they want to limit the spread of other seasonal viruses as much as possible). The Bigster is free to go about as she likes.


In 2 weeks, the Bigster is due to go on school camp. For four days. 

To quote my GP: “Just as we expect it to REALLY get going in the community”

Her advice?

“If it were my child, and I had a flight booked the next week? I would not send her on that camp.”

Biggie will be devastated.


Posted by on June 3, 2009 in children, health, parenting


The horror that was March 10th

I know that Jon at least hates this type of post, but I can’t think of any other way to express the fairly unutterable horror that was March 10th.

It went a bit like this:

1am: Bed. Oops. I can’t even claim that I was working – I was chatting with friends. Haven’t done that for ages – at least, not till that late.

7am: Wake up. Groan. Pretend to go back to sleep

8am: Finally give in and get up. Get kids ready for school, etc etc etc. Otto mucks around so we are late for school and arrive at …

9:04am: tell kids to just sneak in to whole-school Assembly as Rolls are marked afterwards and not before. Biggie disappears into the Year 5-6 building to put her bag down while I head for Assembly with Otto, who really does not want to be there. Oops – mea culpa. Important to get them there on time.

9:20am: Wonder where Biggie is. School psychologist person pops up at my elbow and asks if I have a minute. She has Biggie in her office, very unhappy. She went to sign herself in because it’s a Rule. Looooong discussion where Biggie asserts that she thinks I love Otto more than I love her. And so does dad. And so does Otto. Terribly terribly sad but why do I get the feeling she is pushing buttons? Note that she didn’t actually say she thought that, school psychologist asked her whether she thought that and she agreed. This seems to me to be a Subtle Yet Relevant Difference. Agree to meet with school psychologist in a couple of weeks. What a mess – if the Bigster really does think that, there is major damage repair to be done. If she doesn’t, grrrr.

9:55am: call the salon to cancel 10am appointment. My eyebrows will have a life of their own by the end of the week.

11:10am finally leave school psychologist’s office. Realise I still have Otto’s bag. Realise lunchtime has started. Bolt for Year 1 classroom to find Otto and teacher, puzzled. Phew.

11:25am do the quickest makeup ever, grab bag for work. Realise I will have to drive in to make 12 noon meeting. Realise client has rung this morning. Hope it was to cancel 12 noon meeting. 

11:26am Realise I am out of luck. She was confirming the meeting. Decide to drive.

11:47am Outside client’s work. See guy get into car ready to drive off. See guy talk on mobile phone. Decide to wait.

11:50am Still waiting

11:52am Decide to move round to the other side of the road so guy can see me, waiting for his parking space.

11:52:30am While I am moving, guy drives off and Other Driver takes spot. Gaaaaah.

11:57am See someone get into car parked outside client’s office. Do u-turn across tram bumps to get to spot.

12:00noon Walk into office.

blah blah meetings blah blah move car to nearer my office blah blah feed meter, leave.

15:10 arrive at school for 15:30 finish. Decide to go buy Otto a Doll.

15:24 in shop, listen to owner screaming at husband to get off the damn phone so she can process my credit card transaction for doll and dolls’ clothes. Fair Trade Organic Cotton dolls’ clothes, no less. Yikes!

15:28 back to school. Yay!

Then the girls and I bought donuts (for them and Fraser, not for me) and I went to the dentist for stage 3 of my root canal that began in Hungary. This time, I have ended up with a metal band that looks like Alfoil around my tooth (Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out). My dentist kindly cleans up my “panda eyes” after there was weeping. Stupid dental anaesthetic. Stupid pathetic mouth pain threshold.

Hmm, what next. Fraser took Otto to swimming and dropped the Bigster at home for some quiet time (at her request). Then they came back to collect me after my Exciting Tooth Experience.

Home and Biggie cooked dinner (put pre-made by me meatballs on a tray in the oven). Then the girls and I made the first batch of yummy cupcakes to take to school tomorrow for Otto’s 6th birthday. Yum!

I had a late doctor’s appointment – which was not great. I don’t have weird side-effects from the tablets I am on, I have gastroenteritis.

Home again to throw out the cupcakes I had made with Otto. Doctor’s orders.

And this brings me to the point of this post.

Because Fraser, who has never done this, EVER, for any of the girls’ birthdays, rose wonderfully to the occasion. He is now the proud baker of 35 perfectly pink vanilla cupcakes, with pink icing and pink and purple sprinkles. I may have been supplanted.

And I? Did work work work, chatted with Biggie’s friend’s mother, wrapped presents, tidied and generally supervised.

And now, it is 1am once again and I have a little girl who will be completely and utterly 6 in around 20 hours. And a little bit 6 before that, even.

Her gifts are all lined up on her new daisy beanbag.

I just wonder which of us will be last out of bed.


Posted by on March 11, 2009 in children, family, food, health, to-do


And the hardest part so far is …

Remember all those things I had to do? And all those things I had NOT to do?

Well, of all of them, the hardest one so far is:

  • Do a blood test every morning

Not only because I have to psych myself into it – the “lancing device” (which I prefer to call the Instrument Of Torture) means it’s not quite as bad as sticking pins into myself, but it’s close. No, also because I DO NOT BLEED.

Please do not take that as an invitation to put it to the test. I am confident that it would be possible to MAKE me bleed, given the appropriate motivation. But in the morning, even after I wash my hands in warm water to stimulate the blood flow – heck, even after I SOAK my hands in warm water to stimulate the blood flow – I have  great difficulty getting a drop of blood big enough for testing.

Here’s what happens:

  1. Get out new test strip, half insert into monitor, feel virtuous.
  2. Breathe deeply and stare at Instrument Of Torture
  3. Summon courage, arm and release IOT
  4. Squeeze finger. Is that blood? Maybe – oo, there’s some.
  5. Massage finger in direction of fingertip. Think yeah, that should be enough.
  6. Push test strip into machine, wait for it to beep
  7. Position test strip to suck up blood. Waitt for it to beep. Realise it’s not going to beep, and curse.
  8. Prick another finger. And another. Repeat steps 3 through 7 until machine switches itself off.
  9. Try switching machine back on and sucking up some more blood. Nuh-uh. Get error message.
  10. Sniffle
  11. etc

I turned the needle one notch higher today, which might help. Also stopped using it RIGHT NEXT TO my eee as there is something about electromagnetic interference.

Meanwhile I have used about a billion test strips today. To the extent that I have to go see my Dr tomorrow to get a prescription for more of them. And they didn’t want to give me an appointment but I must have sounded so pathetic on the phone that they gave me one.

Glucose levels in the morning are still normal but I do see them dropping. Got a slight scare this morning when I got a reading of 3.3 (they should be 5+; any less than 3 is a trigger to urgently call my specialist on her mobile). Then I rechecked (the ultimate indignity, when I had FINALLY got a reading) and got 4.9 so I guess my right hand has lower glucose readings than my left. Or I contaminated the sample somehow. OMGISUCK!!!

And then I have to go bitch about this stuff in my blog. When I would rather be writing about Good Stuff like How The Neighbours Complained. Or All The Games I Am Playing (sadly, I am not. But I did teach Mr Jack to Fraser on Wednesday night.)


Posted by on February 13, 2009 in health


Me, the fairies, and the bullies who pop bubbles

OK darlings, so here’s the post that was eaten not once but TWICE yesterday. Grrr.

I saw the doctor to get the results of the tests I’d had done.

First, the results of the ECG at the weird place weren’t in. She rang them for the results, then gave them a bit of a serve for not sending them through in time. They were NORMAL. As expected. No real surprises there.

Then, the blood tests.

“That’s right,” she said. “Yours were weird.”

I didn’t ask good weird or bad weird. I don’t think there really is “good weird” on blood tests. (Congratulations! You’re really … a PUPPY! doesn’t quite cut it) Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 11, 2009 in health