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Thursday 30 September 2004

Shock, Sadness, or Relief?

Posted by kim @ 8:46pm

More sadness now. Shock was first, as I walked in the door, but now its mainly sadness. Relief will come later, I'm sure.

I had intended on calling this entry the name of the strongest feeling I was having, but as you can see, there are several. The shock only lasted momentarily, quickly bottled and hidden deep. Now its just sadness. A deep sadness never before felt to this extent. Sadness, because I remember what she used to be like prior to being diagnosed, and what she was like as little as 3 weeks ago, the last time I was here. Then, she had been thin, having lost a lot of weight due to the chemo and radiation therapy, but was still relatively mobile and as vocal as usual. Now, she is little more then a skeleton with skin drapped over it. She is restless, wanting to move around constantly, but unable to do so without being lifted. She's on oxygen now also, and a whole host of other drugs that she has trouble swollowing. She doesn't eat, she only had a few sips of water today. She has lost most of her powers of speech, although occasionally she'll speak out something as clear as day, just to let us know that under it all she still has her sense of humour. Her restlessness is keeping my two aunts and my mum on their toes 24hrs a day. They take it in turns to keep an eye on her at night. None are getting a sufficient night's sleep.

'The indignity of it all' was also a candidate for title of this entry. 'Indignity' being a stark contrast to Nan's previous self. Before, I had never seen her even partially in a state of undress. She had always been so strong, independant, private and dignified. Now, she doesn't get out of her nighty all day, she has to have enamas to help her poo, and she goes to the toilet right there, using a comode, in the middle of the loungeroom.

And this has been a good day.

Wednesday 29 September 2004


Posted by kim @ 6:13pm

I feel drained and I haven't even gotten to my nan's place yet.

May be I should fill you in on the last two days.

Mum rang Monday night to tell me that Aunty Shel had just rang Dad, all upset, because Nan's health was/is going down at a rapid rate (Aunty Shel has been living with Nan and playing sole carer since Nan first found out that she had cancer several months ago). So Dad had left straight from work, after having only just started night-shift, and has been up there since. Tahls was on the next available Tilt Train, arriving about about 9:30pm last night. Aunty Ang was on the next available flight from Melbourne, arriving yesterday morning. Mum was looking for flights, but couldn't find any because of school holidays, so she was just going to drive down (she arrived at about lunch time today). And I'd decided to wait until Mum got down there to give me her verdict on the situation, because Dad, understandably, is quite upset - I'd rung last night after work to see how things were going and he'd said that Christmas was totally out of the picture, that even her birthday (on Monday next week) could be pushing it - and I know Mum's opinion will be a little more objective, (a) because its not her mum, its dad's mum, so he'll be a lot more emotional about the situation, and (b) because she is a nurse working with the elderly everyday, some of which are bound to be cancer patients, so she can probably judge, and cope, with the situation a lot better. So I shot a quick email to my boss, explaining the situation and that I may have to leave suddenly. She, as I knew she would, totally understood - family comes first. So I toddled off to work today; tried to get through the day, but was a bit stressed and cranky with people.

I rang Nan's place when I got home. Dad answered but only spoke long enough to find out when I was heading up, then handed the phone over to Mum. Mum said that Nan was doing ok, better today actually, with all the family around, but that they have to keep an eye on her - she's restless, can't get comfortable, so she wanders around constantly, and isn't particularly stable on her legs.

So I'm heading up there tomorrow.

I already feel drained.

Sunday 26 September 2004

A new light

Posted by kim @ 7:10am

Over the past two Sundays we have been rudely awakened at god-aweful hours of the day, like 7am, and kept awake by .. works .. - I don't know what to call them - they're not roadworks, because the work is being done on the footpath rather then the road next to it - across the road from us. For the past to Sundays the men down there have found joy in starting up concrete saws and jackhammers before 8am on a Sunday and waking up everyone in this residentially-zoned section of the city. Now, I could put up with this for one Sunday, but not two. So last Sunday, after them making us postpone the special breakfast we'd had planned in the restaurant downstairs, I looked up on the Council website anything that I could find (and as I'm writing this, they've started bashing away at something metal) on noise restrictions in residential areas (not limiting it to city vs suburb residential). And what-da-ya-know, it says:

6.30pm to 6.30am - Monday to Saturday - No noise allowed
Any time - Sunday or public holiday - No noise allowed

It also has a place you can ring to make complaints about the company causing the noise violation, and there are fines involved. (Ignoring the fact that the works would probably be finished before the Council got off its collective butts and did something about it.)

And you know what makes this even more irksome? Its the Council that are doing it. Thats right. Its Council workers down there waking us up at ungodly hours on Sunday mornings.

A conversation that I had with a friend last Sunday about this comes to mind. She tried to argue (this means she was trying to see their side, not that we were full-on yelling at each other) that "they probably don't get a lot of chance to do works like that since this is a city street and they can't just block of traffic whenever they want". I said "So do it Saturday, or even later in the day on Sunday, and I wouldn't mind so much". She looked at me stunned a little, "You mean that they're not doing this (indicating towards the works) on Saturdays as well?". I said "Nope, just Sunday mornings". At that point she lost the argument.

And you know what its all been in aid of? A new street light. Yep, thats right. Like as if we didn't have enough light streaming into our bedroom windows at night, they needed to add to it.


Looking back at those noise restrictions, we could get a lot of people in trouble if we had a video camera and could videotape (with sound of course) the activities that go on within those no-noise-allowed times.

The leafblower-man, for example.

And the various semis and other loud equipment that trundles past at all hours of the night.

Wednesday 1 September 2004

In mourning

Posted by kim @ 7:19pm

I'm mouring the loss today of something that has grown dear to me over the years.

You might think me a bit insensitive, referring to it as a thing rather than a someone or a somebody, but it is a thing.

It's my student ID.

Never again (well, maybe not 'never' but certainly not any time soon) will I benefit from half-price public transport and cheap theatre and show tickets, and discounts at stores from computer stores to hairdressers to restuarants.

Oh well, such are the sacrifices of growing up.

More articles

Posted by kim @ 7:55am

More sciency stuff from NewScientist:

Sewage waters a tenth of world's irrigated crops
Human waste can produce bumper crop yields where water is in short supply, reveals the first global survey of the hidden practice. ...

New moons suggest brutal beginnings
Five new moons circling Neptune, and two tiny moons newly discovered around Saturn hint at violent pasts. ...

Dust storms on the rise globally
More dust storms are billowing around the world - with far-reaching consequences for health and the environment. ...

Noisy ecotourists may boost bear numbers
Brown bears in teh wild may benefit from tourist vists as mothers and cubs can feed freely without male harassment. ...

Cigarettes more polluting than diesel exhaust
The particulates puffed out by cigarettes are 10 times greater than modern diesel car emissions, a small study finds. ...

African polio outbreak breaks through 'firewall'
The disease has breached a 'firewall' of recently vaccinated countries - more mass vaccinations are now planned. ...

Tiny telescopes discover distant planet
A small array of tiny telescopes has discovered its first extrasolar planet, showing it is not always size that counts. ...

Space technology could give comfy Antarctic homes
Ultra-light, eco-friendly pods which harness space technology, could provide snug homes - in Antarctica and even Europe. ...

First 'super Earth' planet found
The smallest extrasolar planet yet has been discovered outside our Solar System - it may resemble Earth with a rocky terrain says astronomers. ...

Recreational fishing harms threatened species
Fishing for sport is more damaging to some threatened species than commercial fishing, a US study has found. ...

Jaw transplant allows man to chew after nine years
A man who lost his jawbone through cancer surgery has tucked into his first proper meal in nine years after surgeons created a jaw for him. ...

White House report says people cause global warming
A report signed by senior members of the US administration accepts that only human activity explains rises in global temperatures. ...

August 2004 | October 2004