7th Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas I posted a video instead of a blog. This is my year in review.

It was a terrible year and I’m glad to see the end of it but I did learn a lot about myself and about what is important in my life. I hope to take those lessons with me into 2019.

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6th Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas I went with the flow, again.

After spending yesterday planning out the weekend, today was spent ignoring the plan. I woke feeling very unwell. Going to Mass this morning was the only part of the plan we stuck to. I spent the rest of the day in bed…which is where I still am.

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5th Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas I relaxed. Hubby and I sat down and planned out some tasks we want to complete and when we think we might want to take them on. That was just about task enough for me.

I spent most of the day just taking it easy. Something I haven’t done enough of lately.

I took some time in the afternoon to begin painting my nails to do something for New Year. I didn’t know if I was going to do nail art or just go plain. I ended up finishing with a glitter ombre with an accent nail. Hardly art but something vaguely festive.

I rounded out the day with a few hours of playing Sims4. 🙂

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4th Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas I didn’t do very much at all. Hubby and I had a child-free night and no money so we did our go-to activity…(not what you’re thinking!)…we had a “Pokedate”. No, still not what you’re thinking! We go around playing Pokemon Go – spinning stops, catching creatures and raiding like a paid of possessed fools!

When we go to gyms belonging to our team, we “love them up”. When we go go gyms belonging to the other teams, we do the opposite. I was explaining the concept a while ago to 4yr old Snugglepot who grasped it pretty quickly and came up with the term “love them down”. Yep, we love them all the way down to ZERO!

Family fun at its finest!

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3rd Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas I survived a day that might otherwise have done me great damage.

My greatest challenge since having my stroke is fatigue. Sure, the other symptoms are no picnic (can’t walk, can’t hold a pen, can’t remember my date of birth, can’t remember words, can’t see) but they all become considerably worse when I’m fatigued. Rest periods aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity.

Today, due to a range of circumstances, I was unable to have my rest period. I began writing about it here but it was a very long and boring story so I deleted it. Suffice to say, I had a pretty full-on kind of day. I’m not supposed to have them.

Despite the pressures of the day, which were plentiful, I have managed to stay conscious and upright for almost all of it. I usually faint or have “an episode” most days…or multiple per day. Today I only had one little one. I even did most of the dinner preparation tonight. It was nice to give Sean a night off doing that for once.

Anyway, it’s late and I’m supposed to be resting now. It’s long overdue and I’m probably going to pay tomorrow for no rest today coupled with a late night. But, gee, it feels good to not feel bad.

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2nd Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas we had a family day.

For so long now I have not been able to participate in family activities like I did before I had my stroke. There was a time when going to the park or going for a walk along the waterfront as a family was a daily activity. In recent years it was more likely to be weekly but it was certainly something we did often.

When I had the stroke I was robbed of the ability to walk. Over time, I built-up a capacity to walk short distances. I usually walk with a single point walking stick but even then can’t really manage much more than about 100-150 metres before needing to sit for a while and recuperate. This makes taking a walk with my family almost impossible and certainly frustrating for my daughter who has boundless energy and will run at full speed whenever she has a chance and hubby who has to leave me to chase the runaway child!

We did get a wheelchair and that was a wonderful help. It allowed me to get out in the world again. Unfortunately, my stroke deficit incorporates my entire right side. This means I need to be pushed in a wheelchair as I am unable to use both hands to push myself. This means I’m fully reliant on someone to push me around. I could go on and on about the psychological impact of that over time and the strain it can put on the person doing the pushing (both physically and emotionally).

About 10 days ago I acquired a mobility scooter. Since then we have been able to go out as a family almost every second day. I can go shopping.

I can travel alongside my husband as he walks. I can even hold my daughter’s hand as she walks beside me. This thing has opened up my life And brought me closer to the person I was before my world changed and brought me closer to the person I was before my world changed. I don’t feel so held back anymore.

I took some photos while we were out. I enjoyed drinking in the scenery. But even more than that, I really am so grateful to feel this alive again.

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1st Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas we broke with tradition. It was unplanned.

Growing up, despite living in Australia our family always had a hot Christmas dinner. My father was Irish and we had typical Irish Christmas fare. Turkey, ham, vegetables. You get the idea. Except that I always had the idea that Australians didn’t do that. I heard stories of people eating chicken or pork and even having barbecues and salads!!!

After my father died, we began introducing cold foods like salads onto our Christmas dinner table. We cooked the turkey and ham the day before and had them as cold cuts. A few years ago I added veggies back onto the table but as a cold roast vegetable salad.

This year, fate threw a curveball. Mum’s oven wasn’t working so we decided to cook the turkey at my place. She roasted it in the BBQ. I did my now traditional “coke ham” in the oven. They weren’t cold cuts but they weren’t exactly piping hot either.

The biggest change, however, was the timing. We used to always try to sit down to Christmas dinner around 2pm or thereabouts. Between needing to get a new gas bottle for the BBQ and a 4yr old who was insisting on us all opening presents, we didn’t get under-way until it was already too late to make a 2pm lunch. Christmas dinner was had at normal dinner time.

The evening air was pleasant and relaxing. I’d spent most of the day inside the house in air-conditioning as I was suffering a bit with my stroke symptoms. My leg wasn’t holding me up reliably, my arm was on fire due to hypersensitivity and I was dizzy and nauseous. I passed out a couple of times and even needed my husband to shower me because I wasn’t able. I’m not sure how hot it was outside but I know I would not have been in a position to join the family at 2pm for anything worthwhile.  The later dinner worked out really well under the circumstances.

Tradition is great but so is going with the flow.



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