Most people just go and watch fireworks

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The end of 2011 had us celebrating my MIL’s 70th at yum cha. It was particularly special as 2011 saw her face-off the big C. It scared the baby cheeses out of all of us so we can only imagine how she felt. She dealt with the news, the lumpectomy, the chemo, the radiography and everything that goes with all of that with such strength and honesty it was, quite frankly, inspirational.

But you know how us allconsuming types can’t stand anyone else being in the limelight so the night before had me and and Oscar saying hi to everyone at Mona Vale Hospital’s Emergency department, if by hello you mean Oscar violently spewing half digested SAOs, vegemite and butter into one of those spew bags with the annoyingly narrow openings.

Here’s a tip – want to bypass the full emergency waiting room? Violently vomit just as the triage nurse walks by. Gets you seen to toot sweet.

His headache, high temperature, occasional chuck and weird pain in his left groin left the doc baffled and off we went home because ‘sometimes you just have to let these things manifest to see what’s really going on’. Like ebola and stuff.

The next morning (MIL’s b’day) I had a hairdressing appointment at 9 and got Oscar into our GP at 9. So Chef was on Oscar duty (priorities people). By then ‘it’ had manifested into a red patch on his ankle which ‘could be cellulitis’ so blood tests were needed. Anyone experienced blood tests with a 13-year-old intellectually-disabled teenager who thinks a band-aid means your digit/limb is either about to fall off or death is imminent? Good times!

With Oscar dosed up on pain meds we all ventured to yum cha at Manly which involved me, on arrival, saying ‘does anyone else smell wee?’ It doesn’t get much classier than taking me out in public.

On trying to raise this delicate matter with the staff they all nodded immediately with a ‘ahh yes, the smell’. WHAT THE HELL – the restaurant KNOWS that corner smells like piss (right next to Manly Wharf Bar, need I say more? Probably.) but will sit the big group of skippys there in the hope we won’t notice it’s like sitting in a urinal for dumplings?

What followed was a whole fiasco to open the bi-fold doors which then created the effect of us all sitting in a wind tunnel (visual: yum cha dumpling wrappers flying off into the faces of those on the far side of the table as those on the other side picked one up off the lazy susan) and much mirth at this carnival of ludicrazy.

This is why I’m not allowed out.

Anyway the day progressed up to Chef’s parents place and in doing so Oscar’s ankle started it’s own celebration of going from a red patch to a swollen red patch to an ankle the size of three and the redness moving up his leg. All while waiting for the blood results but let’s be honest, none of us wanted to miss out on the rocky road I’d made, birthday cake or the Boxing Day Test Match.

Our GP – aka The Legend – rang at 4 saying he only had preliminary results but he was ‘deeply concerned’ and thought hospital was still on the cards for IV antibiotics. At 8 that night he sent me a text saying full results were in and hospital was now the only option.


This story’s getting quite long isn’t it.


Long story (already mostly told) now vastly abbreviated (because I’m getting bored) we were in hospital for five days with Oscar on IV antibiotics.

Five days of Chef’s 10 days off.

Four days later I was moving the guinea pig cage and did my back. By ‘did my back’ I mean completely incapacitated and in too much pain to even writhe .

But having been raised by my mother I felt bad for making a fuss and being of no use to anyone and even though the myriad drugs I was throwing into my mouth (which I kept updating Chef on for fear I fell into a Heath Ledgeresque coma and thus required emergency medical attention)  were doing NOTHING, still the thought going to the hospital for back pain that was so extreme I had to stand over the toilet and do man-wees because sitting was not-an-option just seemed silly and melodramatic.

Two days later we were trying to get me out to the car to go to the physio when it became – ironically for all – painfully obvious the physio would be able to do nothing and I really needed to go to hospital.

I have no idea what mum did when she raced into the emergency department but it saw two staff and a wheelchair come out to greet me (five star service! Arrange champagne and a turn down service stat!) AND straight in to a bed.

I tell you, this family is the valedictorian of bypassing waiting in emergency departments.

Two panadeine forte, an injection of an anti-inflammatory, a beautiful nurse called Felicity and a hot Canadian doctor later I could get up and sit.on.the.toilet for a wee.

It’s now a week later and I’m still lying in bed with a heat pack on my back and while I was down to just taking neurofen and panadol a night from hell with Grover had me taking some panadeine forte this morning as it was seizing right back up.

And that, people, is how you ring in a new year.