Thursday 23 January 2020

Nothing says “I passed at the dentist” like coming home and making caramel popcorn. This is going to be stuck in my teeth causing cavities for a week.

The dentist went well. All the boys teeth were fine, with no cavities and great dental hygiene. Emma’s teeth were well cleaned ,but she did have a hole – it must have been small though, because they didn’t even need to numb her or do any real drilling before they put in some filler. They didn’t have five appointment spots in a row when I booked, but the kids’ teeth being good meant their appointments went fast and there was plenty of time for my check-up too, which was also fine. So now we’re finished with the dentist for another year.

Going to the dentist was pretty much all I did today. I got up for work like normal and had a dose of the medicine with breakfast. I think I lasted about ten minutes at my desk before I cried and told Troy I had to take a sick day because I was so tired I couldn’t even follow what he was saying. I went straight back to sleep and didn’t wake up until the phone rang at 2pm. Even then I had to force myself to get up so I could make the dental appointment, and I felt totally washed out for the rest of the day.

Obviously taking this medicine twice a day isn’t going to work – yes, okay, spending eighteen hours a day asleep does cut down on the depression simply because I’m not awake to feel it, but that’s hardly practical. I’m going to continue to take the night dose until my appointment on Tuesday, skipping the morning dose, and then ask the doctor about the best way forward.

Fingers crossed for Emma’s Kmart job interview today. There was a group interview portion and then an individual interview, and Emma seemed happy enough with how it went. I don’t think she’s overly confident, but as we said to her it’s all experience and things will work out one day. Hopefully this one, but we’ll just have to see

Wednesday 22 January 2020

I took Ootchy back to the vet today. His skin and fur loss is worse since I took him in after Christmas, so I thought we should look into it. The vet agreed that he looked terrible and discovered he’d lost 200g since the last visit, and then took some blood to test and told me he’d call me later. Really, I was convinced that he was dying so I was kind of braced for bad news, but all the blood test results were “boringly normal”, according to the vet. He’s in excellent health, apparently almost surprisingly so for a seventeen year old cat! So he might look like he’s been locked in an attic trunk with moths for six months and then been mauled by a dog, but internally he’s ticking along well.

The vet gave him an antibiotic injection (some of the scabby bits were maybe a little infected) and wants him back on steroids again for a couple more weeks, and maybe the combo of those two things will improve the situation. If not, we’ll be looking at skin biopsies or something. I’m really hoping it doesn’t come to that. Partly because of the cost (sorry Ootchy cat, but this whole caper is so expensive!) but mostly because he’s a cat who has no idea why I’m stuffing him in a carry bag and dragging him to the vet and where they stab him with needles and make him wear cones and have tablets shoved down his throat every day, and I just don’t feel like it’s all that fair to torture him for no result. So we’ll see how we go.

I filled my prescriptions today. One of them had that it was to be taken twice a day which I was a little doubtful about – it makes you sleepy and I don’t know why I’d be taking it twice when she didn’t say that specifically. However I figured I might as well follow the directions and took one immediately since it was still morning. I don’t know that I’ll be able to do it again though, I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open and had to go and lie down and sleep through the middle of the day – I will never be able to work if it has the same effect tomorrow. Welcome back to the wonderful world of medication side effects.

My two days off have really felt filled up this week, between vet visits and doctors and driving around to take Nicholai to work and do the shopping and picking up Soren’s books and take him to a meet-up at the park with his basketball team. Tomorrow all the children have dental appointments in the afternoon, and hopefully there’ll be enough time for me to be seen too (if not, I’ll make an a separate appointment for some other time). Emma also has a job interview at Kmart. I really hope she gets it, but honestly she’s had such a tough time getting work that I’m not really that hopeful. It would be great though, and I know she’ll do an excellent job once someone hires her.

 

Tuesday 21 January 2020

As much as Nicholai might have fought against the tech restrictions, a couple of weeks in and we have once again been proven right about the benefit of it. I think he’s interacted more with his siblings in the past two weeks than he has in the prior six months. He’s even being nice to me. He’s reading books instead of endlessly refreshing Twitter and Discord (although this also means he is constantly popping up to tell us random bizarre facts, but that’s a small price to pay – most of the time they’re quite interesting).

The evaporative cooling is fixed again, thank goodness. The guy turned up this morning and climbed onto the roof, discovered we needed a new starter motor for the fan (well, he called it something else, but that was basically what it was) and was able to buy and install a replacement right away.

I went to the doctor this afternoon. It’s always so stupid when you go because you feel depressed and come away feeling worse, but here we are. I mean the doctor was nice, and she genuinely tried hard to help me, but the reality is that she’s limited in what she can do. (And she will be leaving the practice herself shortly, so it’s not even like I’ll see her more than once or twice and will then have to go through the whole thing with a new doctor once again.)

The basic issue now is that I’m at the point of needing medication, but bipolar is difficult to medicate at the best of times and I’m not ‘the best of times’ – I have a long history of medication trials that didn’t work, and that history is currently inaccessible. The woman I saw today has never prescribed for bipolar (GPs usually don’t) and didn’t really feel confident with it, particularly once she saw the list of what I’d been taking when I weaned off it all. So she tried to get me a psychiatrist appointment first, but even stressing it as important the next available one wasn’t until mid-March. She then called the hospital to ask advice, they had to call back, so I had to just hang out in the waiting room for another forty minutes until they called back…god I hate going to the doctor, I hate the whole thing.

I’ve come away with two prescriptions, a referral to a psychiatrist, and another appointment to see the GP next week. It’s not great, but it’s something to work with. At least. And really, it’s not like anything is that great at the moment – I guess this might at least stop anything getting worse.

 

Thursday 16 January 2020

I’m going to have to make another vet appointment, as Ootchy cat has only got worse in the almost three weeks since they last saw him. We gave him the steroid medication but it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference, and he’s getting increasingly bald and scabby – it’s really kind of awful. He doesn’t seem to be particularly uncomfortable or distressed in any way, but it looks dreadful and can’t be nothing.

I worked today, and spent almost all day on the one superfund. It wasn’t even that complicated – I don’t know what was wrong with me. Generally speaking I’ve been managing a little bit better with the work the last couple of days, which seems like a bit of a drop in the bucket but I suppose I’m just clinging onto any little signs of improvement.

Emma still loves her hair. She’s washed it now so it looks a bit different to when it was all straightened at the hairdresser, but the way it naturally sits looks lovely – she’s done really well in choosing the style I think. Her hair is just so thick, and by chopping so much off what is left is like super healthy and shiny.

Nicholai has deleted all his social media apps (not his accounts, just the apps he uses to access them on his phone) so that’s an interesting experiment for him. I think he felt bad about not being able to resist sneaking in and grabbing his phone all the time, which was ridiculous. He decided he was addicted and so he should go cold turkey to break himself of the habit. I have to say, as much as I’m pleased he might ease off on this for a bit, I worry that he’s gone a bit drastic and it will be completely unsustainable! However, we will just have to see how it goes. I hope it works, because the arguments and frustration over his lack of impulse control and the depressingly combative relationship he was dragging us into were making me really fed up.

And here you go Mum, here are a few more pictures of Emma’s hair (if you click on it they might enlarge? I don’t know)

 

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Well the most dramatic haircut I’ve ever watched took place this morning, and all is good. Emma looks great, and is very happy! It took about as long as three regular haircuts would have taken, but the hairdresser was so impressed with her own work that she took photos of both Emma’s new haircut and the mounds of chopped hair that pretty much covered the floor and were piled up on the counter.

We just went to the same walk-in place we usually go to, and were pretty lucky with a short wait time. Emma went first with one hairdresser, and while hers was being done Jericho and then I had cuts with the other lady. Jericho and I both basically look the same, just a little neater and more even, but obviously Emma looks pretty different. It’s a bit hard to describe the style – the front of her hair on one side is still about chin length, then blended around to short hair at the back and shaved hair on the other side of her head. I think it looks good, although I’m also pretty curious to see how it shapes up over the next few days as she washes it and it relaxes.

Although I do think it’s kind of funny that Emma now has shorter hair than any of the boys!

Emma actually had quite a busy day. After the haircut we went to the supermarket and then I took her over to Spotlight so she could buy some fabric. She’s decided she wants to learn to sew (or continue to develop the basic skills she acquired doing textiles at school) and she wanted to start with making herself a circle skirt.

I found the Spotlight visit pretty frustrating though – their selection of fabric is absolutely crap these days. They’ve been moving away from actual sewing supplies and yarn and towards homewares and party things for years, but I was really not impressed with their selection today. Both in variety (and all we were looking for was a basic cotton!) and in price. Maybe the Ballarat Spotlight is just particularly crap? But where else is good for buying fabric?

Anyway, Emma bought the only affordable and suitable fabric they had in purple, and she did the sewing with some assistance this afternoon. I remembered why I kind of hate sewing. Actually it all went pretty well, her skirt turned out as a recognisable garment and she twirled around the room in a way that makes me think she’s not at all concerned with any mild defects! Not that she needs to be, as she really did an excellent job that she should be proud of. Honestly I’m proud of her today – the bravery in being herself and getting her hair cut, and then sewing without having sewing rage or giving in to frustration, and just treating the whole thing like a good learning experience with a bonus skirt at the end…she did so well.

I made a doctor appointment this evening. I went to make one last week but gave up when I saw that once again I can’t see a doctor I’ve already seen and will have to see someone new. It is apparently impossible have any continuity of care in terms of GPs, and that just makes it all feel like such a hopeless situation. We’ve lived in Ballarat for two and a half years and I’ve seen four different doctors (plus one random appointment with another one for a flu shot), because they either stop practising or have six week wait times for appointments. I would think this is just bad luck, but honestly in my entire adult life I have never been able to see the same GP for more than about eighteen months. (The only exception to this is the GP/OB that oversaw the midwives managing my pregnancy care, and although I never had an issue with him he has since had his licence revoked for having sex with a teenage patient so don’t know about that either!). Anyway, obviously not making an appointment isn’t going to get me anywhere so I made an appointment with someone new and will just have to deal with it, however hard and miserable and shitty I feel about it.

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Monday 13th January 2019

The weather warmed up again today, and we’re still a week away from having our evaporative cooling fixed. Damn. At least we’re not having constant heatwaves or anything – tomorrow is also meant to be warm but we should be alright again after that.

Not too much has been going on here. It kind of sucks being at work while the kids are on holidays. I mean it’s good that we work from home so we’re here to keep an eye on things, but I feel a bit guilty when they’re wandering around bored. Soren comes in and reads on the daybed in the office a bit, which is actually quite nice, but I can’t help wishing we were all just on vacation. Not that we’d probably be doing that much exciting stuff even if we were, but I suppose I can pretend.

Nicholai has worked a few shifts, and also gone down to Melbourne to the cricket a few times. Despite the horrors of us limiting his internet time (to a mere eight hours a day, if you can believe it!?!?!) he’s probably having the most interesting holidays, making money and watching sport.

Soren met some friends at the movies on Sunday and saw Jumanji for a second time, which he enjoyed. Although I’m always surprised when I see Soren with kids from his class because he’s so tall compared to them! I don’t know if it will last, or if he’s just having an early growth spurt and they’ll all catch up to him, but it’s not something we’ve really had with the other kids. Nicholai has always been short, and Jericho and Emma have always been either average or a bit above, but not a noticeable ‘tall’ kid like Soren currently appears to be.

I’m getting haircuts done tomorrow. Well, not Nicholai or Soren (not making any comment on Nicholai’s hair, and Soren’s currently looks okay in a slightly growing-it-out-awkwardness kind of way) but I want mine cut and I’m forcing Jericho to get a trim to neaten his up. I told Emma she should also get a trim and she agreed to that, and then came out saying she’s decided to cut it short and shave half her head. Oooookay… I’m kind of concerned to be honest! I mean, I’m not going to stop her doing it (she wants it, and it will always grow back) but it seems slightly impetuous and it’s going to be a HUGE change. She’s never had short hair in her life, and now she’s going from a waist length mane to a crop????

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Jericho, riding a broomstick in his room.

 

Wednesday 8th January 2020

I had a lovely day out in the city with Mum and Dad and Soren yesterday. We caught the train to Southern Cross in the morning and the took a tram up a couple of blocks and then walked a couple more blocks to the old Melbourne Gaol. I’ve never been there before, and it was pretty amazing. You can just walk all through it, and lots of the cells have information and displays – all those death masks! They’re so creepy. Although actually the whole place is somewhat eerie and grim and depressing, when you think about people actually living (and dying) there and what that would have been like for them.

We left the jail to have lunch and chose the café across the street just because it was the most convenient, but it turned out to be an excellent choice. Soren, dad and I had burgers and Mum had dahl, and Soren drank a bottle of kombucha and looked like a total city hipster, which I found quite funny.

There were tours of the watch house and the magistrates court that we could have done after lunch (the jail entry covered those) but Soren wanted to go to the Vic market so we caught another tram and went for a walk through there for a while. We then went and had afternoon tea in Myer (another first for me) and caught the train back again.

It was just really nice. Soren helped dad with the crossword on the train and although he’s pretty quiet it was lovely to see him having a good day out. He certainly enjoyed all the food…my kids really can eat.

Today I slept in a bit, and did a lot of cleaning. Making up for the half-assed job I did over the Christmas break! However when I got up Nicholai, Jericho and Soren were all playing poker together at the kitchen table, which they continued to do until they swapped over to playing Bingo together (Em and I joined in) – so this makes me feel vindicated in taking all their electronics away of a morning! They played together! There was socialising and brotherly bonding!

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