613. Sunday 15th December 2019. Long walks, discomfort continues and a flight to Mackay…

Monday 9th December
This week begins the same as last week. Up early and down to The Broadwater for a walk.

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Morning along The Broadwater

Every day is different. There is different cloud or no cloud, sunrise, smoke haze, changes in tides. Most days I see the same faces, other days there are new faces. It all depends on what time I get there. My routine is not clockwork. I wake when I wake, not by an alarm. This week at this time the tide is coming in. It is near high tide. In fact it is a higher than normal tide. The water is so clean, I can clearly see rocks in the white sand. There are fish, mullet are jumping. The air is fresh and clean. This morning a light southerly has picked up. That is unusual for this time of day. I got talking with a man who is here every day. He is sitting in his car reading. He tells me his wife walks from home to the Sundale Bridge, then along the Broadwater to this lagoon then she swims with all the other early morning swimmers. She arrives as we are talking. She is a beautiful Thai woman, they have been married 6 years. She is 44 he is 71. She works in massage (genuine) he is retired. He goes to Thailand every year. He tells me if I like travelling, Thailand is the best destination. He started throwing facts at me and saying I should go there for a holiday. I told him breakfast is calling and I will see him on another day. I know where his enthusiasm is coming from but I am not interested. However I would like a holiday overseas – cheaply. I need to ask him more questions. Not about finding a young girlfriend or bride. No No. I need information about cheap air fares. Cheap accommodation. Places to see. He talks about renting a self- contained apartment for a month or two. I only want a holiday for a week.
Heatwave conditions are ramping up. I even turned on the AC today.
Tuesday 10th December.
Every morning I am up early and at the Broadwater for my walk. My friend Wayne from Wollongong – I had dinner with him Sunday night – said what is it with people on the Gold Coast? He was up early Sunday morning and went for a walk and was amazed at how many people are up at that time.
Saw the Osteopath today. He is pleased with my progress even though most days I am uncomfortable and still restricted to what I can do. Yes line dancing is good. Rock and Roll may be OK but at the first sign of pain – stop. No table tennis.
I mentioned at times the pain seems to be moving towards the centre of my back and even towards the left hip. He told me that is good because the pain and discomfort are referred pain emanating from my lower spine and the pain is now beginning to centre itself. I am looking forward to saying goodbye to the referred pain, hoping it will be soon but also being a little apprehensive. Will the pain and discomfort be worse when it finally goes home to the L5 S1 vertebrae?
Wednesday 11th December
I had my regular morning walk at The Broadwater. Always home in time for breakfast.
Later I managed a full Line Dancing session this morning although I did a gentler version of the foot stomping parts.
Every day has been hot. I escaped for an hour or so to Australia Fair Shopping Centre. Finally found a shirt for our Christmas Dinner at the Clubhouse on Friday.
In the afternoon I set up a Karaoke style set of Christmas Carols to be sung after Dinner. Experienced choralist, Kit, joined me and practised the songs as she will lead the singing.
Thursday 12th December

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Surfers Paradise is almost lost in the misty cloud.

Up early and did my usual walk.
After dinner I joined the table tennis players for a cup of tea. No I am still unable to play. Betty who had her 99th birthday late last month was there too. I told her I would walk home with her. When we got outside I saw she had parked her walker in the barbecue shelter. I asked her to wait while I turned on a light and I would get the walker for her. As I opened the door to find the light switch I heard a sound like a squeaky hinge. I turned and could not see Betty and stepped back outside and saw her, unmoving, on the ground. I still had not turned on the light but shouted at the others that Betty had fallen and went to her aid. Even in the dark I could see she was breathing. Her body was on the concrete pad and her head at a bad angle on the grass. I gently lifted her head and spoke to her and she started to groan. The others arrived and turned on the outside light. I asked for a cushion for her head. Shortly she was able to speak although by now shock had set in and she was trembling violently. We checked that she could move her head although it was sore. Her toes wiggled and testing her fingers there was a big bruise on one finger and at the back of her thumb. Her tailbone was sore. After awhile she felt like sitting up with help from us. Then we got her walker and three of us walked her home. We called her daughter who came to take her mum home overnight. Even I was left shaken as I had asked her to wait while I turned on the light and got her walker. Betty is an independent person and thought she could get the walker herself. She tripped on the edge of the concrete. I want us both to celebrate her 100th Birthday and her fall scared me.
Friday 13th December
The day started off as usual. Brilliat sunny consitions and perfect for walking along The Broadwater. Mid morning cloud began to roll in and I thought I heard thunder in the distance.
Yep I did. Soon the thunder and lightning arrived and seemed to be concentraing on our little street. It was constant, loud and flashes of brightness. The rain began, although it was not forecast. The rain got heavier and suddenly the wind picked up. The rain was coming in all directions. Luckily I had shut all the windows except the bathroom and of course the rain poured in through the venetian blinds. The rain got heavier and our street was running a banker. The lightning and thunder continued when suddenly the power went out. Oops! Well it is Friday the 13th after all!
Later we heard that 125 mils of rain fell in an hour, more than all the rain for the previous 6 months. Localised flooding occurred at Labrador and Southport with some cars being trapped in floodwater in shoping centre underground carparks and even some flooding in streets nearby.
As part of the social committee I have been involved in planning a Christmas Dinner at the clubhouse. We spent a good chunk of yesterday aternoon setting up the tables and chairs and decorations ready for tonight.
I received a phone call from my friend Frank. Come up to the clubhouse. We have a flood.
Hmmm! Inspecting the damage shows the library was the worst. Fifty mils of water was over the floor. The front entrance was certainly wet as were along the edges of two walls but realistically no water damge to 98% of the clubhouse that we would use. A quick mop up and it was time to go home and get ready for tonight.
While the caterer was bringing in the food and setting up. I prepared the computer, linking it to the smart tv, numbering all the Christmas Carols in readiness.
Our guest of honour tonight was Sam O’Connor, our local State Government Representative https://www.samoconnormp.com.au/ . Sam was almost an hour late arriving and wolfed down the plate of food. He spent the afternoon helping flood trapped motorists, moving flooded cars and helping with cleanup operations. He had to go home, shower and change and come to our dinner. He also donated four special lunches at Brisbane State Government house in the special dining room. Our 99 year old, Betty was one of the four winners. At one stage a car was blocking the driveway, Sam jumped up and offered to move the car, which he did.
Saturday 14th December
The morning started as it has every other morning this week. A three kilometre walk along The Broadwater.
After breakfast I started packing my bags. I was due to fly out of Brisbane Airport to Mackay. My sister Sandra had surgery on her two wrists on Thursday and I will be there to help over the next two weeks.
I planned to catch a train from Helensvale to the airport but when checking the timetable found the Gold Coast line will be closed this weekend to carry out electrical overhead line maintenance. Instead I drove to Brisbane and left the i30 at Gateway Parking for two weeks. They have a shuttle bus to the airport.
I arrived to find that Sandra was discharged today and was resting at home.
As well as the shattered wrists and the plates inserted she still has the two broken vertebrae but they will simply have to heal by themselves. At the moment it seems she has more back pain than pain from the surgery. That will change.
Her friend Sue dropped off enough Thai Green Curry Chicken to feed us for two nights.
The flight from Brisbane was almost 2 hours of discomfort sitting in the tiny upright seats at the back of the plane. They cannot be reclined. I was forever trying to adjust the way I was sitting. When booking the ticket I noticed it said “meal provided”.The meal was a big cookie with a coffee or tea. Meal? Geez Qantas I skipped having something to eat at the airport expecting a “meal”. Even a sandwich would have been better.
Sunday 15th December
I slept in until almost 7am this morning. I walked around the suburb. The rest of the day was being on standby for Sandra. Coffee, tea, tablets. Do the grocery shopping, make lunch.
Tomorrow Dave goes back to work at Bowen two hours further north. I will be Sandra’s sole carer. She has appointments tomorrow. She bought a new i30 a month ago so getting her around will be a breeze.

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