614. Sunday 23rd December 2019. Carer duties, back pain duo and not much else…

Monday 16th December.

Hmmm! Sleep routine is back to normal…well almost. Woke at 5.30 and went for a walk around the estate.

Said goodbye to Dave as he left to go to work in Bowen.

I am now Sandra’s Carer.

She is able to clean her teeth and dress herself albeit with some difficulty but where there is a will there is away.

We drove to The Four Ways in Mackay. Sandi was booked in for special splints to be made for both wrists. The therapist slowly unravelled all the bandages, cotton wool packing, plaster and wound covering. The scars on both wrists look good. Very little swelling and there is no angry redness or signs of infection. The therapist made up the two splints and gave a set of exercises and we were out in less than an hour.

191219 sandi
Here are the festive splints. She is saying, “if you post that photo I’m gunna hit you with these”.

Next we went to Bupa Health Fund to arrange refunds then the most important part of the day was to go to Canelands Shopping Centre for a coffee. I had a mushroom, spinach and fetta omelette at the Coffee Club. It came loaded with a layer of rocket and two little wedges of toasted sourdough. It was OK but honestly I make a far better omelette at home. Tastier and fluffier. In fact my coffee is as good.

Next we bought Sandi a Kindle Paperwhite as it will be easier to hold and turn pages than a regular book. Mostly it is also lighter and holds up to 1300 books. The salesman tried to talk Sandi into buying a more expensive model. The original has an 8Gb memory whereas the new option is 32 Gb for an extra $30. I said I have had my 8Gb Kindle for almost 8 years and It would take me a long time to fill it with and read 1300 books. Standard model it is. The salesman was not pleased with my input.

Afterwards we looked at a couple of shops for a pair of trousers for me then went to Coles to look at their Crackling Ham and Salmon Pastrami Roast for Christmas Day. By then we were both tired and in a bit of pain in the back. Time to go home, turn on the AC and do nothing.

On this day in 2011 we were continuing our leisurely trip along the east coast in WWW.GO. The words to the Chuck Berry song, With No Particular Place to Go echoes in my mind, we were at Camden Haven on the NSW north Coast and preparing to continue south.

Tuesday 17th December

Another 5.30 start and a walk around the estate. Even at this time of day it is hot.

Back at Sandi’s house I did my back exercises then made a wonderful Brussell Sprout Omelette. I reflected on my comment yesterday where I compared my omelette to the Coffee Club Omelette. I have had to reassess and have come to the conclusion that I make a far far better omelette.

In the afternoon, while Sandi was resting I drove to Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre to look for a pair of cool lightweight cotton trousers. It seems they no longer exist. Everything seems to be heavy material like a pair of jeans. I would probably find what I am looking for if I went to a cold climate.

Today I downloaded a Calibre E- Book Reader Library organiser App on the laptop. I already have the App on my desktop at home. The library is in a set of folders and finding a book is easy. Now I can download some books from my laptop to Sandi’s new Kindle.

On this day in 2011 we were exploring with brother Allan and wife Rae the coastal town of Halliday’s Bay.

Wednesday 18th December

A walk around the estate and exercises done.

We watched a movie on Netflix.

Can things get any better/worse? The pain has shifted to the base of my spine but I have two sets of pain. I now believe I have Bursitis in my right hip. I have had that before. Walking upsets the Bursitis but calms the back. Standing still calms the bursitis but upsets the back.

Grrr!

On this day in 2011. We were staying with Allan and Rae in their home at Forster NSW.

Thursday 19th December.

Star Wars opened in cinemas across Australia today and I have not yet made plans to see it. Perhaps I can see it when I get home and before the new year.

The day started with the usual “discomfort” and a walk around the estate. The estate is a divided opinion of the location. Sandi insists it is Rural View but on maps it is called Plantation Palms. I recall when Rural View was first opened as a residential estate it was on the western side of the Mackay- Bucasia Road. Later a new estate on the eastern side of the main road towards Eimeo was opened and called Plantation Palms.

Anyway I went for a walk around the estate followed by my back exercises.

Another hot day in the tropics although quite comfortable at 32 degrees the same as on The Gold Coast. It is hard to imagine those people out west who are having temperatures getting up to 49 degrees with dry heat and some have bushfires to contend with.

Dave arrived home in the afternoon and his first job was to give Sandi a shower. Next we went to a bar in town. Two ladies from Sandi’s last workplace were putting on some nibbles and a get together. One is having a birthday and another is retiring. Naturally I was the designated driver. Sandi cannot drive and Dave likes a beer.

I continue to be amazed at how well Sandi is coping with her hands. Every day we can see improvement. Her back is giving her hell…as is mine. We laugh at each other when we sit or stand and let out a sigh or a grunt or groan.

On this day in 2011 we left Forster to drive to Sydney and on to Corrimal, a suburb of Wollongong. We stopped at Bulladelah, a small town north of Newcastle which was once a traffic bottleneck and is now bypassed by the highway. My high school friend, George Curtis lived there. Sadly George passed away a few years ago, alone on a dirt road just out of town. His body was not found for several days.

Friday 20th December

The day started like every other day.

Sandi had a physiotherapist appointment and a doctors appointment. We needed to do a chemist run then went shopping until our backs protested it was time to head home.

I cooked up some onion chunks, potato, pumpkin and Brussel Sprouts in the oven. Dave barbecued some lamb steaks. We had a win. Dave does not like Brussel Sprouts but was encouraged to try one. He is a now a convert.

On this day in 2011 we arrived in Gymea and parked WWW.GO in sister Bevs driveway for a few days. We needed to make plans of where we will be for Christmas day. A little bit of visiting and being visited was planned. We also drove to Wollongong to visit Errol & Nicole and plan where we will park WWWGO over the next few weeks.

Saturday 21st December

The usual walk at 6am. Strangely the pain in my right hip is moving to the centre of my back and beyond. It has gravitated to my left hip as well.

Sigh!

My patient is improving in leaps and bounds.

We went to a pre Christmas family luncheon at Sandi’s ex husband, Johns house. John had a large group of nephews and nieces and their partners and children, most of whom were in the pool. What started out as a “perhaps I will stay for an hour until the pain gets too much” comment from Sandi, ended up being a marathon 9 hour session of music and drinking.

211219 family group
Luke. Roger the pup, John, guess who and Sandi. Trying to get 4 people plus a dog to pose at the same time is not easy.

I was designated driver. Most of the relatives left way before the sun went down but Sandi and Dave, Jo-elle (Sandi’s daughter) her partner Ben, John and I stayed on. We had a sing along with many of the songs pumping out of very loud speakers. I am sure the neighbours were gritting their teeth in frustration.

211219 joelle
Geez thay asked me to pose for this shot and I feel embarassed. Jo-Elle, is a burleque dancer and knows how to pose.

By now we had run out of nibbly party food and despite most people saying they were not hungry, John and I dug out some pies from the freezer and processed them, one by one in the microwave. The pies disappeared in”not really hungry” mouths. By 10pm I convinced Dave it was time to go. Sandi had already fallen asleep on a lounge. After dropping them at home I drove back to John’s house, collected Jo-Elle and Ben and their big Labradoodle pup and drove them home to North Mackay. I did say I was the designated driver didn’t I?

Sandi has a new Hyundai i30 Elite. I really enjoy driving it. It is filled with so many devices for making life easy, comfortable and safe.

On this day in 2011 we were parked up in a driveway of house construction site in Corrimal.

211211 corrimal
Parked up in a building work site in Corrimal NSW.

Being Christmas there was no work being carried out so we were quite safe and not at risk of being in the way of workers.

Sunday 22nd December

The usual get up early and go for a walk before it gets too hot morning.

My daughter Averyl and Grandson Anakin came over for a visit.

Geez I have been keeping a low profile the last week.

On this day in 2011 we were stilled camped up in Corrimal and just doing all the little pre Christmas stuff that every family does every year.

Happy Christmas everybody.

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