Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yoga and gardening

Finally, back to posting about yoga (and other "normal") life type things! It isn't like my life is really back to "normal", but things do seem to be sorting themselves out (overall).

Over the last few days I've been noticing I seem to be more flexible than before. Like my hamstrings etc. are lengthening. And this comes when, for various work-related reasons I haven't been able to practice as much. I mean - this past week I've managed one Mysore class (yesterday), one 20 minute practice of just 5 of each sun salute on Tuesday, and then I went to a vinyasa class at the uni gym on Friday. (and yeah, I know that this in no way counts as part of my Ashtanga practice but this is something I do occasionally!!)

I really wouldn't expect my flexibility or strength to hold together with so little practice - certainly hasn't in the past. But, not only has it held, I seem to be more flexible! Maybe (and of course this is what I'm hoping!) my body has decided to take a step forward! We shall see I guess ... Fingers crossed!

And today a friend came round for lunch and to help me make a fenced off part of the back verandah more escape-proof for Miss Sansa Squiggletail pussycat! So far so good, but until I can be sure she can't find a way to escape I'm not going to open up access to that except at weekends when I'm here.

And - a couple of days ago another friend gave me some broccoli seedlings to plant. So this afternoon I cleared out one of the overgrown veggie beds so I could plant them, and in the process discovered there were still some 'forgotten' summer veggies to pick ... :)

Photo Stream-44

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Location:Skyline Dr,Kholo,Australia

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life events saga!

OK - a few people wanted to know more about the avalanche of stuff that descended on me this past week! It's not a secret or anything - friends/family/everyone at work knows - just thought maybe blog-readers mightn't be that interested ... But anyway - here goes! (No yoga this post!!)

So, to re-cap: 2-3 weeks ago it was discovered that I had this rare disease - autoimmune haemalytic anaemia being one of its names! - where my immune system decided that my red blood cells were the enemy and was killing them off faster than my bone marrow could create new ones. So I was in hospital for 6 days having treatment for that. I felt so much better after that (and still do!) - had a few days relaxing at home and then went back to work this past Monday.

Now the main part of my job at the university is as part of a 2-person team that supports a software platform used for student course content - Blackboard. We support the lecturers' use of this, fix problems they have. So, I walk into work and the other team member says to me - glad you're back - I'm being called into hospital for a few days! Well, that was fine ... he'd been doing everything while I was away, now it'd be down to me to do similar.

But then as I'm going home that afternoon I start getting phone calls etc. to say that my mother, who lives in another state, had been taken into hospital. She does have various health conditions (including emphysema) and although she'd been really well (relatively!) when she'd been up here at Easter, she'd been having health problems since she'd gone home again.

Over the next couple of days I'm having to grapple with what to do. Whether I should just abandon all work responsibilities (remembering that I was the main person 'on board' for Blackboard support), jump on a plane and go down to where she was in hospital.  Could we find someone else with the required knowledge to come in as a casual and help out? Or whether I should wait until the situation stabilised itself - in fact wait until she is able to leave hospital and spend a week helping her at home.

Then my doctor tells me that he doesn't believe the treatment I'd had in hospital was working well enough and I have to come in for half a day once a week to have this other stuff dripped into me. And - I did ask, but he told me I can only have this done at the hospital in Brisbane - not down where my mother is!  Which of course means that (except unless things go seriously downhill) any trip down to see/help my Mum will have to be timed around that.

All this time I'm talking to my Mum, her doctor, her literally zillions of friends, neighbour who helps her out a lot. Reports from her friends and the neighbour say she is looking much better than she had been, she is in the right place, etc etc. My Mum, however is tearing her hair out! She was taken into the public hospital into a 'high dependency ward' where it is extremely noisy and there were 5 men in the ward with her. She wants to move into the private hospital (which is right next door) where she could have a private room etc. but it is full!

Finally yesterday (Friday) a bed in the private hospital became available and Mum is there now. And - she sounded like a different person! Such a relief. Hopefully she can now rest and get better, and when they are ready to let her go home we will be able to time the release so I can go down straight after one of my weekly hospital visits, and come back home just before the next one!

My workmate is back at work - they won't know for a few days whether the medication he has been given will do the trick, or whether he will have to have other in-hospital treatment. But that's a bridge to cross if/when it comes up!

It's funny - I've actually felt I was handling this all amazingly calmly - at least during the day time! Feeling a bit detached, philosophical - don't know how to explain it. But at nights - I never do this, but when I was in hospital I'd been given some sleeping pills (as I was on a steroid - prednisone) and I have had to use them quite a few nights this week. I just found myself lying awake trying to work out what the best thing to do was - planning this and planning that! Last night was the first night I didn't!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

At the hospital again

Although I've been feeling so much better since I got of hospital last week, my doctor wasn't happy enough with my blood test results yesterday, and decided he wanted me to have mabthera (aka rituxin) infusions once a week for 4 weeks. So today I went to work for the morning and then came to the hospital for the afternoon! (Where I am now.)

All that aside - as I said, I've been feeling great since I got out of hospital last week. Went back to work on Monday and things have been going swimmingly. Well, my health-wise, and from my perspective anyway! So many other work/family issues are swirling around it's quite unbelievable - you wouldn't credit it! Too complicated to go into here, and probably not that interesting to others anyway, but ... !#?%!##!

I didn't make it to my normal Saturday yoga class. On Friday evening my fridge decided it had given enough and gave up the ghost! So I had to spend Saturday racing round buying a new fridge and getting it delivered. The amount of furniture moving involved to get the new fridge in, not to mention all the cleaning under where the old one had been, under the dishwasher that had to be moved, etc etc. I was completely exhausted by the end of all that and decided to be sensible and stay home!

Did go to see 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' on Sunday ... Such a wonderful film, I really loved it and highly recommend it! I think I'm going to buy the DVD. Hilarious ... :)

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Back to class but ...

I went to the Friday morning Mysore class this morning - a rare pleasure as it's on between 9.15am and 11.15am, and I'm usually at work. But really - how could I on the one hand know perfectly well when it starts and aim to be there by 9am. And then on the other other hand decide that 9am was the best time to leave home (knowing it takes at least 45 minutes to drive there)?!?!! Can I blame it on the drug I'm still taking? (Prednisone)? I actually sat in the car outside for about 15 minutes waiting for it to get to the "o'clock" before going into the class!!

Oh well!! I did a shortened practice - which I was always intending to do as I have also hurt one of my wrists doing some arm-strengthening exercises - triceps dips. (The amount of foolishness I'm having to own up to here is somewhat embarrassing!!!)

Has been really nice just relaxing at home, doing a bit of cooking etc etc. I met a friend in town for coffee yesterday and we did a little trawl round a couple of galleries which was nice. And on Sunday I'm going out for sushi and the movies with my friend Ross - we're going to see 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'. That was such a wonderful book, and the trailer for the film looks good. In fact I was reading that book when I was in hospital in 2007, and my haematologist liked the look of it so much he ended up reading it and several others by the same author (Paul Torday)!

And back to work on Monday ... :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Yoga in ugg boots!

Oh I am so pissed off! How can the content of two posts have disappeared -except for the title and tags!! Going between BlogPress and editing in Safari ... Sigh!! I am going to try and construct/update them now ... And will not make that mistake again!

OK so ... Yesterday afternoon I managed to do a modified practice wearing ugg boots for the standing poses! What can you do?! Faced with no yoga mat and trying to keep my feet from slipping out from under me on the hospital linoleum floor, it was a great idea! Still only did a modified practice but I was so pleased I was able to do it. I remember when I was here in 2007 having chemo I brought my mat in but it was just too much even to attempt it! This time, no yoga mat but it was possible. :)

So what I've got, why I'm here in hospital is something called "autoimmune haemolysis'. What that means is my immune system had decided that my red blood cells were the enemy and was killing them off!! Which could not be allowed to continue for obvious reasons ... :) For a while the treatment was only partially working - blood test results showed some 'markers' were going in the right direction, but not my haemoglobin. However at last today that is on the upward path too, but not quickly enough for me to get out/home today, sadly. But I and the doctor are hopeful it'll be OK tomorrow.

Friday, May 04, 2012


OK, this is the reconstruction (attempted reconstruction!) of the second post that's disappeared because I was creating in BlogPress and then editing via Safari ... I hadn't worked out how to add tags in BlogPress - forgotten probably, and so tha's what I was doing via Safari. Great idea! Got the tags in but the actual blog post disappeared!! Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted! The last place I was expecting to find myself spending the long weekend was hospital! But Wednesday was my three-monthly visit with my specialist and I always have blood tests before that. And there was apparently something funny happening with my red blood cells - they were vanishing and my bone marrow wasn't able to keep up with the demand! Looked like my immune system was having some sort of spas attack and going after them. I also had to have the normal 4-weekly IV-IG infusion so more blood tests were ordered. Doctor wanted me to stay in over night as results hadn't come back but I had the pussycat to look after (and really didn't want to!) so I went home to await a phonecall the next day. And the next day I was told I'd have to come into hospital until Monday at least for some treatment to stop my sily immune system! Sigh ... ! Took young Sansa off for heer first visit to the pet motel (not happy!), went to the library on the way and then armed with books, DVDs, iPad etc. here I am! I did try doing some sun salutes but as I hadn't brought my yoga mat (only had my big one at home and too much to carry!) it was by hard! Veery skippy underfoot, didn't feel safe. But seated might be easier tomorrow? will see.


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