September 2008

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MUCH excitement here at Chez TeaBot – I’ve just booked flights to go to Adelaide at Christmas to be with my family!!  WOOOOHOOOOO!!

But the Beloved TeaBot5000™ isn’t coming 🙁 He’s staying to look after the wee beasties and other things here. I will be away for EIGHTEEN sleeps – I don’t think we’ve EVER been apart for that long!  Oh NOES!

Dad, as always, told me not to stint – “Pay extra and get a seat on the INSIDE of the plane, dear!” – yup.

Get tickets on the INSIDE of the plane, he said!

The new baggage rules are sucky though – you have to pay for baggage on the cheap tickets (yep, $8 extra per flight) and have only a checked allowance of 23 kilos. Plus a carry on of 7 kilos, with very restricted dimensions, plus a handbag or laptop.  So by the time I take my CPAP machine in its bag, that’s it – no other carry on gear!  SHOOT!  So much for taking my featherweight and doing some sewing…

Such style!
Such style!

Back to bed for me now.  I was doing really well with recovering until the dog accidentally landed right in the middle of my tummy this afternoon. (She was chasing a ball.  Tends to get a bit oblivious to anything but BALL!)  Nice cuppa tea and a good lie down, that’s the ticket.

That’s me, trying to get ANYTHING done right now!  I feel quite sluggish and plodding.  Today was the warmest day so far (31 C, according to the TV weather) and I felt like I was melting!  Oh dear.  Bring on November 11 and those oestrogen pills, eh? Hot flush plus actual warm weather is going to be .. interesting.

But in GREAT medical news – my blood pressure has fallen some more, and I am now switching to the lowest possible dose of the pills – yay!  A few more kilos (and even less pain, I hope?) and maybe I will be able to get rid of one medication once and for all.

I am cutting out fabric (Shock! Horror!) in preparation for sewing the skirt and the dress.  Meantime, I have lost my Magic Book – the one where I have very carefully stuck down pattern pictures and written the fabric amounts – I’ve spent HOURS on it and I can’t find it!  I’m hoping that by posting about it, somehow magically it will turn up, thereby making me look like a twit.

Pics to follow when there’s something worth photographing…

(Well, my 6 week (only 5, but who’s counting!) check-up with the doctor was GREAT!  He’s very pleased with my progress; when I said how much better I was feeling, he said “I’m not surprised – I’ve been inside your pelvis and it was a MESS!”

I mentioned that my belly was still very sore.  He said “well, we did have you open right up to HERE” [pointing to the bottom of my sternum].  OW!

So I’m cleared for swimming, sex (yay!) driving, housework, gym – just so long as I take it gradually.  He’s given me a script for oestrogen, which I can start on November 11 (12 weeks post surgery) and then I see him two months after that to see if it’s working ok for me.

Apparently the oestrogen will help with the excess hair (mops up the free testosterone) as well as the bladder owies – who knew that your bladder was so affected  by oestrogen? And will also help with my skin.  Yay!! Not to mention the hot flushes, irrational crying, and insomnia…

Here’s the fabric for the trapeze dress – artfully (!) draped over the ironing board.  It’s freezing cold here tonight and I’m a leeeeeeeeeetle concerned that I have chosen a high summer sort of dress for the Frock Up… time to think of a Plan B! (TeaBot5000™ just read this over my shoulder and commented “Well, just have a hot flush, you’ll be right!”  *sigh* sad but true!)

Told you it was LOUD!

Told you it was LOUD!

Sue and I just had a lovely day of girly shopping – looking at makeup, dresses, tops, and shoes.  Of course we ended up at Gardams, where I bought a dress pattern for the Frock Up.  Just got home and read reviews that said it was ridiculously large around the hem… almost 2 metres! (78inches).  Well, we shall see.  At least no one will see my swelly belly in this one! (I will be making it a couple of inches longer than its shown here.  Sleeveless.)

McCalls 5583
McCalls 5583

And the fabric I bought is LOUD – pink and orange and brown and green and – well, I’ll show you as soon as it’s out of the washer!

This pattern included a slip which was perfect for the dress Sue’s making  – so we borrowed scissors and cut the slip pieces from the tissue pattern before we left the store, LOL!  (Wait til you see her fabric – swooooon!)

Off to cut the tissue and iron it…

… in months!  Today I slept until after lunchtime (such a relief after weeks of only 4 hours per night, usually between about 5 and 9 am) and then sorted through clothes.  Four green garbage bags full ready at the door to head to the charity/recycling shop!

(I did have to let TeaBot5000™ rescue a few old cotton t-shirts for use as cleaning rags.  But they better not come back in the house, grrrr!)

We had a lovely storm this evening – fortunately AFTER the season finale cliff hanger of Dr Who… I know David Tennant (swoon!) was having time off from the series to go and be Hamlet for the RSC, but – will he be back? (apart from the Christmas Special, I mean.)

Got the tissue cut out for this skirt:

chosen because a wrap seems like a good option for my bulging tummy.  Think I might have to alter it a little to be big enough at the waist even so. *sigh*  Now I just have to dig out some fabric and get access to my sewing room – it has been FORBIDDEN up til now so I didn’t hurt myself moving and lifting things I shouldn’t!

Today’s wardrobe clean out showed up some serious gaps – I need skirts, and tops.  I have 5 pairs of jeans I can now fit into (back to (almost!) the size I was when I first moved to Toowoomba, yay!) and two pairs in the “Another few kilos yet” pile.

And of course I HAVE to make that dress for the frock up event – now just 2 weeks away!

Right.  Off to suck another &#$@*()&$ lozenge (Naiiad, they *could* be orange flavoured – it’s just a nasty artificial citrus taste, so could be lemon or orange or even lime, for that matter!)

Or actually, if you could hear me, that would be more like “jutht thayin OW OW OW!”

Mouth ulcers? Weren’t.

Nope, another fabulous side effect of recovery from surgery/wonky hormones: Oral Thrush.   (Trust me, do NOT look that up under “images” on google.  Nuh uh.)

It’s treated by letting prescripti0n* fungicidal lozenges “dissolve slowly in the mouth.”  Ever had zinc lozenges?  Well, imagine those except grainier and flavoured with artificial lemon. ICK!

Better than a mouth and throat too sore to swallow…

(yes, I’m eating yoghurt, lots of yoghurt, plain low fat greek yoghurt.  The coolness is helping more than the “probiotics”, I think.)

I’ll be the one here in the corner, whimpering…

* ‘o’ replaced with ‘zero’  in an attempt to stop spam bots… who particularly enjoy that word.

… was HOT!  Today was the warmest day we’ve had this Spring – misty this morning, burnt off to a sunny blue sky, and is now darkening into this:

Stop just sitting there and RAIN!

Stop just sitting there and RAIN!

so far for all the darkening clouds, we’ve had about six drops of rain.

The Stitcher’s Dream Day Out was held (as usual) under (in?) a marquee on the lawns outside The Quilters Angel.  There were about 140 women in the tent – and not a whisper of a breeze.  Mostly that was ok – just with my wonky thermostat, I had to lie down on the cool grass a few times.

The projects were gorgeous – remembering that I am NOT a “girly-girl”, and pink really isn’t usually my thing!  Everyone gets a kit with the materials to make one of the projects, and all the patterns so you can make the rest later if you want to. The theme was “Vintage”.

Samples plus more by designers

Samples plus more by designers

I was quite happy with the my kit: the design was shown mounted as a wall hanging, but I think it will probably be a cushion: (please note – my photo is wonky, the actually piece does have even borders!) This is “Butterfly Dreams” by Leanne May of Candlelight Creations.

So far, this is where I’m up to:

Um yeah, Chriss and I may have spent more time chatting with each other and the other ladies on our table than actually stitching!

Today I also got to meet up with someone I’ve known online for AAAAAGES but never met face to face before – Carmel!  When she’s had a chance to get home and on her computer, there will be photos.

I’m off for my “nana nap” – you know, the little lie down you have to have after going out? (or just because it’s the afternoon…)


Arrgh – my #&)@(*$&#@(&* mobile phone has died!  It started a week ago when it wouldn’t charge from the powerpoint – and now it won’t charge through USB, either.  Grrr.  Only got it ..hmmm…. January?  NOT HAPPY!  I think we have an el-cheapo emergency phone but it’s not my pretty purple one that I KNOW, and the keys are teeny weeny and I have fat fingers.  arrgh!

On the other hand – popped into town today and had lunch with Sue.  We were walking towards the fabric shop when I saw CUTE SHOES… that weren’t expensive!

Aren't they adorable?!

Aren't they ADORABLE?!

Which, Cinderella-like, happened to fit…. I love the 40’s styling of this shoe, can’t wait to get into sewing some appropriately glam clothes.  This makes  *gasp* TWO pairs of shoes this year – Imelda I am not! I never find shoes I like, so to land this pair was MAGICAL!

Like DebR, I reckon you just can’t beat a good red shoe.  (Although maybe this bloke really shoulda…)

Red Shoes for ALL!

Red Shoes for ALL!

In other news: Went to the dietician today – I now weigh 102.7 kg!  YAY!!  Was 106 when I went into hospital… not sure how much of the loss is down to removing all the bad bits, and how much is due to having my chocolate addiction disappear!  Teabot5000™ really should get all the credit – he has tirelessly cooked and made sure I eat my vegetables every single day.

And now I’m off to watch TV and probably fall asleep.  Too much excitement in one day for this girl.  Especially when Constance got home with her super-short haircut:

Who's got a pink tummy then?

Who's got a pink tummy then?Who's got a PINK TUMMY?!

I’m not sure if people go back and read my comments on your comments – so THANK YOU ALL for saying lovely things!  (Although, Kirsty?  No thanks on the more abdominal surgery for better skin, LOL!  And Karen – me? *flutters eyelids demurely* tufts of colour?  Surely not!!)

Hiding nuts in those cheeks?!

Tired out today – apart from the eyebrow waxing appointment, I felt brave enough to actually go around the supermarket with Mr Beloved.  (One of the regular checkout chicks said “I was wondering if he’d traded you in!”)

(oh, I also had those #@(_$*_@#$* super stiff and DARK chin and necks hairs waxed off today.  Maaaaaaaan I hope that eventual HRT will settle those suckers down, cos they make me feel HIDEOUS.  Ick ick ick ick ICK!)

The last day or two have been the first that I have been able to skip some of the pain meds – which I’m sure will be a great relief for my poor abused liver and bowel.  Now if I can just get rid of the horrible ulcers in my mouth…

Not a lot else happening – I’m really looking forward to going to the Stitcher’s Dream Day Out that Marion from The Patchwork Angel is running this weekend – I’m going Saturday.  I’m a leeeeeeeetle bit worried that it will be too much at once for me… but I booked LAST YEAR, so I’m GOING!

Cute, and flattering - yes?

Cute, and flattering - yes?

I’m hoping perhaps to get to Gardam’s tomorrow to buy fabric to run up a quick little blouse to wear (assuming we’ll have nice weather this weekend) – I think the no-pattern peasant blouse from Threads #120 could be just the thing.  (And no, I don’t think I have ANY suitable fabric in my stash, cos I don’t normally go for “filmy delicate” things.  (Just sayin’, O Teabot5000™ and anyone else who has seen my stash, LOL!)

I keep feeling better every day… and I’m REALLY looking forward to getting cleared to exercise by the doc.  I didn’t realise how very sick I was before the op – seriously, the last two or three months before surgery were some of the worst I’ve ever been. Talking to the doc a week after surgery when he explained just how badly gummed up everything was has only just started to sink in – I was probably weeks away from having to have EMERGENCY surgery.  Scary.

Weirdest post-surgery phenom so far?  I suspect my chocolate cravings were located in my ovaries, cos since they’ve been gone I haven’t wanted chocolate at all.  (Even when I was still in hospital and begged the Teabot5000™ to bring me an icecream, he ended up eating most of the chocolate shell!)   Apparently too much oestrogen can cause “cravings for sweets” along with a whole heap of other delightful symptoms (most of which I was having – yuk!)  Now my ovaries are gone, I’m suffering just bout all the symptoms listed for LOW oestrogen – talk about your swings and roundabouts!

That’s about all – except – OMG, the final of US So You Think You Can Dance was on tonight and it was AWESOME!! (sorry, K, I didn’t tape it – our video has died.  Waah!)  I’d already spoilered myself with the winner, but that didn’t matter – the dancers were AMAZING.    Now I’m eagerly awaiting the next season of the Australian verson, which will probably screen early next year, since the auditions start at the end of this month.  (Ok, I admit it, I am a dance tragic, and was super excited when Adam said he was part of Step Up 3 *in 3D!*)

And now I’m off to lie in bed, read, and have  8 or 9 hot flashes and night long insomnia.  Swings and roundabouts …

First expedition out today – managed the library and NEW HAIR!

SHORT hair!

SHORT hair!

Tomorrow, the eyebrows get tamed….

(OMG – I look EXACTLY like my Mum!!!  Hi Mum!)

PS: Now I need a colour too – hmmm, it’s so short I can change colours a lot!  Wheeeeeee!!

Transmission begins

TeaBot 5000™ was built before those silly pollution laws, but even this unit must admit that the subject of Going “POOT!” has been constantly on-topic of late at Chateau Haphazard.

The nasty adhesion thingies were definitely having a profound effect on the efficiency of Caity’s tucker processing system, and the ozone layer was the worse for it.

TeaBot 5000™ is excused from putting broccoli in the bubble-and-squeak as part of the Kyoto Protocol.

Immediately after the operation, when Interchangeable Nurse Unit Number (Whatever) annotated the bed-end chart “Patient is passing wind freely“, and Herself snorted, “Free? For a show like this, I should bloody well charge admission!”, the subject of finding a cartoon by Patrick Cook was raised.

At the time, TeaBot 5000™ was unable to comply. A TeaBot unit has one of the best memory arrays available, however… While doing some houseworky things quietly, in order to let Herself sleep (bad night again!), this unit was uncluttering a bookshelf, and turned up an old book of Mr Cook’s cartoons.

No flatulent koalas (for that was the initial request), but here are a few Cook koalas. Caity does not know these are being posted: I hope she likes them too.

End Of Transmission

… here we are, day 26 after the operation. I’m still super tired, and needing painkillers every 4 hours… unless I sleep though, which is nice, I guess.  My tummy is GINORMOUS – seriously, from standing up I can’t see my feet.  And sore –  yikes, is my belly sore!

I’m also worried about being careful and not lifting stuff, or overdoing things – not easy, when just doing the dishes (Poor Teabot5000™ was exhausted, and it was something small I could do…) wears me out.  The big fear is developing more adhesions – I do not want to EVER have to have abdominal surgery again, since I now know what a low pain threshold I have! (Hardly surprising, given I’ve been in chronic pain since 1992 – yep,  16 years will really burn that message into your neural pathways, huh.)

Also – I can’t have hormone replacement therapy for at least another 2 months – arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!  Anything that acts like estrogen (ie, anything that works to stop the symptoms!) could trigger any remaining little bits of endometriosis  – and then we’d have to do this all again.  No thanks!

The hot flushes are much worse at night (why?!) When I can sleep during the day I might only have one or two, but at night they’re ALL THE TIME – just far enough apart for me to hope that I might actually get some sleep and then the next wave hits.

(I’ve put the picture for this post and more sewing stuff below the cut, as it’s got nudity.  (Not mine!)

Read the rest of this entry »

And I feel like my belly will never un-swell!

Still quite crook.  And tired.  (insomnia + the newly installed HotFlash© technology + irrational crying which I KNOW is irrational = BLAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Look for a further update from the Teabot5000™ soonish.

First time I’ve felt able to post, and it will be a short one!  Thanks so much for all your good wishes – it’s going to be a while yet before Bouncy Caity™ is back, but I’m making progress.

I have to hold on tightly to my tummy when I walk or it feels WEIRD – like it’s going to wobble right off!  And “gas pains” – yeah, let me tell you about “gas pains”.  That’s my second favourite piece of nurse-speak in this whole thing.

Cos when they tell you “You’ll experience some gas pain for a while” what they MEAN is: “A sharpened cast glass tornado will rip your insides out from your bum to your breastbone.  Then if you’re VERY lucky you’ll make a teeny weeny fart.  Repeat.”


My favourite piece of nurse-speak was written on my chart (yes I read it, wouldn’t you?!) and was an observation written by staff in the recovery unit before I was moved to the ward: “Patient no longer screaming quite as much.”

Lovely bit of understatement there, eh?

Everything is EXHAUSTING, just taking a shower puts me back in bed for the rest of the day!  Short visits might be nice soon though.

And thank you notes are going out in the mail asap – really, this whole process would have been MUCH worse without your love and support!  Of course, thanks most of all to the Teabot5000™, who I’m sure will keep you all updated. Mit pretty pictures, even!

Best way to get in touch is on my mobile – SMS is good.  If you need my number, send an email.

I’m off to take the next round of painkillers (YES – GIVE ME PAINKILLERS!!) and collapse again for a while.

Transmission begins

TeaBot 5000™ is here again, for Caity’s little friends and playmates, with another update.

The outer bits of The Incision are looking pretty good. There is less angry red among the stubble. Both this unit and Caity wish they knew of a solvent that is capable of shifting whatever diabolical gorilla-snot adhesive was used in the dressings.

Even the old faithful orange-oil based cleaner didn’t quite remove the sticky stuff, which has now gone dark grey with accrued fluff.

Inside, there are ominous thumps, grindings, and the occasional shower of sparks, as the amended version of the Works settles into its new configuration.

The thermostat of the Caity is also suspect, and it may become necessary to remove this component and soak it in white wine vinegar for a couple of weeks to remove scale and accumulated tea deposits.

At least she’s reading again…

this unit will need to make a library raid very soon. The sheer volume of books building up round the bed has caused this unit to wonder if there is not some ulterior motive…

The challenge of providing interesting food which doesn’t breach “diet kosher” is a constant one. Teabot 5000™ did some peculiar things with a lemon, some chicken breasts, and various herbs, which was voted Pretty Good. Tonight may default to Soup, as the Teabot battery pack is a tad faded.

End Of Transmission