I am not one to label a year. I have lived through many years (not too many of course, I'm still a spring chicken!) and have therefore come to understand the ebb and flow, the ying and yang and the more commonly known, ups and downs and cycles of life as they happen throughout a 12 month period. This year, however, will have to go down in history as the most challenging for the Walker clan.
There were Milestone Beginnings :-)
- Tomato started Grade 1
- Hubby left his job of 7 years and started his own business with a friend
There were Milestone Endings :-(
- Bacon graduated from pre-school
- I had to shut down a toxic friendship with a man who I have known since I was 14 and considered to be a good friend. He took advantage of my good nature. I was heart sore for a long time.
- So many friends lost their partners, parents and grandparents this year, so I appreciate that I have still got my mom. [Ian B lost his mom, Troy and Kelly lost their dad, Irene lost Manfred, Beth lost her dad, Peter and Tanya lost their mom, Vicky lost her granddad. May they all Rest In Peace].
There were Milestone Medical Issues :-(
Just this year went to - a Naturopath, Homeopath, GP, Gastro-enterologist x 2, Spiritual healer, Reflexologist, Hypnotist, Child psychologists x 4, Child psychiatrist, Allergist, Radiologist, Pathologist and a very kind anaesthetist (who drew 21 bloods under anaesthetic due to Tomato's anxiety levels. One blood test was inconclusive). Tomato then needed a colonoscopy and gastroscopy during which, the inconclusive blood test was done again and other blood tests were carried out while she was anaesthetised. We were called 2 days ago to please bring her in again as there is ANOTHER problem with the bloods!! Grrrrr don't they understand it's not that simple!!!)
There were also the obvious dental, GP issues, Ophthalmologist (her eyesight has deteriorated even though we are patching her eye every second day) and the Optometrist to re-test and new glasses.
Broke his tooth and then proceeded to get abscess after abscess and became a ball of stress. Starting a new business with 3 small children (and fortunately a lovely wife) is not for sissies! Finances have been fun to say the least!
I started off the year with aches and pains and went from the physio to the acupuncturist to the GP to radiologist to the pathologist. Finally the Rheumatologist gave a diagnosis of an auto-immune disease (induced by stress), back to the pathologist for a monthly visit and chemotherapy drugs, which give me blurred vision, nausea and a non-existent immune system. I managed to contact baby measles (I know! How is that even possible??) Then to Rheumatologist number 2 for second opinion.
Off to the Ophthalmologist - I need glasses! Really? Is that why I'm battling to read my text messages? Seems like it, so off I go to the Optometrist to re-test and choose frames. Then, big mistake grrr - after putting cream on Tomato, I rubbed the remaining cream on my hands, into my legs (as you do) and I passed on her infection (didn't know she had an infection, I thought it was eczema) to me, so I got an abscess on my leg which remained for 3 months and left a lovely reminder in the form of a purple scar. Then just before Christmas I managed to get a really nice spider bite which spread down my arm and became beautifully infected, plus my (not so bi-annual) visit to the dentist showed that I also needed the first 2 fillings of my life due to stress-induced grinding (haha stress? What stress?) I had both teeth filled without an anesthetic!! #hardcore
Oh and while this is all going on (because hubby and I have so much free time *not*) we were required to attend 5 sessions with a psychologist to equip us to parent a child with a disease and the impact that the disease has on the child and the rest of the family.
Went to the Ophthalmologist - perfect 20/20 vision, one GP visit and the dental check up
3 Visits to the GP - baby measles (thanks for handing it on Bubby!), bronchial issues and an ear and eye infection.
Thank goodness Bacon and Lettuce were troopers and left the rest of us to suffer! The medical aid dried up in February - just to add to the stress and I have made personal friends with the pharmacists at Dischem!!
Tomato's skin was the worst challenge of the year and we were all reduced to tears many times when we were just not able to help her. I don't want to go into any of that again - read about it in The Eczema Chronicles on this blog at http://athomewithmyblt.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-eczema-chronicles.html
Then Bacon got bullied at school by a boy at her little nursery school and Tomato got bullied about her skin, so I was at the schools sorting that out. Fluffy our beloved bunny died in our garden and we had a funeral. We all said a few words about her and then we sobbed, even Dot-the-domestic was battling to hold it together. The girls got fish for their birthday (new pets!!) and I was cleaning their bowl, forgetting that my skin is toxic from the chemo meds so both fish died instantly, I felt terrible.
I had a car accident and the repair place pranged my car delivering it to me, so I ended up not having a car for 8 weeks, then the full tank of petrol from my car "had evaporated" by the time I got it back. I got a nail in my tyre on the way home and they had discharged my battery so I got stuck at work and needed to get a jump start and buy a new one. My phone just stopped working one day. I lost all my data, all my photos of the last 2 years, everything. This list goes on and on etc etc etc the year was difficult to say the least!!!
We all got to spend time together and celebrate my mom's 81st birthday.
We went to the sea!
I have the most amazing friends who worry about me. Some literally gave me an intervention to de-stress by inviting me out for coffee and then "ganging up" and forcing me to take spa vouchers (dammit, had to force myself!!) Some I have invaded their homes for coffee and a chat without warning and others who own coffee shops, were sitting ducks for listening to my one drama after the next, wiping my tears and plying me with coffee and strawberry daiquiris (when I was allowed alcohol). And there were those who invited me out for coffee or brekkie and we didn't talk about any of the dramas, they just made me laugh. Some who bbm me and support me with hard decisions and make me feel better after making the decisions. Others who Skype me at all times of the day and night and inspire me to do better for me and my family. Meeting up again with long lost friends, Col Cachio dinners and wonderful girls nights out where no topic is off limits, we rocked with laughter, the best medicine of all! I appreciate all of my friends, more than they know!
I have also been blessed with a "random act of kindness" where some unknown person dropped off a letter for me containing cash and a lovely letter of encouagemnt. I will never forget this gesture. Thank you, whoever you are! xxx
I got to see Dorothy and his family from Oz and we were together for Christmas, even though it was a whirlwind visit, we were able to have some real family-time. I thought of the families who have recently lost parents and loved ones, while I was at the Christmas table surrounded by my family, and wondered how they were feeling during this "festive" time.
Along with all the bad times, we've also just been silly! Here Bacon made a dinosaur out of the vacuum pipe and is giving it a hug!
My absolute favourite part of living in Africa is the African sunsets, they are just amazing. I just never get tired of that glorious explosion of colour in the sky. Who says purple and orange don't go together?? One last thing to be grateful for is that the medication I'm on is really aggressive so the mozzies H-A-T-E my blood hahahaha it is really cool to be sitting around enjoying our wonderful sunsets and the mozzies don't come near me!
So while this year has been