May 24, 2010

Feeling Love

The past couple of weeks have been pretty full on for me and aside from my health it has taught me to appreciate my awesome friends.

In the past two or three weeks, a number of my friends have been especially awesome; my gorgeous neighbour has looked after me and even made me dinner and bought me flu remidies (nawwww), a lovely derby kitteh came and had coffee with me and kept me company while I was having a difficult time dealing with the emotional fall out of my experience (love you viscious kitteh), another gorgeous derby doll; the awesome Mz Lickit (xoxo), has kept in contact with me fairly regularly and has made it perfectly clear that if I need her; she's only a phone call away, my closest friend Mz Militia has been in regular contact to make sure I'm ok, even though she has a busy family and work life, all my classmates at TAFE have been super supportive and enthused about my return to the land of the living, my TAFE bestie has visited me a couple of times to keep me up to date on stuff that I've missed and generally just to provide company and a laugh, an awesome young friend of mine gave me the amazing gift of trust and shared with me something that to them was very personal and life altering, and the most awesome bunneh lady I've ever not met sent me a beautiful and thoughtful get well gift of luscious bunny fibres and gorgeous silk yarn.

beautiful bunny fibres
and silk yarn from the talented
Mz Charly over at Ixchelbunny

I gotta tell ya guys; you really are the best! Talk about feeling the lurve :oD

May 18, 2010


I'm stoked to say I found out today that my sister is coming to stay with me for the June long weekend. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and having a catch up. I heard from my job network provider today and they might have found me some part time work in the graphic design industry that wont interfere with my tafe studies (WOOT!) and a friend of mine who does web development has put me on his 'go to' list for when he next needs a designer to do some work for him.

Things are definitely looking up :oD

May 13, 2010

Second chances can be scary

I went to see my doctor this morning because I've had the flu since I got out of hospital last week and I feel pretty much like crap on a stick. I also needed to talk to him about my 'experience' in the hospital, keep him up to date and stuff.

Boy was I surprised when he told me that he'd 'heard' about my experience from someone who worked in the theatre before he received his copy of the hospitals discharge report and realised they'd been talking about HIS patient. That someone turned out to be his wife and as medical professionals with a common patient they had a good old natter about what happened. And it was scary. Not just for me, but for the hospital staff too.

From what he told me this morning the type of reaction I had was actually a rarity in this theatre. And though I'd been led to believe it was a close call by my anaethetist (why do they play these things down?), it was actually a little bit more than that. According to his wife I actually died (told ya it was scary) and while I was going through this, every anaethetist in the hospital was in that theatre fighting for my life. In my doctor's wifes words, 'its a miracle they were able to revive me'.

Hearing this from him this morning really bought home for me just how lucky I really am to be alive right now. It certainly made my experience so much more REAL for me. I think up till now I've just been coasting along, thinking; yeh, I'm tonka tough, you cant keep me down. But to find out that I actually died for a minute or so...that really does my head in. Needless to say I'm having a somewhat delayed emotional reaction and am really glad I have a friend coming over for a cuppa soon. I could really do with the company.

May 11, 2010

A decadent treat

Just for something different, today I'm posting an awesome recipe for the most divine (yet inexpensive) strawberry gateau cake. I just finished making this and trust me, you dont want to eat too much of this and has a helluva kick.

Strawberry Gateau (on a shoestring budget)

Part 1; the cake.
You will need;

1 packet vanilla cake mix (I paid 79c for hillcrest brand from Aldi)
2 eggs (or whatever is stipulated by the packet)
Cake tin
Cooling rack

Make cake;
Follow directions on packet. When cooked remove from oven. Do NOT remove from cake tin yet.

Part 2; the syrup
You will need;

3tbs caster sugar
2 tsp queen brandy essence
1/4 cup orange juice

To make the syrup;
Place the caster sugar into a small saucepan with 3tbs water. Cook on a low heat stirring constantly for 90seconds. Add orange juice and brandy essence, stir well then pour the syrup over the cake (still in the tin) while it is still hot.

Leave cake to cool (I left mine overnight).

Part 3; the fillings
you will need;

For the mock cream;
1 tbs corn flour
1/2 tbs vanilla essence
2 tbs caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 tbs butter (dont use marg here, butter works best)

To make the mock cream;
Moisten corn flour with a little of the milk then put the remaining milk on to boil. Slowly add the moistened cornflour, whisking lightly as you go to ensure smooth mixing. Cook for 2mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat butter and sugar to a cream then add vanilla and gradually stir in the thickened milk. Once mixed, beat till peaks form.

For the brandy fruit filling.
3 tbs strawberry conserve
*optional; 6-8 good sized strawberries - sliced
1tbs brandy essence

To make the fruit filling;
Combine the jam and brandy in a small bowl, stir until well mixed. Set aside.

Putting it all together;
When the gateau is completely cool, remove from the cake tin and carefully cut into 3 equal layers. Place the lower layer on a cake dish and spread with a good covering of the mock cream followed by a thin layer of the brandied jam. If you opted to use fresh strawberries, during this process, place them gently on top of the layer of cream before spooning some of the brandied jam over the top. Place the next cake layer on top of the fruit filling and repeat process till you reach the top layer.

Using the remainder of the mock cream; carefully spread a thin layer onto the top and sides of the cake. Carefully spread a layer of the fruit filling (including your strawberries if necessary) onto the top of the cake and using a piping bag, decorate the outer rim of the cake with rossettes and garnish as you wish.

Enjoy your cake...I know I am :oD

May 9, 2010

Fish scales and family

For the past three years I've had no contact with my family due to a rather unfortunate inability to coexist. I am a very family oriented person and not being able to turn to my family when I needed support or even just an encouraging word has been incredibly hard, not to mention lonely. With what I've experienced this past week I realised that life is just too short to not bury the hatchet and try to get along. So this morning I called my sister. We had a good long chat and as much as we have some issues in our past, I have to say it felt really good to finally have a family member to talk to again and I look forward to spending some time with her hopefully soon to get our relationship back on track.

On an even brighter note I finally finished my fish scale socks last night. They're UBER awesome! I loves them so much I just might have to make another pair. Lol. Here's a pic

Pomatomus Socks
by Cookie A
Yarn by Ixchelbunny

May 6, 2010

Near death experiences are over rated

After the week I've just had, I'm starting to feel like the accidental and unwilling star of my very own budget remake of some macabre version of general hospital or something, except I'm not Hollywood gorgeous, there's no 6 figure income and I don't get to have raunchy, gratuitous sex with the hot young Doctor in the recovery ward, morgue or elevator.

I'm home from hospital and still in one piece but I feel and look as if I've gone ten rounds with a mack truck. I have several new holes, or as I'm calling them; USB ports, on my arms and hands and a lovely new inlet on the side of my neck. I have large, strange shaped bruises surrounded by streaks of blood in odd places, my bottom lip is abraded and swollen, my face is all puffy and I am exhausted at a level that I've never been before, which causes me to stagger slightly. As I was leaving the hospital this afternoon, people were giving me that 'OH MY GOD' look of horror and putting their hands to cover their shocked mouths.

Clearly I look like I've been beaten to within an inch of my life when the irony is that I look like this because I had an unfortunate and immediate anaphylactic reaction to the anaesthetic as I was going in for surgery. My allergic and life threatening reaction to the drugs administered caused my blood pressure to drop to a level that the hospital have termed 'unrecordable' and after several failed attempts at arterial canalisation, they just shoved a big needle into the vein in my neck and had to stitch it in place to keep it there.

The anaesthetist came to see me this afternoon before I was released and told me that the thick lip was from his unfortunately 'rushed' but less than gentle shoving of a tube down my throat to keep my airways open. He was quite apologetic about it as he blatantly snaffled some of my caramelo and explained to me just how close I had come to buying the farm. But hey, at least I'm still alive and we were able to laugh about how bad it would have looked for him professionally if he'd been unable to revive me while he scoffed the chocolate stash provided by my many loving and enabling friends who visited me last night. If he hadn't been quite so likeable and I'd had at least the strength of a newborn kitten at the time, I might have actually thought about smacking that cheeky dimpled grin off his endearingly freckled mug. Lucky for him hey?

The irony of all of this is that this is the second time in a week that I havent had the surgery I was booked in for. I think maybe someone is trying to tell me something.

May 4, 2010

Receiving the royal run around and still no slice and dice.

Let me begin by telling you that yesterday was possibly one of the worst days of my life and I've had some real doozies.

I was instructed on Friday evening to eat sweet buggar all on Saturday and to eat nothing at all on both Sunday and Monday as my system had to be empty for my surgery. So being the good girl that I am, I ate nothing but dry toast and broth for three meals on Saturday, and if I never have to eat dry toast again it will be too friggin soon. On Sunday I was instructed to use a pre-operative preparation called picolax. I wont tell you what picolax does but if you really think about it I'm sure you'll figure it out, if not, go ahead and click the link. On Monday I had nothing but water.

Let me just say, that by Monday morning, I was hungry enough to eat the crotch out of a low flying duck. By Monday afternoon, about 15mins before I was due to leave for the hospital I was projectile vomiting the contents of my empty system. Yep, I know how that sounds immensely difficult but believe me, its surprising what you're capable of if you really put your mind to it. By this time I had had a pounder of a migraine since Saturday afternoon (all broth and no protein makes Shevi a grumpy girl) and was already not a happy little camper but the vomiting made the muscles in my stomach (yes I do have some) really sore as well.

So I drag my sorry carcass up to the intervention suite at the hospital and they check me in. I am promptly weighed (ooh look you've lost 4kg since last week aren't you a clever little chook? queue filthy look and thoughts of violence) and then stripped of my dignity by having to wear one of those incredibly sexy theatre gowns...ugh. I am stuck in a hospital bed, have those tight stocking things shoved on my legs and told to sit there and wait it out till the surgeon calls for me. Shouldn't be too long, only two hours left to wait. Obviously I wasn't really stoked about the situation but since I'd been waiting over nine months for this surgery I was prepared to do whatever it took, so I curled up on my side and tried to ignore the fact that my brain was trying to force its way out of my skull through my right temple.

An hour later, still feeling quite sorry for myself (gimme a break here, I've never had surgery before ;oP) my surgeon comes wandering along and says...oh sorry but due to an emergency in the theatre, I cant do your surgery today. I'm not stunned into silence too often (in fact, just try to shut me up), but this was about the last thing I needed or expected to hear. Migraine and pain in my tummy from projectile vomiting aside, I just want my friggin life back mmmkay?

So I lay there stunned while the doctor explains that they've arranged for me to see a different gynaecologist who is prepared to do my surgery as early as Wednesday. My brain is too busy rapidly figuring out the number of extra days I'm going to have to take off TAFE to make up for this major fuck up for me to take it all in and next thing I know, I'm being shoved out the door and told to go down to the obstetrics clinic.

So down I go to sit amongst a number of heavily pregnant women while I wait to see a doctor who will hopefully agree to remove these cysts that have been messing with my fertility and causing me constant pain for more than a year and a half now. Now I dont know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm forty next month and its now too late for me to have the kids I really wanted. Having said that, I still want my health and my libido back so I'm prepared to do what it takes but sometimes its kinda hard to sit there looking at all these enormously pregnant women and keep smiling and telling myself it'll all be alright. Will it? When? And by whose definition? Argh! Anyone think I was unjustified in being slightly pissed off by this time?

So the doctor makes an appointment for me to have yet another transvaginal ultrasound, and if you've never had one of those, you REALLY need to sign yourself up for at least two because the four I've had in the past year and a half have been the highlight of my life. Yes that was sarcasm. If you're a man, be thankful that you will never have to undergo this procedure. I would happily go through a pancreas examination any day than go through another one of those...anyhoo, moving right along. The scans show that I still have a couple of cysts (what? really? you're kidding? and here I was thinking all this pain meant I was having kittens), so the doctor decided it might be best to go ahead and do the surgery tomorrow. Ooh thanks.

So, here I am, finally home, exhausted, sore, feeling decidedly flat after such an anti climatic event and hoping against hope that I get there tomorrow and don't have to go through all of that again. If I do, I believe I might just go postal.

May 3, 2010

Passing the time

I'm off to hospital today to have a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. Sounds like a mouthful doesnt it? I'm not overly concerned about it though, its just a routine procedure, so I should be fine. I have, however had to seriously concentrate on passing time over the last two days as I havent been allowed to eat or do much so I've not only been starving, but I've had a massive headache (from the hunger obviously) and a serious case of 'what the hell am I gonna do for two days?'.

The obvious answer to that is; 'spin?'. But unfortunately the headache made that kinda hard so I spent some time spinning but took regular breaks to do other things. Other things like knitting and dyeing fibre of course. I have recently scored 400g of undyed superwash merino from my most awesome friend Misha and I have been going through my fibre stash wondering what I'm going to combine (spinners block...ugh) and as most of my fibre is multi coloured I decided I needed some semi solids to play/ply with. And here are my results...

Some gorgeous bright golden yellow (100g)

Some striking bright red with teensy areas of white (100g)

Some vibrant deep orange with muted areas of lighter orange and red (100g)

Now that I have lots of pretty fibre to play/ply with I'm super keen to get spinning (read; spinners block gone! YAY) ...I just have to wait till I get out of hospital till I can get started on it....sigh.