Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Photo Update

I know, I know, I've been a ratshit bloggy person of late. *hangs head in shame*

Not sure why that is, guess just another one of those slumpy periods when I feel what I've got to say is not newsworthy really. I know many of us go through these from time to time. Despite the lack of an update here, I have been sneaking a look at what you've been up to....keeps me in the loop. It's obvious I'm not the only one that's taking some time out...all those lovely holidays. Makes me envious and greedy to have more. And seeing my brother and his family again, made me come back and start looking up airlines to get to them in Sydney lol.

Here's a few pics I took with my phone last week.

My gorgeous niece, Lyla (21 months). And the only time she wore this hat and scarf...amazing I managed to snap the pic before she threw them both off again.
My brother, David and his fiancee, Nicole.

Nicole is pregnant again, due on 23rd December...and this time they're having a boy, already named Liam. Getta load of this tummy...and only 23 weeks pregnant!
My parents.
We went to this lovely cafe called "Up the Garden Path". The garden had all sorts of artwork through it for sale. One of my favourites was this smile. It would only have set me back $450 if I bought it lol. (Besides my brother refused to put his job in jeopardy and climb over the wall at night and spirit it away for me, pah) This one's for you SugarLips *mwah* Shame I had to come home really...I have more photos, but rather than bore you silly with holiday shots, I'll leave 'em out. You can thank me for that later lol.

Catch you soon! :)
Monday, August 20, 2007

Days of Our Lives

Few of you know I'm on annual leave at the moment. After all the blabbering I did the other week about my job, it was obvious I needed time out. Since last Wednesday I've had some time to mess around at home and get a few things done that I've been wanting to do for a while.

I've mucked out Ryan's bedroom, that in itself was quite a feat. Not only was it an arduous task, it also tugged at my heart strings. Like his mother, Ryan is a hoarder...he had every childhood toy, story book, piece of artwork, years of school exercise books and god knows how many clothes that he no longer fits. It was difficult getting rid of so many memories. The kid used to collect rocks...not with a passion of any kind, but he'd just pick one up if he liked the shape of it, the colour etc...I came across stones and rocks...not to mention, sticks...the longer the better. His bedroom's not big at all, but we managed to throw out SO much stuff and move the furniture around in it regardless.

At the same time I cleaned out my own wardrobe...clothes too big, clothes too small, clothes out-dated, clothes and shoes I'd forgotten I had....it all went. On Friday I painted the scotia, ceiling and window sill in my bedroom and later on cut in around the walls...the boys were at their father's, so I slept in Cameron's room. Saturday morning I put the first coat of paint on the walls and went up to see my sister for the night, came home Sunday morning and rolled on the second coat. It looks good...I like it. But it's smelly and headache enducing, so last night I slept on the couch. Between the couch and the cat, I didn't get a helluva lot of sleep, and if I was fast enough at 1.30am and 5.20am today, the cat would've been thrown outside quick smart.

As far as the junk of clothes, toys, books etc was concerned, the Salvation Army turned up on Thursday morning and took it all away. You can't imagine the relief I felt getting rid of the piles stacked up in my dining and lounge area...although I will admit to rummaging through bags and boxes while they were carting them down the stairs and taking stuff back. Last Monday afternoon I had Jaimee for a couple of hours, and we spent the time playing "Thunderbirds" with Cameron's old Tracy Island, and Batmen etc. Seeing the potential to keep her entertained in the future, I held on to them. I suspect my ex-husband would've been more upset than either of the boys, if I'd given Tracy Island away to the Sallies. "Thunderbird are GO!" *snort*

This morning I had brunch with Alice and have been slowly getting my room back into order. Tomorrow I fly down south to see my parents for a couple of nights. My brother and his family are over from Sydney, so the timing's perfect for me to catch up with them too. I've stocked the fridge and freezer for the boys, who will be left to their own devices during that time, although I've arranged for them to have dinner with their father on Wednesday night. When I get back on Thursday afternoon, I'll rehang the curtains in my bedroom and put the pictures and mirrors back on the walls. I figure the more time I give the paint to cure the better, before I go screwing in curtain tracks and knocking nails through it.

Healthwise in the last two weeks?...I met a rather trendy young dude wearing a bandanna who yanked a molar out of my mouth (now THAT hurt like a son of a bitch when the medication wore off)...I contracted a bad case of conjunctivitis, which became viral, so it lasted almost 2 weeks (thank you Jaimee)...got an infection in my throat, resulting in more antibiotics and the loss of my voice for almost 3 days. BUT, the problems were all in the vicinity of my head, and the rest of my bod was doing pretty well, so it didn't stop me from achieving the rest of what I wanted to do. Nothing would've pissed me off more if I was on leave from work, and ended up laid out in bed for over half that time.

The boys? Well, the kids both appear to be doing well. Cameron's 18th birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks time, and he's dragging the chain on what he wants to do to celebrate it. Thus far we have a tentative dinner out with some of his close friends, and then back to his Dad's for drinks and supper with about 25 others. 18 is the legal drinking age here in New Zealand. Although he's discussed this a few times with ME, he's still to approach Dad and talk about it with HIM. Considering it's his house Cam's planning on using, best he start talking to Dad.

Ryan is going about life as usual...kinda looks like he's got his head in the clouds...yet aware of everything that's going on around him. He started a new job this weekend. He now works for Woolworths...in the bakery section. Do you know what this means? Let me tell you. This means, that after 4 years of driving Cameron to work at a local bakery for 5am and 6am starts...and feeling nothing but joy about him leaving that job 2 weeks ago...I will now be driving Ryan to work for a 3am start on Sat, and a 6am start on Sunday. There appears to be a conspiracy not to allow Mum to sleep in.

Besides the intermittent email conversations with a few lovelies and the occasional break (when I've had a gutsful of dust and paint) of catching up on reading your blogs, I've not really been here much. You may have noticed me in your stats in the early hours of the morning...that's when I'm here the most these days...first thing in the morning I read you as much as I can while drinking my mocca. And yeah, I KNOW how slack I've been at commenting, you don't need to tell me that...I'll slap my own hand on your behalf.

Right, that's me for the moment. Thought I'd get in here and update quickly before picking up one of the rays of sunshine in my life....hopefully she'll be happier to see me this week. I went to collect Jaimee from daycare last Monday and when she saw me, she started backing away really slowly, like I was some kinda predator lol Luckily it wasn't long before she threw herself into my arms.

I hope you are all good and life is treating you well. I look forward to catching up on your lives when I get back from my parents.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Sweet it is to Be Loved By You

Me: "It's like I have a wisdom tooth trying to come down at the back."
Ex-husband: "But you had all your wisdom teeth out years ago."
Me: "I KNOW!"
Ex: "Maybe you're a lot wiser than we thought......although I'd find that hard to believe."


Me: "I've been thinking..."
Co-worker: *touching my forehead* "Are you feeling alright?"
Me: "ha ha..."
Co-worker: *rolling chair out swiftly from under desk* "Here, perhaps you should sit down."


Doctor: "So, let me get this straight...you thought you might have conjunctivitus and you chose to wear your contact lenses anyway?
Me: "Er...yes..."
Doctor: *pointing sternly* "NAUGHTY!!"


Patient: "That's an interesting shirt you're wearing today."
Me: "Yes, it's a little different isn't it?
Patient: "Did you tie dye it yourself?"
Me: "Um, actually it's not tie-dyed..."
Patient: "Well, it's nice, but I'm not sure too many people could pull THAT off."
Elderly Gent interrupting: "I beg to differ...I expect they'd be plenty willing to pull it off."
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Venting My Spleen

When I walked into work one Friday afternoon a young mum was standing at reception holding her son and asking if there was any chance someone could take a look at him. His temperature was quite high and he'd become lethargic and 'floppy' in the last hour or so.

Like most Friday afternoons, we were fully booked, but we always do what we can to accommodate babies/toddlers and the elderly in particular. The nurse checked over the 20 month old boy....one of the doctors was called in to assess him and make sure all was ok. Before she left, the nurse gave Mum further advice on how to cool her son down and what to kept on eye out for.

Less than 30 minutes later, I'm sitting at my desk and become aware of someone tooting their horn...I look up to see a car come careering into the carpark, barely stopping short of the entrance. My chair is situated directly in line with the front door, so when I noticed who was driving I literally ran to thump on the nurse's door after telling my co-worker to grab a doctor.

By the the time Mum had rushed inside with her febrile convulsing toddler, two doctors and two nurses were in the treatment room ready to receive him. He continued to fit but eventually lay prone with unconsciousness. He had still not come round by the time the paramedics arrived. During that time my colleague had moved Mum's car out of it's awkward position in the carpark and I was on the phone to the father (I particularly dislike this part, I hate being the one to ring through news that can only strike panic in the hearts of those receiving it.)

This type of scenario is becoming a typical day for me lately. I'm not sure if it's because it's Winter or because people just seem to be getting sicker, but the amount of acute situations we're experiencing appear to be getting more and more frequent. I also wonder if it's because I've had enough and that perhaps I'm actually not coping with the pace as well as I used to.

I'm finding myself less and less tolerant of those that ring in to say it's urgent they see someone today. I often hear they've had a cough or stuffed nose for the past two weeks and all of a sudden they feel it's their right to take up an emergency appointment because they've finally made the decision to come and see us.

I'm starting to lose patience with people that turn up late for appointments and keep the doctor waiting, after I've told them when they book, that that particular doctor is always running on time. I'm tired of people complaining they have to wait so long for a doctor, because they haven't rung in before leaving home to check first, after I've specifically told them he's well known for getting behind, and it would be wise to call first. It seems a complete and utter waste of my time and energy to keep repeating myself over and over to these people because it's obvious they aren't listening.

I am also starting to understand why medical receptionists seem to have the reputation of being tough and bolshy, because that is how I can see myself getting if patients continue not listening. I've done my job by giving them as much information as possible to try making it easier on them. I do it with a smile and in a calm and caring manner. I listen to their complaints because sometimes that's all they need...to have someone hear them out. I encourage and sympathise changing my voice so suit over the phone, practically manipulating their moods to reassure them, that we, their primary health organisation DO give a damn what's happening to their bodies.

There's a lot to be said for going above and beyond...and when it comes to the medical profession there's a shaky line between doing what's needed and the personal touch of knowing our patients wants, but it's an important line. Our medical centre has a strong reputation for this and we are regularly having to turn away patients of other surgeries because they can't get what they want, when they want it from their own health providers. So I KNOW the team I work with provide one of the best quality services in the Wellington area. Yet there are still plenty of patients that demand and insist we give them more. Those are the people that are beginning to wear me down.

The following Monday morning, Mum came back in carrying her active and smiling toddler. She didn't have an appointment but only came to thank us for our quick reactions and the help she received on Friday. 10 minutes earlier I had received a call from a young pregnant woman on her cellphone, I spoke with her about some of the symptoms she was experiencing and knowing she was already headed in our direction, told her just to come straight in regardless of having no appointment for her. Not long after she came in smiling and thanked me for sounding so calm and soothing when she was feeling distressed...she said I'd made her feel so much better.

I've been halfheartedly looking for other employment. Obviously not in a serious sense or I would be working elsewhere by now, and I say halfheartedly because I also know that although one half of me is frustrated at the selfishness of some people and their demands, the other half of me doesn't want to leave the goodness of the job behind either. I've seen pregnant woman swell and later come in proudly with their new born babies...those babies I've seen thrive into toddlers and then children starting school. I've watched some of my favourite elderly patients deteriorate with alarming speed sometimes and seen the list of deceased get longer and longer during the height of winter or summer months.

I've had people come in the door with bolts through their hands, a butcher who lost his thumb due to a meat slicer, a young lady that split her labia falling through a roof, patients collapse in front of me and have had to step around staff working frantically on someone at my feet having a heart attack. I've called ambulances, tried to reassure next of kin, and done my best to convince people (especially the older ones) that they need to come in and not worry about 'bothering' us. I've put up with being verbally abused in person and over the phone...and I've done it with as much decorum as possible, keeping my face and voice passive, so as not to exacerbate the situation further.

And while I know that this is what I'm supposed to do, what I'm paid to do...I'm just not sure how much longer I can continue to do it. It's been a sobering experience observing how fragile life can be. I have a stronger respect and admiration for the doctors and nurses that trained and studied for years to do this on a daily basis. It's fast paced, varied and never boring. Besides the standard immunisations and check ups, people come to us because they're sick. Sick people can be irrititable and grumpy, so it's to be expected that at times, they are difficult to deal with.

I'm just not sure how much longer I'm going to feel like dealing with it.

Ok, I'm done...rant over...*takes deep breath*...carry on.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sex in a Tea Cup?

Listening to the radio this morning, Polly (the co-DJ with our fabulous Grant), read a letter out from one of their listeners. Apparently this lady (Sarah) had split up with her partner a few months ago...and now had made the decision to go into the sex industry.

She'd thought long and hard about it, she had major debts to pay off and for the last 12 months had been contemplating a way to get them out of her hair. She concluded that sex work seemed to be the quickest alternative to deal with it. The reason she was writing to Polly was because her ex-partner came back into her life last week, and he wanted to spend more time with her.

She starts her new vocation next week. The question is not whether she should go ahead and still work in that field, but whether or not she should tell her partner. Personally? I don't know how she's going to be able to keep it a secret anyway. If she's totally convinced that becoming a sex worker is the way she wants to go, how could it not affect the relationship she has with her partner? (which in my mind is already on shaky ground).

Let's put aside the obvious concerns, like sexually transmitted diseases, and other dangerous possibilities of a lone female going into a strange environment with a man she knows nothing about...oh, except he wants to get his rocks off.

Years ago (almost 9 now) when I split from my husband, I met the new girlfriend of a male acquintance of mine. She was new to the region and had been a sex worker up north. On arriving in Wellington and wanting to continue earning the money she was accustomed to, she had decided to start up her own business. I remember sitting at my friend's kitchen table, feeling more than uncomfortable, while his girlfriend tried to convince me to become part of her business venture. My friend, her boyfriend, didn't seemed bothered by this, and that could have been because he 'knew' she wasn't going to be a worker herself again, but would be running the show instead now.

Apparently alot of men that use this type of business, love the bigger women and especially love the ones that are new to the game. Apparently, they'd go wild for someone like me. Apparently. That could have been said purely for sales-talk while she tried to rope me in...but I was hardly sitting across the table glowing with happiness and pride at her 'compliments'.

Now, I know my morals were skating on thin ice at certain times then, but I wasn't about to fall completely through it by going in that direction. I gave it the breath of a thought and said "No, I couldn't do it, I'd be crying through the entire thing, I doubt that would make any man jump for joy...sorry, you'll have to count me out." Lord knows why I apolgosied but I did think my response was a tad more polite than the simple "Fuck off" that was brewing under the surface.

As much as I enjoy and appreciate the excitement and satisfaction of a good session, I honestly don't know how these women do it. I can understand why they do it, and possibly what could push them to the point of feeling there was no other way to survive...but the practicalities of going through it again and again with someone they don't know, and maybe someone they can't even stand the sight, smell or touch of?

It's not like you could line the men up, point and say "Um, yeah ok, you're hot, I'll do you...you...and ummm....at a stretch, you too", is it? And how could I possibly hide that side of my life from someone who was my partner? How could it not affect our lovemaking? Can you honestly tell me that if you shut your eyes and just go through the biological motions, that it's all the same anyway? Maybe that works for some...but it certainly wouldn't work like that for me.

My ex-husband has said in the past, that I was sitting on the biggest gold mine there was, but I believe he was referring to women in general, not just me in particular. And there is certainly a big enough market out there for sex workers or they wouldn't have been around the streets or behind closed doors for so many years. Given the right attitude, with flattering lighting and some simple props thrown in, I daresay I'd make a passable prostitute. But only if all I had to do was sit around, stroke their ego by listening and chatting, because there would be a whole lot of nothing else going on. Anyone expecting hand's on stuff, would have me moving as swiftly as possible in the opposite direction, or they'd be walking out with a bruise of some description.

Maybe I'm just not open minded enough to think the way these women do? I'm not being judgemental to anyone that chooses to live their life this way, just saying that I couldn't become part of that crowd even if I wanted to. And maybe, I don't have the balls to go through with it, and their skin is tougher than mine?

Whatever the case may be, if Sarah is focussed on definitely starting her new job next week...and having her ex-partner come back in her life on a permanent basis...then she's either going to have to take the risk and tell him, giving him the choice as to whether he hangs around or not. OR...she can start working, not tell him, and eventually have him notice the changes of her attitude and/or lack of time he gets to spend with her, and figure out the reason why all on his own. If he sticks around after the latter, then he's either made of thicker skin than I think, or he's just thick full stop. Too harsh?

Any thoughts?