Monday, May 30, 2011

I've hit the wall

Always read the instructions and look at the blood machine thing especially when it only has two cartridges of 6 lancets each and the "educator" wants 4 to 5 readings done a day for the first couple of weeks. Took one whole cartridge to get a drop of blood on Friday night and a whole load of anxiety. So back to Southland on Sunday and I walked from Centre Dandenong Road to Southland, round of applause please. Decided to keep going and visit Mater.

She said I looked like death then got that look on her face, the one of terror that I might go before her and my sister will be looking after her. My sister gets the same look when I get ill because she'll get Ma. I was glad I made the effort as there are now more men than women and they have taken over the activities room so she can't go there for her craft. She was in her room and pleased to see me. One new person in her room, very cadaver like until she sat up and I realized it was 'The Pincher'. The new nurse found out why we call her that when she copped a beauty on the leg. They keep her nails short but I swear they grow overnight like a vampire's.

So it's 12.53 and I'm sitting here in dressing gown and cloak, it's sunny outside and I might in a hour or two hang out some washing. Depression belts me on the head every time I do a blood test and it's all over the place like a wet dog shaking. I am not supposed to go more than 4 hours without food, breakfast - snack - lunch - snack - tea - snack. Along with nothing to elevate the cholesterol, put on weight or have the BGL going berserk. I am not having 3 wholemeal crackers with peanut butter as a before bed snack, it's disgusting. According to my lo-GI book I can have a slice of fruit bread and I'm having it.

I have a new lancet pen that is supposed to be relatively pain free for blood collecting. Bullshit.

And you prick the sides of your fingers because this gives you 20 different places for pain.

My stress level and blood pressure rises accordingly and now I discover I've missed an instruction for loading the pain machine and have to re-do the cartridge. It would be really much easier if the illustrations and the instructions were side by side, illustration 1. right beside instruction 1. And don't turn the page the wrong way and think you're going mad because the words aren't making sense, it's the Spanish instruction page. And don't keep the machine and pen in the wrong temperature space or a steamy place, they don't like it and tend to pack it in.

A bit like me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dr. Marvin

After one diabetes educator who told me nothing much, I had one yesterday who overloaded the sensory capabilities of my underused brain. She didn't have enough time to tell me everything but the one important thing she should have done was show me how to use the finger pricking device and the blood monitor. By the time I read two huge pages of information and got it all ready, (I used 6 lancets just to get one drop of blood, setting too low) my blood pressure was through the ceiling, anxiety was just below hysteria level and my BGL was 10.0 and it was midnight.

Thank the Goddess for Dr. Marvin, my new dispenser of pills and wisdom. Blood pressure taken by D.E was 169/129 but by the time he had calmed me down, it was 149 which still had me freaking and shaking. But he said, it's only numbers, 4 weeks ago it was 188 so you've dropped 40 points. He pointed out that we're both in it for the long run and he isn't expecting improvement for anything up to a year. I have a lot to get right, one thing at a time and my low Vitamin D levels are more important than anything else. After all I've been carrying around this blubber for 40 years and it hasn't killed me yet.
Me, sitting there has stopped shaking and hyperventilating.
How can you not have confidence in a doctor who wears a navy blue tie covered in lime green Marvin the Martians?
And if he turns up in a Duck Dodgers of the 24th and a half century tie, he's mine forever.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bling alert!

Okay I've given up the idea of ever having a body like Michele Obama but, but I could wear the necklace and the bracelet.
I have a birthday coming up, you lot start counting the cents in the emergency jar I know you all keep.
I'll have no problems doing the housework in these, I don't do any housework.
They would look so nice reflected in the computer screen and flashing on my wrist as I type.

Anyone who mentions vejazzle gets barred from the blog.

Updating the Synchrotron

Let's have a nice round figure for the Synchrotron to make it a world class facility, $300 million.

Victoria has already spent $725 million on Myki with more to come.....or not if they've got any brains and cut their losses. I mean it's a ticket system, it won't come up with a cure for any debilitating or deadly disease.

Poker machines taxes are estimated to deliver (rip off more like) $1.031 BILLION to the state in the next financial year.

They're hiding the Grand Prix balance sheet.

Makes $300 million look like good value for money unlike the Minister for Innovation, Ms Asher.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet dreams tonight

You all want to know what tops the icky list drawn up by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University, yes you do, you know you do.

Top of the heap for this year is the Darwin Bark spider. Discovered in Madagascar, it weaves a monster web up to 82 feet wide. Feel the fear.

The bug that eats iron and was found in the wreckage of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic makes it into the top three. Halamonas Titanicae is its Latin name and it's hopeful it could be useful in the disposal of old ships.

Then there's Tyrannobdella rex - a leech found in a woman's nose. That's enough, not going anywhere near that.

And the Louisiana pancake batfish that hops on its wings.

According to the Director of the Institute, there is about 10 million species remaining to be described, named and classified before the diversity and complexity of the biosphere is understood.

And they want us to go to Mars, bwhahahahaha!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More to Come

I said there'd be more.

Grimsvotn's eruption produced an intense lightning storm. It doesn't look as impressive as Eyjafjallajokull's lightning but Grimsvotn produced 1,000 times more lightning strikes per hour.

The initial plume of ash from Grimsvotn was also higher than Eyjafjallajokull, 20 kilometres as against 8 kilometres but has now dropped to about 15 kilometres. The ash content of the cloud is much coarser and less likely to remain airbourne and be blown as far as the lighter ash of Eyjafjallajokull.

That's not to say it hasn't affected Iceland already. People have been told to stay inside, farmers are also rounding up their animals and flights have been stopped.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I love our Synchrotron

Microtechnology and nanotechnology have the capacity to revolutionise virtually all aspects of manufacturing.

Microtechnology is engineering on the scale of one millionth of a metre. Nanotechnology is engineering on the scale of one billionth of a metre, or at the scale of an atom.Micro-scale and nano-scale objects such as miniaturised electrical and mechanical devices have unique physical and chemical properties, for example greater flexibility or strength.

Rice, barley and other cereal grains are important energy sources for many millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, diets that rely too heavily on these relatively poor sources of nutrition are often low in important micronutrients such as iron. In response to increasing global concern about dietary deficiencies, Australian researchers are using synchrotron techniques to investigate various strategies to improve the levels of iron and other important micronutrients in these staple food grains.

CSIRO’s Jose Varghese and University of Melbourne collaborators used x-ray crystallography at the Australian Synchrotron to reveal the structure of a key protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers fused the protein to a shark antibody to stop the protein from self-assembling.

"The Australian Synchrotron has huge engagement and investment from life sciences," says Dr Andrew Peele. "Probably half of our beam lines have significant involvement with life scientists, such as through protein crystallography looking at protein structure, but also our small and wide angle X-ray scattering beam lines, which can engage with the structures of proteins and solving the problems of function of the mechanisms inside cells.

One of the challenges for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is the failure rate, especially in older women where less than one in four cycles are successful. Monash University’s researchers hope that synchrotron light can improve the success rate. "We’re using the infrared beamline to study how mammalian eggs mature. Our hope is that we will be able to better assess the viability of eggs for use in IVF." The synchrotron gives a much greater capacity for analysis at the subcellular level – looking at the processes occurring within the single egg cell.

It’s one of a range of projects that researchers are involved with, watching living red blood cells affected by malaria, sickle cell disease and other blood disorders, and monitoring how single cells respond to drugs.

Other projects involve visualising cells for cancer diagnosis, organ donation, heart disease, stem cell research and algae research. Much of this work will benefit from access to synchrotron infrared light.

"The beauty of the synchrotron and the infrared beamline is that we can apply it to any cells. We are only limited by our imagination."

All these projects and more are now in danger because of a funding stoush between State and Federal governments. State Innovation Minister Louise Asher has refused to commit to the facility, which is due to run out of funds in June next year. It needs $156 million over five years to continue operating but its operators say it needs $294 million to make it world-class. Ms Asher is blaming the former Labor government of leaving "black holes" in the synchrotron's funding.

Having friends who use the facility, I know how much time and effort is spent in writing for grants to continue their research. The synchrotron isn't free for their use nor for any other scientist who comes to Melbourne to use it. How much money would you invest for a treatment for Alzheimer's?

Put $294 million against what the Grand Prix is going to cost us in the next few years.

A gas guzzling brmm brmm festival for revheads who like to gawk at little cars and scantily clad pit crew bimbos which gives us precisely nothing to benefit Australians unlike this lovely big miracle machine.

Let's visit Iceland again.

Remember Eyjafjallajokull, the small erupting volcano in Iceland that brought air travel to a standstill over England and Europe? The one that gave us haunting beautiful photographs and a tongue twister of a name.

The heat from the lava was so intense that it melted several glaciers nearby. This is a bit like "Where's Wally" but he's there in front of this enormous chunk of glacial debris sitting on the bedrock of where its icy surround used to be.

So the Grimsvotn volcano, under the Vatnajokull glacier in south-east Iceland, has begun to erupt, throwing a plume of white smoke about 15 kilometres into the air. It last exploded in 2004 but even though it's one of Iceland's most active volcanoes, its effects are expected to be only local.

It just melted through several tens of metres of ice and sent a large volume of course-grained ash into the atmosphere.

Just another day in Iceland, move along folks, nothing to see here......yet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The new things in life

A new doctor who doesn't bulk bill for a double first consultation equals $95 but I got $67 back from Medicare.
He seems to know what he's talking about even with me confusing him every five seconds. I'm so used to telling doctors about Mum that I forget important stuff about me. You'd think with all the pain I went through, I would remember when I had both knees crushed and replaced.
So I have new medication, one of which is so tiny, if I drop it I'll never find it.

Now I have a real bitch about pharma companies now. Once apon a time, in the good old days, you got your pills with a nice long screed telling you all the rotten things that might happen, what was in the pills, when to take the pills but now all you get is a notice telling you to look online. It doesn't even say on the bottle what the damn things are for but it's easy for the cholesterol, $70 a box, everything else is cheap.
I go back on Monday to get results of blood tests. Blood taken by a nurse who seemed to be more used to handling a bazooka instead of a quaint little needle.

Another new thing, a purse. It's a proper bastard and I'd have been really annoyed if I had paid full price for it. Italian Leather on the box, made in China inside the purse. And all I can say is that Chinese money must be a lot smaller than ours. But it was the closest to the one I already had and the worse thing a woman can do is completely change the style of her purse. You'll lose everything including your mind. Every purse I picked up had very little space for actual money but 30 different places for credit cards. I still hate the purse.

Finally a new thought dawns in my mouldy brain. Call after call from charities have blighted my life these past weeks. No I can't sell your raffle tickets, I don't have any friends and I can't afford them. I'm beginning to get very inventive with my lies (if there's a Hell, I have a place booked) but I've realized it's getting near to the end of the financial year and every little contribution counts towards a tax refund. Applause please, it's taken me years to figure that out. I don't earn enough to pay tax unless you include that stinking GST especially on cat food, pardon me, so piss off charities. In this country, charities shouldn't have to beg for money. So if you're thinking of ringing me for money, nick off I have a chocolate habit to support.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Here's the turreted pile that Hannah's Papa left to her on his death. She was rather fond of it but unfortunately died at the age of 39, not enough time to really enjoy it.

And if you think it's familiar, it was used as a movie set for The Mummy Returns and as Wayne Manor in Batman. Roxy music recorded "Avalon" and Enya has been known to warble throught the halls.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tiara time again, donate to my fund.

Anyone got a coin purse with a 1.5 million pounds in it?

This little sweetheart is up for auction next month.

The tiara has 13 saltwater pearls - six button shaped ones ringed with diamonds and seven pear-shaped pearls dangling from tear-drop diamond surmounts.

It was owned by Hannah Primrose, a socially and politically active heiress, born into the powerful Rothschild family. She reputedly became the country's richest woman when her father died in 1874, leaving her the sum of two million pounds, properties including a turreted mansion in Buckinghamshire plus a huge stash of jewels.

Four years later she married Archibald Philip and became Countess Rosebery and Christie's Auctioneers believe the owner of the tiara with matching brooch and bracelet. Her jewells apparently rivelled some of the crowned heads of Europe.

There were some very snotty remarks about Hannah's weight in the comments section of the Daily Mail (yes, my dirty secret, I read it) but I think she looks serene and lovely. Perhaps because I have a feeling that she looks a lot like me only well dressed and much better jewelled.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two plane seats for the lady

Meet exotic dancer Chelsea Charms and her inflatable assets.

She's had her breasts enlarged by a, now illegal, procedure in which polyproylene string was implanted into each breast.

The material irritates the breast lining, creating a serum which enlarges the breasts, a process which could continue indefinitely but which she insists stops eventually.They are still growing at the rate of an inch a month.

Gee, guess what, they actually make living a bit difficult. She has trouble eating, has to sleep on her back, and has trouble fitting into aeroplane toilets. Not to mention the regular exercises to be able to support the watermelon sized boobs.

I am still trying to picture her doing an exotic dance without killing the front row of droolers but stripping wouldn't be so hard, just breathe in. Pole dancing? No that could be hazardous to everyone's health.

There are questions though. I am a fattyboombah so I can't throw oranges at watermelon boobs if that's her life ambition but to put something into the body that is not, inert like silicon (it moves) or saline, but is still causing growth doesn't seem like a good idea. The lefty is very near the heart and both are sitting over the lungs.

What if the implanted string decides to migrate?

I was waiting for her to say her decision empowers her.

Would feminists say it empowers her?

I would say it empowered the bank account of the doctor who put it in there in the first place.

At my age, I'm just happy mine are heading towards my feet and doing their job of keeping my chest warm.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Etiquette again

This one is a biggie.

How to leave a doctor to go to a new one and take 35 years of medical history with you.
And about 25 of those years are in my old doctor/surgeon's handwriting on old cards that would test a Maya cryptologist to decipher. Probably the pertinent points were put on computer at some stage when two clinics merged. He hated not being at his own clinic, hated the computer, hated the organization of every patient's visit and I'm sure this had a lot to do with his death not long after. So I inherited the remaining member of the old team.

On my very first visit, he showed himself to be fatphobic and I tore strip off him that day, his very first day at the clinic. My own doctor nearly fell over laughing and dined out on the story for years. But when I had the tests for cholesterol, sugar and whatever else, the first thing out of his mouth was "lap band surgery". When I said absolutely not, I don't think he's cared about me since. Back in November my Vitamin D levels were very low and he told me to sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day and now I'm told, they're so low I should be having injections.

The doctor who cares for mother at the nursing home has opened a surgery 15 minutes from here, next to a pharmacy, psychologist (for him, not me), podiatrist, my dentist and I can walk there instead of nearly an hour by bus.

Why now? New medications that aren't being monitored properly. Cholesterol side affects, pains in all joints including the spine which is flowing on to the legs. Blood Pressure is not dropping at all despite the pills that send me to sleep in the chair, as it did this morning for two hours. The diabetes meds have been doubled and so has the stomach pain despite eating it with food, another side affect. And to top it off, all of this I've had to find out from the internet since you don't get a pamphlet in with the pills anymore. The so-called cures are killing me. Cholesterol is down to 3.3 but the bad is still above the good. Glucose levels haven't moved either.

The best thing was the Diabetes educator confirming that extreme stress will play havoc with the glucose levels in the body. "Have I had any stress in the last year?" I felt like giving her the blog address and telling her to go back to 2006 and keep reading. Now I am in the system for Diabetes but with this clinic and current doctor, who is holidaying again, probably Hawaaii and I want out.

Are my medical records mine or the clinic's?
Do I register with the new doctor first before I ask for the records and piss off the other doctor?
Do I play with both and let the new doctor run interference for the records?
Do I kill the new doctor if the first words are "lap band surgery"?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A new look at our Milky Way

From the highest mountain in the Canary Islands,Terje Sorgjerd set his camera for a five hour sequence not expecting a sandstorm.
Video producer was Sandrine Ceurstemont.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Drool on River.

It's more common in America to have a Groom's Cake as the Bridal Cake is not the gorgeous fruit creation we usually enjoy. They go more for lemon cheesecake, angel cake, chocolate mousse cake in separate layers covered in butter icing and used for the desert.
So Williams nursery cake came up a treat and I could nom a piece or two right now.

Lilly of the valley and the initials of the Bride and Groom.

Catherine wanted the language of flowers to decorate her cake and they certainly made a delicate arrangement but I haven't heard if they used William's sword to make the first cutting (before Harry roared in, spurs and all). If you look closely you can see the delicate tracery of icing that reflects the lace on the wedding gown.

And elegant cake and not a plastic bridge or glass horse and coach in sight. Congrats to the cake maker.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Lost emails

I lost my optusnet email address when I gave up dial-up and had that nasty fling with Telstra.
Now that I have optusnet wireless I also have my optusnet email although the password is slightly different so I must have set it up.

So after going through 3 months of emails, apologies to all who languished in the darkness of the internet corner of misplaced addresses.

I have my sitemeter back and my recipes. Oh, really bad to go through 3 months of cake recipes. But sitemeter says I have readers and wanderers so colour me happy.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sick person etiquette

I'm sure somewhere there must be a book on sick bed etiquette.
Miss Bossy came in to see her mother today and sat on the bed, practically on her chest really.
Her mother has been very ill since their latest family outing and I had to check a couple of times today to see if her breathing was still going on.
My mother just looked at me and said nothing but the look was clear, 'never do that to me' as Miss B plonked herself down.

I've been in hospital so many times and the one thing that I can't stand is anyone bumping the bed and sitting in my space. You know, get back a bit, germ laden visitors. Don't disturb the ring of antiseptic round my person.

My mother's quite happy to see me sitting at the side of the bed unless she picks up the scent of a cake type treat and then it's different although most of the time I don't have to move, the woman has an extendable arm that can snatch a goodie like a spider downing a fly.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Into the fray once more

I'm finding it a bit hard to post anything about the Mater this week.
Another crisis, minor as yet, hit on Friday. The dreaded cellulitis made a return visit and unfortunately wasn't discovered until after the doctor left.
It was a big 'High Tea' afternoon for the wedding but when she was wheeled into the day room, it started spinning so back to bed she went.
That's when they spotted the leg gearing up for another bout of infection.

So she's all alone in her room while the party is in full swing and she said she didn't care.
Not caring about a party is a bad sign.
I stayed for the afternoon/night until she's eaten some food.
I also fixed the mobile phone which, in her delerium the other day, she was playing like a piano.
Fix the simcard, fix the missed calls, fix the date/time and discover she has $26 credit. She used that to ring me in the middle of the wedding. Try holding a cat, ice-cream in a cone and a phone without licking the wrong one.

The chairs down there are hard on the bum even one as padded as mine but what's another 6 hours or so. Three years ago I would have danced a jig if she had dropped dead at my feet. Nasty and vicious with pain and brain half dead, all the regulars know the story but now she's happy. She's busy, she enjoying people, loves going out for coffee and shopping, loves doing craft again and enjoying watching DVDs of shows she hasn't seen for years. Sister can't understand why I bother with buying them, she'll probably only get one watch out of them. Sometimes I could really bitchslap her and enjoy it.

Now I'm trying to deal with her dying because she's my mother again not some evil harriden making my life a misery, well she still can do that but it's not the same as days of old. Can't talk to my sister who doesn't care, can't talk to the BOH who cares way too much. Must stop dealing with it by gambling, eating and spending money. The BOH has been forbidden to take me to the pub, take me to Maccas, but I draw the line at him saying, 'do you really need to buy that?'. That's far too much like the ex. That one is something I'll have to do myself. The depression is such that even his annoying girlfriend isn't annoying me, that's a worry.

A another trip down there tomorrow, hopefully with the $300 worth of DVDs she's looking forward to. And after all the ghastly years since 2006, it's nice to walk in to a cheery face and a welcome.