24 September 2010

Mystery Birthday Girl Returns!

I'm baaaack ... in hospital. My vision is still getting worse (more like 30% gone) so here I am. After a marathon 24 hours in casualty (22.5 hours on a hard bed in the casualty ward), I'm back in the Stroke/Neurology Ward of Canberra Hospital.

Happily, they've decided against doing a bunch of very invasive horrible tests (brain biopsy, cerebral angiogram and bronchoalveolar lavage), which are the only ways of being 100% sure what I've got. It's most likely one of two things - both very rare (of course) drum roll please ....


The reason we're not doing further testing is that the testing may still be inconclusive, as whatever I've got is in its early stages, and is pretty horrible. And the treatment for both conditions is the same - corticosteroids.

So we're just going to start on some treatment, under supervision in hospital. If it's the vasculitis, my vision should repair well. If it's the sarcoid, full recovery of my vision isn't as assured. Fingers crossed.

I'm dealing with the usual collection of elderly women with various levels of stroke damage / dementia / deafness / difficult, disruptive and noisy behaviours in my 4-bed ward ...

Anyway, I had nearly a week at home, which included my second 23rd birthday! In the absence of other fun things to show you, I'll just show off the lovely gifts my friends and family gave me :)

Last year Hubby and Son gave me a Kenwood Chef, which is just awesome and I love. This year Hubby gave me two attachments for it, a sieve/colander (like a mouli), and a great pasta maker attachment, which works a bit like a mincer attachment. So you mix up the dough in the bowl, and then poke bits into the pasta attachment to make spaghetti and noodles! And they taste amazing. Nothing like it.

Here they are cooking! It was a surprisingly quick midweek dinner ...

Son knows my weakness (murder mysteries) ... he gave me Volume 3 of Inspector Morse (I'm a huge fan of the books, and have even met Colin Dexter!) ... completing my collection!Dotter was very thoughtful, and gave me two iTunes vouchers, so I could buy some audio books (as I can't read easily at the moment). I bought an Ian Rankin (Rebus) book and a Lindsey Davis (Falco) one.

My extravagant friend LittleNeedles sent me a bunch of books from my Amazon WishList :

Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan (stunning knitting with maths/science/nature inspiration), The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken (not because I hate to cook, but because it takes me back to my childhood, my mum has the original edition), :59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman (the most fantastic "self-help" book ever, with every single strategy proven by research! If you only buy one book this year, buy this one!), and The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook by Hui Tay (how to use your rice cooker for so much more than just rice!). As if this bounty wasn't enough, she put in this volume of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies!

Friend K gave me some Knittery yarn in 'Monet colours' and some girly skin care treats and delicious soap (and yes, I did taste it!).

Friend C gave me this gorgeous china tea cup, saucer and plate, to add to my collection - he'd found it in an antiques shop months ago!

Brother D and SIL D gave me this cheery fine china mug and some Turkish Delight, which did not survive to the photo shoot ;)

Friend J sent me some handmade stitch markers and a box of this glorious handspun yarn - she's a clever chicken, and very skilled spinner.

My mum and step-dad gave me this beautifully crafted tray, made by my step-dad. Very special.

Friend H gave me a PDF book of 7 Small Shawl patterns by Rosemary Hill, which are just gorgeous.

Friend I gave me a signed copy of The Outback Café Cookbook by Mark Olive (using traditional bush tucker ingredients) - she's even met him! I can't wait to give the recipes a try.

And Sister J and BIL M gave me the most stunningly cute kitchen measuring cups from Fred & Friends, and a wooden necklace from the National Museum. Both unphotographed as yet ...

A good haul, spread over a good week, and most of all a lot of love, fun, hugs and treats, which is what any good birthday should be replete with!

And thank you to the friends who have given me thoughtful and appreciated gifts while I've been in hospital - your visits and your gifts have made my visits that much easier to handle.


  1. Happy, happy birthday, what lovely gifts!!! Be well.

  2. I've got those measuring cups, aren't they FAB!!! Ralph's book and a little good luck charm for you will be winging their way to you soon - trouble with the good luck charm is that I have to (a) follow a pattern (not something I often do) and (b) be sober in the evenings (ditto). School hols taking up a lot of day time as I am trying to make it up to the kids for ruining last school hols in Queanbeyan! Good luck and hang in there, love you, Judy

  3. Happy birthday! Have you tried downloading audio books from the ACT Library? Pretty good selection and you can get up to ten titles at a time... Hoping things get better, or at least more certain, soon.

  4. Happy Birthday (again!) and glad you were very spoiled! Such fab gifts!

    But sorry to hear about the return to hospital - hope the sight returns for you soon.

  5. I second the library idea. Our libraries have thousands of audiobooks free for the download. You have to belong to the library but I imagine you already do! I think I have about 15 books on my mp3 player right now so I can choose whatever I'm in the mood for.

    Happy happy birthday!

  6. Ohj, I LOVE Falco! The rest of your books sound fun, interesting, useful, but Falco is the one at the top of MY list!

    You sure are chipper for someone stuck in the ward with demented old ladies. Either they are giving you great drugs, or you are a pure saint! If it's not great drugs, then it's about time they came up with some.

    At least you don't have boring old commonplace things happen to you. Not like a car accident and brain damage. You get the rare and exotic, hard to diagnose stuff. Hope the corticosteroids are quick and efficient and quite without side-effects. May you be reading all those wonderful books soon!

  7. I do love those cups, and I wish you the best of all possible outcomes.

  8. Happy happy happy big day.
    Bugger bugger bugger hospital and lost sight.
    Think think thinking of you.



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