Day 30: Red roses and a barking black dog (Sunday 27 November)

I barely slept again last night but this time it wasn’t because of pain – it was because of the lack of it. I know – it makes no sense. My mind didn’t stop ticking over all night and I just couldn’t believe the fact that I could sleep on my front, back or either side without pain. The joy of it kept me awake – very annoying indeed.

A long sleep-in balanced out the lack of night time sleep and then it was time for an adventure. Although I would have been more than happy not leaving the hotel room, I thought it was the least I could do to accompany Brad on a weekly outing. We planned to visit “Easy Home” which is a furniture place that we’d driven past in cabs, find a church for Brad then check out Green Molly, an Irish-pub-come-Italian-restaurant that we found on Trip Advisor.

Brad assured me that Easy Home was just up the road so we grabbed a cab and headed there. We thought we might be able to find a big comfy chair for me to put in the hospital room so that I wouldn’t have to lay in the hospital bed all day.  But alas, our plans were foiled once again. The shop wasn’t quite where Brad thought it would be, or in fact anywhere within sight. We abandoned the Easy Home plan while we were en route and decided to go straight downtown to find the church.  Brad had a map with some directions in Chinese characters for that one – but the cabbie had other ideas. Not long after we had gotten in the cab he put a sign in his window which we can only assume read ‘not in service.’ That became quite a handy tool for him later on when we tried to re-route from Easy Home to the church because he simply pointed to the sign and kicked us out of the cab. To his credit, he didn’t accept payment for the failed journey. By that time we didn’t know where we were, it was cold and there were no other cabs in sight. Eventually a cab came and the young driver seemed to indicate that he could get us to the general vicinity of the church, but not the exact location. Ok, we’ll take it!…. As we got closer to where the church was supposed to be he started calling out to other cabbies and they all gestured in the same direction so that was reassuring. Brad and the driver were so intent on finding the church that they actually missed it as we drove by. It was yours truly aka back seat driver who pointed to the huge crosses that marked the sky and suggested that we might have just passed said Catholic church. Hehehehe – a small victory, but you take ‘em where you can get ‘em.

As luck would have it there was a service in English twenty minutes after we arrived so I got Brad to deposit me at the nearest, warmest establishment that served meat and he went off to church. I think I will do more justice to the “meal” I had at the “steakhouse” by not saying anything further about it. MFS is right (as usual) – always follow the golden rule and do not eat steak in Asia. After all, we don’t want to put the Argentinians out of business!

When Brad left me to go to church my mood was already spiralling downward. The cold temperature didn’t help and I became more and more mopey as the day progressed. When Brad came to find me after church he came bearing red roses to cheer me up. It was a lovely gesture and did cheer me up – for a moment. There are times when nothing can be said or done to relieve a funk like the one I was embarking on.

We decided to have a look at the department store next door to the steakhouse and what an eye opener that was. The prices! I can’t begin to tell you. The Sealy beds were $5K-10K, pillows were $100, lounge suites $30K and so on. Suffice to say we didn’t see much action at the cash registers. We found a little Australiana section in the shop which made for some light entertainment. Have you ever been overseas and wanted to pick up a few Aussie icons to give away as gifts, like koalas or kangaroos, only to find that everything for sale in Australia is made in China? It’s happened to me. So we couldn’t believe it when we saw mini koalas for sale that were actually made in Australia, even though they were $12 each. A little bit ironic, don’t ya think? And have you ever wondered what happens to all those sheep’s placenta’s that come out every time a yummy spring lamb is born? Well, I can tell you! Some enterprising Aussie turns it into “Sheep’s Placenta Cream Moisturiser” and ships it off to China. Love that entrepreneurial spirit.

Right now a new pain has developed in my lower back and I am thoroughly buggered after our day out. I definitely overdid it today and was out for far too long. I started to get some abdominal pain around six-ish then the lower back pain crept in later. I have cried spontaneously several times today and all I can think of is that I don’t want to be here. The only problem is that I have nowhere else to go. If I go home to Perth, then I’m on a one-way road to nowhere. I can’t think clearly now so I am going to go to bed and will finish this entry later.

Black dog barking

He’s barking. He is still in the neighbour’s yard but I can hear him. His bark is getting louder. There’s a breach in the fence and I know he is going to find the hole soon and squeeze his way through into my backyard. I don’t have any repellent to beat him off with so it’s going to be a standoff – me vs him. May the best woman win.

Brad has said to me to make sure I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this blog. He says I “owe it to my readers.” I thought that was kind of cute. I don’t see myself as having “readers,” but merely an open outlet for me to vent my fears and frustrations. I don’t mean to gloss over anything that’s happening here, or deliberately sanitise or “spin” the experience. I guess there’s so much of the treatment process and the illness itself that really, really sucks that a part of me doesn’t want to think about it and that it’s probably easier for me to focus on “easier” but equally frustrating topics that get me down like laundry, food, smoking and other day to day dalliances. I should say that Brad doesn’t actually read the blog so his information is based on occasional comments from friends about “something funny” that I may have said. Of course they’re (you’re) going to comment on the funny stuff, not the morose bits! Anyway, I’ll try and keep keeping it real (without being too offensive or disparaging about anything or anyone, since I am completely grateful for being able to be here and receive some treatment even though it is bloody hard going).

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2 Responses to Day 30: Red roses and a barking black dog (Sunday 27 November)

  1. Luisa Jones says:

    Obviously I’ll have to cook you and Brad a Lasagne when you return to Perth !
    Also a Stained Glass Xmas Cake….. Loaded with glacé fruit, cherries, chocolate, pecans and Bourbon.
    You are toughing out this treatment with impressive aplomb !

  2. MFS says:

    Told you so. :p

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