Sunday, December 23, 2012

What a year!

Well with Christmas just a couple of days away and the New Year just over a week or so away, I thought it would be a good time to reflect what 2012 has meant for me at least.

The year started off with frantic panic of major back surgery relating to my disability (laminictamy - detethering of my spinal cord relating to Spina Bifida - my disability for those who do not know). Now most people who are reading this (being close friends and family) would know that the surgery was at least 60% successful in which is did resolve at least 60% of the back pain I was experiencing over the last 2 to 5 years.

Although it was successful there are still some outstanding issues but in hindsight, the positives outweigh the negatives. I have been able to walk around home unaided most of the time and do house work for about 1-2 hours (slowly of course) and walking wise I can walk with my walking crutches for about 1-2 hours (depending on how I feel) but still use my wheelchair to get around the city and too and from the office.

I would like to point out that I was in fact walking around my work christmas party unaided, but walking as if I was a penguin............I think. I know quite a few colleagues were astounded. Thats what hard work of going to and doing physiotherapy, the gym and occasional visits to the pool.

Highlight for me was being able to go back to work, although in a limited capacity (part-time work) but never the less, it was a highlight to finally catch up and see the wonderful work colleagues and friends after being away a heck of a lot.

So basically the first half of the year was recovery from major back surgery and continual physio and hydrotherapy.

The second half of the year did take a bit of a sad start, when an old school friend who had similar yet the same kind of Spina Bifida pass away suddenly due to a massive infection that shut some of her organs down. It was even made worse when trying to track down other fellow ex-students that it was in-fact discovered that another student had passed away in February of the previous year (2011) suddenly and without anyone really knowing or confirming this.

Due to this I am working on doing a reunion as well as a memorial function and am putting the first part of that into place now ready for the new year.

The second half was brightened up a lot with a good friend, Sandra, coming down under for 5 weeks from Canada. Did the usual tourist stuff, visits in the city and around the harbour, went to Taronga Zoo (which has changed a heck of a lot since I last visited over 8 years ago or so). Also went to the Blue Mountains, parts of the Central Coast and up to the NSW North Coast to Coffs Harbour for a week, visiting places such as Dorrigo, Grafton, Uranga, Byron Bay (caught up with our very good friend Anne Marie aka Queensland Mummy and her friend for the day) as well as Coffs Harbour itself, partaking in coast out (basically like mardi gras but much more intimate I think).

That in itself was interesting when on the way heading back home, out damn car broke down just outside of Taree in which we had to stay overnight (as the car's waterpump broke causing damage to other parts and setting us back $605!!!) but all in all was excellent trip. I have since fallen in love with Coffs Harbour because of its location - you can't beat the ocean views as well as the small city/country feel it has as well.

I also met with the NSW Labor Transport Minister, Penny Sharpe, to help organise a disability transport forum, which is still in the planning stages and we are hoping to have a forum running and announced in about March/April/May next year.

I also have had a re-fitting for my new wheelchair, which means I can finally get rid of the damn colours wheelchair (which is what I have been loaning from Northcott Disability Services since November last year after my own colours wheelchair broke down). Fingers crossed this can all be fixed within 1-2 months of next year but I think I have just jinxed myself on this one

Then we come to the low part of which happened on Monday morning whilst heading into work with Brett - someone rear ended our car, causing my back to tense up and me screaming in back because of the sudden jolt. Wasn't happy because Brett had to call the Paramedics to come out in which spent the better part of Monday in Westmead Hospital (I despise that place) and went from being admitted at 4.30pm to being discharged over an hour later. That my friend is what you call speedy admission/discharge as well as showing you how bad the hospital/health system has gotten in NSW and Australia I believe.

Also after the disasterous Monday I had, I was advised by Ausdroid ( that I had won a new Motorola Razr M thanks to my entry. Ausdroid's competition asked "you to tell us, in 25 words or less, what made you faster, smarter or stronger". My entry went a little bit like this "Not allowing my disABILITY stopping me from being who I am and showcasing what I can do instead of what I can’t." I have to say I was surprised and shocked I had won because I haven't really won anything in my life before hand!! I have been using the phone for a couple of days now and I am loving it, but I will go on more about Android and iOS in another post.........maybe!!

So now we come to Christmas and it's going to a busy time, spending Christmas with friends and family in various places whilst trying to have some down time for us both. So on that note, I think I have said everything I wanted to share. I hope your 2012 year has been fantastic, crazy and awesome as much as mine (although mine is a little bot boring now I have re-read it again, but oh well, you get that I suppose).

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year for 2013!! May the new year bring you joy, happiness and may all your dreams and wishes come true not only for the holidays, but the new year too.

Happy Holidays Everyone. Till next time be safe, drive carefully if your driving on the roads and enjoy the festive season with family and friends!!

Seasons Greetings