Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 29 July 2011

Turn me to stone

Prime Circle is awesome...  Turn me to stone

ADT - so full of shit!

I moved into my house in Jan 2005. From Jan 2005 - July 2010 we had no alarm, nothing. We survived just fine.

Then last year our neighbour was held up in his house at gun point. I suddenly felt nervous and vulnerable as a single woman on my own with young children. So I got an alarm installed, and allowed ADT to convince me I needed armed response and to be linked to their dedicated vehicle in our area. It's a grand cost of R420pm for this. That's a LOT for me... but you can't put a price on your and your family's lives right...? So we bit the bullet and went with it.

A year later and times have been tough. We have no DSTV any more and try to save wherever we can. That R420pm is not insignificant! But it was not considered a luxury, so I have been bearing it.

But then 2 things happened:

1- Quite some time ago my alarm activated in the night. I was about to leap up and check the house myself as I'd always done, and then realised I didn't need to. I pressed the panic button instead. Sure I got a phone call from the control centre. I said I had no idea what was going on so yes please could someone - big and brave - come take a look, to make sure. Did anyone arrive? Nope, not that I am aware of.

2 - Then on Sunday while we were out I missed a call that my alarm had gone off. Having missed the call, I reckoned that ADT could investigate since that's what I PAY them for right? RIGHT? Nope. I get home, deactivate alarm, check the property MYSELF again. A while later I get a call asking if all was ok?

That was when I realised I am paying a lot for a premium service I don't receive at all! So I said yes all is fine but I am not happy that I actually have an armed response service. The lady in the call centre said it had been noted that access to my property is not possible because we have spikes on the wall and a dog... WHAT!?

Ok. Let's examine these issues:

- The spikes are so minor and superficial that both the boys and I (and their friends) can and do climb over them and have done so a dozen or so times when we have needed to in the past. Are they saying a big fit and strong ADT man in protective clothing AND with a ladder can not manage that? Give me a break!

- And then the dog? Really. REALLY? Have you seen her?
She is smaller than a cat and the least threatening dog on the planet. She does not even bark, never mind bite. She doesn't even jump up on people. What nonsense!

So on Monday I send a very polite email saying I'd like to downgrade my service to alarm monitoring only thanks.

What has followed is a flurry of emails, calls and even visits to my home to convince me to stay on Armed Response, but at the same time either trying to make me purchase MORE stuff (a key safe etc.) or concede that my property is inaccessible because of the dog. They even wanted me to sign a letter to the affect - basically agreeing to pay the price for the armed response but acknowledging that they wouldn't ever actually come in and help me. WTF what bullshit!?

I have been nice, friendly, amenable, even humorous about it, but now I am over it. I mean the guy who came with the letter on Wednesday night actually LAUGHED with me about the spikes and the dog, who was sitting there blinking innocently at him. He agreed with me and said he totally saw my point and wouldn't sign that letter either if it was him.

So when I got yet another call this morning I lost my cool a little when the woman was STILL trying to convince me to keep the armed response, but that I must understand their occupational health and safety regulations. I said, in these words, 'Look either you CAN provide armed response or you can't. And if you can't, that is fine, but then I am not paying for it any more. End of story!' I mean that's not unreasonable is it?

Anyway, so now I pay R170pm and only have alarm monitoring. Yay, I save over R270pm, and honestly our local police department is great and usually respond within minutes anyway. So finally after a week of debate I have got what I wanted! Why did it have to be so frikken hard!?

Monday, 25 July 2011


This child of mine... He is certainly going to make his way in the world I think. He somehow always has a deal and scheme on the go...

As you probably know there are many kids for whom cash is not an issue, they routinely have tuck-shop pre-orders or R50-100 on hand to spend on what they wish.

My kids don't - for obvious reasons. My 2 are lucky to get R20 each during food-fair week to spend for the whole week. They don't often get tuck-shop money AT ALL. Anyway, I do kind of like it that way because the result is that when they do get money they do tend to save it for something they really want (like a game or something) and not just on tuck. But you know, the lure of the tuck shop is admittedly pretty strong.

So this evening Quinn was telling me about something new at the tuck shop this week that he had today and how cheap but yummy it was. So I asked how he bought it and he told me he gets R2 a week, well actually R3 from this week, because he has a deal with his friend Thomas. He writes Thomas' homework diary entry for him daily and he gets R2 a week for that, and from today he neatens his desk too for an extra R1. LOL. He also gets Thomas' pre-order items if Thomas doesn't like/want them. He said he had riblets and mielies the other day (YUM). This child never ceases to amaze me. 8)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Infinitely Grateful

 THANK-YOU THANK-YOU to the inimitable Tertia (who I had the honour and privilege to actually finally meet in the flesh last week, and she really was and is as lovely and gorgeous as I always imagined. She ROCKS. Lots) and Liberty who chose me, ME, as the winner! Of THIS!

After entering our story... for the Liberty “Own Your Life” campaign on Tertia's blog

Wow wow wow!

Thank-you to all involved. This could not have come at a better time for us, when we were really going through a rough patch and struggling so much more than usual. It has helped me to claw myself out of a perceived hole of hopelessness, and realise that I can and must keep going!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Positive Inkling

I LOVE this! Thanks Nicci.

I have been going through some stuff in the past month or so... but I think my little black Eeyore cloud is lifting and there are some amazing views on the horizon... I have an inkling of some very exciting prospects. I just need to let them brew a bit and see if I must pursue any of them... for now Free Positive Thoughts. Que sera sera....

Monday, 18 July 2011

Friend - I am a TERRIBLE one

I seem to SUCK at being a friend. I struggle to cope with my own life, and being a bit of an introvert, I need time to myself first to regroup before I am ready to tackle the world. As a result I am not the best friend.

My friend of 12 years just sent me a bitchy sarcastic e-mail this morning ending by saying - 'don't bother to respond and have a nice life.'

Did I DO anything nasty or wrong? No.

Has she contacted ME? Or asked if I am ok? No.

I just didn't give her enough attention. I did think about her a lot, I just haven't actually made contact. It's not that I have been gallivanting anywhere else, I have just been working, and working, dealing with my grans health issues, Quinn's op, the death of my friend's baby, and a bunch of other stuff.... I just haven;t been coping well with my life at all.

But yeah I do understand that as far as friends go, I am not good at it.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Quinn's reconstructive hearing op done & C-Tomas gone!

Ok, Quinn's re-constructive surgery is done and dusted.

We had to be at the hospital at 06:30am, and we were, only to have to wait until nearly 07:30 before the admissions desk was even ready to sign us in. Grrr.

Anyway, once we were past the hospital nonsense and were finally sent up for surgery it was 09:30am. By which time Quinn (11) was moaning about being bored and hungry. The previous hospital was much more efficient and Quinn was psyched for his surgeries so this one was quite an anti-climax.

Again I went right into the OR with him and he again chose the gas over the needle for the anaesthetic, This anaesthetist was better at administering it too and gave him a slow dose over a minute or 2 while we all chatted and he gradually drifted away without even being aware of it as there was no focus on him or what she was doing. Different to usual but a good way to handle it I guess.

Our fab doc told me he'd take an hour or so at his approximation, but that he'd ring me when he was done as usual so to rather go relax somewhere and not hang around outside the door. I went downstairs to his ward and worked on my laptop (all I do these days is work, sad but true reality of my life right now!), more that 2 hours later I finally got the call that he was done.

Doc was happy that it went well. He did a tympanectomy and ossicularplasty, with a titanium stapes-incus implant thing, and some cartilage to bridge and stabilise it. He says it went as well as he would have hoped and that there is no sign of c-toma in his right ear at all, and that he checked the left and cleaned it too and that one looks good as well. That was my main concern so I was thrilled to hear that news!

So he now has a titanium implant in his head - apparently it is x-ray and MRI safe though. :)

Quinn woke up after 20 mins in recovery and was very grumpy and even quite angry and aggressive - this was new. Previously he'd just been very woosey and sore and we'd get him back to sleep and on second waking he'd bounce back and be his normal self. This time he was sullen, obstreperous, and kept wanting to get up, but was falling over and quite drunk and obnoxious. He was still moaning about being 'bored'. (OMG!) :roll: :shock: I had visions of him being a stroppy teenager and it was not nice. His behaviour was quite hurtful actually. I tried not to take it too personally, but eventually asked if he wanted to be left alone and he said yes, so I moved away but stayed near (even though I wanted to go home at that point and wanted to cry. I just told myself to suck-it and keep being there for him, because I knew he needed it although he was acting like he really didn't) and thankfully after some pain meds back in the ward a while later and a milky drink he 'came back' and was lovely and sweet and loving.

He told me he doesn't know why he got like that, but just felt sore and angry (must be side effects of meds right?). He even apologised. I told him he'll be a horrid drunk teenager. To which he said, 'No, I won't get THAT drunk. I'll only have like...3.' (LOL yeah right, we'll see...)

Anyway from then on all has been good and we went home at 14:00 or so. He claims to already be hearing better despite his ear being packed with foam and cotton-wool, so holding thumbs that the results are good.

I am relived it is done, and with luck that's our last surgery for now! He'll just need routine cleanings every few months once the post ops on this op are sorted.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Update on Granny Betty

Granny Betty is now Granny Better! Yay.

After the last post about here the following happened:
Sunday 12 June Update:
While Granny Better remains old and frail (she is very very thin and has no appetite at all) and does tire easily, she is still sharp as a pin, and has an incredible memory and naught sparkling wit.

When we all arrived today (about 8 of us!) she was sleeping. When she woke up she asked if we'd been called to her bedside cos they thought it was the end for her. We assured her that was not the case and we were there simple to visit with her lovely self.

Later on when we told her my older sister was flying back this evening she said, 'Sorry I dragged you all down here and now I didn't die after all!'. It was shockingly funny. She is such a character! I told her that I think I speak for everyone when I say we just wanted to wish her well and BE with her and we were all glad to have that chance to do that now, and were indeed glad to not be leaving it too late.

The hospital has started getting her up and out of bed a little today and it seems she was up in a chair to be fed lunch today. Being up was exhausting for her though and I think she is surprised at how little strength and energy she has. Most likely from her lungs, from being laid up in bed for 10 days and also not eating much at all.

She seems to be doing reasonably well now, and seems stable and I think she will probably go to the place she lives at's Frail Care in the coming week some time. She seems accepting that she will need assisted living now and is not fighting it.

The boys and I took her fluffy pink grown and some nice non-slip slipper socks yesterday which she seems to like. My sister got her some Ensure, nutrient rich shake which will help her to get the nutrients she needs without having to struggle to eat solid food.

All in all she is in a much better way than a week ago, which is lovely to see.

She got progressively better until after just over 2 weeks in hospital she was discharged on Friday 17 June, and was sent back to the frail care section of her home.

After being settled in and stabilised there is was decided that she would have to move in there permanently and her flatlet across the road was packed up and she was moved downstairs to a 'permanent' room in the assisted living section. Where she gets help with eating, ablutions etc. It seemed she was going to be confined to be, being still so weak and frail and having no energy or appetite. On the plus side her lungs had cleared and she no longer needed oxygen.

Due to work and general life business I had no been able to visit for about 10 days... but after our surf lesson on Saturday we popped in to see our dear Granny Betty. And were we ever surprised to see her up and dressed and walking in the corridor! She had been out for tea and a drive with her neice and had even been to Clicks to do some shopping!

She is so much better and is doing great. She is settled into her new room and it has all her stuff in and is nice and cosy. She says the hospital stay is a bit of a blur now and she feel like she was only there for 2 days, even though she knows it was 2+ weeks from what she has been told. She says she feels much stronger and more energetic now that her lungs have cleared up.

We walked her to the dinning room for dinner before we left and she was going to be sharing a table with a gentleman. Ooh la la!

So all in all she is doing wonderfully now! :) YAY!

Surf's Up!

My work has been incredibly super duper busy and stressful  recently and that has been pretty much all consuming, to the point that the boys have just been home every day of the holidays. (Yesterday Q told me it was his first time in a car for over a week! Oops.).  I was also told that I am not as much fun as I used to be and that I am always rushed and too busy. :(

Anyway with Quinn's next op coming up and the weather being simply stunning this week-end we decided to make the most of the gorgeous but fleeting mid-winter weather in Cape Town and went to Muizenberg. I had a surf lesson voucher for a few months and it seemed a perfect opportunity to make use of it. I was planning on watching the boys and taking photos and soaking up some sunshine on the beach. But due to some expert coaxing from the instructor and the boys - and taking the no fun comment into account - I decided what the hell and decided to join in too!

We had, So. Much. Fun! Quinn is quite the surfing pro and was up riding waves from the start and even got to 'pump the board and do some direction changes etc. Griffin was not too bad either and got up fairly quickly and well. He was just in heaven and enjoyed and participated in the whole thing a lot more than I expected. I mostly sucked (unsurprisingly), but as usual I had so much fun, that I didn't care, and it didn't matter. I did get up and balanced enough to ride more than a few meters about 5 times anyway and yelled and whooped like a twit each time! It was such a rush. I can see how it can become addictive. Each time you get up your first thought is MOOOAAAR!

The boys thanked me so many times for taking them. And for going in with them too. They just loved it. Afterwards we had Sinnfull Ice-creams and Griff declared it the best day ever!!

Sadly we have no photos, but then who wants to see me in a wet suit anyway!? ;)

Quinn's next op is tomorrow - our c-toma journey so far

So Quinn goes in for his 3rd (actually he has reminded me it is his 4th as the first was an ear cleaning under general anaesthetic in 2008 when his ears were sore and seeping and the original ENT couldn't work on it or see what was going on without Quinn being in extreme pain, so he did an 'op' just to do a cleaning and investigation and that's when the Cholesteatoma was first discovered) C-toma op tomorrow morning.

We need to be at the hospital at 06:30am. Yikes, not much fun in mid winter!  As usual Quinn is quietly confident and even slightly enthusiastic about the procedure - this time particularly since he is really hoping our lovely Doc does manage to restore some of his lost hearing, since it is now quite apparent that he has a functional hearing loss, and I usually have to raise my voice to get his attention and often have to repeat myself to him.

Please spare a thought for Quinn tomorrow morning that the op goes well and most importantly that there is no recurrence of the dreaded C-toma in either of his ears. That's my main worry. Getting hearing back would be great, but having the Cholesteatoma STAY away is the main priority for me.


If you are interested I have linked to our whole journey with Cholesteatoma as we have experienced it, in blog-post links, in chronological order below: