Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
My first social engagement in a long time was a very enjoyable and at times hilarious creative couple of hours. In Tasmania we have Womens Health Tasmania. A service run by women for women. I imagine most countries have something similar.
Womens Health Tasmania offer you the opportunity to gain new skills and a better understanding of health issues important to you. We offer:
opportunities to participate in activities, workshops and forums;
information on general health issues; and
We also promote the interests of Tasmanian women by working with government and the community sector to provide innovative and cost-effective services. It is not just about breasts and other parts that make us female, it can be any bit of a female body. for more information hit the link below. https://www.womenshealthtas.org.au/events/knit-your-bits
It was on a Sunday afternoon at a lovely new business in Cygnet. Cuckoo. (lovely local creative works being sold for great gift ideas and pure wool for knitting, crotchet, etc. Our group is doing breasts. Another workshop is the pubic area (Tasmania shape..lol) You can most likely imagine the laughter and chat that went along with learning to do a magic circle, cups of tea and cupcakes with breast icing decorations.
Just like in real life our crocheted breasts are varied. No pair are the same and no two of a pair are either.
It is also a wonderful pattern for beanies. Miss Treacle is demonstrating the beanie style with elegance.
As hard as it can be for me to sometimes go to things, this was a wonderful small group and I knew no one. I mention this as my anxiety can kick in and that will come out as me talking too much. Some folk do not realise that this is a symptom and not me being comfortable in these sorts of situations. I am really glad I pushed myself and attended. I did not finish my breast at the group, I get distracted easily. I ended up doing them at home.
It certainly has made me be more creative since. I do tend to forget that being creative and being with small groups is doable for me and with my mental health it does help.
Its been a wee while since I wrote. Here I am again. What has been happening in the mean while? Apart from trips to vet for Busby’s injection and to do my shopping not much. I washed clothes and rewashed them, finally getting them out and hanging them over my stair rails to dry in the heat from wood fire. Yeah!
I have made plans to visit two friends and did not turn up. I have so far it seems won the battle of the mice yeah.
I have made an appointment with my GP, Yeah; to discuss my medication and an appointment with the psychiatrist I had seen once before. This item creates great anxiety in me. So much so I am fluctuating between cancelling the appointment. As I write I feel my throat tighten and my mouth go dry. I attempt to focus on the benefit if an ADHD medication may actually reconnect my brain somehow.
I found myself feeling at home at times in tears as I began to recognise aspects of my own processing and behaviours shared and explained in this channel. After watching and connecting the fear of being diagnosed with ADHD is reduced somewhat. Then I go into what if I am NOT diagnosed with ADHD and I am just lazy and disorganised hopeless and all the words I have heard so often over the course of my life?
So rather than go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and my search engine I decided to get out of the house, yes avoiding the garden, the house and the computer. I loaded up the dogs and we headed off for some lunch.
I had to pick up some chook grains for my hens and roosters (yes roosters oh dear that is also on the I have to deal with soon list), in Huonville.
I decided I would venture to Summer Kitchen in Raneleagh which used to be a small village a little over two KMs from Huonville but now is really a suburb of it.
The photos below see some of my flock saying Where the heck are You going? We are starving! A house on the way, where the newest owners have had enough obviously of past work on the house they purchased. Spring is certainly arriving in my beautiful valley. Last photo is of Hawthorne flowering along the road.
Even though we have not had any outbreaks of Covid here in Tasmania for over a year cafes, shops and businesses remain on COVID Responsiblities requiring signing in or using the Covid App, social distancing etc. A beautiful brunch at Summer Kitchen,https://www.facebook.com/Summer-Kitchen-Bakery-389693084374495/ delicious vegetarian wrap (I am not a vegetarian) with wonderful garlic hummus and fresh vegies…large cappuccino sitting in sunshine with my dogs about me. Near-bye were a group of bicyclists (MAMILS Middle aged men in Lycra a few ladies too) enjoying the sunshine too. My dogs were petted and discussion about them. Several proud doggy dads showed me their furbabies photos a gorgeous Samoy, a labrador, a whippet and poodle. The valley is a cyclists delight. My dogs were the only ones present but as we arrived we passed a couple leaving with their owners. I love that my valley has so many dog friendly places to eat.
After leaving Summer Kitchen Raneleagh we headed basically to the hill behind the Raneleagh showground. On the way we passed the Home Hill Winery, https://www.homehillwines.com.au/ . The first photograph below shows the face area of Mount Beauty. A different view than from my home. This mountain range certainly delineates one end of the Huon Valley. So green yet as I drove up the hill the grasses altered and whilst they look dry the ground under my feet and the dogs paws was very wet. We have had so much rain and wind over the last few weeks. (normal for the time of year).
The last photograph above is from the hill looking back down to the valley over Raneleagh.
The following photographs are the drive back down from the hill top to Raneleagh. When I see the rock along the road I am awed at how trees, shrubs and grasses grow, such tall trees. Hobart is the second driest Captial city in Australia. mM beautiful valley is often on water restrictions in summertime.
In the valley timber homes abound. As Tasmania is known for its State Forests and wood was easy to access for many over brick and other materials.
The photographs below see me driving alongside the Huon River towards Judbury another small village well it is really not a village as it has no shops, post office, pub, being only approximately 13kms/8miles to Huonville. Rain falling ahead, the river valley is green and lush. The third photograph is of the Tassal Nursery for their salmon. They hatch the salmon eggs and grow them until they reach smolt (hatchling fish reach the length/weight/size for the smolt can now move from the fresh water into the sea cages/nets. As I drive further we begin to see the homes of Judbury so many new homes being built in the hillside, and along the river flats. Hard to remember that smoke and fires were all around here only Summer 2018 in the hills.
I have enjoyed the journey so far, it seems that the dogs have too. I really enjoy my own time, and doing my own thing generally, so find this such an enjoyable thing. Thankful for my car, my dogs who make my life and keep me doing things. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful area. blessings to You. Tazzie
I am not depressed I said to my Psychologist in our most recent zoom meeting. Yes I am overwhelmed by my home, and garden my list(which I am not supposed to have but just occurs in my head regardless) grows and add to that dealing with Busby’s knee issue; of which he is doing well on injections, rest and no play or big walks.
I begin things and do not finish them. Well the wind and rain picked up so I could not continue to place the cardboard over the area I had just cleared around fruit trees and did not have the chipped tree/wood barks on top of (my trolley has a damaged wheel so I need to organise a new one or a repair). On my list.
I had to use poison on the mice situation in my home as the traps were not working, I feel bad for the potential damage to wildlife birds that may eat them. I vowed never to use poison again. I am attempting to not beat myself up about that as the abscence of mice is a huge positive.
I am achieving things, I take Busby for his injection each week and I have had both my vaccinations. I am washing clothes and managing most of my routine. What I manage varies each day. Chuckle. be it eat healthy today and bed late versus bed early eat crap.. yet I am OK with this as I am working on improving my routine.
I shared with my Psychologist that I have been considering coming off my medication(Desvenafalaxin). Why? I know it has made a massive difference in my depression. When I have written here that I would be happy to stay on it for ever because of the change it made for me. I know that I have worked so hard dealing with a huge amount of issues that potentially contributed to my having been diagnosed with CPTSD after my breakdown. I feel that I have the tools to manage aspects and note problems in my life/feelings/behaviour that will help me live without the medication.
It is not all it is mostly the fact that I HATE living in my house the way it is!! A house that is a hoarders yet it is a bit better than it was but it is also almost stagnate. I struggle to fill the bin and take it out, but force myself I have added to my routine the putting of the bin out every week. It did not happen this week but I am not beating myself up for that. What I feel is I want my home back, I want it to smell lovely to feel lovely..and not be a place I just sit in amongst the shit, and mess. I described to my Psychologist what I really felt like. It was exactly how it was to discover my car battery was almost flat..I turned the key in the ignition and my engine tried to turn, that harrrumph harrumph..I knew if I applied my foot to the accelerator I might get the engine to turn over. Alas No. Just that Harrumph Harrumph wrrrhhhh than nothing of a flat battery. My engine of my car would not turn. Well that is exactly how I would describe how I am feeling. I really want to do it, and I try but a little while and I just go flat. Or for me it is I get distracted, or take a break..or the weather, anything becomes a blockage in the connection to my battery there bye making my engine stop or not turn over.
The appointment with my Psychologist took a turn, not a pleasant one for me it seems. She feels we have been dealing with and I am moving through and forward with the depression and reactive areas like anger response to where I feel no control or bullied in a situation. That now something I may have had in my life always is coming forward. The possibility of ADHD. Ohhhh what does that mean for me? Having another appointment with my Psychiatrist. My throat dries, and I begin to feel ill, my neck gets itchy and I feel hot. I let my psychologist know this and that I feel distressed because of how horrendous the issues were when I first saw the first psychiatrist at an Organisation Psych2U; they offer zoom meetings for rural and isolated clients in Tasmania. Yet at the same time I feel conflicted because the first Psychiatrist wanted me to take an ADHD medication with my Desvenalfaxine. I was unable to get the script filled at three Chemists in my area. He and I had words and he decided I did not want to see him (which was not true). It left me battle scarred and I had to work and get really upset to have another Psychiatrist see me from the organisation. So hearing this made me feel all the angst and I ended my session with my Psychologist as I could feel myself dissociating. I said I had to go but I must have looked strange. I blanked out for a while but was aware and let myself just be in that place but not to sink to far. I then was able through breathing and grounding bring my self back. I also sent a message to my Pscyhologist to let her know I was OK.
I am fearful of making an appointment with my GP who organises the Psychiatrist appointment and I am fearful because I may have to go on ADHD medication and what if I am not able to get it again? Its been over two weeks since my appointment with my Psychologist and my GPs office rang me but I have not returned their call to book in. It seems a task to hard right now.
I just want to have my battery fullly charged and the energy to begin and finish something not get distracted. I want to reclaim my house and really make it mine. Not Marks or Ours, but mine. I am proud of myself that I have removed boxes of books and old computers to the tip. So much more to remove and that makes me anxious and nauseous. Yet I feel even worse when I think of the appointment with my GP and Then the Psychiatrist.
If anyone who is reading this has any of her or his own experience of CPTSD and being on ADHD medication too please comment. I would really appreciate it.
I am thankful that my Disability pension means I am able to continue to see my Psychologist and be bulked billed to the organisation that provides funding for this part of my NDIS package. I am thankful that my hens are all laying delicious eggs. I am thankful that so far Busbys management plan for his cruciate ligament to be nonsurgical is going so far OK. (even if the vets feel it is perhaps not the right option). I am thankful for a kind friend who has recently offered me some money to pay for the surgery which I have chosen with much consideration reserach and love to not have at this point in time due to previous experience with this surgery on another of my dogs. I am thankful for my roof over my head, my access to mental health support and physical health support for free. I am incredibly thankful I live in such a safe and beautiful area.
I appreciate all of you who read my blog,
blessings to You, Tazzie
NB Please not this is my words, my feelings and my life. If you wish to share any of what I have written please ask me. (c) Echidna Home
I have been working so hard the last few days to not get bogged down with all that is going on in my life. I am so incredibly grateful for all I have and for where I live. It kind of feels like I am not really a part of the rest of the world.
My valley in the southern part of Tasmania (island state of Australia), in fact the whole state I live in has been incredibly fortunate in regards to Covid and the Delta variety especially. I am halfway vaccinated and will receive my second dose in a few days. It feels inevitable that the Delta strain will reach its tentacles to our island and the valley at some point.
It would be so very easy right now for me to be saying why why why, Busby my large dog has torn his cruciate Ligament, and having had a previous experience with the surgery and recovery of another dog I am reluctant to put him through this surgery. Right now he is basically on house rest, lol lock down I guess. He is not in pain as he is on a once a week for four weeks injection and another medication a syrup that is for inflammation and also helps relax him. Cost is certainly a huge issue, instead I am looking at the success rate of braces for stablising the joint.
My plumbing needs some work in the kitchen and I have still have a leak that needs to re-repaired as the previous repairer made it worse. My stove has stopped working because mice have made a home in it and taken all the insulation out making it too dangerous to use. (rural stoves hot plates and oven all in one are supposed to be sealed to prevent this). The hot plate is usable thankful for that and I purchased an Instant pot/air fryer which has been the best kitchen item I have purchased in years. Especially if you are a family of one or two. Mine is 8 litres (quarts?) which sounds large however it gives me food to freeze or eat over a few days. I love doing a roast in it. It slow cooks and is a pressure cooker, sadly not suitable for doing canning. The window frames need sanding, undercoating and painting. My car needs new tyres and a service. Instead of wallowing or allowing myself to fixate and sink back I am looking instead at being thankful for the fact I have a car that is working, I have a solid roof over my head with a small leak, Busby is happyish (not being able to play with his best friend Toby up the road is really hard for him but he is doing well so I am grateful for that.
Mice have invaded my home, its not unusual in the countryside in winter, but add to that my hoarding issues they are so damn hard to get rid of. I am not going to use any poison as we used to have owls but a couple of years ago my neighbour and I both used poison and sure got rid of the pests but also the owls it seems. I also worry my chooks might eat one mouse that is poisoned. I have captured many in peanut butter baited traps, and I have an electric one that was also baited with peanut butter. The bait had gone but no mouse. I am weirdly grateful in a way, to the best of my ability at present I have been removing stuff out of the house. I took boxes and electronic waste to the tip where the e-waste went in a special bin but the books were sadly found by the mice so they were put in the paper recycling. These were books my partner had and they were second or third hand as he rarely purchased new books. It had taken me 11 years to remove the books from the house. I am so pleased I have accomplished these two things.
It is impossible to describe to anyone who really has not any comprehension or understanding of what being a hoarder is like. I hate it, I don’t want to live like this yet I am moving forward as now instead of fleeing the house, and calling it the house, I am content in my discontent. I have been talking with my psychologist regularly through out the time I was not blogging. I also was not following my routine. This is always a symptom of my discontent.
What I am finding really hard right now is that I am not depressed I know I am not. Yet I feel a bit like when your car battery is going flat. You know when the engine does not turn but tries too and you keep trying to get it too but it does not and you end up flattening the battery completely. I feel like my mind and body connection are in that situation. I keep trying and begin something finishing it or get distracted by something else it remains incomplete.
So now my Psychologist is feeling that I now my depression and even my anxiety are more stable she feels it may be ADHD. She would like my GP to refer me to the Psychiatrist again. When she shared this I dissociated I basically blacked out…which on a zoom call where I am on my own was worrying for her. I was not out for very long I was able to bring myself back and emailed her to let her know. I know why this happened as when I was going for the Disabilty pension the original psychiatrist wanted me to take medication for ADHD (I could not get the script filled so he became frustrated with me and would not see me anymore, I was at the point in my illness to give it a try ). The whole situation with this psychiatrist was horrible he never called me by the right name and would ask me how my job was going. I had not worked for several years at the time I was seeing him. Now I need to see a psychiatrist again. It brings ups emotions however instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed I am saying to myself look at where you are now to where you were then, I am so thankful for that, I am also content with the discontent.
Each day I aim to complete one thing. On top of my routine. For example today I went in the garden for a while and was looking at one of my fruit trees where grass was encroaching. I began to pull the grass out as I did the temperature dropped and I was going to go inside. Instead I completed the task. It did not take long I came inside and had a shower. I made myself a meal and was content even though I sit surrounded by mess.
As hard as it has been to become content with my home/financial/personal issues I am happier. I am achieving things as slowly as it may be and the people who may say just get up and do it/your are just lazy take me back to the beginning of this post. No one who has never experienced mental illness/hoarding will have not understanding or comprehension of the reality of living like this. I DO NOT WANT TOO LIVE LIKE THIS. BUt right now as I improve I am content with my discontent.
I am grateful for not being ill physically, I am for clean air, rain, full rain water tanks. For being able to budget for bigger costs. I am grateful that I continue to move forward no matter how miniscule the distance.
A lot has happened in the time since I have posted anything there are many reasons.
As many of you would know I ceased all contact with my family for my own well being and mental health. I can not in all honesty say that the following was the thing that sent me on a downward spiral. I had been posting prior to this that I had not been traveling well. Out of the blue my brother, the only member of my family who has my permission to contact me in extreme situations. As a person in her mid 50s I saw his name in my missed calls( I do not answer any phone calls only responding to those who leave me a message, or I have been contacted by someone to say they will be contacting me. Even when I have the caller id. I listened to the message requesting me to contact him urgently, and made the connection that one of our parents was seriously ill or had died.
I was wrong, my 38 year old nephew had died unexpectedly in hospital. He had a heart attack. On hearing this and hearing the anguish in my brothers voice. My nephew had been born with issues in regard to his kidneys. We were also aware that his life expectancy may be shortened. He had transplants in his younger years to improve his chances. Even though you know the chances are there denial and hope are the mainstays. He left behind a wife he adored and three incredible sons. Due to Covid on the mainland I was not able to attend his funeral it was wonderful that the funeral company was doing live video streaming so I was able to attend.
I also learnt that one of my neices had had a baby, and he was 16 months old. I had not heard anything my choice.
I could do little for my brother and sister-in-law. I felt outside and began to wonder at my decision to not be in touch with family. Even dealing with this and all the things I am missing out off in my family I sincerely know that for me my life is better as skewed as all the feelings and emotions I dealt with over the next few months.
I have to say I DID NOT go down into the deep pit of blackness. I did resort to comfort eating, Making my own home made Baileys and drinking it all in one night. I did get addicted to a game on line (not a gambling one or spending money on it). I did spend some money on wish…sort of getting a bit of buzz out of winning so many limited items I had no real need of. I gave them to a local organisation to give to others. I was not and still am not super keen to see my psychologist. I do but tend to end the meeting early.
I have been dealing with aspects of my hoarding, a very small amount, I am proud of this. We have had a lot of rain and wind, my house leak is worse and that overwhelms me. I have mice and they have learnt not to go to my mouse traps. I watch them climb up between the lining of my curtains. I occasionally manage to catch them. I am working to get rid of the mess more and found mice nests with babies.
I have begun to realise each time I have a issue in my life, my home that I can not resolve myself I fall. I have not been following my routine at all. I have not been sharing here.
My aim is to reconnect to my blog and the community here. I am thankful to be able to see these things that trigger me, I am thankful for having the ability to share here, I am thankful for the rain as so many areas are in need. I am thankful for all I have my home, plenty of fire wood, a roof over my head, food for me and the dogs, clean water, plenty of warm clothes, and a wonderful community I live in.
My colonoscopy went really well, all clear 3 lovely photos of my colonoscopy and feedback that the preparation was excellent. Nothing at all found. So very good news.
Yet I have not been not doing very well in my mental health. In fact it has been a dive.
I have not wanted to post here and it has been really hard to begin again. As my aim is to be truthful about my life with my mental illness Complex post traumatic stress disorder. The plot has been totally lost and I am not depressed as such. Or am I? That is what is so confusing to me.
It does seem so strange to feel this way after good news of a very healthy colon.
My anxiety before hand was worse than I realised, so much in hindsight I made plans talking to a friend about what would be best for my dogs. She would take them.. extreme.
I am realising that I kind of wanted to die. WOAH. Now I have to reassure you all I am not suicidal, I do not want to die. Yet this is the only thing that makes any sense to me. When I acknowledged this I began to cry. Not just cry but felt so lost and realised I just wanted to be with my partner. Who died almost 11 years ago. My stomach dropped and I felt really nauseous when this was going on. It was several days after the colonoscopy. So not related to the procedure or the very light anesthetic.
I am now realising (I perhaps should have contacted my psychologist because I have hit a very extreme place and my hope in sharing this as often happens when I write my posts help me see and and work through the situation and emotions.
The Autumn weather has been brilliant, hot and blue skies/ That is up until the last two days with snow down to 700meters/2296 ft. lots of heavy rain my tanks are overflowing again. I only mention this as some might feel vitamin D may be an issue.
What I have realised, is that without my brother and sister-in-law who for reasons I am now longer in touch with for my wellbeing, being at the end of the phone, there is no one who I can be comforted and just loved supported bye who I trust totally. My partner was that person and this is really the first medical thing with potential of serious consequences I have faced since my breakdown and issues related to my mental illness.
I miss my partner, every day, and very rarely talk about him. Even with my psychologist I have only mentioned him in very general passing. However the time may be needed at our next appointment.
All I know is I have been drinking alcohol more than I really have in many many years. A lot for me and the fact how I drink it is perhaps even more a symptom. I am making home made baileys. So easy to drink and I have been through almost two bottles of scotch. It also requires a lot of condensed milk and cream..so whilst delicious, and very easy to drink. When my partner died I tried to use alcohol to numb the pain and loss. I am usually incredibly conscientious of alcohol as we have alcoholism in our family both maternal grandparents, and my father is too though he would say he isn’t (2 bottles of wine for 2 people each night along with one or two whisky’s). I also have bought a few small alcohol mixed bottles these have not all gone, still have 3 left out of 8. I have not been buying anything much in the way of other sweet products.
I have not been eating well and I have become addicted to shopping online and playing computer games. Showering and cooking gone out of the window, my dogs normal diet has gone, they are still getting exercise I am getting very little. At least most of the shopping is where I fail to purchase things on line with wish and my money gets refunded.
The house strange I am taking the odd thing out still. It is not My garden I left the gate open one night and the wallabies dined on lovely tomatoes and all my greens. I am thankful they did not get my pumpkins but they have damaged other plants.
So basically my desire to die was really my desire for comfort by the person I loved most in my life.
I am so thankful for the ability to have medical checks that can alert us to potential problems. I am incredibly thankful for the results of my procedure. I am especially thankful that I wake up each day. Even on those that are not my best ones.
I think it is Tuesday March 17th, just checked and it is. it is 13:20 on a stunning Autumn day in the Huon Valley my home region in Tasmania. I have taken a while to get a sense of what happened recently the after affects impaired me and I felt no desire to do or be anywhere, to be with anyone, just being with my dogs, chooks and at home is the recovery and medicine I have required. It has taken time, and a lot of management strategies to not sink towards the black hole, it would have been so easy. I work constantly at not going back.
I moved on from beating myself up and began to consider what a really good person I am. Compassionate, to empathetic and kind. Would I change myself NO. No I am me, and I honestly do like me more and more. I am so very very fortunate to be able to be totally myself and still part of such an incredible community. I sigh as I write and know that I am so very very fortunate. I m safe here. What an incredible gift that is.
I look at the horse tail wispy clouds with the blue sky listening to the hum of bees, and flies, the chug of a Aquaculture vessel coming up the river and feel the sun beating on my legs as I watch cabbage moths trying to find unprotected brassicas to lay her eggs on. My dogs are chewing bones near bye. I am aware of the European wasp that has invaded Tassie. As it will seek out any meat left outside as too flies. I know that is why the blowies (blow flies) are zooming about Miss Treacle as she is eating hers. Busby’s is all gone.
A wattle bird just let out a call that is hard to describe and was answered by another. This morning I have let out the chicks and Frida Kahol too free range in the chook run with everyone else. She is an incredible Mamma, I am a bit fearful as I lost two chicks in one fowl swoop to a grey Goshawk two weeks ago. The decision was made by Frida as I had put a fence (I use it on the deck to keep the wallabies off it at night) around their chick house. I had let them out and was tending to the other hens and Roopert when I heard much distressed chirping Frida Kahol had flown the coop! The smallest of the chicks, a bantam I feel as it is a great deal tinier than the others, had managed to get through the bars but the other six chicks were not able to follow their Mamma.
I had to remove the fence and allow nature and Frida to take their chances with the remaining seven chicks. I have noticed that Henny (the darker of my two brown hens her sister is Penny) is broody and I am working hard to ensure that I do not have more chicks this season.
I have also it seems been able to keep all the poultry in the run. I do miss seeing them outside in the paddock, I do not miss the digging up of plants and seeds, and dust bathing hollows they leave in my garden and paddock where I can stumble into them unwittingly.
It is green looking over the river and at parts of my paddock grass, yet here on this side of the river we have had little rain compared to across the river. It is very surreal to be sitting here in March with almost full rain water tanks (from a couple of weeks ago) and green grass. It is normally dry and I ponder if I need to consider buying water.
Am I repeating myself. Maybe its Ok, Pretty normal for me after being triggered.
Life has not stood still even with the emotions and dealing with the aftermath of being triggered. I have shared previously that I have been waiting on being notified of when I will be having a colonoscopy, unlike the USA in Australia you do not automatically have one on turning 50. Here it is only if there is a concern. I was listed in the highest priority case due to symptoms. I had not heard anything and the timeline I should have heard had passed. There are some things having been an RN helps with, and that is feeling able to contact the appropriate department to inquire. So last week I did phone them to discover my file was in a drawer, and who knows if I had not called when I might have heard. (off course my mind has taken me to dying with colon cancer and all that goes with it in the months I have been waiting). Knowing that Australia has one of the highest rates of colon cancer in the world does not help. Early diagnosis is the best help to survival. I rang and was rung back the next day first thing in the morning. I am booked in soon. I have recieved all the instructions in the mail, and I feel that the actual preparation will be far worse than the procedure, having worked in colonoscopy as a casual RN I am very aware of what occurs and I am not too concerned about the procedure. My only concerns were with what to do with my dogs.
The thing that is extremely difficult for me with my CPTSD is actually telling people in the first place and then asking for someone to assist me in anyway. I find it almost impossible to ask for help. At first I thought right I can not bare the thought of telling anyone, and I can not bare the thought of being away from my dogs. I wanted to drive myself there and back both things not supported by the hospital or I imagine my insurance. So I considered a dog friendly B and B for two nights. (My hospital wants you to be with someone overnight after the procedure, as its policy). That is not going to happen. I am not having a general anesthetic, it is a twilight one. While it is not safe enough to drive myself home, I do not need anyone with me overnight. I did share with someone who has kindly offered to drive me and bring me home. The appointment is made and I will be away from home less than 6 hours all up (proviso that all goes well). My dogs are quite content to be at home as long as they have had a run and used their bowels. So I put logic and fugal me in charge and will be home before and after the procedure.
I am now aware of how much distress was on me with not having any acknowledgement other than the letter advising me I was highest priority a date range that had past and me taking the bull by the horns and following up. I am so pleased I found the courage to do that. If anyone in Australia is in a similar situation contact the Endoscopy unit and ask them when your procedure will be please.
I have also been accepted for the National Disability Scheme (NDIS), and have a meeting with someone from their in the near future to see what I might need. As my mental illness/s has seen me accepted on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) it means that I can request my psychology appointments be on the NDIS, and that means my Psychologist can bulk bill me. I am not sure how she has been charging me before this, as I have paid nothing to see this wonderful woman. The veggie garden is doing OK my tomatoes the few I have picked have been delicious, I noted this morning something has taken two green tomatoes and pecked them I am blaming the blackbirds or starlings. I have pumpkins, and a couple of zucchinis. My peppers are fruiting but will they ripen before the cold sets in? Not a cucumber or tomatillo has appeared. I have at some stage to pull up the sweet potatoes. I hold no hope for any this year. I will cut some slips for next year. I have not emptied my last pot of potatoes as they have not flowered yet. It has been a better year this year for veggies than last year and I learn as I go. I am averaging 3 eggs a day. I will be winter glassing a lot of eggs. To provide me with eggs during the off season. I do not want to burn my girls out with keeping them laying or year. As hens only have as many eggs in their systems as they will lay over the course of their life.
I have not showered in way too long, and will be soon, I have been eating a bit better, and generally getting to bed early. Dogs are walking I am driving. Right now I am really just focusing on the things I need to do for next period of time and as too diet I have to follow instructions nearly every thing I actually eat is not on my menu for next period of time. Clear broths, clear juices, I have minimised my coffee in take already. I have noticed that the preparation fluid for the colonoscopy has aspartame in it sigh I really dislike any artificially sweeteners, but I have no choice. Thankfully I can take my medication.
While I know I am anxious about what is still to occur and the results. Just knowing the date and time it is going to happen is a relief.
May be triggering and language some may find offensive. Please do not share or use any of the following without consent of Echidna Home. (C)
Living with a mental illness such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so shit at times. I have been moseying along living life in way that has been good. I was out for a day with a friend on Saturday all day and it was really lovely we went to a town further a field. I was so exhausted afterwards. I have to say being with her is quite relaxing as their is nothing like being with someone who really understands what having a mental illness is like. We shared a lot it was really interesting, though at one point she mentioned that she often felt suicidal. This just blew me away, we talked and shared (as we both have had too many people we know and love succeed in suicide. )
Yesterday Sunday (it is a long weekend here in Tasmania). I was just at home and perhaps just switched totally off I am not sure even what I did. Yet I woke feeling good.
I needed to go and get some chook food so drove int Huonville. I did the little bit of shopping I needed too, and stopped for a bite to eat and coffee at one of my faviourite cafes. Sitting in the lane with my dogs, a small disagreement with another dog, sorted and my dogs under the table. His dog near his and all fine. Thy moved the dog and it blocked the access for the staff to bring drinks and food out. One staff member spilled coffee another almost dropped a dish, then the dog jumped up and tried to take food from a plate a staff member was bringing to another table. These people made no effort to move the dog, they never apologised to the staff. I suggested they move the dog form between the stairs and table, they saw no problem.. I was triggered and ended up just loosing it. I could not believe anyone would put anyone else at such risk to conducting their work. I even said it was a health and saftey issue. They just laughed at me and my escalation telling me I should leave. Of course I responded and it went on..I just could not shut up and fucking was used by me numerous times it seems to go with the course. Then one of these people said in a loud voice that I had obviously missed my medication as I was crazy. Well that was just the final trigger. Mocking mental health! I just kept on at her. I was shaking and crying red in the face.
When they were leaving after a very uncomfortable silence had settled whilst some of them finished their food.
It was ugly and horrible and I feel so ashamed, I lost it completely I was so so disappointed as I have not had anything like this occur in over a year. Sigh. I know I know I have a mental illness. I get triggered and when I am triggered I say fucking a lot. Positive is I will be speaking to my psychologist later on this week.
I feel so ill and so tired from all this. I hate this illness. Not being in control and all the work and effort is so tiring so all consuming. I feel I am growing I know I am moving forward I know all this. Yet an experience like this is just frustrating and now takes so much work to not let my self loathing feelings of shame and disillusionment and all those delights that come after such an episodes.
For me where I am now right now is that I do still have insight, I still know that I am so much better than I have been. I am still moving forward. I know I am improving and this is just a small set back.
It taught me that there are some truly wonderful people out there who when someone with a mental illness is falling a part I had someone who stood bye me and cared. For this I am so very thankful.
I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.
The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes. The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.
I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work. I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.
I then checked under her,
She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.
I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.
I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.
I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.
So my little homestead is growing.
My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.
My worm farm is doing really well too.
Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.
We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country. The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly. It is an extremely strange summer here.
Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?
I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.
I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.
I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.
I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.
I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.
I was driving home from my GP this afternoon. This is a 140km round trip and it is a pleasurable and scenic drive. Alongside both sides of the Huon River. Though this set of photos is my seeing a hen with her chicks on the road. I pulled over to watch them.
I feel it was Busby my large dog sticking his head out the rear seat window that really got the Mamma Hen to rally her chicks up the rather steep embankment of the sealed road. These wee chicks were not that old.
I did wonder how this little one would manage. I was awed by its determination and perhaps more so the drive that adrenaline and fear for ones life give. Mamma had not waited for this wee one, she was back under the fence and just seemed to keep telling the chicks to get back in the yard, It seems all parents are the same. All chicks made it and the little one is seen second from left back with its siblings and Mamma in the yard. I hope that their Mamma has learnt not to take her babies down on the main road again.
It was lovely to see this family and to watch the effort and achievement of this one little chick. At first after the other two chicks had left it. I really feared it was going to give up. (I would have jumped out and got it up there if it had) It was a delightful thing to observe and shoot with my camera.
This was not the only bird life we saw on the way home from the GPs. Another day to share more of the journey home with my dogs.
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