Memories of Christmas Past

Christmas is over, the presents given and opened, the food and the cheer shared. The Christmas candle burned so brightly this year as we all joined together for a very hot fuss free day.  I am truly blessed to have a roof over my head, food on the table and my children around me for this time of year (even if we fuss and fight).

We reminisced about past Christmas times, what were the best and the worst over the years. Every one had different ideas of what was good and what was bad. What presents suck and what rocked.

My Eldest remembers the big Christmas’s in Hervey Bay, both grandparents alive, playing with her cousins, the huge gathering, everyone bringing a plate all day food and fun and lying under the mango trees if you got tired.

For me those Christmases we magical, as a Kid I used to love going to midnight mass (still do), then waking up  in the morning with my siblings and cousins, running around playing with toys, helping with the table and all day family coming and going, guitars in the afternoon and of course the obligatory swim.

Second daughter loved Christmas in Hervey Bay, with her Pop and all the family, quiet morning at home, Christmas lunch and then the afternoon filled with cousins aunts and uncles, she loved it.

Third daughter loved Christmas at Poppy house, going to evening Mass and being a part of it, especially the year she was the, as she puts it ‘Head Angel’, in the Children’s Mass. The fun of those services, kids dressing up and recreating the Nativity. opening presents after Midnight Mass, or Children’s Mass when younger  and in the morning opening the rest, playing games with Poppy and going for a walk in the afternoon with him.

My Son hates Christmas, he always has, so this year he was actually in a good mood, there was no all sitting around together to open presents and no one was to wake anyone up so they could raid the tree. Yes for him, sleeping in until 12 wandering out and opening presents, no small talk, suited him.

There was no competition for worst Christmas, they seemed to involve being away from home and hearth and spending holidays with the father. These irregular times when their father would make an effort, had a huge toll on the kids. Funny that he lived in near us for a couple of years and never bothered with seeing his kids, until the son wanted to live there. But that is a story for another day, let us continue with our Christmases.

The only agreement on these times were that things we better when they got to see their grandfather, they love him (He is a good man, I respect him a lot). When he was there, even if he didn’t spend much time with them, he made them feel loved and welcome. They always wanted more time with him.

The only other worst Christmas was when I was really sick, we had no tree, because of immunity issues, so we used the hat tree. We weren’t expecting much of a feast, thanks to some good friends they brought around food and all the Christmassy stuff you could ask for. It was the worst but for me it was very special, because it was supposed to be my last Christmas.

 

We laughed about how when 2nd daughter, cried with joy at a little unicorn box given to me, she cried and thanked everyone, kissed everyone and sat down hugging it, needless to say, the little box became hers and she still has it.  The never-ending times that batteries didn’t fit or we ran out was always a problem as they have all at times played non stop with a particular toy, I think most parents can understand that problem.

 

One Christmas holidays 2nd daughter and son spent with their father, they came home with gift cards for all. The littlest childs gift cards in an envelope and card.  My Son said father said they can spend them in Brisbane, better variety of stores than Alice Springs, which was true there was only a Kmart in town for things like that.

The gift cards were for Target and Big W (at the time neither store was in Alice Springs at the time).  A day later I take the kids to do their Christmas shopping. The kids spent ages trying to pick out what to buy, then we all went to the check out, The boy tried to pay for items, but the card had no money on it. I assumed he has spent it in Alice and forgot. 2nd daughter tried to buy  her items, same problem. Card wouldn’t work. The littlest one came forth with her card, still attached to the original tag, her card was unusable as well.

We had a big problem, no card would work. I tried another card they had that could be used there. Nothing. I told the kids, there must be a mix up and we will go to the other department store and try the cards from that shop. I didn’t let the kids  pick out toys, I went to the information desk and asked if they could check the cards given to the kids. All cards had been used. I asked when the cards had been activated and used, no surprises the cards were used before my kids even went to visit their father.

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My Mental Health Journey

It’s been a tough couple of months I have been struggling to get by and I have been struggling mentally. I reached a low, I couldn’t be bothered. Why on earth am I here against the odds? What is the purpose of God or the universe to save from death just to make me struggle so much, to never have peace? I have had surgeries and have had to try to find a way to pay for them, money is a constant torment to me, I am always in fear of being evicted for not paying the rent. I worry that the electricity will get cut off one day, I always contact the company before due date and start paying off the electricity, but my bill is huge. Why? Well I have teens or rather young adults, and that has added to the problems. My kids are not pulling their weight.

I have a child who has been affected by depression since the age of 14. That child had been suffering and having a bad time for a couple of months and that put a lot of pressure on me. As a sole parent, I am the one that has to do the work of two. I am always the blame, the one to take your frustrations on. (Strange that absent, abusive, not interested parents get way with so much and they are the cause of so many problems, but the responsible, good parent has to suffer the anger of the child.)

This child is so draining on me, he is like a washita always needing more and more, and I could not give any more. But that didn’t stop the jungerrie from still wanting, wanting, wanting. Always taking and never replacing, never helping, never a kind word.

I also had my youngest suffering with a lot of pain, in and out of hospital while they tried to work out what was the problem.  She, was not an easy patient. This luckily has been sorted. Again, it is the sole parent who has to be there at every doctor and hospital appointment. The sole parent ensuring that while the child is going through all this that the child, gets school work done. She is/was in year 12, as any parent of a daughter knows the last semester of year 12 is drama filled with exams, parties, formal, graduation, awards and of course schoolies.

I have tried to be there for those who have no one, helping others find the help they need, access services. This was another burden to me, I say burden because that is what it felt like at the time. I couldn’t let down people, as it is their lives, health, both physical and mental at risk. Doing this takes time, it is work that organisations get funded for, but obviously don’t do right, otherwise there would not be so many Indigenous people contacting me for help.

It just got way too much for me, always struggling and trying hard, for what? Just to have life kick me in the teeth again?  I am starting to see an end to the problems, or rather I should say a way of not letting it all overwhelm me. I have a new doctor, who straight away, started running tests. She isn’t satisfied with the old prognosis of I faint and black out because of stress and the brain tumour don’t like stress. She is looking at other avenues to help with the prognosis, she is finding out how stress and brain tumours react. She is looking for the links of the jaw problems. She is overhauling the medications. I’m very happy about that. I told her how I was feeling and agreed with me I need some help with my mental health.

So while I wait to see what happens with that, I at least feel that some of the burden is lifted and that, I could be turning the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cancer Cheats

Having cancer sucks, it’s hard trying to live a normal life and to pay the never-ending bills. You get sympathy for a while, but that dwindles, you scramble to pay the bills and hold it all together and then you see the likes of Belle Gibson and Kate Hubble.

http://https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/28/belle-gibson-disgraced-wellness-blogger-fined-410000

 

http://http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/exhockeyroos-goalkeeper-kate-hubble-defrauds-cancer-charity/news-story/fc1c4d3b423daf17664b005f26bed88d

So many people who are affected by cancer struggle to pay the bills and keep it all together. Sure it helps if you are perky and white, guess it doesn’t hurt to have been a national sports star. No morals have to be part of your make up to do this. It is not just a mental health issue that these women do this. I really don’t buy the munchausen syndrome angle that some say applies here.

Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder, a mental disorder in which a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick. Munchausen syndrome is considered a mental illness because it is associated with severe emotional difficulties.May 18, 2016

[ https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/munchausen-syndrome ]

The audacity of Belle Gibson and Kate Hubble to pretend they have cancer and to make money from that. These women have conned money out of charities and well-meaning people by lying about having cancer. Yes it is all about the money.

How do these women garner so much money and sympathy when there are so many families suffering and going broke trying to pay cancer bills. So many families suffer and break up under the strain. Mental health issues within families affected by cancer are huge. But these women have the gall to play at being sick.

They deserve more than fines, these women and others who might try to do this, should be made to pay all monies back and should have to spend time in jail. They should also be made to help out in oncology units to see the real impact and effects.

These women, who are living high off ill-gotten gains, are a disgusting blight. You might think I’m over reacting, but being a person who has had to ask for donations to help pay my bills. I have also see so many others do the same. Where is the help for us? How do they convince cancer charities and get their help, when so many Indigenous people get no help?  I am part of an online network of Indigenous people who help each other when no one else does, yet this happens?

I am so angry and gobsmacked, if these women weren’t white if they were women of colour, can you imagine the outrage of the public?

 


Under Pressure

I have been having some problems, actually when do I not have some problems?  The pressure is building up behind my eye, and I must have surgery next week to relieve the pressure.

It’s been slowly building up, I have felt it, apart from the usual pain, my eye has been hurting. It gets itchy and sore, it’s irritated and its blurry and sometimes I just can’t see at all out of my eye.  On the positive side, I have had this before and it only affects one eye at a time. I would really hate to have both eyes affected at the same time.

So what happens is the blood and fluid seem to rush around the one eye, the small capillaries can burst and I get really bad blood-shot eye  or hemorrhage in the eye that is affected. I weep blood like some sacred statue,  but I can’t perform a miracle healing on myself.  I have a patch to wear so that my eye is not affected by light and under that I wear a band-aid for the weeping, if I didn’t someone would start praying at my feet and that would just go to my heat and God would strike me with a lightening bolt.

Again, I point out that I am lucky, the first time I had this, I didn’t know what it was,  and had a nasty incident with a racist paramedic.  This time I knew something was wrong and had time to see a doctor and to get it all organised to have surgery next week. While it’s been annoying and frustrating, I can’t go anywhere, I can’t read or watch TV for long before the soreness & fuzzy of the good eye is way too much to deal with. God Damn it, this has had an impact on my tweeting!!

My vision in the gammy eye will improve after the surgery, you don’t realise when it slowly bit by bit affects the eye sight, it’s not until one day you realise that things in the distance look like a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s rather funny that now at this point, with the eye shut the swirling around in black or blurred white is definitely a Jackson Pollock piece.

So until next week I am doing my best pirate walk and talk .

 

 

 


Private patients left out

I share a letter from a reader 

 

I’m a 59 year old woman and because I had a hard time with my cancer I am unable to work or do many things that I used to be able to do. I don’t have breast cancer anymore but still need help. I had been signed up for a care coordination services at my doctor, a woman came and talked to me and my doctor and told me all the benefits like someone to take me to my hospital appointments, assistance in finding specialists and access to services like optometry, podiatry and pain management. Two weeks later I had an appointment at the hospital and I asked my doctor to arrange for the people to take me to the appointment, there was some confusion as the doctor thought I had to do that, I thought the surgery did it as I had no contact details. Turned out that the doctor hadn’t been given a card or anything as to who to contact. The receptionist found the paper work and it had a contact number and the name of the woman. The call was made and the people in the team wanted to speak to me, so I took the phone, I explained who I was and that ….. had come to my doctors surgery and signed me up to this program and that I needed help to get to an appointment in town at the hospital. They took my name and number and said they would call back.

A couple of days later and I hadn’t heard from that mob so I called them. I told this other woman the background and she listened and asked me what date and time was my appointment, she said that she would check the diary and see if anyone is available but that priority goes to clients of ….. and …. ( Aboriginal Medical Services). I asked why they came to my doctor if they aren’t going to help me? A couple more days and I still didn’t know if I had transport to the hospital or not and I called them again. I spoke to a different person and told them how I was signed up and I need help with an appointment coming up soon and I didn’t know if they were going to take me or not, this one told me that someone would be able to take me to my appointment, that it was in the diary and took my address. I was relieved that I had a way to get to the hospital and thought that was that.

On the day of my appointment a lady came and identified herself as ….. from….., and asked if we could sit down and have a chat before going to the appointment. She told me about the local community transport and gave me a flyer for them asking me if I had used them and recommended that give them a try when I needed transport. I asked … to explain to me the care coordination, she gave me a pamphlet and told me it was part of the closing the gap and it was for Indigenous clients who have major chronic illness and she told me what the other lady said at the doctors surgery. So I asked her if it offers me this, can she help me get glasses and I need to see someone about my feet and I need access to the pain management clinic. She told me that if I went to the AMS I could get those services there. I told her I was happy with my doctor and can she help me find the services I need and help with the transport. She told me priority was given to AMS clients and that it would be better for me to change doctors as it would make things easier for me.

I explained I like my doctor and I’m not changing to the AMS as too many gossips and everybody wants to know your business and they got no shame with wanting to dorry. I asked her about the pain management clinic and said I really need it, she told me to ring around to some places and to get back to her. She told me to go to one of the optometrist places in the local shopping centre and that medicare gives everyone a free eye test and that all the shops have a range of glasses that are free for medicare. She told me to ask my doctor if he could recommend a podiatrist and that if I tell them I’m on a CCSS package and to ask them to bulk bill me.  I asked her what she is supposed to do, she said she helps with transport and organises appointments and helps with all the services. She told me to change my doctor and at the AMS things would be easier for me and it would be in my own best interest to sign on.

I don’t like being told what I should do, if a service is there funded by the government to help me, this mob should be doing that, not telling me to change doctors to make their work easier. If they have free glasses and shoes and medical aids at the AMS under this package, then they should have them for the clients who don’t go to the AMS. That is discriminatory to treat people like that. You shouldn’t be able to do that, it’s government money to help people like me, so they should be using it and doing their job, not expecting private patients to do it for them. Why do they go around to doctors surgery signing on people that they have no intention of helping.

 

 

 

 


Our Views, Our Voices

I’m asking everyone to do this online survey if you have or live with a family member who has a noncommunicable disease. It doesn’t matter what country you are in or from. I really urge Indigenous mob to do it, we need to get our information out there

This online survey aims to better understand the daily impact of noncommunicable diseases on people’s lives and their recommendations for decision makers.

Your responses will be collected along with those of other people all over the world to help create an Advocacy Agenda of People Living with Noncommunicable Diseases. This Agenda will be presented to decision makers from across the world so that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) become a priority everywhere.

The main NCDs comprise cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, as well as a range of other diseases and conditions, including mental health disorders, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, bone and joint conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, renal, oral, eye and ear diseases, and injuries and disabilities. Many NCDs are linked by four shared major risk factors – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol.

 

https://ncdalliance.org/what-we-do/capacity-development/our-views-our-voices/have-your-say-online-consultation-of-people-living-with-ncds

 

 


Fake tan is just as bad as black face

“I’m going to use a really dark fake tan and not do the black face”

A woman from a government department has just been in my house and she was telling me that she is going to a party on the week end a part with a theme, the theme is Australian music award winners. If you are wondering why I know this, why did she share this with me? I wondered this too, who cares what she is doing.

She told me she loves Jessica Mauboy and was going as her. The conversation then took a very nasty turn. This white woman told me that she was going to use a really dark fake tan and not do the black face. Did she want me to congratulate her on being a decent human being. Yes then I realised, hang on you’re not going to black face but have a really dark fake tan. I expressed my opinion that doing this was half a step from black face.

Ignoring my warning she then told me she was going to also wear lipstick, her words were” I’m going to wear lipstick, really bright red lipstick you know lubra lips  red lipstick”.  Yes these words were spoken in my house.

I don’t know how I kept my cool, but I informed her that both were racist and that using ‘lubra lips’ is incredibly offensive and I’m amazed she can sit in my house using such brazen racist terms.  She explained that she grew up with Aboriginals in Western Queensland and that she was of a Muslim Heritage family. I told her I didn’t care what her background was and that she would be knocked on her arse if she said lubra lips to any Aboriginal woman. I asked her to leave and I went down to her office and made a complaint about her.

I went to the office and I waited and waited until I could see her manager, a woman who assured me that Marissa (yes that was her name) wasn’t really racist and she grew up around Aboriginal people in Western Queensland and she wouldn’t have meant any offence, could I have been overreacting?

Well folks I don’t think I’m overreacting I think I’m under reacting if anything. I had to give a history lesson to the manager, just like I did to Marissa. This is just a sign of how racism against Aboriginal people is down played. Incidents like this encounter  are under reported and denied by people or just seen as an over reaction.

I’m just totally disgusted that someone, anyone could still use language like lubra lips and believe that it’s okay or to think that fake tanning is better than full on blackface.

I’m going to organise a formal complaint to the regional manager of that department and if need be I’m going to the minister, this shit has got to stop.