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Published: September 1st 2014
I think I was eating a sandwich Caroline had brought me in.!!
Firstly I am going to apologise to you for this blog as it would be fair to say that it has absolutely nothing to do with travel and as this is a travel blog, I would accept it if you grumbled.
Kangaroojack has blogged our adventures for over six years now, telling the story of our new life in Australia so though not a travel related story, this is considered still part of our amazing adventure, and we have always been able to pride ourselves on telling you just how it happened, without any bells and whistles, without exaggeration or ridicule.
Equally with regards to the related subject of this blog, I can assure you that I have not taken this lightly or even flippantly, as I’m sure you may have a friend, relative or loved one who has experienced some kind of major trauma, this is just how I am dealing with what happened.
Someone wrote to us recently and said that they thought we had moved to Australia for an easier life. imagine this, we came to Australia with only a suitcase each and money
Caroline thought this was hilarious, eating my lunch as I was fasting, before a scan
in a bank account, 10,000 miles away from a place we previously called home and not knowing one single person in this country, we had to start from the ground up, how can this be considered easy, admittedly meeting the amazing people that we have along the way, made our transition in to Australia easy, letting us experience the Australian way, it has been life changing and the easy life is around how we live our life, the work life balance and time for us.
Unfortunately for me, an easy life was not going to prevent what happened next, this is a roll of life’s dice and would not matter where and how we lived.
Do we have we any regrets? No way! It has it made us stronger, definitely! Would we do it again? Oh in a heartbeat! We are a team, Caroline and I, a team who have an unbreakable bond.
It is a good point, before I write too much to say some thanks, to my amazing wife Caroline, who basically saved my life, to Andy and Karen Bayley, Glenn and Natalie Bird, Leigh and Peter Walker, everyone
at work, the Toyota Landcruiser of WA and everyone who has sent us messages from all around the world.
If you are lucky enough to know Caroline, she is not the type of person who feels she needs to trumpet her abilities from the roof tops; she just goes around in her own sweet way, quietly, with professionalism, compassion and empathy.
We had visitors, up from Tarcutta in New South Wales, only about 4,000 kilometres away, it was Jo and Andrew Wemyss, friends who we last saw just after our Wedding Anniversary last year when we were camping at Palm Valley near Alice Springs that can be seen in our blog (Into the Valley) dated 21 August 2013 where we shared our anniversary celebrations, the pictures is of Jo and Caroline holding a posy of wild flowers picked by Andrew.
We were delighted that Andrew and Jo made such an effort to drop by and see us, and delighted to have dinner with them and put them up as long as they wanted to stay.
Andrew and Jo and their boys have
View from my bed
Not a stunning photo, but hey!!how many times do you get dragged of to hospital and you have your camera with you!!
an earth moving business in New South Wales, and Jo is busy with rearing her calves, time away from the farm has to be timed, so when Jo and Andrew venture off to the wilds of outback Australia their boys and respective partners look after their business interests.
We got a satellite call around a few days earlier from Andrew and Jo saying they were in Laverton, Western Australia after driving the Anne Beadell track from Coober Pedy and they were heading our way, we were overjoyed as it had been nearly a year to the day since we had seen them. When we celebrated our Anniversary earlier in the week, we spoke about them and wondered where they were and hoped they were having a great anniversary somewhere together.
We had temporarily moved out of our 5 month house sit in Mandurah as the owners had come back for two weeks before they set off for their final three week trip to Singapore so it was refreshing for us to have a break and stayed our first week at Andy and Karen’s house then our 2nd
week we had an apartment in the city.
Our second week in the city was a bit mad really, we arrived on the Saturday afternoon and decided we couldn’t be bothered to go and do grocery shopping, and as there was a place that Caroline wanted to try, we decided we would eat out on Saturday night to make it easy on ourselves.
Then we met our friend Phil for Breakfast on Sunday morning, ate out Sunday evening, then it was our wedding anniversary on Monday 18th
and went out to Chutney Mary’s in Subiaco, ate out again on Tueday19th, dinner in the flat on Wednesday and Thursday then went out again with Phil, Glen and Natalie on the Friday night in Perth and whilst eating I got a cramp in my left leg just below my buttock, which seemed really unusual.
I stood up, sat down walked around, this cramp was really painful but after about ten minutes of standing it did subside, this was possibly as sign that I was due to have a stroke as they think I had a clot that was moving.
We had a great evening and all went our separate ways then on the Saturday went back to our long term house sit for the final three week stint.
Saturday night (our first night back) we had Peter, Leigh, Andy and Karen over for dinner, we ate a beautiful joint of pork and an extra slab of crackling with a fun packed evening, man that pork was awesome and the crackling was to die for (There’s a joke in there somewhere).
Sunday was a normal day, I was working on the truck doing some routine stuff and in the afternoon we went down to the foreshore for a walk and a coffee.
During the afternoon Andrew and Jo called us and said they had made it to Northam so were only a couple of hours away so we set about getting tidy and preparing for another fun packed evening.
Around 5.30 our guests arrived they had a full day of driving and looking tired and weary they came in set their stuff down, we broke out the beers and wine and chatted.
Dinner was served and we continued to chat, reminiscing over past events back on the farm and all things Caterpillar, which is close to Andrews heart and around 10.00 we decided to hit the sack as we had to be ready for work in the morning.
It was around 2.50 am when I got up to use the toilet, and as I turned the light on I could hear the fan in my left ear, amplified about 20 times what it should have been then all of a sudden I was struggling to keep my balance as the whole room was moving in a peculiar way.
I staggered back to the bedroom, clinging on to anything that would support me, Caroline had woken and asked me if everything was OK, and I said that I felt dizzy.
As soon as Caroline assisted me on to the bed she asked me to poke my tongue out, smile asking me to talk to her and instantly said, “I am not happy with this, I am calling an ambulance.”
I heard Caroline very calmly knock on the spare bedroom door to wake Andrew and Jo and asked Andrew if he would sit with me whilst Caroline sorted the ambulance, put the porch lights on, unlock and open the front door for the paramedics and then calmly get dressed.
Within about 6 minutes the paramedics were asking me questions which I tried my best to answer, but my words were just coming out slurred and unintelligible. I don’t remember this, I don’t remember how I got to the ambulance but Caroline left Andrew and Jo in charge of the house and was placed in the passenger seat of the ambulance and off we went.
The nearest Hospital was only about 1 kilometre away but the paramedic working on me advised the driver that they would not have the stroke drugs that I needed and that we needed to go to Freemantle Hospital which was about an hours drive.
The clock was ticking as there is a 3 hour window to get a stroke patient the assistance they need, so lying in the back of the vehicle the journey was fast and smooth, arriving in Fremantle just about 4.00am.
They wheeled me in to emergency, and the cannula they had inserted in my right hand may have come in useful but honestly I have no recollection what happened, what was said or what they did until possibly 9.00am, when I was aware that Caroline was sitting next to me holding my hand.
I had asked either a nurse 3 times or 3 nurses individually that I felt I was going to be sick and needed something, when I finally chucked, they came around with a tablet, my “sense of humour chip” had been switched off and I must have made suggestions to a nurse that they took long enough and the tablet they said to pop under my tongue was a bit late.
A neurologist came in and Introduced himself to Caroline and said that they suspect that I had had either a bleed or a blockage in the cerebellum and they needed to do further tests and as soon as they had a bed for me I would be whisked away.
Poor Caroline was shattered I had drifted in and out of consciousness since the event but Caroline had been on adrenalin since 3.00am, my mate had turned up with his wife and took Caroline for a coffee and a croissant, which I was pleased about to give her a distraction and some sustenance.
I finally went up to the ward at about 5.30pm and whilst laying on my wheelie bed, I heard the guy (Ted) enter a room and say to the occupant, Marjorie, I have a nice young man who is going share your room, and she said, “Sh*t, I don’t want a man in my room.”
Ted said “Marjorie he a lovely young chap” (even though he didn’t know me) and she said “I don’t care I don’t want a man in my room.”
Personally I couldn’t really care less, all I wanted to do was get settled and be left alone, so when I was finally pushed in, much to Marjorie’s disgust and chuntering, I just rolled over and took no notice, she eventually warmed to my sparkling personality, and seemed to accept the inevitable.
After a CT scan, MRI, Angiograms, blood tests, Echo cardiograms and enough holes in me I looked like a colander, it was confirmed that I had indeed suffered a right cerebellar infarct without haemorrhagic complication, what does this mean? Well simple really I am off work for two weeks minimum; I have had to advise WA Department of transport and will not be allowed to drive for 28 days, from the day of the event.
The cause, well that’s simple really, it was the roll of life’s dice and I do thank my lucky stars to have survived, and dodged a bullet. I don’t know how I got off so lightly, I look around the ward and wonder why I was not so badly affected as others.
My speech is slightly slurred, but that’s the only effect it has had on me except I am exceptionally tired.
Tot: 0.363s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 18; qc: 36; dbt: 0.0153s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb