Saturday, 15 September 2018

September Letter


Mrs Jo-Anne Meadows
P O Box 253
Warners Bay
NSW 2282
Thursday 13th September 2018

Dear

Well here I am writing another letter to you, it was great to hear from you again, life here is good more or less. I had a cortisone injection into my left shoulder on Tuesday and it has made a big difference in the pain and movement.

The Monday before last I went and got another tattoo it says “My Blain” and is on my back left shoulder, I had wanted it on my left hand but because of how much I was shaking they wouldn't do it on the hand.

I went back to my aqua class this week because of the new tattoo I had to miss this weeks aqua class .

My brother is still driving our parents car and is looking for another car he has been paid out by the insurance company and as he is using mum & dad's car he isn't rushing to buy a car. My sister still ended up having to pay the parking ticket.

Reading about Paige's accident was distressing, she was very lucky and she is going to have a long hard year ahead of her but she has a loving and supportive family around her.
The Saturday before we left for China I went to Landon's 6th birthday party I had planned to
take Leo with me but he said he didn't want to go, however, after I had been there for about 5 minutes Jessica rings and said that Leo had changed his mind and now wanted to attend. My sister Sandra & brother Dave went and picked him up and of course he had a ball and didn't want to leave when I said it was time to go.

I wish mum had been able to attend but my siblings didn't think it would be a good idea and told her she had to stay home. I really miss catching up with mum, yes I do still speak to her every night for half an hour or more but I still miss her.

It takes Jessica about 30 minutes to walk from her place to here and around 20 minutes to walk from her house to the shopping centre to meet me on Friday mornings. I do like seeing her on a Friday morning and look forward to seeing her each Friday.

We had a great holiday, although it was somewhat hard on me and Tim kept saying it will be our last overseas holiday as I am not up to doing them, that said I still want to take a cruise to New Zealand, Tim has said if I can lose 20kilos and manage to walk better we can do one. I think he is being unreasonable.

We caught the train to Sydney and spent the night at the hotel opposite the airport. Yes it is expensive to stay there but it's the convenience of being just a short walk from the airport.


When we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City I was able to be pushed around in a wheelchair they had a wheelchair service available that cost us $60 Australian but was well worth it. The lady who pushed me around didn't speak English but was so nice, at the start of the tour I got out and walked down some stairs but when it came to walking up the next set of stairs I fell as I was standing up after that she wouldn’t let me try and instead pulled me up the stairs as well as pushing me down the stairs. Thankfully the steps were only low and not high but I felt terrible, although I do not know how I would have managed walking up and down the stairs.

The next day we went to see the Great Wall, which was awesome I didn't even attempt to climb it, Tim did but he didn't go very far and ended up joining me in the gift shops. We bought some souvenirs and then had an ice cream, well Tim had an ice cream and I had a yoghurt cone which was really nice.
The following afternoon we had a Rickshaw ride and our tour guide was able to arrange for the rickshaw to pick me up at the end of the street saving me a long ass walk. The rickshaw ride was lovely I really enjoyed it, after the ride we went for a meal in a typical family home, how typical it was I do not know but I found it enjoyable, well not the food, the food wasn't to my liking but the experience was enjoyable.

The home was tiny, the bedroom was up a narrow flight of stairs from the courtyard and the kitchen was tiny the size of my bathroom or laundry and they had no toilet or shower those where located in the lane way and shared between the houses in the area.The next day there was a visit to the Beijing Zoo to see the giant pandas but I didn't get to see them as I waited in the bus our tour guide suggested I stay in the bus due to the crowd and our far they had to walk. So Tim took photos for me.

We then took the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai were we where met by another tour guide, our first day with him I attempted to walk from the bus to the lake for a boat ride. I didn't make it and broke down due to the pain and how much I was struggling and ended up just going back to the bus.
Tim got upset because he didn't like to see me in tears and he had a talk to the tour guide and the next couple of days there was a wheelchair on the bus for me to use. This made things easier for me.

The Beijing part of the holiday was super busy the Shanghai part not as much, both tour guides were nice and a bit different. I am glad we went but I was also glad to get home to my own bath and bed.

Thankfully I didn't have to use a squat toilet but Tim wasn't so lucky while using the toilet at a service station he found they only had squat toilets.

The other people on the tour were amazing, the left the front two seats on the bus for me and Tim and many of them told me that they thought I was doing great just being on the tour.

All in all it was a great holiday and I was thankful that I had wheelchair service at the airports, after checking in someone with a wheelchair came and got me and took me to the departure gate and later onto the plane.
When we got off the plane there was a wheelchair there to take me out again, so much easier for me.

While in China Tim noticed that my jaw moves a lot, I noticed it a couple of months back but didn't say anything to anyone about it. I also found a letter here when we got back saying I have an appointment on the 31st October with the neurologist, this has made Tim happy.

Both mum and dad are home although when I was in China dad was in hospital yet again even though he is home he isn't great and on Saturday when the nurse went to see him she wanted to ring the ambos again but both Sandy & Dave said no as it was Father's Day on Sunday. Dad has been saying he things it would be his last Father's Day but we naturally hope he is wrong.

Although their GP has told dad it is unlikely he will live out the year and has arranged for palliative care for dad and has stressed that he will not survive another serious bout of pneumonia this is distressing but is also a fact of life we all have to deal with.

Also while we were in China Tim's youngest brother John died he was only 31and he died of a heart attack, John was taken into care when he was only 6mths old because his mother was neglecting him.

Even though he was Tim's brother we didn't know him, I had never met him and Tim had only seen him a few times in his life. We both attended the funeral as did his sisters Jenny & Dianne as well as their father.

However, I told Tim he was really more the child of the people who raised him since he was 6 months old, we only knew 6 people at the funeral as pretty much everyone who attended were the family that raised him.

Tim believes deaths come in threes and said after the funeral he wondered who would be next, I thought but did not say it can be your father not mine although my dad isn't well at all and Tim thinks it will be my dad who goes next.

Well that's all from me for this letter, until next time take care and write when you can. I hope I haven't repeated myself, which some times I do if so please forgive me.

Jo-Anne
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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Cards for dad


Ok here is the thing, as everyone should know last year we had a big party for my dad aka poppy's 75th birthday at that time we didn't know that he would get so sick. Next month he will be 76 and we have been told that it will most likely be his last birthday, in fact we have been told that he may not even make his next birthday but none of us want to think of that happening.

So I am asking all those who love him so much and who's life he has enriched by being part of it and who will fill a void when he is no longer with us, to this year spend a little money and by a nice birthday card for him and either send it to him or take it and give it to him next month for his 76th birthday.

Do this not just for him but also for mum/nanna who after he is gone can look at the cards and be reminded of how much he meant to people. It is a little thing that could mean to much to both dad & mum.

Dad is so proud of his family, he has lived for them and when he was struggling with cancer his family was the reason he kept fighting.

I cannot make anyone do this and if you think it is a silly idea then do not bother with it but if you think like me it might bring some joy to his and mums life please take part.