Saturday, September 18, 2010


17th and 18th September 2010

Friday was an enormous day for Nalani, it was the day that she would undergo surgery on her left knee, whether it was to be repaired or reconstructed we would not know until the surgeon went in with his arthroscope. Originally she was supposed to be at the hospital in the morning but it was changed to arrive at 12pm. So in the morning we played a game of Upwords to try to make the time go more rapidly.

I had not slept well during the night with that same aching pain in my ankle, knee and hip and a more severe pain that throbbed through my right hand and left me unable to hardly move my fingers. I was pleased that we did not have to be at the hospital at the crack of dawn but really felt for Nalani having to wait longer, it is much easier to get something over and done with quickly.

We drove to the hospital and Mum was relieved to find a parking space, hospital parking anywhere in Australia can be difficult. When we arrived we had to fill out some paper work and then we were told to head to the ward that Nalani would be staying on overnight after her surgery. We waited for them to process the paper work and we were then told to go to the waiting room and she would be called when it was time for her surgery as no beds were available at the time as they were waiting for patients to be discharged to go home. She did not have too long to wait until 1pm when her surgery was scheduled for, so we relaxed in the waiting room chatting and laughing about some of my funny hospital experiences.

We waited, 1pm came and went, 2pm came and went and still Nalani had not been called to surgery, so Mum went to inquire how long it would be and we were told it should not be too long they were just running a little behind. When 3pm came we were all feeling quite anxious not to mention Nalani feeling extremely hungry and thirsty, she had been starving since 7pm and had not had any fluids since 9pm. As the clock ticked loudly in the waiting room and Nalani's stomach groaned, we were wondering what was going on. Finally just before 5pm after Mum had again questioned them at the nurses station we were advised that there had been an emergency and a couple of cases that had complications, so Nalani's surgery had to be cancelled for the day as there was no more theatre time allocated. Nalani was upset, she had been starving for so long and had been anxious about it, and now her surgery was not going to take place. She actually felt extremely dizzy which they said would be from dehydration from fasting for so long and that her sugar levels were probably quite low, we were advised to go to the Cafeteria and have something to drink and eat. We will be contacted next week to reschedule the surgery for a later date, which is all rather disappointing for Nalani as now she will not be back at her sport as soon as she was hoping to be. It had been such a long day, I was feeling exhausted and also from being in the hospital air conditioning my cold had become worse and I had a dry, croup sounding cough.

These things occur but it seemed very unfair to happen to Nalani, especially when this is her first surgery, I think she is a little put off now and will have to prepare herself psychologically again. I guess I was also thinking that we seem to have all the unfortunate luck and have certainly had a run of it lately with my results not been the best, Jarrett's asthma, Nalani's injury and now a hold up on her surgery.

I was hoping that the Wests Tigers would have better luck than what we did, I was utterly exhausted but I wanted so desperately to watch my team play. In the first half I was over the moon with how they played and when they were leading I felt confident, the best news had been that Benji Marshall was playing and he played with so much courage and determination I was so proud of him. The second half was a different story to the first, the Raiders came charging back into the game, my stomach was filled with butterflies, it was almost like the game the week before against the Roosters. The Tigers were two in front with minutes to go when the Raiders were given a penalty within kicking distance to level the scores. The kick was taken and even though I was pleased the kicker missed, I felt so sorry for him, as he looked so devastated. I was on the edge of my seat until the final hooter sounded and my team, the Wests Tigers had won by just those two points 26-24. What a game, it had been a real cliff hanger, both teams had played their heart out but only one team can win. I thought it was really wonderful when Robbie Farrah went over to the Raiders kicker and consoled and encouraged him, that is terrific sportsmanship. Now my Tigers have to play the Dragons in the Grand Final Qualifier next weekend, I so hope that they will have the courage and determination to go on to the Grand Final.

I went to bed feeling so tired and was sure I would be able to sleep soundly for once, but that was a pipe dream, for I kept coughing throughout the night and I also had the excruciating pain in my right hand. I was so tired this morning as we readied ourselves to go to running training. At least the sun was shinning and the sky was a clear, crystal blue, at the AIS there was a slight breeze but the sun began to shine more brilliantly and it warmed my body and made me feel delighted to be outside.

Jarrett ran well today, he had no difficulties with his asthma which I think we all breathed a sigh of relief for. He is running in the ASC Competition on Tuesday, he will be doing the 1500m and the 800m. Hopefully the day will be as exquisite as what it was today. I will be there cheering him on loudly, to do well would really boost his confidence after having problems with his asthma, I think that if your confidence is boosted it lifts your spirits and your performance and that applies really to anything in life.

After running training we were expecting a very special visitor, Carol Duncan and her family were coming to see me. Carol has done so much to promote my book in the media, she is another one of those extraordinary people who I have been blessed to meet through my journey. I had spoken to her over the telephone and emailed her but never actually met her in person, so I was very excited and a little nervous. I was still feeling tired and not really well with my cold but her visit would brighten my day. When she arrived I received a wonderful, warm hug, I got to meet her husband and her two boys who absolutely adored Tinkerbelle, especially James who seemed thrilled to be able to give her a cuddle. Tinkerbelle decided to entertain them also by climbing into a paper bag that they had brought a gift for me in, she even decided to have a nap in it. We chatted for a while and then they were leaving to go and look at Floriade, they could not have picked a lovelier day for it. Floriade is a Spring attraction in Canberra at Commonwealth Park and it always draws many interstate tourists to look at the resplendent specially designed gardens that bloom so magnificently this time of the year. I was so jubilant that I finally got to meet Carol and her splendiferous family.

I rested in the afternoon as my cough had stirred up again as the weather cooled down, I did my physiotherapy exercises and even though my hand was still terribly painful, I decided to bite the bullet and have a go on my rollator. It was not easy with my ankle still pulsating with shooting pain when I tried to put weight on it and my hand throbbing as I held the handles but even with tears in my eyes I did it, I walked ever so slowly from the family room around the kitchen and back to the family room. I had to stop and sit down on my rollator as it has a little seat as the pain was too much to bear but I wanted to get back to my starting point and I did it and then I broke down and cried but I did it. Ice and panadol helped a little but that little walk had knocked me around. No matter how difficult a task may seem, it is always worth giving it a try, I think that there is no such word as "I can't" because if you just give it a go you will find you will be saying "I can".


Anonymous said...

Dainere, I bet you were so excited with the Tigers winning last night. You will have to rub it in to Dave and Sandra next time you're in the clinic hehe.

Poor Nalani, I know she was counting down the days until the surgery to get started on her rehab. Hopefully it will be rescheduled super soon.

I'm soooo proud of you trying to use your rollator! I thought you would find the seat useful to pace yourself.

Keep warm ... Rhi xx

Ali Davies said...

What a horrible thing to happen to Nalani. Hope it is all sorted out very quickly so she can move on.

I read your tackling of the rollator with total awe. Your courage and deterination are amazing and inspiring.

Thought you might like this quote:

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

Keep on keeping on brave girl.


Ali x

Anonymous said...

HI Dainere, Wow lots of news from your end over the past couple of days. Firstly , all my best wishes for school next week and especially Wednesday , Try not to worry about the French thing , you have done wonders and Im sure your Frnch is better than mine !!. Its not what you do but how you do it Dainere , And I know you will do it perfectly.
How is your arm now , all sorts of things happen dont they. My hand also gives me trouble , it goes to sleep at night and goes numb , and then it wakes me up. sometimes two or three times a night.

Fantastic news about the rollator, im so happy you have it now , once your ankle gets better you can hopefully start to use it slowly.

Ye car parking at hospitls is so hard isnt it. Sorry to hear about Nalani, its a shame and so disappointing for her , I do hope that she gets in early this week.

Great news about your Tigers win , I bet you were sitting on the very edge of the seat . So exciting .

Life is all about Quality, Dainere , you can rest assured that you put everything into life. You can be so proud of your self . I hope you have a good week and that mum and dad , and the rest of your family do as well.

Lots of Love stuart xxxx

Carol said...

And it was so wonderful to meet you all! Finally!

Thank you for having us - I always love reading your blog and meeting you in person was just wonderful. We all agree you have a smile that lights up the whole world!

I don't think I've ever met a cat as funny and nice as Tinkerbelle. When James & Alexander were still tiny we had an old, old tortoiseshell cat named Mac. She was beautiful and I had her for a very long time. She travelled with me as I moved cities with my radio job - from Sydney to Canberra to Hobart & finally to Newcastle. James has always wanted a cat, and very specifically a ginger cat with blue eyes. Maybe one day!

Floriade was beautiful and we saw the very talented singer Katie Noonan performing with her band. It was a lovely surprise, I didn't know she was going to be there. As she was singing, a big tree fell over right next to where we were sitting on the grass! Luckily no-one was sitting in that area. Katie said from the stage, "That's the first time I've sung a tree over!" She has a beautiful voice, her mother is a wonderful singer, too.

Saturday night we went up to Black Mountain tower to show the boys the city at night - it is beautiful and glittery with all of the lights. But it was *very* windy and *icy* cold!

Love to you all ... I hope you shared that chocolate with everyone!

I will see you in Sydney soon.

Carol xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Dainere - go you good thing - your effort with your rollator is just awesome. It doesn't matter if you cried, or stopped, what matters is that you got up, despite your set back and dusted yourself off and tried again.

Sometimes I really think tears of pain and frustration are the storm (literately and figuratively) before the rainbow. I don't think there is one big rainbow, but lots of little ones.... we just have to have the courage and willingness to look for them.

Nalani will be ok - it is disappointing to have to fast and wait all day only to be told you're being re-scheduled. But Nalani is a tough competitor, just like you, and she will get through this little set back. With your help of course!

Good that Jarrett's training is going well.

I love hearing stories about Tinkerbell. My cats love paper bags as toys, and cardboard boxes. Have you ever tried playing with Tinerbelle with a ping pong ball? Either in the bath tub or a room where the balls can't get lost under furniture? My cats love a good game of chasing the ping pong ball. Although don't leave them out at night unless you want to listen to the sound of the cat chasing and batting the ball in the middle of the night! It can be quite noisy... but to be honest, it's sweet music to my ears. I know.. I hear you say it already... crazy old cat lady. LOL

Take care.


Yvette Vignando said...

Hi Dainere,

That sounded awaful for Nalani - it' so hard to be anticipating something you don;t want anyway and then have to work yourself up to it again. You wrote about Nalani's situation with such empathy and warmth - how lucky she is to have you around to understand.

I am jealous because you got to meet Carol before me - I talk to Carol on Twitter and she wrote a beautiful blogpost about you on my site. I agree she is an extraordinary person - she will disagree with us butwe won't listen to that!

I'm a mum of three boys. I love them so much, in the same way your parents adore you. As a mum I know that your parents must admire your generosity of spirit and your inner strength so much - those are such special and wonderful things about you. I'm sure you have plenty of times when you feel awful and don't feel like being strong too - so I am sending you mental blog hugs to say that even though I have not met you, I wish you lots of joy, lots of healing and to keep being the gorgeous young lady that Carol has told me about. Wishing you a few fabulous things this week. Yvette xx

Gillion said...

are you getting better now? Pei Pa Koa ( ) is one of the few Chinese natural cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it's something like herb plus honey, and it's sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite natural cough remedies.

if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians - I have had very good experiences with them.

Anonymous said...

hi Dainere and Nalani, I followed @carolduncan posting (@twitter) to your blog --its wonderful to see you blog regularly and super to read you are continuing with your running training and physiotherapy, I know that will bring a sense of achievement every day and no doubt you'll want to do more of it. But I'm lost about the Tigers, my knowledge of Australian sports is restricted to cricket, tennis and occasionally aus rules football :)

stay cool!
--Anant []

Gillion said...

are you getting better now? Pei Pa Koa ( ) is one of the few Chinese natural cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it's something like herb plus honey, and it's sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite natural cough remedies.

if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians - I have had very good experiences with them.

Kylie L said...

I am a friend of Carol's and have been amazed and touched by your story. I have a little girl your age and she is following it too. All the best to you- we are thinking of you!