20th to 27th January 2012
Happy Australia Day to everyone. Did you know that from the earliest white settlement at the end of the 18th century, Australians have striven to celebrate a national day, and in so doing, define what it means to be Australian. January 26 has traditionally marked the landing of Captain Arthur Phillip at Port Jackson in present-day Sydney, thereby claiming Australia for the British Empire. Early settlers, perhaps naturally, marked the anniversary. Australia Day has evolved from a small commemorative New South Wales holiday into a major national celebration. It is a day that expresses the Nations diversity which has become such an important part of the Australian national character. Australia Day today celebrates diversity and tolerance in Australian society. Australia Day has become a community day, there are still all the formal ceremonies throughout the Country like flag raising, citizenship ceremonies and the presentation of important community awards like the Australian and Young Australian of the year but now January 26th has become much more for the average Australian because celebrations have a strong festive aspect and encourage families to celebrate together with other members of the community.
To be an Australian means that we have a strong sense of giving others a 'fair go', we are adventurous, we will all pitch in and help others in times of need, mateship and we have a good sense of humour. We live in a beautiful environment with wide open spaces, pristine waters and crystal clear blue skies. We also have freedom in our Country to choose our own Governments, make our own choices and for everyone to be educated. The achievements of those Australians who we honour on Australia Day should always inspire us and demonstrate that anything is possible. How lucky and proud we should all be to be Australians. Unfortunately I did not go to any of the festivities as there were too many crowds and too much noise which are difficult for me but I thought about how important the day was and how as a proud Australian I hope that I can continue to show courage, wisdom and hope to inspire others.
I had my MRI on my brain this week, the night before I had a restless night sleep as even though I have experienced so many MRI's throughout my journey I get a little nervous as to the outcome everytime I have one. This one was different too because I have been having all those dreadful headaches after commencing my growth hormone, Genotrophin, injections. It was an early start that morning so it did not give me too much time to contemplate much. We waited for quite a while and then were told that there were some technical difficulties with the machinery but it would not be too much longer. The clock seemed to be going backwards as I sat waiting for my scan, but finally I was taken in.
Having just a scan of the brain is much shorter than having the brain and spine done which last time took approximately and hour and a half. I was all set up for the scan with the ear plugs going in last and then it began. I think I now know every single scan noise pattern off by heart. Just over half way through the scan the doctor came in and inserted a butterfly to inject the contrast through, however my veins decided not to co-operate. She had two attempts in the inner side of my elbow with no success, then she tried the top of my hand, the first attempt was no good, however the second one went in beautifully. The whole time she was attempting to insert the butterfly I remained calm, there is no use in getting tense of upset it would make it more difficult than it already was. The contrast went in which is called, gadolin. These MRI contrast agents are a group of contrast media used to improve the visibility of internal body structures in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The most commonly used compounds for contrast enhancement are gadolinium-based. MRI contrast agents alter the relaxation times of tissues and body cavities where they are present. Depending on the image weighting, this can give a higher or lower signal. It is quite a sticky liquid and I could feel it going up my arm as it was injected. Following the injection it was time for more scans, as always I had Theodore and Mum with me.
Then after forty five minutes it was over, time to take out the earplugs which actually begin to make your ears itch as they are made of a foam type of material. You do not get the results immediately, the scans have to be looked at by doctors and then compared with other scans and as I have had so many they compare them with a few. The doctors here in Canberra then have to talk to the doctors in Sydney for their opinion also so hopefully I will have some results next week. I do have an MRI on my spine on 1st of February so they may also wait until those ones are done until we are told the final results.
I have still been experiencing some headaches, some are only minor and dissapear quite quickly with pain killers but I have still had some that are just dreadful because they start at my temples and go around to the back of my head and they just thump, they make me feel so nauseous and tired. Eventually the pain killers assist but it takes a while.
This week was also physiotherapy for me again, which is always terrific, I have physiotherapy every fortnight because my muscles tighten easily and also because my foot is still healing after injuring it. Kaitlyn worked on my foot and found that it was extremely tight underneath, which she massaged and released, then she worked on the top which is still painful in certain positions so it is not fully healed as yet. She had to work on my calves as they were tight also and then she worked on my upper back. My right side always seems to pull up higher than my left and so she tried a neck release to try to help it. She wants to see me again next week to see if it helped any. It was actually quite tender afterwards and now seems to have gone back to been pulled up.
I had my hair trimed at the hairdressers, I also had one of my wigs trimmed because it was too long in the fringe, everyone always likes my wigs and some people even think it is my real hair. The wig I had trimmed is a heat friendly one so it can be straightened or curled, again it is one that I bought from PlaywithHair, their website is http://www.playwithhair.com/ .
Our weather has been pleasant, not too hot and at night a gentle cooling breeze comes up and whispers through the blinds. The poor people in Western Australia where it has been continually hot and those in Queensland and New South Wales who have been inundated with rain causing floods.
Next week I have many appointments, a meeting with school, physiotherapy, my spine MRI and the dietitian. Something special next week is ACT Junior Championships, I am hoping my foot will be healed enough for me to throw shot put.
'Remember that life is full of many surprises, but you've got to get into it to get something out of it'