My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!

Friday, 27 March 2015

I'm GLAD it's temporary

So it seems some genius over at Glad decided that it would be a great idea to move the cutting blade on the Glad Wrap box from the bottom edge to the side of the lid, rendering the whole box virtually useless.  I know that this change was some time ago, but we don't go through a lot of wrap so it took some time for me to be inconvenienced.

Glad wrap (and it's competitor's brands) is hard enough to wrestle with sticking to itself and nothing else anyway without having to manoeuvre an upwards backhand motion to get the fecking stuff out.

I was wrapping up my son's dinner tonight and fighting with the box and silently, well, kind of silently but not really, cursing whomever came up with the bright idea of changing something that worked just fine.  Have they ever heard of the saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it".  Apparently the change was for safety reasons, I'll reserve judgement on that piece of logic.

When I had finally fought the wrap into submission, I vowed to change brand to almost anything else in the market (which is hard for me, I'm extremely brand loyal in almost every aspect of my grocery shopping)...

...then I found this story from today on covering this very thing.  I was pleased to see that the good people over at Glad are listening to their customers and changing back to the old dispenser but it just may be too late. 

So tell me...
...have you mastered the Glad Wrap dispenser or did you change brands?
Love Jo xxx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

My B.A.D

Warning: This post contains details regarding mental health concepts.
  The information supplied is from my personal experience and should not replace professional medical advice.
Two and a half years ago, after I had my meltdown,  I was eventually diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Since that time I've done a fair bit of research, as you do, and have become more and more confused as time went on.
We all experience mood fluctuations in response to our everyday lives.  Bipolar is different in that the sufferer can experience wild swings in mood, affecting our work, family and social lives.
I was initially diagnosed as Bipolar II, typically characterised by episodes of both hypomania and depression but no manic episodes.  That's where the confusion arises, as I've experienced long periods of mania, not psychotic, but manic nonetheless. Bipolar I disorder is said to be present if one experiences episodes of mania and periods of depression.  Like me.
Also, the information online regarding my medication states it is for Bipolar I.  As I said, confusing.
I recently had a chat with my Psychiatrist about this very thing.  He told me that in Australia we have moved away from the whole Bipolar I vs II definition and now the illness is termed Bipolar Affective Disorder...same thing, different title.
He went on to tell me that the distinction between Bipolar I & II is mostly used in the US for the purposes of medical insurance.
In Australia the PBS and Medicare refer to Bipolar Affective Disorder as one condition, not distinguishing between Bipolar I and Bipolar II.
This made a huge load of sense to me,  as I used to have periods of mania...brilliant fun but destructive, depression...just awful and even mixed affective states where you have both at once...not good.  Now I know it's all one condition I'm less confused. 
Now that I am heavily medicated I don't get the mania or hypomania aspects of this illness, but I constantly have to battle the depression. 
I wish it was the other way around, life is a lot more fun with a bit of mania.

References:    Sane Australia    Black Dog Institute    Queensland Health

If you are suffering a mental illness or considering suicide,
please talk to someone, see your GP,
 call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or go to your local hospital emergency department.

If you are in physical danger please call 000 (Australia only).

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Wreck this

During the week my sister sent me a book for the hell of it, to torture me I'm sure. 

I have OCD tendencies, always have had.  It's very hard for me to start a diary or journal, or even a colouring in book as I don't want to spoil it.

So when this arrived it caused me some stress:

According to Penguin Books Australia : Think of Wreck This Journal as the anarchist's Artist's Way - the book for those who've always wanted to draw outside the lines but were afraid to do it.

Drawing outside the lines, are they crazy?

The book includes many acts of vandalism, including poking holes in pages, rubbing pages with dirt, use a page as a napkin, wiping your feet, you get the idea.  I don't think I can bring myself to do many of the activities requested, but there are a few fun things I can get on board with.

I'll be collecting stamps from my mail, doing some drawings and generally try to extend myself and have some fun.

What about you? 
Could you wreck your journal or does the thought of messing something up on purpose bring you out in hives?

Love Jo xxx

Friday, 13 March 2015

Catching up

Warning: This post contains details regarding mental health and suicide.
If you are unable to cope with these concepts or would rather not proceed then please don't read on.

The information supplied is from my personal experience and should not replace professional medical advice.
Part 4 of my series on depression & suicide. 
Please find Part 1 , Part 2 & Part 3 via these links.
It's been a while since I talked about my mental health.  I struggle to construct a sentence let alone a whole blog post.  I blame a combination of brain fog caused by depression and ECT, but more on that later.

2013 saw me in a different hospital for the better part of 3 months again.  I couldn't sleep, if I did I had the most appalling suicide dreams.  I was a mess of anxiety and panic attacks.  Not a good time for me.

I saw a new Doctor, who had some fairly different attitudes to treatment.  He enrolled me in an intensive CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course, changed ALL my medication and introduced ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) to my regime.  He was not a big believer in Psychologists.

Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) is a medical procedure that is used to treat a range of mental illnesses, such as severe depression, catatonia and some forms of mania and schizophrenia. The treatment induces controlled seizures in the person by placing small electrodes at specific locations on the head. Read more here

I was initially terrified at the prospect of undergoing ECT, it is never discussed or portrayed in a positive manner and I really knew nothing about the procedure.  My previous Doctor had suggested that it might be a good idea but let me talk him out of it quite easily.

In reality, ECT is the same as any other procedure.  Depending on the hospital, you go into the "day surgery" area, change into your sexy hospital gown (or stay in your own clothes, again, depends on the hospital) then wait.  I have found that there isn't much of a wait as they churn through the patients very quickly, it only takes about 10 minutes each.  They you move through to the procedure room and get on the bed.  The anaesthetist puts in the line, they put the oxygen mask on and it's bye bye time.  You wake up in recovery. Done.

I found that I had a sore jaw the first time I had ECT, but after that no pain, not even a headache.  I have had some memory problems since my treatment.  There are entire weeks that are wiped from my memory and to this day I can't recall TV shows that I've watched.

2014 saw me suffering from depression again so it was back into hospital for a slight medication change and some more ECT, this time it was only for a week.

Since that, I've managed to stay out of hospital for over 12 months, just.  Medication increases and the addition of a Psychologist to my team have helped.  I also sleep, thanks to my medication.

I'm not depressed, I'm not manic, I'm somewhere in between.  The huge amounts of mood stabilisers, anti-psychotics and anti-depressants leave me feeling flat and foggy.  I find it hard to concentrate enough to read or write, engage in craft or other activities.  My Psychiatrist wants me to blog every day, and whilst I'm doing my best it's just not that easy!

If you are suffering a mental illness or considering suicide,
please talk to someone, see your GP,
 call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or go to your local hospital emergency department.

If you are in physical danger please call 000 (Australia only).


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

21 Today

Our youngest baby is 21 today.
21 years ago I gave birth to a beautiful, 9lb 10oz, 51cm baby boy.
We survived the terrible twos, threes...and fours and the teenage years.
Fast forward to today and a 6'2" honest, forthright, hardworking and loving man I'm proud to call son.
Happy Birthday!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Get it right!

One thing I really hate with a passion is some people's inability to construct a sentence.  Not being able to tell the difference between your and you're, there, their and they're or lose and loose.
I can barely contain myself on social media as gross grammar crimes are committed with increasing frequency.  Is it so hard to read what you're writing before you post it?
I was discussing this very thing with my sister the other day, she's the same, can't stand bad grammar.
Today I found a story about a real estate sign that was marked and graded by an obviously perfectly normal, well adjusted individual, as one would when confronted with such a grammar disaster. 
Here's the original story
My only concern with this story is the website's referring to the marker as a nerd.  I think not.
If you're in any doubt, here's a quick guide to commonly confused words and their meanings.  You're welcome.

Love Jo xxx

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Being a grown up

Being a grown up means doing things you don't want to do.
Yesterday our GP told MrQ that he needs to have a colonoscopy.  So he's all booked in and ready to go.  We believe in fast action around here.  We are lucky enough to have great Health Insurance so there's no real wait.
The only question he had for me was one of personal grooming, as in, should he get waxed, you know, down there.   MrQ isn't a particularly hairy individual so I don't think there will be a problem and I assured him the doctor will have seen it all, but if he wishes to get waxed he can...he'd probably have to go for what we affectionately call a back, crack and sack wax.
Is it just my man who worries about his hairy arse or would your fellas be concerned too?
But seriously:
Bowel (or colorectal) cancer causes the second highest number of cancer deaths in Australia after lung cancer. However, around 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases are cured if detected early.

Cancer Council Australia recommends that Australians aged 50 and over complete a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years. FOBT is the most effective population screening tool for detecting early signs of bowel cancer.

The Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program currently provides a free FOBT kit and pathology to all Australians aged 50, 55, 60 and 65. Cancer Council urges all eligible Australians to participate.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Two of my least favourite creatures would have to be snakes and spiders. 

This week came a news story that covered both.
A "battle" between a giant Redback spider and a deadly, if only a baby,  eastern brown snake.
 Luckily we don't have snakes here in town, but we do have Redbacks.  Not dirty great ones like in the story but big enough to give you the willies.  Nothing a liberal application of Mortein won't fix though.  My preference is to spray the little bastard white, eliminating the chance it can hold it's breath and survive the onslaught.  
Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity hater when it comes to spiders.  I saw this today and it sums up my feelings about them perfectly.

Monday, 2 March 2015


Always in the middle of things
 Thursday last week was one of the toughest days I've ever lived.  It's taken days to blog about it, even now as I write, it's through buckets of tears.

Our little boy cat, Max was a bit off-colour, so we took him to a specialist vet for a check-up on Thursday morning.  He was fine at 9.30am when we left him, by 3.00pm he was gone.

We were with him when he passed, it was gentle and peaceful.  The vets were kind and compassionate, giving us all the time we needed to say goodbye.

Max was not quite 10 years old...too young to die.  He was a major part of our family for just over 9 1/2 years and will always remain in our hearts.

You left paw prints on our hearts

 Loved and remembered always

      07/04/2005 - 26/02/2015
How we see him...our little angel.