Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for June, 2019

…it’s been a full week. Work has been fairly busy, and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed in terms of patient expectations of me. I have a couple who really really want a boy, to the point that the wife wants to consider IVF with pre implantation genetic diagnosis, and the husband just wants a ‘natural’ way to make it happen, and wants guarantees that the informal methods will work, which I can’t give him, for obvious reasons. And then there was the rumour on Facebook that I have retired; which was then amended to say I hadn’t retired, but wasn’t doing deliveries. Really now, I am 44, have an 8 year old I need to educate, so retirement is tragically not on the cards; ¬†and I am in fact our hospital’s lead obstetrician (kind of like the head girl of the obstetricians)! Throw in an extremely busy gynaecologist clinic at our local state hospital this week where I was expected to train about 30 rural doctors, which is fine and I enjoy, but in the confines of a room about 3m x 2m! And they were all breathing down my neck watching me work! (I did feel rather sorry for the patients I was treating, having to be exposed to all these trainees, but I did manage a light hearted moment with one of them who said she’d never felt more famous, and that she hoped she was in line for the Oscar for her centre stage production!)

Pops is still having a hard time adjusting to his new reality, but slowly the carer seems to be winning him over. He’s being a little less antagonistic to her, and they watched cricket together the other day drinking tea. So maybe he will start forgetting to fight…

Anyway, I must work, I am exhausted and the weekend on call looms…

When will

…the dark days be over? Florence, with apologies to your machine, please tell me?

Seriously, I’m not sure how much longer I can end my day in tears; tears of anger, guilt, frustration and love all rolled into one ugly snivelling mess. The old man is so not himself, and is getting further and further away from the man he used to be. He is so far removed from my dad that I can hardly accept it. And it’s wearing me down; much like a boiled sweet after a few minutes in the mouth, I feel almost transparent, at the point of fracture.

At this point I am ever grateful to my Charlie for being the most incredible husband and son-in-law he could possibly be. He has patience, far more than I will ever have, is kind and caring; and the old man listens to him. Who else would go and check on him, when I am sitting the couch with tears of worry rolling down my cheeks at 8pm one evening? And reassure me with love and kindness, not resentment? I am very lucky to have this man by my side.

My awesome kid

…man, she is the coolest! So the last 2 weeks have been rough, between school concerts, Pops being ill and work being fairly insane, I am trashed, but this little lady of mine keeps smiling and shining.

The last week of school saw us at the school concert – how I got that right with a parent in Icu and an insane workload, I am not sure, but anyway – the theme this year saw the girls perform in a ‘talent show’! The school has a theme for the year – Make your mark – that each and every person in the school makes a mark – kids, teachers, support staff, everyone. They have really embraced it, and its a great lesson for the kids to learn. So the show ran like this, each class had a slot in the talent show – a dance, a poem, a song. Thandi’s class were divided into 2 groups – the sailors and the zebras. Thandi was a sailor, but man, did she want to be a zebra – their little poem was super cute; but she made her mark as a sailor. The winning ‘act’ was of course the teachers who came on singing and dancing, with the headmistress leading the way. They evoked shrieks of laughter – great fun!

Then reports came out, and I am so blessed to be able to say academically I do not have to worry about my girl. She did really really well, is reading way above her age, and that will always stand her in good stead. Tomorrow she has been requested to attend a Singapore Maths workshop at the school, where one of the head honchos from Singapore is coming to update the teachers. She is lucky.

I am lucky. I love my kid!

(PS – if you have kids, or if you don’t, do yourself and them a favour and watch Wonder with them – its a stunning movie with some powerful messages – never judge a book by its cover, be kind and be true to yourself – we shed some shared tears last night, T and I)


…quietly, I have little to add to the last few posts. Pops is stable. His brain, however, is a huge hurdle. He is stubborn, resistant and hurting those of us who love him. And I am all out of ideas. Anyway, maybe in the morning I will feel stronger.

I have had a cold – it’s made me grumpy! After my whooping cough last year, my chest is very reactive and I am coughing and wheezing and spluttering. Grrr… Between the cold and Pops I haven’t been able to exercise which is making me even grumpier, I am going to hit a gym class of some sort tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will update you on my beautiful daughter, her school concert and report card. Tomorrow I will be less blue.

homecoming, the gods be praised, Pops found his marbles and has arranged them back into some semblance of normal play, so he gets to come home today. But a home that will look remarkably different… A home that will now have a carer. Something he will hate, but is the condition of his discharge. I reached out to my brothers yesterday and the one is flying in today until Wednesday, the other arrives next Friday. So looks like things are settling down. I hope…



…the old man is resilient. (and that’s a really nice way of saying stubborn, and fricking difficult) So, cardiac wise, they are happy, and he is stable. He could go home. But, he has developed a severe delirium on top of his early dementia. So yesterday he was angry, aggressive and nasty. This morning he was funny, but edging closer to being scary again. And this afternoon – wham – scary again. Anyway.

I am using this opportunity to get the psychiatrist in to assess him too, so at least I am throwing stones at some of the other birds. He’s seen him, they’re doing a CT scan, and then we will see. Obviously we need to get on top of the delirium really quickly, and once that is settled, we can get him home again. And then the next set of fights begin.

I am too scared to go and see him again today. I can’t do it…


…”I’m feeling terrible, out of sorts.” “I’m coming over” “Yes, my chest is a bit sore, I’ve got terrible indigestion. Now that you mention it, my fingers are a bit tingly.” “I think we need to go to the hospital” “Oh, okay.”

This was the conversation between Charlie and my Pops yesterday. And thankfully my husband got to him quickly, got him to hospital, and within 26 minutes they had diagnosed his heart attack and he was on his way to the cardiac unit. He had an angio, was stented and is currently recovering in ICU.

Life is bloody fragile.