Thursday, April 26, 2012

What a week!

It has been quite a week of ups and downs!  I was very excited to receive my new lens last week.  It's a telephoto lens, giving me the ability to capture wildlife better and do some macro photography.  I was anxious to try it out, so we headed to the beach for sunset Friday night.  It's not the best lens for landscape, but I just wanted to get a feel for it before heading out to Hunter Botanical Gardens on Saturday.  Never anything wrong with spending time on the beach!

Saturday we ran into Newcastle to do a bit of shopping.  It's about an hour away - not very long, but I don't head there every day.  And boy, was it nice to see a real Target again!  I bought some new clothes and we let Will give us some ideas for his birthday.  Suffice it to say, the kiddo wants everything!

We stopped by the Botanical Gardens on the way back home.  It's closer to Newie than home, so it seemed like a good plan.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much blooming because it's Autumn.  But Nathan had been anxious to show us the third place he went on his school excursion.  He was really excited to show us what he had seen, especially the Cactus garden.  Bri and I were kind of whingeing to each other about walking around a garden not in bloom when we saw something in the field next to the garden.

Wallabies through the bush

Seeing these indigenous animals never gets old!  Maybe we'll get used to it at some point, but it's a great reminder that we're in this really lovely spot of the world.  We watched them graze for awhile and then the boys decided they wanted to chase them.  I suppose chasing pigeons won't be quite the same for them anymore!


I love the guy on the left tearing off while the other ones watched for awhile.  We walked back in to the actual gardens to see all of the cacti.  Nathan was pointing out his favorite cactus when I heard a rustling and turned my head.  This cutie had followed us!  He watched us for awhile, then ignored us when he realized we weren't going to bother him.

We walked around for awhile and eventually found some flowers blooming!  I do find a lot of the Australian flora interesting.  I guess the best way I can describe it is that they look so tropical.  I suppose that makes a lot of sense!

I have no idea what any of those were, but they're pretty!

On Monday I went back to the doctor for my ankle.  Several of you know that I hurt my ankle during our visit to the US for Christmas.  It was incredibly stupid - I was trying on pajama pants at a store when my foot got caught in the fabric.  I pulled the pants and pushed my foot through at the same moment.  Bad plan, because my foot shot through, I lost my balance and consequently smacked the outside of my right foot on the bench in the room.  It hurt and I assumed it was just bruised until two days later I looked down and realized my foot was so swollen that I couldn't see my ankle bone.  Because we're living in Australia, I have no primary care physician in the US and I had to go to Urgent Care.  I had an X-ray and was told I just had a bad bone contusion and that the pain would last for a few weeks.  Made sense to me and we were off to Oz a few days later.  My ankle hurt for about that length of time, but I could never understand why the ligaments hurt.  I just assumed I had pulled those as well.  The pain went away and I resumed normal activities.

Fast forward to about 6 weeks ago.  We had been out walking a fair amount and by the time we got home my ankle was throbbing in the exact same spot.  I figured I had just overdone it and babied my foot for awhile.  The pain went away in a day or two.  Brian suggested I go get it checked out again, but I convinced him it was ok.  However, after the third time I decided he was right.  So off I went on Monday afternoon.

The doctor listened to me and sent me off for X-rays.  He thought I had either torn my Collateral ligaments or injured the joint somehow.  I had my X-rays taken that afternoon and brought them back to the office.  He looked at them and because my joint was stable he ruled out the ligament problem, which I was happy about because that would have probably meant surgery.  He ordered a bone scan for the next morning.  Off I went for a day of fun in Newcastle again!  After being made radioactive and lying still for awhile, I was given my film and headed back to the doctor.

When I walked into his office, he was opening up the envelope with my film.  He pulled out the film and immediately said "Oh, sh*t.  I'm so sorry."  All I could tell was that my ankle was a pretty purple shade.  Apparently I now have Post Traumatic Arthritis in my ankle and the only way to deal with it is to lose weight.  I explained my experience with that from four years ago, which is basically I worked really hard on my diet and exercise and had great results - until I didn't and began to gain some weight back even though I was eating really boring food and working out hard 3-4 days a week.  His solution was to put me on a no sugar diet.  Before my dietitian family member freak out, it's for a short time to drop weight quickly!  I will soon go on to a low GI diet, so there will be carbs sometime in my future.  I promise I won't be stupid!

I came home pretty bummed about that - and frankly I still am.  My doctor kept telling me how sorry he was I hadn't been properly diagnosed.  He thought if he would've treated my ankle to begin with I wouldn't be having pain now.  Bummer, but it is what it is and I'm coping.

Wednesday was ANZAC Day - which stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps.  The day started out remembering Gallipolli and has turned into more of a Veteran's Day celebration.  Apparently the celebrations had started to trickle off until the younger generation decided to make it a bigger deal again.  There was a parade down one of the main streets in Nelson Bay and stopped at a park that has a permanent war memorial.  Many veterans and those of active duty marched.  The local schools participated as well.  The boys wanted to watch this year, but have decided to march next year.  It was sweet to watch these children marching with pictures of family members from WWI or WWII, the veterans medals pinned proudly on the right side of their chest.  Below are a few of the moments I captured.

The different flags

I loved the little girl proudly waving her flag

I think the following is my favorite picture.  I took this while a bugler was playing Taps and the flag was being lowered. 

After the service was over we went back to the house to relax for a few hours before we met a group of friends from church at one of the local parks.  It was great fun and we had a lovely spread of cheese, olives, fruit, etc.  It was a lovely way to end the holiday.

So, there are my ups and downs for the week.  It feels like my anti-inflammatory medicine is kicking in, so there's another positive for the week!

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny! You're right, I do not like those diets. They are really bad for your kidneys. Not really a fan of GI diets either...bad science. There's nothing wrong with whole grain carbs and lots of fruits and veggies. I hope your ankle feels better soon!!

    Sorry we've been AWOL from Skype lately. We'll catch you soon. Love you guys!