Crickey, it's been a couple of weeks since I posted!
Well I have been a busy boy you know. Let's see, I've been hanging around the cycle training forums a bit lately and have a few items of interest flowing out of that which I might post about later.
Also dishing out the pre-Christmas pain to my coaching clients (which is always fun). Hey - if they wanna eat lashings of turkey, roast vegies, pork, crackling and apple sauce not to mention pudding with brandy sauce, then they gotta earn it, right? ;) They do get Christmas day off though, well most of 'em do. A couple want to ride that day anyway.
Renovations at my home took another step along to completion, with painting finished in the lounge room and kitchen. Looks great! Air-con also installed which while not such an environmentally terrific thing, let's face it, it gets pretty hot and muggy here at times and those nights are going to be ever so much more comfortable now.
Yesterday I hooked up the video/audio equipment which has been disconnected for months and put them back in the corner where they belong. The digital radio has been playing all day. I like the ABC's DIG digital radio station, which you can listen to on the net at http://www.abc.net.au/dig/
Great music 24-hours a day, no interruptions, ads or announcers. Fabulous!
Went to the shops on the weekend to pick up some kitchen stools I had on order. They are now in the kitchen (naturally) around my new kitchen benchtop after some unwrapping and light construction help from David, Cynthia and Mum. An early Christmas pressie for me - yay!
I also got a new (used) car last weekend - a VW Golf 2.0 TDI (a 2007 model, silver, with 8,000 km on the clock). I had to ditch the Subaru Impreza as I can't drive a manual transmission car anymore. The 6-speed DSG box in the Golf is something else though - and the turbo diesel engine pulls like a fast train on crack. Nice!
It's all another step along the way to regaining my independence. I tried a variety of cars, most much larger than the Golf but the Golf had the most room (front and back) and was the easiest for me to get in and out of. It also will take a track bike in the back no probs (one of the most important criteria that).
So car shopping was big on the agenda recently and it was my brother David and his wife Cynthia that really helped me out there (in more ways than one). We had such fun doing it that David bought a Golf too - but he really went for it and got a brand new Tornado Red Golf GTI. We got a good deal buying two cars - so that was cool.
And as far as independence, well the silent partner helping me the most to get through this difficult year was definitely my Mum. She has been there for me since I went into hospital in April, making sure everything was as good as it could be all that time. Day in, day out, nothing was too much trouble. She had to put up with less than ideal living conditions in my construction site of a home while I was getting 24-hour/day help at the hospital. And after leaving hospital, she has been there to help me while I made the transition to home and begin walking again on my prosthetic. There is no doubt that it would have been a shocker of a year without her strength and support. Thanks Mum. Enjoy getting back into your garden.
Of course I have many others to thanks for their support and help through this time as well. Too many to name but they all know who they are. The hundred or so regular and not so regular visitors to my hospital bed, my email and forum buddies, family and friends just doing all those little things, all the cards and pressies I received. I have no idea how many chocolates I got. Flowers, fruit, books, DVDs to watch. I really do have several books on mountain climbing and escaping death now :).
Also those that were there for me in those critical first few days. It was not fun and trying to make sense of it all and decisions about emergency op after emergency op - well without someone like Peter about, it would have been far worse to cope with.
Some did really fun things like organise a birthday party for me (thanks Samantha) complete with special hats for everyone, streamers and flashing lights; organise a bar-b-que for so I could get outside in the wheelchair and enjoy a bit of real air (thanks to uncle Norm and aunty Hilary - yep I really do have an uncle Norm) - it was the first bit of steak I'd eaten in about six months. It tasted good. Others brought food (e.g. Italian home cooked meals from Aud & Bas, and other home cooked delights from Hilary, Phil, several of my cousins and my Mum of course kept up the food supply as the hospital food was, well, ordinary at best).
The night before I went in for my amputation operation, Sam organised a champagne "celebration" drinks with the nursing staff to help keep the spirits high. And the staff at St George Hospital were great.
My track cycling buddies Alan and Peter set up a laptop computer with a wireless internet connection for me - that was a tremendous gesture and was one of the biggest helps for me - it meant I could stay connected and talk to the world at large.
Anyway, thanking some by name and not all is always fraught with danger but they all should know how important it all was to me. Thanks everyone.
Christmas is coming all so fast and now I am back to living by myself. The transition will be interesting.
Finally, following the all clear from my Doctors to look at a return to work plan, I had a chat with the CEO and snr Management at my day job company (who have been really supportive) about my eventual return to work. We had a great meeting and some good ideas ensued. I will likely start sometime after Australia Day (26 Jan) and begin with part time duties - probably in a business improvement /consulting role that the CEO has in mind for me. I can also do some work from home (we have the technology) so that will lighten the physical load somewhat. I kinda need the money too!
Anyway, that's all for today folks. Things are going well.
I'll be back with some more juicy morsels another day.