All posts tagged GP


Published March 29, 2021 by helentastic67

Botox, the Bottom Line

So here we are again, so are the days of our lives!

I’m off for my 4-6 weekly pilgrimage to my GP. He is often/usually/generally/ always my first point of call for getting stuff I need (handy hint!).

Today I’m going to be asking him to help me advocate for me to get more Botox in my leg. I know it all sounds great to put it in your face, however I think it’s a waste of money for 30-somethings to spend, in order to age slowly.

Young people! If this is you? We all age the same, we all go in the ground eventually and Botox is the most toxic thing you can put in your body. I’m just saying, don’t do it for vanity. It’s better for people who need it for medical reasons armpits, legs, arms, etc.

Now, you may imagine Helen seems to have it together when she needs stuff and she has a voice and words, so why do I need my GP for this?

Well firstly, when people want you for a trial that can give them research money and good results (Pick Helen!!). When the research is done, why didn’t you give what you promised? The hinged AFO the appropriate shoes and the overall result being not to need a knee replacement one day.

That is the bottom line for me needing Botox in my left leg. They tell me I don’t need Botox, they even tell me since I now have the correct AFO and shoes.

Yeah! Thank you NDIS (not)!

And I don’t let them forget it! They double down and tell me I don’t get sock fluff build up inside my AFO, so I mustn’t need Botox. Then they even mention I haven’t had it since 2017. Therefore, I really mustn’t need it.

Today’s Lunch – 20th March 2019

Published March 20, 2019 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

The last few days I’ve been contemplating how to tell you all something. I have a few followers that are obviously of a very strong catholic faith, shall I say. For the rest of you, I’ll put your minds at rest. There is NO GOD! And I say this because I have a cold!

No God 1

I know, shocking right? I’m sure to cover my reasoning and beliefs in the faith department one day. Not sure if I have already, or not. But I will.


When I get a cold, the spasticity in my left arm is not fun, it shakes uncontrollably. Hope it doesn’t in public.

I have a cold

I haven’t been able to tell if I’ve had hot flushes or a fever but I just happened to be seeing my GP yesterday and he agreed it’s a fever. So, drugs! Yay! Me! Please be the ones that help me shed some pounds. I do already have the probiotics you should take with them.


I thought to empty my waste paper basket of tissues before my Wednesday carer arrived because she is acting like I’m contagious and I’ve got the Black Plague, lord love her! (She’s going to read this and growl!) I told my GP I tried to separate two black garbage bags and I couldn’t so quickly throw them aside. He told me they can be hard with two hands. I put it down to Child-Proof and therefore, sometimes Helen-Proof!


I usually have a stockpile of tissues in my home and I burnt through that in two days. Good thing I live close to the German shop we all love. Stopped in and got enough to last a few more days. On Friday I can have some real drugs, Antibiotics.


Meanwhile, today’s lunch, somewhere different today! Lamb pizza with lemon and my medicine!

Lamb PizzaLatte










And a picture of Mika finally having discovered her new toy.

Mika and toy


Torture – Part 1

Published August 6, 2018 by helentastic67

Torture Part 1 a

Torture Part 1

There are some posts I put off writing, I’ve had this on simmer in the back of my mind for years and as usual, there are a million ways to address this one. It kinda follows one about the Neuro Angiogram, of which I’ve had two, of and I hated. And ironically, I’ve had two of these also and I hated both of these also.


Firstly, I should premise by saying 2011 was a rough year. Let me start by saying the issues started a few years earlier, but I didn’t piece everything together until sometime later.

2011 problem

By 2011, I had been living one handed for a few years, being fiercely independent and with the ability to keep doing some things one handed. With the encouragement of my physio and OT, I kept doing “things” one handed, ie) lifting a 10kg bag of kitty litter and taking it from the front door to the back door, so it took pressure off the boyfriend. (Yeah! I know, I had one.) Helen now don’t got one. I’ll get to that, it’s on the list.

Kitty Litter

Now, where was I?

On the 6th January that year, I lifted my small suitcase from the floor to my bed. It was full of my laptop, hard drives and other tech stuff and I didn’t want my mother to lift it, so I did it. In hindsight, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.


Weird things started to happen like, it hurt to sit, but not my “butt” I had shooting pain down my right leg. Reminder; my right leg is my good leg, really don’t need anything going wrong with my good leg. I couldn’t sit on the couch in the evenings and watch TV.

Pain in the butt

Trips to my GP, had new medication added to my diet. I think we started with muscle relaxants.


Can’t recall now, what medications followed that, but I started getting Ultrasounds to my legs and other things.

What felt like forever, later we found what worked. The Silver bullet came in the form of Oxy and what I refer to as ‘Oxy, Oxy and Oxy.’

Oxy Oxy Oxy

Slow release, short release and don’t bother me with that because it’s just not going to help.

Oh yeah, eventually the diagnosis was a disc bulge and another crappy side-effect. I felt I needed to pee. All the time and of course if you have ever been on any serious Opiates, you know you have the added trauma of Constipation. Super!


So, as part of the process to get better, is medication. Some people can walk it off and it just gets better. Some people require surgery, but while brain surgeons (Nuero Surgeons) do brains and backs, they prioritise brain.

Brain surgery

Now my happy place that year was lying on my bed, my laptop now lived on my bed so, I just spent more time there. My happy place with Opiates, was 20mg of Oxy Contin during the day and 10mg at night. If I had to go out, I would take 5mg of Oxy norm, it works fairly quickly, but gives you only three hours of taking the edge off.

Lying in bed

I caught the taxi to my local appointments, because I struggled to even scooter to them.

My ‘shrink’ I saw over the phone, paying using online banking. I saw my GP while lying down on his bed, you know, that table thingy? So, saying all of this, it was a long year.

Shrink on phone

The ironic part was all the medical people I saw that year, couldn’t diagnose me, until an MRI told me what the cause to the pain was.

Dr Diagnosis

After diagnosis, a lovely Indian woman who dropped over, I told her I had a disc bulge and she asked “do you have pain down your leg?”



Today’s Lunch – 31st January 2018

Published January 31, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays lunch 3101

Today’s Lunch

Wednesday’s Good Mental Health Day…

Luckily, I got to be here for a quick lunch yesterday. As once a month I see my GP in this neighbourhood. I was able to scribble down a post and as I’m falling behind in my written posts with still plenty to say.

Visiting Dr

So, yesterday’s lunch was the grilled Mediterranean vegetable quiche with a side salad and my medicine! I keep having the best of intentions to order a salad but they are popular and sold out by the time I arrive.












Ah! Wednesday! Salad! It’s called a brain grain salad. I’ve arrived late today and it’s a bit cooler and schools went back today so it’s a little quieter. Thank God!

Brain Grain


Still got my constant companion, my migraine! Not thrilled. Actually, been getting to bed by 1am the last few nights. This morning I managed to sleep in until 9.30am when my Mepacs rudely woke me! And yet my left eye still hurts!


Oh, and today due to time restraints and no young John, I can take whatever salad I don’t eat with me and work on my medicine and this little rum ball.

Rum ball


I will need to include a rum ball recipe because it’s that naughty yummy thing that we grew up making but you don’t make them all the time and yes, you must use rum!

Rum balls

Have a great day!

Happy Wednesday



Published January 23, 2017 by helentastic67



I recently received the results from my latest MRI. My GP quickly reassured me “You’ve still got a brain in there!”

Yeah, thanks! Standard ABI humour!

He then proceeded to tell me the technician who did the report for the MRI was so shocked by the AVM he rang my GP the morning he was next at work, to ask if he was aware of what he had just found.


When he told me this part, I smiled a little and mentioned I had told them I had an AVM! And did they not read the referral?

We both agreed they had not!

Bloody Nora!

The MRI was to tell me if there had been any damage from a fall I had, had years earlier and many other things had taken precedence at the time including my maybe dislocated left shoulder.


Having not seen the Specialist I had meant to see at my hospital at the Specialist Clinic a month earlier.

My GP had referred me instantly to have the MRI under a scheme where if it’s thought to be Cancer, you get prioritized and it was bulk-billed.

When the receptionist had taken his call. She had asked how serious it was? He booked it for me while I pointed to times in my diary that were better.

He answered “Well, it’s the brain! So, it’s pretty important.”

And it was booked amongst everything else the following week.


Music To My Ears

Published December 5, 2016 by helentastic67


Music to My Ears

Oh minimalist industrial German techno! It’s been so long. I had an MRI (Magnetic Resonating Imaging) yesterday and that is the best way I’ve heard the noise made by the MRI machine, so that how I’ve described it ever since.


The specialist appointment I had several weeks ago now was supposed to result in an MRI but, best laid plans and all that! But my regular monthly appointment with my GP Dr Chris last Tuesday sorted it out in only 6 days.

My GP is a genius, more about him another day, but in the meantime, I thought I’d give a little ‘non-doctor’ advice about what to expect when you go for tests like an MRI.

Mostly, I’ve had a few in the last 10 years so my response is very ‘Meh!’ (Shrugs) Whatever: Next!

But for me, I know what to expect, so on a very rare occasion someone I know tells me they are going for a test or procedure that I’m the person to explain what’s going to happen and what to expect. Sometimes, knowing helps relieve the anxiety. So, I think my next few posts will be about that!

Here’s what to expect for an MRI.

It gives more detail than a CT scan, but I won’t elaborate because I don’t speak enough “DOCTOR!”

The first part is pre-planning, you get this part right, it’s a whole lot easier when you get there.

Take out your piercings (don’t argue, just do it) I have 3 piercings in my ears. That’s it! And I wear a light chain around my neck.

Don’t wear any metal objects. I live in tracksuit pants these days. NOT daggy ones, but not dry-clean only either.

Yesterday, I filled in 4 pages of questionnaire. The barrage of questions is intense.

It’s a bit of a tick and flick affair. Even for me things like, any pacemakers, stents? Surgeries? Is there any chance you could be pregnant? Um? If I had a dollar for every time I’d been asked that in the last 10 years and are you breast feeding? I hope you have all read my profile stating I’m a single celibate barren spinster? Well, that’s the answer for that one! Tattoos? I don’t have tattoos so I don’t know what that would do for the people covered in them. I like a good tattoo. I always meant to get one, just didn’t yet?


So generally. You go in, change your top half of clothing and put on a gown and then you usually lie down on a bed that is slightly curved to fit your body. It’s quite comfortable. Your head sits between a slightly raised frames. They give you a squeezy thing that is like an emergency button, so you can tell them if you need stuff. (Not like a cup of tea, but if you don’t feel well or can’t cope)


Love it when this bubble-thing that is offered to my left hand because that hand is going to do big fat nothing! Yes it happens! If they offer you a blanket, take it! They will give you some ear plugs (foam disposables) and wedge some bits of foam near your ears so your head won’t move.

Usually a plastic foam is pushed down over the top and if you’re lucky there is music. (Besides the minimalist German Industrial Techno) and above your face inside the MRI machine, sometimes theirs a mirror so you can see a clock or timer down on the wall beyond your feet.

Sometimes it’s just nice to have something to focus on.

If you’re especially lucky they will talk to you throughout the scans. It might only take 15 – 20 minutes but each scan might only be 4 minutes long. If they give you warning be sure to swallow. Makes you self-conscious that if and when you swallow your head will move. I can guarantee you during that 20 minutes you will get an itch somewhere and a hiccup or an itchy throat. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Don’t get grumpy if you have a set appointment time for your MRI and then find yourself waiting. Some people may be anxious or claustrophobic or have an epileptic fit and they have to come out to calm down before returning to their scans.

Be patient! All I’m saying.

Afterwards, you will get back into your clothes and maybe wait 5 – 10 minutes before departing. Some places will hand you a CD of your scans. Only Doctors have the software to see the scans and your referring doctor will get the results.

Sometimes, if they need to see your arteries they will inject you with a small amount of iodine or contrast. (Without getting too “Doctor”)

This is often injected into the back of your hand or inside your elbow.

The iodine some people can have an allergic reaction to. My experiences have been that other scans (yet to react) I’ve felt nausea and vomiting but small doses it’s OK.

One miraculous sensation is a nice warm flush that travels to your groin. Super! Kinda has that sensation you may have “pee’d” (just a little). Don’t worry, everybody feels that sensation. The best comment from a technician was that ‘no one in his experience has actively “pee’d”. That technician has been working at the same place for 20 years. So I trust his judgement.

The iodine or contrast usually absorbs into your system very quickly, so you needn’t panic. It’s good to drink a little water before you leave and that it’s nothing to freak out about…. Yet!!!



Published September 2, 2016 by helentastic67



night writing2.10am!

Let’s do a little experiment! Let’s see if I can successfully substitute the F Bomb! (Helen’s favourite word!) With a substitute. Also starts with ‘F’!

Keep in mind my GP will gauge how I am mentally by now many times I drop the Fudge word! When I’m frustrated I use the Fudge word a lot and when I see my GP I debrief him on all the things incompetent people aren’t doing. We kind of case manage my care together which works well.


People with an ABI need a lot of sleep. I can’t recall when I last had a night of 8 hours undisturbed! Seriously, maybe never!

I go to bed late (or early) I think you can tell. Tonight I managed not to have my pre-dinner kip. It’s a miracle! And surprising considering the start to my day.

Went to sleep at 2 am.

Stupid neighbours think it’s OK to run their washer/dryer all night long disturbing my sleep!

So already on bad start!

Fudging asshat! Parks his Bogan car outside my bedroom window. Insists on warming his motor like it’s the 70’s and his car is vintage – it’s not! At 6.30am – Fudge!!!

Asshat! Goes back inside and comes back 5 minutes later.

Can’t believe I’ve put up with this 3 and a bit years!

Get back to sleep!


8.30am – there is a chainsaw!

What the Fudge???

But wait! Then a wood chipper!


30 minutes and it’s done.

Bet back to sleep after hitting the MEPACS ALARM!
(Diverting a 9.30 wake up)

Had put on my washing machine so again, disturbed sleep.

10.45am – my carer arrives early!


Discussed today with my GP the lack of follow-up by a hospital Orthotists to get funding application for a 2nd pair of shoes.

shoes for afo 1

For say. If these ones get wet, get sweaty or die because they are my only shoes to wear with my AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic)

“FUDGE ME!” I tell my GP when he asks how hard it is for the Orthotists to do it?

He smiles and I try to look a little repentant.

We already have a backup plan.

I have an appointment with a private Orthotists I’ve seen previously. He won’t have a problem doing the forms to get me the funding for both an AFO and a pair of shoes.


It’s just going to take some time!

And I guess the NDIS kicks in on the 1st of July!


Time for bed.

My first wake-up call is at 6.30am after all!

Strangely, my brain is all systems ‘GO’!

F off trying to sleep




Published August 19, 2016 by helentastic67


Kitten lying down2011

Remembrance Day! Let’s come back to that!

Don’t get excited, not in the way we would wish!

I also learned about Morphine as a form of pain relief!

On the 6th January I lifted a heavy suit case one handed!

My OT’s had been very impressed with my maintaining a level of independence often carrying a 10 kg bag of Kitty Litter through the house to save my Carers doing it or my ex, before he left.

But that suitcase was the straw that broke the camel’s back. First, I think it just hurt to sit! It was pure agony, pain shooting down my good leg…

I has some tests, x-rays and muscle relaxants and after a period of time trying to find the right drug for pain relief and the right tests. I found myself spending a year on my bed waiting for surgery to a bulging disc.

Bulging disc

While working my way through enough Oxy to drug a horse.

While in hindsight, I’ve spent a lot of time with a headache, I’ve likely said, I wasn’t one to reach for pills. I wasn’t anti-pills however, there was always other ways to treat it. An Osteo (Osteopath) or a Chiropractor!

A migraine always meant a trip to the Chiropractors to put my Atlas Bone in or adjust it! ( )

Good night sleep, back to normal!

Where was I? So after a period of time found the perfect balance of drugs for maintaining a prone existence that year was;

20mg’s Oxy Contin during the day. That’s the slow release!

10mg’s Oxy Contin at night.

And if I had a brief taxi ride to my chiropractors twice a week, I would take 5mg’s Oxy Norm. (Fast release, but really only 3 hours!)

Chiropractor joke

I didn’t see much of the world that year!

I would taxi to my GP and see him while lying on his table (bed)…

And your likely wondering what the significance to Remembrance Day is? Keeping in mind I lifted that heavy suitcase on January 6th. Remembrance Day is November 11. that was the day I finally had surgery. I’d had 2 Nerve Root injections. Which were not my favourite and hurt like a needle being rammed into my spine without anesthetic. No wait. That’s literally exactly what it was. Twice!
And that comment about the horse? Oh, yeah. At the end of the year I saw my dentist for a small filling. He gave me an injection and even after a few minutes I could still feel him drilling. After a second injection, I could still feel him drilling. Now, I hate to repeat myself but after the second injection I could still feel him drilling. But after the third I was all good to go!
My dentist who knew I’d spent the year on opiates for pain relief likened me to a horse because I’d build up a tolerance and the average dose wasn’t enough.
Ironically, my filling was on my right side. And I had to go to my GP afterwards. With my facial droop on my left I already slur a little when I speak and if I’m particularly tired. So, that day I really did sound as if I’d had a stroke. Luckily my GP is fluent in several languages including stroke. Winning!


Published December 8, 2015 by helentastic67

Diagnosis 2


“Now tell me, what’s wrong with you?” a shoulder specialist asked me once. You might immediately think my shoulder, correct? Since that was his specialty.

But there’s that thing all medical personal do when ‘assess you!’

To which I replied “How long have you got?”

But first I must digress.

In my early 30’s as you may have read I was working as an Admin Assistant for an NGO. You know, “Admin” it’s that term meaning you do EVERYTHING that is delegated to you and some for really crappy pay.

Oh, I loved that job! I was really good at that job!

Anyway, work became stressful (another time) and my left arm which had always “worked” lost some of its strength and dexterity…

I struggled to touch type, so I hid this by typing very efficiently one handed and tried to hide my weak left arm by sitting my elbow on the desk or in my lap. If I answered the phone left handed I really knocked myself out putting the phone to my ear…

I had a colleague who had a son my age with MS, No! I don’t have MS (Multiple Sclerosis)

Honestly, I think that would be worse than what I have…

So, everyday Tony, my colleague would ask me if I’d seen my doctor yet?

What? I don’t have a doctor…

Actually I had a GP, whom I didn’t like much, so I got a new GP not long before and made a list.

On the bottom I said list was my left arm! I explained the occasional weakness that I’d had for years that came and went…

His response was immediate and he didn’t seem to need any further explanation.

He stated “Ok, let’s get a CT scan!”

I was a little surprised. Booked the appointment not knowing what to expect and went one morning on my way to work.

They injected ‘contrast’ into my arm and when I loaded myself up with all of my bags and carefully navigated the stairs to get back down to the ground floor. The technician watched me very carefully…

I could do stairs rather easily back then, but words from the wise, when the technician watches you like a hawk, he knows something already that you don’t know!

And it’s probably not good new…

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