Hell on Wheels

All posts tagged Hell on Wheels

Making Things Count

Published December 7, 2018 by helentastic67

Making it Count

Making Things Count

It may or may not surprise people to know that I have done a Leadership program, which I completed back in 2012? Now, don’t get too excited, it wasn’t a massive degree or such that it would get me a cushy job, working at some multi-national, million dollar paid job, but a portion of Community Development course and the fellow students, all fifteen of us had disabilities (very different kinds) and the course was only two full days a month because the rest of the time it was presumed, because we did work on our individual projects in our own time. Some people worked, some didn’t and while the majority had an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) or Mental Health and a random MS, Polio, Scleroderma thrown in.


Seriously, the contrast and differences were really obvious to me. By the way, my project was this blog. It took a few more years to come to fruition, but within a few years, I now have 230 followers. I call it a win.


Not my point, that’s just the background.

I find because I want my time to be productive and I want to feel like I’ve/we’ve achieved something I step up in groups I go to so it’s not a complete waste of my time.

Productive day

In recent years I’ve stepped back from the Self Advocacy group I was the treasurer, for several years and I’ve concentrated on other things, the DAC (Disability Advisory Committee) I’m part of, in my local community, I’ve been dealing with the NDIS (nightmare) and live really.

Self Advocacy Group

I find myself on the out-skirts of the Advocacy group and at times I end up (self-nominated. I’m such an idiot) conversing and moderating issues.


I firstly try to do as much in the moment so it gets done and we can discuss and move the fuck on.

Moving On


Today’s Lunch – 5th December 2018

Published December 5, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

As per usual, just when my Wednesday settles back into a comfortable routine there is a spanner thrown into the works. If you need a reminder, my Wednesday used to completely revolve around lunch at my favourite cafe followed by a short walk to chiropractor then tramming it back to acupuncture close to home then a hearty walk home. But because one of those things relocated from Clifton hill away from the tram route that I rely on. I would catch taxi’s however I am lucky young John fits me into his schedule and doesn’t charge me, in his words because he says he’s a “decent human being”, and I otherwise cannot afford to do taxis and the NDIS expects me to Uber. Hell NO! So, I started getting a carer for a rather lengthy shift just to get me to my standard Wednesday appointments.

Normal Plan

Just pointing out I don’t need handholding for 4 hours but here we are and you may wonder about this “red-tape” I’ve mentioned previously in regards to funding for disability? I learned yesterday the NDIS has decided I can’t use core supports (fancy word for carer hours) to cover the mileage for my carers. I will now be billed for that separately. Only .80cents a kilometre, but if you add it up for the year? Ouch! After consulting the lovely Noelle, my blog administrator and the person solely responsible for my memes, her son also a client of the NDIS recommended I have mileage written into my service provider agreements.

Red Tape

My other solution is to only use the providers who don’t charge for mileage. My Friday chick who takes me shopping claims hers I believe on her tax, which makes me favour her for community access shifts. Are you picking up my subliminal messages of all the new names and terms for things under the NDIS? Yes, let’s recap, shall we?

Service Providers – Companies that provide carers or other needs funded and registered with the NDIS.

Core Supports – The name given to funding allocated for hiring person carers or support Workers.

Subliminal – Like, how I’ve been sneaking it into your minds that not all brain injuries are the same.

The general consensus is that all people with brain injuries sit in a corner and drool without conscious thoughts and you are getting it that I don’t have that kind of brain injury. Nailed it!

Brain Injury

Also, today is different again and not getting to my favourite cafe at all. Instead going to a free screening of a film called Defiant Lives.


Lucky for you I managed to get a quick coffee break last Friday in between missions and my Friday chicks, really should call her my Girl Friday. Had this delicious little treat. It’s half a lemon tart and medicine.

Lemon TartLatte 1










I may squeeze in a medicine at a more local cafe close to home before I get home. To be continued……….

Latte 2

Oh, and here is my first calla lily out on my balcony garden. Only planted them a few months ago.

Calla Lilly 1Calla Lilly 2











Wonderful Wednesday 1


Published December 3, 2018 by helentastic67



I have a problem! Yeah, I know I have plenty, but in this case, it is my inability to go to bed and go to sleep by 2am at times.

Getting to bed

This is not a new thing for me and depression and chronic pain skewed my sleeping patterns, go hand in hand.

Sleep Pattern

I have had ridiculous sleeping patterns since my late teens, but these days I find I need to explain why I’ve fallen into this diabolical pattern.

Diabolical Pattern


I mean I won’t die, going to bed at 2am. However, it really very much impacts everything the next day, how well my brains is rested, my left leg works etc. So, I explain it like this, having one hand, not being able to dry myself, dress my self (very well), the brain strain it takes to do simple things like prepare breakfast (yes, I can, however painfully) hunger is a great motivator, all I’m saying.

Simple tasks

But, during the day, I’m out and doing the things, like going to appointments that keep me moving independently and fed. I text and cull emails or some quick phone calls when out on trams heading home, so I save time later. I get home, I really want to crash and face-plant and sleep, but I have learned that sleep at this point is bad. I get here and I do the chores that keep my home and life going, bring in washing, unpack/repack dishwasher etc.


I generally need time to rest and decompress. I have a coffee, even if it’s my second for the day and it’s 6pm. No it doesn’t keep me awake, no, don’t argue, it really doesn’t. I have some Italian blood after all.

Italian blood

Then, I get ahead of my “Brain Training” or what I consider my brain training. (you an ask me in other forums, I really can’t mention in my blog). Then I watch a few shows I feel keep me in touch with the real world.

Brain Training

But I digress. The evening is filled with hours of TV and some social media stuff and emails, let alone the admin/case notes I do every day, so if needed I can be billed correctly, I message friends so I can keep in touch with people I love.

I Digress

At some point I realise, should I eat dinner? Yes! It’s probably as late as 11pm.

You see the slippery slope to hell now? I prepare something tasty, lazy, but healthy and I get back to admin and emails. I like to have a cuppa T (yes cup of tea) and a brain numbing horror or two of TV to help wind down and switch off

Late night dinner

Before I know it, it’s 2am.

I’m working on it, I swear…

Working on it


Super Powers

Published November 30, 2018 by helentastic67

Super Powers

Super Powers

Have you ever considered what Super Power you would have or what if you could have one? Yes, yes, all men – x-ray vision. You dirty little purves…

Xray Vision

Women are much more subtle………. Maybe?

I have wanted for some time now for my super power to be a “Slap of Wisdom”. OK, might need to work on the title however, while I’m not suggesting to know all there is to know in the The Universe.

Slap of power

However, in the same sense as the character Gibbs in the first, I don’t know 20 (exaggeration) seasons of NCIS would smack DiNozzo up the back side of the head (I miss those days). I would like to be able to simply slap people up the back of the head and then in just a second they would be like “Oh yeah, I totally get it now”.

Gibbs slap

Not to be confused with outright violence, that’s never excusable. However, I think my super power has become my uncanny ability to be blunt.

Being blunt

I lose my filter at times generally after simply polite reasoning gets me nowhere.

No filters

Seriously, I haven’t got all fucking day.

No, what would your super power be if you could choose one?

Whats your superpower 1

Today’s Lunch – 28th November 2018

Published November 28, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Welcome to another busy week so far. Hoping Wednesday’s punchy/stabby day is a bit of calm to my mid-week.

Calm mid week

However, first I must mention a lovely woman I called my friend that I heard passed away a month ago. I met her when I knocked on her door. 15 years ago. She squinted at me suspiciously and I reassured her she did not know me. I introduced myself and inquired as to the cumquats over her back fence.  I’m sure I can’t do her justice in a Wednesday foody post but I’m sure to do a full post about her at a later date. I would hear from Kath around December as she would call people instead of doing Christmas cards. I knew Kath from when I lived in Clifton Hill before and straight after I developed my disability. Kath was a morning regular at the cafe near where I first lived and everybody knew her. From my visits with her I learnt she had been a nurse in the ICU brain injury ward at St Vincent’s hospital. When she would update me on her breakfast companions, she once told me they had “fallen off their perch!” Which I prefer “They went to God!” Which is how I diplomatically like to put it when someone dies. I know it’s really hard for the older generation when they keep losing their friends because they outlive them.

Kath 1

Every time I spoke to her. she would announce happily how old she was. It would go like this “Oh Helen I’m 94 this year and I don’t want to live forever.” She lived to be 97 which was a pretty good innings. I always found her interesting because she didn’t seem to have that Grumpy old lady era. I have a few other older lady friends and one of them has always been in that era and I’ve known her for the same amount of time and has never disclosed her age. What is it with older ladies and their age? My friend Betty is only 87 and doesn’t want to get to 97. Clifton Hill won’t be the same without her presence.

Kath 2

Otherwise have been in the city the last 2 days. Tuesday all afternoon even coming home in peak hour on the tram to get home just before 7pm! Didn’t even get my medicine. Might need to sneak in a second medicine later today.

Peak hour

So, today’s lunch is a salami pizza with a side salad and my medicine.

Salami PizzaSaladLatte

And just reporting my friend in Texas received her latest parcel only a week late. She seemed pleased! It’s gone already, apparently.

Package arrived



White Goods

Published November 26, 2018 by helentastic67

White Goods 1

White Goods

Now, I am completely aware that this post may come across as first world problems, but I want you to hear me out.

First World Problem 1

A month ago, (remember that, it’s vital to this story) I bought a brand-new front loader washing machine. All by myself. Even at my age, I will tell you, you don’t do it very often (that is to say ‘buy-a new White good).

White Goods

My last white goods purchase I shared the expense with a boyfriend and when he left, I told him I had to buy him out (of his share) and he told me, I could just keep it. He also left me his fridge, telling you not only do the end of relationships come down to ‘who gets the white goods’ but also how guilty he must have felt. Yes, he should feel very guilty (Another day) and so you don’t think I’m super wealthy, I didn’t have a sudden influx of excess cash, I actually had to replace my top loader washing machine, because it was a bit rubbish (having been donated to me about three years ago, by a not for profit) that was leaking, but also because living in an apartment now, means less indoor space for putting up drying racks, no clothes line (but again racks on the balcony) but lastly, I will now need to use a dryer at some point and it will need to sit ON TOP OF THE FRONT LOADER WASHING MACHINE.

Relationship breakup

I will definitely be struggling to breathe for the next few months, while I survive on 2-minute noddles and food from my freezer.


As per usual, I digress.

Anyway, it took a few weeks to notice, however the machine has had a leak under the front. I had a little touchy-feely of the tap at the wall, a little damp. So, I call the retailer, who from new onwards will be called ‘Retailer’. The woman who answers, suggests I call the company that made it (let’s call them WASHER). While on hold and going through the oral system so the person who answers knows which washer I’m calling about. I get an ‘outgoing’ message informing me the washer is at the responsibility of the Retailer since 2014.

Slight leak

A person answers reiterating the above point, but using the term that the Retailer “OWNS” the machine (WASHER). Are you getting that I’ve so far paid a great deal of money to rent a brand-new washing machine, that no one wants to own responsibility for a leak, even another number for the Retailer. So I rang again, this time a lovely gentleman told me he would refer me to a local repairer (yes, furthermore known as a ….. no wait….. Fixer) Got this? Retailer/Washer/Fixer.


I was asked if I had paid for a Premium Install? A what? Oh yeah, there was once a time (I’m in that sweet spot where I’m old enough to recall an era of Customer Service and young enough to care to tell people when they are not doing a good job in a polite but constructive way)

Customer Service

I was informed, I would hear from the ‘fixer’ within 24 – 48-hour deadline to update me. And if the ‘fixer’ needed to get parts they would order those before contacting me.

Waiting for call

I was contacted by the ‘Retailer’ within the 48-hour deadline to update me. Remember those days when you pay for delivery and would just hook it all up because they were nice and you weren’t lugged with a price tag on ‘nice?

Call me crazy, but it’s been a week and I’m very concerned if ‘parts’ need replacing after only a month, why can’t they take the brand new (a month old) front loader away and give me another?

Product exchange

You know that’s rhetorical, so don’t answer that.


Published November 23, 2018 by helentastic67



In many ways’ life had prepared me to ready and deal with Life One-Handed. There were subtle signs when I was about sixteen and on nightly coffee/tea duty for the family. I couldn’t carry two mugs at once without spilling the left one. I didn’t have to carry it for 6-7 metres from the kitchen to the lounge, but spill it, I did.

Spilled coffee

Mum would watch me coming and say “Drop you left shoulder” had nothing to do with it really, but life went on. But there were those signs that screamed DO NOT WORK IN HOSPITALITY and occasionally, at work (I was a checkout chick at the Super Cheap Supermarket, so cheap they no longer exist) they put me on the left-handed checkout. No idea why, but there you go.

Left Handed

But until my diagnosis, when I was thirty-four, everything I did kinda moulded me to be very efficient with my time and energy.

These days, I leave the house just in time for lunch (by normal people standards) and I’ve made calls, done internet banking and gotten it “ALL” together.

Normal People lunch

Wednesday’s are a perfect example. I scooter to my last appointment, which is local to home (weather permitting), walk a small block to rendezvous with Young John. (I negotiate with him over breakfast exactly what time he can squeeze me in)

Young John taxi

On the way, I dropped a doona into the dry cleaners to be pressed ($6.00) Young John scoops me up and drops me down to Clifton Hill.

Today, I had to start at the Post Office to pay a few bills, I crossed to my favourite lunch location. Note; I do not mention it by name. Yeah, that’s on purpose. I have a few Melbourne followers these days and it’s sometimes hard enough to get a table and I do love the way they greet me by name when I arrive and when I depart. I mean, that’s what you get by being a regular. Right! Anyway, I take photos of lunch finalise my Wednesday lunch post and email to Noelle.

Favourite Cafe

Generally, I inhale lunch and my medicine (Latte) and maybe write a post.

Off I hobble to my chiropractor and if I’m early I will make a few calls, cull some emails, reach out to some friends as part of my “Good Mental Health Day” regime.

Good Mental Health Day

I see my chiro, then bolt for the tram, often texting whatever on the way. I arrive at acupuncturist get stabbed, eight times, have a little kip (that a bit British for a nap) then scooter home. Often stopping at a few local suppliers on the way.

Little Nap

Check the letter box, without getting off my scooter and picking up an empty box from the supermarket for recycling. (I’m a bit green, you see) The box also comes in handy to get things upstairs from the scooter shed to my apartment. I’ve even worked out a way to (once in the lift) put the box on top of the hand rail, put my leg against it so it won’t fall, using my ONE GOOD HAND, swipe my card and push the button.


Once out of the lift and at my apartment door, I use the same technique to hold the box against the wall while I open the door. Putting whatever I’m carrying on the floor can be very stressful on my lower back and that’s the last thing I need.

So, efficiency is the key.

Efficiency is the Key

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