Life one Handed

All posts tagged Life one Handed

Today’s Lunch – 21st November 2018

Published November 21, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Because consistency is the key.
#why Helen should not be on Instagram!

Bread and Butter pudding

Forgot to take a photo until half was gone. It’s all gone already, FYI, I only had a single serve, gave all of the rest away.  I gave a huge portion to my dinner-dates on Monday night! Went to dinner with my Gay-Silver-Fox and his husband! We walked to a Thornbury pizza place called Pizza Farro. It was really good. Haven’t been for a while and really should go more often.

Also had the best lemon, lime and bitters I may ever have had and I’m not mentioning anything else, because I did not take any photos! Damn it!

No Photo

Have discovered further evidence this week my new fur-baby is a weirdo! Mika has taken a keen interest in drinking from the buckets of water my carers fill in the kitchen sink and carry to the balcony to water my plants. She will drink for a very long time before the bucket is placed out onto the balcony. You. Ishtar imagine I’m a bad fur-parent, however she gets a clean bowl of water every day in her very own shower.

Drinking water

And the weirdo comment?

Weird Cat

Last night I heard a drinking sound?  Kia had gone from the couch, to the table to the little freezer, in front of the microwave to the kitchen bench. To the bucket in the kitchen sink full of water to drink and no, I didn’t have the heart to stop her. Yet to find a workable solution to this habit of Mika’s.
Loving my weirdo cat! She makes life interesting!


Today’s offering, another chicken salad with quinoa and cranberries. I’m in my summer foody rut already and my medicine!

Quinoa and CranberriesLatte










But Christmas has arrived. Making these photos special! Panettone.















Published November 19, 2018 by helentastic67



Now, this may come as a bit of a surprise and I realise I’ve yet to do the ‘everyday person’s’ explanation of the difference between TBI/ABI/MY ABI/AVM so presuming I can keep it short and sweet (when have I ever).












I’m lucky I’ve not had trauma to my brain, I’ve not been cut into (not my brain anyway). This has allowed me the ability to retain a great many things. Memories from before breakfast today, my greater independence financially and my ability to plan and execute. All to which helps me stay independently living by myself. Kapish (I think that is Italian for ‘understand’)


However, I think all of the above might work against me sometimes, when dealing with (is there a polite word for this? Anyone?)



Sweet Jesus!

No really, this week I’ve been asked at a train station if I was staff, and a staff member in uniform had just been talking to me and then this incompetent woman came up to me claiming to be doing a ‘survey’. FARK


What? I’ve gotta do your job too now?

I didn’t get enough sleep last night and by the time I left my chiropractor, my left eye was hurting (that’s my version of a migraine these days, hurts like hell, but allows me to keep getting around to do all my “things”) WHERE ARE MY DRUGS? I left asking the receptionist who was on over the weekend. Most good chiro’s if they don’t fix the problem in that visit and you still have symptoms the following day, they will see you again ‘free of charge.’

Where are my drugs

I was told the two girls (who own the practice) are away for Easter. I enquired who was covering? The Associate? The Associate, is a lovely younger guy I can bond with over “The Walking Dead” and GOT (Game of Thrones) Her reply – “Oh, I don’t know, I haven’t asked him yet.


Do I have to do everything?

Do I have to do everything

Good Deeds

Published November 16, 2018 by helentastic67

Good Deed

Good Deeds

I did a good deed today and I felt good about it. That’s not why I did it. But, it’s all the little good things in life and the everyday that helps the upside of life with depression. We always need to remember or be reminded to really enjoy the good moments.

I did a good deed

So, my good deed, I hear you ask?

I went into the city today, ironically, I was going to the ‘late’ AGM of the Self Advocacy group I am somewhat part of. Will have a migraine by the end of the day worse than I have at the start of the day, but I digress.


I cut through Degraves Street to Flinders Lane and arrived early at my destination. When I returned later only one of the two homeless guys remained. I had returned to Degraves Street to get some lunch, knowing I needed ‘something’ but not wanting anything huge.

Degraves St Melbourne

I bought a toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and decided to give half to the homeless guy with his dog. I briefly considered asking him if he was a vegetarian or would be ok to eat ham?

Homeless guy and dog 1

There is a story Debra Lee Furness told on a TV interview once about giving a homeless guy in New York a BBQ chicken once, that she gave it to him, he told her he was vegetarian. (Apparently being homeless doesn’t change that) Debra Lee Furness (hey, she married Hugh Jackman) stated the BBQ chook had been organic and very expensive.

Deborra Lee Furness

Me on the other hand, my generosity more in line with my financial standing. At the café, I put in my order and asked if they could cut it into quarters and wrap half in a bag and the other half in another bag. They looked at my strangely.

I explained my intention and the wait staff told me it depended how busy the cook was. But luckily, he made it happen. I received my keep cup (of my medicine) and the two bags (half put in my bag) and hobbled over to the man with his dog. There was a small plastic container on the ground of water for the dog. I asked him if I could give him the sandwich. I told him it had ham, cheese and tomato in it and that I had been concerned he might not eat meat.

Toasted HCT

He didn’t eat tomato, but he said he was happy to pick it out.

I had to smile.

The dog of course then started to bark. I don’t know who was going to get to eat the sandwich and it doesn’t matter.

Homeless guy and dog

But, sometimes a good deed, a kind word can mean as much to the giver as the receiver and there is always someone with less than we have, yet more problems.

Good Deed Kind Words

Today’s Lunch – 14th November 2018

Published November 14, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

First, I want to mention with great sadness while America has mass shootings and it’s really awful, Melbourne last Friday had an incident of our own. When some ass-hat who decided because they couldn’t deal with, whatever issues they couldn’t deal with, to take it out on others and a well loved and respected Melbourne icon is now without a hero and beloved kind soul.

Pellegrini’s is a place I used to go for great coffee in the top of the city back in the 90’s after dinner and before clubbing and could always be relied on for great coffee to help get me through. My uncle when in town from Queensland, I know would go there. I will go once again. Sit at the counter to enjoy my medicine.


Now, on a lighter note. I had a dinner party on Saturday night and number 1 reasons why I shouldn’t go on Instagram?


Food arrives and forget to take a photo before eating/serving dinner, in all fairness, my guests arrived in time to take my lasagne from the oven. I usually take it out after I’ve let the top brown I put on the foil and after another hour or so it’s a safety hazard for me to take it out one-handed. So, timing is of the essence. Threw together a salad. (Not pictured) and my guests provided a baked cheesecake. Which was delicious! It is just so rare to have company at home and it’s even better to be able to be relaxed. Better than going out.

Dinner Party

Crazy day Monday, with my NDIS review, mum was here over night and when she is here, we smash out ‘all the things that don’t get done unless she is here’. You picture those crazy crime scene maps with the red string?

Crime Scene

That’s what we did to Melbourne in my mums little racing car. Think mum was a rally car driver in a previous life. Her, Mazda and Google Helen (I’ve recently been called) and a Sally the GPS (after Sally the over-locker!) totally writing that post later! We even got to the Swedish warehouse.

After exactly a year of apartment living, I have worked out the best place to hang out to ‘accidentally’ run into my neighbours. While hanging out in B1 (the basement level where my scooter shed resides) while mum went to get the racing car, my neighbours came down for whatever reasons, one I even got to give him the light globe I had bought for him when I got some for myself, the other neighbour who was heading off for work. She is a night shift nurse and some grumpy guy who parks next to my shed. He was really friendly, (note sarcasm)


Now back to normal programming, have slotted back into normal Wednesday programming with the assistance of a carer, I’m getting to my favourite cafe in Clifton Hill, then my standard punchy/stabby day.


Today’s offering, a chicken and turmeric salad and my medicine.













The Other Hideous Thing

Published November 12, 2018 by helentastic67

The other hideous thing

The Other Hideous Thing

 So, today I’m following through on a promise from my early Hellonwheels days. I mentioned way back then about there having been two hideous tests or procedures I’ve had, that I did not particularly like. You may recall, my post about the Cerebral angiogram. It was the one I likened to being punched in the head from the inside.

This is the “other” thing I’ve had and ironically, I’ve had this thing twice also.

However, I need to premise this by mentioning the back story. I will attempt to keep it brief. No promises.

Make no promises

After a few years of smashing out Life One Handed after a while, ‘things’ start to breakdown. Wish someone had told me to prepare for that.

Now, this describes a time frame from literally the 6th January 2011, to the 11th November in the same year. Early January, I lifted a heavy suitcase of my tech toys (laptop, hard drives etc) from the floor to my bed, to more easily unpack it. My lower back did not particularly like it. But it was a process of why-questions.

Why do I always feel I need to pee? (not really)

Why does it hurt to sit down for more than three minutes?

And many, many others.

Lower back pain

My GP Dr Chris (he won’t mind) started me on some muscle relaxants. Didn’t help. Then something else (can’t remember) also didn’t help. I was seeing the physio and OT at the time and one of them started massaging the back of my right leg. (my good leg) because that’s where the worst pain was and she was working on that spot until I wanted to slap her.

So needless to say, I was getting test on my good leg. Other random tests and things, I can’t even remember now, and over the course of the year we found the diagnosis after an MRI of my lower back, the answer to all the pain was I had a DISC BULGE in my lower back, at L5 (I think).

Bulging disc

After diagnosis, we worked at the right pain relief (drugs) and right sedentary lifestyle. At the time, I still lived in Clifton Hill on the other side of Hoddle Street.

Clifton Hill is where I spend every Wednesday for lunch and see my chiropractor. I would scooter to my chiro every week and while I went full pelt through the park to get to my appointment, When I got to traffic lights, I had to stand up to give my lower back a stretch. (walking through the park took too long and I always feared I wouldn’t make it home to the toilet.) Yeah, good times.

Fear of not making it to toilet

Anyway, the Happy Place with pain meds for me was Oxy, Oxy, Oxy. (As I call it) Slow release Oxycontin twice a day and when I had to get up off my bed to go anywhere, I would slam some short term, but fast release stuff. Endone 5mg (gives me about thirty minutes) and it’s no silver bullet. 5mg of Oxy norm gives you about three hours and that’s on top of 20mg or 10mg of the Oxycontin. Who knows that happens when you take a shit load of pain meds?

That’s right Constipation!


I’m going to imagine my followers don’t require me to explain this displeasure. But my point here is, I don’t understand when people tap out of life taking pain meds, when they just can’t deal with life, when it means they can’t have a good bowel movement.

So, it would seem I have covered the pre-stuff sufficiently.

Now, the horrid thing.

To buy time, the medical system should you be in the public system and once you are ‘pilled’ up to your eyeballs and constipated to hell and back. They still won’t schedule you for surgery until they give you a Nerve root injection. Sounds like something a dentist night give you. But no, my first (yeah, had two of these things also: NOT frigging happy). The procedure goes like this.

Nerve Root Injection

You are wearing underwear and a gown that does up at the back. Isn’t it always the way?

Lying face down, I had been told I would be given an epidural. My sister (the weird grumpy one) Oh, wait that’s both of them.

After the procedure, she suggested I enquire “where’s my baby?”

Wheres my baby

I delivered the joke to a very still silent room. The young and old Jewish doctors didn’t get it. I looked at the only female in the room and she gave me a weak smile. “Tough crowd”

So, firstly they give you a local in my lower back. Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve had a local anaesthetic, but in between we forgot how much they hurt. They STING. Sweet Jesus! I’m told it’s because the need is so fine. So, after the local and long enough for that to kick in. The younger Jewish doctor tells me ‘You will just feel some scratching’. Well, that turns out to be a lie.

Local Aneasthtic

He rammed the next needle into my lower back. Now, anyone dealing with pain, the best advice is to battle through it. But, I couldn’t. I was told to keep perfectly still while they tortured me.

But, wait there’s more.

They pushed the table I was on into the CT machine and moved behind me to do a scan. He left the room for a moment to check the scan with the older doctor, then returned saying the words “We’ve definitely heading in the right direction” a little to chipper about it, I thought as the local had done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Then telling me to be still, he drove the needle in further.

New Root Injection 1

Then another CT scan and another pointless comment about scratching, which I feel I’ve already covered was the worst understatement ever. Then ramming of the needle again before being injected with the ‘Steroid’. (I forgot).

After the torture was over, I was told I could get up and I asked what next? “Oh. you can just go.”


My mum came into help me dress and I sat with her for five minutes, to gather my thoughts.

I was just happy I had not sworn, but seriously – FUK, FUK, FUK, FUK. Not enough of those in the world that day.

Fuk Fuk Fuk

Overall, considering the pain and torture and the promise of pain relief, it was under delivered. No pain relief and despite being my hospital that had done my radiation treatment. No Surgery.

Next I was booked to have one at another hospital that was closer to home and my side of town. Again, despite knowing what to expect. Didn’t like it any more than the first.

Amusingly after the second Nerve root test (injection) they insisted I stay lying down in recovery for an hour. Lying down! After my first injection at another hospital, they basically told me to get out. (politer than that, but still). After ramming a needle into my back while I was conscious and while not on any Oxycontin. Plus I had to pee.. Was not happy.

Need to pee

Ladies, you know the routine? Well, I was offered a bed pan. They then offed me a bedpan in a chair in the corner. “oh, well close the curtains”

Just “HELL NO!”

Hell no

They then offered me a walker, to get to the toilet. I don’t know what part of me told them we had time to debate this. I really had to go. Just pee, but still.

They did not have any idea why I rudely insisted they get the walker away from me. They insisted. I know now rude I seemed but I’m one-handed. How was I going to use that walker?

They finally bought me a wheelchair and took me to the toilet.

All of this under the watchful eye of my mother.

Watchful eye

NB – Did I mention I was offered a third one of these? Yeah, same place as the first one.

I was given a student, and she seemed to hear me, but went and got the senior dude on that day. (He did not listen so he doesn’t get qualification acknowledgement as he wanted someone with way less experience to get to stab me in my back!) He came in and said “Oh, I think we’ll start with a nerve root injection?”

And I think they just didn’t prioritise me for surgery because I refused to let them keep practicing on me.



Not Robin

Published November 9, 2018 by helentastic67

Not Robin

Not Robin

Later that day, the young ‘child’ it’s an affectionate term for my young carer who loves the reward stickers for the schools from the supermarket. (It’s a kiddy commodity to get the school certain rewards, usually sports equipment etc)

Reward stickers 1

As we are driving, our conversation sometimes goes like this –

“So, she bought tickets for her mum (who sounds like my age) to go see a concert on Sunday night. Oh? Who are you going to see? Robin Williams. No, I shake my head. It can’t be him. Try again. Oh, he has a? It’s definitely Williams. Oh, was he in Take That? (my bad, she wasn’t born then) Is it Robbie Williams? Yeah! I think it’s that.

Robbie Williams

Oh, sweetheart, she’s going to see Robbie Williams, I mean he’s ok, not my cuppa tea, but good on her. I imagine she’s going to be very embarrassed by her mum reliving her youth.

Robbie Williams 1

Can’t wait to see my young carer on Friday to ask her how it went.


Today’s Lunch – 7th November 2018

Published November 7, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Allow me to introduce you to some beautiful things about Melbourne, spring and apartment living in today’s post.

We are currently in Spring Carnival season here in Melbourne, in Spring in Melbourne we get most of our rainfall. Yesterday was the Melbourne Cup! Supposedly, the race that stops the nation? (I wouldn’t know as I was asleep when it happened) and I woke this morning just before 8am to the sound of thunder, pouring rain, someone running past my front door down the hallway towards the lift and my water feature on my balcony had returned. Looking outside to the otherwise busy intersection to see rain coming down ‘side-ways!’. You know the kind? With the sound effects of (ssssshhhhhhhh!!!!)

Spring Carnival

Melbourne Cup is very well known for people getting dressed up (or down) people basically making a huge disgrace of themselves and celebrities hanging out and rubbing shoulders in a pavilion called the Birdcage and the catering being to die for.


In short, I’ve never been, I don’t gamble and despite it raining buckets, the race still goes on.
The water feature on my balcony, I have a drain pipe on my balcony that was bubbling up water, that in itself you might think what’s so bad about that? Um, yeah. I live on the second floor! This is not a great thing, but it’s only happened twice now and I’ve just signed a lease for my second year here so I shouldn’t stress?

Bsalcony flood

Also, because I’ve had a 4-day weekend due to the public holiday yesterday and purposely keeping Monday’s schedule clear, I venture out of the house for the first time since Friday!

Long Weekend

Doing full Person and back to my crazy normal Wednesday schedule. So today’s lunch is a pancetta quiche with side salad and my medicine.

Pancetta QuicheLatte












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