Thursday, December 31, 2009

one last entry...... for 2009!

WOW, I can't believe its 2010!!! So crazy!

Happy New Year to all my family and friends wherever you are on this wonder planet!

All the best for 2010!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

what a way to end the year...

With a nasty cold :(

symptoms got worse last night and after being woken up a huge crack of thunder I decided I was in no condition to be going to work. I'm not one that likes to call in sick all the often, however I would have been putting other sick people at risk, and working on an oncology ward, that is not fair to the other patients. Their immune system is already decreased and me being at work wouldn't be helping. AND, I don't get sick time - so you KNOW I'm sick!

Symptoms include: runny nose, sore throat, productive cough, sore chest, painful sinus, and overall blah.

I took half a sleeping tablet at about 1am, I couldn't sleep laying flat as my sinus's felt like they where going to explode and it didn't sound like the storm was going to end anytime soon. I crashed about 45 minutes after taking the pill, briefly heard Rob when he left work, then when he came home from work at about 1000, and proceeded to keep sleeping till 1340. I guess I needed it and today I am feeling a bit better. Rob brought me home some cup of noodle soup and I will be chugging the cough syrup all day! Today is New Years eve, and I'll be damned if I am spending it in bed! We have spent $120 on tickets to an all you can drink/eat party and have got a room in town - as we don't want to have to worry about a cab getting home.

So, here's to a snotty ending of 2009, and probably a snotty entry into 2010, but it will be a good one!!!

Merry Christmas!

Well, its a few days past christmas, but Merry Christmas!

I never did get my white christmas, but I have been cold!! Back to that later...

Christmas day was definitely one to remember! I managed to get through my nights, I phoned home during my break on my last night which was nice to talk to family, and I was spoiled Christmas morning!!
Rob wasn't too keen on getting up at 7:30 when I got home Christmas morning, but there was presents to open :)
For Christmas I got a shirt from my mom as well as a couple of necklaces and some much needed underwear - can't go a christmas without some new knickers!! I also got a new watch from Rob, some Versace perfume and a beautiful pearl necklace with three diamonds :) I love them all, especially the necklace, which I will be wearing to our New Years party tomorrow night!!
For Rob I got him a few small things - magazine, lotto tickets, a book and a kinder surprise, but it didn't end there. For his 'main' gift, I got him a 12,000 foot sky dive jump. I got myself one as well and when he opened the gift he was shaking!! It was great as he had NO idea when he was getting and I put the voucher in a booked stuffed with newspaper so it seemed empty - I had him convinced it was a box of 'love'!! We are plan to do our jump this Sunday - eeeeeeeeeeeeee - weather permitting :)

I slept for a few hours Christmas morning, as did Rob, and he was cooking turkey dinner. We where planning on having it ready for about 1:30 - 2:00 and then heading to a friends house for a few hours. However, Rob didn't wake up till 1:30, and so we didn't eat till about 4:00. He skyped his family back home and before we knew it, it was 6:00. SO, we decided to stay in as I had to work my last night shift that night.

Boxing day however, was a bit more 'fun'. After I woke up at 3:30 - I slept in :) we caught the bus and headed down to the casino :) I hadnt' been to the casino in ages and was so pumped. I went to the roulette table right away and within 30 minutes I had 3 numbers hit and was up over $2oo!! I cashed out and watched Rob play black jack, then went back to the roulette table and proceeded to play again, and lost $100! Nice one. Oh well, I went willing to lose $100, so I was still up! Rob and I decided to head into town to spend our winnings. We hit about three bars and eventually made it home at about 2:30 - after a $45 cab ride, I love living so far away :)

So that was pretty much my Christmas. Not overly exciting, but great company and great gifts!

After our night out to the casino, I woke up the next day not feeling the greatest, a little hung over and feeling a cold coming on. Since then, I have developed a nice chest/sinus cold and haven't been feeling great. I slept most of Sunday and Monday we went and say Avatar. I hit the sac early but was awake after 1:30am having difficulty catching my breath and coughing. I went to work feeling like shit and of course I was offered overtime...... I stayed, but I slept well that night! The worst is that we don't have much control over the temperature in the units, and lately is has been SOOO cold! I am currenlty in sweat pants and hoody! WTF!!! We actually turn OFF the AC every once and a while to warm things up. This I know, is not helping my chest, and considering I haven't been sick in over a year and this is my 2nd cold this month, I know my body is not impressed!
Rob has picked up some cough medicine for me and I am already starting to feel a bit better. I'll be loading up on in tonight as tomorrow night is New Years Eve and I want to PARTY!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the night before christmas

So here I am working a night shift on Christmas eve....technically it is officially Christmas day...


and I am completely bored!!! A good excuse to update my blog! I was going to do a nursing rendition of the poem "Twas the night before Christmas", but got stuck on the second line :) Not that imaginative I guess. Either that or haven't had enough or too much red bull!!!

So I'll just update my Christmas here in Darwin.
To be honest, its been a bit of a rough go! This is my third night shift of 4, and my first time as in-charge or team leader as they call it here. I am not working with the best of staff, of the 4, I am working with an enrolled nurse, like an LPN back home, and fairly new grad, and another nurse that is nothing but a bitchy disrespectful human being that should have NEVER taken nursing........anyways. The first night was pretty busy, trying to get myself orientated as team leader, and to be honest having to do a lot more thinking!!! Imagine that!! haha.
The second night was complete hell. Bitchy nurse was at her worst; I was supposed to have help from an attendant to watch 2 confused patients, but didn't get one so one of us had to be in the room the entire time; had patients spiking temperatures; and was trying to get through all the charts to update the care plan, among other team leader duties on night shift. Basically I did not stop working all night, a couple 5 minute breaks to use the toilet and drink some red bull, and didn't get off work till nearly 8am. Needless to say, I had a glass of wine when I got home that Christmas eve morning :)
Rob finished work early Christmas eve and after stopping for a drink or two came home at about 1:30. I woke up and vented about my shit ass night, and of course was all worked up and didn't get back to sleep. That's ok, its Christmas eve and I was prepared for that. Rob and I eventually went back to the pub, I had my one allotted glass of wine for the night, we played Keno - which we did horrible on, and had supper there. Supper wasn't really planned, but, what the heck, it was better then what we had planned at home, chicken.....and we hadn't figured out the rest yet! (and it was nothing compared to mom's lasagna and ceasar salad....mmmmm, ceasar salad!!) After a brief nap at home I prepared myself for my third night shift, and it truly was a struggle to come in knowing who I have to work with.....and I only dread the one person. Unbelievable how one person can make you feel like that.
Upon arrival to the ward I found out that we only had 15 patients (we have 30 beds) and 4 nurses. One had to float in case she was needed in maternity, so three of us have 5 patients and no one is extremely sick. Because I had one floating she was able to help with 2200 BP checks and meds ect, so by 2215, I was sitting down working on getting though all the charts! And because it was my third night, I knew most of the patients so it was a fairly easy check. By midnight I had everything that needed to be done, done, as well as even some of my morning things all prepared! Some of the staff brought in food so we munched away, and by 0300most of my staff where asleep at the desk. Nice.
So here I am typing away trying to keep myself awake, I think I am immune to red bull! haha

As for not being at home this Christmas season, it has been a bit tough! I miss my family TONS, and even though I got to see them in Cuba, I wasn't at home. I miss my dog, and the comfort of mom and dads house (my house I never really got to settle in so I don't miss it as much) I miss the fireplace, and if you can believe it, I actually kinda miss the snow.... but only for Christmas! I know, I know, I came here to get away from the snow, but it just doesn't feel like Christmas! Walking home from the pub Rob and I where saying that it can't be Christmas - the sky is blue, the grass is green and its 30 freakin' degrees out. WTF??? I didn't mean to rub that in, but it just plain seems weird. It also doesn't help that I am working and for the second year in a row, not getting drunk :(
It is going to be weird not have mom's turkey, and gravy, and potatoes, carrots ect, and of course dessert. Mom's cooking is ALWAYS the best so Rob has his work cut out for him. I get out of cooking this year because I am working nights and will be sleeping :) Food was another thing that we had to figure out. Our oven is about the size of a small microwave.....and we have very few pots/pans, and only 2 burners, which sometimes don't like to work when the oven is on. Rob found a small turkey that only takes about an hour and a half to cook and I don't know what else he has planned other then gravy! His family normally eats at about 2pm, and we are planning to go to a mates house for a couple of hours, so turkey dinner at 2pm is the plan (that is also going to be weird, normally at 2 we are snacking on Christmas treats and chilling out!) As I have to work my last night shift that night we will have to leave pretty early from our friends place, but that's ok, at least we are getting out of the house and doing something.

However, of all the things that are going to be different, and how much I wish I could be at home, I am grateful that I do have someone that I care for dearly to spend Christmas with! My thoughts and love are with all those that I can't be with and am grateful for the loving family and friends that I do have halfway across the world!

So, it is nearly 0400, 4 more hours and I will be opening Christmas presents, drinking a glass of wine and seeing the surprised look on Rob's face when he sees what I got him....... that will be later!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all my family and friends, I miss you all so much!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas in Darwin

I am having a very difficult time getting into the Christmas spirit in Darwin.

The city itself does not get all that into the Christmas spirit - very few Christmas lights, not many decorations around the city, and even the malls are very 'blazee". I've hardly heard any Christmas music, which is the opposite back home where all you hear is Christmas music as early as Nov 1st. I did however purchase a Christmas music album on Itunes, that I have already played about three times - but I can't play it when Rob is there, but that's OK!
It also doesn't help that I am used to a white Christmas. I have always been in Canada for the holidays and most of the time, there is snow on the ground!! Not a chance in hell that will be happening here - and not that I am complaining - I don't miss the winter drive and the cold weather, with wind chills on top of that, but nothing beats waking up Christmas morning to see snow falling from the sky.
Even the ward I work on isn't that decorated, we have some garland hanging from the ceiling with some ornaments dangling off them, and that's it!! However, due to the fact I work on an oncology ward, and we get patients with febrile neutropenia (basically no immune system and no white blood cells to fight infection) we can't put up a tree because of dust and debris.
I decided the best way to help my un-festive spirit, was to decorate my unit. Plus, I can't have a Christmas without a Christmas tree, even if it is a fake one!!! So I went to the un-decorated mall to get decorations.... and what a disgrace!!! K-mart had some cute small trees, but they only came in pink or purple (don't get me wrong, if I wasn't living with Rob I would have bought the pink one!) the rest where all huge and expensive. And there where hardly any decent decorations - like window stickers or garland, or anything!!!! I ended up getting most of my things at the dollar store, of all places. I picked up a cute 4ft 'green' tree for 10 bucks, some ornaments for the tree, a couple strings of garland, and a tiny wreath for the front door and a couple stickers for the window. I did get some battery operated Christmas lights at the Big W (aka, Walmart) and some outdoor solar Christmas lights from K-mart. All in all I spent about $45, well worth it to help get in the joyous Christmas spirit!

The minimal effort put into decorating the city
Partially done christmas trees
My front door - currently the garland is down as we had a storm over the weekend!

Our cute christmas tree!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm staying for another year :)

Yup, it has been confirmed, I will be staying in sunny Australia for the year 2010 - CRAZYNESS!!! I received the email yesterday afternoon from immigration with the confirmation that I have been granted another working holiday visa!! WOOHOO!!!

When I first got the e-mail, my heart stopped, I was so worried that I would have been denied - why, not sure, but was just really nervous! However, as I read it, I had a big sigh of relief and a massive grin on my face :)

I am kinda relieved that I am staying for another year as it doesn't sound like there is much work available in Calgary right now. As much as I am missing my family and friends, I think it is a wise decision to stay in Australia where work is a bit easier to come by. Plus it gives my family more time to try and plan a trip to come visit!!! (and anyone else that wants an excuse to come to Oz!)

I will be headed back to Canada in August of 2010 as I CAN NOT miss the Diemert reunion!! I missed one 3 years ago and regretted it very much. I have promised myself and my family that I would not miss one no matter where I am in the world, so I will be back for a short time, but will be returning to the wonderful world of Oz :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Life at Staff Village

Sunday morning Rob and I moved to the staff village accommodation at the Royal Darwin Hospital. After almost 3 weeks of living in a hostel, even though we had a private room, I was excited to have my own place with no roommates (other then Rob of course!) no sharing a bathroom, kitchen, or having to clean up after other people and a bit of privacy!!!! Now I would have preferred not to move in on a Sunday as it was a friends last weekend in town and his going away party was Saturday night. BUT, it was the earliest I could get into a unit, and with the Monday being Rob's birthday and having to start work Tuesday, Sunday was the day. Check-out was at 10:00am, (lovely) and a workmate of Rob's was kind enough to pick us up and take us to the hospital. There are 200 units in the area, and they are nothing special!! We are unit 8, my luky number! and I am about a 1 minute walk to work! We settled in pretty quickly, not that we had that much to unpack, well, I had more then Rob! The unit came with a single bed, and when I talked to the manager of the units, he said he was going to look for a spare double if available, and if not, he would get us another mattress. When we walked in, we realized the the spare single bed he gave us, was a hospital mattress, not a big deal, other then it is about an inch shorter then the single mattress. Great!
Our kitchen is tiny with a bar fridge and a small oven with 2 burners. We have a washing machine which is a bonus and there is a clothes lines outside.
The only thing that REALLY sucks about the unit, is location. And not having a car makes it even worse. Monday we actually took the bus into the city, well, i should say "buses" as we have to take 2, and looked at a car. Unfortunately, it didn't meet our standards. SO, we got back on the bus and went to the Casuarina shopping mall where we picked up some supplies (kitchen stuff, cleaning supplies, and of course a 6 pack of beer) and headed back to the hospital, on the bus. The bus doesn't run ALL that frequently which kind of sucks, but there was no way I was walking back with all our things.
Sunday night we actually walked to the mall and it took us about 30 minutes - we where walking in the dead heat of the day, and I was sweating like crazy by the time we arrived there. Not something I do not want to do on a regular basis, but may have to.
The only good thing is that Rob has a work truck during the day and is able to go pick things up and bring them home during his dinner break. Which is what he did Tuesday. He brought back a couple small tables and chairs which now sit on our balcony, picked up a TV that I purchased from my friend who left, as well as a set top box so we can watch TV - that was all Rob's idea, I think I could have managed without ;) ......maybe. lol
It also makes it a bit difficult to go into the city on the weekends if we want a couple drinks. The cab ride home would be a bit pricey, unless we found some friends to go with and share a cab home, who knows??? Maybe it will be a good thing, we will save more money, but it could make for a bit of a boring 6 weeks. Maybe we will have a naked party??? K, I won't go there!! haha