Monday, July 18, 2016

Ongoing Cyclic Nausea and Headaches....round 5...

I have been down all weekend with nausea, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea..... again. I was fine Friday night, but fell in a heap on Saturday morning and I am still not 100% today, though much better so far than the weekend.  This is now 5 months of ongoing off and on and again nausea and headaches. This is the first time I have had vomiting though, and I have not had the diarrhea since month 1. It started just after Easter while up at the farm, and lasted for about 5 weeks. I went to the doctor who sent me for full bloodtests, which all came back clear. She gave me an antibiotic in case I had a tummy bug which did seem to clear things up for about a week, and then it came back. I asked for some more tests to be done, so we had a sample sent off to check for Giardia, as we have tank water up at the farm, even though I am the only person showing any symptoms. She also gave me an antibiotic to treat this in the interim, but, this test also came back clear. My gp is at a loss.

I have been to see another gp who specialises in natural medicine and does more in depth testing, he thought my liver may have needed stimulating, so gave me some tablets for that, but I continued to come down with the same thing every 4 weeks or so. Another visit to my gp, who thought possibly diverticulitis, so I have had an abdominal scan to check for that, which was also clear. I have also had a brain scan, also clear. My gp has also ventured down the path of it possibly being an ulcer, so has me taking Nexium, but I have still come down sick.

 I also have an appointment this Thursday with a gastroenterologist, who will probably want me to go in for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. He will probably have a few more ideas though than my gp, as I assume he would deal with this type of thing on a daily basis. I really don't want to go for an endoscopy or colonoscopy, it's not so much the procedure, I've had a colonoscopy once before and they are a piece of cake really, I just don't like the coming out of  the sedation part, in recovery. I find it really hard to wake up, and it seems to be getting harder with every surgery I have had over the years, and my blood pressure really drops and I get quite sick. Even after the colonoscopy which is just a twilight sedation rather than a full knock out, I still got sick after that and had a drop in blood pressure as well. I'll just have to have a good chat to the gastroenterologist on Thursday and see what he says I suppose.

I have also been to see a naturopath on the Sunshine Coast who does body image scanning, and very indepth blood and stool testing. She is of the opinion that I have some sort of bacterial or parasitic infection, so I am waiting on those results to come back, which is probably about another week to 10 days away.  She has told me that parasites can be cyclic, meaning that they lie dormant for a few weeks, then flare up every 4 weeks or so, which is exactly what has been happening. I have been so tired since this all started as well. It is driving me mad. I don't know how people deal with ongoing chronic illness which lasts for years.

It's affecting everything, not being able to work as I keep coming down sick. I have some part time work which I do from home, so I can work around things a little, luckily, but I was wanting to go back out and get some full time work, but this just isn't possible at the minute. And being so exhausted all the time, I have no energy other than to do just the basics each day, getting out of bed in the mornings is a real struggle! And because this thing comes in cycles, it seems like I just start to regain a little bit of energy and wham, back it comes again to wipe me out again. I do think I have some sort of bacterial infection, which is what I have said from the start, but no-one has been able to pinpoint anything yet.  I really hope there are some answers soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Doughboy - our wandering bull

Our bull, Doughboy, has been a bit naughty over the last few months, and has started testing the fences and going on to neighbouring properties. We got a call from the stock squad a couple of weeks ago to say he had wandered on to another property, which ended up being a neighbours property.

They have been using molasses traps to catch the steers on their property, and Doughy can smell molasses from miles away. So he has broken through our fences to get over to the molasses, and keeps getting caught in their yards - which then means they can't catch their own cattle! They dropped him back for us, but he quickly disappeared again.

After looking for him for a few days while we have been up at the farm, I rang them to see if they had him again, and they did, so we arranged to go to the property they have taken him to, to keep him out of their molasses traps, about 30 klms from here. So yesterday Damian headed out to pick him up. In the meantime, the owners of the other property were rounding him up for us, Hugh...the owner, who is 73, has ended up having an accident on his quad bike, coming off, passing out and having to be choppered in to the local hospital! Nothing is bloody quiet around here! He has ended up having a few broken ribs, punctured a lung and bruising. He was actually very lucky. Quad bikes can be so dangerous, even if you know how to ride them.

Apparently, the news has been in contact with them today, and their grand-daughter has been giving interviews about children ringing 000, as she is 9 years old, and the one who rang the ambulance.

(Hugh being loaded in to the chopper for the ride to hospital)

We are so glad he is ok,  He has left hopsital today, and is managing well.  We have been up at the farm since the Thursday before Easter, and I was due to head back today, but I have been sick since last Friday, waves of headaches and nausea, and ended up going to bed at 4pm yesterday and was not up to the 4 hour drive back to Brisbane today.  Not sure when I will head back yet, probably will spend another day or 2 up here and then head back. I want to do some painting in the kitchen here, and we have been having a big clean out here, and clearing out bits and pieces from the shed while we have been here. Well, I better go and make sure the bull is behaving himself and hasn't wandered off again!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stella.... my little mate....

Had to say goodbye to my little mate on Saturday....unfortunately Stella has never been 100% since we got her when she was 5 months old, and we found out after she started staggering that she was in liver failure which had started affecting her brain with toxins - it was called hepatic ensepalopathy.  Her blood was also not clotting, which meant she was very sick. It was going to take days of very intensive hospital care to even get her to the point of surgery, and even if she made it to surgery her chances of making it through were fair at best.  We had to basically be prepared to lose $10,000 and the odds were against her.  She would have been subjected to needle after needle, plasma infusions, and continue poking and prodding and intensive surgery that she probably wouldn't have made it out of because she was so sick, and I didn't want that for her. The very, very hard and absolutely heartbreaking decision was made to put her to sleep, and let her go peacefully. She was only 3, and my little best friend. She was sooo tiny, only weighed 2.7 kgs at her heaviest, and had dropped down to 2.1 kgs in the last week.

We brought her home and she is buried in the garden, which is my favourite place. I am looking for the most perfect, beautiful standard rose to plant over her, as she was so beautiful.

I miss her terribly, and I am so sad. This would have to be the most affected I have been about losing a pet, as I really considered her my tiny baby, and she was my little shadow.   Rest in peace my little Stella Bella xx

Friday, November 27, 2015

Year 6 Graduation Dinner and Dance..

I've been getting in to trouble from my Mother for not keeping my blog updated, sorry Mother :) so I thought I had better stop being a slacker and update it ;). A LOT has happened in the last few months, including a move back down to Brisbane, as work died off immensely up at the farm township, so decisions had to be made.  A lot of people up there have been affected by a lot of mines closing and money is pretty short, which of course has a flow on effect on small businesses such as ours. We still have the farm, and the cattle, we just have to head up every few weeks to take stock of what's happening up there. We still also have our business up there, we have put a casual guy on to do the jobs that come in, and I am running that part of things from down here, and Damian has gone back to project managing for a company down here...regular income is lovely.

Anyway, tonight is a big night for our youngest, Kasey has her year 6 dinner and dance tonight. This is the first year they have put on such an event, and the kids are all really looking forward to it. Kasey spent weeks designing her outfit, then we had to provide the $ to make it all come but she looks beautiful, and is looking forward to a great night.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Newest Addition

Our newest addition was born overnight... a gorgeous little bull calf born to our Hereford, Hertie Gertie...he is sooo tiny, as Mum is only little herself. We were a little concerned that she may have had a difficult birth, but she seems to have managed fine, we noticed her milk bag filling up the other day, but didn't expect her to have her calf quite so quickly. He's a little cutie...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Snakes are definitely out and about...

I have had a run in with 3 in the last week. The first - I was pruning back my arrowroot plants and throwing some over the fence to the cattle, as they absolutely love it. All of the plants are about 2 metres tall, so I was tucked right in the plant chopping it back, when my eyes focused on something moving, and when it came in to focus, it was a dark brown snake slithering past my face about 4 inches in front of me.  I know they say you are meant to stay still, but, stuff that,  I was out of there...before I knew it I was in the middle of the house yard on my knees, wondering what the hell had just happened. It had also jumped out of the tree and was high tailing it out of there as well. I think I shuddered for about an hour or 2, and made myself a nice strong drink to try and get over it all. The second was a couple of days later, I could hear little Sam barking and barking, and I went out to investigate, and I could see a few toads gathering in behind the bins. I was muttering away to myself while I was fetching the dettol to spray them all, about how much I hate toads, and how they attract snakes etc, and as I came back to spray them, I noticed a black snake in there as well. So armed with my broom and my shovel, just in case, I started pulling things out to try and shoo it out of there. It ducked underneath the corrugations on the end of the verandah back out in to the yard, so I am hoping it stays away now. And then 2 days later another crossed my path on the driveway as I was leaving for work. It was black, but I think it had a yellowy greeny belly from what I could see, so I am thinking it was a tree snake. I didn't see it until I was just about on top of it, so I couldn't stop in time, but I didn't run it over, as I noticed it slithered away when I checked in my rear vision mirror.

In the last 12 months, the only snakes I have seen was a red bellied black in the chook pen about 6 weeks ago, which the guinea fowl chased away,  and a tree snake down at the cattle yards at about the same time, so to see so many, so close together, is unusual. I really hope this heat goes away soon so that they can all start to hibernate over the winter. They are definitely around in droves at the minute, so be careful, watch where you are walking and where you put your hands and your feet while gardening etc.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A big day of cattle handling...and another chicken processing day

The new heifers and bull calves are all about 8 months old now, so it was time to round them all up and brand them, needle them and castrate any bull calves, and put all of their NLIS tags in. We organised for a musterer to come in and he and his dogs rounded them all up and in to the yards. We put all the mothers through as well, as it was time for worming for all of them anyway. The musterer is an experienced cattle handler, so we organised for him to bring his brand heater etc so we could brand them all. He also castrated the 3 bull calves while he was there. It was a hot day, but it all got done.  We had a few very angry cows to deal with as well, so it can be a bit dangerous at times, and you have to keep your wits about you so you don't get hurt, they are very big and can be very dangerous if you get in their way.

I felt so bad for the cattle, but it is very quick, and they don't seem at all worried about it as soon as they are let out of the crush. The little bull calves all handled their castration really well too, it just amazes me that they just stand there, no reaction whatsoever, and then they just wander out of the crush like nothing has happened. This little bullcalf (the darker one at the front) has just been castrated, and he is just standing around here, completely calm, and oblivious to what has just happened to him.
We are hoping to send a few of the heifers off to the sales as breeders in May, along with some of the older cows as well for breeders, as we don't want to go in to winter again with too many cattle. We would eventually like to get down to about 6 heifers and 1 bull, with maybe a few steer to grow out each year. We're never going to make a lot of money out of cattle on 150 acres, so it is just to keep the grass down really.
The next day we also processed all of the excess roosters, we had 6 in total to do, not a nice job, but it has to be done. They were all just starting to harass the girls, and fight with each other, so the time had come. So 6 birds in the freezer, I roasted one up, much nicer when they are younger, as opposed to the older ones we did a while back which were all tough,  I managed to eat a little bit, but still not sure if I can do this eating our own chickens thing..