Sunday, August 27, 2017

Motherly Advice...How being prepared saved me eleventy billion dollars..

 
This was a challenging and stressful week. Had I not been the prepared type, we could have had budget blow-outs all over the place to add to our stress. Can I say, that everyone thinks these things won't happen to them....until they do.
 
Here's what happened.
 
The Diva Child-Woman is in her final year of schooling. Actually her final 50 days of schooling. Like, ever. She has assessments up to her ears, and then some. Our life revolves around getting her through the next 50 days, whilst also supporting her while she prepares for 5 different auditions for her longed for Performing Arts Tertiary Entry. It's a madhouse I tell you.
 
We started the week with a call saying Mother-in-Law had been hospitalised. She lives three hours away. Husband decided he would visit her while The Diva studied for her upcoming Maths and Chemistry exams in the ensuing days. Mother-in-Law stabilised but at the age of 86, her recovery is slow.
 
Monday went okay, except that The Diva had a nasty encounter with her very own Bully, someone who has haunted and taunted her for nigh on fifteen years now. She was understandably distressed.
 
Tuesday she wasn't feeling so well, but went to school anyway, not wanting to miss a vital Dance assessment. The Dance assessment was postponed as virtually nobody else in the class was prepared except her. This was unfortunate due to What Happened Next.

 
Meanwhile, as part of my normal weekly routine, I was baking little fruit cakes for snacks and lunches, poaching chicken breast to sear quickly and sit atop a planned risotto for later in the week...

 
...topping up the pantry staples like noodles and spices for soups, because the weather here still cannot decide if it's Winter or Spring...
 

 
...making crepes for later in the week...

 
...using some milk that was near it's use-by date to make fresh ricotta, snipping some fresh herbs into it...
 
 
....and making Pumpkin Soup in the slow cooker.
 
 
I shopped at my favourite fruit market, and filled the refrigerator with fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, and little cornichons, to make for some easy lunches for Husband and I...
 
 
...and looked forward to the week ahead, with The Diva getting some all important exams out of the way, and being on the downhill run to finishing school.
 
Well.
 
Here's What Happened Next.
 
On Tuesday night, she woke at 1am, pale and clammy, complaining of severe abdominal pain, and nausea. Vomiting episodes ensued, and a decision was made to take her to the hospital.
 
She was quickly assessed, and within three hours, was diagnosed with Appendicitis, and we were advised that she would be prepped for surgery. That was at 4am.
 
By 4pm, she had been moved three times to different wards, and was still awaiting surgery. More urgent cases were taking her place in the queue each time, and whilst with appropriate care, her symptoms had subsided, she and we, were exhausted having only had three hours sleep the night before, and she was hungry, and could not eat due to the impending surgery.

 
What to do?
 
Well you know, being prepared helps.

Husband was despatched to home turf, to collect the bag we have packed for such emergencies, and it was just under a year ago, that I mentioned such emergencies here at A Tray of Bliss, in this post here. Little was I to know that The Diva would need her bag, before I would need mine! Again, thanks to preparedness, she had all she needed in one small bag, sitting on a shelf in the garage.
 
While he was there, he was able to pack two small fruit cakes for him and I, and grabbed two of the readymade salad jars, that were sitting in the refrigerator for the lunch we'd missed that day. I didn't photograph them as I didn't think I'd be blogging but they looked like this....
 
 
...and I used this recipe here to make them...thanks to Cinnamon, Spice and Everything nice for the recipe, and for this image.
 
On our way out of the hospital later that evening, we passed a vending machine containing very similar salads-in-a-jar (yes, really...a vending machine!), priced at $16.95 each! As we were eating at the hospital for two days straight, our salad jars alone saved us over $100. Fruit cakes and other snacks and thermoses of tea sourced from home, saved us at least another $100.
 
The blankets I keep in my car boot, came in handy....



....keeping us warm in the Emergency Room and later in the ward.
 
The cookies you see at the top of my post? Well they were portioned into cellophane candy bags, and gifted to the wardsmen and nursing staff who cared for our daughter, and for my Mother-in-Law at a different hospital. These people deserve thanks too.
 
And my bottles of water, mints, and multiple use power bank for recharging our phones, came in mighty handy as well. I keep those in the boot of my car at all times, as a year or two ago, we had such a terrible storm here, that traffic was at a standstill for nearly 7 hours.
 
You see, mostly we all think of Preparedness as being prepared for financial emergencies, or natural disasters. But here was a simple illness in the family, where being prepared led to calmer Mum and Dad, calmer ill and incapacitated teen, calmer ill Mother-in-Law, and little financial stress other than what we had to pay for parking, which whilst outrageous (that's a whole other topic!), was not financially crippling.
 
So, yes, being prepared saved me eleventy billion dollars this week. Well nearly.
 
How was your week?
 
 
...Mimi...

28 comments:

  1. Mimi, I hope your daughter is healing well. Well done on your preparations and savings.

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    1. Dear Sherri, yes she is definitely on the mend now. After nearly two weeks off school, she's returning today. She didn't want to miss any more this close to her final exams. I'm just hoping the day goes smoothly for her. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

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  2. Well done Mimi on making the most of a difficult week with all your careful planning and preparedness, with love Maria xxx

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    1. Thankyou Maria. You wouldn't believe what a difference it made. Mimi xxx

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  3. Oh Mimi what a time you have had!

    Hope you darling daughter is recovering well from her operation. And also hope your Mother in law is doing okay now.

    Now I can see how preparedness works. You described it perfectly. Being well organised paid off when you needed it too and I cant believe the price of that salad in a jar!

    Wishing you a better week this week Mimi,

    xTania

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    1. Dear Tania, thankyou. Yes a bad week. My darling girl is back at school today so hopefully she's well and truly on the mend. Mother-in-law is frail but determinedly independent. I suppose that's a good sign. And yes! Preparedness is so important. If you imagine your worst day, and plan accordingly, there's not much you can't be prepared for, with very little effort :) Mimi xxx

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  4. I hope "The Diva" who is a sweetheart is recovering well. I hope your MIL is also recovering. Take care of yourself. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Boo hoo to "The Bully". Jealously is a nasty trait!

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    1. Thankyou Ronnie. She is recovering very well and is determined to be healthy again as soon as possible. No swanning around with a hand to the forehead for her, despite her dramatic tendencies! Mother-in-law was quiet but equally determined to be well when we saw her on Saturday, so hopefully will make similar progress. And yes...boohoo to the nasty bullies of the world. What is wrong with people? Thankyou Ronnie...xxx

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  5. Oh my................Hope The Diva is on the mend and ready to reenter 'normal life' ...........what a blessing your preparedness turned out to be right at this point of your lives.

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    1. Thankyou Lynda. Yes she is. And again, it was just a situation where I felt we were more in control of things than we otherwise would be. A blessing indeed. Mimi xxx

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  6. Mimi, what an experience you all had...and at assessment time too! I worked in a school library and know what a stressful time it is particularly for students doing performing arts and the like. Just as well you were prepared. Such a shame your beautiful girl has been bullied. The perpetrators often have big problems themselves but that doesn't help the victim unfortunately. All the best for a better week and a calmer ride to the end of Year 12.

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    1. Chel, it's just been a year of challenges for our darling girl. From breaking up with her first boyfriend right at the start of year 12, to multiple performance commitments, to bullying episodes, illness, and stress on all levels, it's been a real test of her character. She has coped admirably, and is very proud of all she's achieved, despite the negative. As for The Bully, well they will get their comeuppance when they enter the REAL world. There'll be no throwing their weight around to get their own way then. Karma will win, of that I am certain. Thankyou for your good wishes Chel. I really appreciate them. Mimi xxx

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  7. A horrid week for all of you. Thank goodness you had your preparations all done. It is a timely reminder as I used my emergency go bag last year when Bluey was so ill. I have not re packed it since. I know what I will be doing this afternoon. I will also be baking some cup cakes as snacks for the next few days. Bluey has an appointment at Nambour hospital on Friday. I need to prepare our food for this trip. An emergency bag needs to be ready for this as a just in case.
    I hope the Diva is feeling more resilient and that you and the Musician have taken some time to build up your depleted energy reserves. Big hugs to you all.

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    1. Dear Jane, yes it wasn't the best of weeks. But then we coped, and that in itself is a lesson. I think Husband has a newfound respect for my odd ways, as he saw for himself, first hand as the courier, that having this very thing here, and that very thing there, simplified our life so much under stressful circumstances. Husbands don't always see, do they ;-) I hope Blueys appointment went well. I am so glad you had your trip away too. These times are precious and create wonderful memories. Thankyou for your lovely thoughts Jane. Much appreciated. Mimi xxx

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  8. Oh what a rotten week Mimi, I hope both your daughter and mother-in-law are feeling much better soon. That must have been very frightening for you and your husband.

    I keep meaning to organise my car so I am not caught out, but I haven't acted on it yet. This post has reminded me of why it's an important thing to make an effort to do.

    I hope you have a much calmer week and your daughter is able to recover fully before worrying about school assessments etc.

    Jen in NZ

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    1. Dear Jen, hello and thankyou. Yes a rotten week, but one that taught us well, to be prepared. You are right, it was frightening and stressful. To have your only daughter in pain, and at the same time, your elderly parent (well Husbands parent)hospitalised, was terrible. Where do the priorities lie? Thank goodness there were two of us. Had we been a single parent family (as I have been in the past), the stress would have been even more of a strain. Fancy trying to decide whether to be with your sick child or your elderly and frail parent?? Having those little things organised made such a difference to us. Even the power bank, which I thought when I purchased it, was outrageously overpriced, was well worth the investment when we needed to recharge our phones! All is more or less back to normal now, and I am looking forward to catching up on my mountain of washing, and doing some baking. The simple things in life, right? Love, Mimi xxx

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  9. Doesn't it always seem to happen all at once?!

    Well, I'm glad you got her into the hospital on time. I didnt' take my symptoms seriously, it ruptured, and I got to spend a lovely 12 days there. With 28 staples across my belly as a reward for my, "I'll be fine, let's just go back to sleep."

    I hope she'll get to make up for what she missed. Tell her to walk, walk, walk. That makes such a difference in recovery. I probably walked the length of the Nile during that time!!

    Yay to you for being prepared. That makes for such a better poopy situation. And your home food had to be much tastier and healthier than anything you could buy, even if the sky had rained cash to make up for your luck.

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    1. Yes Debby, it does seem to all happen at once sometimes! Your story is a common one I think. The Diva has a friend who suffered a ruptured appendix a couple of years ago. It's a serious thing, and the recovery is very slow. I feel for you! That must have been very frightening. We all do that though, don't we. Even Husband thought she was just suffering exam stress and it was only when he actually saw her on the bathroom floor, clinging for dear life to the toilet bowl, that he realised it was far more serious! I gave her your advice and she did indeed walk and move as much as possible, despite the minor discomfort. I think it helped as she is back at school today, and took no painkillers at all yesterday. Yay to that! Thanks for your support Debby. Sometimes my blogging friends know more than my real life ones! Mimi xxx

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  10. Well, it really goes to show what 'being prepared' can do! So glad that all has worked out positively, and your daughter was well looked after. I hope this week is much quieter for everyone xx Fiona

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    1. Yes Fiona. Spot on. Thank goodness for Preparedness! Mimi xxx

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  11. Thank goodness for modern medicine when we need it! Hoping that lovely dancing Diva is well on the mend now!! Boo to that bully; there is never an excuse to bully someone!

    What a relief that all your work preparing food etc. not only nourished and comforted you and DH (and others too with the treats you shared! and your daughter's bag all prepped) throughout the ordeal, but saved all those dollars!

    Much love and a big hug from across the ocean, Teresa

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    1. Oh Teresa, you are so right! Thank heavens for modern medical care, and McDreamy doctors...lol! As for bullies, well as I say to The Diva, the bullies of the world are everywhere. She copes as best she can. Preparedness...what can I say. I stress saver for sure! Love, Mimi xxx

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  12. Oh Mimi, we went through appendicitis with our son too. It's not fun! I can not say that I was prepared at all. You're really making me think.

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    1. Dear Stacey, I think seeing a loved one in pain, is one of the worst things ever. Especially when there are other stress factors in play at the same time. It's a real wakeup call for what is important, isn't it? I hope your son recovered well. As for being prepared, well as I said in my post, everyone thinks it won't happen to them...until it does. It's so easy to be prepared, and it just minimised the stress. I'm glad to have got you thinking ;-) Mimi xxx

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  13. What a week! You sound as though you can weather any storm...great tips, Mimi! I hope your MIL and daughter are doing better. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thanks PP. Weathering any storm is a particular speciality of mine ;-)

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  14. Yesss - a hospital bag. I had just thought of that the other day, Mimi! (without acting on it though). What's in yours?

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    1. It's been a most useful thing to have...for ALL of us! We pack anything that would be familiar and a comfort should we be unfortunate enough to be hospitalised. Two sets of sleepwear, slippers, a robe, toiletries in travel sized containers, hand cream, deodorant, hair accessories, lip balm, a good book, a portable phone charger, and any other small niceties that spring to mind. I hope that's helpful...Mimi xxx

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx