Thursday, August 30, 2012


18th to 31st August 2012
This Blog entry is for two weeks because last week my family and I were in Adelaide for The Australian Cross Country Championships.  Jarrett was running in them and we always go to support him and to cheer as loudly as we can for him.
Before I tell you all about that I will begin with the week before, on the Saturday, I was extremely fortunate to go to a Cat Show. As many of you know, I have a real love for cats, especially my special cat Tinkerbelle who stays by my side virtually constantly, she watching over me.  At the cat show we saw many different breeds, there was a Bengal cat that had the most unique patterns on it, one even looked like a love heart and it looked like a mini version of a wild cat, it was very muscular and sleek.  There were other short haired breeds like the Burmese and Siamese.  My favourite cats though were all the Persians, there were white ones with blues eyes, white with orange eyes and there was even one that had two different coloured eyes, there were Ragdolls and Birmans and even Norwegian Forest Cats.  I was able to watch and learn how they judge the cats, it is all very complicated and a number of judges look at each cat in each category, they look at their features, colour, eyes, body structure and how alert they are.  I was even fortunate enough to get to pat a few of them; one lady was telling me that she washes her cats three times the day before showing.
At School I was working on a Coaching Lesson Plan in Sports Science, I am going to coach Jarrett, video it and make it into a power point presentation.  In Maths we are working on gradients, we have a Maths test coming up.  In English we are continuing working on our assessment task for Romeo and Juliet. 

I had my weekly physiotherapy session with Kaitlyn, she worked on a spasmed muscle in my spine which was making me feel terribly uncomfortable, she also used the ultrasound on it to try to relieve it, it seemed to make a difference and then my favourite part, the heat packs.
In a busy week I also saw my paediatrician, he has put me on a new medication to help my bladder it is called Ditropan, he also changed my lactulose to Osmolax which is a powder that you put into your drink, it dissolves and you can’t even taste it.  My right foot which has been so sore, he feels is another stress fracture, I have had quite a few of them in my right foot, it is most likely because of the treatment as it caused osteopenia so my bones are more prone to fractures.  He wants to see me again in September to see how I am going but if I am not feeling well or have any new symptoms we have to let him know straight away.

I also had a visit from Tom, my Occupational Therapist, he found me a few cushions to try, often I am getting pain in the top of my spine and neck and to try to make sitting more comfortable, we are trying them.  Also with flying to Adelaide, he was hoping that one of them would make the plane flight more comfortable.  He is so clever also, because he made me a special wheat pack that has ties on it so that I can have it anywhere and it will not slip. 
After many days of appointments and School, it was finally time for us to head off to Adelaide.  On the day we left Canberra it was wet and miserable, our flight was not a direct one, we had a stopover in Melbourne and because we were on the same plane in the same seats they said we could stay onboard, so we got to see them cleaning and restocking the plane.  I also got to use the business class toilet, I don’t know what is so special about it, and I found it small and nothing flash.  Our flight from there to Adelaide was quite turbulent because they also had terrible weather; I think I can easily say it was far worse than Canberra.  It was blowing a gale, there was heavy rain and hail and it was wintry, however I could see from when we landed that it was a really beautiful city.  It is the fifth largest city in Australia, it was named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV.  The city rises from the middle of a tree-covered plain, between rolling hills to the east and beaches to the west. It was founded in 1836 by Colonel Light, the, early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to it been known as the City of Churches.

On Friday we went to Oakbank Racecourse which was where the race was to be held the following day.  It was so wet and boggy, a true Cross Country Course, I guess you could say.  After Jarrett, Nalani and Mum walked the course and returned with muddy shoes, it was time for the Opening Ceremony.  The ACT was the first State to enter and I cheered loudly as they walked past me.  They played the National Anthem and two athletes took an oath on behalf of all the athletes, then they declared the event open. As we drove home, the rain began to tumble down from the grey skies again and I wondered how it would affect the already sodden course. 

The finish of the Cross Country
Saturday was the main Cross Country Race; Jarrett was not running until lunchtime, in the 6km event.  The weather was really miserable, it had poured raining overnight, it was foggy in the mountains and the wind must have had a wind chill factor in the minus temperatures.  When we arrived we seated ourselves in the Grandstand while Jarrett did all his pre-race preparations.  I think all the runners were pretty hesitant about the course conditions, many runners in previous races had rolled ankles, lost shoes or just pulled out because it was just too tough.  At the starting line, the rain began to fall again, the gun went off and they seemed to all be running carefully, we would see any records broken on this course.  As they passed by after their first 3km, the runners were covered in mud, including on their faces, some even ran past with only one shoe on, the other one must have been sucked into the deep, sloppy mud puddles.  Jarrett was running well but then I saw him begin to drop back a little, something was not right but when they are out on the course you can’t communicate to find out what is happening.  I became worried, I first suspected it was his calf but then wondered if the horrid weather conditions may be affecting his asthma.  He crossed the line in 64th place, 34th in his age group; there were originally 81 runners in the event.  Then we were told something was wrong and we had to go to the first aid room. 

As we arrived at the room we saw Jarrett being stretchered by some of his fellow team mates who had extremely anxious looks on their faces, we could hear that he was not breathing well, it was his asthma.  He had used his ventolin on the course but it did not seem to help, so the first aid people gave him more through a spacer.  As he was wet and muddy, he began to shiver so he was wrapped with warm blankets.  With Mum stroking his head and getting his breathing controlled he recovered, the first thing he said was that he hoped he did not let the team down.  Well, he did not because they came third on points for their age group and won a bronze medal.  I think that asthma attacks are quite frightening; it must be really awful to find that you have difficulty breathing and your chest tightens and restricts you from breathing.  It was so unlucky that the weather was so awful because if it was fine, Jarrett would not have had the attack, you see his asthma is affected by cold or humid weather. Adelaide is supposed to have pleasant weather at this time of year, not weather that was worse than what we often have in Canberra.  I was so proud of Jarrett and when he was feeling better I gave him a huge hug, I love him so much and seeing him run always makes me happy. 

After seeing Jarrett have the asthma attack, I began to feel a bit ill also, I think that it also gave me a fright and a shock.  I was so glad when he was well enough to drive back to our accommodation so that we could both rest. 

On the Sunday, it was excursion day for Jarrett; he had recovered from his asthma attack with only a slightly sore chest.  We went to Port Adelaide where Jarrett was going on a cruise of the Adelaide River with the team and other secondary teams from other States.  I was so excited because we were meeting Rhiannon (my extraordinary physiotherapist) for a hot chocolate.  It was so wonderful to see her and hear what she has been doing.  While we drank our hot chocolates we looked out over the water, it was really lovely.  After Jarrett finished his cruise we looked at the Port Adelaide Markets which were a variety of new and old items. 

On Monday it was the relay and time trial day, Jarrett had decided not to run, he did not want to risk another asthma attack.  We went to watch his team mates run and to see the Closing Ceremony.  It was at a place called Santos Stadium, it was a really terrific track because it had only been re-laid recently and it was also spongy rather than really firm like the AIS which is much more suited to sprinters than distance runners.  The weather was a little cool but the sun did manage to peep through the clouds occasionally.  The boys in Jarrett’s age group came fourth in the relay however they protested one of the change over’s and ended up winning a bronze medal. 
West Beach Adelaide
In the afternoon the sun shone brightly and we took a walk along the beach front of West Beach, there was a path that went for kilometres and looking out at the unpredictable surf was so incredibly uplifting.  After taking in all the wonderful fresh air, I felt so relaxed and closed my eyes and slept.

Tuesday was the day we were to fly home, we left our accommodation, we were going to spend some time on the beach however the weather was so overcast and miserable so we spent some time at the shops. Then it was time to head off to the airport, only to discover that our flight had been delayed.  So after a long and tiring wait we finally boarded our plane and were heading home.  The flight again was rather turbulent and the landing was not too great, the plane landed with a shuddering thud which sent pains up my spine.  After a late dinner, I was so elated to lay my head on my pillow and fall asleep.

I have been working on my Romeo and Juliet project as well as putting everything together for my Sports Science Coaching session.   The weather here in Canberra is very Wintery today, with strong, icy winds and showers.  With Spring beginning on Saturday I hope that our weather will improve, tiny blossoms are beginning to appear on the trees and bare trees have small buds of leaves appearing on them. 

The Paralympics have begun and I noticed that a song in the Opening Ceremony had the words, I am who I am.  I thought that those words are so emotional, I felt it was about been accepted for who you are and the fact that anyone is capable of reaching their dreams.  I am now looking forward to watching these amazing athletes compete in their events.  I have a feeling that our Australian Paralympics Team are going to achieve amazing personal bests and perhaps more medals than our able bodied athletes.

It is the last week of the football season before the finals, I am just three ahead of Pop, and he is making a last minute dash to the finish.  The Tigers are playing Storm this week; we have to win to have a chance to make the finals. 

As Spring begins next week, I hope that your hearts are filled with happiness and you spread that happiness to others, it is the little things that we do for each other that can blossom and grow and make a huge difference.  


Anonymous said...

Hi Dainere

So happy to read your blog! I've been checking & hoping you were not too ill to write so glad that you were away in Adelaide jor Jarrett. He did so well, sad he was unwell though. I'm sure you're all glad to be home - there's no place like home.

You have been very busy, school, travel & pain is a heavy load. You adapt to it all like a star by the sounds of it, well done Dainere.

Last day of winter, last day of the month & it's my birthday today. We are going out for dinner to a lovely restaurant which is just for special occasions. My son has just printed off the menu so he has a heads up what to order!!

My school students are super busy with assignments & tests, as is my own son so it's a busy time during the term. Similar work to yours actually. I still can't figure out why we need to know about Gradient, midpoint & all that jazz!! Trigonometry also is another topic that I can say I honestly have ever needed.

My son is reseaching the Canberra bushfires 2003 for a Geography assignment. It was devastating.

Anyway, go the Tigers this weekend but I'm nervous for them. Hope you stay warm, take care, Love always, Fran xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hello Dainere,

Great read about your trip to Adelaide!

Poor Jarrett! I used to sit and comfort my son, Chris, when he had to use the nebuliser to alleviate a bad asthma attack. It is a frightening condition.

A bit cold and wet here now on the first day of Spring.

The officials didn't help the Tigers a fortnight ago!

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...

Dear Dainere,

Just catching up on your blog , oh dear .

Wow the cat show sounds so amazing , Meryls brother has two cats , oh they are lovely to look at they have a bluey colour coat.

Hope the coaching session with Jarrett went ok and that the power point presentation goes ok .

Sorry to hear of the stres fracture , oh and all those new medications hope they give you some help.

WE are so pleased that Tom is trying his best to make things as comfortable as possible for you , if you need anything that he can not get , please let us know .

hahahaha , oh we like the comment about the business class toilet Dainere , a toilet is a toilet yes I agree.

So sorry to hear that the weather was not as good as it could have been , but it is a lovely city , with as you say so many churches .

Such a shame about the weather and also poor Jarrett and his asthma, all the effort that he would have put into preparing for the race , all his training , it is good that he has the attitude that he has , a sign of a great sportsperson.

OH its great that his team won Bronze , WELL DONE JARRET.

AH that was so nice to give him a hug , hugs are free and one of the best medicines we have Dainere , so lovely to hear your kind words for him.

So nice for Jarrett to have the cruise and for you to meeet Rhiannon

It sounds as if it was a truly lovely day for you all .

Oh super to go on the West Beach walk and breath in all that superb fresh sea air. yes that air always makes me sleepy too Dainere .

Yes nothing like your own home and your own bed Dainere , meryl and i love doing our traveling but we are always happy to get home in Australia and climb into our own bed

OH yes the Paralympics , arent they so uplifting , they amaze us with thge times and the swims that are being done , and what i like most Dainere is when someone is last in the swimming , and all the other competitors are waiting , the crowd is shouting and pushing the last one on , it doesnt matter what country he or she is from , that is GREAT.

I think the Paras are better that thye other olympics , when we had them is sydney Meryl and i went to the Paras instead .

Well we hope you have a good week .

lots of love , hugs and kisses .

stuart and meryl