• Lara Flanagan

Countdown is on!

Updated: Feb 27


We travelled to Brisbane yesterday for what was meant to be the kids last doctor’s appointment.  As per usual with me and anything medical nothing went according to plan.   Turns out the kids’ levels are all over the place, Archie’s are so high that there should be real cause for concern though he is exhibiting none of the tell-tale symptoms.  So it is a matter of throwing out their medication in case it had simply given up the ghost, replacing it and doing the test all over again in months’ time.  I was hoping that upon leaving the Lady Cilento Hospital that the kids and I would be able to throw a little celebratory party in the car due to the fact that it was the last lot of blood tests and the last doctor’s appointment.  But I didn’t really feel like celebrating.  Thing was though, that because Dr Gary continues to behave like an amazing human being and an extraordinary doctor I actually had a visit to a hospital without freaking out or offending someone.


We always arrive about 15 minutes early and his clinic is like a place of extreme humanity in standard hospital surrounds.   Within 5 minutes the kids are being measured and weighed and generally right on time Dr Gary personally comes and gets us.   This is a senior endocrinologist – a specialist who treats his patients like they come first.  Dr Gary continues to give me faith in the whole system.  He is living proof that not all specialists have their heads stuck up their arses.   Anyway we have resolved to test the kids again in a month and if the results are back to normal (as Pollyanna believes they should be) then he will do a phone consultation.  See, those sorts of things make me love Dr Gary and make me believe that one day perhaps we will all have the medical system that we deserve.  One where patients are first and foremost treated as human beings and where the doctor’s priority is keeping their patients well before anything else.


On the trip back I realised time was ticking.  If I was speaking with Dr Gary in 4 weeks, then at that stage we would only have two weeks to go.  It made me realise for the first time that I am really doing this.  It also made me realise how many things I have left to do.   As of right now I still don’t have a tenant for my house.   The only thing I can say to that is fuck!   Despite first dealing with the house 2 months ago and being what I thought was super-prepared I still do not have a tenant.   I am calling on every ounce of Pollyanna I have got to believe that everything will turn out ok with that one.


My trip is as organised as I want it to be.   I am not organising anything in the States as I want to just see what happens and I am looking forward to picking the brains of my little American family when I get there.   All I know is that at some stage I have to get to Atlanta and then in December we have to make our way back to Providence for Christmas.   In Costa Rica I have a beach shack booked for a month.   For another month we are staying in a little mountain town and volunteering at a Community Centre helping children with their English.  Another week will be helping another family somewhere in some other mountains with computer work and the kids will help with the chickens!


In Italy I have found out recently that my mum and step-dad will be coming for a month so I am happy to see what Phil arranges and just go with the flow.   We also have a month organised helping a family in a Tuscan mountain medieval walled village.  (I get excited even saying that, can you imagine – a Tuscan mountain medieval walled village!)  In exchange for accommodation we will be helping the family with their English.  I am so excited about that one.  I have to spend a few days in Rome at some stage to sort out our Thailand visas.  Thailand – I have not even thought about.   I am leaving Thailand and the rest of the time away to chance, luck and the gods.   Which is so unlike me considering that I put a stop watch on most of the kids and my activities in the afternoon.  I get antsy if they are not in bed by 6pm for god’s sake.  So to be leaving approximately half of our trip to chance and to “see what happens” is both exciting and terrifying.


So apart from booking the train tickets from New York to Providence and organising our online US Visa Waiver I don’t feel I have much to do.  It is before our departure that I realised I need to look at my list of things to do and start ticking things off.   I love lists and I love crossing and ticking things off.   It was whilst I was driving that I had a complete mental blank about adaptors.   I think I spent a good 40 minutes on how many adaptors I would need, if there is such a thing as a universal international adaptor and where I might get these from.   Even now I am obsessing about adaptors.   There are so many other things I could be addressing.  Like underpants.  Rissie came out in a size 4 pair of underpants the other day.   Luckily the elastic had completely gone and she has a scrawny little body so they still appeared to fit her.   Undies and adaptors are on the list.  Right now it is a matter of addressing the basics.  A great big long list of basics


Countdown is well and truly on.

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