Monday, 30 April 2012

Dear pathetic excuse for a phone company that rhymes with Hellstra...

My hatred for you began just before I moved to the bush when you had me blacklisted under the title“identity fraud” because I had the nerve to purchase two mobile phones and an wireless internet connection from you, but since you eventually cleared my name and admitted the mistake was yours I will let that little incident go for the duration of this post.

I will also not mention the fact that I paid $50 a month for internet connection that didn’t ever work for the best part of a year before you finally admitted there was no available 3G service and agreed to close the account with no cancellation fee.

So anyway, upon moving here and receiving new phones for my husband and I, I was assured I would have “excellent” mobile phone reception in my new rural location. It is true that I do indeed get (intermittent) reception, although one bar is not really considered excellent in my book and I can only achieve said single bar if I stand clinging precariously by one hand to the front veranda post whilst leaning into oblivion with my head tilting just a little to the left.

As the thought of falling to my impending doom should I ever want to make a phone call was unattractive at best, I decided to do the sensible thing and set up a home phone account too so that if one of my children were bitten by a deadly brown snake or the husband rolled the tractor I would at least have the ability to phone 000.

Now the home phone account was set up at the bargain price of $69 per month and has proceeded to die every single time we get more than half a mm of rain, first it goes crackly so you can’t hear the person on the other end which may I add can make for a whole lot of future awkwardness when you think you are talking to the husband you had the best sex of your life with that morning and it turns out to be your mother in law.

Then after about 48 hours of “What? What? Who is this? Hello?” it will kark it totally and there is no longer a dial tone.

Now in case you live in another country or deep in a cave somewhere, you will have noticed how over the last little while eastern Australia has been getting rather a lot of rain...

Every time this happens I assume my veranda hugging position and with my life on the line I phone up the ‘faults’ department. Where they are unable to hear me properly due to poor reception and after a bunch of ‘pardon me?’ and ‘can you please repeat that’  and 'do you realise your phone servive is not good?' I find out I have been transferred to the wrong department.

Finally it gets sorted out and after the lovely friendly consultant promises me someone will be out to fix the line within the next 7 days I am asked to hold and answer a survey question on my experience – but not before the consultant assures me it is only to rate HER PERSONAL performance and to please not let it reflect my views of the company.

Without fail on day 7 somebody called Trevor who looks like a cross between Hagrid and an axe murderer in a phone company uniform always arrives and temporarily fixes it until of course the next time it rains again and we go back to square one.

Two weeks ago my phone died AGAIN, but  this time Trevor never came.

 So after pondering  for a few days if perhaps another happy customer finally snapped and took it out on old Trev, I decided to call up the company again and find out.

By the time I have been redirected through ‘ADSL’, ‘Mobile Services’ and ‘Sales’  it has been 40 minutes and my foot and arm are asleep from clinging to the post in the icy wind. I finally connect to someone who CAN help me a lovely sounding lady, and my mobile battery went flat.

 So dear unnamed telecommunications giant, I’m more angry than Matthew Newton and have developed a twitch in my right eye. If there was ANY other telecommunications  companies that serviced my area I would have given my children up to be with them. In the meantime while my mobile battery charges, may God help Trevor if he turns up before I have had a coffee and some zanax.

Have you ever been f$#ked around with by a telecommunications company?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Voice That Cannot Be Broken

Sometimes as writers, our greatest fear is misinterpretation.

Eden Riley wrote this post about having her words manipulated by a magazine and it got me thinking again, as so many of her posts do these days.

Magazines, newspapers, television segments - they are all like a game of Chinese whispers, you tell your story through an interpreter whos job it is to make a socially acceptable and profitable story for their company, the end result is often far from the truth.

When someone else changes your words – usually to benefit themselves’ - it cuts like a knife. In mainstream media I have had my words twisted, added too and downright lied about and it feels like a massive betrayal of character even when the reader is none the wiser. I think that is why I have grown to love blogging.

The blog is a unique form of media, it’s real.

The blog is our chance to have a voice, an unedited story or opinion about what matters to us. Sure some people won’t like it, there are always going to be those that scrutinise your life, methods and motive but it really doesn’t matter – in the grand scheme of things people will always read what they relate to, empathise with or lets them escape their reality for a while, so tell your story.

I can’t speak for you- you own your words, not me. But I know that no matter how honest, and how emotionally I write I haven't given away everything, I am still a private person and nobody could ever really know what its’ like to walk in my shoes, as for every word I write there are 1000 tears, 1000 laughs and 1000 thoughts that I don’t ever mention.

The words I don’t write are not lies by omission, they are my story to tell -or not- in my own time.

Sometimes we have to be strong and remember why we started writing in the first place, remember the thoughts going through your mind the day you wrote that first awkward post and think about how much you have grown since then, how many friends you have met and how much perspective you have gained in new areas.

You represent your own blog as your place to speak and be heard, and that is a voice that cannot be broken. happy writing.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Let's Make A Difference!

Eden Riley has spent the last week in Niger Africa with world vision raising awareness of the hunger crisis, she was interviewed on the Breakfast Show this morning in a segment that was nearly cancelled but thanks to Twitter love was allowed to continue (see we are already making a difference!)
 We are lucky to live in a time where we are able to use social media to raise awareness, Eden has inspired many other bloggers to write posts on this topic now and she's only just getting started.
We all grieve for an ideal world that doesn’t exist and we each have problems in our own lives of varying scale and although one persons’ problem may seem petty to another, they are still  valid  because they affect them and their lifestyle.
One basic fact is that we can ALL do something to make our world a better place, after all every human on this planet is in it together, we are all different and yet  exactly the same and we all have the same basic needs.

 The money spent and earned from war and fighting, is far more than enough to ensure every person on the planet has food, shelter, education and basic health care. Think about that for a minute.
Money is well described as the root of all evil, people become obsessed with it and the power it brings – to some it is an addiction, no different to your standard drug addiction or alcoholism.
Sadly though in our world, if you don’t have it you simply cannot survive – the people dying every day from easily preventable diseases and famine are proof enough.

It’s particularly ridiculous when you realise that much of the money we deal with daily doesn’t even exist. It is but numbers on paper- borrowed interest- its’ just numbers. If everyone in Australia withdrew the money in their bank account the country would collapse because the money isn’t physically there to take!

Over time we realise that the world has become entwined in a pyramid scam of the scariest proportions and the few people at the top of the pyramid hold the power and the people at the bottom? Well they don’t matter.

The fact is until the people at the top beat their addiction to power and money it becomes up to us, and while it can be as depressing as hell to think about how small we are in the great scheme of things, we are NOT powerless, we CAN certainly still help.

We cant all travel to Africa and we can't all write inspirational blog posts but we can each try and do a little something each day to help out someone else - from opening a door, lending a hand to a stranger, making a simple phone call to say hi, we ARE making a difference.

It’s these acts of kindness- even the smallest ones, that have the ability to change someone’s moment, their day and potentially their lives.  Watch the smile on a person’s face when you help them, it makes you feel better too.
To all the great people out there who raise awareness of world and local issues, you are doing a wonderful service, awareness encourages appreciation, it has the ability to change people’s views of their own lives, we become less greedy and more thankful, more helpful and more fulfilled within ourselves.

It doesn’t really matter what it is that you do, how big or how small but today, try and make a difference in someone else’s life. 

 Oh and if you haven't seen it already, head over to EDEN'S BLOG, grab a cuppa and be inspired to make a difference in your own way. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Just Between You & Me (and the rest of the world..)

image credit

Secrets are funny things, and problematic ones to those of us who blog – you see, it’s against human nature to hide stuff – we have a yearning to talk it out. But sometimes the fear that those we ‘talk it out’ to may in turn ‘talk it out’ to others, can often prevent us from telling those closest to us some very important things. So we blog them instead, blatantly sharing our private innermost thoughts masked by an often false sense of anonymity.

I was chatting to a friend on the phone the other day, she is also a blogger and the only real life friend I have who knows about my blog. She enquired as to weather or not SIL & I had spoken to the rest of the IL family about the impending egg donation - the answer to which was not yet, the only people who know are you, me and.... well, the rest of the world.

It then dawned on me how potentially writing about this could hurt my husband’s family – what if they find out about my blog one day and become aware that the whole cyber world knew something they didn’t that would affect them directly for the rest of their lives?

SIL, BIL and I had the ‘when do we tell?’ discussion again after our FIRST IVF APPOINTMENT.

It has already been decided that the child and of course family in general will know about the donation and who donated – my own children will (when they are old enough to understand) know that their cousin/s are genetically their siblings.

The IL family are already aware that SIL & BIL would most likely need an egg donor, but they don’t know that I offered, they accepted and now we are going ahead.

To talk about one’s infertility is hard, to decide if or when to discuss IVF is a deeply personal decision that only those going through it can begin to understand.

I have told SIL that it’s a choice for them to make, and not me as they are the parents of this future child – I am purely supplying a piece of DNA for the puzzle.

If we told the family, I think MIL would be happy, after the 8 grandbabies her sons have produced, I think she is really looking forward to her little girl carrying a child whatever the means, plus she would be able to help with babysitting during any awkward IVF appointment times.

This being said, SIL has also commented on feeling like she is constantly being monitored for signs of pregnancy by the people that know of their previous IVF attempts and I have been getting little “Ooh she didn’t have wine at the party on the weekend, do you think she might be pregnant finally?” comments from people, so those feelings are justified...
The truth is personally I would rather they waited until there is a confirmed pregnancy, but for purely selfish reasons.

I know my IL family and feel like there would be lot of pressure to ''perform'. Whilst I am young and tick all the right ‘Egg Donor’ boxes, I secretly worry, what if there is something wrong with my eggs? What if there is a genetic condition that makes BIL& I incompatible? What if the pregnancy doesn’t hold?

I also now know that my other SIL (SIL2) went to her doctor to find out if she was able to donate, but due to a thyroid condition she cannot. SIL2 and I have a rocky past and I wonder how she would feel that they are going to use my egg. That her children will not be genetically related to the potential babies?

I like to think that when all is said and done all anyone wants out of this is to see SIL & BIL with a happy, healthy family and hopefully any ill feelings of not being told will be forgotten when a baby is born.

But for now, let’s just keep it between you and me.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Egg Donor IVF - the first appointment

On Monday I had my first IVF appointment, I was nervous and excited as I drove into the big smoke wondering what was going to greet me when I arrived. I thought about how my SIL and BIL must have felt when they first embarked on this journey so full of hope and excitement which would decrease with each subsequent appointment until they were eventually told that as a couple there was no more treatments for their infertility.

I never had to worry about any of this, quite the opposite actually. I remember sitting on the toilet age 17 clutching the pregnancy test in my hands tears rolling down my cheeks looking at the two lines staring forcefully at me and thinking “Oh my God”. I also vividly remember sitting in that abortion clinic for a ‘chat’ with the clinic nurse and feeling physically sick after hearing her graphic description of the procedure.

 I remember walking out those doors shit scared but with a new sense of purpose knowing that I was not under any circumstance going to return to that place and that despite the odds and hard road ahead I was in fact going to become a mother.  

I remember that feeling of combined pure joy and absolute terror as I clutched my baby boy for the first time thinking ‘I am totally responsible for this life a real human being, its existence, its growth, its emotional well being and its future all depend on my actions’. It was a surreal moment.

Now as my baby is fast approaching ‘double figures’ I drive into the big smoke praying desperately that I can help two people that are young, healthy and very much in love create the family they have worked so hard for. The countless pregnancy tests SIL has taken and the gutted feeling of sitting on the toilet, tears rolling down cheeks because for her there is only ever one line.

I arrived at the Fertility Specialists private rooms and was met by the smiling and equally nervous faces of my SIL and her husband. We made our way up a narrow flight of stairs and long corridor to the office. As we entered we were greeted by the receptionists smiling face and I filled out the usual forms while we waited for the Fertility Specialist (FS).

Finally the door to her office opened and the FS walked out and ushered me in, she is a tall lady with a friendly demeanour and I felt instantly comfortable. She asked me a bunch of questions about my cycle, past medical history, past pregnancies and my lifestyle. When she had finished she gave me a big smile and said I was the poster child for egg donation.

She then invited my SIL & BIL into the room and she discussed genetics, hormone injections and went over the egg collection procedure in detail and she told what was to happen now.  Basically for those interested, we need to coordinate our cycles (by way of the pill) and I need to have an internal ultrasound called a ‘baseline for fertility’ as well as a stack of blood tests to check hormone levels, STDs, and potential vitamin deficiencies. Then all going well we will start the actual IVF cycle in 5 weeks time.

We collected our scripts and my referrals thanked the FS and headed over to the Fertility Clinic to book in our appointments for the mandatory counselling – We need three sessions -one for The Husband and I, one for my BIL and SIL and one with all of us together.

We also booked in the ‘Nurse Chat’ which is where they will teach me how to use the different medications I will need to inject into myself daily for approx two weeks before egg collection.

We left excited and with the “We’re going to make a baby!” buzz. It was funny because although the circumstances are far from normal, it doesn’t feel weird at all.