A Bleeding Mole, a Prudent Prescription & the Show (13-19 July)

Monday 13/7/87

Ugh! I hate school. It’s so boring & ….. boring!! Rebecca G’s back in Cairns – at school. But that doesn’t really bother me – she doesn’t talk anyway (to me) We’re back in F block for maths. Wowee. How boring. Mark came late, but smiled at me when I saw him. A Life in WordsWe barely talked at all (end of recess, in biol & after school). Most of it was stirring anyway. On the way home we honked the horn & I gave him the forks – he rang me tonight & everything seemed much better (even though we were still joking around). I think he got off his “high horse” (maybe?) – realised what he was doing. Anyway was really cool today & is cool tonite. Spent the lunch hour on the oval in the sun. There’s a mole on stomach- bleeding. [Well aren’t these back-to-back sentences pretty much ‘oxymoronic’? The sun + bleeding moles = ?!?!] Worrying me a bit. [Really?] Hope its not cancerous. [In all fairness, the lunchtime sun-soak wouldn’t’ve registered to me at all because we didn’t know back then that skin cancers (esp. melanoma) can ‘originate’ in places never seen by the sun…] Talked to mum tonight about the pill – she’s not really impressed, but she knows its for the best [What mama is ever truly happy about her girl reaching this rite-of-passage? (I don’t even have to mention Dads!) I imagine it’s more just a sign of her baby growing up too fast…] Watching mini series again tonight. Finished 11:30 last nite. Same tonite???

Tuesday 14/7/87

10:30 it finished last night & 10:30 again tonite. Gosh it’s cool! Beautiful weather Just right. I’d love summers like this – imagine, then, the winters! [Hmmm, my attitude towards the seasons has pretty much reversed over the years…] Today was O.K. seemed to go rather fast. Rang Mark tonight, briefly.A Life in Words I went to see Mrs E this afternoon – for a dress fitting – she’s only just begun the lining! Hope it gets finished! Then I went to the doctor to see about this bleeding mole- he said it’s “malignant” (whatever that means) [“not good”] & he ripped it off. [..which I find confusing. If it was truly malignant, there should have been further testing. If I had misunderstood the doctor, and he was simply intimating that it may become malignant – removal without follow up could be expected. But if there was minimal chance of it being a threat (and I have realised many ‘mole-morphing’ experiences over the years) the removal may have been some sadistic power-play?!!] Now I’ve got a kind of scab. I also asked (shame!) [shame because it’s an ‘admission’!] about the pill – he wrote a prescription out, but said to start first pack after next period; even then, must wait until I’ve finished that pack (of approx. 21 or 28 pills) before it becomes effective.A Life in Words So it’ll be a while yet. Did barely any homework. am so tired. Riding tomorrow 1st dance practise tomorrow night but Mark doesn’t want to go: State of Origin III match is on. mini-series ended tonite – was fantastic!!! Busy day tomorrow (I think!) SHOW!!! [Oh how I loved the Show back then. I think it stemmed from my social nature: as a younger teen it was the most ‘popular’ event I could ever attend… I used to get excited wondering how many people I would run into in the crowd of strangers…]

Wednesday 15/7/87

All these late nights!! It’s almost 11:00 now. Today was O.K. I thought I’d missed mima & fiona, but they were just a little late. Dad stopped us around Suicide Bend [a severe curve in the road between Stratford and Aeroglen at which a number of historic fatalities occurred. The road is now known as the Stratford Connection Road but we certainly didn’t know it by that name back in the 80’s …I just can’t remember what it was: Aeroglen Drive or Kamerunga Road? …Anyone?] and, get this, gave me $40 (for Jules & I for the show) can you believe it? We didn’t even have to ask! Wow!! A Life in Words[As often happens with split homes, one parent ends up dishing out more money than the other in the rearing of offspring. I think it’s unavoidable even in the most amicable of relationships disintegrations. Living with mum meant she bore the financial brunt of our upbringing. Rather than Dad being a conscious miser, I believe things simply just ‘didn’t occur’ to him. It fits with the adage “out of sight, out of mind”.] Did biol. HW at school. Got on really well with mark today- I mean we didn’t talk too much more than usual, but we were in better spirits (I think) – he seemed much nicer; a little more affectionate (although he wasn’t) [what the?! …he was but he wasn’t?] Don’t worry – I can’t explain. [obviously] At lunchtime (after) Mima, Fi, Polly, Anna, Joannah, Myuko & I went to Fi’s shop to miss athletics tryouts. Talked, laughed ate. After 3:00, got our bikes & (after mima’s dress fitting) rode home really fast! (Pushing my leg to its limit! Ha, ha) Late nite was v. unsuccessful – nothing at all, I really like. At home watched TV & got bag from mima’s. OW! Bit my gum this arvy – its sore now. my stomach mole’s O.K now. Mum’s pushing me about the pill “Are you sure about Mark? I want you to be absolutely sure about him…” etc [Well, this is truly an eye-opener for me. Aside from mum’s innate parental concern for her daughter, this is the first moment I have realised that she perhaps didn’t overly approve of my boyfriend. In her defense, it would have been crystal clear how affected I was by him; my moods and reactions relative to the relationship highs and lows. I mean, if I as an adult now cringe at what I allowed myself to experience, I can imagine how it could have felt for my loving mother to watch…] Had to pay for painting stretcher today (out of my $20 for the show – now I have only $14 left. Great)

Thursday 16/7/87A Life in Words

Great day! I’m in a really good mood! Only one problem – Fi’s sick .. but if she rests tomorrow all day she should be O.K (I hope so) for it. School was boring, of course .. the Canadian marching band did a display this morning after parade, so that shortened our lessons. (It was really good!) I rode by myself. to school (wondering at the time why I possibly did) but on the way home I enjoyed it. We got ready, took Amanda & Jules to the show then went to Earlville. I was almost giving up hope when, wait for it, we went in to ROCKMANS & I found some black pants!! WOW! Then I purchased” a red shaker-knit cotton jumper (men’s) so I was in a good mood – watched the model search thingy (with mima, Pol, anna, danae, colleen, juliet, nina …so on) _both heats (Tricia was in the last one – my God – I would never dream of doing that if I was her (if I was me, anyway!)) [Such high and rigid expectations of Beauty thanks to the Media and my own low Self Esteem..] VOMIT! [Harsh reactions again hint at Insecurity… and perhaps Jealousy: that she had the self confidence/esteem/love to have a go in the first place. We often attack or lash out when coming from a place of Fear…] went home with Brewers .. mima & I decided to ride to the beach tomorrow morning – At home I rang Mark straight away – but I’m going to ring again tomorrow. Still not sure exactly what the plans are for tomorrow (night) – after the show, too (the [House on the] Hill, [that is, Crocodile Rock nightclub] staying at Fi’s.) Hafta work it all out.

Friday 17/7/87

Didn’t ride to the beach-mima had to stay to meet her granny. I “wasted” the morning – watching TV, weaving (for art).  A Life in WordsDid a little exercise→ rode to the shop for mum. Rang mima & fi & got “plans” sorted out; got ready around 3:30→ went to Fi’s at 4:20 – finished getting ready, before walking to mima’s. Picked up Jo & Geoff. M too . . got there around 5:45 – got to the Big Ferris wheel [the ‘meeting point’] around 6:03, I reckon. Mark showed up at 6:15- had been waiting at the little Ferris wheel. But, he went again to the pub. Met him at 7:00 – he was teasing me about Phil C (was there with P. N. & some others) YUM, YUM. I did end up talking to him, too; he has changed- is much, much less shy than last year. I think he’d be a really cool friend to have. I went on 1 ride spent a record minimum (less than $5 I’m sure) this year. Mark was away most the time – at the end I felt I was being ignored/avoided. IT HURTS so much. Around 11:30 went to the Hill. I got in no sweat (no questions . nothing!! WOWEE) Was good, except was hot & smoky inside. But I wasn’t exactly happy. I felt, especially towards the end, very unloved, boring, sad, lonely, depressed & a bit pissed off. […anything else?…] Why does Mark treat me the way he does? God it hurts so much. [No…why do you put up with the ‘treatment’? You have a choice. It’s nothing to do with him …but everything to do with You…] But I can’t say anything- he’ll only confirm his beliefs that I’m a weak, boring sook. (whinger, complainer) Pretty well bombed at Fi’s, around 3:30. Cold!!! left around 8:30 – Fi’d already gone to work, mima home. Jo & I cleaned up, then walked to bus stop sat until she caught bus to Redlynch – I walked home. Spent the day lying, resting, reading thinking= being depressed. [Allowing the Mind to replay the Past, re-tell its Stories to keep you Down…] “Well I’ll see you when I see you” he said. Jesus that hurt. Maybe I’m just going through an extremely sensitive period or something but I can’t help it; A Life in WordsI’m feeling down today & I can’t change it. [You can. But sometimes you’re not meant to…] Had a short sleep (about 1-1½hrs) after 3:00→ rang Fi & Sharon after (both weren’t home) Mark rang me. I felt a little better (he made the effort to ring me, after all) & we decided to go to the movies (he didn’t want to go to the party) Got calls from Beka & Sharon after. Got to odeon just before him. Lethal Weapon again. He appeared very quiet – uncomfortable (moody) but relaxed a bit after. (We walked around→ to Pacific & had a cocktail – Pink Blonde YUMMY) Left odeon after ringing mum (him→Sandra) & getting himself a steakburger .. I was a little pissed off again. . . .→

Sunday 19/7/87

→ no kiss again→ I knew it – it had to do with what I’d said last  Saturday night – about never kissing him again. I’d said to forget it & he said he did, but no→ he has to carry it on – that’s what upsets me the way he carries things on, for days, weeks. I hate it – it hurts. It makes me afraid to say anything to him now in case he carries it on. [And this is a perfect example of how fears develop into life-long instinctive reactions or habits. “Avoid Confrontation at all costs, Liss” the Mind says…] So he laughed as we drove away. At home I watched TV, right up untill 1:15 or so. I bombed and woke this morning at about 9:30→ really dead! (Mum painting the entrance room) Amanda left around 11:00 (she stayed last night) God, it depresses me to think about Mark→why does he do it? Deliberately to provoke me; make me sulk. [Maybe? Maybe trying to push you away? Or maybe he has no intention at all. The thing is, you can never really know …which means it’s beyond your Control …which means ya gotta… Let. It. Go.] I can’t stand it. formal dancingAfter wasting the day (totally) Beka picked me up: at dance practise I got a very mixed feeling about him. He seemed O.K. (nice) now & then – but sometimes he was very “stiff” as if he wished he didn’t go. Kept calling me a Sook. I can see he doesn’t like me (being a “Sook”) But I can’t convince him when I’m not sulking. DON’T HURT ME ANYMORE. PLEASE forget all this shit. After it I had a terribly sore throat – hard to swallow, yawn & speak. God it’s killing me. Mark wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was sore – just said “sook

Keloids, Oedema & Back on Two Feet (9-15 March)

A Life in Words

Finally, here’s a (poor quality) photo of my original scar in all its Glory. Unfortunately, we’d never thought of taking photos at any other time so this is the earliest I have. (Damned shame we didn’t get any pics of the raw wound.) The large red rectangle at the top of the photo is where the surgeon took the skin for the graft and directly below it is the ‘meat pie’ hole to which they grafted it …around which, incidentally, you can see the horrid suture marks from the first job by the surgeons botched. The scar directly under my finger is, I assume, where I was impaled by the metal which I yelled at the rescue worker to “just fucking rip …out”.

Monday 9/3/87

Did I tell you I’m 60kg again? Well, I was measured yesterday. Oh, and by the way, Mark’s shitty with me again. I said something about all I need is Jemima & Fiona as friends & he (taking I didn’t need him) said he’d never talk to me again, no matter what I said or did. So he’s shitty with me. I s’pose I can expect another goodbye letter perhaps in Wednesday’s mail? Oh well. My appointment was the major news of the day, originally (god its hot) He (the dr.) said it’s excellent. Looks a bit “gooby” to me …but I’M ALLOWED TO WALK AND GO OUT ETC!! WOWEE! That’s what I was waiting to hear. Back at school next Monday YAY!! Although, I dunno; if Mark’s so shitty. I’ve been slowly trying to straighten my leg. IT IS SO HARD. I haven’t yet. WOWEE!!

Tuesday 10/3/87

Hope I sleep better tonight – the last few nights have been terrible – I keep waking. Oooooh! I am doing SO well! I can straighten my leg almost completely back, now & can put most my weight on it for a few secs. And I’m so proud. [Good!] At this rate, maybe I will be walking by the (or for the) weekend! Sandra W rang me this arvy -said Mark understands what I meant ..it’s just he’s upset that I spend more time with my friends at school, than him [what? you haven’t been at school for all bar 3 days of the school term so far…?] (it really matters to him.. he does care) I thought he might ring tonight but no. Oh well. Went & saw nana today. Well & good. . . (boring visit) [oh, to have had hindsight…] also Jo & Mike rang. A Life in WordsThey’re counting the days til they come up. I did no schoolwork this morning again. Justine & Mrs Mac came this arvy, as they left, mima & polly came. Yru gave Julia an enormous leaf of aloe vera to give to me. I haven’t been putting anything on my scars lately UMAH! [I can be ‘religious’ about certain things (obviously!) but it seems treating my scarring was not one of them. I have very soft skin which is a blessing but the trade-off  seems to be that I scar badly: hypertrophic-keloid scars are reddish, raised lumps (you can easily spot them in the photo of my leg above) which thankfully often fade and flatten out over time, but never disappear, unfortunately. While not yet fully understood, keloid scarring seems to result from excessive collagen in the wound healing process; one of my doctors gave me the impression it’s as if your body heals over-zealously?!] mmm… hot, yes. Rain? yes. pimples? Yes – going away? Yes (I hope) Mark – I love you? YES!

A Life in Words

Cairns Post, Wednesday 11 March 1987
Since its completion a decade later, the memorial has been everything our great principal desired.

Wednesday 11/3/87

Mr P [Monique’s father] rang this arvy..sounds so ‘tired’ and ‘weak’ ..Mrs P will not be back for another 2 weeks or so. No call from Mark (of course). Nor any mail. I wrote him a letter which I’ll post tomorrow. Hope it doesn’t sound silly. GUESS WHAT? I CAN WALK WITHOUT CRUTCHES!!!! UNREAL, HUH?! After only 2 days – I can let go and (hobble, limp) walk ’round! (Today I went to Earlville with mum – did shopping but I took crutches – needed them – got tired easily. Oooh runny nose. (Fi & mim came round this arvy, too.) I actually read my novel today (although that was the only schoolwork I did) And didn’t have a bath tonight – just ran out of time. [ew!] Rainy again – but cooler today at times. I slept rather well last night!! Oh, I wish Mark’d ring or something I wish he’d talk to me. Oh I love you. Don’t treat me this way.. PLEASE!!

Thursday 12/3/87

Well, I’m doin’ good . . . walking’ (limpin’ really!!) round! Mum woke me early Dropped Jules at school (went past the seniors – saw him) then we waited an hour or so before we went in. . .took off the dressing. I think doctor Clark was pleased I could walk… I asked questions – they were answered [I’d love to know what I asked…] – nothing to worry about (physically, anyway; I didn’t send the letter to Mark, or even give it to Jules to give to him – will tomorrow – damn, I forgot to re-write it.) Read my play today so .. that’s it. I’ll have to do some solid work tomorrow: MUST. Am going to the movies 2morrow nite with Fi & Jules! Hey, hey! Gonna ask mark (if I get that letter re-written. Shaved me legs 2nite & armpits – didun wanna but had to. [I preferred waxing… but that must have been too large a feat for me to accomplish, somehow?] Ankle looks absolutely revolting – fat (swollen) Leg a bit sore from using it lots I think – it’s looking even better today- I can’t believe it! mm ..hot. rain, though! Fi came down ‘S’ arvy→ ambulance man dropped off some videos drove to fi’s & Watched them. BORING seen before! [I’m guessing they were a collection of news clips/footage that, like everyone, I’d’ve seen repeatedly over the past month.] Oh neckache.

Friday 13/3/87

A Life in Words

This isn’t my ankle, but it could have looked very similar…

Today (not bad luck – much) I took my first WALK. I mean WALK, NOT LIMP!! Fantastic! (And I had a shower, standing all the time!) [I think I can vaguely remember this feeling: the uncertainty of pressing down into my foot was dwarfed by confidence and the knowledge that it was okay to do this, after the doctor’s positivity yesterday. Oh yes, it felt really good!] This morning I hurried a new letter to Mark .. to give to Jules to give to Fiona to give to him. But, we didn’t go to the movies tonight after all – Fi wants to invite mima, tomorrow night (she works 2nite) & even if mima can’t come we’ll still go. So, (Fi was convinced he’d ring me – he didn’t) if he went, we wouldn’t’ve been there – he’ll be even angrier. And if he didn’t go, it means (he didn’t ring) that he doesn’t care. Oh shit. I need you to contact me, Mark. Please, please God, let things be the way they were before the crash. It’s not fair. My life’s the pits. My ankle’s so ugly & fat (swollen) [I failed to understand that my entire leg had been blown up like a balloon during the accident, so the elasticity in the entire appendage (not just the dermis) would have been incredibly tested and it would take some time for it to return to somewhere near normal (thank God I was young and still growing). The fact is, my right leg would never be the same size as its counterpart again: even after a night’s rest, my right lower leg is always 1-1.5cm thicker in circumference than the left.] Beka (came round this arvy) said hers took awhile to go down. [I think she had had a sprained ankle. A somewhat different injury (!) but wonderfully supportive of her.] GREAT. But I walked today that’s something right? [Yes.] And I did some work. And Trina dropped over my negatives & photocopies of photos of Monique. And I sunbaked (towel over my legs so I don’t get a mark from the bandage) & get this – got burnt slightly after only 15 minutes! [Ah the FNQ sun: it cooks you quick!] OH MARK. PLEASE RING ME or come over.

Saturday 14/3/87

No phone calls from Mark, today, let alone a visit. Hope, really hope he didn’t go Friday night..he’d be so shitty (so much more shitty) with me. I rang Fi twice ..3rd time lucky. Mima might not be going tonight – depends whether she gets her schoolwork done or not (speaking of which, I did none) I danced today! (Not really physically jolting- just “bopping” around! I spent most the day writting out the major things that’d happened in the weeks past .. ready to do up my scrapbook. Fiona’s late!! ..it’s 7:20 – movie Jumpin Jack Flash starts at 7:30. Oh Mark, stuff you. (Told Fi, she said she’d ring him tomorrow for me. She’d really expected him to ring me last night.) NO VISITORS today Rather boring day ‘But Jeez, my ankle’s gone down! (I spent ½hr or so in the sun again today – just head & shoulders..wanna bleach my hair. where’s the lemon juice?)A Life in Words [After 4 weeks in hospital my hair had darkened considerably… and as a natural blonde this was displeasing to me. We used lemon juice whenever we could but I don’t know how well it actually worked…] tell you ’bout the movie tomorrow. My ankle – I can’t believe how much it went down, after putting it under a pillow last night. [yeah. I’m sure I meant the pillow was under my leg, not vice versa…] UNBELIEVABLE! Dad & Jenny came over today – this arvy. Amazed at me walking

Sunday 15/3/87

I’m not so worried about school, even though I got bad news from Fi tonight (well..not good .. not bad(??)) I’ll probly get the nerves tomorrow. See, he & Steven & Cameron & Keith were going to see the Stroopers, so they went to Fi’s …she tried talking to him, but he didn’t say “anything”. (At one stage she said “I was going to call you tonight” & he said “why don’t you tell her you rang but I wasn’t home?” Nice, huh? What’m’ I s’posed to think of that? KNOWing me- the worst. [Well, it’s hardly inspiring…] He hates me. But he can’t. I couldn’t accept that.) Wonder what’ll happen at school? (Today I did chem. & nothing much else – a bit of art) I was going to rest my foot as much as possible today so it wouldn’t hurt for school tomorrow… know what happened? (It’d gone down even more this morning (not much more) but more) It swelled right up again. [A perfect example of what happens when sitting for too long… unless elevated of course, which I doubt I would have been continuing now that I was almost ‘back to normal’…] NO visitors of course. Esp. not mark even though they were in the area. It’s too much to ask. Oh I’m nervous. Angela R. rang tonite – is coming over wednesday arvy. Oooh.. I’m worried. I’m hurt. His song’s on the radio now Miracle of Love. [Hmm, don’t remember that. But I still like the song. Check it out below…] SHIT it’s NOT FAIR.

Surgery, Seat Belts & the Birth of my Spiritual Belief System (16-22 February)

Monday 16/2/87

Feeling still very depressed. The doctors caught up with me today. (Dining room for breakfast & lunch. were late for brekky …squashy next to 2 black guys ..PAINFUL) [I’m quite certain this was a statement of discomfort rather than racist ‘slur’, for those who may be wondering…] After my shower they came back. Wasn’t too painful… they took out the drains. Redressed  my leg after a while. 2 dressings a day now… this arvy, mima was with me. Fi came in, too. Mark didn’t come today- I knew he wouldn’t. Probably won’t tomorrow, too. But he should come before 3 weeks. See, I’m going to surgery (skin graft for the big hole, stitch up the little hole) on Wed, then I’ll be in about a week after that. Then Drs say I have to spend at least 2 weeks at home. No I won’t. [Um, if the doctors say so…] I’m missing too much schoolwork. & friends. Dad told me yesterday: Jenny & him are getting married in May. I was shocked, but hid the surprise good as possible. Jacque visited. A Life in WordsBoring, depressed.. my  leg feels like no progress still hurts as much to stand now as it did when I first did – I’m not getting used to the blood rushing down, thru’ the sore. Painful, still. Tania gave me a big photo frame with photo of me, moni, fi, sharon &  mima taken end of last year, It’s beautiful. Monique is beautiful. ♥ her 4eva.

Tuesday 17/2/87

I went to the Valentine’s Dance! On crutches!! Tania drove me. I’d had painkillers – walking, sitting etc was a breeze!! [I found another notation elsewhere that also mentioned I got in for free!] Felt so good today… I mean tonight … walking, etc.. I’ve improved heaps – can lift my leg straight, in the air. Just finished dressing …did it when I came back.. (while after) about 9:00. surgery tomorrow. very few visitors. Oh, I’m tired. Sleep well. Ha! Mark wasn’t there tonight, but he’s going to the swim. carnival tomorrow – I won’t be allowed. Have to stay flat in bed for 3 days…will be murder getting on crutches again. The “report” on the bus accident on the Today Show was disappointing. Not much about the actual crash.

A Life in Words

How would seat belts have saved lives in this wreckage?

[Of course by this time there were preliminary investigations under way but very little had been published, since a formal inquiry was to be held at a future date. Naturally there was media & public speculation about the cause of the accident and associated discussions about prevention. The most prevalent opinion was that wearing seat belts would have saved lives. Absolute RUBBISH. One look at the bus wreckage should be totally explanatory. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the Cairns Post on this topic (not however in the manner of my specific argument) on Friday 20 (see below). I’m not against seat belts at all (if it’s even possible – per the article) but if WE had been strapped into our seats when that bus roof sheared off & seats were ripped from their places, the death toll would’ve been much higher…] Oh, I’m upset..Tania said to me tonight – talking to [privacy omission] he said something about Mark wanting to _ _ _ _ me She said they were pretty close… I’m upset; is that all Mark wants?? [Well, he’s a teenaged boy…?] I like him so much.. so very much… Oh, I’m so worried. . . . Too bad if I forgot anything – I’m so tired. Night. . . painful leg – skin graft oooh It’s 10:30

Wednesday 18/2/87

I was late – I mean THEY were [for surgery]. I was s’posed to go in at 8:00, but I got my pre-op(eration) needle at 8:30, and was taken up awhile after that. A Life in WordsI waited for ages, up there, dozing & finally around 10:00 I think I was rolled in & soon after, given the “knock-out” needle. When I woke, drowsy, really drowsy I was in heaps of pain. Finally got back down here around 11:45. Crying & whinging in pain. [I don’t seem to have diarised anything about this but sometimes the nurses would administer needles for pain relief, rather than just oral pills. I can’t recall the name of the drug, but I do remember asking for it on a few occasions. I can imagine this would be one of the moments they would not have denied me.] It soon settled. Spent the rest of the day lazing . . dozed a little around 5:00. Mark came up today – but to see Trina he reckoned. I think he’s shitty with me. (Oh, my leg’s so itchy) Doctor told me I didn’t have a skin graft after all – GREAT, HUH?! The flesh repairing was so elastic they could just stitch it up!! No major scars! Great! [Oh how the tables turned in just a few days’ time…and months later I begged my mother to try to recall whether she had signed any consent forms that specifically outlined the surgeons’ original intentions…] No major visitors (‘cept Mark) …I mean very few but the ones who came were nice. A case of quality, not quantity. [Of course ALL of my visitors were ‘nice’!] Another school kid’s bus crash in N.Z. about 5 people killed… not nearly as badly smashed as our bus, was their’s. [Competitive? Sheesh. Trying to source information about this accident was almost as difficult as it is to find information about ours on the net. This article celebrates the growth & success of one of the survivors of the Woodford House girl’s school bus accident which killed two students, two teachers & the driver. The victim doesn’t recall anything of the accident, waking up with  permanent paraplegia two weeks later in hospital.] It’s just after 9:00. I may be going home soon. Keep thinking about mark.. he wouldn’t be after “one thing”.. he writes too much caring stuff. He doesn’t intend to ever hurt me

A Life in Words

Before I was “reduced to square one -again”

Thursday 19/2/87

A “down’ Day, definitely: few visitors, pain in my leg. Hurts to walk: put it this way…I can’t anymore… I can’t straighten my leg and find it easier to ‘hop’ on my left leg, keeping the right foot totally off the ground. But tonight, after doing my teeth I kept up [stayed up] & went for exercise walk …keeping foot on floor, stretching & bending knee as much as possible. [In hindsight, this makes me cringe.] mima, Fi, Brent, Jason came up at lunchtime – Mark was at school. . he didn’t come up here. I think I should’ve written a note for mim to give to him for me. Of course I care that he doesn’t visit me… I care a lot. Am getting anxious… hope Trish doesn’t get hooks into him. (Tania visited this morning…had to work rest of the day.. BOOHOO! She’s leaving tomorrow-MISS HER! Hope I can get out to see her off – have a prezzy for her silver bracelet (sterling.)) My leg- how can it be – I walk fine Tues. & after an operation am reduced to square one -again: A veggie? Is 9:30. Try to get to sleep. Ate little (cos too lazy to go to dining room for meals – too sore.)

Friday 20/2/87

* Another down day. Still painful…worse to walk. Trina left this arvy, around 2:00 I think. This morning, the doctors came- but not all of them… thanks to the charge sister, Lisa, they decided to take my dressing off  On the way, he [one of them?] called me a sook. Bastard. It stuck a bit & it hurts so much. [I still cannot grasp the insensitivity of these medical ‘professionals’…] So, after, I waited about ½hr before someone redressed it, then, too late to have a shower, I dressed & mum took me to see Tania off. No tears shed. But I’ll miss her. Another friend gone. [Developing a life ‘theme’?] Showered after I got back (had lunch – a pie – got some food) Few visitors .. Mrs McI gave me a beautiful book (for end of 9 yrs of speech-huh? That’s not right…yep! it is!) Mr Paddy & Yru (came seperately, but) talked in depth about the crash..esp. Mr Paddy …he helped me understand/accept death etc .. It’s still scary to me…but I’m sure it’s  a big step to recovery of shock. [I’d never had anything to do with Mr ‘Paddy’ (I got his surname wrong) since he was a Music teacher, but this conversation had an incredibly massive impact upon me. I believe it was the catalyst for the development of my entire spiritual belief system, for life. All he did was offer his ideas about ‘what happens’ after we ‘pass over’ but it put me at ease by intimating that death is not ‘The End’. So I came to believe in reincarnation or at least, endurance of Spirit. One particular suggestion he made actually came to pass just a few months later; it was an indisputable experience and perhaps this is what irrevocably cemented my belief, and therefore eternal gratitude, love & respect for him.] Mark didn’t come. I’m really worried. [Privacy omission] mentioned something about sex today, too… it would absolutely break me if that’s all he wanted – I know it’s not ..I think …some little doubt in side …well, my mind’s made up.. he’s not going to get it, ever . . till I’m ready -and that’ll be ages. [He] told me he did to [privacy omission]..didnt really surprise me much 8:55

A Life in Words

In case you’re unable to decipher the fine print, the article basically discusses the impracticality of seat belt installation from an engineering point of view. While there is no reference to our bus’s detached roof, the displaced seats are mentioned.

Saturday 21/2/87

They told me I could go home today. But I didn’t. I wanted to stay in til Monday. Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy- I s’pose I am – but I’m smart; I’ll stay in just to be sure -no infections. [If there was ever a point in my life up till then that I should have respected myself for heeding my ‘Gut’, this was it…] And besides; my visitors have to be told!! [oh you Social Butterfly you!] On Monday I’d also like to see the physio & drs before I go They took out the drain this morning- my leg’s quite a bit better! Walking a bit easier!! Except for Mark’s visit, today was an “up” day.. he came – we got on alright…but he left the same way he did the  last 2 times..without saying goodbye…just walking off in a shit..I’d said something about him being mean to me [and then] “well you can leave” … [so he answered] “alright I will” ..he walked off & didn’t come back. That upset me. I really am worried about if he does like me. (God it’s hot.) he’s so moody; impatient I can’t understand him. We really need a good talk.. it’ll be a long time though.. you can’t really talk well in a hospital..or even at school. Oh, I’ve a headache… feel hot..feel terrible. Can’t sleep very well. Quite a few visitors..very lazy day.     Oh . . . I fell terrible. Must try to sleep.

Sunday 22/2/87

What a waste of a day. Here I was thinking I’d get hoardes of visitors:- mum, the McKenzies (principal), Justin F & Wayne C. That’s it. Leg’s O.K. I get pain “jabs” – throbbing now & then…but noticed walking is getting a bit better. Totally boring day… so sleepy, but couldn’t sleep. Thinking about mark…. I thought maybe that I’d changed & he’d changed (y’know – from the crash’n’everything) and we just don’t “click” anymore. Oh I wish everything was “normal” again.  home tomorrow – I have mixed feelings about that, too. . . good cos’ I’ll get work done (less visitors) & be able to exercise my leg – go for walks (crutches!) BUT – I’m apprehensive – haven’t been home since before the camp – before the crash that’s 3 weeks exactly…the memories – it’s going to be different – “overwhelming” is the word I think of. [Wow, well said.] Oh dear… Hot (-ish) today. Didn’t see Jules. Mike B went to see her this arvy, mum said. Wo, Jules!! ♥ mark – u poop! DAMN YOU