Friday, January 14, 2011


This Christmas was one of mixed feelings for us. Don went into hospital on Dec 16th for a knee replacement having been given the all clear by his heart specialist. He was expecting to be home about the 23rd and we planned to have christmas at home as he probably wasn't going to be able to travel by car.

Three days after the operation which had gone very smoothly, he had a massive heart attack at 6.00am and was raced to Intensive Care with all the drama of a TV soapy - doctors working on him as they raced the crash cart down the corridors, nurses following carrying all the paraphenalia. They didn't tell him until later that they actually thought he wouldn't make it as his heart stopped and wouldn't start for nearly 2 minutes. By the time I got there, the crisis was over and he was actually giving the nurses cheek.

The conclusion was that they overestimated the strength of his heart and the trauma of the op plus all the drugs he had been given was too much for an already dicky heart. Strangely though, his heart which had been in fibrillation before the op is now beating steadily.

With all this drama happening we decided that Christmas would be at Jo (eldest daughter) and Steve's not at our place and I really didn't have the heart to even do anything about a tree. The Sydney contingent were due to arrive on the Thursday and they were staying with Jo.

Mark surprised me by cutting down a lovely tree for me on the Thursday and the girls and grandkids came over on Christmas Eve and decorated it, as is our custom. My youngest GD even commented that the tree touched the ceiling, also according to a long held family tradition.

What with racing up and down the hills to Adelaide sometimes several times a day, worrying about Don, trying to do all the necessary work around the place and coping with Christmas, I was not really in a Chrissie mood by the big day!! However it is difficult not to feel Christmassy with kids around and although I didn't celebrate with my usual gusto, I did have a very pleasant day. I did feel for Don stuck in the hospital - he does love Christmas so.

Jo's tree - and all the pressies.

Don came home 5 days after Christmas and was able to spend some precious time with the girls before they all went back to Sydney. The knee seems to be an unqualified success and although he gets tired very quickly, we are hopeful that he will soon be back to his normal self.