There And Back Again

Well we’re back home from our New Zealand trip and still struggling with the Jet Lag, but otherwise fine. Dad is still dying from the cancer, but was in a good phase of his treatments and despite being in pain, in generally good spirits. All in all a good trip all things considered. Thank you all for the kind comments and concern. I’m basically fine. Dad… we don’t know, maybe he sees Christmas.
Having done three family trips to New Zealand now, my hearty advice is to fly on American Airlines within the US and across the Pacific on Qantas. Arriving into Terminal 4 at LAX on American Airlines and out of Terminal 4 on Qantas means one less hamster run through security and by all accounts it was the cheapest flights anyway. Qantas has great service as well. I was going to watch the Playboy documentary on the plane, but eldest daughter wouldn’t fall asleep next to me. Dammit.
In my absence a few not so great things happened. One of my older online friends died from Salmonella. I’m sad for her loss but also appalled at the Darwin Award level of stupidity and ignorance as well. If you think you have Salmonella and haven’t been able to keep solid food down for five days and have a 104 temperature, you don’t just post about it on Facebook, you go to the hospital. She had 1289 Facebook friends and only two that I could see said go the ER and the rest offering “get well soon” and some even told her to avoid going to doctors with their guesswork and poison. She was dead within 24 hours of that status update.
I do have many issues and concerns about medications and treatments myself, but Western emergency medicine is just outstanding compared to all other options in a medical emergency. Nothing else is as good as stabilizing a critical patient. Just nothing. If you want to do prayer, positive thinking, chicken soup, purified water, leeches, hot stones, crystals, tribal dancing etc, you’re more than welcome to do that, just don’t mess with the IV lines.
And yes I know she didn’t have medical insurance, but five days of vomiting and 104 temperature is life threatening. You just go to the ER and file for bankruptcy if you have to. My hunch is that she died horribly, probably from some combination of seizures and cardiac arrest. That’s about all I have to say about that.
The other thing that pissed me off was the deletion of Seasons of Tumult and Discord. The message I got was nothing particularly negative happened to them in real life as a result of the blog, just that they decided to finish it because “the time was right”.
Seriously, WTF. Now I know I did not agree with everything they said, personally I found Aiki had useful observations but Tallyrand just a budget Roissy, but why the blog suicide? Blogging is mostly a solo effort in writing posts and so on, but it’s also a cooperative effort in that people make comments and links back and forth. There’s a relationship between blogs where the sum is greater than all the parts by the creation of a network. Now all those comments are gone and all that’s left for their passing is a trail of broken links. Unless you are already famous, most blogs take about two years before turning into something that gains proper readership traction. If you have to stop, you just keep the blog up and say why as a final post.
If there is a compelling personal reason to just shut a blog off I get it. If it’s a case of Human Resources or a life partner finding the blog and issuing ultimatums, I’ll do a minute of silence and a quiet beer for you. But simply deciding it’s Eat Pray Love time and shredding it all without so much as a Post-It note. Grrr.
Anyway, life continues on, my job is still there and I’m going to be busy. I skittled my boss and coworker with about $12 of New Zealand Manuka Honey between them – it heals and you can eat it, so nurses love that like you won’t believe. Also I playfully threatened that I might not come back as well while away and finally got my Lemon Poppy Cupcakes at the staff meeting as well. Naturally I had to text her later and say that my kids loved them, but were now all gone so I needed another batch.
It’s good to be back. I’ve spent nearly half my life here now, so the switching country thing is always both a welcome relief, deja vu and walking day dream odd all in one no matter which direction I’m going in. Jennifer was with me though, so I never really left home.
And I’m now a month behind in getting the book done, I wanted to be finished the writing part by now, but that’s life. Sometimes shit happens and you just have to get up out of bed, go get the help you need, take your medicine, grind it out and not quit too early.
See you all tomorrow.


  1. Agree with your grumblings re: what A & T did. Deleting a blog, rather than just saying adios, seems like an overly dramatic flourish, so long as nothing incriminating was in it (clues allowing one or one's workplace to be identifiable).

  2. I am very sorry about your father, Athol. I'm glad the time you spent with him was good and he was in good spirits.

  3. Ms Lacrymosa says:

    Welcome "back", appreciate the fact that you kept up the blog on your voyage. Also, to echo Grerp's sentiments, glad your family were able to spend a peaceful time with your Dad.

  4. Athol Kay says:

    Blogs are like children Ms L, if you leave them unattended for too long you come back to an awful mess sometimes. :-)

  5. Welcome back AK ,sorry to hear about your father hopefully his parting of this world won't be to rough.(friggin cancer)
    I have also followed a few blogs that just went away, leaves you wondering about what happened to them. I see Ms Lacrymosa is ending her blog, she had a very thought provoking blog at least to me. Probably a good time to end her's though, since she is restarting her life.
    Looking forward to seeing your book when you get it completed and published.

  6. Oh well, blogs come and go. Problems are eternal. ;)

    Sad to hear that about your father, my own went down to asbestos lung cancer in his early 60ies, while about 40 years earlier his own dad died of smokers-lung cancer too in his 60ies.

    So I´m not too hot on the fabled western medicine either, especially when there´s a KILLING to be made on cancer drugs and not on healing it.
    Trauma medicine is a WHOLE different beast from actually finding the roots of a disease and healing it.
    Big Pharma funded western medicine is basically based on profit. Profit in trauma is survival of the patient, the rest is based on making the symptoms go away and selling VERY overpriced drugs for the "incurable" problems.

    Well maybe you´re dad won´t be as in awe of the "efficient" standard western medicine like my dead folks and try to use Dr. Hulda Clark´s findings.

    Good luck.

  7. Athol Kay says:

    New Zealand medicine isn't nearly as Big Pharma run as here. It's all socialized basically, so it's more of a "take a number" and choose Treatment A or Treatment A.

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