Sunday, February 28, 2010

an earthquake...

An interesting development. Chile has had an earthquake. This one measured 8.8 on the Richter Scale, its epicentre closer to ConcepciĆ³n than to Santiago, the country's capital.

It has been a tiring night. My eyes have been glued to all the news channels on Foxtel - Sky News, CNN, BBC World... trying to see pictures of the places affected by this latest disaster. In between watching the news reports, I have been intermittently calling the numbers of relatives in Santiago, in the hopes that power has been restored and someone might happen to answer a ringing telephone. Skype and email have remained open all night, just in case the cousin I regularly maintain contact with, happens to log on, for whatever reason. Nothing...

So I remain pasted to the news channels, watching carefully to see if I can spot a relative in the background of some footage, perhaps even looking out, in the hopes that a member of my mother's family is actually interviewed about their experience by una periodista, a journalist.

I'm feeling helpless. There's nothing I could do anyway... even if one of them did call me and ask for help. I take comfort in the fact that these people are more built for such an event than someone like myself. My older relatives lived through the 1960 earthquake that reached 9.5 on the Richter Scale - the biggest one on record. Apparently, tremors are a regular occurrence... something they're used to.

Still, I'm seeing images of upside-down cars on collapsed bridges, huge cracks in major highways, multi-storey buildings split in half and caved in. I nervously wonder if one of my relatives might be lying underneath all that rubble.

Last night, the death toll was 78. I awoke this morning, after a restless sleep, to find out that it had climbed to 216. I'm sure that this figure will be higher, as more bodies are discovered in the resulting devastation. I am not religious, but, nevertheless, I find myself praying that my family members are not included in these figures. I wait...

And as I wait to find out more, my mind wanders to possible future developments...

I was planning to leave Australia in June to buy a property in Santiago, the ultimate goal being to set my mother up in her own abode, mortgage free and close to her relatives. I would have used this place as a home base, riding up and down South America, teaching and helping others along the way. Despite being terrified at the prospect of living in a new country, I was looking forward to the idea of helping indigenous people in South America, working as a volunteer if needed, teaching English, maybe assisting in setting up a community library or two. I could think of nothing more satisfying than helping those less fortunate than I, putting a smile on the face of a child or an adult who has strongly suffered from the consequences of political advancement and the viral spread of world-wide capitalism.

Now that this natural disaster has happened in Chile, I am undecided. Don't get me wrong - I still want to go to South America and pursue those dreams. But, to set my mother up there? I have my doubts now as to whether or not that would be a wise decision.

Again, I find myself going through the pros and cons, this time for a very different, and far more profound, reason...

PROS (of buying a house for my mother in Chile):

- She would be close to family, which she needs more and more as she gets older. I won't always be at hand to provide her with support if she requires it.
- She/I would own the home outright, no mortgage, debt-free.
- The cost of living is significantly less than living in Australia.
- She would be living in the country's capital, in the CBD. She would have access to all amenities, doctors, hospitals, shops, other people.
- She wouldn't have to start over, as I would. This is the country she was born in. Even though she has lived in Australia
longer than she has in Chile, she knows its culture, its ways. Her need to acclimatise would be significantly less than mine.
- Gone are the days of General Augusto Pinochet. No longer do Chile's people live in fear of death and torture at the hands of a maniacal military despot.


- Medical services, for myself as well as her. The Chileans are about a decade behind in medical options for the treatment of MS. My options would be severely limited. Plus, relying, as I do, on many medical services for the issues I have to deal with as a result of my motorcycle accidents, I would no longer have the luxury of charging all of those costs to the TAC. I would be paying for those services myself. My mother is not getting any younger. I know that one day, I will have to face decisions such as retirement home placement, possibly respite care, maybe even cancer treatment options? She did have a breast cancer scare a few years ago and had to undergo radiation therapy. So far, nothing has recurred, but who knows what the future holds? Somehow, perhaps because I'm a creature of habit, I take more comfort in the idea of the Australian health system, despite the complaints Australians make of it, myself included.
- I would have to completely get out of my comfort zone. I am in two minds about this. On the one hand, a mundane, predictable existence in Australia, surrounded by the habits and ways I am used to, is an abhorrent thought to me. However, this is the safe route... particularly for someone like me, that has to contend with debilitating health issues that require attention every now and then. On the other hand, the excitement at the prospect of getting out of that comfort zone has always been something I have aspired to, even sought out at every opportunity.
- As much as I hate to say it, I have
almost been pushed out of the Australian property market. The only way I can buy a decent property for my mother in the surrounding suburbs of Melbourne, or any of Australia's capital cities, is to start another home loan and keep going to that full-time, 9-5 job that I have grown to resent. If she stays in Australia, my only option is to buy her a place in a rural area. I have started investigating - affordable properties are turning up in places like Wodonga, Horsham, Warracknabeal, Moe, Sale, etc... *cringe* The one that most appeals to me is Wodonga, as it's as close as we can get to living in a city, with amenities and other services we are accustomed to. Of course, I have yet to investigate my options in other Australian cities. Perhaps I can afford something for her in Hobart or Perth? Doubtful, but worth exploring.
- My mother will be more isolated than she is now. She has no friends or family. I'm it. Considering my last point about only being able to buy her something in a remote, rural area, and the fact that I have plans to travel, she will be even more alone and mostly without a support network. The guilt I feel for this is quite overwhelming at times.

So, you see my dilemma...

At the risk of sounding extremely selfish, I would really like to enjoy what's left of my thirties, while I still can. The first half of what is supposed to be an amazing decade in my life has already been robbed. Melodramatic, I know, but I can't help it... that's the way I feel.

I am of the opinion that I have been spending most of my adult life making other people happy and forgetting about making myself happy. I got married because I thought that it was what everyone must do. Perhaps because that was such a bad experience for me, I am cynical about the institution of marriage these days. For some, it works. For me, it didn't. I have decided that I don't want to venture down that path again.

Because of my age and my health problems... and because of the fact that I choose to ride a motorcycle, I have decided that having kids is not an option for me either. I remember a time when I desperately wanted one, even two... My ex-husband put a stop to that idea - the details of which I will not delve into here. But now... now that I am in my mid-thirties, partially disabled from the accident I had in 2001, and starting to notice more complex issues associated with my medical condition... I have come to the conclusion that I will never have children. Shit, I already have a child! My mother and I have role-reversed. I take care of her, she demands of me. I certainly don't need to have children to take care of as well!

Besides... these days I convince myself it's for the best. This world is severely over-populated as it is. The last thing it needs right now is another mouth to feed. I'd much rather focus my attention and efforts on helping at least ONE of the starving millions already in existence that reside on this planet at present...

The more I think about the state of the world and the problems associated with it, the more my desire to make it a better place, grows. I know that what I have to contribute is meagre, even non-descript in the grand scheme of things, but being an eternal optimist, if I can just put a smile on someone's face, and make their life more rewarding and enjoyable, then I will die a happy person.

But, alas... first, I have to solve the problems at home before I get the chance to venture out and find that special opportunity...

I hope I live to see it eventuate...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Lately, it seems as though I want things that I just can't have. I don't mean just material possessions. I'm also referring to situations, conditions, people.

However, since I am unwilling to share the deepest part of my psyche with the world wide web, I'll discuss my latest desire , which just happens to be a material one...

The other day, I went to see how my bike's repairs were progressing. I used this visit to Suzuki as an opportunity to drop off some accessories that I had purchased on the net after I dropped my bike recently - black mirrors, a cruise control mechanism (for long trips) and some flashing brake lights to ensure more attention from the cars on the road around me.

As I was leaving Suzuki, a black V-Strom 650/A caught my attention. I stopped, mesmerised by its appearance. Was this a new model? A black exhaust pipe? When did this happen? There was far less chrome than I recall seeing on V-Stroms in the past.

I looked around the store, hoping and praying that no one would ask me if I needed assistance. Thank goodness for poor customer service!

I traced my fingers lightly over the seat. It looked more than suitable for my ample rear end. I pressed my nails into the leather upholstery. Firm, but comfortable...

I took a small step back to analyse the overall height of the bike. About 10cms taller than what I was used to. Thankfully, I didn't inherit my mother's height, or lack of it. I toyed with the idea of approaching one of the sales assistants to ask for a test ride.

No, no, no! Not having a helmet, or any of my protective gear, made me back off that idea. My ankle still hasn't recovered yet! I can't ride! That would be bad... wouldn't it? *pout* Oh, but I wanted to try out that wee-Strom with every fibre of my being... *sigh*

See what I mean? *pant pant pant*

As I admired this beautiful piece of machinery, I mentally tallied up the pros and cons of such a purchase:

- This bike would be more suitable than my M50 for the long-trips I have mentally planned for the future.
- A dual purpose machine, it would be more than able to handle rougher terrain, if needed.
- Greater fuel capacity - again, longer trips ahoy!
- It's so damn pretty... *wistful sigh*

- Nine grand, new, with no extras... regain debt I have just managed to clear?
- Considering my plans to leave for South America indefinitely, the cost of shipping TWO bikes? Eek! It'd be smarter to leave the cruiser in storage in Australia, and take this one with me. Storage cost? Approximately $1700 per year.
- Mother... mother would freak, have kittens and shoot me on sight... is it worth the bullshit of the ensuing confrontations?

Pros and cons are pretty much even in my mind...

Of course, I mentioned this experience to a dear friend of mine. He wasn't much help in averting the dangers of purchasing on a strong impulse. He was quite encouraging. "It's a passion. Follow your heart." Well, those weren't his exact words, but they amounted to something of that effect. Bless his cotton socks...

So, here I am, and have been since, debating with myself. Should I, shouldn't I? Patience has never been one of my virtues. I could buy this once I reach Chile - probably cheaper over there too.

The problem is my M50. I have no idea WHEN it'll be ready to collect and ride again. THAT'S what is leading to this internal debate! I have adopted Veruca Salt's mantra: Don't care how, I want it now!

But we all know what happened to Veruca, don't we? She was thrown in the garbage for being a "bad egg"...

I have heard that it's wise to go away and sleep on decisions like these. That said, I did.
I woke the next day, finding myself in exactly the same mental quagmire.
I hate this. I am not an indecisive person by any stretch of the imagination! So, what's the problem?

My impending international move is one of the issues here, I think... That, coupled with my ever-so-reliable impetuousity...

Live for the moment, take your pleasures where you can...
I have always lived by that motto, sometimes to my detriment.

So, why am I hesitating now?

Could it be that I am growing up?

Nah... impossible!

Could it be that I am finally deciding to ignore the advertisers, reduce my consumer spending and attempting to recapture my time for the things that really matter?

If that's the case, one could argue that I should buy the wee-Strom...
I wouldn't be "reducing my consumer spending", but I would be putting my efforts into a recreational pursuit that really matters to me.

Writing all this makes me want to examine my situation far more closely...

I'm not a typical female in many ways. I don't place importance on buying clothes regularly in order to look good and be what society expects me to be. However, I do admit to possessing one female vice - I must, must, must have my nails done once a fortnight. Sad, but true...

A relative once told me that one of the first things people notice about you are your hands. I used to be a nail-biter as a child - my nails and cuticles were the most haggard things one could lay their eyes on. But this wonderful relative of mine (whom I despise now) made me feel incredibly inadequate for having such shoddy hands. I'm sad to say, her words stuck... along with many other messages I received throughout my life about my appearance.

But, I digress... (I do that a lot...)

Besides that weakness (that I know I will have no choice BUT to shed whilst touring for long distances on a motorcycle), I possess other chinks in my armour. A major contributor to these chinks is motorcycling.

It represents so many things to me...
Freedom, independence, relishing experience immersion, personal image (whether it be negative or positive to others), anonymity...

Nobody cares if you're pretty or ugly on a motorcycle. You have the option of hiding in your helmet, if you choose. Social boundaries and attitudes are overcome simply by the fact that you ride - it doesn't matter which echelon of society you belong to, what political or religious persuasion you are. You're a rider and that's that. If someone wants to delve further into what else makes you tick, that's optional. Riders share a common bond in that regard, illustrated by the fact that they nod to one another when passing each other on the road... hell, they'll stop and ask if you're ok if you've just pulled over on a desolate highway to take a happy snap!

At the risk of romanticising this section of the general population, the world-wide community of riders reassure me that there is still hope for the human race. If they can share this passion on so many levels, shed all bias and discrimination towards others because of this common bond, offer assistance in a time of need for no personal benefit... perhaps these attitudes will further infect the rest of the inhabitants of this earth. It is possible... we just need to do it on a grander scale.

Shit... LOL
How did I get to this from my torturous thoughts of buying a wee-Strom?
Reading over my stream of consciousness, I am definitely hearing the violin music in my head. Plus, I can almost see the melted cheese dripping off me as I type.

See what happens when I am deprived of being out there?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a hospital appointment... or two...


I'm not here... mentally speaking, of course...

I went to The Alfred Hospital for my orthopaedics appointment. NINE days after my accident. The doctors there were of the opinion that I needed surgery and more metal in my right leg. Bionic Woman, eat your heart out!

As I reside in the Dandenong Ranges, I begged the Alfred doctors to transfer me to Eastern Regional Health. I have a long history there and it's much closer to home. They agreed, wrote me a letter of referral and made an appointment for me today at 1.30 pm. More time off work! A necessary evil, I suppose...

Being me, I arrive early. I'm extremely paranoid about being late for anything - it makes me anxious.

I turn up to the Outpatients department, showing my letter of referral and informing them of my appointment. "I'm sorry, we have no record of such an appointment being made on your behalf," was the response I received.

I calmly explained my situation, trying to gain their empathy. Finally, it was suggested to me that I go to the Emergency Department at Box Hill and start all over again - but, it was going to be a long wait, was that ok?

Of course not! But, I am the mercy of the public health system, n'est ce pas?

Three hours later, I am called in for an X-ray. Apparently, the Alfred ALSO failed to pass on my films to Box Hill when they "organised" my appointment for me.

So, here I am, waiting...
Waiting for my name to be called as I watch the Emergency Department filling up fast with poor people who have far more pressing problems than my little broken ankle.

I look around, wondering what their problems are. Some look quite ill - their faces downcast. Some flinching and doubled over, in obvious pain.
I am grateful that I didn't have time to eat anything today. A man has just brought in a woman who is dry-retching loudly, but has nothing to throw up. A person with a weaker constitution and more easily disgusted, would have found themselves joining her in complete, nauseated harmony. Thankfully, she has been shuffled off to another room, where she cannot be heard by the "already-sick" mob in the waiting room.

So, here I sit... Too distracted by the noise around me to read my book about motorcycling through South America. I can never focus on my reading when I hear others conversing... even if they're simply discussing their junk food options at the vending machine in the cramped waiting room - or, as I like to call it, the purgatory of inexorable ennui.

I am running... exploring the world, imagining what my life could be like out on the open road of an unknown continent, discovering new people and cultures unfettered, emancipated... absolved of the every day banality of a 9-5 job, meeting the demands of a mortgage I'll finish paying by the time I'm 70... for the SECOND time, paying heed to what is expected of me rather than feeding my desires and being where I would rather be.

It is at this point that I am barely surprised by the song that I find is running through my head...
"I want to run, I want to hide...
I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside...
I want to reach out and touch the flame...
Where the streets have no name..."

A temporary interval...
It has been decided that I must be put back in plaster again.

I should explain... after I was put in plaster on the day of the accident at The Alfred, I went online and bought myself a "cam-walker" - a huge space-looking boot, with velcro straps, designed to brace one's leg/ankle in tightly, so no normal movement is possible, hence providing stability for healing. This cam-walker arrived at my doorstep approximately 4 days after I was put in plaster.

Until it did, I was naughty... I was weight-bearing on my ankle, walking around heaps, contrary to the strict instructions I received from the Emergency Department doctors at The Alfred. I was to use crutches, but guess what? My arms hurt heaps from my tumble in the tunnel! So much so, I found myself close to tears every time I tried using the damn things. So, since my ankle merely ached a little, and the crutches were giving me true pain, I decided to ignore the advice of the doctors. I beared weight on my broken ankle, I threw the crutches back in the laundry room to gather dust again like they had for the last 9 years, I hobbled around the house taking a heap of painkillers and enjoying the freedom of using my legs as normally as possible as one can while still wearing a plaster cast.

So, when the cam-walker arrived, I eyed it eagerly, excited by the prospect of further liberation. I cut off my plaster and shuffled off at a snail's pace to my first shower in days WITHOUT wrapping my leg in plastic bags and medical tape. After experiencing the relief of being able to lather up my ENTIRE body again, I dried myself and went to bed... what sweet dreams I had that night!

The next morning, I put it on for the first time. I lasted all of two minutes. The fucking thing hurt! It wasn't plaster - it was worse! A human being designed this shackle for rehabilitation???
I pulled it off in disgust. Shit, I showered without plaster, without this ugly boot... I didn't feel much more than a little ache... Bugger it... I found a pair of old lace-up boots, dusty, under my bed and strapped myself in.

My ankle hurt... but not too much more than usual. I suspected the pain I was tolerating was due more to soft tissue damage and swelling from the trauma than from my broken ankle.

But, back to my exciting hospital story...

The docs in the Box Hill Emergency Department just examined my new X-Rays. The general consensus is that because I have been weight-bearing when I shouldn't have been, I should be put back into plaster. Fuck!
They inform me that there's a good chance that I will have to be operated on soon - today, tomorrow, whenever... Fuck, fuck!
My car's parked outside! I drove myself to the hospital from work! Fuck, fuck, fuck!
Oh, and by the way... there's a pretty long waiting list at the moment... I might have to stay a week, or more! Quadruple fuck!

One has no life when one has entered the public health system. It doesn't matter that you had made plans to catch up with a dear friend, that you just wanted to go home, veg out, watch a movie and sleep. Apparently, it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to stay overnight in an over-crowded hospital, listening to your immediate neighbours whine and complain about their ailments.

But, that's just it... I am in limbo. I DON'T KNOW if I'll have to stay overnight! I am waiting for a verdict, yet again!

"An orthopaedic doctor will be coming to see you shortly," they told me over an hour ago... followed by "Hang in there..."


My impatient nature is starting to take hold. I'm now enduring flashbacks to the many months I was bed-ridden by the "bad one" in 2001. I feel myself starting to transform into "Miss Melodrama". There is no tomorrow, just what feels like an eternity, waiting for a little attention and to be finally and absolutely told if I am coming or going. Fuck this...

Serenity now, serenity now... these are my internal George Costanza chants as I wait...



That was my Friday night. I had an appointment at 1.30 pm... despite what I endured, I'm pleased to say that I ended up leaving for home that night at 7.00 pm.

What happened, you ask...
The orthopaedic doctor finally saw me at 6.30 pm.
He looked at my X-rays and asked me about my pain. I told him the truth... hardly any in my ankle, more aching and soreness. It didn't even feel broken like the last three times I have broken my ankles.
He smiled and said "Well, all I'm seeing here is an old break... you don't need surgery, why don't we take this plaster off before it dries?"
I could have kissed him!

I would have hopped, skipped and danced my way back to my car if the ache wasn't lingering and if I didn't end up looking like an absolute gimp to passers-by.

So, to more important matters...
I called Suzuki... my bike is not a write-off...
I have mixed emotions about that.

Part of me wanted to replace my beautiful black beast with a black Wee-Strom. I thought it'd be a more appropriate bike for the plans I have in mind. The other part of me couldn't bear the thought of letting my matte black baby be banished so soon to the scrap heap.

It seems as though I dented my fuel tank, broke my mirrors, twisted my pedals, and severely scratched my black pipes. Apparently, the engine is fine. "Fine" because I'm a girl? Time will tell....

So, my comprehensively "agreed value bike" will cost me $500 excess and will cost RACV $6500. Yay!

Parts are coming in from Japan - the 2008/2009 M50 model is quite different to the 2009/2010 model. This fact is obvious when merely looking at the two, side by side. As a result, parts for my older model are harder to get in Australia. Again, is that really the case, or is that just because I'm a girl? I'll probably never know....

Once the replacement parts arrive, they will be shipped again to Leongatha for the "blackening" process... Shit, might as well do it again... I'm not paying for most of it! :)

Now that I know I'm not broken, I'm feeling restless... I'm not ready yet, but I'm dying to ride...
Plus, I'm pissed off.
I cancelled my MS fund-raising ride and won't be leaving for the first Tasmanian leg of that journey on the 22nd of March...

My house has sold... again... and now I'm faced with an impending settlement in June and an indefinite move to Chile.

I hope and pray that I will be able to return to Australia again in Spring/Summer to complete that MS ride... again, time will tell...
If not, I will have to settle for trying my luck (prematurely) riding up and down the length of South America.

To sign off this post, I will leave with one thought...
As far as I'm concerned, I will be back riding within a couple of weeks...
I hope the marvellous weather that has appeared again these last two days revisits Melbourne with a vengeance when I get out there again!
Then, the thrilling and titilating blog posts you've all become accustomed to, will return.

Catch up again soon... ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

tumbling in the tunnel...

I feel awful. I have let people down.

I managed to have an accident on Saturday.

I was going through Citylink's Domain Tunnel. The speed limit was reduced to 60kms per hour and the left lane was closed - thank goodness, or this could have been much worse!

I was riding behind a hatchback - I loooove hatchback drivers! Their driving skills are amazing!
For some inexplicable reason, the woman in front of me decided to hit her brakes hard. She probably was making way for a family of ants crossing the freeway.

I stupidly hit my brakes just as hard - in retrospect, I should have applied more power to my
rear brake than my front brake... motorcyclists reading this right now will guess what happened. My front brake seized up... the bike toppled, and both of us were moving like rolling pins along the tunnel. Thankfully, we rolled into the closed lane, so no oncoming cars were there to run me over and finish the job. :)

So, no damage to any other cars, just me and my bike...

Funnily enough, the hatchback kept driving, she either didn't give a damn, or was oblivious to
what had just occurred behind her. (If that's the case, I'd always suspected that some hatchback drivers didn't check their rear-view mirrors often enough. It's a generalisation, but heck... I'm in pain and it's mighty comfortable for me to make that statement right now. Any arguments?)

A 4WD coming along behind me stopped to see how I was. Actually, this 4WD was following me
along the Monash Freeway since I entered at Ferntree Gully Road - so they can verify how safely I was riding that whole stretch. I was being a very good girl, obeying the reduced speed limits and signage the whole way to Richmond.

Two other cars pulled over to see how I was too. I was so embarrassed that I'd managed to make
such a stupid error and put everyone out. But hey, when the Citylink Emergency Response Unit turned up and closed off another lane, I was quite proud! I had managed to close off TWO (out of three) lanes of traffic on a major Melbourne arterial! Woohoo!

That's gotta be good for my ego... either that, or by that stage, I was way too happy on morphine to
give a sh*t...

I remember sitting up on the asphalt when I stopped rolling. A woman named 'Nicole' ran to my side,
asking me how I was. I felt like a Looney Toons character - Wile E. Coyote after he'd been blown up by one of his Roadrunner traps that backfired and hit him instead. I was shaking my head, a little dazed and disoriented. I could almost see the little birds twittering and circling my head as I tried to regain my bearings.

She repeated: "Are you okay? Do you know what happened? Do you know where you are?"

I said slowly: "I'm okay... I'm in the Domain Tunnel on Citylink, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and
I've let a whole heap of people down by breaking one of my legs."

It should be noted that by this stage, both of my legs were killing me. It was only when I was trying to get
up later that I realised that it was my right ankle that I had busted, not my left. Damn it! My right leg always cops it for some reason! Even before I got a motorcycle licence, I broke my right ankle falling down a flight of stairs. I guess it's true what they say about Saggitarians - they're accident prone. A good quality for an avid motorcyclist, don't you think? :)

The Citylink Response Unit called the ambulance for me. Three guys and one woman from that unit crowded
around me, feeling my leg, trying to ascertain where I was broken. One of the guys asked me if I'd like some pain relief. "Hell yeah!" was my response to that inane question.

So, he gave me this little tube of some morphine-related drug to suck on. Ahhhh... that's the best bit.
Zoning out legally and seeing things changing colours every-so-slightly around you. Yay! I'd almost do it all again for the buzz... :)

The ambulance arrives - Carmen and Jason, my wonderful paramedics, gave me some real morphine this time.
Right up the nose! Even better! What pain? Where?

A few riders go past the ambulance as I'm being heaved in. I wave at them, calling out to them, telling them
to ride safe. They smile and nod in my direction, I could see sympathy in their eyes as they passed.

Carmen was lovely... and kept me company in the back of the truck. I had managed to cry a little from the
pain earlier. I was worried that my black eye make-up was running down my face from the tears. Carmen assured me that I didn't look like a panda. Bless her heart. But, I did manage to break a nail, damnit! A number of expletives burst out from my mouth when I noticed that!

That was the exciting part of my Saturday. The wait at the Alfred was soooo boring! I hate arriving at the
hospital - they always manage to cut off my expensive bike gear for fear of "hurting me". They sawed through my motorcycle boots ($600, thank-you very much), my leather pants (another $1000) - they were approaching my Motodry jacket with the scissors when I screamed "Enough! I can take this one off myself! At the rate you're going, I'll be going home naked!"

A white robe was thrust at me by one of the nurses: "Here, put this on!"

*shudder* "Got one in black?" I replied in disgust.

All the heart-monitoring sticky things were put over my bare chest - such an invasion of privacy! I was the
patient from hell, consistently protesting that I was fine, just a broken ankle. Of course, I was lectured constantly, being told how they had to make sure there was nothing else wrong with me that wasn't visually apparent at that time. Blah,blah, blah... *yawn*

You know, that's the ONLY time I lament riding a motorcycle? When I have to deal with the emergency staff
in a hospital. They're so helpful and condescending at the same time. I find it tiresome. It's at those times that I wish I didn't have such a passion to ride - I know that there's a good chance that I'll have to deal with these situations, considering what a high risk category I fall into. Temporary citizens, that's what they call us.

So, to cut a long, boring story short, I'm now in plaster. They put a back-slab on me and I have to see the
orthopaedic doctors at the Alfred again on the 8th of February at 2.00pm. *sigh*

Still, I'm counting my blessings... it could have been much worse. Plus, I don't have to have surgery. 18
orthopaedic operations on the same leg in one lifetime is quite enough, really!

Now, comes the disappointment.

I feel bad for letting some people down. Obviously, my ride across Australia won't be taking place in
March/April as planned. I have made contact with MS Australia already - they're happy for me to postpone the ride for later in the year. Time will tell whether that comes to fruition or not. As much as I hate to say it, it really all depends on how the situation with my mother develops. (For those of you who know me - see? I got away with NOT telling her! LOL She still has no idea!)

If it is rescheduled, I hope to complete the ride in Spring/Summer...perhaps Oct/Nov/Dec? One thing
at a time. I have to heal... again!

This, too, might be a blessing in disguise. If the ride is postponed,
I will have more time to devote to making it as big as possible - perhaps raising more funds for MS Australia in the process? Truth be told, I was feeling a little rushed of late - overwhelmed by the amount of work that I'd have to do between my press kit being completed and the departure date. Things weren't moving as smoothly as I would have liked. Now that I have an inkling of what I'm in for (prep-wise), I know that I'll be having to start work a little earlier the next time around.

So, for my blog followers... you might find it a little boring over the next few weeks. Sorry!

I won't be out riding anywhere, posting on any of my witty and entertaining observations. I'll most likely
be posting about the books I read and the DVDs I'll be watching, feeling sorry for myself, whining about not being out there, with the rest of you, seeing the sights, smelling the environment, wiping bug blood off the visor of my helmet.

I hope I can maintain your interest over the next few weeks...

Bikiechic is temporarily incapacitated, not dead!
She will ride again!
*cue violin music here*
Au revoir... hasta la vista... see you later!