Backyard Reno Problem #4

I’m always sick! It’s been 6 and a half weeks since I’ve been 100%. I don’t know what kind of holiday my immune system thinks it’s on but I want it back!

Dad was going through a very slow restructuring process at work that meant for the first time ever he wasn’t busy. Dad likes being busy! He’s the kinda of person who can’t sit still. So Mum very cleverly suggested that he take some annual leave (crazy thought given that Dad has about 100 years of annual leave, long service leave and sick leave!). So he gave me a call to see if there were any jobs to do. (Cos he couldn’t possibly spend his annual leave relaxing!).

I’m picking on him, but I can’t really talk since at the time I had 400 hours of annual leave and I’ve only worked at this hospital for 3 years. Management were threatening to pay some of it out so I’d applied for a random week of leave in October and Dad coincided his leave with mine. We decided to replace the lovely, green corrugated iron on my neighbours shed wall with weatherboards. I went to two different Bunnings Warehouses to ask for advice and had two awful experiences, leading to my first ever swearing rant on Facebook which all my friends found particularly funny! I hate Bunnings so much but it’s so damn convenient! My uncle Gaz came over to show Dad and I what to do and I eventually sourced some weatherboards from De Mar Hardware, who were actually helpful.

Back to the topic: I woke up sick the day before my annual leave started. I went to work because it was too late to call in sick. Was given the most awful patient on the ward, along with 4 other patients (where previously they would only give whoever had this particular patient 2 other patients because he’s so much work). In my sensitive state I bent over backwards to try to please his every need to try to protect myself, where usually I’d lay down some ground rules about how I expected to be treated with a patient like that – I find they tend to respond well to that and respect you more. This bending over backwards technique meant I was constantly apologising to my 4 other patients and wishing I had more time for them. Eventually, my difficult patient did the inevitable and made me cry. It was pretty horrible actually. He wet his bed on purpose (he’s continent and had a bottle right next to him) and told me it was my fault for not being there all the time. I tried to have a civil conversation with him about it but he just said he didn’t care and it was my fault. It’s important to note that he wasn’t confused, and he wasn’t acutely ill. He’d been in hospital for over a month and was just a horrible person who got a kick out of watching nurses cry. It’s also important to note that management had just put a memo out about him that his family had been complaining about the nursing staff and that we had to “do better”. (Thanks management for yet again assuming that we’re lazy and shit rather than actually finding out what’s going on). Had I been feeling well I probably would have survived the 12 hours shift without crying. Thankfully, that morning, I arranged to do a short shift on account of my cold, so I only had another 4 hours with him after that. Then annual leave!

Goodness, so much for getting back on topic! Long story short, I got sick just before annual leave (ironic!). The mornings of weatherboarding were pretty tough but once I pushed through I felt heaps better. On the first morning I actually had to leave for a bit to have a quick vomit. I always vomit when I’ve got a bad cold. It’s weird! But we put on music, talked to the plumber who was digging our trench to bypass the sewer pipe, talked to each other. It actually made annual leave with a cold feel ok cos it took my mind off feeling sick.

The next week I got worse. It was at the point where I’d spend half the night standing over the bathroom sink because I was coughing up so much crap. My annual leave was over and it was time to go back to work so I went to the doctor. She gave me antibiotics and pulmicort which made me feel better straight away. Two weekends later, I still had my cough but I didn’t feel sick anymore. So I went camping/hiking. We went to Cape Otway National Park and set up camp and went for day walks on the Saturday and Sunday. It was really good. I’d never really done the camping/hiking system. It’s nice to come back from a long walk (we did 18km on Sat and 15km on Sun which, with only a day pack on, is a walk in the park!) and have a nice cold beer and a seat and all the luxuries of camping. Came home on Sunday night and, you guessed it, got sick again. I started getting better a week and a half later, but still had the scratchy throat and an occasional cough. But I felt pretty fine. Then, on Monday night (two nights ago) I got sick again! Unbelievable! Now I’m back to the whole coughing up green stuff, sore throat, headache, blocked ears.. So over it! What is wrong with my immune system?? I’ve even been popping the zinc and vitamin c tablets! And I’d just started running again and now this is going to set me back. I’m meant to be working night shift tonight but I’ve called in sick. Come on body, harden up!

So, while I’ve called this Backyard Reno Problem #4, I pushed through and the weatherboards are done so it’s really backyard reno inconvenience. Now to wait for the ridiculously unreliable landscapers to pour the slab for the blue stone paving so we can paint the weatherboards! At the moment there are holes everywhere in our backyard which will make any work with ladders rather challenging. Because they’re so unreliable, it’s actually been over 6 weeks now since we put up the weatherboards and they’re meant to be painted within 6 weeks. The excavation for the slab should’ve taken a few days, not 6 weeks! Can you guess what the topic of Shed Problem #5 will be??

Anyway, here’s a before and after of our amazing weatherboard wall. I’ll give it a proper wrap once I’ve painted it.

Before: a lovely mix of rusty green corrugated iron and rotten dirty white weatherboards.


After (once again I lost all my good weatherboard photos but I know Dad took some that I can pinch)


5 thoughts on “Backyard Reno Problem #4

  1. D’you think your body might be telling you it needs a holiday…? 400 hours in 3 years is going it a bit. Make yourself some tea with fresh ginger and turmeric and honey, and for heaven’s sake take it easy!

      1. Good! That’s the basic brew, but you can add all sorts of other things, depending on what’s wrong. For your cough, if you had a bit of fresh sage, that wouldn’t hurt either. And get some extra garlic in your diet too; it’s another antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and it helps reduce mucous production (sorry…). End of lecture!

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