Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Despite the heat and humidity I had a lovely day yesterday, for one thing the air conditioning in my car was most welcomed. I drove my son Matthew, who is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis into the city for he had an appointment at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital medical centre for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see if he has any more lesions in his brain.
These appointments always cause some stress for we don't know the outcome of such tests but always hope for the best.

This area is on the edge of central Sydney so it is very busy and you have three major hospitals, the campus of the University of Sydney so there is much traffic and very little parking, but surprise, surprise thankfully there was an underground car park. That was the first bonus of the day.

After checking in at reception on the ground floor and filling out lots of paperwork ( we are so used to this by now) we went to the first floor for the MRI. I stayed in the waiting room as the imaging takes about an hour; after Matthew was finished we had to return to the ground floor waiting room and make arrangements for the results to be sent to the referring specialist and his neurologist.

Whilst making these arrangements came our second surprise of the day. A very recognisable lady came in to collect her MRI results and was asked for identification, she apologised as she didn't have any ID on her, said she would have to go back to her car, that's where Matthew and I stepped in and informed the receptionist that the lady was in fact Marie Bashir the Governor of New South Wales, Chancellor of the University of Sydney and a practicing medical specialist and psychiatrist.
She smiled and thanked us for vouching for her and thanked us for being two of her loyal subjects, shook hands and from this we had a very pleasant conversation. I was really happy to meet her as she is a wonderful person, who is down to earth despite her high position, always shows humility and she is another of my heroes.
A pleasant encounter indeed, life just surprises us sometimes with these unexpected gems.

I get to visit many hospitals and medical centres in my travels and am always delighted by the art which is displayed on walls in waiting rooms and corridors.
The large painting you see above is in the corridor of the medical centre, I was quite taken by it so of course I had to take a photo, I couldn't see the name of the artist but it reminded me of the style of Mark Rothko.

You can see a reflection of my son on the left,he is slightly bending and if you look closely you can just make out the smaller person just about right of centre of the painting, wearing a cream skirt and white top, that is me.
The window from which the sun is shining overlooks the lovely old sandstone of Saint Andrews College, with its Scottish flag flying proudly, unfortunately I didn't get a photo of this to show you, maybe next time.

I always look for something positive in my travels to these places, like a beautiful painting or a lovely garden, it makes the whole process more bearable and pleasant.
We will have to wait for the results of the MRI, all we can do is hope.


Little Lamb said...

I, too, hope all works out for Matthew.

Anonymous said...

cool image, dianne

between the painting
and the reflection of reality,
makes it kind of hard to tell where one begins & ends(!)

best wishes to the M

<3s to dianne


dianne said...

Dear Lil Lambie , Matthew said to thank you, I thank you too for your thoughtful comment, he said to tell you that he hasn't given up hope yet. ♥

dianne said...

Thanks dear /t.
we are both reflected in that painting, I'm there you just have to enlarge it and you will see me.
We try to make the best of a bad situation with our little diversions, whether it be a painting or something else that is lovely, these things all help.
He was absolutely thrilled to meet our Governor. ♥♥

Matthew says he hasn't given up hope and thanks you for your kind thoughts...and is in awe of your code poetry. ♥

foam said...

wishing all the best for matthew! finding beauty in places and situations that are stressful is a blessing. i enjoyed seeing your reflections, btw .. :)
it might interest you and matthew that one of my fellow bloggers, merelyme, also has MS ..

Little Lamb said...

He shouldn't give up hope.

dianne said...

Thanks dearest Foamie and he says thank you also for your best wishes. ♥
Matthew knows about you all as I am constantly talking about the warm and funny comments that you leave and I show him some of the posts on your blogs.
Yesterday was a good day for us, he doesn't get many I'm afraid, I wrote this post because two nice unexpected things happened, they were uplifting.
After I had published this I thought maybe I should not have mentioned his MS because that is part of my private world and I don't want anyone to feel sorry for us,its something we live with. Of course family and friends know about it, trouble is by mentioning the MS it puts expectations on the outcome and so far he has had nothing but bad news.
Thanks Foamie dear I know about merelyme,lovely girl... dear Boney told me about her and another blogger as he thought Matthew might want to connect with them, (Boney is such a sweet man ) but Matthew has a network of friends here, some of whom have MS too.
Just one day at a time, medications and looking for some happy diversions, that's how we manage. ♥
What a great painting that was and you could see our reflections? I'm so glad that you could. ♥

dianne said...

Thanks dear Lil Lambie , he won't give up hope and there are new medical miracles happening all of the time, I hope they can find a cure for MS and many other diseases. ♥♥

chickory said...

i wish you and matthew the best. MRI's are weird to get but what a wonderful tool. youve made a great argument for art in public spaces. if you are in a hospital most likely you are under stress - and art offers a lovely oasis and diversion.

do you live out in the country? a little town? wherever it is your garden is so nice.

dianne said...

Thank you dearest Chickory , Matthew says thank you also.
He is familiar with all of my blog friends, I am always showing him something from your blogs, he loves your beautiful art.

Yes MRI's are weird and noisy but they are a fantastic tool for picking up the smallest of abnormalities.

And yes there should be more art and indoor plantings in public spaces,as they are a pleasant diversion and definitely help lift ones mood, I'm sure it would help with recovery.

Believe me we have been to many places on this journey and as I am receptive to these kinds of things I have found some beautiful art works, lovely architecture, gorgeous courtyard gardens and soothing water features.
We both enjoy the beauty, some welcome gems amongst the reality.

I live in a bushland suburb of Sydney, lots of native vegetation, it is about an hours drive from the central business district.
It is still quiet here but as the urban sprawl moves ever closer we are not as isolated as we once were.
As my piece of land was part of a farm and almost completely denuded of native vegetation apart from some established trees I have tried to replicate the natural flora.
I love a bit of mystery in a garden,so mine rambles, the more plants the better, as you never know what lovely vista you will find around the next corner. ♥

Its nice here because you have to cross a river when approaching in either of three directions, there is only one approach where you don't have to cross a river, makes you feel as if you are living on an island. ♥♥

Nina said...

All the best for you...Matthew, my brother! LOvE..;)

ANNA-LYS said...

My best wishes for You and M!
I can intonate what You are going through, due to that I also have a son with a neurological diagnosis.

*May the strength be with You*

(( hug ))

PS I do a little guest-blogging this week at http://advertisno.blogspot.com/ feel most welcome if You need more pondering ... actually I understand You have enough of that !!!!! DS

dianne said...

Thank you dearest Nina , Matthew thanks you also little sister, I will see you later today.
Love Mom ♥♥

dianne said...

Thank you dear Anna-Lys for your kind wishes, same to you and your son as well, I had no idea that he too was ill.

You have some idea of what it is like then, mine is very dependent on me, I am his carer.

May the strength be with us both.
((hugs)) to you too. ♥

I will take a look at your guest-blogging this week.

Little Lamb said...

Curing MS would be a VERY EXTREMELY good thing. They are making progress.

dianne said...

You are a sweet Lil Lamb , yes with all of the medical research and advances in medicine that are being made I hope that a cure is found for MS and many other diseases. ♥♥

Corby said...

I send all my best wishes to you and Matthew and I hope for the best for you.


dianne said...

Thank you dearest Corby , Matthew says thank you too.
I read your poems and prose to him and he thinks it is beautiful, its nice because my blogs friends have become familiar to him, my daughter and my youngest son, as I'm always showing them something that you great people have posted or have written. ♥

Lee said...

You move in illustrious circles! I'll curtsy when I arrive here in future. I didn't realise about your son, I'm sorry to hear that and hope the MRI results are encouraging. Thank you for thinking of my garden when you have so much other things to think about.

dianne said...

Thanks dear Lee , I was so excited to meet our Governor I didn't know whether I should curtsy or not, Lol. She was lovely actually, patted me on the arm, shook my hand and squeezed it, we had a really nice conversation, very warm and approachable.
I haven't really mentioned Matthews illness before, probably should not have this time as its part of my private world, but its done now.
Yes I hope there are no more lesions,things are bad enough for him now, we wont know until we see the neurologist and you have to wait so long to get follow up appointments.
Yes I often think of you and your garden for I know how much it means to you. Its hard to believe that we are melting in the heat here and our other blogger friends in the Northern Hemisphere are freezing, I do hope we both get some decent rain soon. ♥

boneman said...

ok 'heat-melters'....that's it!
I'm shipping some of this cold down there pronto!
Shoule be easy on postage. I mean, it's air!

Actually, sending the snow would be quite a disappointment.
It takes very little actual precipitation to create a foot of snow. Especially in this dry region.

Hope the best for you and Matthew. From my perspective here, I'm quite the cynic.
Lilly is a great pimple in Indianapolis.
I say 'pimple' because their outward call is for profits.
If the malady is profittable enough to work on....they work on it.
So, while I wish you the very best, I'm kind'a sorry because that means more suffer from it to make it profittable enough to work on in the first place.

And Bush junior was so cotton-pickin' sure the terrorists were all from out of country!

dianne said...

Thanks Boney dear for your kind wishes and yes we could really do with some of your crisp cool air down here and a lot of your friendly humour. ♥
Matthew says thanks too, coming from you it means a lot to him and me.
You are absolutely correct about these drug companies, if its not profitable they don't put much money into research.
I know there are clinical studies to try and find a cure for MS but that will not come in Matthew's lifetime, I'm a realist, we both know what the outcome will be...we live one day at a time.
He is a bit of a 'guinea pig' at the moment, hes not very well at all, extreme pain in both legs, cant walk unaided some days, tremors and has been given drugs which are given to narcolepsy patients to help control the fatigue, other medications for the pain, nothing can be done about the numbness or the sight he is losing in one eye. Of course all of these drugs have nasty side effects.
It is an insidious disease,some sufferers have mild symptoms, his are extreme. ♥

findingmywingsinlife said...

I should have thought to visit you sooner, but I'm always busy it seems. I can relate well to your Matthew as I too have Multiple Sclerosis. The difference between him and I it would seem is that you wouldn't know it unless I told you. I do suffer sleepless nights and limb numbing, but I am still mobile and fairly active to date. I refuse to let it get the best of me.

The Phosgene Kid said...

Hope the results are positive! I never met anyone famous.

dianne said...

Thanks for visiting findingmywingsinlife, I'm very sorry to hear you too have Multiple Sclerosis and I hope that your symptoms remain as they are and you are able to keep mobile and fairly active. I have friends who are the same.
I am afraid Matthew's MS symptoms have gone way beyond those you describe, despite his determination to fight it, he is losing the battle I'm afraid with some new problem presenting itself.
I wont describe them here the list just goes on.
Thanks for your thoughts. ♥

dianne said...

Thanks Phossy my dear, nice to have you back.
Yes I hope the results are positive, he could sure do with some good news.
Being Governor here is quite a big thing, Professor Marie Bashir was appointed governor by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of our Premier.
She is one of my heroes.
I have met her and Steve Waugh the cricketer and a couple of celebrities. ♥

puerileuwaite said...

How come I NEVER run into THAT sort of Vice? It's ALWAYS the "other" kind. I need to start hitting better neighborhoods ...

dianne said...

Hello Puggles , my sweet, nice to have you back...I hear you've been working like a dog. ♥

Well I guess it does depend on the neighbourhood, I wouldn't normally be hanging around there, only go there every so often...we were most fortunate to meet our Governor.
Becoming Governor here is a big deal, Professor Marie Bashir was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, no actors like Arnold or Clint as governors here. ♥

foam said...

well, not all governors over here are former actors ..
our current governor is former school teacher and former director for geriatric servicies ..
we will see how she does.

foam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dianne said...

Sorry Foamie dear, no offense meant or intended, I'm sure your Governor will do fine, after all she is a woman. ♥
I just used those former actors as a reference to point out the difference in qualifications for the position here, it seems you want quality people there as well. ♥

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...

I love your positive attitude! You are 100% right that you do have to find some light in all the dark or you will go crazy. Its interesting here we have art in many of our medical buildings too! Much of the art which is displayed on walls in corridors of the medical center I go to is from art shows/competitions! I have always thought I would love to enter into one just so I could be on display! hehehe

Good luck with the MRI!

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...

I love your positive attitude! You are 100% right that you do have to find some light in all the dark or you will go crazy. Its interesting here we have art in many of our medical buildings too! Much of the art which is displayed on walls in corridors of the medical center I go to is from art shows/competitions! I have always thought I would love to enter into one just so I could be on display! hehehe

Good luck with the MRI!

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...

I love your positive attitude! You are 100% right that you do have to find some light in all the dark or you will go crazy. Its interesting here we have art in many of our medical buildings too! Much of the art which is displayed on walls in corridors of the medical center I go to is from art shows/competitions! I have always thought I would love to enter into one just so I could be on display! hehehe

Good luck with the MRI!