27 December 1999 to 31 December 1999
Malcolm recovers and I start to feel a little stronger. I feel guilty that I am now stopping him from joining friends to celebrate the start to a new millennium. At about 11pm on New Years Eve, I convince him that I am feeling a little better and we watch the harbour bridge fireworks from the waters edge near home. I stumble a little but put this down to the fact that I have been sick. It felt like someone had given me a push to the back of the knee, making me buckle and go weak in the legs. Back home again, I complained that the under-soles of my feet were aching, so proceeded to bathe them in a foot spa. This I found did not help and I opted to go to bed. I left Malcolm downstairs with the TV, watching the various countries celebrate and see in the new year.
1 January 2000 to 19 January 2000
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
New Years Day 1st January, 2000 is a date I shall never forget. I woke to the sounds of lorikeets squawking in the tree outside our bedroom window. This is a sound I have always loved and thought, as I lay there in bed, I could encourage the birds to fly over to me from the tree. They love sunflower seeds and I have done this many times. Malcolm would sometimes complain of the mess the birds were making, but as he was still asleep, I thought if the birds weren't too loud, I might just get away with it.
I gradually became aware that I was not feeling right. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it but I began to realise that I had strange pins and needle sensations in my hands and feet. Also, my mouth felt strange, rather numb but with a tingling around my lips. I started to pull myself up from my lying position but found this very difficult. Eventually I succeeded and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I placed my feet on the carpet and started to stand up. To my horror, I found that my legs just gave way on me and I ended up sliding to the floor. I didn’t have the strength to pull myself up.
I called to Malcolm and woke him up. Naturally he couldn’t see me, but came around to the side of the bed, almost falling over me on the floor. He asked me what had happened. I explained as best I could and he helped me back to the bed. I said that I felt strange and to call the ambulance straight away. (I had always wondered how you would ever know if you were sick enough to go to hospital.) I had no hesitation in knowing this was one of those times.
The ambulance arrived and after examining me, they came to the conclusion that I was just suffering an aftereffect of the flu and thought that I should stay in bed and relax. I assured them that some thing else was amiss and insisted that they take me to hospital. With both the ambulance attendants supporting me, one on either side, I gingerly tried to put one foot in front of the other until we had reached where they had left the bed- trolley. I was helped onto this, covered with a blanket and wheeled up to the ambulance and transported to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Malcolm left in our car and was to meet us at "emergency".