JoKeane Around

Missives from the land of Keane

Send Halp

Posted by keanetwins on July 21, 2014

Dear Internet,

On nightshift.

So tired.

Seen everybody with an ovary and some without in at least three postcodes.

Send halp at once. Coffee mysteriously not working.


PS. So. Tired. Oh, so tired.

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Posted by keanetwins on July 6, 2014

Dear Internet,

Woe is me and sniff and general misery.

Today I bit the gappy-half-dead-in-patches bullet and started the inevitable ripping up of one back border installed in moderate haste three years ago and wailed over (on the baked and deadish side) every summer since.

I’m sorry, goldfussias, whilst most of you were more than half dead (despite liberal replantings consolidating my mistake), the odd green healthy plant was awfully sad (and guilt inducing) to snap or wrench bodily from the ground.

Also, the leafy corpses could glare at me less accusingly from the overfull greenwaste bin. I feel bad enough already.

Basically, sniff.

Tomorrow the lush green side bites the dust and I feel AWFUL,

Jo (my poor gappy looking garden)

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Posted by keanetwins on June 29, 2014

Dear Internet,

What’s better than a full labour ward, a code green, a laparoscopy in a rather large individual where the people on the top end of the bed helpfully enough won’t allow folded arms OR any head down, three gynae admissions AND an instrumental delivery in theatre?


Also, margaritas.

And three little people I miss very much. So very much.

And my garden (seriously, another dozen pavers down today between showers in the twee fairy path across the back lawn, some serious plotting for a gazebo down the end of the grass right when I figure out how to convince somebody to transport it home for me, amazing polished black river pebbles freshly laid over that awkward bit on the side of the driveway that is both too small to bother concreting and too big to ignore and a permanent puddle at this time of year in it’s natural state and, well, about a dozen nandina’s in the front yard along with possibly-don’t-tell an internet order for ninety escallonia plants to replace the blasted gappy back garden border that I apparently planted with the Wrong Thing as one third of it refuses to look anything other than rakish and half-deadish despite fertilizer and the love of a drip system).

You should just see my garden, except you might want to wait until I’ve finished ripping out the old border and about a year for the new one to start looking half decent. Anything to avoid renovating the bathrooms.

Anyway, also, there is study and please don’t tell but I actually quite like writing voluminous notes on anything and everything and I may have in my possession ten full ring binders and about twenty spiral bound sets of dead trees with writings on.

If I run out of things to do (ha!) there is always the futile sport known as catching up on endless washing.



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Posted by keanetwins on June 21, 2014

Dear Internet,

I HATE croup.

Before Rosie came along, I had of course heard of croup and even kind of learned something about it in medical school. I’d certainly seen plenty of other people’s children barking at triage right around bedtime as their grownups tried to score prednisolone, but the croup itself didn’t evoke any particular kind of emotional response beyond ‘Is there a seal in the department and should I call animal control?’

Rosie gets croup almost invariably as an accompaniment of The Viral Snot. The twins? They keep the germs out of their tracheas, an arrangement I much prefer.

I hate croup. It’s so damn inconvenient the way the poor kid is snotty but not too bad all day but at dusk morphs into a banshee who barks for hours on end and gets all stridorish and even more barking as the endless barking winds her right on up.

That bit is a nice touch, germs,  the whole clever way the breathing thing gets worse with increasing agitation.

I hate croup.

Holding a seriously unhappy snot covered barking toddler in a steaming shower is about as fun as a root canal. In case you wondered.

Next time, instead of buying more pavers for my garden (seriously, I am going for some kind of twee gardening record because the back lawn is in the process of having little people sized fairy paths tip-toed across and along it in visually pleasing configurations and also, laying pavers never ceases to suck massively) I think I might go score the pred.



PS. Yes, I bet she ends up with asthma, too. Goody.

PSS. The poor thing didn’t actually eat dinner- in Rosie terms THAT  is pretty close to the four horsemen winding on up for a light canter in the stratocumulus. The kid is known for her eating. She’s also not known for falling asleep on my lap at seven pe em, but THAT development I will take as a proverbial silver lining.

Posted in "Faffing About" | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

No Way

Posted by keanetwins on June 9, 2014

Dear Internet,

I’ve just finished a rather busy week. Unusually enough, for somebody working in obstetrics, I diagnosed the flu in a patient on Saturday (so sorry, infection control, ward managers, infectious disease boffins, pathology staff and assorted persons of anti-bug spread rapidly and hastily deployed, I didn’t plan to make your weekend rough as such).

I’ve been vaccinated myself.

I’m also newly febrile and ever so slightly scratchy feeling.

This better not be the thing that starts in ‘influ’ and ends up in ‘myalgia, wracking coughing fits and invariably too late isolation from non-immune family members’ or I am going to be SO seriously annoyed. With added contact tracing.

No. Nope. Better bloody not be. I am not having with that.


Posted in You're Joking? | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »


Posted by keanetwins on June 3, 2014

Dear Internet,

Thank goodness that’s over (again)!

I think the last week and a bit goes something like this:

  • Nightshift week survived, tick.
  • Fridge clinically obese and refluxing food, tick.
  • Petrol in car, also tick.
  • Mt Washmore scaling, not so tick.
  • Car wash, similar difficulties.

On the plus side, it’s raining and so I can both buy time on the clothes by putting them in the dryer AND ignore the car on the basis that there’s not really much point at this time of year. Also, the kids seem to have enough spare underwear to last out the best part of a month including inevitable accidents when there is something more interesting to do than wee.

Aside: at what age does piddling oneself before less appealing than interrupting some Fascinating Task to wee in the traditional location?  There is a special kind of hell or heck of an Olympic sport addition devoted to speed-undressing of five year old almost-leaky ballerinas in knickers, tights, shoes and a great big cross back leotard after a jolly good sprint down a freezing corridor. Fun times.

On the minus side, my circadian rhythm does not agree with working upside down and then turning right side up and I am still a bit discombobulated in the sleeping department. Sleeping department discombobulation leads to one am study, two am sandwiches and three am realisation that I have to be awake again in four hours and this I Do Not Like to experience and yet cannot seem to Go To Sleep Any Earlier despite the logical connection.  I am quite certain that one am is a time best reserved for snoring, possibly with trips to wee, and not, say, the E6 and E7 proteins of the human papilloma virus and their cellular shenanigans.

Vaccinate your kids. Immortal bits of cervix are a bad thing, on the whole.


PS. Overall not too many personal near heart attacks in the week that was but I can now say that not only do I work with an amazing team of women,  but I have delivered (abdominally, for obvious reasons) a practical toddler in a code green situation at ungodly am, dealt with rivers of blood at another ungodly hour, dealt with loss, held hands, delivered babies sunny side up and everybody escaped intact, staff included. I’ve done it all a few times, I can do it the next time.

Amazing, wonderful.

PSS. Rosie thinks her ‘pack pack’ (backpack) is ‘gween’ (green). There is something similarly amazing about watching a toddler process the concept of colours and understand that trees are green so the pack pack must be another colour.

Pity her next guess was ‘bwown’.

All in all, a green kind of week.

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Posted by keanetwins on May 25, 2014

Dear Internet,

I’ve been having a standoff with a horrible hairy spider in my fridge all week.

It’s been living in the fruit drawer, emerging from hiding at strategic intervals and scurrying into safe haven between the grapes, bananas, apples or whatever keeps it out of sight of the increasingly agitated woman responsible for dispensing aforementioned fruit into school lunches.

The first time I opened the drawer and caught the added protein with hairy legs on I grabbed the fruit furthest away and slammed the thing shut again, hopeful that spiders didn’t do so well at four degrees Celsius in anything beyond the short term. Aren’t the buggers meant to be cold blooded or something?

Anyway, it turns out that moderately hairy spiders do quite well at four degrees in the dark and it’s been getting increasingly dicey avoiding the blasted thing all week and also not in any way inadvertently including it in  with the sandwiches, brain food (or whatever it is that a non candy snack is called at school this week) and so on.

The twins would lose the PLOT if I packed them a spider for lunch love from Mum.

I nearly lost my own plot as spraying a drawer full of fresh fruit full of pesticide seemed a little wasteful, I couldn’t think of a better option for some days and in between the twins acquiring a large family of little crawlies to support and life in general (ew, bugs, critters et cetera), dealing with the thing lurking in the fridge was all too much.

I’ve practically lost a fortnight of my life to the itchy scratchy horrors and my god, those combs. The shampoo. The little people who don’t stop scratching and then try to burrow their infested heads into ME.

I’ve been busy treating myself with enough itchy scratchy killer to forestall an invasion, because just thinking about headlice makes one itchy all over.

The spider was safe (still getting about quite swiftly, thank you for asking, despite a week on permafrost), until today, that is.

Today was shopping day and there was no WAY I was repacking more camouflage for a bunch of eyes with eight legs on.

Today, I cornered the bloody thing after extracting the last banana and sprayed it into the next postcode.


Roll on nightshift.




did I mention the tired?

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Posted by keanetwins on May 6, 2014

Dear Internet,

It’s taken about five days post the latest run of upside down working, but I think I’ve just about got over the jetlag.

I can’t really remember much of anything that went on while working when my body was trying very hard to tell me that I should clearly be sleeping. I can only assume that I either did nothing (unlikely judging by the amount of writing on bits of paper I have accumulated) or that going without sleep for days on end is bad for the hippocampus in a special Nightshift Dementia kind of way. I mean, did, as my handover sheets would have me believe, I really see about a billion nocturnal gynaecology consults and why is it people with chronic pain problems always seem to turn up at three am?

It is seriously hard to think at three am and I feel that on the whole, rocking up at seven or (even better for me), about nine am after a nice breakfast would be so much more civilised in the emergency department chronic pain presentation stakes. Having perhaps first tried a painkiller and not giving an initial pain score out of ten utterly unbidden. That last one is always a bad sign.

Separately, how is it that I can have nobody in labour as such and still not make handover on accounts of suturing this, fixing that and delivering the other? It’s like the babies know when home time is and behave accordingly.

In less pleasant news, I seem to have lost none of my black cape abilities judging by my ongoing personal strike rate of one deceased wee passenger per shift. Near terminal fatigue makes it even harder to deal with the poor ones that don’t make it out alive and, Internet, their poor mothers. It’s just indescribably ten fingers and ten toes screamingly awful. I don’t think it ever really gets any better with repeated exposure and if the very bad things could just stop happening to such lovely families that would be just dandy.

Anyway, it is almost Wednesday, I am more or less awake in the daytime, I am resisting the urge to buy scatter cushions for the outdoor setting tomorrow on accounts of budget and that is a real shame because I have also spied a round tree circle bench that would look positively fabulous in my front garden. With my living little people I am very lucky to have sitting on it.

Actually, stuff it, I’ll probably get them both. Life is to be enjoyed and living breathing exceedingly healthy children are blessings to be hugged early and hugged often (as long as they haven’t just spilt purple cordial all over the cream carpets in which case exceedingly healthy children are to be yelled at a bit first).

Mostly for the next few days I think I’ll play Mama.

…and possibly mad gardener. Fixing summer heatwave related holes in hedges doesn’t do itself, ceramic mushrooms don’t spontaneously hatch all twee-like in the little girl garden, nor does the wall clock tick without a battery and I have a wrought iron arch to get on with assembling, too.

If I ever leave this house the garden is coming with me and that is all.




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Posted by keanetwins on April 27, 2014

Dear Internet,

The funny thing about the night before the first day before the first night of nightshift, if you are quite managing to follow my drift, well. The funny thing about the first night before et cetera is that I never can decide if it is better to go to bed as late as humanly possible-> in order to sleep in as late as possible-> in an attempt to make the next twenty four plus hours of awake misery slightly less unpleasant.

A goal-directed flowchart + arrows regarding sleeps is nice in principle but not only is sleeping in with three children improbable at best and impossible at worst, but I am quietly convinced that the road to proverbial is paved with determined flowcharts of ‘ -> ‘ connecting stuff.

When it comes to pre-nightshift sleep, it really doesn’t matter what I do and overall nothing works. Being awake all night after having been awake all day is a special kind of misery slightly worse than a tax audit or needing a root canal on a holiday weekend, regardless of preparatory circadian tinkerings and chocolate consumption.

The dreaded morning schoolrun doesn’t help overmuch, either. Just how is it that fifty million SUV’s arriving at one complex at exactly the same time every day is not a predictable and avoidable fustercluck of personalised plates and sunglasses and what on earth would be wrong with proper dedicated parking a short walking distance away and staggered start and finish times as opposed to the current situation of Race To The Death for the spaces that don’t score a fine the minute one exits the vehicle?

Also, separately,  the time, it flies and the big girls, they are getting so insightful and chatty and such a pleasure to be around and in general interact with and the babe is so squeezable and full of warm cuddles and ‘Love! You!, Mama!’ that sometimes the though of leaving them all warm and bathed and pyjama’d to go to work of an evening is downright achy somewhere limbic.

I adore the job I am lucky enough to have and the things I can do and the skills I continually learn to help other women enjoy their babies, really I do. There isn’t a minute of the wonderful-terrible-funny-crazy-strange-but-ordinary  I resent, even at ungodly am.

I just wish I could split myself in two when a little voice asks if I am staying home tonight for cuddles and a story in bed.

Tonight, I can, but my guilt gland is scoring a direct hit in advance for the rest of the week and I’m already full to the brim of the mixed-ups.


PS. Leaky ballerina day tomorrow at four pm and whoever thought a wrap skirt and one piece leotard was a good thing to coat a five year old in has never had the privilege of yanking it all off and then on again to facilitate a wee.

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Ees- ter

Posted by keanetwins on April 24, 2014

Dear Internet,

It is late, I am This Tired, which is even more tired than the This Tall one has to be to get on the proverbial ride, AND speaking of rides I have a fourteen hour gamut of experience waiting for me tomorrow.

All in all, I think this sums up life lately rather well:

Except I always seem to end up with blood on my person at some point or other and the maker of the Actually Real Storage Bin In An Actually Real Emergency Department (Undoctored In Any Way) completely forgot about poop and meconium.

In summary: Keep your mouth shut and wear eye protection.


PS. I miss my personal zoo like crazy, especially when they hug me spontaneously in the vain hope that I will make with the chocolate.

Posted in "with pictures!" | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


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