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The Bathroom Kid

So I was babysitting this 8 year-old yesterday. Let’s call him Jeffrey. Seeing as we hadn’t met before, I decided to ask him some questions to try and find out about his interests or potential areas of common ground. We got to talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. He told me he wants to be a bathroom designer, of all things.

I had to work hard to keep from laughing… why is it funny, though? I’ve concluded, upon reflection, that the world surely needs bathroom designers as much as they do astronauts or police or garbage men (a surprisingly common answer among the toddler demographic). And besides, the job title would probably be ‘interior designer’ or ‘project manager’ or something, which sounds less strange for some reason.

Anyway, I mentioned it to the dad as I was leaving, and he said that Jeffrey must have been influenced by their recent bout of home upgrade projects. The major bathroom renovation had ballooned from basic makeover to a full-blown replacement when it became clear that the pipes needed re-configuring. Jeffrey had become fascinated by the designer who’d popped in at regular intervals, brandishing a measuring tape.

That all added up – I’d noticed that he bathroom looked conspicuously new and, well, custom built. Is it possible to tell if a bathroom is one of a kind? I think it is, particularly when the bathtub is like none you’ve ever seen in your life. The kitchen, too, looked rather fresh – apparently that had just recently been overhauled, too, although Jeffrey hadn’t taken nearly as much interest in its designer (or its marble-topped floating island, for that matter).

It’s not easy task getting a complete kitchen replacement. Melbourne is well known for having some of the best designers for kitchens so I’m not super concerned. Juggling a kid and a baby sounds like a pain in the neck with everything else going on. But then, this whole family seems to share a mutual fascination with interior design, which might make the process a bit more tolerable. That, and they have an absolutely killer bathroom to retreat to.

To quote young Jeffrey: “The bathroom is the most tranquil place in the house.” I couldn’t agree more. 

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How 100% Oxygen kept my Dad going

I’ve seen my Dad make some left of center choices over the years. Heading to Melbourne for hyperbaric oxygen therapy certainly stands out . For example, there was the season he decided he didn’t hate the beach and took up kite-surfing. When I say took up, I mean he bought all the gear and never used it after he realised he was a liability on the water. It’s certainly not that he isn’t athletic enough- Dad can run rings round most of my friends, in their early thirties- he’s sixty five now and quite fit despite ongoing back injuries that he picked up as a labourer. These strange interests also included hanging upside down from the door jamb in a pair of ankle braces, strapping tiny magnets to his knees and lower back to ’equalise pain’ and even drinking vinegar dregs and fermented sauerkraut juice to take the shine off what was ‘definitely not arthritis’, according to Dad, who almost certainly would be arthritis. He’s been a bricklayer for nearly thirty years.

Back to the strange interests though. He recently invested in his very own portable hyperbaric chamber. If you’ve never heard of one before, you can’t be blamed, before I saw how much of a difference it made to Dad, I wouldn’t have known what one does. His best mate at work told him about it, they both went and had three sessions each, and from that week onward, Dad was sold. The sessions made his pain bearable. He could sleep better, sit better, and eat better. The only explanation for it was that Dad, who was determined to never retire. He loves working, really and I honestly believe he is one of those people that truly loves their job. His mates all say that Dad whistles and laughs through the day, never has a sour word to say about anyone. People who can’t wait to retire aren’t that happy. I’ve seen what makes him miserable though, and that’s not being able to work.

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To my Dad, whose career change saved me.

I’ve grown up with intense back pain almost my whole life, so I know how debilitating it can be. As a physiotherapist, my father did everything he could to alleviate my pain and help give me full mobility. That’s why, when my Dad took on a course in Christchurch for dry needling it changed our lives drastically.

The bike accident happened when I was 12. I was clipped by a car and landed hard on the kerbside. The damage to my lower back was serious and I had to learn to live with spasming and pain. For an eight year old, I’m not sure if knowing only a little about pain was a good or a bad thing.

Anyway, one Christmas, our family were playing in the sprinklers out the front of my grandma’s house, when I slipped on the grass and my back went into a spasm. It was the  worst pain I’d had yet and this was the catalyst for my Dad  to find something that would actually help me.

We went home that night and Dad started looking for courses in New Zealand for trigger point needling.  Dad was a footy player whose career was ended by a bad tackle and he went from a career as a professional player into a career in physiotherapy.

One of his colleagues, Marie, had been having incredible success treating her patients on a non-invasive level from dry needling, and she had treated Dad with amazing results.Dad had Marie do an after hours treatment for me, and I was immediately relieved. No painkillers.

So, Dad decided to go back to study so he could treat me with dry needling in the same way. In what seemed like no time at all, Dad suddenly had a whole new world of working opportunity come to him.

So I’m in year twelve now and I’m hunkering down so exams go well. I’m planning on following Dad into a similar line of work, and I hope to get into osteopathy, applying trigger point dry needling in the same way. If i worked for me, I can only imagine who else it might work for.


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Do it! Read my (perfectly symmetrical) lips

I’d had a few beauty appointments in the run up to my wedding, but by far the best of all has been having having my lip asymmetry addressed by a clinician who specialises in lip plumping treatments in Melbourne CBD. My town is teeming with great places to go for this kind of stuff, but it turns out that doing the research was worth the effort.I had so many questions and concerns-  I was worried about looking like I’d had them done, I was hyper aware that something could go wrong…but the actual event was so far removed from that, I can’t believe I ever felt worried.

I’ve had a dent in my lip from a scar, falling off my bike as a twelve year old- and now, twelve years later, you can still see it and that drives me crazy. I didn’t want the photos of my wedding day to be something that reminded me of the scar, so I went looking for a solution, and found a place that looked great for lip enhancing treatments. Melbourne based clinics can be expensive, and though I was prepared to pay a lot more for my treatment, I was really surprised and how affordable it was to fix something that worried me so much!

I booked an initial consultation and thinking that I’d just talk the procedure through, I bought a bunch of questions with me and made sure that the clinician I saw understood my big concerns. One of the biggest reliefs for me was finding out that injectables can be reversed if they go wrong- so I decided to take the plunge on the day.

I can’t believe how much changed in a short appointment. I’ve always been conscious of my lip, so to walk in and out of a building within an hour and have those concerns completely removed was like a dream I didn’t want to wake up from!

I’m no longer nervous about the wedding photos- in fact, I’m really looking forward to them. I can’t wait!