26 July 2013

Not well. Fandom.

I'm not well. Everything has collided and now I have sorer-than-usual skin. The pain is hard to describe - it's throbbing and tiring, and wears at my emotional armour. I'll be ok soon - I always am. This month has definitely shown that stressful situations (and even excitement) can play havoc with the body's balance.

Yesterday I took myself to the hospital to get some antibiotics, a doctors certificate and just to have a chat to a professional, really. While I don't feel sad, I do feel overwhelmed by a lot of things, worried even, and I just needed to know that what I feel is valid and may be contributing to this period of soreness. I have today off work and plan on resting up over the weekend. Now, in addition to the prescription, I can work on resting my mind a little. I will try (right after that deadline I enjoy a cup of green tea and a quality magazine).

I am forever grateful to Australia's public hospital system. We are so lucky to get free taxpayer funded clinics, treatment and hospitalisation. While I don't much like the wait time, I acknowledge the wait time is necessary, and at the end of the wait time, I'm going to see a knowledgable, caring and friendly doctor or nurse who understands what I need to get and stay well.

I went to the dermatology clinic as a walk in patient, rather than having an appointment booked months in advance, and was seen to within half an hour. That beats sitting in emergency waiting for a dermatologist for five hours. (A skin infection never seems to be regarded as a true emergency...) After the dermatology clinic I was referred to the immunology clinic, where shit just got serious.

The immunology clinic appointment was a follow up to the trip to emergency last week. We talked about what happened when I ate seafood - that this was my first reaction after eating it my whole life. The dermatologists have always been concerned about food allergies and I've been lucky to go for so long with only having allergies to latex, pollen and codeine. So this potential allergy didn't really come as a surprise. I was prescribed an EpiPen, practiced how to use the trainer EpiPen, and given some forms for a blood test to test for seafood allergies. We also talked about possibly boosting my immune system with a blood product called Intragram (like Instagram, but not an app and there's no pretty filters. Actually it's not like Instagram at all. It's a transfusion in the arm.), and vaccines for chickenpox and herpes. Next time I visit the hospital I'll have that blood test and then see the immunologist again to discuss the allergy situation. Until then, I'll just avoid eating seafood. What's a foodie to do?! I'll be envious of all those seafood dinners on Instagram...

Two happier things:

Darren Hayes replied to my tweet!

Darren uses social media to do great things - speaking up about human rights injustices, especially around homophobia and discriminatory behaviour. I love that he uses his celebrity for positive influence. And I love that he won't remain silent despite receiving criticism. And nor will I. (Also, did you see he called me beautiful?! Did you see?!)

My Dad was in town for the Liverpool v Melbourne Victory match this week. I was SO excited that he could see the game - he hasn't seen his team play for 36 years.

That's him in Cape Town in 1977.

He was able to meet his friends from the UK - who he met at Liverpool matches back in the UK - while in Melbourne - he hadn't seen them for all those years either.

I saw this on the news and got a bit teary at the thought that Dad was in that crowd, singing You'll Never Walk Alone. Australia's his home now and it is wonderful he could experience that fandom again here.

I grew up with a very passionate Liverpool fan father. He still is - up at all hours watching the match, checking the LFC news on the Internet. When I was little, well before the Internet, and before we had SBS TV in our regional city even, he'd tune into the BBC sports show on the shortwave radio to keep up with the scores. There was a time he came to Melbourne with me for a hospital appointment and we had to change hotels because the one we'd booked into wasn't showing the Liverpool match!

I haven't ever watched a full game, but the chants are all so familiar to me. I knew all the words of You'll Never Walk Alone from a very early age, like it was a nursery rhyme.

Mum sent me that photo the other day - Dad's fandom was passed down to me - not in a sporty way but definitely through my passion for singer-songwriters.

There's something special about being a fan. It's the anticipation of their arrival. It's the passion of seeing your team or band or actor do what they do best. It's the camaraderie, the chanting, the cheering. It's that look you get from other fans - the feeling of sharing the same excitement. It's that intimate moment when your idol looks at you in the eye or sings you that song. It's knowing that your passion has a place in your heart for life. It's the most alive you'll ever feel.

That's it from me today. I'm resting. Probably sleeping as this post goes live.

Do you love fandom as much as I do?

Are your parents passionate fans and has their fandom been passed down to you?

Did you go to the football?

Has your favourite celebrity tweeted you?

Have you got an EpiPen? Does it hurt?

Are you following me on Facebook?



  1. Yes, you have tweeted me.

    [Also, *Lady Mary's Eyebrows* (Michelle Dockery) has replied to my tweets a few times. I nearly died.]

    1. Haha I'm not a celebrity. Thank goodness too.

  2. Hi Carly,

    I just saw that you were one of the top five bloggers on Kidspot and popped over - I didn't even know you had a blog (or I'd forgotten).

    It sounds like a heavy time - seafood allergy? Youch! But congrats on the shortlist anyway.

    I like what you said about fandom. I can't say I've thought about it much, but you are right, that sense of camaraderie - of seeing another fan, maybe hearing them quote an obscure quote from your favourite director or footy player or whatever, and knowing - we're both part of something. That sense of belonging to something can be so powerful can't it? Though as with many powerful things, it can be used for good or evil...

    Anyway, congrats. It's nice to "see" you. :)

    1. Hey Kirsten
      Nice to see you too. I've been blogging for years :) thanks for the congrats!

  3. Oh Carly, rest up, really rest up!, and get better soon. Be careful and go slow with that seafood allergy. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. My son has suffered serious allergies all his life and it is an uphill battle, but I know no one more equipped for this than you. Awesome about the DH tweet and your Liverpool story really warmed my heart this morning. Have a wonderful day at home, rugged up, relaxing, will be thinking of you and sending you positive, happy vibes xx

  4. I don't get sick... well, I do... once every 18 months or so I'll get a dose of tonsillitis/bronchitis... but that's all...

    As I mentioned in another one of Carly's posts, I've never been to hospital except to be born and to visit other people - that's why our public health system is so important - that's why the medicare levy is so important - I don't get sick, but the money I contribute to the public health system helps pay for the health care of people like my friend Carly.

    One day I will get sick - either through injury or illness or old age - then it will be all your turns to help pay for MY health care - you can't get fairer than that!

    Hope you feel better soon Carly! :) xx

    1. Ah JJ I don't mind paying the Medicare levy or the MLS if it means we keep our great healthcare system :) and given that I work and pay taxes, it's good to really experience what my taxes are going towards

  5. All the best Carly. Hope you are feeling much better very soon.

  6. Enjoy that intragam! Lots of folks immunoglobulin goes into that, the best cocktail there is. Cheers!

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Yes, people whinge about the public health system, but it really is top notch. I just hope (and cast my vote on election day) that it won't be insidiously undermined by governments.

    Working in it, I can say on behalf of most health care workers that we do the best we can and try to help people as much as possible.

  7. What a lot to go through! My son has an epipen and says he's so sick when he's having a reaction, he doesn't register it going in. It only hurts later on! I don't know if that will comfort you or not. But he remembers so vividly his reactions and doesn't want to have another one, that he is so very careful about what he eats and touches, and will go without rather than risk it. We all do actually. But what you can't control is your reactions to things you don't know you are allergic to - or as you found, that you become allergic to after many years of being okay. On the most recent occasion, we discovered he was now anaphylactic to horses, after he had a ride on a pony at a farm. I've had him tested for loads of things now so we can be as careful as possible, but you can't test for everything! Good luck ...

  8. It's amazing/awful how emotions and stress can trigger health issues. I remember when I had pneumonia I could feel that it was from some issues I was dealing with at the time.
    I hope that you are feeling better and please message me if there's anything I can do.

  9. I hope you feel better after more rest and that you get to the bottom of your allergies - rest up and take care!


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