LC - Lisa Corduff Rebrand 2023-06

CwL On the road Ep 18 – Antibiotics and Anniversaries

LC - Lisa Corduff Rebrand 2023-19

Lisa pops in to reflect on her time in Greece. It was not necessarily the summer holiday she had envisaged when she booked the tickets, but after a little healing physically (and perhaps spiritually), it turns out (as it often does) that this mini break was exactly what she needed.

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We are just off the back of a glorious week in Greece, and I have to say that a few things happened in our time in Greece. One of the most interesting things was the fact that I arrived feeling so shit. I had they’re called an internal sty and it’s pretty standard. We’ve all had, or maybe you haven’t, but a sty on the outer kind of lid of your eye.

This one was inside the lid. It was pretty gross. It blew up my face. I ended up with cellulitis in my face. And if you’ve been following along on stories, you’ll see it was pretty gross. My whole face was a different shape for a fair few days there. But the thing is that it started in Munich. If you’re into metaphysical stuff, there is such interesting things about why we get stuff in our eyes and why we get cellulitis.

I don’t know if that’s you and what you’re into, but whoa. I’d actually had a huge, huge shift in perspective. Like I was seeing something through completely new eyes. And I can remember messaging friends the day before the sty appeared and I said, oh, my God, I think I’ve just how have I not seen this before? I feel like I’ve just sort of almost set myself free of this thing that I’d been carrying around with me. It was a really big moment. Next morning, wake up with a bung eye. You know, anyway that will make sense and appeal to some of you, and others will be like, yeah, we get what we get physically just because it happens. I don’t know if I necessarily fully agree with that all the time.

This seemed like a pretty weird, strange thing to happen after this big moment I had. Anyway, moving on. I was flying out of Munich on the Sunday morning early. We had to leave by 830 in the morning in order to be able to get to the airport on time for the flight. And I woke up and I had started a cream thing in my eye that the chemist gave me the day before. And I had been doing all the natural things that we do for stars and all that kind of thing. Nothing worked. It was really bad.

The pressure in my eye was full on. I actually felt a bit nervous about heading to a little random Greek island with this situation. I knew it wasn’t good. So when I got up and the bags were kind of pretty much packed. I’d culled everything right down because we were having a it’s a summer holiday, so we didn’t need all of our winter things that we’ve been lugging around with us. I actually just filled three of the kids backpacks, so we all just had carry on. And then there was the extra day pack, so that was sort of almost ready to go. I went upstairs and spoke to my friend Tony Ann, and I just said, I think something’s wrong with my eye and I think I need antibiotics.

And my doctor had prescribed me an antibiotic before I left, just like a broad spectrum one in case I needed anything. And lucky I did that because we actually went off to a hospital. Everything is closed in Munich on a Sunday. Everything. You can’t see a doctor, go to the chemist, go to shops, which I think is beautiful. I mean, I think an enforced rest day is not a bad thing, but in that situation, I was like, gee, it just would have been handy to be able to see a doctor. But she had a hospital five minutes away from her. We went there, went straight through to Emergency.

There was no one else there. And then the doctor came out and he’s like, you have rocked up to an orthopedic hospital and I don’t know, I can’t do anything for you, sorry. I was like, You’ve gone through medical training to get here. You’ve specialized. Surely you can just look at my eye and tell me if I’m going to be all right to get on a plane and if this antibiotic is going to help me. And I showed him what I had and he said, look, okay, you should be fine. It does look like it’s infected. Take the antibiotic, but we don’t have any medicines here for you.

I cannot prescribe you anything. I couldn’t have got it anyway because all the chemists are closed. If they didn’t have anything suitable at the hospital, he just said, Take that and see how you go, and if you don’t see an improvement, then do something about it, but you’ll be fine to fly. So I got on the plane, we raced back to Tony Ann’s house. I finished packing up the bags, out we went and got on the flight. Tony gave me this sort of pain relief, an Ibuprofen type thing. I felt a little bit, you know, cruising around. I suddenly couldn’t feel my face at all for that, you know? I definitely knew I wasn’t good when we arrived in, we flew to Mykonos and then we got a ferry to Naxos.

We were getting off the ferry and I was feeling just not that great. I mean, I was not feeling good in my body and I was so excited to be there. But the kids were kind of they were feeding off my energy a bit. One of them just looked at me and started crying. This feels too different, strange. I don’t want to be here. I mean, if you’ve ever been to the Greek Islands, there’s a lot of shouting that happens, getting on and off ferries, there’s lots of chaos. It is not like Japan, which they loved, which is order and people in lines and all happening very calmly.

This is like every man for himself kind of vibes and a lot of whistleblowing and a lot of yelling to mind. A step and this ferry here, that ferry there, it was a lot. And I’ve noticed with my eldest daughter, she loves the places that feel homely. Getting to the next place, she’ll just be like, no, this too much, too different. I want that feeling. She loved being at Tony Ann’s house in Munich, loved the feeling of family vibes, home. And I just looked at her, I was like, oh, my God, I do not have the energy, but just supported her through that. And I said, let’s just remember that we’ve had this feeling before when we’ve arrived in new places.

It doesn’t take long usually to feel pretty glad that we’re there. I get that this feels really hard right now and scary and different, but let’s just be open minded and see if we like it. Within about an hour and a half, she’s running into the pool saying, this is so beautiful. Loves the apartment, loving the sunset, all the things. So we got through that okay. But I still had this sense that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to necessarily make the most of the next few days in ways that I had maybe pictured in my mind. I woke up the next morning and I still really did not feel good at all. And I just explained to the kids that we’re going to have to have a day by the pool.

It was actually really windy for the first few days we’re on Naxos, so the beach wasn’t really super inviting. And I was so glad we had this divine pool. There was a pool bar. Everything that we needed was in walking distance. There was a supermarket, of course. That was the first thing that we do when we get anywhere. You can’t actually drink the water out of the tap in Naxos. So we were buying big bottles of plastic bottles of water, which kills me, but what can you do? And lugging them around.

And then I just said to them, I do need to get myself better, so we’re just going to have fun. Pool times. My son needed to get some schoolwork done, so we worked on that together. I read books, I chilled out on the sunbeds, and the kids just spent hours in the pool. And we had Euros every night for dinner. It was fine for those first few days, but I did get to the point where I thought, I need to be seen by a doctor. And so I went and found a lovely Greek doctor everyone in Greece wants to talk about. Melbourne, I have found, which is absolutely lovely.

And he was really nice and I just said, Look, I know it’s improving, but I don’t know if it’s improving enough. And I feel really sick. I feel sort of sick in my body. And he said, well, yes, you will feel sick. You do have cellulitis. You need to do seven days of the antibiotic you’re on. I’m not going to change you because it has improved. And then he just did a few other tests and I went off to the chemist and he wanted me to have a specific multivitamin that I’m now taking, and Probiotic, of course, which I needed to grab.

And I felt a lot better because I’d been seen. I knew it wasn’t going to get worse. I had wondered if I needed some fluids or some IV antibiotics, which can often be really helpful with cellulitis. I learned this because my sister in law and best friend are nurses, and they were really on to me. I was like, no, it’s improving, I can see improvement. They’re like, can you just please go get yourself checked? And I was glad I did. I’m glad I also have travel insurance. That was not a cheap trip to the doctors.

At the end of the day, it was peace of mind for me, but there was still a frustration that I couldn’t do the things that I was kind of wanting to do. I wanted to explore the other side of the island and I just had to surrender into not having the energy. Everything about this trip and life in general really does rely on my energy. I still find it really tough to accept that it’s not all go. It’s like a recurring theme. You’ve heard it here before. But I was definitely very kind to myself. The kids were little champs, and then when I the morning I woke up and knew I was definitely feeling better, it was just a wonderful feeling.

And it actually always makes me reflect on people who live with chronic pain or really have health issues that they don’t get relief from. That must just be so hard. And if that’s you and you’re listening, I’m sending you so much love. I realize it’s a huge privilege to know that my time feeling yucky is limited, that I recover to full health. And I did reflect on that quite a bit while I was there. Absolutely. I was having this sort of yucky feelings, ended up feeling better. And then around rolled September 13, and that is the anniversary of Nick’s death.

And it’s so interesting how four years on, that’s really changing so much. The anniversary, the way things feel on the anniversary, I actually find I still this year have found Father’s Day the hardest that really hits. And the anniversary, it’s a moment of reflection, I think father’s Day is probably a focus on what’s lost thinking about him as a dad and what my kids don’t have now. And the anniversary was more like, whoa, four years. I mean, my youngest is nine, so next year it will be half her life will have been lived without her dad. Certainly her memory is only of the life since he died, what, four years? I decided that we would have a really special dinner out, that we would make that a celebration like, dress as nicely as we could with the clothes that we’ve got, but make that a bit of an occasion. And the day we had just another really lovely day in what was effectively paradise. And you know what? We had the best dinner I think we’ve had the whole trip.

We have these conversations and we have moments to reflect. They are brave in how they show up for those conversations on those days because they feel big emotions and then they can call it, I’ve had enough talking about it. Or they’ll steer conversations in particular directions of memories that make them feel good. But gee, we laughed. We just had a really, really lovely dinner. If I’ve been going out if we’ve been going out for meals, it certainly hasn’t been entree main dessert. And that’s what this was. It’s always been important for me to mark occasions that honor their dad, that give them opportunities to express about their dad, that make the remembering well.

It’s almost like forced reflection. And we talked about how often they think of him these days as opposed to when they used to. It’s been an interesting thing on this trip. In the beginning, it wasn’t their dad that they were feeling like they missed on the trip. It was party boy and his boys because we always had holidays with them for the last four years. It was interesting to talk about that and to talk about how what it is that we do remember when we think of him. And I get to say, I look at them, I don’t know what it is about this trip, but it’s like I can see him in them more and more and more. Gosh.

I’ve taken some photos and just thought, what that look that my son has on his face is just Nick all over what? We sat down at this dinner table, out came side plates, and on them were toothpicks. And now we haven’t received toothpicks out to dinner, I don’t think, ever. It was certainly a first for the kids. And both the older two said, whoa, that reminds me of dad because Nick always had a toothpick hanging out of his mouth. It was like signature. Nick was just chewing on a toothpick. It was just like, well, there he is, just letting us know he’s here. He’s out for dinner too.

I took a photo of my son with his toothpick in his mouth and it’s like almost freaky. And he’s the one people say probably looks most like me now. But, gee, he’s got his dad in him for sure. So we have all these little beautiful moments and I think it’s important to let them land. I think it’s important to honor the Father’s Days in ways that matter to the kids and the anniversary, and it will be his birthday in November. They’re kind of the three big things. But Father’s Day at the start of September and the anniversary often just a week or two later, is it’s a lot in a small amount of time? The start of September is an intensely reflective time and the grief has evolved. I definitely feel it.

It used to bowl me over. It still does, but in a different way. It’s like it’s like, oh, hey, this feeling. Hey, here you are. I know you. I also know I’m going to get through this and I’m going to give myself permission to feel it fully while it’s here. I’m not afraid of the feeling of the grief. I let it come.

And that’s easy to do now because it’s not the state I live in all the time. But when it was really intense, like, I think about that first year and we were all locked down and we had to celebrate the Father’s Day, the anniversary all on our own. And here we are on our own again by choice. But I didn’t know what to do. I did not know what to do. We really have come a long way, the kids and I. I am proud of us. And I had this moment when I was in Greece.

I had popped out to go and grab some dinner and bring it back to the apartment. And I was walking along the esplanade, along the main beach there, and I was looking at these families, these couples with their children, their young children, mostly because school’s gone back in Europe, so it’s a lot quieter to be doing these touristy spots. And I was looking at them just thinking, I want a happy family like that. I want it to be intact. I want to look like it looks for them. And then I just realized I do have a happy family. I really, genuinely do. I am sure that people look at us and think, oh, my gosh, they are connected and laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

I want that. It’s just that my happy family looks different. It has a little piece missing. But this trip has definitely solidified the four of us as a crew. So as I walked that esplanade to go and get the Yeros for dinner and I looked at those couples with their children and I felt I wanted that happy family too, it really was a huge moment of realization to me that I have it. I don’t need to seek anything. I don’t need anything extra. I just need to acknowledge that I, too, have a happy family.

It just looks different to the way I imagined it would, and it always will. And I love us, and we’re doing really well, and I might have gotten a little bit lost in myself these past few years, but we never lost each other. We have always had each other, and for that, I am so, so grateful. So, yeah, I have a happy family, too. To come to that realization was beautiful, especially around his anniversary, the four year anniversary. So we walked back from the dinner, the anniversary dinner that we had had, and it was hilarious because out the woman comes. She was such a nice waitress. She comes out with shots.

So three just juice ones for the kids and one for me with Uzo and the juice and oh, my God, I hate Uzo. That licorice taste. It’s disgusting. Although it did remind me, the taste, as soon as I had that shot, it reminded me of being on a boat at 22 years old. Where do we go? I think it was from Paris to Ancona in Italy. Overnight without a cabin, just with an ex boyfriend. We were traveling around, and we bought a bottle of Uzo and just met other travelers and got very, very drunk and just slept on the floor of the boat. Oh, God, that was the day.

I never drank Uzo since then, but I just don’t like the taste. Anyway, we thought it was hilarious that this woman had brought out shots for all of us as a celebration, not knowing that alcohol had obviously played a big role in his death. And in that moment, I just realized, they get it, but it’s not heavy. We laughed about it. I had ordered this dessert, and I said to my daughter, do you think because we always light a candle on his anniversary for the whole day, and we didn’t have a candle, she remembered, and she mentioned the candle at one point that Dana said, maybe when we get this dessert, I ask for a candle. No. Mum. No.

Do not do that here. Because she knew she’d be really emotional, she just decided no to that. And so we thought it was pretty funny that out came this dessert. And then following that, we didn’t have the candle, but we had this moment where we’re for that to happen. Maxos it seems, anyway, I’ve woven a few different stories, a few different days in there, but overall, this time in Greece, it was surrender to what is, and that was not feeling very well for the first few days. It was wonderful to be unscheduled. I hadn’t booked out what we were doing, getting out of there, so we stayed for an extra night than I was planning, and I had actually been trying to organize, getting to see a friend in Italy, where she was like, we were just going back and forth, back and forth. I was trying to figure out how to get from where we were to her with as much ease as possible.

And it turned out it would have been ferry overnight in Athens, flight to Rome, flight to Brindizi, and then two trains. And I just thought, nah, cannot do at this stage of just recovering from freaking cellulitis. And those days for the kids, it takes a day to recover from that. I ended up not doing that. And we are now here in Croatia, which I have a lot to share on, so that’s coming. But, yeah, this whole part of the trip is hugely unplanned. I am going to Split in two days and I still don’t have accommodation for there, but I’m going to get onto that now. So for people who like being really planned, that might worry you, but it’s actually really nice to feel like there’s very little agenda.

It’s so freeing because everything always gets sorted out, obviously, for these sort of smaller trips. All I know is that we have to be in Split for the 21st, which is my birthday. I have something special planned for us on that day and we’re flying out back to Munich on the 24th, and in between, we get to do what we want to do. Whoa. What a life. Very grateful and super grateful for my time in Naxos. I had a lot of time to think there. I had some big thoughts about how I want to live and work, what family looks like, what it’s going to like, how it’s going to transform, how we’re going to do this.

I think I’ve moved into the phase of the trip where I’m really starting to consider how all of this is going to mean something when we get home. There is nothing like travel medicine. Thanks for listening. 

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