2am Ramblings on Hyperbaric Medicine

I’ve just been doing some totally random reading online about something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You know how it is these days; stumbling onto topics that have pretty much zero connection to anything going on in your life and somehow getting sucked into reading a bunch of info about them. Anyway, I’m going to regurgitate what I just  read so that you, reader, can enjoy a similar experience.

Hyperbaric therapy in Australia is pretty well established as a medical treatment for the decompression sickness sometimes suffered by scuba divers. It involves the patient going into a sort of tank or chamber in which they breath air with a higher oxygen content than is standard in our environment. This can be 100% oxygen, although I think milder versions might also be a thing.

In Melbourne, hyperbaric medicine is used in hospital settings to treat things like necrotising soft tissue infections and certain cases of non-healing wounds (like from diabetes or radiotherapy), as well as decompression sickness. Some people online have some pretty wild stories to tell about how it’s helped with things like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and developmental delays, and even reversed brain damage. These reports aren’t scientifically supported at this stage, but there’s quite a lot of them about, which makes it hard to write them off. 

The chambers through which the treatment is delivered are even available as portable systems for home use, which means that people who could benefit from ongoing therapy can have relatively affordable access to it. I guess I feel like, if people have gone to the trouble of figuring out how to construct a portable version of this thing, there must really be something to it. I can’t imagine anyone being motivated to explore it that thoroughly if there wasn’t.

Anyway, like I said, I don’t really have any use for a hyperbaric chamber, portable or otherwise, in my life at this point (and I hope this continues to be the case, given the list of conditions they’re said to be able to treat). Even so, it’s got me thinking in new ways about the role of oxygen in the body.

Conveyancers Do More Than You Know…

I’ve never once believed any news report that I’ve seen about food poisoning. In my opinion, there’s no such thing. Why would food poison you? It’s food! Food might taste bad if you let it go past the use-by-date, but that just means that it TASTES bad, hence why we don’t eat it.

No, you mark my words: all instances of ‘food poisoning’ are actually just genuine poisoning. You hear about a whole restaurant getting gastro? There must’ve been a political enemy eating there, and someone put the poison in everyone’s food to make it sound like an outbreak of ‘gastro’. There’s literally no better explanation.

Jus like there’s no better explanation of conveyancers, and what they do in society. I’ve known a few conveyancing solicitors around Melbourne, and they’ve been decent folks. I can’t imagine why, since they have a much more stressful job than people realise. See, what seems to most like a simple conveyancing job is actually a front for a larger property control job. I realised years ago that if you control the conveyancing of the land titles, then you hold all the power. You’d think this would make conveyancers the greediest and most powerful figures in Melbourne, but quite the opposite: they’ve been using their vast influence to stop wealthy oil barons from purchasing the entirety of Melbourne, and possibly turning it into a massive oil field.

Just think about it for a second. Oil barons have solid gold cars, which obviously means they have unlimited money. If they wanted to- even if two or three pooled their infnite resources- then they could buy the entire city, from skyscrapers, to landmarks, to stadiums, and certainly every property. Whereas conveyancing solicitors are the ones standing in the way of this plan, stopping those oil barons from getting the documents. Then they convey them to worthy candidates instead, which would be their regular job. They are heroes, one and all, protectors of the 1962 sale of land act, and if regular sheeple would wake up and look at the FACTS, they’d know it like I do. They’d know everything.

-C.M.J. Incorporated

Everyone’s Nautical Nowadays

I’m not sure how I feel about the commodification of the boating industry. First it’s everyone commuting on boats because they think it’s cool, and that I can just about tolerate. At least they’re doing so respectfully and giving boating a boost, even though I don’t think they’re REAL boating fans. It’s just a bit of a fad, and then in six months you’ll have a bunch of broke uni students trying to sell of their boats.

But now I find out that there’s a long-running TV show where people just name boat parts, and where they’re from, and it makes me unhappy. Melbourne’s outboard motor services are serious business. SUPER serious business. I watched a few episodes of the show, and while it’s very impressive that they can name boat parts, and where they’re from, the whole thing feels tired. In all the episodes I watched, there seemed to be about three parts that people were naming. Just anchor winches, outboard motors…and others. It’s like the show was started by someone really passionate about boating, but sometime in the last three decades they left and now it’s just still going because someone from on high keeps saying “well, we have nothing else to air, so do the thing about the boat parts where they stick their hands through the walls.”

I’d imagine it’d be the same if you’re one of those people into motorbikes, and you stumble across a tired old show where people just look at bikes and name the model, and it’s clear that no one working on it has any passion. I love boats, and I love their parts, and this doesn’t seem right.

Melbourne’s best quality outboard motor repairs deserve much better than this. I mean, at least a prime-time slot where an actual expert roams around the docks with a camera crew, talking about various aspects of boat mechanics and their jobs. That is, an expert who cares. Like me…


How I Learned to Love Wallpaper

I’m pretty sure that when you think about graphic design, you have this image in your head of someone sitting in a luxuriously spacious studio apartment, with some gigantic easel and probably a large compass. That is a common misconception and also 99% wrong.

Then there’s the relaxed student sitting in a cafe with their laptop, drinking coffee and occasionally tapping away at their keypad, making computer magic. That’s pretty wrong too. My first few years as a graphic designer were spent hunched over a desk in a dimly lit office, making sure the website colours matched up and looked pretty. I was barely allowed near the nice software. It was slightly soul-crushing, but it was a start. Then I went freelance, and found my true calling.

That calling was custom designer wallpaper. This wasn’t a result of a deep desire from my childhood, or anything. I didn’t visit historical buildings in my youth, tracing a finger along the elaborate designs and hoping, praying, that I would someday render such designs with thine own hands.

Uh, no. I actually did a fairly boring job for a graphic design company, and while I was there they had some really nice wallpaper. Like…REALLY nice. It was custom printed brick wallpaper, with quotes from famous artists framed and scattered around. It didn’t blow me off my feet, but it was pretty eye-catching. I asked how they did it, and they told me about the process. I became interested, and things kind of took off from there.

After I’d done a few jobs for the company, I heard about an opening in the design department, and I jumped on it. Over the last few years I’ve done all kinds of wallpaper for people, from animals prints to movie posters. A large part of my job actually involves walking round houses, recommending shades and designs and generally making walls more interesting.

And yeah, I have become a bit of a wall snob, but I really enjoy what I do and as graphic designing goes, I think I might have found my calling. Custom designer wallpaper. I suppose that’s how wallpaper can change your life. Graphic design goes so deep, you’re bound to find something that suits you.

Hair Wizard Wanted

How do you choose a hairdresser? I’m asking because, being new in town, I find myself faced with task of doing just that. Back in London, I routinely went to a guy who was a life consultant, gossip provider and sommelier all rolled into one. I’ve had him on speed dial for the past five years, so I haven’t had to consider any other options.

So, I ask you: what’s your go-to luxury hair salon in the Melbourne CBD, and why? I need to find my new stylist slash confidante on the double. By now, you might have begun to gather what I tend to gravitate towards in a hairdresser. In essence, it’s someone with a strong ability to sense what I need before I know that I need it. My hairdresser is not someone who simply cuts my hair the way I tell them to; it’s someone who steps in and tactfully saves me from my own poor judgement, in hair and in life.

I know, I know. That seems like a lot to ask. But it’s really just about two people getting along. I want to have a rapport with my stylist – I mean, if that’s not there, how are they going to be able to assist me in making my desired impression in the world? That’s really what I’m paying them to do. If the job was just to make my hair shorter, I could do that myself with a pair of kitchen scissors, couldn’t I?

I suppose the reason I’m asking how you go about choosing a hairdresser is this: knowing what qualities you look for will help me understand if I’m likely to have an affinity with the same person as you. Melbourne hairdressers, like those in other parts of the world, no doubt come in a wide variety of characters.

Yes, I have high ideals when it comes to finding my hair guru… and that’s why I always have the best hair in town!

I Just Love Using Electricity 24/7

It’s now time for the Festival of Pikachey, probably my least favourite time of the year. I don’t mean to disrespect my family heritage- as I’ve been told many times, this is a big deal in Albajeria- but it’s way too close to Christmas. My family just needs to choose one huge, financially-draining, exhausting event to celebrate per year, instead of trying to squeeze both into the space of a month.

But here we are, the family all together (again), eating loads of food (again), washing loads of dishes (AGAIN) and celebrating the creation of light. I’m pretty sure our ancestors didn’t celebrate this holiday by setting up sets of commercial LED lighting. Melbourne is pretty up and coming in the tech department, which I guess makes it okay.

I mean it when I say it’s commercial lighting, because it’s all industrial grade, although supposedly very energy-efficient. So I guess our power bills won’t be totally through the roof. The original way of celebrating Pikachey was to light torches all through a village, along with one gigantic bonfire in the center, and keep them burning for seven days. Now we just turn on some specially-purchased lights. I guess there’s less chance of them going out, which would anger Pikachey and might make him curse our family for a thousand and ten years. So…that’s really good. I do appreciate the efficiency of LED lighting nowadays that wards of deadly curses. But still, with all the family here, it gets really wearing. So much food, so many dishes to wash, and in the time of year when everyone is trying to get into good habits. Nope…we’ve just got Melbourne’s most energy-efficient industrial LED lighting making it really hard to sleep. Great, fun times with ancient traditions.


Glazing It Up

The order of the day is deciding whether to have a skylight installed. Now that the excitement of buying a house has died down, we’re starting think about what we can do to make it, like… nice. More natural light in the kitchen is one improvement that’s crying out to be made, and a double glazed skylight unit seems like the best way to do this.

Next in line after that is replacing the coloured glass splashback in the kitchen. It’s got a big old crack in it, but in all honesty, our main issue with it is the colour Really, who thought that was a good idea? Last on the trifecta of reno jobs on our list is swapping out the heavy wooden posts supporting the handrail on the staircase for something visually lighter. Glass balustrade installers in Melbourne, you’re on my radar.

I just realised that all three of these updates involve glass. That’s kind of convenient, actually. I’d had it in my mind that we’d have to recruit a bunch of different service providers, but a good glazier should be able to sort us out. Who’s good for residential glazing and glass replacement, Melbourne? Help a renovation noob out.

Actually, this is making me think of even more things to be done. The shower screen in the guest bathroom looks, frankly, kind of dangerous. My sister will hate that. I’m assuming it’s possible to switch out a semi-frameless shower screen for a custom replacement – A-class 10mm toughened safety glass, of course, for the benefit of sis’s peace of mind. While I’m on the subject, it occurs to me that I could swap the chrome hinges for gold ones. I know that sis will hate them, but if I’m making a concession for her, I get to have some fun at her expense as well (that’s just the way it works).

Ah, the joys of owning a house. I’m not sure what my bank balance will have to say about all this, but I can compile a wish list all the same.  

The Ocean Master’s Quest


So strange how Week of Our Lives is having so many episodes set at sea recently. With that recent dramatic return of the fellow lost at sea, you’d think they’d continue that plot-line, but they actually solved it in one episode (it was his twin brother trying to extort everyone and find the key to their grandfather’s safe, where he kept the deed to an ancient jade mine in the heart of China. Quelle intrigue!)

But for now, they’ve returned to the sea for a set of episodes based around Marlucia and her efforts to gain her Ocean Master qualification, impressing the ghost of her dead sea captain father who may or may not be actually haunting her. Half the forums think it’s in her head, and I’m not sure myself.

Anyway, she’s stuck on the outboard motor. Services in Melbourne have to be, like, UP there. Top-notch. Ahead of the game, and all that. Marlucia is a smart girl, especially since she escaped her orphanage aged only two years old using an elaborate duplicate of herself made from paper cups and string, and also a stray pigeon that she was able to feed laxatives. But in terms of motors, I think Marlucia has always struggled with technology because of that flashback we saw of her growing up in the Tibetan monastery, where they beat her whenever she made an internet reference. She escaped to an Albajerian monastery by climbing over the mountains, but in the here and now, outboard motors are her greatest downfall. But they’re the last step in earning her Ocean Master badge at the behest of her maybe-dead maybe-a-hallucination sea captain father! And if she doesn’t have the badge, how can she enter the secret society and join the hunt for the lost treasure of Emmeline Pankhurst, hidden in a salt tomb underneath the Dead Sea??

She’d better get onto the case of places that do outboard motor repairs and servicing in Melbourne, and hopefully find a wise sensei who’ll help with all her problems. It usually works like that, anyway.


Precautionary vet medicine

You know, with all this talk of a live-in doctor, I can’t quite believe that we don’t yet have a live-in vet. I like the fact that there are excellent animal hospitals open in Bayside, and that’s really just around the corner. Ever since this place opened they’ve probably been swamped with customers, even though we make a point of treating our cats very well here.

So it’s not an essential, but I do wonder if we can entice someone to come and live here to be our emergency vet, for when things happen in the middle of the night, or a cat sprains its paw and shouldn’t be moved. Perhaps that’s something to bring up at the next budget meeting.

I mean, if you ask me, everyone here should have some sort of animal training. Everyone should have learned human first aid in general, but to live here, you should need a basic primer on how to treat a sick cat. We can’t build our excellent reputation as a wonderful place of cat-lovers if half the people on the building wouldn’t have a clue on how to treat a sick kitty. I’ve even seen a few residents panicking as their cat starts throwing up hairballs, and having to be intercepted on their way to the pet surgery by more sensible folk. Why on earth do we have to sit down with you, a person who applied and was accepted into a home for people and cats, and explain to you the concept of a hairball? Even people who’ve nothing to do with cats understand that much.

Perhaps we can contract a vet to come in and give a seminar. A mandatory seminar. Everyone must attend, even the experts among us, so as to give a good example to the uninitiated. We’ll make it unmissable, on account of it being from a person working in a local Bayside pet surgery who knows their stuff and has a genuine interest in keeping our cats healthy.

As everyone should…and they try, bless them. But when you get stressed over how your cat is shedding fur, I do worry.


What could go wrong? (a lot)

Okay. This is bad. I may have really screwed this up. I know they say that, the week before your wedding, you really need to wrap yourself in cotton wool. You’re not supposed to do anything out of the ordinary, don’t take any chances that could potentially enhance your stress level. Believe me, nobody likes a bride-zilla. Especially me. Which is why I never thought I was at risk of becoming one, but oh boy, I did not account for this.

One of my cousins, who I guess is really not the sharpest tool in the shed, is taking this amazing dry needling course in Melbourne. She has been a physiotherapist for many years and only now is starting to branch out into new territory for treating patients.

In fact, I was the person who recommended the course to her, since one of my closest doctor friends did it. Anyway, when I complained to Suzie (my cousin) that I was feeling a little tense in the lead up to the wedding, she asked if she could practice her dry needling on me. Why not? I thought. What could go wrong?

I guess I probably jinxed myself a little bit there, since everyone knows the moment you even think the sentence ‘what could go wrong?’ something always does. The session started off alright, but about half way through, I felt a bit of a pinch in my lower back. I thought nothing of it until she explained that the dry needling courses only start in September. She had actually only received one lesson of practice.

When I woke up the next morning, my lower back was throbbing with a dull ache. I figured it was minor and would pass with time. A few days later and it still tender.

How am I supposed to marry Andrew in three days if I can’t lift my arm to accept his ring? This is a disaster! How on earth did I convince myself that this was a good idea? I’ve called my friend, Cathy, one of the best dry needling experts in the country, but she isn’t due to fly in until the day before the wedding. Fingers crossed that she can work her magic on my back and have me ready for the big day.