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Team Underwood. Lockdown Part 7


Saturday 18th April

Today was non stop chaos. Alices wonderful carer came and collected her at 8am so she was safely out the house for all of the last big bits of furniture to be shifted over. Whilst myself and George stayed at The Shit Shack last night, Alice stayed at our old house with Greg. Due to all of her complexities, we just cant risk moving Alice over until there is nothing she can fall over, stick in her mouth/ear/nose/eye, knock over or break. So from 7am to gone 5pm it was like one of those house renovation shows where they have really poorly planned their time and they all run around like headless chickens, nailing pictures and drilling cupboards to walls before they all get told they are out of time. Only in this case a poncy bouffant haired interior designer doesn't come in and critique your work, an apparently drunk and angry 8 year old does.

In the midst of all this I receive an e mail to say Alices pee test has shown nothing so no UTI. Are you fucking kidding me? If its not a UTI then what the hell is wrong? She's literally deteriorating before my eyes and only they day before I've had to sedate her mid afternoon because her brain was misfiring so badly we were looking to be on the cusp of a seizure. Right now I have no time for this so we plough on and get at least the bedrooms and the lounge area safe and habitable.

Tonight will be more take out and Im drinking. Yes I know. Fuck it, I'm done. Almost 6 months off the sauce and I've cracked. In fact speaking of crack, Im so fucking done I'd quite literally take anything to numb myself right now. Maybe I should be sedating myself and not Alice.


Sunday 19th April

Nigh time mutant rat action was greatly reduced thankfully. Probably due to an attic full of rat poison. I do feel bad, but right now carrying passengers or humanely catching multiple rodents living in the roof is not my top priority. Especially as I now have "drinkers remorse" a banging headache and I cant believe I threw 6 month sobriety out the window all because I take a child continuously telling me to "Fuck Off" so personally.

Alice spent her day lurching from so happy she was bordering on mania to feral devil child on a murderous rampage, whilst Greg and I tried to fight our way through the boxes and crap in the kitchen and office. So at 2pm I found myself constructing yet another Wits End style email to the hospital, requesting that we just hit her with a broad spectrum antibiotic anyway as we have nothing to loose and if we don't calm her brain soon we are going to have bigger things to worry about. Thankfully her awesome pediatrician agreed so we have her on a new med by late afternoon.

The house is beginning to resemble something of a home and the kitchen now is semi usable. the family bathroom is so small you could almost certainty shit, shower, and shave without taking a step, but everything works and at this stage we have a roof over our heads.

Fun starts tomorrow when Greg has to work from home and take multiple conference calls with no internet other than what we can muster up via our phones.

We are however managing small moments of sanity on our new nightly beach walk, which is just amazing.




Monday 20th April

Breakfast pancakes cooked on a single travel hot plate, with Alice sat at my feet in a kitchen slightly bigger than one you'd find on a House Boat, was interesting but successful. As has been most processes so far in this house. Right now I rather like it. Its small, cosy, compact, we have the most enormous garden, we can hear the sea gulls, smell the ocean and its just like being on holiday. In fact it reminds me of those holidays I had as a kid where you stay in something far shittier than you are used to and it all smells a bit musty but its a holiday and you do different stuff on holiday so it doesn't matter. You have great memories of playing board games you wouldn't dream of playing at home, you eat food that can be cooked with just one hot plate and you sit at tables that look like they have been taken directly from your Grandparents house. The quirky old style bathroom taps are noisy and they have stained shower curtains and dodgy Formica sink units, but its still a lot of fun in a "slumming it" type way. But the thing is with those holidays, is whether you are the child or the parent, you are always so fucking relieved to be going home. The kids not so much, but even they get home after a long drive and soon realise just what they were missing when they run back into their big centrally heated, soft carpeted bedrooms and spacious, clean smelling bathrooms. But the parents certainly, by day three, are guaranteed to be thinking "Bloody hell why did we book for the full week"?? You love it for three days, tolerate it for three more and by day seven you are praying for an emergency call from home or death of a not well liked relative so you can leave early.

We now live in that Holiday Home for at least the next year. With rats, two kids not in school, a husband working from home and an 8 year old who wants us all dead.


Tuesday 21st April

E Coli!! They bloody found E Coli is Alices pee. I don't think I could ever be so pleased to hear of one of my offspring having infected piss and I certainly never expected to celebrate the arrival of E Coli into the family. I bloody knew it. I said all along thats something started as soon as she had that fall. To further lift my mood the new antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. Id say we've had a 50% improvement the last 24 hours. Still swearing like a Sailor but much less frequently and apologizing when she does it, rather than repeating it a further 30 times until I finally break and start to cry. No hitting, no pinching, nothing has been thumped or smashed and no physical symptoms of Chorea and shes stopped walking into walls and falling over her own feet. Now she is still far from her best but my god this is a welcome relief. However, this now potentially opens up a whole new can of worms. Is this a nasty coincidence? Did she get an infection from the plastic that sliced her when she fell? Or worst of all, and this is what her pediatrician is now concerned about, is has she sustained a much more serious injury, internally, than we initially realised? And if that is the case, this will just keep happening. So for all my light hearted jokes about Beargina and our epic self female circumcision incident in the early stages of Lockdown, its now quite likely that poor Alice needs some investigations under anesthetic at the very least and possibly some Cha Cha surgery at worst.

I say it so often but I swear I could not make this shit up if I tried.

For now we plough on with antibiotics, await an appointment at Perth Childrens Hospital and keep everything crossed that this is just bad luck and coincidence. In fact if we'd kept stuff crossed a few weeks back we might not be in this mess. Looks like Bearginas super powers for healing Cha Chas need to be called upon once again. And if you dont know who Beargina is, then you really need to go back and read the earlier posts in the Lockdown Series.


Wednesday 22nd April

Wow what a difference 48 hours of the correct antibiotics makes. Alice is well on her way to coming back to us. Shes still having her moments but they are resolved quickly and she is back to understanding that her outbursts, while she cant help them, are wrong or rude and shes really trying to manage her self. In fact the quote that made me realise we are back on track was when she asked if she could sleep in my bed tonight. She asks this every night and every night I say "Well have you been good"? Today she said "I have been good. I not call George a dick and I not say fuck. Happy"? Through clenched teeth and a stifled snort, I confirmed I was indeed "Happy".

No monster mutant rat activity was heard at all last night so hopefully our attic guests have all been dealt with, although what appears to be a vacated mouse/rats nest was found in the letter box, so clearly The Shit Shack has been a bit of a hot hangout for rodents prior to us moving in and spoiling the fun.

Talk is starting to pop up on the news about a possible relaxing of restrictions here in Australia in regards to COVID19. The schools are anticipating to reopen mid term two which will mean in about 4 to 6 weeks time. Whilst I wont be sending either child back until I'm confident its absolutely safe, I have everything crossed that we only have to do this for a few weeks more. When the original plan of living in a tiny shitty dilapidated shack for 10 to 12 months was first hatched, it certainly wasn't under the assumption that all four of us would be home 24/7 for several of those months.

Western Australia and Southern Australia have reported days with no new diagnosis whatsoever and as an entire country we only had 7 new cases today. Deaths are at 74 for the whole country and confirmed cases are at 6,647 with 546 being in my home state of WA. I really hope I'm not speaking too soon but things are looking promising. However we are still in a fairly warm autumn and two more months of our typical flu months of July and August.


Thursday 23rd April

Well that was short lived. I wish I had something good to say about Alice and her current mental health but I don't. So I wont say anything. I just cant face it. Today was cancelled due to lack of enthusiasm from participants.

The only highlight of my day was at 9pm Greg decided that simply shaving his head to a Grade One was not enough and seeing as this was a once in a life time opportunity he was going to wet shave his head and go Full Monty. Now I've never had my grubby little hands on an entirely bald head and I have to say, while rubbing your palms on a super short buzz cut is rather nice a completely hairless clamy dome is a touch unnerving. My multiple requests to slap it with slices of ham and salami (we didn't have any of that plastic burger cheese) were all declined, but frankly it cried out to be slapped with something.

After I drummed my fingers on it a few times and fantasized about slapping it with cold deli meats, I made him promise not to do it again because its creepy and gross. Thankfully Greg was in full agreement that this was one of those "well at least I tried it" things that you never repeat and rarely speak of again.


Friday 24th April

What the fuck is going on here? Someone throw me a fucking bone. Alice is just out of her mind. Shes either screaming in pain, thrashing on the floor for no apparent reason or so stoned she cant stay awake and shouting random swear words and the names of her medicines out in her sleep.

By 10am it was so horrific we had no choice but to crack out the clonazepam. I hate this shit of a medication, its like Valium, highly addictive and just dulls everything so she falls asleep and then spends the rest of her day in a zombie like state. But if her brain continues to misfire at the rate it is and if her aggression and distress don't calm soon, we are going to be in trouble. Shes onto her last day of antibiotics, so despite a two day reprieve its done nothing. Maybe E coli wasnt the culprit after all.

I'm wrapping this post up here as I for one am done for the week but in a rather pathetic attempt to lift the mood I'll post before and after pics of The Shit Shack as promised and some updates on Pestilence 2020.

Firstly Lockdown in Australia and New Zealand has, at this stage proved massively successful and both countries are now preparing to re open with minimal fatalities. 75 for Australia and 17 for NZ.

France, Italy and the UK continue to struggle but thankfully things seem to at least be slowing for them and China may as well of pretended it hasn't actually happened for them at all.

America on the other hand has 50,000 dead and the residents are divided as to whether you stay home and stay safe or storm the streets demanding to carry on like normal. Today their esteemed leader has suggested that we find a way to inject ourselves with disinfectant and he's very pleased with his ratings on TV. Because thats important right?


Alices Bedroom Before and After.





Georges Bedroom Before and After.






Semi Functional Kitchen Before and After.






Lounge Before and After




Main Bedroom Before and After





This is the spacious bathroom for a family of four. No before and after pics as its just as hideous and tiny as it was when when we bought the place.




This weekend we tackle the outside of the house and start clearing the land for the build. Now we just have to find away to spend a year in this house, with all four of us stuck at home and Alice in full neurological breakdown. Easy right?

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Tara Reilly
Tara Reilly
24 เม.ย. 2563

Love to the Underwoods, you simply amazing little family xxxx


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