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Wise Women Blog Lana

Happy Days

Welcome back Wise Women. Sorry - I know I have been missing in action for some time and I thank Gigi for having my back and keeping things going. She is a perfect “Wing Woman”.

It's great to be back girls!

Brain Surgery Because I Am A Woman Over 50.

I have had my fair share of surgeries over the last couple of years, or so I thought… Two weeks ago I underwent BRAIN surgery, yes girls that’s right… BRAIN surgery.

My sister Vicki (now deceased) had brain surgery to remove a tumour some years earlier and I remember thinking to myself “there is no way I can do that, that’s never going to happen to me…I’m too much of a coward”. Well I did have brain surgery but not for a tumour it’s for Trigeminal Neuralgia. This disease is insidious!

My Trigeminal Neuralgia affects the right side of my face and the intermittent pain is like electrical shocks and a hot sharp knife stabbing you through your face at the same time. I’m not kidding. No wonder they dub this the “SUICIDE DISEASE” as the pain is unbearable. Many sufferer’s can no longer kiss their partner, children or grandchildren. Eating, cleaning teeth and even a slight breeze can cause an attack – it can strike at anytime. This disease can be life destroying. It usually occurs when a vessel near the trigeminal nerve stretches and loops over the nerve. I had two offending vessels. This is a rare disease that mostly afflicts WOMEN OVER 50. (Although males can get it too).

I often wonder about my husband who has to watch me helplessly as I have another “episode” of uncontrollable shocks. How unfair this is for him. I’ve had Trigeminal Neuralgia for more than 7 years, although thankfully, I have had many remissions for long periods of time where there has been no pain at all. Just the anxiety that it could strike anytime and for no particular reason.

I want to enjoy my semi retirement, I want to have fun, spend precious and quality time with my children and grandchildren, travel and be free of pain

I had been taking a cocktail of medications including anti-seizure medication which really fogs up my mind and makes me very forgetful. Around friends and family I tried to appear “normal”, sometimes unsuccessfully. It must get pretty bloody annoying for my family and friends when I repeat the same story within 30 minutes. My concentration level sucked!

My family and friends stuck by me – thankfully. I love them for that!


It’s 6am and I am being wheeled into surgery. I desperately try to bribe Peter the friendly orderly to take me through the nearest exit for $100. “The going rate is $200”, he says with a laugh.

My husband and daughter follow my trolley snapping photos. The nurses must have thought I was a celebrity and the paparazzi were following …I have an active imagination…

When we arrive in the OR, I am wearing a red hat instead of white. I tell my surgeon this is because I am a flight risk…he laughs.

The truth is - they actually have me mixed up with someone that is allergic to latex! Time to worry!!

I had been sort of calm up to then, even though I knew the surgeon was going to drill a hole in my skull – probably because it was so bloody early in the morning (I’m not a morning person). Also, I’m an optimist and never really seriously considered dying from this operation although I was warned that this could happen. If I really considered death, I would have cleaned out my bedroom drawers and wardrobe as they are an embarrassing mess!

I started to feel and sound a bit panicky so the "dream doctor" knew exactly how to remedy that situation….”just a little sting Lana”, the next thing I knew I was in intensive care.

My head felt like a lead balloon. My husband, son and daughter took turns to visit me (only two at a bed). They tried their hardest to look unfazed by all the tubes and wires and the sound of me groaning. I couldn’t keep my eyes opened for long which is a good thing so I couldn’t see them trying to deceive me with their fake attempt at "braveness".

I was dizzy and my head was throbbing. I couldn’t urinate so my “dedicated nurse Steven, 23 years old and fresh from university, suggested I should have a catheter inserted. The nursing Sister joined him and asked if he had performed this procedure before. “Only in University” he said. That was not the answer I wanted to hear!!

I’ll spare you the horrid and unspeakable details but he tried twice - unsuccessfully.

I was in so much bloody pain and discomfort I said to God, “If you are planning to take me anytime soon, now would be a good time….” Of course I was just going through a low point at the time as I was unable to sleep and the pain relief medication gave me no relief. It was in a living nightmare.

The following afternoon I had another CT scan and was cleared to go back to the ward. Anna, the Physiotherapist said she will have me sitting up when I get back to the ward. I was so nauseous I suggested she wear a raincoat.

This dizzy, spinning feeling is worse than any hangover I have experienced….well…almost.

It has been 2 weeks today and I spent a week in hospital and have now had the 20 odd staples removed from my head. I’m completely numb on the right side of my face and head. It’s like an invisible line has been drawn down the middle of my face as one nostril is numb and so is half of my tongue. My jaw is out of whack so I can’t chew on the right side. I have a blocked ear probably due to the CSF. This hopefully should all pass over the next few months (fingers crossed). 

Was it a success? Well I do not know for absolute certain as I am still taking half doses of my medication. But is seems to look that way as I have no trigeminal neuralgia pain...yay!

I am a sceptic so I’m not ready to do the dance of joy just yet only to disappoint myself later. I’m seeing my doctor in 3 weeks. So let’s say I’m highly hopeful.

Wise Words

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” — Ruth Gordo


Until next time Wise Women - take care of you

Lana xx


Lana ! | Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


Lana, a horrible story well told, I was on the edge of my seat........I know you are improving day by day and pray that you will be pain free in no time....love G
Posted: 26-Aug-2014 08:50 PM | Anonymous |
You are very brave lana it's a lot a person should have to go threw hopefully for you and the family it is a success especially you thinking of you xxxx jacky talbot
Posted: 26-Aug-2014 11:17 PM | Anonymous |
Thanks G for your prayers and encouragement. Lana x
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 03:27 PM | Anonymous |
Thanks Jacky for your lovely thoughts. Much appreciated. Lana x
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 03:30 PM | Anonymous |
No Doubt about you Lana you have always been a person that will have a go. I wish I had your confidence. I wish you well and good luck.
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 03:36 PM | Rhonda Miller |
Thanks Rhonda my old friend for your lovely comments. You know how to make an old girl feel good.xxx
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 03:55 PM | Anonymous |
The red hat would have freaked me out! Fantastic that you're through the op.Just carry on getting better!
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 06:14 PM | Karen B (UK) |
Such a brave lady! Keep positive and I hope it won't be too long before all the numbness goes and you have a full recovery💕Marilyn
Posted: 27-Aug-2014 06:56 PM | Marilyn Parry |
Hi Lana, wishing you all the best. You're one very strong & brave girl. Hope your recovery is fast & successful. Love to you & your family, take care, Kerri xox
Posted: 28-Aug-2014 07:54 AM | Kerri |

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Hi and Welcome Wise Women

We are so happy that it's Spring now in Australia as we have just experienced an incredibly cold winter. I know many of you living in the northern hemisphere will laugh. But I have never been so bloody cold!

I hope you have all been well and looking after yourselves. You deserve it you know!

About Me

Well so much has happened since I spoke to you last. I have been on a sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland (Australia). We hired a 40 ft catamaran and sailed with a couple of good friends and we were lucky to have strong winds which enabled us to sail most of the time.

We had a couple of mishaps though. My friends are great fisher people and I had volunteered to order the food for the boat. They instructed me not to buy meat products as they promised they they would catch plenty of fish and we would live off that. Well...we fished and we fished and we fished.....you guessed it - no fish! 

We ate a diet of vegetables, cheese and crackers, olives and eggs! On the last day, you guessed it...the fish were practically jumping on board!

The magnificant sunsets made up for that and the enormous whales and their infants which breeched almost beside us.

We had dolphins diving around our boat and we realised that we were in paradise. The weather wasn't that warm and the water was even colder, however, our intrepid male friend decided to go for a snorkle and as he jumped overboard he bounced up almost immediately with a shocked look on his face. He was yelling something with his snorkle still in place so we couldn't understand and when he calmed down, he explained that he had come face to face with a giant mackeral - not a man killing shark as we had thought!

We had lots of fun and laughs and enjoyed our week immensly.

I've also just come out of hospital as I have had an abscess in my gums for so long and ignored it (stupidly) hoping it would go away as I didn't like the though of stitches in my mouth. I left it that long that it destroyed bone and tissue and was now heading to my nose! I have been through dentists, endontists, and then refered to an oral surgeon as it had become so distructive.

After a full examination with the oral surgeon he discovered another abscess on the other side and had to operate on both sides. I had a GA and am now stitched up from one end of my gum to the other! I am swollen, bruised and feeling very unattractive as you can imagine.

I can't go outdoors as I don't want to scare little children and my husband has a paper bag handy in case someone drops in "Ha ha". Here's a picture of me take with a phone camera - however, sadly, I look much worse than this!

I've been told to sleep sitting up - have you every tried that? I begin by sitting up and in the morning I've sunk down to my ususal level. "Eat soft foods" I'm told, well that really limits my diet. I can't bite so eating is not that much fun - and then I see these commercials on TV showing delicious food. Ohh how I love food! 

Lana's Health Hints

Most of us are lacking in vitamin D. In a recent blood test I actually had none! We must have good doses of vitamin D to not only help with strong bones and  with the prevention of osteoporosis. It's benefits can also include decreased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and colorectal cancer.

When I was told this my by docter I was shocked. In Australia the recommended amount is between 5mcg for young adults and 15mcg for older adults. 

Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D though through the action of sunlight they convert their ergosterol to eergocalciferol (vitamin D2). Place your mushrooms in the midday sun for a couple of hours  for greater effect.

Stressed, Anxious or Depressed?

You don't have to suffer anymore! I am involved in a program that really works - in fact it can be life changing. Thrive - Life Education is running a workshop in Kirrawee Sydney on the weekend of 13th and 14th of September. I'm involved in this workshop and I highly recommend it for more details call me on 0404066319 or go to the website http://www.thrivele.com.au/


Gigi recently celebrated her 40th wedding anniversery - what an achievement!

Congratulations to you and your lovely husband. Well deserved!

Wise Words

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

by Oprah Winfrey


Until Next time wise women, take a moment to remember that you are always 100% worthy and never feel any less about yourself.
Lana xx

Lana ! | Wednesday, September 05, 2012 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


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Posted: 25-Nov-2012 07:55 AM | Franchesca |
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Posted: 28-Nov-2012 04:02 PM | Christi |

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Hi Wise Women and Welcome

I hope you have been keeping well and happy.

In Australia at the moment the flu is rampant and many are suffering the very severe affects of this current strain.

I'd like to send healing "Get Well" wishes to all of you that are unwell at the moment!

Talin’s Wish 

Some of you may have heard about the tragic story of 6 year old Talin Hawkins, a little boy in kindergarten who suddenly collapsed in the playground for no apparent reason at the time. His mum Cassandra took him straight to hospital as she was worried because he could not walk but suspected at the time it was a middle ear infection. A MRI confirmed a stage 4, inoperable brain tumour and beautiful little Talin’s life is now tragically drawing to a close.

His mum is a practitioner of mine and she is an extremely wonderful and caring mother of three. It is just so imaginable the pain she and her family are enduring. They are currently in palliative care at Bears Cottage where he and his family are being taken great care of.

The community in the Sutherland Shire rallied and organised an amazing 6th birthday party for Talin at his school in Gymea Bay. He was ecstatic and it was beautiful to see him smiling at this fabulous event.

Gigi and I would like to extend our heartfelt wishes to Talin and his family and we wish them all strength, wisdom and peace during this incredibly sad journey.

Cassandra updates Talin’s face book page daily – maybe you would like to support them too - http://www.facebook.com/TalinsWish or click here

My Week

Thrive - Overcome Stress, Anxiety and Depression

I’m currently very excited about my new involvement in a wonderful program and I am very happy to share the news with you.

For the first time in Sydney we will be presenting a simple yet powerfully life enhancing 2 day workshop, “The Wisdom to Overcome Stress, Anxiety and Depression”.

It’s a wonderful and inspiring program presented by Thrive-Life Education. I highly recommend it for everyone as we all suffer from stress, anxiety and even depression at sometime in our life. This program has benefitted 1000’s of participants over the past 10 years and I am one of them. Don't miss this great opportunity. Go to home page for more details.

Click here for more details

Losing Weight

All that heavy, wintery style food has taken its toll and I am heading off on a sailing trip in the Whitsundays in a few short weeks and I just can’t imagine trying to squeeze back into my summer clothes let alone a swimming cozzie (scary). I love walking but find it so difficult to venture outdoors when the weather is so cold. I know I should do it but I’m such a hibernator in the winter months. To reach my goal, I’m going to try and reduce bread (which I love), sugar and cheese. I was also going to say wine but that’s just taking it too far! Wish me luck girls!

What about Black Caviar?

She won Royal Ascot! What a champion this mare is. One of my friends was there to see it and I’m sure she had a wonderful time with her family dressed in their finest including designer hats for the girls and top hats for the boys! I can’t wait to hear all about it and see the pics.

Here’s cheers to you my friend!

Beauty Corner

We all know water is great for our skin, but if you are not a great fan of water there are many other alternatives to meet your water quota. Milk for example is 84% water and herbal infusions are 99% water. Green tea, also rich in antioxidants makes an ideal drink and when applied direct to skin helps boost collagen production (added bonus). Freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices are about 90% water and the added vitamins are another bonus. Watermelon, cucumber, celery, grapes and pears will all increase your fluid intake (beware of calorie content). Avoid caffeinated drinks because caffeine is a diuretic and promotes urine loss and can dehydrate.

Spray water on your face too to rehydrate and immediately apply moisturiser to prevent evaporation. Spritzing you face with distilled or spring water is useful during flights, hot weather and when subjected to the drying effects of air conditioners and heaters.

Let’s Have a Laugh..

Step Back, I Know First-Aid......  When a car skidded on wet pavement and struck a telephone pole, several bystanders ran over to help the driver. A woman was the first to reach the victim, but a man rushed in and pushed her aside. "Step aside, lady," he barked. "I've taken a course in first-aid!"

The woman watched for a few minutes, then tapped him on the shoulder. "Pardon me," she said. "But when you get to the part about calling a doctor, I'm right here."

Words of Wisdom

There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.

Dalai Lama

Visit Gigi

Gigi has come down with the dreaded Flu; however, she is starting to feel much better. I’m sure her new addition to the family will be helping her recovery…

Find out more



Until Next time Wise Women – “Take care of you”.

Lana xxx


Lana ! | Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


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Hi Wise Women and Welcome

I hope all you mothers celebrated Mother’s Day and were totally spoilt!

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? Please share your story with us

I’d like to apologise for my absence of late but I have been working on various projects and one in particular is being involved in workshops helping people with stress, anxiety and depression which effects the majority of us sometime during our life. This is a fantastic program –and we’ll launch our first one late July so I will keep you posted.

All About Me

I am into my second week of a three week liver and gall bladder cleansing diet. I religiously take two tinctures first thing in the morning and two others last thing at night. Each one of them tastes just as bloody disgusting as the other! Absolutely no alcohol, no coffee and a diet filled with fresh organic food are currently part of my everyday life. Although on the flip side, my skin is looking so much better, my eyes are clear (they haven’t been like that for a while) and I’ve lost a couple of kilos (so far). The tinctures are quite strong and purging on the body, but I know it’s not forever….but… I’m hanging out for a lovely glass of chilled bubbly!

Here is the link to the tinctures I’m taking -http://easternhealingarts.com/EHA_SpecialHealingHerbs.html, however, as with any diet that you embark on – check with your health advisors first.

Get Pampered

bathrooms,bathtubs,bubble baths,household,relaxing,women,people

How often do you allow yourself to be pampered?

Why do many of us go on a guilt trip because we wish to spend time and money on looking and feeling good? I used to think like that until I learned that it’s okay to pamper ourselves, we deserve to feel good about ourselves. If we value ourselves, people around us will see we are worth valuing too.

I recently had my hair done with my wonderful stylist Kylie, as I do more regularly these days as those silver roots mercilessly emerge every 4 weeks.

As you can see (below), I was caught out looking less than glamorous wearing half of my broken magnifying glasses. I opted for the cheap alternative to expensive prescription glasses as I tend to lose them far too often and it was costing me a small fortune to replace! After seeing this picture, I think it's time to reinvest in a good pair of specs as "the look" certainly doesn't do much for me wanting to appear stylish and intelligent!

Party Fun

I seem to be attending a lot of 60th birthday parties lately – it’s the year of turning 60! I recently turned up to a “Ho Down”, (country and western party) dressed up in my best cow girl gear.

We had a fun night pulling out our guns on each other and tipping our hats. The food and music was great and the company even better! I think when we reach a certain age our inhibitions wane, particularly on the dance floor. It’s almost like we have all decided to take onboard the old adage – “dance like no one is watching”….(well that’s what I do and a few glasses of sav blanc helps with the “moves”).

Grandma’s Corner

Last Easter school Holidays my husband and took 2 of our grandchildren for a week’s holiday at Sea World Nara Resort in Surfers Paradise Queensland. We had our nine year old grandson and five year old granddaughter who had never been away from her parents for more than one night so we were slightly concerned about how she would react…

To our delight they both had so much fun. Sea World was our neighbour and we were able to spend a couple of wonderful days there exploring as well as spending fun times in the enormous resort pools.

Tait and Liana had the privileged opportunity to interact with the dolphins…in their words, “totally awesome nanny”.

Liana & Tait right side of trainer

Five year old Liana started big school this year and I had the opportunity to visit the school for the Easter hat parade. The kids loved it!

My other two grandsons Brody and Cruz are growing up fast too and are both as cute as buttons.

Lana’s Beauty Bar

Get rid of under eye bags! Although often hereditary, you can build the blood and lymphatic and blood circulations to counter these bags. If they persist, use a darker shade of matt concealer to help disguise them. To kick start the circulation, simply tap your fingers along your lower eye socket, from the inside corner to the outer eye.

Lana’s Health Clinic

Detox in the bath! An Epson salts bath is an effective an enjoyable way to help detox your body. It’s simple and cost effective and it’s best done in the evening. Empty 1kg of salts into a deep warm bath (not hot) and agitate the water until the salts have solved, relax for about 10 minutes. Use a mitt or loofah to massage your body and loosen dead skin cells. The magnesium salts will draw out toxins through your skin and the massaging action with stimulate both blood and lymph circulation. Massage your face with a flannel. After your bath, towel dry, moisturise and wrap up warmly. The mineral bath may cause you to sweat and feel tired so it’s important to replace lost fluids by drinking plenty of water.

Words of Wisdom

People forget what you say, they forget what you did,
but they never forget how you made them feel.
(Maya Angelou)

A Little Giggle for you

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.
(Phyllis Diller)

Visit Gigi

Time for some inspiration from Gigi

Until Next Time Wise Women – “remember to value yourself always”.

Lana ! | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


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Happy Easter Wise Women

Wherever you are in the world or however you are celebrating Easter, I hope you have a very happy time.

At this time of year many of us take the time off from our busy lives to spend a fews days away with family and many of us take the time to catch up with friends. Many of us go to church and many of us take time out to relax and chill out. It's a great time of the year and a great time to do what makes you happy.

In Sydney at present it has been unseasonably hot and at this time of the year having hot "summer like" weather is fabulous as we have the annual Royal Easter Show which is a huge event that spans nearly two weeks. Children are currently enjoying two weeks off school and are usually badgering their parents or grandparents to take them to the "show".

I'm not taking my grandchildren to the show this year, instead I'm taking 2 of them on vacation to Sea World Resort in Surfers Paradise, I know my husband and I will be kept on our toes trying to keep a 5 and 9 year old entertained. Wish us luck!

Well I hope the Easter Bunny is generous to you this year and brings you lots of Easter Eggs. Enjoy yourself and don't worry about the calories as Easter Eggs don't count!

Have a happy and safe easter and I look forward to my next blog.


PS don't forget to tuck into these too -



Lana x


Lana ! | Saturday, April 07, 2012 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink | back to top


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