Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My knee surgery experience in a private hospital

This post is supported by APHA

I have always been active, I’m obsessed with Dance, love most sports and would jump into any team to get out of doing ‘homework time’ at boarding school while I was growing up. I was 18 years old when I had my first knee pain. I’d moved home for uni holidays and had been doing a lot of aerobics and my knee suffered a lateral meniscus tear. I saw quite a few different health practitioners about it and I was led in every which way. What started as pain in my knee, led to pain in my ankles and hips from allowing my body to over compensate for the original injury that I thought would never be fixed. Until months of things getting worse, finally an amazing physio suggested it was the meniscus…Thank goodness for him because I was so over the whole thing and I thought my active lifestyle would be over forever by such a trivial injury. Once we got the scans, we were referred to a knee specialist.

Growing up around the snow and having quite a few skier friends who had suffered the worst of knee injuries, my mum and I researched, taking some amazing recommendations of who the best person to see for my knee would be. This is the bonus of having private health insurance, we get to choose which doctor we want to see and know he or she is the best for us or our condition.
Within the week, we road tripped up to Sydney to see this Doctor that was perfect. The appointment was great, my knee was moved around a little and he confirmed that is was the meniscus and it would be best to operate for me to have the best movement going into the future and my life would be pretty much back to it’s old, active, young self.
The Doctor put my mind at ease, but the punch line of the whole appointment was; “Ok, so would you like to come in on Thursday?”
HUHHHHH???? Thursday? Like Thursday in 2 days? It was Tuesday! That blew my mind. I knew friends that had waited on lists for years for their knee surgeries through the public system. YEARS! And I could get mine done with only 2 days waiting period??? All because of private health insurance! I couldn’t fathom how incredible this was and how grateful I was to have been in private health insurance.

My mum had always made it a priority in our family. And I can tell you we didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but Mum had priorities for us kids and private health insurance was one of them. Growing up in the country, we have access to doctors and a public hospital but it’s considered rural so if anything goes wrong, we need to be taken straight to the bigger hospitals for the better resources. I don’t know whether, because of that, a lot of people in the area believe that they don’t need private health insurance, simply because we don’t have a private hospital down here. It confuses me as it makes me believe that it’s all the more reason we need to make it a priority so we can have the choice and not be limited to the long waiting periods that some may think they have to endure. We all have choices and it’s ok to travel.

So Thursday morning came, I fasted, and Mum and I headed over the bridge to check in to my hotel room … hmm hmm I mean hospital room. The whole experience was amazing; from entry, the waiting room was just beautiful, the staff were so welcoming and lovely and I felt so at ease going into my first every surgery as it can be a really scary thing. I just didn’t feel like I was walking into a big, overworked hospital, but instead walking into somewhere that I felt like I was someone and they cared.
I remember waking up from surgery with happy smiles by the incredible nurses and being looked after really well. The whole experience was really great and even though I definitely don’t recommend injuring your knees, I do recommend using private health insurance and the benefit of private hospitals.

For more information on private hospitals, visit 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE : Last minute gifts !

Nothing like last minute gifts to make your loved ones feel super special right? Here are some of our favourites. Happy shopping!

Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR is the world’s slimmest wrist-based, continuous heart rate tracking device combining the benefits of PurePulse® heart rate technology, automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, battery life of up to seven days and smart notifications in a slim, versatile design that is easily customised to fit your style.  (RRP: $249.95 BUT IN SALE RIGHT NOW for 40% OFF!)

Aussie home-grown headphone brand Audiofly has released its new wireless Bluetooth headphone range. Perfect for everyday Australians who are always on-the-go and are after a pair of durable earphones to fuel their run or workout, the offerings from Audiofly are sweat resistant, lightweight and durable. Sitting comfortably in your ears, while remaining stylish and out of the way, the headphones recreate your favourite tracks in clarity so you can run, walk or lift weights alongside your favourite artists and more!
AF33W – RRP $59.99

Woodfolk Tote Bags | RRP $85 each from 
Made in collaboration with a women’s co-op in Kathmandu, these 100% cotton, hand-loomed bags are roomy, light-weight, and comfortable to wear. Available in a range of gorgeous colours including Strawberry & Stone, Demin & Charcoal and Blue & Stone, these handy tote bags are perfect to carry your active wear, beach belongings or shopping items for when you’re out and about. This is a must-have gift for the fashion forward and ethically inclined!

Belkin Fitness Armband for iPhone 7 + 7 Plus | RRP $59.95 |
Go the extra mile this Christmas with the slim and stylish Belkin Fitness Armband. The perfect stocking filler for any fitness buff, the Fitness Armband features a slim and breathable strap, highly reflective safety strips and a built-in case. Quick and easy access to your iPhone makes this ideal for snapping a scenic photo or changing your playlist on the go. Sweat-resistant and easily hand washable, this armband was built for everyday use and any type of workout! 

Milky Foot, a luxurious at-home pedicure treatment, which removes hardened skin through its intense peeling action after just one application.
Their range is formulated with milk ferment filtrate and mandelic acid (derived from almond milk), and it’s ideal for people wanting to avoid the time (or money) for salon pedicures, or seeking to prolong the benefits of pedicures.

CameLife Skincare - a new premium skincare range in Australia, using the world's oldest Superfood, Camel Milk, to nourish and revitalise your skin. 
The CameLife Skincare range introduces a gentle cleansing bar, nourishing body mousse, as well as restorative eye, face and night creams. The range is blended with natural ingredients including Avocado, Argan and sweet Almond oils ensuring essential vitamins and proteins are efficiently absorbed into theskin for amazing results. 

Chandon S is a sparkling wine which has a refreshingly unexpected twist on the classic champagne cocktail. Created following the traditional French methode traditionnelle champagne making process, Chandon S adds a unique twist and has been created using seven natural, high quality, local ingredients including blood orange and navel orange peel, gentian root, fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and green cardamom. The distinctive hand-crafted orange bitters in Chandon S were developed and made by the winemakers at the Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley. To develop this, Chandon Australia winemakers experimented with a range of herbs, spices, citrus rinds and berries before settling on orange as the primary flavour as it was the most refreshing! The process took many hours of trials and more than 300 kilograms of hand peeled oranges!!
Available at Dan Murphy’s, BWS. You can also enjoy Chandon S at a range of great venues around the country, find a location near you
RRP: $29 per bottle

Monday, 11 December 2017

Why I’ve decided to have my baby in a private hospital

Our Beautiful Sunny at 8 days old.

This post is supported by Australian Private Hospital Association

Having three beautiful children and now being pregnant with my fourth, it’s safe to say I’ve had a mixture of birth experiences. From the public hospital experience to the private hospital experience, from C-section to induction, to natural birth, I’ve been lucky enough to experience them all and this means I know what I love and don’t love at all.

When I became pregnant with my third baby, Miss Mabel, we were pretty tight for cash. My husband was about to leave his job of 15 years and we were about to take on a huge move to the country side. After having an incredible private hospital experience having our boy Sunny a couple of years before;  I loved having a private room as it allowed more time to rest and gave more private space for all our visitors and the food was much better. Along with that, it was such a high quality of care, the midwives and nurses were all on the same page with their advice and knowledge and were so supportive with my personal needs. I felt truly cared for and not just another number on the list.

I remember telling myself that it was ok to go public to have this baby to save the money and that I’d had my private experience and it was just selfish of me to do the private thing as it was only so I could have my private room afterwards. But then I went to my GP who I loved, and I was weighing up my options. She looked at me straight in the eyes and said; “Cass, this is your third child, you’re going for VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean), you have to do this properly, you’re going private!”.

It all made sense then, I had to look out for the best interests of my whole family, not just myself and this meant I had to bring a healthy baby home and a healthy Mum. That was it, there was no question, I was to go back to my reliable obstetrician that I trusted so dearly and have my baby through the private system. Doing that wasn’t just because I wanted my own private room, post birth, even though that was nice, but it was for the care I knew I would receive through pregnancy, birth and beyond. When you have a baby in a private hospital, you choose your doctor. This was so important to me - I wanted to feel supported and guided in the best way possible to have the most successful VBAC experience.

VBACs aren’t easy and they need to be carefully monitored and not all doctors are supportive as VBACs can be dangerous. If for any reason it was not going to end up the way I wanted it to and I needed another C-section, I wanted to know the doctor that would be performing the surgery. The thought of anyone cutting into me and not knowing their background totally freaked me out. It’s major surgery! This meant I needed a doctor that knew my history and my needs and could support me with what I wanted to do as it’s my body after all.

The obstetrician involved in Sunny’s birth performed the original C-section so she knew what my body could go through and could support me in this. I wanted every chance for a VBAC but I also needed to know we were in safe hands for a healthy outcome, whatever that would end up being.

This meant we needed to keep our private health insurance obstetrics cover and make it a priority. The reality is that health insurance is an expense, having a baby is an expense, especially with a tribe of children in tow, but in our family life there are expenses we can’t live without and this is one of them. Health is so important, and we just didn’t want to risk anything now or in the future for ourselves or our children. For us, private hospital cover is a necessity!

Now that this is baby number 4, there is absolutely no question, we will be heading back to the 'big smoke’ to birth our next little bundle. It’s not easy to organise but it’s every bit worth it for our peace of mind and the incredible care that we receive!

Where did you have your babies? We’d love to hear your experiences.
For more information on private hospitals, visit 
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