Our time is Brisbane started in Caboolture, the northern most suburb of the greater Brisbane area. Juz’s former colleague Anne and her husband Chris moved here from Darwin and it was an absolute treat to catch up and stay with them for a few nights.
We then ducked out to Ipswich and Toowoomba before returning to Brisbane for a few nights, smashing out our $100 Day and reacquainting ourselves with the big city life with big city peak hour traffic (yikes!).
We were glad to have a few friends in Brisbane to meet up with. One of Dave’s old workmates and his wife had moved there from Darwin so it was great to catch up with Richard and Monika for some pub trivia. Our mates Parksy and Craig took a flight up to Brisbane and we had coffee and bagels together before they embarked on their road trip up the coast for the Labour Day long weekend. We even went out to Ipswich again to meet up with another of Dave’s former colleagues, Lucy, who had joined the Army and was stationed at Amberley.
Brisbane took some time to get used to. Apart from being a lot busier and more populated that what we had experienced previously, it was hilly everywhere. While it’s not the easiest to get around in city traffic in a big heavy Troopy like ours, we soon started to enjoy the views at every hill crest. There was a massive New York influence on the food and the bars, and while we were willing to try a bagel, there was no way we were going to try those wrinkly, cold Manhattan pizzas that were sold by the slice. One way streets are common around town and to avoid our heads cracking open and our brains falling out, we used the navigation lady on our phones to get around and avoid getting lost.
Around this time, Dave had noticed that his right foot had become unresponsive – the muscle that flexes the foot was not contracting. He’d had a similar condition in his right hand around five years ago and suspected that it might be the same thing, which would mean spending some time in hospital for treatment. The condition is painless so if it was in his hand then it wouldn’t be so bad, but because it was in his foot, he was regularly stubbing his toes and almost tripping over, which could’ve been dangerous and frustrating when we were walking. He needed to get this sorted out before we continued south along the coast.
Lucky for us, our timing was perfect – Dave’s friend Jackie had just moved to Brisbane with her partner Tim. With a place to stay for a few nights, Dave made an appointment with the doctor. Because the condition is so rare, there was a lot of head scratching and referrals, and by 9pm that night, Dave was admitted to the Royal Brisbane hospital and was expected to be stuck there for a week for treatment. Every day, Dave would receive his intravenous treatment while being poked and prodded by medical students and nurses. Juz would visit too and bring homemade pizza, books, crosswords and stories of the outside world. She even loaded episodes of Futurama onto Dave’s phone to help keep him entertained.
After the fifth day of treatment, there was an inkling of movement in his foot, but the real recovery happened once he was discharged. Within a week of leaving the hospital, his foot was flexing and his range of motion was back to around 90% – a massive improvement from dead foot! We stayed with Jackie and Tim for another week before wrapping up our time in Brisbane.