Monday, August 2, 2021


We had Jack for four nights last week.  After his mama picked him up yesterday, I missed him.  The house feels empty.  It's nice to have the house to ourselves again but I miss him too.  He's funny.  If I squeeze his nose and say beep, beep, he will say honk, honk.  If squeeze his nose and say honk, honk, he will say beep, beep.  On Friday night he played on the front lawn where I had set up the sprinkler to water my flowers.  He wanted to be naked but I explained the diaper had to stay on in the front yard.  And then an amulance drove by which made his night.  Yesterday he was tired and ended up riding in Katie's wheelchair for a bit which amused both of them.  Katie is starting to get used to him coming with us on our outings.  She prefers to be the center of attention but she's coping.

We drove down to Westaskiwin today after my mother in law called.  Apparently yesterday my father in law had a bad fall.  He knocked himself unconscious, ended up in emergency, and needed stitches and bandages.  He's on a blood thinner for atrial fib so I imagine there was a lot of blood involved.  Then last night he took another funny turn while sitting on the edge of his bed so the paramedics were called again but he declined to go to the hospital.

He looked beat up when we arrived but not as bad as I thought he would be.  He was chatty and making jokes.  He's eighty-seven and I imagine he is coming close to the end of his life.  The last year of life, no matter your age, seems to follow the same path, a downward spiral that becomes more and more impossible to recover from.  He's diabetic.  He's falling.  He's got atrial fib and left branch bundle block.  He's on blood thinners which is just a whole other thing that is bad and often necessary for elderly people.  He's got prostrate problems and incontinence now.

I like my father in law.  He says what he thinks.  I don't always agree with him but he's not stupid and he's pretty easy going.  He also has a very good sense of humor.

My mother in law was having a hard time today.  She's bossy at the best of times and last night she thought her husband of sixty-one years had died, twice, in one day.  She wants to control everything (why does that sound so familiar?) but she can't.  It's hard watching someone you love, someone you've spent pretty much your entire life with, decline.  


Wednesday, July 28, 2021



I grew some sunflowers from seed this year, dwarf sunflowers, and they're just starting to bloom.  They make me smile.  I also bought some prairie coneflowers which I have never seen before.  We'll see if they survive the winter.


The pole beans are amazing.  They have climbed the trellis and I've had to top them off as they wanted to climb higher.  They've only started to flower now.  I'm not sure how long they take to produce the beans, hopefully, less than a month.



The tomatoes have been enjoying the heat and I've had to top them too because they've gotten ridiculous.  


It's been busy at work.  When isn't it?  Two days ago I had a young man with a rare form of cancer.  He's only twenty-seven but looks much older.  I thought his mother was his wife.  He's dying but I don't know if he knows or understands that yet.  His belly is distended with something called ascites, a buildup of fluid in his belly.  This happens with end stage cancer and liver disease, but in his case, it's the cancer.  Once we see ascites, patient don't live a long time.

He had a drain put into his abdomen a week ago, to drain the fluid because it continues to build up, making it hard to breathe, and the drain was causing him pain.  I changed the dressing, had him assessed by the doc who put the drain in and we talked, the patient and I.  He wants to have children he said.  He still thinks that's a possibility and it broke my heart. I didn't tell him he's dying.  Didn't tell him that he's only going to get worse.  He's twenty-seven.  He still believes there is a future for him.  He still has hope and I couldn't destroy that.  

Yesterday we had a woman, a year older than me, slated for a port insertion.  On the requisition it said that the patient was autistic and nonverbal.  I talked to the doc and he said he wouldn't do it.  He said it would traumatize the patient and the nurses and himself.  This poor lady had a biopsy in our department a month ago and had to be held down, even after giving her ativan.  She sat up and contaminated the sterile field during the biopsy.

I talked to the patient and her caregiver.  I told her what was involved.  She would get a minimum of eight needles into her neck and chest.  There would be a metal tunneler going under her skin and there would be a lot of pressure on her neck and chest.  The patient would have a drape over face and would have to keep her neck turned the whole time and not move while we did this.  I told her all the facts that I usually gloss over.  The caregiver agreed that it wouldn't work.  

The caregiver seemed to think the patient didn't know what was going on because she can't talk.  The patient sat up during the biopsy;  she was clearly communicating that this was not what she wanted.  Katie can't talk and doesn't miss a thing.  Behavior is a form of communication.  I told the patient that we would not be doing anything to her today, no needles and she relaxed.  As they were leaving I also noticed that the patient had a huge burn scar on her right neck and chest, another reason we couldn't have put the port in.  It will have to go into the left side of her chest which is more difficult and more painful.  

I called the oncologist, who seemed slightly irritated that we wouldn't put the port in and then told him he would have to arrange for it to be done at another hospital, which also irritated him.  What I didn't say is that if it was my disabled daughter, I would not do any of this.  The patient is sixty years old.  I'm sure she has had a lot of trauma in her life, even if she can't express it.  Chemotherapy would only add to that trauma.  It's inappropriate in my opinion.  We all have to die but we don't have to traumatize this poor lady again before she dies.

I'm off today.  A day to weed the garden, work on some sewing, clean the floors and walk the dogs later.  I'm trying to not push myself so hard to get things done, to take some time for myself, to relax.  I'm not stressing over my children, they have their lives that they will have to sort out and I need to let go of what I think they should be doing.  I have my own life to deal with.  Of course I want them to be happy but I also don't have control over that.  

I read an article the other day, and heard a radio program the same day, about magic mushroom reasearch.  Apparently there is research going on to treat depression and PTSD with micro doses of magic mushrooms.  The article is here.

It would be nice to be rid of the black dog for good.


 

Thursday, July 22, 2021


I went for a walk with the dogs after supper yesterday and the light was so different and beautiful.  I walk the same paths most days and every day there is something different in the light or in the growth.  It's never the same path twice.

My son messaged me on instagram this morning, the only app I don't know how to block;  the baby was born yesterday.  A little boy that my son named after himself.  It's also the same name that the police use for my son as I always called my son by his second name.  So a new baby has come into the world, already saddled by his name.

I'm not getting involved.  I hope that my son turns his life around.  I've quit praying because I realized I only prayed for what I wanted to happen and I needed to let go of that, but I always hope for my son.  I hope he can love his son.  I hope that he will be there for him.  I hope that he will support him.  I hope that he never lays a hand on him.  I hope that he doesn't lie to his son.  I hope he stops drinking and using.  I hope he pays attention to and listens to his son.  

I know it's a lot to hope for.  Go big or go home, right?

The sun came out yesterday, for the first time in almost a week.  The smoke haze has been hanging over the city, obscuring the sun, forcing most of the insects to lay low.  I didn't know bees use the sun to navigate but they do.  Apparently, most insects use the sun to navigate.  Another effect of climate change I was unaware of.




Tuesday, July 20, 2021


I came across this word the other day on someone's blog and had no idea what it meant, so I looked it up.  I don't know why I always find it amazing to realize that other people on this planet have dealt with the very same problems that I have dealt with.  Giving up expectations is a human problem and is not new, and here I thought I was unique.  

I'm painting the basement bedroom because there's nothing else to do.  It's still smoky outside.  Jack is with his mama.  The big guy is at work and I'm puttering.  


As you can see, the bedroom definitely needed a paint job.  


The tansy is blooming which always makes me smile.  I know it's a weed, but it's so pretty and I love yellow flowers.

I'm also doing some work on patient teaching power point presentations for central line insertions.  This is what we do at work.



And this is why we don't allow cats in our interventional suite.



Monday, July 19, 2021


The scene of the crime.  We went to the Lego store again yesterday.  Money exchanged hands.  There are now more pieces of dangerous plastic on the floor, waiting for an unsuspecting foot.  Jack loves ambulances, firetrucks, police cars and all heavy equipment such as excavators and dump trucks.  Poppa thought there should be a fire station, for Jack of course.  A good time was had by both of them.

The temperature has cooled down considerably here.  Today it's only supposed to get up to 16C, or 60F.  It's been smoky here since last Thursday because of all the wildfires burning.  I don't have any lung issues but for people who do, it's tough.  I'm off for another week, burning holidays.  Fortunately that doesn't cause any smoke.  I'm hoping to paint the downstairs bedroom this week but we'll see.  If it doesn't get done, I'll live.  

I finalized our holiday plans, booking the rest of the hotels for our trip and the ferry.  I made the big guy check the ferry trips because I may have booked the wrongs days last time we went on the ferry.  We're going to spend five nights in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.  We'll also get to visit my sister and my brother which will be nice, as well as visit a lovely lady I met through blogging;  she lives in Nanaimo.

I suspended my ancestry account, as only two weeks were free, but I did manage to make it back to the early 1700s.  You don't realize how large your ancestor pool is until you start going backwards.  My family comes from England and Scotland for the most part, not wealthy people, coal miners, carpenters, servants and men who served in the military and militia.  So my family isn't just the people I knew, or the people my mum knew, it's thousands of people spread over centuries.  I came across one illegitimate birth so far, three if you add in my son and my grandson.  I'm thankful it's no longer such a stigma, although I wonder if it was such a big deal as we assume.  Men and women have been having sex without birth control since the beginning of time, whether they're married or not.  I imagine babies were folded into families, much like they are today.  

A great aunt of mine who lived in California.  It did surprise me how much my family moved around prior to the 20th century.  



I'm off to walk the dogs, before I talk myself out of it.








Thursday, July 15, 2021






I took the dogs for a walk early this morning, before it gets too hot.  It's hazy and smoke has started to blow into the city, obscuring everything.  

I'm so tired and cranky.  Last night I had awful dreams about misplacing small children.  I went to a retirement party, less than ten of us, and it was so hot outside on the patio that I ended up feeling faint and had to lay down on the patio.  Of course this was quite hilarious to some of my co-workers and videos and photos were taken while I lay there.  I sat in the air conditioned house for about fifteen minutes, drank ice water and felt revived enough to drive home.

I just realized that I'm not so much tired as depressed, again.  My feet have been hurting so I've been taking ibuprofen which gives me heartburn, so I take pepcid.  I can take pepcid for a day or two but after that it drags me down.  I was feeling okay until I wasn't and now it has to work it's way out of my system and let my gut back to normal and then I'll be back to normalish, or as close to normal as I come.  

We were shortstaffed on Tuesday and I promptly burst into tears.  I got it together and made it through the day okay but I hate crying at work, even though my co-workers are used to it.  Our shit for brains politicians have decided that nurses should take a 3% pay cut.  The pandemic isn't even over, nurses are worn out and are working short staffed because nurses are not being replaced as they leave;  why not kick them while they're down?  Meanwhile, in the past ten years, these very same politicians wages have more than doubled.  I feel disrespected.

I know I'll feel better soon but I do hate feeling down and weepy.  I need to let go of my expectations and just accept it, sometimes I get depressed and some medications make me feel more depressed.  It's frustrating though.  I work so hard at dealing with my depression and it still bites me on the ass.  

Sunday, July 11, 2021


Not much going on around here.  It's still hot, not like Death Valley hot, but hot.  When I was a young woman, I loved the heat.  My friends and I put on our bikinis and went to the lake to lounge around and people watch, sometimes we even went in the water.  I love to swim.  




I took the dogs out last night to the dog park.  We had a few drops of rain and then the heat came back but they needed a walk.  So did I.  We walked through the woods you can see in the distance.  It's always cooler in the woods and the birds were singing away.  Heidi even managed to scare up a squirrel which was exciting, less so for the squirrel I'm thinking.  No animals were harmed.

Jack has gone to the lake this weekend with his other grandparents.  Usually they only want to drink and socialize on the weekend but Gracie guilted her mother into taking Jack.  Gracie is trying.  She has good weeks and bad weeks but the good weeks are increasing which is good to see.  She still gets weird some days but we're getting used to that.  It's part of who she is.  We've only known her for three years so we're still learning her.  Her drinking has gone way down which is a huge plus.  Jack loves her, although I think he prefers the consistency in our house.  He's a tidy little guy, probably because of the chaos in his home.  When he comes in to our house, he takes his shoes and coat off and put them on the deacon's bench by the door.  I've never asked him to do that, he just does.  The other morning he patted the couch beside himself and said, "Poppa, come sit."  So poppa did.

Our medical director at work, the one we made a huge complaint about, has done a 180.  He's kind and thoughtful with the patients.  He jokes.  He's not an asshole to anyone anymore.  I can only imagine what kind of threats were made for him to change so dramatically but I am thankful.  It makes work so much more enjoyable.  No more dread when it comes to working with him, atlhough it will take a least of year of this kind of behavior before I trust him.  Short term change is easy.  Long term change is much harder.

We're finishing up our plans to visit the coast in August.  On the way home we're going to stop and see my brother and his family, and while we're on the Island, we'll visit my sister and her husband.  I'm looking forward to seeing the ocean again.  I wouldn't want to live there full time but I do love the ocean.  

We're going to pick up Katie soon and take her out.  She's allowed to travel on the buses again so she'll start getting out again.  She's been a trooper during this pandemic but her behavior is starting to escalate again.  She wants to go out.  She misses the world.  Her group home has a plan in place to get her out regularly again which she'll enjoy.

I read this article yesterday and was disgusted, dismayed and revolted, mostly just fucking angry.  What fucking centruy is this?

How to treat disabled people like shit.  That's not the name of the article but it might as well be.  I've learned with Katie, who is nonverbal, that behavior is a form of communication.  These people, these human beings, are self harming for a reason and shocking them is not the answer.   All of the people involved in this school need a throat punch.