Sunday, November 29, 2020

I'm feeling better, less angry.  I think I was extremely angry about my grandson being exposed to COVID by his uncle and that anger just spread.  I know I'm stressed because the arthritis in my left wrist has flared up and I have what I think is tendonitis in my right arm so I'm back on anti-inflammatories long enough to reduce the inflammation but not long enough to upset my stomach, I hope.

We have three days off from the little guy so I slept in this morning which was lovely.  Yesterday I took the dogs to a nearby wildlife area as there was literally no parking available at the off leash dog park.  They had to stay on leash which isn't as nice for them or me but we got fresh air and some exercise.  I'll take them again today but earlier so hopefully there will be some parking spots available.  The weather is lovely right now and there's not a lot to do so everyone is out walking their dogs.

Gracie is busy at work.  She's working at a homeless shelter downtown and they've had an outbreak of COVID so have reduced the number of clients from 350 to 150.  All of the clients are upset and not dealing with things well.  Poor Gracie has to wear full PPE all day at work but she keeps going and I admire her for that.  It's not an easy job and I doubt I could do it.

I'm feeling a little fragile lately so I know I haven't been taking care of myself enough.  I have a good book right now which helps and I'll get outside today which also helps.  This helped too.

When I get overwhelmed I forget to take care of myself and then I cry and then I get angry.  Shades of my father I guess.  I am guessing there will be a lot of young ICU nurses with PTSD  for years to come and I doubt very much that politicians have taken that into consideration, in fact I know they haven't because they care only about votes.

Breathe.  Deep breaths.  

Thursday, November 26, 2020


I continue to flail and struggle with stupid people.  It feels like I am beating my head against a wall and does me no good, so why do I do it?  Because I think I'm right?  Because I know better?  Because I have facts to back up my arguments?  It does no good.  Facts rarely change people's beliefs.  

Or maybe I am grieving, only now understanding how many selfish, unkind people there are in the world.  I thought Alberta was better than how we're acting now.  I know the province is thought to be a bunch of red necks who make a lot of money in the oil field, but that's not what I experienced growing up.  

And now it seems my province has been overrun with right wing assholes who think being altruistic is for pussies, that the government is lying to them, that vaccines will allow Bill Gates and Trudeau to control them (really don't get that one), and that is their fundamental right to not give a shit about anybody but themselves.  

Old people are going to die anyway.  Who cares?  Well, maybe the old people for one.  And their children and their grandchildren.

Sick people will die.  Who cares?  They're already sick, they're a drain on our society already.

Disabled people will die.  Who cares?  They're just a drain on our society.  Why should they have special protections?

Masks cause illness.

Vaccines will change our DNA.

The government can't tell us what to do.

It goes on and on and it's causing me so much pain.  

I love my patients, I truly do.  I care about what happens to them.  I worry about them.  I mourn their deaths.  They have become a part of my extended family.  I would fight for them.  I have been fighting for them and I'm getting attacked for that.  WTF!

I doesn't matter what I say or think.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020


One of the young nurses I work with always puts up the National whatever day it is.  Yesterday was National Absurdity Day which seemed appropriate.

At the end of the work day yesterday, I got a text message from my grandson's other grandma.  Apparently last weekend while the little guy was staying with them, their son came over to visit and spent time with the little guy.  The next day the uncle had COVID symptoms, got tested and yesterday got the news that he is positive.  

So now the little guy is on isolation and we're waiting to take him for a COVID test but couldn't get in until Monday.  He's staying with us because he was with us when we found about the COVID exposure and his mama is working.  

If the little guy is positive, then we both have to self isolate and get tested but we can't go to work anyway this week because the little guy can't go to daycare if he's been exposed.  

I was so angry last night I had a hard time falling asleep.  I took my anger out on some very stupid people on Facebook with their conspiracy theories and hoaxes, etc.  Of course facts don't change someone's beliefs but I felt better speaking my mind instead of letting stupid dogs lie.  A badly mangled  metaphor, I know.

I feel better today and we'll just have to wait and see how things turn out.  I baked nine dozen cookies this morning if that's any indication of how I deal with stress.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A pileated woodpecked at our feeder.  It was also going through the frozen wasp nest in the tree, gorging on frozen goodies/bodies I'm guessing.

The little guy is with us again for the next four nights.  He was a little owly this morning but ate breakfast and then had a bottle of milk while he watched Booba, both of which he loves.  This is my last day off so I'm cleaning and doing some Christmas baking.  The season is coming even if it doesn't really feel like it.  

I haven't been at work for six days and if feels like a lifetime.  I keep hearing the news about hospitals filling up and ICU beds filling up in the city I live in, in the hospital I once worked and I try not to worry.  Some of the people in this province are scary, uneducated assholes who believe in consipiracy theories, judging from what they leave on the Premier's facebook page.  Just wow.

Mostly I wait.  I guess we're all waiting.  

There's a whole lotta stupid floating about, be careful out there:)

Monday, November 16, 2020

The week so far in photos.
We had our grandson on Friday and Saturday.  Even the dogs look slightly taken aback by the mess.  Both the big guy and the little guy had fun at the toy store.

I need more bread so prepped a loaf of sourdough this morning before I started painting.

Painting in progress.


And after.  I found my mum's old butcher block stand and decided to recover that and use it for an ironing table;  it's got the checked fabric on it.

So downstairs is ready for quilting and the little guy comes back tomorrow night.  I'm starting to miss him when he's not here now.

The news here is not good, COVID infections on the rise but our Premier's on it.  He shut down spin classes.

Stay safe my friends.

Friday, November 13, 2020

I took Heidi for a walk at the off leash park on Wednesday.  It was surprisingly cold and I walked fast.  I only went halfway into the woods and then turned around and headed back because the sun was setting.  As we were walking back, another dog decided she wanted to play with Heidi.  This other dog was quite aggressive, hackles up but tail wagging.  Heidi wanted to play but wasn't all that sure about this dog so she hid behind my legs.  The other dog came running straight at me, trying to get at Heidi and I ended up being knocked over, flat on my back.  

Fortunately I fell in the snow and no harm was done but people, keep your dogs in check.  

When we made it back to the car it was just getting dark and as I backed up, my car slid off the gravel road and into the ditch.  I've been driving in Alberta weather all my life but without snow tires, I couldn't get out.  Three separate vehicles stopped to help me, rachet straps were pooled and a truck pulled me out of the ditch.  At one point I started crying, telling the young woman who was keeping me company while her boyfriend helped tow my car, that it was so nice to see that kindness still existed in the world.  

With so much negativity online and on the news, we forget that humans can be kind and will help each other.  

We were supposed to see Katie this weekend but got an email today telling us that all the group homes are in lockdown.  Katie didn't understand last time and I doubt she'll be any happier about it this time.  We didn't get to see her last weekend because we had our grandson and he was sick and I didn't want Katie to get what he had.  I miss her already.

I'm so tired of conspiracy and hoax theories related to covid.  I wanted to punch someone in the throat the other day at work if I had to listen to one more word about how we're overreacting and that it's all bullshit.  But of course, punching people is wrong.  Right?

According to the WHO about 20% of people who get infected will end up needing hospitilization.  I live in a province with a population of 4 million people and we have 8065 acute care beds, or just beds for sick people, not ICU beds.  I've been nursing for thirty-four years and I can tell you that acute care beds are pretty much always full.  So now we're in a pandemic that could potentially make 800,000 people sick enough to require an acute care bed.  How's that gonna work?  

People don't seem to understand that health care is a limited resource and right now we're just trying to slow things down so that not everyone gets sick at the same time.  Until there is a vaccine and people actually get vaccinated, covid will continue on.  We have no immunity to it yet.  

And then people say, well, it's not any worse than the flu.  Bullshit!  Covid has a mortality rate of about 3-4%.  This number will probably get lower as we do more testing but for now, 3-4% is our best guess.  So in a province of 4 million people, that's 120,000.  On average about 28,000 Albertans die each year.  Last year 39 people died from the flu.  So far this year 393 people have died from covid, so not your average flu.

I could go on but I won't.  I'm tired of stupid, tired of mean, tired of ignorant and tired of people arguing about their rights.  We are all in this together.  We all need to do our bit.  We all need to take care of each other and if that means wearing a mask, wear the damn mask, stand back six feet, wash your damn hands, stay home, quit socializing, grow up and set a good example for someone.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

 Woodpecker at our birdfeeder.

The little guy has gone home to his mama;  she's feeling much better thank goodness and her test came back as COVID negative.  We had our grandson for five nights and yesterday after work it was quiet and peaceful and boring and lovely.  We love having him and last night his abscence made me appreciate the monotony of our lives without him too.  

Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of our first date.  It seems like the big guy has been in my life much longer and sometimes I'll even ask him about something that he couldn't possibly have been around for.  Sometimes I call him by my ex husband's name but to be fair, sometimes I call my ex husband by the big guy's name so it all evens out.

Work continues on.  New cancer patients and old cancer patients.  Yesterday I had a patient who told me that he's been coming to our clinic for six years and I've been here the whole time.  Sadly, I didn't remember him but we have so many patients.  We scan over three thousand patients a year, plus biopsy patients, plus central line patients.  Some people I remember and some I don't.

Winter is here which means I have to force myself to spend time outside.  Once I'm outside I'm usually good but it's so easy to hiberate.  Add to that, how short the days are and it's very easy to come home from work and put my pyjamas on.  

Today is Rememberance day, a day I hated as a child.  I grew up in a small town and Rememberance day meant visiting the Cenotaph for a service, usually in freezing cold weather, and then the rest of the day spent at home while my dad went to the Legion to drink and hang out with his buddies.

My father has been dead for twenty years now and it's taken me that long to start to understand him and to forgive him.  I was thirty-seven when he died, taking care of kids and dealing with Katie and my ex husband.  My dad's anger always scared me but it understand where it came from now and I wish I could talk to him one more time, to tell him that I love him and that I forgive him.  He did his best, it wasn't great, but it was his best.  

I found an old letter from my mum the other day and in it she said that dad always bragged about his kids to people.  He was from a different time and he never praised us.  When he died, mum told me that I was dad's favorite and that floored me because that's not what it felt like to me.  

So today, I send a hug to my father, wherever he may be.  I pray that he found the peace that he never found in life.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

It snowed here for twenty-four hours and it appears winter has arrived.  We've had our grandson since Thursday evening because Gracie was working.  We didn't hear from her all day Friday because her phone was stolen at the homeless shelter she works at.  I don't know how that could be a surprise and I can't imagine setting down an expensive phone in a homeless shelter, but she did.

No word from her until yesterday afternoon.  She was sick, coughing and having diffulty breathing.  She has asthma and gets respiratory infections frequently.  I told her to go to emergency, she needed to be seen by a doc and needed a COVID test, so she did which surprised me and now we haven't heard anything from her again.

The little guy is sick too with gobs of green snot running from his nose and he is generally grumpy and we've been trapped inside because of all the snow, so we're both tired.  The little guy was up three times last night which means I'm tired today.  I don't know how I did this when I was young.  

So we're all tired but yesterday was wonderful, watching the dancing in the streets in the US, happy people everywhere which is such a welcome change from all the anger and fear of the last four years.  Even the anchors on CNN were smiling.  Of course the orange turd can still wreak havoc but there is a light at the end of the tunnel now.

And here is a photo of our back deck and the main reason we don't barbeque all winter:)

Snow isn't the worst thing but it does make life harder.  I drove to the grocery store yesterday to pick up a few things and none of the lanes were visible.  We also need winter tires for our new car so it's slippery too.  

I'm thankful this week is a short week at work and maybe I'll even get a chance to do some more painting downstairs.

COVID is spreading like wildfire in Alberta and our government hasn't done anything other than tell people to stop partying.  The big guy and I stay safe at home and at work but I know other people don't.  Our hospitals are starting to reach max capactiy so things will get worse.  We can't stop the spread, we just need to flatten the curve so that not everybody gets sick at the same time and our health care system has the time and resources to care for those who need it.  

And now for something funny because we all need funny.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

 My brown eyed girl.

It's been a stressful week, an understatement obviously.  I have sores in my mouth, something I haven't had since high school and final exams.  I'm off today and I'm going to paint and get a massage and walk the dogs.  I already prepped a loaf of sourdough and it's in the fridge, waiting for the yeast to do it's magic.

It looks like Biden will win the election and I'm thankful for that.  A huge sigh of relief.

Two days ago at work we brought a patient down for a central line insertion at 07:30.  Everything was difficult, except the line insertion.  Irritated techs who didn't want to do a line so early, a PICC that had to be removed because the unit didn't already remove it and just general resistance which frustrated me so much I ended up crying.  We are supposed to be there for the patient but it didn't feel like it on Tuesday morning.

Things settled down.  The patient was higher than a kite and so sweet and lovely.  As a side note, the patient is lovely and sweet when she's not on pain meds too.  It was probably the best line insertion I've ever been a part of me.  The patient, the tech, the doctor and I were all laughing and telling jokes.  At one point the patient and the doc were singing "Skinnamarink" together.  It did my heart good and I thanked the patient and the doc.

And then yesterday a coworker came in for a scan;  she's been off for awhile and she has stage four lung cancer.  It was so nice to see her but I wanted to cry.  

And so it goes.  Good and bad.  Ugly and beautiful. Kind and cruel.  

Each day feels like a huge hurdle to get through.  I know this too shall pass but it's hard.  Our grandson comes tonight to stay with us for a few days which is both wonderful and tiring.  I'm getting him onto a schedule and that helps.  He is a source of constant joy.  He's learning to talk and it is like watching a miracle unfold.  He is a gift that I am deeply thankful for.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A beautiful, warm, sunny day, perfect for a dog walk.  It's supposed to be warm all week which is unusual for November.  Heidi's thinking less photos, more walking.  The house is peaceful tonight, the little guy is with his other set of grandparents tonight.  

Katie got her new wheelchair last week and it's beautiful and orange, her favorite colour.  She kept trying to talk to the poor lady in the photo who was very kind and patient with Katie.

The monotony continues.  There are no Christmas plans and no holiday plans for next year.  I miss that, didn't realize it was something I looked forward to so much until it was taken away from me.