Sunday, August 28, 2022

Yambury beach.

We made it home last night, unpacked, put stuff away and then went to bed.  I had forgotten to take my anti-depressant yesterday because we left Coquitlam so early, 5:30am.  I just remembered after we got got home at 10pm and then thought, I'll just wait until the morning to take it.

What I didn't know at the time, but know now, is that withdrawal symptoms from effexfor can occur in as little as 12 hours.  I couldn't sleep, closed my eyes and had extremely vivid waking dreams, so much so that I couldn't fall asleep.  I finally gave in and took a benadryl and fell asleep around 3am.  When I did sleep my dreams were so vivid and long.  The dreams included somebody famous, can't remember who, my girlfriend in Australia and her husband, murder, Holland, firewords and cleaning kitchens.  I woke up dizzy and nauseated.  

I took my pill this morning and won't miss another one.  

We went and got Jack this morning and spent the day with him which was lovely.  I missed him so much.  He wanted to know where we had been.  I told him we had a holiday.  "What a holiday?"  "Where you go on holiday?"

We had a lovely visit with my brother and sister in law, my sister and brother in law, and my daughter and her partner.  We didn't do anything exciting; I didn't take many photos and it was a lovely holiday, one of our best.  I was impressed with Parksville and want to go back, with Jack this time.  He would love the endless beaches.  

When we were in Vancouver we took Heidi and my daughter's dog to Kitsilano beach.  The dogs ran, swam and generally had a great time.  We had lunch at a food truck, fish and chips, and then bought fresh donuts at Lee's Donuts on Granville Island.  On the way home we stopped and gave both dogs a bath.  It was one of the best days I've spent with my daughter.

There's was lots more but it's bedtime soon.  And I need to catch up on blogs.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

I'm reading another book by Sarah Winman.  This one is called "Tinman"; it broke my heart and gave me hope.  Here's a bit of it.

"...I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be.  And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all.  Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth."

It's about two friends but it's also about the AIDS epidemic in the late eighties.  I took care of AIDS patients back then, so many young men and they all died.  It was heart breaking and of course I cried when I read the book.  I was reminded of the discrimination and the fear that these young men faced, even from some of the nurses who cared for them.

The book is about love and family and loss.  

We're leaving for a holiday on Saturday, driving out to Vancouver Island to visit my sister, my brother in law and on the way back, stopping in Vancouver to visit my daughter.  It will be lovely to walk beside the ocean again and to see family.  My sister is seventy-five now.  She had a brain injury when she was twelve and some of the effects of that accident are being amplified by aging.  She walks with a limp now and never did before.  Her lack of filters and boundaries is also amplified but I wonder how much of that is from the injury and how much of that is from our family.  I have a hard time with filters and boundaries as well.

My mother in law turned eighty-one on Sunday.  When my husband visited his father on Saturday, one of his sisters told him they were having a party for her but did not invite us.  My husband is hurt and angry.  And so it goes.  I hurt and so I hurt (this comes from a Matt Haig book, "The Humans", another excellent book).  Seems like the whole world lives by this motto.

I'm off today.  I'm making it through my shifts which is good.  My foot hurts but I can manage.  I talked to a nurse educator about setting up a grief support group in our hospital for nurses and she thought it was a good idea.  It would be nice if we could make it happen.  

My sunflowers have grown ridiculously tall and I love them, so do the bees.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

 I was in a thrift store last week and came across a quilt that had been made by cutting up someone's old quilt and then sewing together a new quilt.  This is one of the blocks, but there were also six blocks that were embroidered and obviously from a child's quilt.  Somebody tried but did an awful job.  Then somebody else had tried patching the torn bits of quilt.  It was a mess.  

So for fifteen bucks I bought an old quilt that contained handmade pieces, because I didn't want to see all that work just disappear.  Somebody make it with love.  I took it home and started pulling it apart and the more I pulled it apart, the more I realized how much of a mess it was.

Some pieces were beyond repair, so I had to replace them.

It's kept me busy this week, this pulling apart, this unravelling.  I've enjoyed it.  Teasing apart the old stitches and then trying to put it back together.  I found some nice old fashioned fabric to outline the embroidered pieces.  These pieces remind me of my mum.  In the early seventies she spent almost a year in a cast and couldn't do much, so she embroidered, everything.  

I wish I had taken a photo of the quilt before I took it apart but it was in bad shape and the restoration makes me feel good.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it when it's done but it doesn't matter right now.  At some time in the future, there will be a baby who needs a quilt.

It's slow work and lets me sit lots.  My foot is killing me now that I'm back to full days.  I can't get into see the podiatrist until September, so I'm using my cane at work, because that inspires confidence in your nurse:)

I'm off tomorrow so I'll have time to work on the new/old quilt.  

Thursday, August 4, 2022

It's been raining all morning, pissing down raining.  We need the rain and the plants are happy but it's also gray and cool outside.  I don't feel like being outside in weather like that.  

I'm back on the floor and dealing with my patients again.  A woman yesterday, seventy-two, who had her central line removed six weeks after having it put in.  She said the chemo was too awful and she didn't want to feel like that in the short time she had left.  I told her, I think I would feel the same way.

Another woman, terrified of having a central line put in.  When it was done, she was shocked at how well it went.  She felt a bit of pain with the freezing needles but otherwise it was fine.  She left happy and pleasantly surprised.  I imagine she slept well last night.

Many new patients and some old patients.  A patient in yesterday for a lung biopsy, both he and his brother have bowel cancer and I remember when he first started treatment.  His cancer has spread to his lungs.

So many patients that I used to see when I first started in cancer care eleven years ago, no longer come for scans.  A part of me likes to think they are okay, at home, enjoying life but another part of me knows the truth, they are dead.

There is a lot of grief in our building, in the world really.  The grief of one person is just a microcosm of the world's grief.  There is so much suffering in the world, it feels almost suffocating at times and yet we endure.  Humans are amazing really, when you think about it.  We keep going, even in the face of death.  

I'm actually not sad today, despite this post.  I took a course at work not that long about grief and trauma.  It was quite interesting and made me think about grief in a whole new light.  We grieve so many things over our lifetimes; the loss of a city, the loss of friends, the loss of our youth, the loss of what we thought we had, the loss of health, the loss of loved ones, the loss of our dream child and our dream parents.  Acceptance is hard and requires a lifetime I realize now.   

I want to study grief I think, when I retire.  I think, I believe that we need to address grief and loss in our health care system, especially among health care professionals.  These past two and a half years of the pandemic have only shone a light on what health care professionals have always dealt with, death and loss in so many forms.  I have lost so many patients over the years, which makes me sound like an awful nurse I know, but I still carry so many of them with me, memories of them.  It's how we live on in part but it's also hard to carry at times, for those who do the remembering.

Nurses need to be able to share their grief with other nurses and even with families.  We need to find a better way of dealing with grief in health care and I would like to be a part of that.  

I guess time will tell.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Monday, August 1, 2022

The wild asters are blooming.  I told Jack that when they start to bloom, summer is half over.  I always love to see them but it also makes me sad.

I talked to my daughter last night.  She had a bad fall on Friday; she was running with the dog when she fell, and was worried she would have to go to emergency.  She didn't go to emerg and felt much better the next day, except for her neck.  No bones broken, swollen knee, abraded skin and whiplash.  

I'm thankful she's back in my life again.  She's a tough nut, just like her mum.  We're both older and more mature now and once again, we're rebuilding our relationship.  I see her as an adult now, instead of a child, that helps.  I always say to people that you don't have a baby, you give birth to a person but I don't always follow my own advice.  Her life, her decisions.  And she seems much more accepting of me living my life and making my own decisions.  I worry about her, worry about her health declining and I know she does too but neither of us have any control over that.  Time will tell.

We don't have Jack this weekend so we're at loose ends.  I'm reading a very good book right now, "Still Life" by Sarah Winman.  It took me awhile to get into it, but I love it.  You can't read it fast, which is how I usually like to read books.  It's about art and Florence, Italy and family that we construct and women and history.  Ambitious but it works.  

Here's a link to a review of the book.

Otherwise, not much happening.  I'm feeling down, worry about Jack, trying to figure out how to deal with my mother in law and still a sore foot.  My mother in law is not who I thought she was and I guess I'm grieving the loss of that.  She has been cruel to her sons, not just controlling, or maybe unintentionally cruel by way of control.  I don't know, but I've lost something that I had and I'm sad.  My father in law is doing remarkably well.  He no longer has an indwelling catheter, so he's no longer getting UTIs.  His appetite is back and he's stronger.  He still has mild dementia but he's content for the most part.  When we visit, I ask him questions about the past, a glimpse into the past, unvarnished by my mother in law.  It's not always pretty.

I think too much, feel too much but it is who I am.