Friday, June 30, 2023

 Life sucks today.  Actually my life has not changed one iota, just my outlook.  I feel overwhelmed and sad and I wonder is it my stomach pills again?  Have I been taking too many?  Or is it just too much shit too deal with?  Crappy sleep?  The heat?  

My son keeps calling me.  He's living in a homeless shelter (cue the violins).  He left a message for me, "I don't want you in my life.  Don't contact me.  Blah, blah, blah."  The next day he calls and asks me to give his sister his phone number.  He keeps calling me, daily.  I accidently picked up the phone yesterday and he was telling me that he had an appointment with a social worker to work on seeing his son, his other son.  Then he calls again to say he's given up, he knows he'll never see his son again.  Never once does he mention Jack.  The bullshit continues.

My father in law is slowly fading.  We saw him today, and my mother in law.  So much unsaid drama there that my mother in law was standing and twitching.  I just can't.  I have to put up a wall around myself to protect myself from people like my mother in law and my son and then I feel bad about that.  I think the wall keeps out the good stuff too.  And maybe that's why I feel like crying and curling up today.

I don't have it bad, I know.  But some days feel bad.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

View of downtown Vancouver from Kitsilano and the fish and chip foodtruck that we had lunch at.

My middle daughter and her nephew having fun.

We made it home last night, everyone exhausted, cranky and hungry, after two days of driving.  I spent the day doing laundry, putting everything away, vacuuming up the dog hair that was everywhere and washing the floors.  Our house sitter was seventeen so I didn't expect the floors to be clean, but she did a good job with everything else; the dogs were happy and the cat was still alive.  

Jack is so happy to be home.  He kept asking when we were going home.  He got to see lots and visited aunts and uncles but the best part of the trip for him was the swimming pool at the last hotel in Burnaby and hanging with poppa in the pool.  He's always been afraid to jump into a pool but with poppa in the pool (and a two year old girl who was jumping into the pool without fear) he did it.

I'm still tired and heading to bed shortly.  

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Parksville beach

We're in Vancouver now, visiting my daughter.  Jack had a great time with his aunt and uncle which was nice to see.  We left after four hours though because my daughter was exhausted. I didn't know fatigue was such a huge part of MS.  My daughter's only thirty-two but you could see the exhaustion written across her face.  We'll see them again tomorrow. 

Jack has been a handful off and on throughout our trip.  I know it's hard for kids to be out of their routine,  completely out of their routine, and where nothing is familiar.  I just googled are four year olds difficult  and the answer is yes, which is a relief.   I always worry that his behavior is caused by trauma and fucked up parents.

Having Google to answer my questions is nice and not something that was available when my kids were little.  I gives me reassurance that I'm not doing a bad job of parenting this time round, that things are normal (ish).

I wonder how much of myself I hold back with Jack, afraid he'll be taken away, or afraid that after raising him, he'll be just like his parents.  My sister in law did point out to me that Jack would be just like his dad if I did nothing.

Who knows?  Certainly not me.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

We went to Meares Island today, by water taxi.  There is beautiful,  old growth forest, on  this island. Jack had fun and no bones were broken, so a success.  He got his feet caught a few times in the boardwalk and fell, but nothing bad.

He was impressed by the size of the trees.  Some of the trees are two thousand years old.  We're lucky to be here and the weather is beautiful. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

We made it just fine.  The logging roads were not bad at all.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Bunchberry, or creeping dogwood.  Not a great picture, I took it on my phone which normally takes better photos, but I do love these flowers.

My husband just left, to drive out to Vancouver Island.  He was supposed to be leaving tomorrow but Highway 16 is closed east and west of Edson, which is the easiest way to drive to Vancouver, due to a wildfire that is threatening the town of Edson.  He's going to drive south and then west, through Calgary and take the Trans Canada highway which will be busy as hell.

There is also a wildfire on the Island which has closed part of Highway 4 and requires a four hour detour on logging roads which is not stressing us out at all (of course it is).  I have a very bad memory of driving on a logging road in the mountains twenty years ago which I white knuckled; I was the driver and it took an hour to drive a few kilometres.  Apparently the detour is not as bad, just a long time, no food, water, fuel or cell service. We'll need four days of beaches to recover from the drive.

I've been on the phone and emailing people in Ucluelet to find out if we can even make the trip.  The answer, yes we can.

We also had an offer on our condo that's been up for sale since March or April, I forget now, so they need all kinds of documents and things signed, right now, and we're leaving town.  

My father in law is doing poorly, my husband's uncle died, and that whole family remains dysfunctional (like most families).  My husband is upset and is battling another sinus infection and I'm just stressed.  

Things I'm Thankful For Today



-my patient survived her code and is alive

-a good book came in the mail and I can't wait to read it

-cooler weather and rain

-Charlie is sweet as hell, is house trained and runs like the wind

-I finally feel competent filling in the paperwork (on the computer) for central line insertions

-Jack's bronchitis should be cleared up by now, he's been on antibiotics since we saw the doctor last       week

-I took the dogs to the off leash this morning

-I got everything packed, I hope

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

I had a shit day at work yesterday.  A woman in her mid seventies came in for a lung biopsy.  We do lung biopsies just about everyday of the week and our rads are amazing at getting samples.  This particular biopsy was for a clinical trial which means this woman had no more options with regards to treatment; the oncologist had tried everything and nothing had worked, or the treatment had stopped working.  They needed a tissue sample for the trial, prior to the clinical trial treatment starting, and yesterday was the day for this lovely lady.

I admitted her, asked her how to pronounce her last name (Vietnemese I'm guessing, I said).  The lady and her sister smiled and asked how I knew that.  Her last name started with Ng, something english speakers have a hard time pronouncing.  They tried to teach me how to pronounce the name, I was unsuccessful but we all laughed at my efforts.  I asked a million questions and we chatted.  She was just sweet, nervous and cold.  I got her a warm blanket.  After all my questions, I told her the doc would come and talk to her and explain everything that was going to happen, including the bad stuff that could happen but rarely does, that's what informed consent is I told her.  I also had her CT changed from today to yesterday; we would do it after her biopsy and save her a trip back to the clinic.  Her sister left.

I walked past the stretcher bay, where she was waiting, a number of times after I had finished her admission, and smiled each time.  I had my break and when I got back, I went to interview a line patient.  I got about halfway through the interview when I heard, Code Blue, CT Room 1.

I ran down the hallway and into CT Room 1; my lady was laying there, gray and lifeless, with blood coming out of her mouth.  One nurse was suctioning blood out of the lady's mouth while trying to get oxygen into her.  Another nurse said she was starting an IV, so I ran and prepped an IV bag for her and made sure she got everything she needed for the IV start.  By then the Code team had arrived and there were probably fifteen people in the room.  Someone else had started CPR compressions.  There was still blood coming out of my lady's mouth and the nurse was still trying to suction while respiratory put in an airway and started bagging the lady.  I realized we had no CPR board under the patient, so I got one off the Code cart and we turned the lady and put it under the mattress.  911 was called as we're not a hospital and have no emergency or ICU, so she needed to be transported.

My patient started bleeding after her lung biopsy when she was moved to the recovery stretcher.  I don't know how much blood ended up in her lungs but her heart stopped, as well as her breathing.  Lung cancer tumors can rupture and bleed, sometimes just from coughing, sometimes from prodecures such as biopsies and sometimes from a bronchial artery bleed within the tumor itself. 

The Code team did manage to get a heartbeat but my lady wasn't breathing on her own when EMS left with her; she was still being bagged.  One of the young nurses that I work with loves codes, (not the death involved); she likes the intensity,  likes the action, likes the skills required for a successful code.  I don't like codes.  They break my heart, someone is dying.  I think that death should be peaceful and dignified, not traumatic with lots of people in the room, trying to get your heart to start again.  I told that lovely lady that bad things rarely happen during lung biopsies, but something bad happened to her.  I felt like I had lied to her by minimizing the risks.  I just looked it up online, there is a 1% risk of hemorrhage in percutaneous biopsies so I didn't lie to her but I still feel like I let her down somehow.

I had to phone my patient's sister because I had promised I would call her if anything happened to her sister, or when her sister was ready to be picked up.  Something bad happened, and I had to tell my patient's sister that her sister had stopped breathed after the biopsy.  I didn't mention the CPR but I did say that we had gotten her heart beating again.  I don't know how much the sister took in but I did tell her which hospital emergency to go to.  

The code shook us all up yesterday morning.  We had to all go back to work and start more IVs, or in my case, go back to finish my interview and teaching on the line patient.  I cried a few times but mostly I felt kind of numb.  I had been talking and joking with my patient an hour before this happened.  It seems unbelievable that things can change so quickly, even though I know from experience that things can and do change that quickly.  Before I left work yesterday, I checked online and my lady had been admitted into ICU, so she was still alive.  I don't know if she's still alive now though.  

 I still feel numb and sad and teary.  I know we all have to die but still it's so sad.  Jack asked me not long ago why Lucy died and I told him that all living things die.  He asked me why and I told him, that's just the way it is.  Life is filled with grief and with joy, and hopefully the two can balance each other out somehow.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Taken on the same day, seven years apart. The maple tree survived the winter and is doing well.

We finished cutting down the Mayday, seen below, this spring.  It's been mostly burned, because of the black knot fungus.  And sweet old Lucy is in the photo too.  I still tear up when I think of her.

This past weekend, we bought and planted an apple tree where the Mayday used to be.  In the bottom of the hole, I sprinkled Lucy's ashes.  She'll forever be a part of this yard. 

Charlie is doing well, settling in.  He and Heidi like wrestling together which is good for both of them.  

Friday, June 2, 2023

We adopted a new dog last night.  His name is Charlie, so I guess I'll have to come up with a new pseudonym for my two year old grandson.  Charlie is a sweet, gentle dog who appears to be at least part Rhodesian Ridgeback.  He gave us all a lot of kisses last night.  I personally don't like dogs kissing my face, because they lick their asses, but I did manage to avoid being kissed on the lips by him:)  He and Heidi had fun playing together last night and he seems to like what was Lucy's chair.  

We had a guardians meeting this past week and it went well.  Lori, Gracie's mom, seems to understand that Gracie is mentally ill.  Gracie's younger sister, Kayla, still holds out hope for Gracie.  Right now though, things will stay the same.  Gracie visits Jack at her sister's house and Jack does not stay with Gracie in her apartment; Jack seems good with this too.  Jack loves his mom but doesn't want to live with her.  She can't take care of him; she can't even take care of herself.  We have a year to sort things out about where he'll live when he starts school.  Kayla is not healthy and finds Jack tiring to care for, but she loves him too and wants to do what's best for him.  She's starting to realize how messed up her sister is.  Kayla is young, just turning thirty this month, and doesn't have any experience with children.  She also has a hard time with me telling Jack the truth about things like the fact that his dad is in jail, or not, and that his mama is sick (mental illness is an illness).  Not my probelm though.  I'm not going to lie to my grandson to make Kayla feel more comfortable about the trauma that Jack has lived through in his short life.

Yesterday I had a forty-eight year old patient who came in for an MRI, with his mother.  He had severe back pain from a fall but it was compression fractures, not pathological fractures (caused by cancer tumors) in his spine.  The patient has a very rare form of cancer, angiosarcoma.  He stayed with us for awhile, until his pain killers kicked in and his oncologist also came and talked to him.  He's palliative now he told me (no further treatment, just comfort measures until he dies).  As I walked the patient and his mother to the door of the building, I asked the mother how she was doing.  She teared up and told me that she had lost another son to this same form of cancer and that her husband had just died in March.  I gave her a hug.  It's heartbreaking how much grief people carry around with them.

Life goes on, as it does.  I've been reading blogs but not leaving many comments.  I still find I'm very tired from being back to work but it's getting better.  A new dog will get me out and walking more which will help with the fatigue and improve my overall fitness.  Staying home for almost seven months and just getting older has really deconditioned me and I want to improve my fitness level.  I used to racewalk and I lifted weights for almost twenty-five years.  Now I just need to get back at some kind of fitness regime that fits into my life.  The exercises that the physio gave me to do for my sore knee worked wonders thankfully and also made me realize how out of shape I am.  I want to be able to keep up with Jack as I age and he grows up.

My swearing is getting worse.  We've been watching "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and Susie swears like a motherfucker, which I quite like.