Friday 25 June 2021

Still Trudging

Hello, my friends.

There has been so much going on here. I feel like I've been wading through a wave of thick sludge, uphill, as it threatens to push me over or pull me under. 

I am still finding it hard to process my husband's illness and death. Every day I cry over something. Sometimes it's from loneliness, sometimes it's something little like having to change the name of my next of kin entered in the hospital lab records. Sometimes it's special dates. Valentine's Day, my birthday, his birthday, Father's Day -- all have passed with sadness. Our anniversary is in a few days' time. It would have been our 41st. I keep remembering this time last year, and what we knew and didn't know about the path ahead.

I'm trying to take care of lingering decisions on assets, and everyday maintenance of home and vehicles. And I've been doing my regular job. The job is more of a refuge than a hardship, luckily.

But both grieving and meeting work deadlines has been complicated by a recent health issue my mother has developed. For the last month we have been in and out of hospital Emergency, and although there is finally a deeper investigation happening, it has meant extended periods of time convincing her to take medication, taking her to appointments, booking appointments, etc. I've also taken her to get both of her Covid-19 shots, and I'm relieved she has had them, but it still involved so much time.

Mom is scheduled for a geriatric assessment in mid-July, due to her cognitive issues which were noted by the Emergency physician at one of her trips there. Mom is not at all happy about getting old (she's 91), or maybe I should say she's unhappy about developing health issues. She's always been pretty healthy, and I do understand the fear that lies beneath her anger. Still, the anger is what comes out and it's often what I get to deal with. For example, she was very rude to the Emerg doctor who looked after her earlier this week. This is not related to the dementia, although perhaps it's worse now. I can remember when I was younger that she would buy something, not be able to figure out how to use it, and blame it on the product, the company, and the poor employee in the returns department when she took it back. Things that don't work or go wrong are never her fault, and she uses sharp words as her tool to make sure others understand this.

There is also a problem with driving that has come to a head. Her car has been pronounced unroadworthy without extensive repairs - so extensive that the garage recommended she get a new or used car instead. Her reaction was to blame the garage for not pointing it out last year. Turns out she hadn't had it to the garage for quite a bit longer than that. My brother and I are not sure she should be driving at all, given her memory issues, and the suggestion that she could use some other means of transportation (eg., me, a friend, hiring a driver) was met with actual threats of self-harm. (Mind you, if I call her and offer to take her out, she never says no.)

Blackmail: not cool, Mom. Not cool.

I'm in better shape than I was two weeks ago. There was a point when I felt completely defeated, exhausted, and invaded. No sooner would I arrive home from taking her out or visiting with her then she would call me and ask the same questions about medication, appointments, or outing times that we had gone over and over while we were face to face. Given her health, I felt compelled to answer that phone. It is mentally exhausting to repeat myself over and over while staying calm.

But eventually I made a new rule for myself. If I'd just seen her, and it was still daytime, I would not answer the phone. I might get back to her later, but it would be at a time of my choosing. Of course, I still answered the phone when she called during the night. She is a sound sleeper, so if she wakes up with a problem, she does need assistance.

It's been a rough month, but I'm hopeful that with further tests and specialists we can control her health condition. She won't accept home care for pills, cleaning, laundry, or meals, but that's her choice and that's okay, as she is still able to do them for the most part. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the driving. I'm trying to keep her occupied and get her out of the house daily until her geriatric assessment. Perhaps when an outside party sees her cognitive problems they will have to act. I do not have full faith in this, however, because they've already told me they support seniors being able to drive as long as they can, to maintain their independence. I understand her desire to be able to get out at her whim, not someone else's. I am worried about who she might hurt, though (or worse).

In the meantime, reading your blogs has helped me keep my sanity, so thank you for all your posts. I'm also going through quite a few books, all light reading that is easy to get lost in. One of these days I will get around to updating my reading list here.

In the meantime, here is what I've seen through my camera lens lately.


New life in my back yard:

Fawn and mama deer


Last year's (or the year before's) new life, now growing up:

See the horns? two prongs on him. Prong is not the right term; maybe a reader can set me straight. I know the tips of the antlers on older bucks are called points, but what are they called when they're still stubby?

One prong on each side for this younger male. I think the number of prongs indicate the number of years old they are. Again, can anyone tell me?

On one of the rare walks I've had time or energy to take, this guy kept me company until his family happened to drive by and I helped get him into their vehicle. He was not impressed by that.

His name is Jingle, according to the little girl who was trying to nab him, and when he gets out of their house, he stays away for weeks. Jingle, I sympathize, but you're safer with your family.


And some lupins that grow everywhere beside our highways - they are a feast for the eyes and I only wish the photo was clearer:

The colour is true, even if it's blurry.


And my beautiful Meredith cat: (the other girl, Lucy, wasn't feeling like a photo shoot that day)

Meredith was telling me to stop taking pictures of the deer and sit with her instead.


That's it for now. I had my second Covid-19 shot today, and my arm is aching through to my armpit and out to my fingers. Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow. For now, I'm going to lie down and hope the phone doesn't ring.

Take care, everyone.