Sunday, 7 November 2021

Catching Up

Hello, my people. It has been a while. I haven't been commenting much on your blogs, but I am still reading when I can. Your posts are a welcome distraction and I thank you for that. It's also nice to keep up with everyone's lives. This post is me trying to return some of that to you.

Work and work-related things have been keeping me busy. October is always a month of deadlines at my job. And recently two of my long-time fellow workers retired, so there were gifts, etc. to sort out and a supper to attend. It was a lovely evening, but it was also heart-wrenching because our workplace is very much a close-knit group of congenial people, like a second family for most or all of us, and I will miss working with these two people very much. It feels like two more losses in my world, certainly not on the same level as losing my husband, but not inconsequential either.

Home stuff has also been occupying my mind. So many things I was going to do in the spring, then in the summer, then in the fall before the snow comes . . . are still to be done. I have to figure out things like what snow tires I need, where to buy them, and take the vehicle to the garage to have them installed. Some yard work and cleanup has to be done now or it won't get done at all until next May. Fortunately our son is helping me with a lot of things and that helps to reduce the To Do list. But there are a few things that need done to the exterior of the house and I've been putting off calling to get it started. That will have to happen this coming week.

"Mom" stuff has been about the same as usual - a daily visit for medications, a weekly grocery trip, a few medical appointments, and extended conversations to try to explain things she doesn't understand and/or remember. Her ability to cope varies from day to day. For example, now that the weather is cooler and she has the furnace turned on, she is worrying about how much oil is in the tank. Two days ago she looked at the gauge and understood that it showed her tank over half full. Today she had no idea how to figure out the amount of oil remaining and repeatedly asked about it. Finally we went to her basement and I showed her the gauge and thought she understood. By the time we went back upstairs she had forgotten again. When she gets anxious about things, she tends to make poor decisions, then blame everyone else for both the problem and the results of her decisions, and then I have to fix it, so I like to try to avoid that if possible. But there's only so much I can do. Her appointment with the geriatric doctor isn't until December, and even if by some chance she is assessed as needing to go to a nursing home, there has been a shutdown of admissions to those due to insufficient staffing levels. So we will need to muddle along the way things are for a while yet.

I've also had Lucy cat to the vet for a checkup, required before the vet would approve a refill of a medication. The vet said her lungs sound better than they had, and advised me to cut back her pills gradually until she's at the lowest dose that will control her symptoms. One of the side effects of the medication is that she wants to eat more than usual. Reducing it should help to decrease her appetite. She is quite a bit heavier than she should be, because she gets aggressive when she wants food, and I don't want to be bitten again. (The first time required antibiotics.)

Meanwhile, also on my To Do list is to make a vet appointment for Meredith cat. She has occasional spells of trembling accompanied by a sort of stupor. I had her checked last spring, but the vet at that time didn't suggest blood work and I'd like to re-visit that question. We acquired Meredith after she had been hit by a car and taken by police to the vet for care. He wasn't sure he could even save her, but he did. Then no one claimed her, and we were looking for a companion to the other cat we had at the time. She has always had occasional twitching of her facial muscles and front paws, and both the current vet and I figure she had some neurological damage that is simply progressing with age. But I'd like to rule out other illnesses. I should have requested the blood work at the spring visit and I don't really remember why I didn't, but maybe I just wasn't thinking as clearly as I should have been.

One thing I have finally accomplished is to have our second vehicle overhauled and ready to pass on to our daughter. It took four months to get one small part for a critical repair. Before I could deliver the car to her, the Service Engine light came on. Luckily all it needed was an oil change, and within the coming week the car will at last be delivered to its new home.

I am somewhat worried that my other vehicle will break down and require parts that are not immediately available. Components for new cars and replacement parts for older cars are in short supply across North America. But I can't justify having two vehicles and the attendant costs. Also, our daughter and her family, who live in a rural area, could use the convenience that having a second vehicle would bring. Her husband often takes their two little boys out for errands and it will be good for her to have a way to do some things on her own while they are busy. So I'm glad this is happening soon.

*****

How about some funnies?

 


 





























This is not my Lucy, but it's the same facial expression. Also, she meows. Loudly, with a violent edge to it.



Maybe by my next post I can cross off more than "wake up".


So, how are YOU doing? What's new in your part of the planet?




52 comments:

Infidel753 said...

Some shoes really need to be eaten. The world is a better place without them.

That cat in the second-to-last image -- what an expression! If looks could kill.....

Your description of your mother's developing memory/comprehension issues sounds very familiar. I hope you have good support from people around you as you deal with this.

Elephant's Child said...

LOVE your funnies.
Good luck with your vet visits. Do you apologise all the way there and back, assuring the cat that it is for his/her own good. I do.

jenny_o said...

The hard part for me, with my mother's problems, is that she is so resistant to help and suggestions. There is community support available and she refuses to give permission for it to be accessed. She could be having help for medication, meals, and light housekeeping, but she won't agree to it. She says is worried about Covid, which I understand, because even fully vaccinated she is still at risk; on the other hand, I suspect her reasons are less to do with risk and more to do with wanting to stay independent - and also more than a little contrariness - because before her car broke she was at the grocery store every single day :)

jenny_o said...

Hah! No, I haven't tried reasoning with them; my trips are spent constantly reassuring them that "it's okay, it's okay" as they meow pitifully. And that makes about as much difference as your method :) Thank you for the good luck wishes; I am so worried about Meredith and what I may find out ...

LL Cool Joe said...

The kids counting book cracked me up. I wonder if someone lost their job over that one.

I'm really sorry to hear about 2 of your work colleagues leaving, and I can understand how that additional loss must be painful.

Every time you write about your mom I can relate. Sadly what will eventually happen is that she will have an accident and then end up in hospital and then they will place her in a care home. That's what happened with my mum.

Red said...

I hope that some of this mountain of a to do list gets whittled down for you. Get a few of the biggies off and it makes quite a difference. I didn't know that there were restrictions on nursing home admissions.

Steve Reed said...

OK, I actually had to Google the Plain Chachalaca, which sent me down an internet rabbit hole reading about Central American birds.

It sounds like you have a lot going on there! Meredith's symptoms sound very mysterious. I used to have a cat that experienced tremors and they turned out to be related to a thyroid disorder (which is very common in older cats). So, yeah, a blood test might be a good idea.

Is Lucy's medication a steroid? Sounds like it -- based on increased appetite and aggression!

jenny_o said...

Yes, that happens so often with elderly folks, doesn't it? Even in a nursing home, it can happen. I know we all have to go somehow but ...

jenny_o said...

The restrictions just came into effect. We are really strapped for all kinds of caregivers here - doctors, nurses, and particularly personal care workers, apparently.

jenny_o said...

In Nova Scotia the population skews to older people. We have far more people who need care than there are accommodations for them. The wait list to get in a nursing home is now an average of two years. In 2008 when my father had to go to a nursing home the wait time was an average of 8 months. All of us baby boomers are getting old at once.

Bonnie said...

It's wonderful to hear from you! I'm sorry you have some long time friends retiring from work but maybe you can keep up with them when you have time. I can imagine all the many things that have been on your to-do list and I know how busy you must be even without the list! It is only natural that it would take time for you to fall into a new routine and I wouldn't worry about getting everything done on time. Just establish the priorities and everything else will fall into place in time. Eventually you will have everything worked out to fit your schedule.

I'm glad to hear that Lucy cat is doing better and I hope Meredith cat will improve soon. I know how much they must mean to you and it's difficult when they have health problems.

Your funnies are great! They are all so good that I can't even pick a favorite! Take care jenny!


jenny_o said...

Yes, she's on Prednisolone, a steroid. I'm glad you mentioned the thyroid issue; perhaps it will be something as relatively simple as that. I assume it's simple - medication and periodic blood work?

Lucy was aggressive from the time she followed me home. The SPCA was at full capacity then, so if I'd taken her in, I suspect they might have had to euthanize her. We grew fond of her in spite of her biteyness, and I don't regret taking her in. It would be really nice if her temper did improve, though.

Marie Smith said...

It must feel good to be able to help your daughter with the second vehicle, Jenny. It will be a great help for her for sure.

Co-workers are important in our lives. I missed mine when I retired.

Staffing in health care is horrendous here as well. Some nursing homes here have stopped taking residents because of staffing. I hope it improves soon but it’s not looking good.

DB Stewart said...

I just read this quote...maybe it will help? "One is not born into this world to do everything but to do something." Henry David Thoreau. And the funnies! Yup, they help too.

Janie Junebug said...

Hello, darling donkey! What a pleasure it is to see you anytime you pop up. Your funnies are very funny, especially 5 bananas and I eat shoes. I hope your kitties will be well and happy. I've been busy cleaning out my bedroom closet because mice sneaked in to make a mess.

Love,
Janie

River said...

Not much new in my part of the planet, things just keep chugging along like always. I hope you are able to keep coping with your mum until places become available for her, it does sound as if she would be better off in care pretty soonish.
I hope your cats continue to do well, wonder if Meredith is having very minor seizures?
I enjoyed the funnies.

River said...

I usually promise Lola that she will feel very much better by the time we get home again.

River said...

Two years? Put her name on the list right now, by the time two years is up she will be ready for her placement I suspect.

Andrew said...

Nice to read your post.
Illiteracy and poor numeracy seems to come from above, that is five bananas.
My mother was similar to yours with her heating/cooling air conditioning. She always worried about the batteries in the remote control. I would tell her the screen would be hardly visible before it stopped working, but no, she wanted the batteries changed every three months. In the end I just pretended to change them.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Thank you for catching up. I love that toad one, as that's about what I feel I can handle for the moment being.
What a pity with two co-workers leaving at the same time, I hope it does not skewer the balance and that the new one become part of the "family". I'll hold my fingers crossed for cats Meredith and Lucy, and even more so for "mom stuff".

jenny_o said...

River, I wish it was that easy. As long as she is still considered competent to make her own decisions, she must agree to be put on the list, and she has said she absolutely is NOT going to a nursing home. Having her deemed incompetent is a lengthy and stringent process. The geriatric visit may or may not help this process.

gz said...

Thanks for keeping on...like others who lurk, because of commitments, we know you are there xx

dinthebeast said...

Yay! Jenny posted again! Nice hearing from you, and it sort of seems as if you're getting a handle on the situation, and from here that sounds encouraging.
I miss my former coworkers also. I kind of try to keep up with some of them (Vincent is together with Cocoa now and that's a very good development) but without the daily reason to be around one another, we do just drift off in our own directions.
Zsuzs has four big skylights upstairs that need installing, and that means there are tarps and plastic sealing the roof from the five inches of rain that fell last week. (Zsuzs: "Please don't snow yet... please?")
And a delivery guy broke one of the stairs going down it Friday, and sort of propped up the middle of it with a brick.
Which means that I have to start down from the landing on the other foot in order to step near the edge on the way down.
Zsuzs brought my electric guitar down last night to get it safely out of the way of the work she is doing up there, and man, I hadn't played it in way too long.
The cat saw me take it out of its case and strap it on and he scampered under the bed and hid.
I told him not to worry, all of my amplifiers are in storage in Rohnert Park...

-Doug in Sugar Pine

messymimi said...

Heeheehee! Rinse and spit, i know some people who must have done just that.

Praying all goes well with getting the car to your daughter and with your mother. It's so difficult. Many of my elderly clients get insulted when the kids try to take over, but sometimes it's just needed. Heaven help both sides!

kylie said...

It's great to see you post, Jenny!
Your plate is very full so I'm not surprised your posts are infrequent. You have a lot going on.
I suspect it's nothing more complicated than the car accident catching up with your Meredith but it's always good to make sure.

Take care xox

Mary said...

Good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your two workmates retiring. Hard to have so many things changing when all one would like it just a bit of calm...time to process. Time to just be. Hope you find just a bit of peace now and then.

Love Day 21. From what I know of some Black Labs, I think he is the one who doesn't suspect a thing. :)

Diane Henders said...

Thanks for the funnies! I giggled over all of them. Your Lucy-cat must be terrifying if she's anything like the kitty in the picture!

Your plate sounds as full as ever - it must be so difficult trying to accomplish all the chores you always did as well as those heart-breaking "first times" doing chores that were your husband's. Wishing you peace and comfort...

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks for the update and the funnies, jenny-o.. As a former copy editor, I especially enjoyed the proof reading one. I hope you can knock a few more things off your to-do list and it all goes well. Take care and take it one day at a time.

jenny_o said...

correction: if I had NOT taken her in

jenny_o said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the funnies! Yes, I hope to keep in touch with my co-workers. We are also lucky in that the new person hired for one of the positions seems very nice and that means a new friendly person to work with.

jenny_o said...

Do the retirees at your former workplace still keep in touch, Marie? My mother was a teacher and up until the pandemic a group of retired teachers had a monthly lunch get-together. She misses it.

Yes, I'm glad to be passing on my car to my daughter. I hope it doesn't start needing repairs as soon as she gets it! It's an older car.

jenny_o said...

Funnies have gotten me through some rough times. They are a good distraction for me.

I'm still pondering the Thoreau quote. I feel like everything I have on my list HAS TO be done. lol

jenny_o said...

Thank you and I'm so sorry to hear you had little mousy visitors ...

jenny_o said...

Glad you enjoyed them, River :)

I, too, wonder if these spells or episodes are little seizures. I should ask that specific question of the vet when I take Meredith in.

About my mom - things have just gotten worse; her family doctor has given up his practice. Usually it's the family doctor here who can go through the process of declaring a person not capable of making their own decisions, because they are the medical person with the longest relationship to the patient. We are very short of doctors here; I doubt Mom will get another one any time soon. Also, she needs a family doctor in order to be a patient of the geriatric doctor. She has an appointment with the latter in December so I guess we'll find out then.

jenny_o said...

Sometimes the "compassionate lie" is the only way to accommodate anxiety/illogical behavior. You did good. I wish I was better at thinking up ways to handle things before they become entrenched wars.

jenny_o said...

The replacement for one of my co-workers is working out beautifully so far; she seems very nice and fits in well.

Thank you for your good wishes, Charlotte. I'm sorry to hear you are having a rough time. Hang in there, my friend.

jenny_o said...

It's surprising how much energy it takes to leave comments. Some days I just don't have it in me. Well, a lot of days lately. I do feel badly about it because I know how much comments mean to me. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement, gz.

jenny_o said...

Hah! The cat's playing it safe, just in case :) Enjoy rediscovering your guitar music.

I'm always glad to get your updates, Doug. I hope the skylights get installed before much longer. Be careful on those stairs; I hope they can be fixed soon.

jenny_o said...

I struggle with wanting to take over with my mom's stuff. I want to help her, to make her life less anxious, and I also want to avoid making problems worse (because I end up dealing with the additional layer of trouble), so I do often push for solutions that she doesn't see as solutions at all. Like paying a bill early so it doesn't get lost in the mountain of paper on her table ... but she doesn't want it paid early, even though she can afford to do so. Or like letting me arrange for a plumber to fix the leak in her drain ... but she doesn't want to because it's not a crisis yet. It's so hard to take a step back and realize I still need to respect her wishes as it's her bills and her house. Raises my blood pressure, though.

jenny_o said...

Yes, I'd like to at least eliminate other, perhaps fixable, medical issues before I settle for things the way they are with Meredith.

jenny_o said...

Ha ha! I haven't been around many dogs so that's interesting - and funny :)

Yes, I could do with fewer changes right now. Although those who know me would say I could do with no changes ever and be perfectly happy. But change is part of life, unfortunately for me. Wah wah wah. I need to toughen up. :)

jenny_o said...

You nailed it, Diane. We had a division of duties that worked well for us and it's hard to take on those things that I didn't like doing or wasn't good at doing in the first place. If it had been my husband who survived me, I imagine it would have been the same for him, just in different areas. I do any awful lot of self-talk, saying: How would he have done this? and sometimes that helps.

jenny_o said...

It's kind of hard to picture how that bananas page got past the editor. The book is likely only a few pages long, considering it's a book for very young children. Why, people; why??

One day at a time is a good mantra. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Take care, Mr. S.

e said...

It sounds like you are getting some things sorted, which is good. I do hope both cats will improve and I am sorry for the loss of these colleagues and for the ongoing stress involved in caring fir your mother. Life is certainly challenging. I hope you are getting enough rest and taking care of yourself too, Sending hugs and thanks for the funnies!

baili said...

dear Jenny i felt happy that shared your life and heart in detail as i love to hear from you and often ,call me your fan:)

what a relief to know that your son is helping you in exterior chores ,i can imagine the peace that brings his help to you my friend .

may be few jobs like having snow wheel installed are first time for you but i bet every new thing and every new challenge that look toughest at first will add more wisdom beauty and strength to your life and personality.

having nice coworkers throughout the job is gift surly and missing them when they are retired is natural ,workplace is second home and colleagues make second family no doubt .but i know you guys will stay connected in future too .

this is so nice of you that you still manage to look after your mom to some extent dear Jenny !

i think this is wise to hand over one of your vehicle to your daughter who actually can make use of it :)

hope your cat do well in future amen.

best wishes for all due doing my brave ,strong and witty friend !
keep being kind to yourself always as after doing our best it is good to leave rest upon Divine Creator !
thinking of you with heart filled with best wishes and prays! Hugs!

i enjoyed the funnies so much

37paddington said...

There is a lot to manage, but you sound like step by step, breath by breath, you are figuring things out. I am glad your son is helping you. I'm also glad you have a congenial workplace, though you will miss your two coworkers.

Carola Bartz said...

This is my first visit to your blog - I came here through WEP and the comment you left for Sue. I have read through several of your posts now - some broke my heart (about grief for your husband), some made me laugh (mainly the funnies), some resonated a lot. I find it interesting what you write about your two cats in this post. I have never had my own cat, but for some reason neighbors' cats always seek me out. For some time now I have had a cat that practically moved into my garden for good and his owner even asked me whether I could feed him since he was losing weight (which I do now). We both think he has feline dementia. Before that I was unaware that this exists, but from what I have learned so far, he displays some of the symptoms. I'm still learning and just observe him and try to make him feel as safe as possible. He can't come into the house because my husband is severely allergic, so he has to stay outside. Both his owner and I had hoped that with the arrival of cooler weather he would go home at least during the night, but so far he prefers the box with the blanket under a table (so that he can stay dry during rain). I had never experienced a cat like him.

jenny_o said...

Hugs to you, too, e. Everyone has challenges, don't they? They're just different for different folks. Scritches for Lukas from me, please :)

jenny_o said...

Yes, I am very glad to have my son's help, baili. It makes the load much lighter for me. And you are right - every new thing I learn to do will make me stronger. Thank you for your kind wishes and I wish the same for you, my friend!

jenny_o said...

I'm so glad to have my son's help, 37p. It has been much easier than it would have been without him. I'm lucky to have a close-knit and supportive family, including my kids, my brother and mom, and my in-laws, and to have a second "family" at work. I need to remember more often how fortunate I am. Some families are torn apart after one family member dies. It's sad to see.

jenny_o said...

Welcome, Carola; thank you for reading and leaving a comment. That's interesting and heartbreaking about your neighbour's cat, poor thing. I'm glad you're helping by feeding and sheltering him in the place he has chosen. Also, I know that humans with dementia can lose weight because they forget to eat, so perhaps cats with dementia do too. It's good that you are helping to remind him by feeding him. Good luck with keeping him comfortable.

My son-in-law is very allergic to cats, too; his breathing gets very wheezy after just a brief exposure. When my two current cats are gone, I won't be able to have any more.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

It's so wonderful to 'hear' your voice, Jenny! I've tried to subscribe to your blog but, other than 'following', haven't been successful! Sigh. I miss you.
I'm so sorry for the challenges of dealing with your Mom with her difficulites. It is wonderful that she has you, but when you are the to-go for so many people and animals, I understand how trying it can be!
I do hope you can discover just what is causing Meredith's problems and that Lucy and Meredith will be around for you for many, many more years!
Those funnies! I laughed out loud!!!