Friday 11 March 2022

Bad Timing, Good Timing, and Good News

The situation in Ukraine makes me sick at heart. This isn't going to be a post about that, because I just can't, yet, but it's sort of related, and more a poke at myself than anything else.

As anyone who uses gas or oil knows, the price has been rapidly going up, accelerated by the war in Ukraine.

At the pumps where I live, the price per litre went up by nearly thirty cents in the eleven days between February 27 and March 10. Yesterday it stood at $1.87/litre.

Gas prices in next-door New Brunswick are set one day before those in Nova Scotia, and we can often get an idea of what will happen to NS prices from what happens to NB prices, and take action accordingly.

Two days ago New Brunswick's prices jumped again. I didn't really need gas but I will need it next week as I have to do some distance driving, so I decided to fill up yesterday before our new prices would be set at midnight.

Nova Scotia prices fell by 4.1 cents/litre last night!



 The good news is that the driving I need to do next week is to take my mom for cataract surgery. She has very little sight in one eye now and I am glad she is getting this done. Ophthalmology procedures have been on-again-off-again ever since the pandemic started, and we were both expecting a much longer wait.

I think her poor vision contributes to her confusion; it makes sense that it would, anyhow. She stopped reading and doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku a couple of years ago and I don't know if it was her vision or her dementia that caused that. She also became unable to operate a radio or TV and I wonder how much of that was also vision-related. Even going for a drive was unappealing to her because she couldn't see the scenery.

It will be interesting to see if her world opens up more when her vision is restored in that eye, and if her comprehension and memory will improve at all. Certainly her ability to do little things like zip her jacket should improve, and I hope she will be able to enjoy things like flowers and colours again.

The down side (minor) is that she will require eye drops four times a day for one week and twice a day for a month, and I will likely be needed to supervise that, and she does not like being supervised. But we will muddle through. She will likely be offered surgery in the other eye as well, according to the ophthalmologist. Whether she wants it or not will be a decision she can make after she sees the results of the first surgery.

I had both of my eyes done in 2009, not because my cataract was advanced but because I had such bad astigmatism in that eye and the combination was causing me severe eyestrain. And because my vision was quite poor to start with, fixing one eye and not the other resulted in double vision, so I had the other eye done a week later. To correct the double vision in the meantime, I had to wear an eye patch with little holes in it. Somehow it corrects the problem but of course it's not a long-term solution.

I feel very lucky that I had the surgery when I did. Our long-time local ophthalmologist only considered cataracts ready for removal when they were advanced. But my excellent optometrist got me on the schedule of a locum eye surgeon who was in our town for only three months. I just happened to have an appointment with my optometrist near the end of that locum, trying yet again to determine the reason for my eyestrain. It turned out the cataract was still at such an early stage my optometrist hadn't thought it could be the cause, and it was only after repeated visits that it clicked for him. One week after my second surgery the locum surgeon was gone.


 How about some random funnies? The world is a scary place, and we all need a distraction from time to time. Enjoy.








I wish you all good news AND good timing. We all need a little of both.


gz said...

Pirate here had both his eyes treated for improved his mood no end, being able to see details, not just colours!!
One point..he needs his eye drops morning and night..every day...

Infidel753 said...

My mother had cataract surgery and it made a huge difference. I hope yours will benefit similarly.

There's been talk of some Arab oil exporters increasing production to offset the oil shortage caused by the Ukraine war. That might account for prices dropping.

That cat in the hissing booth looks like he means business!

gz said...

Interesting one Canadian $ is 0.60 £sterling at present..a litre of petrol here is £1.60 if you are place we were in today, diesel was £1.95 a litre and rising. So that is heading over 3 Canadian$ a litre.
Most of what we pay is fuel tax, and the cost plus fuel tax is further taxed as a whole with 20% VAT.
How much of what you pay is tax? As ever the cost of a barrel of oil has started falling, but the price continues to rise.

dinthebeast said...

I was already disabled from a stroke when the cataracts hit. When before I could pretty much get around OK on my own, the cataracts brought all of that to a screeching halt.
Dr. Nelson at Highland Hospital got me on an expedited list for surgery, and two months later I could see.
Notice I didn't say that I could see again, I said I could see. My vision previous to the cataracts was 20/52 and I had worn glasses or contact lenses since the seventh grade. After the surgery I was 20/25 in my right eye and 20/40 in my left, good enough to drive without glasses, pretty much for the first time in my adult life.
Their website says that the gas station we fill up at is charging $5.42/gallon for regular, so probably around six bucks for the premium our car runs on when we fill up later today.
They do give a discount on a points system for money spent at the grocery store they are connected to, so perhaps $5.75? We'll see.
Good luck with your mom's surgery. I remember all of the help I required for mine, but boy, was it ever worth it!

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Joanne Noragon said...

The short fortune teller is priceless.
And, gas prices here have not got down a penny.

Mike said...

"Nova Scotia prices fell by 4.1 cents/litre last night!"
That's the same luck as getting in the wrong line at the grocery store.

Red said...

I'm looking forward to cataract surgery this year. My sight is certainly causing stress. I hope your Mom's surgery improves her quality of living.

Bonnie said...

I'm happy to hear your Mom will get her cataract surgery done. Hopefully that will make a big difference for her in many different ways. I love all the funnies, thank you! We all need some smiles right now. Take care!

River said...

"Love Laugh Lasagna" that one is the best.
I hope your mum's cataract surgery does help a lot. I'm waiting for mine to be "ready" as well. do these things follow a time schedule at all? like taking a certain amount of time to develop enough? I should ask the optometrist, they've been sending me reminders that I haven't been there in a year. I just get fed up with constantly going back because the glasses are never quite right.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Thank you for the update. I am keeping my fingers crossed for your mom's surgery. It helped my mum and father in law much, so ... hoping.
Thanks for the funnies too. I need a hissing booth!

Martha said...

Gas prices are through the roof! Thank you for the funnies. We sure could use them with everything going on. I hope you are doing well!

37paddington said...

All the best for your mom's surgery and recovery. I see in addition to being birthday mates we share poor vision. The world is a blur without my glasses.

Steve Reed said...

Love the attack goose! That's very weird about the gas prices. Wonder what would cause them to fall? Maybe a tanker came into port, LOL!

Glad to hear you're getting your mom's eyes resolved. That will undoubtedly help her navigate the world, dementia or not.

jenny_o said...

gz: I would be miserable if I lost vision and it's something I try not to think about. I'm glad the Pirate had a successful outcome. Are the drops permanent?

Infidel753: It's always encouraging to hear good reports about a surgical procedure. And I believe you're correct about the reason for the gas price dip. That cat does mean business. I have one just like him/her and she is a feisty thing.

gz: We pay 5% federal tax and 10% provincial tax, which is included in the quoted price per litre, so tax is 15/115 of the price (24 cents per litre at the $1.87 price point). Your prices make me suddenly grateful for ours!! And absolutely, the lag in price reduction at the pump following a drop in barrell prices is annoyingly slow and never seems to drop as much as it increased; it's just a steady climb.

Doug: I'm glad you had good results. I know what you mean about poor vision beforehand. My astigmatism was corrected, but not fully, so I still wear glasses but I don't mind. The improvement was still very much worth it, as you say!

jenny_o said...

Joanne: Hopefully they will go down soon. It's very difficult for folks on fixed incomes to afford such big increases. Or families just making ends meet.

Mike: Yes, it wasn't a big deal. After all, a drop of four cents a litre would only be $2 less for a 50 litre tank. I was mildly annoyed but no more than that :D

Red: I hope you get your turn at the eye surgery soon. It's difficult having reduced vision, especially when there is a way to fix it but you don't know when it's going to happen.

Bonnie: If we can make it through the days right after the surgery she should see a huge difference. She tends to rub her eyes and I am worried she will do it without realizing. I'll encourage her to keep the eye covering on for longer than the doctor recommends, but she isn't happy about following rules if they are not to her liking!

River: According to my optometrist at the time, the "old" way was to wait until the cataracts were severe. More modern thinking says to fix them as soon as they're a problem for the patient. The reason for that is that the more developed the cataract, the harder it is to break up and remove the natural lens in the eye. When the cataract (which is simply a clouding of the lens) is "young", the lens can be, in the words of my optometrist, "sucked out" much more easily with less trauma. I know what you mean about glasses not being right; I always, always have trouble getting mine adjusted and have sometimes had to get them re-made because the person fitting me has made an error in measurement. It's appalling, really. But your cataract may be the culprit if you feel your vision has not been corrected by your glasses. That's how I would have described my issue when my cataract was starting. It felt like my prescription was wrong. But it was just that the cataract was causing loss of vision. It might be worth checking with your optometrist again; maybe something can be done to hurry up the surgery.

jenny_o said...

Charlotte: Get yourself a big cardboard box and a marker and you will be in business - ha ha! I really hope my mom has a good recovery and is happy with the results.

Martha: It's good to hear from you! Yes to the gas prices, but at least most of us are not driving as much as we used to (I think), due to the pandemic. That could change soon ... or maybe not, if cases rise again. It's all so uncertain. I'm doing better than I was; thanks for asking. I hope you are both doing well too.

37p: I remember that blur. My lens implants corrected my vision as much as was possible, but I still need glasses. But that feeling of not being able to get out of bed without putting on glasses first -- I remember that well. I used to worry quite a lot about damaging my glasses because I couldn't do much of anything without them. I never really worried about losing them because they were always either on my face or on the nightstand. lol

Steve: I believe the drop came after an agreement to increase oil imports, but I can't find any news sources to back that up at the moment. (That's what my son told me, though.) I have cautious optimism about the benefits of surgery for my mom. It won't do anything for her dementia but it should increase her ability to do things she is currently struggling with due to poor sight. And it should increase her ability to enjoy the visual aspects of life again.

messymimi said...

Praying the surgery and follow up go well and that it makes a big difference for her.

Like you, my cataracts are not "advanced" enough to get surgery. They impede my work and make everything harder to do, but it will be several years before they will even remotely consider doing it. How i'll manage meanwhile is going to take a lot of thought and adaptation.

Diane Henders said...

Argh, gas prices! If only there were some logic. Out here it's $1.99, and over $2.00 in Vancouver. It's funny how the prices never go DOWN when the price of oil is low; but as soon as there's even the flimsiest notion of an excuse, the prices go UP.

Thanks for the funnies - I needed a laugh! I particularly liked the attack goose... except it probably wasn't a joke. Those suckers can be mean. ;-)

kylie said...

Isn't it great when a wait is shorter than we expect? I think your mum's quality of life has to improve with better vision, I hope so anyway.

Those pit bulls! irresistible

jenny_o said...

Mimi: I'm sorry you have to wait for the surgery. It's really hard to function with reduced vision. Is the delay because there is such a backlog of cases? I hope you can manage all right while you wait.

Diane: Yes, Canada geese have a bad reputation. I've never been around them, and after learning how aggressive they can be, I don't have any wish to do so :) I noticed that gas in BC was higher than ours. It doesn't make any sense!

kylie: I love that photo of the pit bulls too. It makes me smile every time I look at it! Yeah, a shorter-than-expected wait is almost unheard of - but very welcome :)

jono said...

Everything I have seen and heard about cataract surgery has been very positive. Haven't needed it myself. Yet.
Thanks for the funnies!

jenny_o said...

Jono: Nice to hear from you! Yeah, I think the success rate is extremely high. If you've gotten this far without any problem, maybe you'll never need it. Glad to share the memes :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I hope your mom's eye operation is a success and improves the quality of her life. My mother was due to have hers done just before she became very ill and then didn't have it done. I always feel a bit of guilt about that as I changed the dates of the operation a couple of times because I knew I would have to monitor her taking eye drops etc. and was in the States at the time.

Thanks for the funnies, goodness me, we need them at the moment.

jenny_o said...

Joey: We can only do so much. That has become my guiding thought as I struggle to help my mother. You knew your mother couldn't manage the drops by herself and you wanted her recovery to go well, and that's a positive thing. But you had things in your own life to take care of, too, and that's okay. One person's life doesn't take priority over someone else's just because they are elderly. I understand your guilt because I have it too. I never seem to be able to help Mom enough or in the right way. But I have a life too, and my needs are important too. And so are yours.

I'm happy you liked the funnies :)

Mr. Shife said...

I hope everything goes well for your mom's surgery and your timing gets a little better. Our gas has gone up over a dollar and even though oil prices have come down, the gas prices have stayed high. It is so frustrating how quickly they rise but how slowly they fall. Thanks for the funnies. The ones about the geese really hit home because my office is home to a lot of them and they are jerks.

jenny_o said...

Mr. Shife: The quick rise and slow fall of gas prices really, really makes a person wonder how closely connected they actually are to per-barrel prices, doesn't it? I'm sorry you have Canada jerks I mean geese at your place of work!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

The price I have to pay for gas pales in comparison to anything that is happening in Ukraine. As for cataract surgery I had it done in 2020 and everything went without a hitch, so I hope it will for your mom too.

jenny_o said...

David: Welcome and thanks for commenting. I agree about the gas prices. It's hard for those on a fixed income but for those who can afford it, accepting it without complaint is a small thing to do in support of the people of Ukraine. Thanks for the good wishes; I've just posted an update -- the surgery went well!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

First Covid. Then the war and gas prices. I may never leave home again.
Husby has just been diagnosed with advanced Glaucoma. He's on the drops and we find out in a few weeks if they are helping. I am so grateful for modern health care!