Monday 4 April 2022

April in Nova Scotia

We are in the midst of another snowstorm here. The snow is wet and heavy, as the temperature is just around 0C. The forecast is calling for 15-25 cm before evening.

I have already shovelled my lane twice, once before the 9 a.m. trip to my mother's for her eye drops, and once after I came back. It's piling up quickly.

Here's a lone crocus beside my front step. The poor thing popped up this spring in a bare patch of earth I dug up last year, intending to plant annuals but not following through. I wanted to take the photo before the deer decapitated it.



See the nice bare ground?

It's not bare anymore.

Here's a video I just took out my front door.


And here's one from my back door, showing the accumulation of snow on the deck railing in just a few hours.

 For those who prefer photos rather than videos, this is for you.


I am taking the day off medical duty for my mother. I have left the eye drops and her medication for tonight and tomorrow morning with her, along with written instructions.

She has already called me to question the instructions. She feels the eye drops should go in the eye with less vision, not the operated eye. We have talked about this many times. She only remembers having the eye surgery when reminded, because "it was so long ago" (twenty days, but who's counting?).

I asked if she wanted to come stay with me until the storm was over, but she said she would be okay. And I am too worn out to push the suggestion. The snow is forecast to stop this evening, and the streets should be plowed by morning, so whatever damage she can do with the eye drops and medications will only last one day.

I was scheduled for a physio appointment today to try to figure out a knee problem that has been creeping up on me for well over a year now. Because of the snow, I have re-scheduled for later in the week. I fear losing my mobility because there is only me, myself, and I to depend on now.

So I have a rare day with nowhere I have to go and no deadlines to meet, except to call my mother to remind her of the time to take her eye drops.

I wish I could shut off the worry in my brain.

When my dad was in the last years of his life in a nursing home, I found I needed to be there almost daily to keep an eye on his care. I also enjoyed his company and he had few visitors so I liked to drop in every day. As his health worsened, I learned to put my worry in a box, mentally, because I knew that he was at least safe in the home. It was hard, but I learned to relax for the time I wasn't with him.

I can't seem to relax about my mother. I think the difference is that there is nobody there with her. I know her neighbours keep an eye on her, but it's different than having someone right in her home.

But she will not agree to anyone being in her home (except me, or my brother who lives a six hour round trip away). Home care is available but only if she will sign up for it, which she adamantly refuses to do. She is considered competent to make that decision until such time as a doctor can declare her incompetent. She has no doctor to do so. It seems to be an impossible problem to solve until she gets to such a stage of deterioration that she ends up in hospital, either from a fall, from malnutritioin, or from an illness of some kind.


I almost forgot - I have a story for you about snow in Nova Scotia. The month was May and the year was 1957. My mother was just about due to give birth to her second child. That would be me. She realized she was in labour in the evening on May 2. It was snowing heavily and the hospital was fifteen miles away. They had to drive very slowly and were worried about getting there safely. I was born the next morning.

By the time she (and I) returned home a few days later, the snow was gone and it was so warm my four-year-old brother was wearing short pants. (Trousers, for those in the UK.)

My mother told me this story often. Until last year. Last year she forgot my birthday until two months after it happened. This year she no longer remembers my birth date or my age.

That's okay. She can't remember her own, either.


Surely some funnies are in order after that sad, soppy tale :)

I found this series of "embarrassing moments" in a YouTube video. By the time I got to the end I was crying with laughter. 



















I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. And I hope the inside of your head is tidier and less chaotic than the inside of mine :)



gz said...

Thanks..we all need a chuckle!!
That crocus deserves full marks for trying.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Ohmyword, I laughed till the tears ran! Just the belly laugh I needed today!
Don't we just LOVE Canadian spring? Ugh.
I SO wish I could be closer and lend you a helping hand. Please know you are in my thoughts, even though most of Canada stands between us!
And a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! <3

jenny_o said...

gz: It really does!

Diane: My birthday isn't until May - I put this story in the post to show that early April is not the latest we get storms! But thank you anyway, and for your good thoughts :)

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you soooo much for the much needed smiles.
And heartfelt hugs across the miles. How I wish that your worry (and workload) could be eased.
I love that brave crocus too.

Bonnie said...

Enjoy your very rare day at home! That is quite the snow you have there! We had that much snow through March and last week we finally just had flurries. I'm hoping that's all for us!

I like your thought of putting your worry in a box. We have to find some way to control it so it doesn't harm us.

I enjoyed your Spring videos!😉 I hope the cold weather does not last too much longer for you. I also enjoyed the story about when you were born. Maybe for a change, you could tell your Mother about it. Take care and don't shovel too much snow!

dinthebeast said...

Our fences and railings look just like that when it snows.
All of the snow has melted here, and even with the soaking we got last week, this year's "rainy season" is one of the driest on record.
Add to that the early first snow we got last fall, and we have a large amount of vegetation drying out to become fuel load for this year's fire season.
Can your mom be prompted over the phone to take her meds? Perhaps if they are packaged for specific times? If so, you might be able to get a free moment to yourself once in a while.
I hear you on the mobility thing. I'm disabled and still I find myself doing for the people I live with and wondering how it worked when I was in the hospital...

-Doug in Sugar Pine

jenny_o said...

EC: I wonder if the crocus will still be there when the snow melts? Hugs to you, too, dear friend.

Bonnie: I think you had a lot more snow in total during March than we did. We went from having one storm a week to having no snow for quite a long time. Thankfully!
Mom doesn't like it when I tell "her" stories to her :) I suppose it might be the same as reminding her that she can't remember? I'm glad she told them to me so often in the past, though. That way at least I can remember them better.

Doug: A dry season is the last thing you need there. There's nothing we can do about the weather except complain and worry. Luckily, I'm really good at those things! lol
Mom does better with written instructions, strangely. I've tried to do the telephone prompting and she gets very confused. When she can read the instructions she isn't as flustered. It only works if they are simple, though. Too many steps and she can't retain the first part of what she has read. It makes sense, with memory loss. I don't mind letting her give it a try once in a while but usually it's just easier (and safer) to take her meds to her each evening.
It's surprising, isn't it, how people manage when they have to ...

Diane Henders said...

Such a difficult situation for you to be in; and who needed the snow on top of it? Here's hoping 'real' spring finds you soon.

And thanks for the funnies. I'm still wiping tears from my eyes after reading 'I have to pee' and 'QUACK'! Uh-oh, here come the giggles again...

DB Stewart said...

Your resilience is remarkable. Keep writing, as it is one way to keep the worry box from overflowing.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, that most excellent year 1957.
The snow looks nice.
Yep to those. I often do similar. It is odd how a simple two syllable hello can not come out in a straightforward way.

Red said...

Heavy wet snow is not nice. It's heavy to shovel and breaks trees. Try and tough it out until it melts.

Joanne Noragon said...

I laughed myself through the funnies, too. Our one day of snow, yesterday, is melted, and I see a daffodil in bloom.

Martha said...

Oh, that poor, brave little crocus! That's Canada for you. The weather is so unpredictable. None of the flowers have been courageous enough to sprout yet around here. Who can blame them?

"Putting worry in a box" I love that! I'll have to remember it. It's a really tough period with your mom. I remember the year that my mother forgot my birthday for the first time. She was always great at remembering anniversaries and birthdays. And although, I understood the reasoning behind it, it was still difficult emotionally.

I hope that's the last of the snow for you!

Marie Smith said...

The chuckles were needed today. We had snow again too. Take care, Jenny.

messymimi said...

Heeheehee! Those had me laughing harder than i've laughed in a few days. Thank you.

Taking care of parents who don't want to be taken care of is one of the hardest parts of the "job" of being someone's child.

River said...

Oh dear, that last funny. I would be fore engine red as I left that place.
I do wish there was an easier way to get your mother into care or that she would accept home help. Perhaps if you called it a "Daily Visitor to talk to"?
I've been wondering if I could have a Home Care nurse visit to help with my eye drops when the time comes. If my insurance considers it part of the surgery I will definitely get the help, but if not then I'll have to think about at least the first week.
Born in a snow storm eh?

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Roting for the crocus and you! Thanks for the funnies. I needed that laugh.

Rajani Rehana said...

Super post

jenny_o said...

Diane: I found the giggles just stacked up when reading those; individually they may not have been as funny but reading one after another made them much funnier :)

DBS: I don't feel resilient. I feel desperate. But good point about writing :)

Andrew: Yes - even the simplest words or phrases can get mangled. I've said "Thanks you" SO many times it's embarrassing (a cross between thanks and thank you).

Red: I've shovelled the narrowest possible path out of the driveway, counting on the sun to do the rest :)

Joanne: Excellent! (all of it, the jokes and the melted snow and the daffodils :))

jenny_o said...

Martha: The concept of putting worry in a box is not original to me but I never understood how to do it until my time with my dad. I'm going to have to try to find a way to do it with my mom too. It's too stressful otherwise. May your flowers bloom soon! I never count on a storm being the last one until mid-June, to be honest :)

Marie: I hope your snow melts as quickly as ours is doing :)

Mimi: You got it. It wouldn't be nearly as hard if we could just do it without an argument every time :) Glad I could help you chuckle.

River: I'm turning the problem over and over to see if there is some way I can make home care attractive to my mother. At the beginning, I did ask if she would like someone to come a couple of times a week to drive her to the store. She simply refuses to have anyone that she doesn't know, or anyone she doesn't like. That leaves VERY few people as candidates. It would be funny if it wasn't so exasperating.
I hope your insurance does consider the eye drops part of the surgery. It's essential as far as I can see, because without it the surgery has less chance of being successful, especially with the antibiotic drops, which are only for the first week (at least that's the protocol here). Fingers crossed.

Charlotte: I'm glad you enjoyed the memes!

Rajani: Thank you!

jenny_o said...

Martha: P. S. by "not original to me" I meant I didn't invent the idea :)

crafty cat corner said...

And to think that we get excited here when a few flakes of snow fall, lol

jenny_o said...

Briony: It's all relative to what we're used to having, isn't it - anything outside the norm IS exciting :)

baili said...

it is hard to define how nice i felt that you have a little flower blooming in your yard dear Jenny ,i felt it was mother Nature smiling at you with all her love and warmth and embracing beauty that matches much with beauty you have inside you.

and because i enlarged the photo i started to read all the funnies that you shared as series of images scrolled further ,all made me smile but last one made me laugh ,it can happen that phrase used so often can slip from one's mouth spontaneously but on occasion inappropriate lol

your words somehow have some strange sorrow that feels piercing despite of all you write so plainly ,it makes me sad deeply and i wish i can join you there while looking at this snowfall and letting our silence interact quietly and then we talk when you feel like it .

i can relate with pain that a daughter can feel when her mother who used to most reliable source for living and strength and strongest support has begun to fade away slowly ,yes it is enormous sense of helplessness and terrible stage of life when one realizes true face of reality of life .That is what we are actually despite of all the physical and mental might we gain or claim we are weak and totally stuck in pattern of Nature my friend . i have become completely a different person that i was when i had my parents with me alive and active .

now after them i know that next is my turn and life is more practical for me to live and less to just fantasize .

i want to live until i can stay active only and i pray for this every day ,i hope the governing force is hearing me from around and within .

i advise you to eliminate all that help to rise uric acid in body dear Jenny ,i hope the course of medication and the precaution will help you to feel better .

hugs and blessings to you and loved ones!

Mr. Shife said...

Loved all of the funnies, jenny_o. Thank you very much as they are much needed today. Take care and hope the snow goes away soon. We are scheduled to get some next week. It is going to be almost 80 tomorrow. But I know I should not complain about Idaho's spring because your spring sounds like it is way worse.

jenny_o said...

baili: I, too, wish we could sit and talk together. Even the idea has brought me comfort, though. Thank you for that. And I agree, I would like very much to not linger after I lose my ability to be active, but I fear that's not likely. We can't plan the future, I guess. All the best to you and your family, my dear friend.

Mr. Shife: Glad you liked the funnies; it seems they are needed more than usual with all that's going on. Feel free to complain as much as you want :D

Steve Reed said...

OMG -- the "comb in my shoe" made me laugh out loud!

That is quite a bit of snow for this time of year, it seems to me!

I can certainly understand how you feel about your mom. And I know what you mean about the peace that comes with knowing someone is properly cared for. My mom, like your dad, lives in a facility where she's looked after and that brings me no end of relief. I wish I had some suggestions for how to make your mom's situation better. :(