Saturday 4 June 2022

Countdown and Other Stuff

My mother had her second cataract surgery yesterday and now the countdown is on for a return to what passes for normal life here.

Once again, I have to go to her house four times a day for four weeks to put in her eyedrops, as she is unable to follow instructions due to her dementia. That is 112 trips to her house, just to save you from doing the multiplication. We started the day before her surgery, as per instructions. As of this hour, there are 103 trips left. Ha.

Last evening Mom's eye was quite red and bothering her, but this morning it looked almost back to normal and she said it felt good. She never had that problem with the first eye, so I was worried last night, but today I was relieved to see the improvement. Now the hard part is over for her, and, as she said with evident relief when we left the hospital yesterday, "I'm glad I only have two eyes!" (And then said it a few more times on the way home. Because dementia.)

Me, too, Mom.



We've been having an unusually cool spring, except for a couple of very warm days. Let me be clear that I'm not complaining, because I know the hot and humid weather will eventually arrive and I much prefer the cooler temperatures.

But, dagnabit, whatever happened to moderate temperatures in spring? Must we go directly from winter jackets and boots to T-shirts and shorts overnight?? 

Oops, I think that counts as complaining after all. The court will please strike that from the record.


My grey kitty with the beautiful green eyes, Meredith, is still hanging in there. If you recall, she was diagnosed with a tumour in her chest that is pushing on her heart, and was supposed to have just months to live. That was late last year. I try to give her extended time every day to do the thing she most likes to do, which is to fall asleep on my chest while I am lying down. I usually fall asleep too, and I'm a little surprised I haven't suffocated yet. Have I mentioned that she weighs sixteen pounds and prefers to be right under my chin?


My multi-coloured kitty, Lucy, who also has beautiful green eyes although a completely different kind of green, is also determined to have her time with me each day. Meredith and Lucy must be kept separate from each other, so I usually spend my reading time with Lucy because I have already had my nap time with Meredith. Lucy has started curling up behind my knees, purring like crazy. This sounds like typical cat behavior but Lucy has not been a typical cat. She has always been quick to bite first and ask questions later, minus the asking questions later part. "You may pat me, but for only four and one quarter pats" kind of thing. And her bite is vicious. Once I had to take antibiotics after she bit me. To be fair to her, it was at a vet visit where she had a sore hip and the vet was manipulating her joint while I held her still at the bitey end. I became super careful after that.

Lucy has to visit the vet again later this month because she has been limping. It takes forever to get a vet appointment here since the pandemic arrived, unless it's an emergency. This appointment was made over a month in advance. At the same time, prices have gone up. But I don't think other vet practices are any different. They are all facing shortages of vets and vet techs, and an increase in the number of animals they care for. So we will persevere with them.


Did I mention I've been having trouble with my left knee? It's hard to get doctor appointments, so I bypassed the doctor and went straight to physio. The first set of exercises were okay, but then the physiotherapist gave me new exercises which were much more rigorous. I didn't have any trouble doing them, but the next day I had a lot and I mean A LOT of pain. It took two weeks for my knee to return to the usual hurt instead of the hella hurt. And then, of course, I was afraid to do them again, it was that bad, and I never did get around to talking to the physio person, because I wasn't finding her too helpful anyhow and the appointments are expensive. In the meantime I made a doctor appointment which, like Lucy's vet appointment, had to be made over a month in advance. I thought that might cure my knee, but it hasn't yet. There's still time, though 😀


So there you have it. The minutiae of my life. I'm treading water but I haven't drowned yet. Another "Ha".

You get ten gold stars if you're still reading.

Time for a few memes before I go get ready to visit my mom again.




Hope you're functioning well this week. And if not, this meme's especially for you:



Marie Smith said...

You are in for another hectic month putting in those drops for your mother. I hope the cats continue to function as well. Now your own problems is another thing. Doctor appointments here are too long into the future as well. Oh my! Hang in there!

Mary said...

Seems to me the kitties are trying to make sure you way or another. Sorry you're back to the 4x a day drops, but like she (repeatedly) said, good thing she only has two eyes. You're a good (frazzled, tired, overwhelmed) daughter--I admire you greatly.

As for troublesome knees...well, I certainly sympathize. Hoping ACL reconstruction surgery on my right knee this coming Wednesday will improve my life:). Spent last three months in a leg brace after badly wrenching my knee on an overnight flight to UK in mid-March; spent the first day there in a great London hospital where I had wonderful care (fully paid for by travel insurance-YAY!). It was a solo two week trip that was then unexpectedly extended by 10 days when I caught Covid two days before I was supposed to fly back to US. Fortunately, I am jabbed and boosted so only had very minor symptoms (e.g. sore throat, runny nose that only lasted a few days), but tested positive all the way until the ninth day. But, hey, I still had a good time...just limped a lot with my lovely brace that keeps me from falling down.:) Hope your knee improves soon! Hang in there with Mom. Know it isn't easy, but keep the daily countdown going with the drops--like a light at the end of a tunnel. x

Terra said...

I like that cute duckling's advice, I will follow it. That is good you are there to give your mom eye drops, makes me wonder what people do that are in that situation with no loving relatives near. Have you tried a strong CBD oil or cream for your hurting knee? I have used it to good effect.

Diane Henders said...

Whew, what a relief that your mom's second cataract surgery is over! Only 103 more visits - ha, indeed.

I have a love-hate relationship with physiotherapy. Sometimes it helps immensely, sometimes it doesn't help at all, and sometimes it makes things worse. You guess which; but you have to pay regardless. Sigh. Here's hoping your knee gets better soon!

Elephant's Child said...

Aaaargh. On lots and lots of levels.
Look after yourself dear friend. Before you look after others. And take the advice in your last meme. Please.
On the cat bite front? The Jazzman bites/scratches me so often I have developed Jazz antibodies and no longer get infected. I bleed multiple times each day.

Mike said...

I like the sink meme. Hey, whatever works!

dinthebeast said...

I'm glad your mom is coming through her eye surgeries, they will make her life better. I like your countdown approach, I do that too. As in counting in fractions of the whole when doing exercises 11, 12, one third, 14...
My first (left) eye surgery was the more difficult of the two, or maybe I just had the recovery down and knew what was coming next on the second one.
Either way, I can see, and those surgeries were seven years ago.
I have left off of doing some of my exercises because I have water on my right knee. It doesn't hurt or anything, but it weirds me out a little, and the whole "put all of my weight on it while I get up off of the floor thirty times a day" probably wasn't helping. I hope it goes away soon, as those exercises are kind of important. My blood pressure has been low ever since I stopped doing them, and my doctor seems to think it should be higher than it is.
Our cat has been going outside more these days, but he murdered a luckless little green bird the other day, and I don't think he is being any nicer to the neighbor's grey cat, so we'll just have to whether he keeps getting to go outside whenever he wants. At least he seems to have figured out that it's a bad idea to jump onto Briana's arm that is still in a cast...

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Steve Reed said...

I've been known to repeat a "clever" joke or line, so I sympathize with your mom! Glad her eyes are done and hopefully she'll enjoy her new eyesight. Our spring has been ridiculously cool too! DON'T LET YOUR CAT SUFFOCATE YOU!

Red said...

Sounds great that your mom had successful cataract surgery.

River said...

Sixteen pounds sleeping on your chest. You must have a very sturdy bone to not get suffocated. My Lola is only eight pounds and I'm grateful she sleeps beside me, not on me.
I'm very glad your mother's eye surgeries are done and as you tick off all those visits, as you see the red ticks marching across your calendar, you will feel better.
Have you tried just massaging some deep heat or similar into your knee a couple of times a day?

Anonymous said...

Of course still reading. My mother has to have surgery on one eye for glaucoma but at least she can do her own drops.
It's good to hear Meredith is hanging on in there. She sounds happy.
I was talking to Bone Doctor, my sister's wife who is a GP now. She has stopped taking on new patients as she is just overwhelmed. However, she would never see someone who genuinely needs a doctor not treated. I hope your knee comes good.
The basin is still quite functional, even if there is nowhere to put the soap.

jenny_o said...

Marie: I will indeed hang in there, thank you :)

Mary: Good luck on Wednesday! I hope everything goes well and you heal quickly and completely. That trip sure had a surprise ending! Thank you for your encouragement.

Terra: I will keep that in mind. This seems to be a muscular issue; it happens mostly after I've been walking. But I can't afford to not be mobile, especially right now! I've had the same thoughts about what other people do. Other people are not necessarily as stubborn as my mom, though. She could have had home care workers come in to do her drops but she has rejected that idea totally for her regular pills so I didn't even bring it up :)

Diane: I'm down to 99 visits left now! lol I'm interested to hear your assessment of physio. It reinforces my feeling that I did the right thing to stop. Maybe I should try a different PT.

Elephant's Child: Jazz shouldn't be biting the hand (or any other part) that feeds him; naughty kitty! But we still love the little blighters, don't we? And thank you, as always, for your kindness.

Mike: There's not much room for splashing in that sink, though :)

Doug: I hope you can resume your exercises soon and that your doctor is able to get the problems under control. Mobility is something we don't think much about until suddenly we can't manage it, eh? I worry about losing mine. I feel like my life is like a house of cards these days; if one little thing goes wrong it will have a huge effect on how I function. How is Briana's healing coming along? Kitty better behave :)

Steve: LOL! I'll try not to :) Yeah, I'm glad Mom's surgeries are complete. It seems like everything will be easier for both of us now in some ways.

Red: I'm relieved it's done and we just have the drops to do!

River: Yeah, I'm trying to look at the cat-on-chest as good exercise for my lungs :) The knee problem usually comes and goes; it's worse after I've been on my feet for a bit. When I did the exercises it hurt all the time, even when I wasn't on it. I should have gotten some of that deep heat but I couldn't make it into the store and back out again! I feel I can handle the current discomfort but if it starts to get worse I'll give the rub a try. And like you said, counting off the visits really does help me cope with them.

Andrew: There are currently over 88,000 people (almost 9% of the population of NS) on the official wait list for a doctor, and that doesn't include all the people who haven't actually added their names to the list. My mother doesn't have a doctor as he moved away recently. I hope your situation never gets this bad. I do feel for the doctors like your sister-in-law. It is very stressful for them to work at full capacity and also worry about the patients they can't see. I hope your mom's glaucoma surgery goes well. Is that a day surgery?

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Hubby had had cataract surgery as well, so we're counting down too. We only do
three times a day, but then 2 drops per eye, and I do not have to go anywhere to do the dropping. You're a hero! Keep breathing even with 16 pound cat on your chest. All the best and happy Pentecost.

jenny_o said...

Charlotte: It's strange how the eyedrop protocol is different from place to place! Good luck to you both and I hope your husband's recovery is quick and easy. The operation is life-enhancing and for some people it is life-changing.

Bonnie said...

I'm sorry you have to deal with all the trips for eye drops again. At least thank goodness this is the last time. I'm happy to hear that Meredith is hanging in there, no doubt helped by all your love and kindness. It does make a difference I believe. My male cat, Zeus, sleeps all night just like that, on top of me and under my chin. I love to hear about both of your cats. Lucy sounds like a sweet cat too. They all can have their moments but they can sure give a lot of love too. I hope you find out about the limping. If she is older it could be arthritis possibly.

I hope your knee pain improves. Our knees can really be a pain. I've had surgery on one knee and it still bothers me and now the other one is getting bad. In my case, it is more age-related though. It is always good to hear from you. I hope the many eye drop trips go smoothly and easily. I like the memes. I've been feeling a little like that sink lately. x

Martha said...

That's a big job with your mom! At least the countdown is on and then it'll be over. Although 103 trips is nothing to sneeze at! We are experiencing the same type of weather. Honestly, I just don't know what to expect anymore day to day. We'll have a streak of cool weather and then BAM hot and humid. At least there have been enough really nice days to spend time in the garden. I'm thankful for that.

messymimi said...

You are such a good daughter. If your knee needs more therapy, i hope you get a better therapist.

kylie said...

All of that sounds exhausting! except cuddles with fur babies, I like that part.

I also love the memes, all of them. Especially the sink

jenny_o said...

Bonnie: I'm thinking the same as you about Lucy. At the visit where she bit me, which was a few years ago now, the vet was thinking she had some arthritis. I'm sorry you're still having trouble with your operated knee and now the other one too. It makes everything harder to do when you can't get around without pain. I hope that soon you'll feel less like that sink -- it's rough feeling that way.

jenny_o said...

Martha: The weather has really been weird this year. I'm glad you're getting lots of time in the garden, though!

Mimi: I don't feel like a good daughter, so much of the time. I try, but dementia on top of my mom's personality is a challenge. But I'm learning stuff all the time :)

kylie: I keep wondering if someone did that to the sink on purpose, in the middle of a reno. I can't imagine a sink just breaking that way :D

Cherie said...

Jenny love, you always manage to make me smile.. even when I don't feel much like smiling.

Mr. Shife said...

Hang in there, jenny-o, keep treading. Glad to hear Meredith is still around and doing better than expected. We have had unseasonably cool weather here as well and a lot of rain. I am actually getting a little depressed about the lack of sunshine. Good luck with your mom.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Maybe you knee would improve with gentle exercises - using those coloured elastic loops of different strengths. I think you know what I mean. Sorry to hear that you are very beholden to your mother right now - following her recent procedures.

jenny_o said...

Cherie: I'm glad about that. It's been a hard week for you. Take care of yourself.

Mr. Shife: Intellectually I know the rain is a good thing but it's hard to face it for long stretches of time. Hope the sun shines soon for you.

Yorkshire Pudding: Exercise bands - that's something I hadn't thought of. I'd need to get advice on using them, I think - I don't want to do further damage by being too gung-ho about it! As for Mom's eyedrops, it's worth it for her to have improved vision but it does take up a lot of time and energy. Down to 73 visits remaining as of this moment :D

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Your crown gets brighter with every trip to your mother's! You are definitely a queen among women!
I'm so sorry about your hip. I do hope your doctor can figure things out.
We've also gone from winter boots to shorts and T's. For the first day or two, there was a hilarious mix of the two--visible when one was waiting at the traffic signals! ;)
You are so patient and loving with your kitties. It makes my heart happy!