What A Clunker!

The month of April continues to be an odd one.  Nat’s new Laz-y-Boy chair arrived a couple of days ago. Really pleased with the look of the fabric. However, after one day of sitting in the damn thing, Nat became totally frustrated with the clunk the footrest makes when putting it in the down position. He was also having an extremely hard time trying to push the headrest back. He struggled no matter what he did.

Not wanting to put up with his frustrated anger anymore, I naturally did some research on Google. “Lazy Boy footrest making a clunk sound“, “Lazy Boy headrest hard to push back”, etc. With all things “Google’, I found all kinds of results, as Nat was not alone in his frustration. We ended up finding a You Tube video explaining how the Lazy Boys work, including the clunking sound. He had to make a few adjustments (via the wing nut under the chair) to ease the pushing of the headrest back. The “clunking” sound was part of the workings of the footrest and really had no solutions to silence the damn thing. There was, however, a hint on how to sit up straight, start to turn down the footrest to the middle position, then sit back and continue with the down turn, which eases the “clunk” somewhat.

So far, Nat’s come to the decision there is not much more he can do and hoping the chair will ease with age. We can only hope!

With my income tax rebate in, we put most of the money towards my dental costs, and I kept a few hundred to put towards an updated iPad. We headed off to Paradise (the Apple Store) at Mapleview Mall in Burlington and after browsing all the goodies, I had decided which iPad I was going to take. Along with the return/recycle of my old iPad I had saved much more money than expected and walked out the door having paid less for my new iPad than the advertised price. What a deal !!!!

I’m still getting use to the larger iPad than the Mini I had at first. The Mini was $100.00 more money than the larger iPad because it came with 129GB vs the 32GB iPad I was looking at. It was a no brainer. Plus the larger screen makes a difference for reading my Twitter feed and some of my games. I’ve also ordered a protective sleeve and small carrying case from Amazon which I can’t wait to get. Funky and fun compared to what I saw at the Apple Store.

My semi-annual report with Doc was great. We also had a good laugh about my dental expenses and his poor dog’s expense in having a tooth pull. The Vet charged $1,000.00 for pulling his dog’s tooth and he felt it should have been a root canal for that amount of money. His adorable “Pugsly” looked to be worth every dollar.

My appointment to have a filling refilled – Dentist’s personal decision due to lack of satisfaction – along with the molding for a crown for the same tooth, took place today. I returned at 10:45 AM for correction of the filling and then the prep work for the crown. This appointment wasn’t as bad as the last one, thank God, and only took about 20 minutes. The prep work for the Crown took about 10 and Nat and I were home in time for a late lunch. I had to return at 3:15 PM to have the Crown put in and luckily did not require a re-freezing. The Hygienist checked my gums by blowing air on them and they were good to go. It almost felt like some of the morning’s freezing was still hanging around. This being my first Crown, it feels very natural and I’m pleased with the results despite the $1,000.00 I paid.

My next appointment will be for impressions of my upper teeth. One of the procedures I’m not really looking forward to, but I tell myself I’m so near the end of this whole adventure and will definitely have time off for a couple of months before the surgery. So near, yet so far. We shall endure.

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Just Chew On This

And so it begins. The adventures of getting new dentures. My first dental visit in so long I’m amazed at the advancements that have been made. However, it was still scaring the hell out me as I’ve had a couple of horrendous visits in my past, along with going to the movies in Edmonton and watching Marathon Man. To this day, I can no longer stand to watch anything that Sir Laurence Olivier is in. It involved a dental torture scene that physically made me sick, during the movie. My date had to take me home immediately.

Getting back to the present. My first appointments were going to fix the cavities in my lower teeth. There were 7 and were being done in 2 appointments – three and then four. The first appointment last Thursday went surprisingly well. There were a few tense moments – before freezing – but they double-numbed my gums that the freezing wasn’t felt at all. I was relieved and my hands became unclenched from the dental chair arms.

There was one tooth that gave my new dentist a hard time, but he persevered and I was done in 20 minutes. Whew!!! Relieved, Nat drove me home and we spent the balance of the afternoon waiting for my lip and mouth to become unfroze. Supper was eaten in a more relaxed state.

My second appointment was this past Tuesday. Thinking the first one went so well, I wasn’t that tense heading into the dental room. A new nurse this time, but was well informed of my fears and she, too, double-numbed my gums for the freezing. This time, however, all hell broke loose. My dentist seemed to be struggling. A couple of the cavities seemed to be okay, but the two remaining gave the poor man grief. He struggled on one, in particular and to such an extent, I was grabbing the dental chair arms so tight my fists turned red. Having trouble getting to the root of things (pardon the pun) my gums were bleeding profusely (a bit exaggerated, but for effect) and he struggled to fill the cavity to his satisfaction. As he was working his nurse was continuously spraying water into my mouth, on my face and up my nose. It should also be noted that I wasn’t given any eye shades this time and felt like I had to duck at every turn for tiny particles spilling into the air. At one point he had to push down so hard on my jaw, it felt like it broke. My right side jaw was now stiff as a board and aching despite the freezing. My eyes being closed the entire time, I could hear my dentist instruct his nurse for certain items and tools that had some sort of tortuous name – drill, picks, spreaders, spoon extractors, hatchers – along with what colour of certain items he wished to use. At one point the nurse asked me to chew on this piece of paper hanging from some tweezers?? One of the easier things to do that afternoon.  Don’t ask, ’cause I don’t know and don’t want to know.

Feeling like I’d been there all afternoon, I was wondering about Nat in the waiting room. I’m thinking by now he’s really worried (knowing my fear) and probably thought I had been kidnapped. After 1-1/2 hours in the chair, together with a couple of breaks during the procedure, I was done. I could hardly get out of the chair without being a bit woozy. My back was aching, my jaw bone was burning and my head spinning. I was then advised that he would like me to return for a second stab at one of the fillings. He wasn’t really happy with the procedure and wanted to make it better – free, of course!!!!! Seriously??????

After discussing future events in this whole process with my advising nurse, it was suggested that I see the Oral Hygienist first –  my gums were really, really inflamed and I need help in being them back to a healthy state. THEN, the week after that I can come back for a second round at that one bloody cavity, along with getting a Crown, which is going to be an extra $1,000.00 Nat and I were never informed of. We are now one step ahead of Debtors’ Prison, to use a very old term.  We haven’t even gotten to the denture part yet.

I’ve been informed that the entire procedure, including moulding, making and inspecting the dentures could be done by the end of April. I’m not putting a lot of money on it – don’t have it anyways – but at least it will be quicker than I thought. I’ll be able to enjoy a couple of (hopefully) warm summer months before I go for my dental surgery.

I’ve gotten myself into this mess because of my fears and anxiety and I have to suffer the consequences – not in a tortuous way, however, but it has to be done and despite the entire procedure this past Tuesday, I am pleased with my new Dentist. He and his staff are friendly, considerate and helpful. During my entire life and illness, I’ve learned that I have to suffer alone. Bizarre as it sounds, I’m not affecting anyone else in my pain and grief, and I feel better with no outsiders around me. Suffering in silence is somehow my sanctuary, my peaceful place. Again, don’t ask, ’cause I don’t understand it myself.

On a whole other subject, we’ve got our taxes done and returned. Good return this year which will help with the dental expenses. If it wasn’t for the dental stuff, we could use the refund for a dozen other things, but our priorities have been laid out.

We had a quiet Easter. Visited with my side one evening for goodies and updates on everyones’ lives. Personally, I had a good time but was anxious to get home, watch the hockey game and contemplate things ahead. The suffering in silence thing rears its ugly head and my emotions get the better of me when talking to family, and sometimes Nat, who is supporting me in ways I can never repay.

The month of April is filled with Dental appointments, Nephrology appointment and am slipping in a manicure one day. It will feel good to talk to my manicurist. Like my great hairdresser, she’s become supportive and understanding and we’ve been getting along famously – or at least she makes me think so, and that’s all I care about – love and support.

 

Sit Back, Relax – Maybe Procrastinate

The Dentistry profession needs help. A lot of it. At long last I had my appointment with the oral surgeon in Niagara Falls. With a lot of information to review, I was really pleased with his demenor and felt comfortable. That’s a good thing with me. He went over every step and explained everything, including all of my silly questions.

Having said that, I won’t be able to have my surgery until mid-Summer – maybe June or July. Apparently the hospitals in the Niagara Region only allow 3 days a month for oral surgery, which makes it extremely stressing for any patient to be taken care of in a fairly quick manner. I started my journey back in November of 2017 thinking I’d be done by now. I was wrong. My stress level remains high and in the meantime I still have to have some cavities filled before the surgery. Even more stress to fuel the fire. I’m at the mercy of the CDA and no other options available.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nat finally got Laura moved into her new apartment. Her deal has since closed and we’re hoping she’s settling in okay. We’re also hoping that her stress has been relieved now that she has less financial obligations to take care of.

Hubby is also relieved now that the golfing season has finally arrived – or at least the beginning. We both attended the registration for the Rangers Golf League at the Loonie Lizard in St. Catharines. His golfing buddy had called that morning and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife for a drink. We met up around 2:30, got Nat registered and sat down with Al and Armonde for some drinks, great conversation, and then ordered a really fresh out-of-the-oven delicious pizza for an early Sunday meal. Fabulous.

The following Wednesday I met with dear Sister, Michele, again, for lunch at Swiss Chalet. She’s been slowly working away at her web site – michelerouse.com – and by the looks of things she’s doing damn good. I have to swallow my pride and admit that she has done so much more than I could have figured out. The technical side of my brain is really slowing down, to the point where I have to think twice before I do anything. This is one talent in my life I miss. We had a great lunch and she got me caught up on family news. Nat and I sound like a couple of bumps-on-a-log when it comes to family activities. However, I’m really enjoying these monthly get-togethers with just the two of us.

About the only thing we managed to achieve this month is the purchase of a new recliner chair for Nat. The one he’s using now is nearly 15 years old and has been well taken care of. Suddenly last week a spring broke from underneath and now the footrest just hangs there. I naturally suggested we go looking for a new one. After all what else were we doing?? Nat was hesitant, of course. Another one of those “We don’t need to spend that kind of money right now” moments. Other major expenses were coming up and I knew exactly what he was talking about. I said let’s just go out looking. Won’t cost us anything and we pretty much knew where to go – Lampman’s Furniture in Fonthill. Plus Nat found an ad in our local paper for Rossman’s Laz-y-Boy in Port Colborne which gave us a second choice. We were determined to buy a Laz-y-Boy this time around because of its durability and lifetime guarantee on springs and other parts.

We drove down the road to Port Colborne, checked out Rossman’s and were pleasantly surprised with the amount of inventory in what looked to be a small downtown shop. There were Laz-y-Boys lined up from front to back of the shop and we had a great choice. Nat picked out a couple he really liked and were on sale. We knew, however, we wanted to also check out Lampman’s for comparison. We told the salesman we were going to think about things, then drove down to Fonthill and had a look around. Not as much selection of recliners, but there were enough that Nat found another one he really liked. As the saleman’s back was turned I grabbed the cell phone and snapped a picture of the chair and the sales tag for the Model number. Let’s just do some proper comparison and hope Rossman’s had the same chair. Back to Port Colborne we went.

Turns out we were in luck, the chair Nat liked was there, at the same price, but not in the fabric we liked. Not really meaning to spend the money right now, we both looked at each other, I shrugged my shoulders and we had the salesman order the chair in the fabric we wanted and we were good to go. I truly believe Nat was quietly happy. He will now be able to sit in comfort in a more modern style recliner chair along with fitting into our decor. He’s happy, I’m happy. Let’s face it, some of those recliner chairs can look like they come out of some old person’s apartment – loud coloured fabric, overstuffed, huge arms and a footrest that sticks out into the middle of the room. We take delivery in about 3 weeks.

Headed to my hairdresser this past Thursday. Really want to have my hair streaked in white and was told that it will take a few trips. She also recommended a blue shampoo that will soften the dark tones, so I’m working away to see how this goes. God, she’s so good and helpful – and we have a great time.

My manicure/pedicure appointment was the next day. Going along wtih my decision to try each colour in the palette, I went for a soft, sparkly grey/blue – both hands and toes. Lovin’ the colour. Plus another great time with Ashley.

Now this week I’m determined to get off my butt and bake. I baked great scones for Nat’s tea (they’re extremely easy) and hopefully tomorrow I’ll get back to cookies. The cookie jar is nearly empty. I’m also going to try and bake a Hallah Bread which looks delicious from the recipe I have. With Spring now at our doorstep, I’m hoping to get things done and over with as they come up. I’m a huge procrastinator and I really want to break that bad habit!!!

Speaking of procrastinating, a couple of spots have re-appeared on my face. I had one removed a few years back by lazer and it looks like I’m in for another treatment. This is one procrastinating call I have to get over!!!

How Much Slower Can One Go?

Believe it or not, it’s now the end of February 2018 and I’m only now going to see the dental surgeon on the 28th. I started this whole bloody process in November of 2017 hoping to have my teeth done by Christmas. That was wishful thinking.  I’m totally frustrated, anxious and stressed out and if this whole process is not done before the end of March I’m going to scream and write to the CDA to let them know that I can get major surgery done faster than dental surgery. That’s saying a lot with the huge lack of good medical doctors in this province.

While waiting for my dental surgery, I’ve actually had to give up on my sister’s web site. Totally frustrated with my lapse of knowledge and along with new design structures for WordPress I became stressed again. Trying really hard to keep my blood pressure down for health reasons, I had to admit my technical skills have gone and my brain is devoid of any creative thinking. Damn. My brain only allows me the skills of a now official senior citizen. My crossword days are waning, my patience for needlework is waning and even keeping up my blog with wild and crazy schemes hubby and I have gotten up to are gone. I can barely think of anything exciting to post. How sad am I?

On a somewhat more mundane, but upbeat note, I managed to find the perfect cargo pants for women. With a few exceptions, I hate using a purse. I find them cumbersome, clumsy and constantly in the way of using my hands.  I wanted what the men have – cargo pants that have enough pockets for your necessities – wallet, cell phone, glasses and any smaller items you absolutely need. After searching for years, buying ones that I thought were right and experimenting with similar styles, I hit upon the Land’s End web site and couldn’t believe my eyes. The first pair I bought were so perfect, I ordered another pair in beige and am now in cargo heaven. My search is now on for cargo shorts.

I came upon Land’s End while looking to replace an Oxford Shirt I wore and loved for over 20 years. Having to toss it out was heartbreaking. I soon came across the Landsend.com web site, a well-known, reputeable clothing establishment. I felt secure in knowing I could trust them and their inventory of women’s Oxford Shirts was more than I could have hoped for. At first I ordered a couple of cable-knit sweaters with 3/4 sleeve I find myself wearing all the time. Then I ordered an Oxford Shirt to give it a try and I was so pleased I ordered one in every colour. I wear them daily and love them. It now appears I may be a regular customer.

The day before my birthday, my older sister with breast cancer received her results. All good, she was told. Everything went well, they managed to remove the tumour cleanly and she would only have to see the radiologist for her next step in the process. She sees the Radiologist this Monday – the day before I see the dental surgeon. It seems we’re going along together in this waiting period of the medical and dental professions. Trust me, and dear sister will agree – the waiting time is extremely frustrating and stressful. No wonder the population has high blood pressure – created by the very professions that highly recommend you keep it in check!!! Talk about irony!!!

My birthday was quiet – turning 69 should never be shouted out too loud. We had lunch at the Mandarin St. Catharines – still leary about the Niagara Fall’s restaurant from our last crummy visit. We had a nice time and spent the rest of the afternoon quietly at home. (Damn, that “quietly at home” part sounds like I passed away!!).

Shortly after my birthday, that scammy Valentine’s Day was upon us. In my teenage years it meant something, but age and cynicism took over. Loving hubby, however, still bought me some Nigh’s Chocolates. Who am I to deny such a thoughtful gift. He knows exactly how to hit me right in the heart!! We also took the excuse to have a meal at the Queen Charlotte Tea Room – an authentic and proper English restaurant – the usual fish ‘n chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Beef w/ Yorkshire Pudding, Meat Pies, Afternoon Tea, High Tea, scones, a huge variety of teas and so much more. Set in an old house in Niagara Falls, it’s warm, cozy, friendly and the homemade fries are to die for!!!!!

My hubby is off today, helping his youngest daughter to move. She’s come to the realization that her townhouse condo is too much for her to handle financially and has found a very nice apartment which will give her freedom from expenses she found too burdensome. Nat rented a U-Haul truck and along with her daughter’s boyfriend, a neighbour and son, she’ll get moved in today and will have the balance of February and March to relax until her deal closes mid-March. She was lucky to take possession of the apartment early and will have lots of time to move, clean the townhouse condo and then get settled in her new digs. For me, it’s been a quiet day to get some small things done in the office, do laundry and maybe later watch a few old sitcoms I’ve taped for such an event.

On a final note, as I tried once again to grow my hair out, it became a disaster. I became frustrated again at any hair touching my forehead resulting in itching at night that drives me to drink. A side note – itching apparently is a side-effect from the Prednisone I’m on as an anti-rejection drug. My hairdresser completely understood and we decided to take my hair style back to it’s old no-nonsense ways. As much as I try to change my appearance or improve in some small way, reality brings me back to earth.

 

Still Waiting, And Waiting ….

At first I truly believed that my new teeth would be done. I was naive and wrong. I’m still waiting. At first I received a call and subsequent email advising Nat and myself of the enormous cost that would soon befall us. General Motors was not going to cover as much as we had hoped, and the uncovered balance was going to break the bank – literally.

Suddenly, today, while Nat is out I received another phone call from the Dental Office and was informed that the Oral Surgeon had finally reviewed my file and that I was going to now have two options. Oh great – more bloody waiting time. The first option:- I would have the entire procedure done all at once in a Toronto Hospital – The second option:- I could have the bottom cavities repaired right away, then have the dentures made and have the upper teeth removed in a hospital setting. Apparently the Oral Surgeon is apprehensive about one or two of my anti-rejection drugs and would prefer to do the procedure where more services would be available immediately.

I advised the dental secretary to make the appointment with the Oral Surgeon where Nat and I could discuss all of the above and then advise of our decision. I’m sure it will be the second option. We both have no desire of travelling to Toronto. So now I wait some more.

As January has been passing us by, neither one have been busy. We’ve done the usual chores and errands, etc. and I’ve been helping dear sister, Michele, design a possible web site for her Administrative Virtual Assistant business. I truly believed it would be easy, but I was soon awakened by new WordPress settings, how-to’s, and other changes that are now a bit more restrictive than what I’ve been used to in the past. I suppose corporate headquarters is looking to make a bit more money, and I can’t blame them. There are a lot of web-hosting sites out there and the competition must be tough. I, however, believe that WordPress (and Square Space) are the best out there, except that Square Space is even more expensive.

After long hours in the evening and while Nat has been out of the house, I sat behind my computer screen and customized, customized, customized until the cows came home. Michele is looking for a theme with columns and everyone we picked out had to be customized to create those columns. The one exemption I discovered is any Free themes seem to be uncustomisable to achieve such columns. Nowhere, nohow can I find the settings or descriptions found in online set-ups regarding the very exact theme I’m working on. I’ve now been through at least 5 themes, all to no success. I finally had to admit defeat to my dear sister today, and told her I gave up. I’d do anything to help her with her web site but we’re going to have to re-think the set-up where I won’t have to blow my brains out trying to get her up and going. We do, at least, have a site up with some tagging to (hopefully) get some views and possible customers.

On the good news side, my older sister, Gail, has successfully had a cancerous tumor removed mid-January. She’s still waiting for her radiation schedule, but at least she’s been informed the surgeon managed to get everything and there were no more signs of the tumor. Bless Gail, she appears to be thinking  positively and I’m sure after radiation this will be the last of it. Our family has beaten so many odds before, there’s no doubt in my mind we can keep doing it.

And So It Begins – 2018

The saying “Never a Dull Moment” does not apply to hubby and me so far for 2018. The New Year came and went as fast as I could get to sleep. Nat stays up longer in order to shorten his waking hours in bed and I’m curled deep down underneath the duvet by 11:00 PM at the latest. Without any broohaha, it’s 8:30 am January 1st, 2018 and another usual day begins.

The whole Christmas week was extremely quiet for our family. The usual Christmas Eve visit to Laura’s and then on to a get-together with my side of the family later that evening. Christmas morning, as usual, we’re off to Susan’s to a visit with them. This year, however, we bought a small turkey and decided to have our holiday meal on Boxing Day without any fuss or bother. Just the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy w/ corn. A normal meal for us, except with a bit more expensive meat – Turkey instead of Chicken!

We enjoyed the quietness that the early days of January bought us. For Nat’s 79th birthday we went to Johnny Rocco’s Italian Restaurant in St. Catharines. The stormy weather had eased up just enough that we had clear roads but with mounds of snow all around. Our meals were good, albeit they don’t serve Lasagna anymore. A great disappointment for me, as I was looking forward to it. I remembered it was delicious the last time we ate at this restaurant, but since then the menu has been changed. So, it was pasta and meatballs which I couldn’t begin to finish. Another take-home leftovers, along with the balance of Nat’s pizza which was not the usual kind he was used to eating. A bit more authentic Italian.

Nat’s appointment with his Doctor the next day was more enlightning. A bit more has been discovered since his last appointment and naturally, a change in medication and a change for the better for Nat. His stomach isn’t giving him as much trouble now, and long may that last.

We’ve also received some personal calls from Laura. She’s finally decided to sell her townhouse condominium. The condo fees have risen to the point where it is no longer financially feasible for her and an apartment is looking a lot cheaper and easier to run. After some talks with her Dad, she’s now listed her place and is now on the look-out for a reasonably priced 2-bedroom somewhere around the Niagara Falls area, if possible. I’m so glad she’s at least personally talking to her Dad, as opposed to the constant emails from the past. Of course, her Dad will have to co-sign all documents, being a joint tenant and he’ll be able to help his daughter as she meanders her ways in and out of a sale and rental transaction. I know things will work out for the best and she’ll realize a huge load has been lifted from her shoulders once she’s settled into any new digs.

As for moi – no word from the Dentist or Oral Surgeon as yet. My last appointment I was told the dentures would be made next and I would have a chance to check them out. The financial end of things will also be calculated so as to see who pays what. God, I’m hoping our health insurance will do right by us. This is going to be another huge burden on us financially, as we’re just now getting the kitchen paid for, and another big bill creeps up. Somehow, like everyone else, you just can’t get ahead enough to keep the hounds at bay. Hubby keeps telling me, I’m worth every penny and it’s a no brainer, since it’s my smile but my mother’s inherited guilt keeps floating through my heart and soul. God Bless Mom – she’s left a few personal things behind!!

Here’s to 2018 – And Hopefully A New Me

The days of December 2017 have been passing us by; slowly at first, but then all of a sudden, it’s a week before Christmas. With literally no Christmas shopping to do Nat and I have been spending the wintery days and nights quietly. I will admit, it’s been very stress free (to a certain extent) but I also miss some of the shopping. Ideas for some people literally swirl around in my brain, but I digress, no one in the family wants us to buy for them. More money for us, I guess.

Our minds have naturally been elsewhere, but slowly certain questions are getting answered and we’re beginning to settle down to the reality that may soon befall me. Nat and I are both anxious about this whole matter and we both know what each other is thinking as the days go by. Once Christmas is over, hopefully we’ll be closer to a resolution and an end to the whole affair.

I had another great lunch with Michele, again. This time we got so involved, we sat at our table for almost 2 hours. We had a lot of catching up to do and some personal issues to go over. She always makes me feel so much better about myself and I truly hope she finds what she’s looking for in her future job prospects. So far, she seems to be on the right path and I wish her every success. I’m hoping this will become a monthly thing. It’s a great way for the two of us to get out and just have a good ‘ole gab fest. It’s very cathartic.

Our great little village has now had its fair share of snowfall. Large flakes that resemble Ivory Snow (a detergent from the 1950’s that was flaky and soft) have fallen practically everyday. I can sit in my comfy chair and look out the front window watching the snow slowly fall, resembling a picture postcard. Peaceful, calm and heartwarming.

Our Christmas this year will certainly be a very quiet one. As usual, we’ll see Laura and her family Christmas Eve and then Christmas morning we’ll go to Susan’s place and see what her family all received from Santa.  We bought a small turkey ourselves and will probably cook it up when we return home from Susan’s. This will be a new experience for us and I admit I am kind of looking forward to it. Christmas this year has somehow become very personal to the two of us.

To anyone who may read this, Merry Christmas and all the best of 2018. Be good and enjoy.