Thought Provoking Moments

Now that the new sump pumps have settled in and are much quieter, life at home has almost become a bit complacent.

I had my annual check-up at St. Joseph’s in Hamilton. My Nephrologist and I got each other caught up on our version of events during the Thrush fiasco. Apparently he knew quite a bit more than I was told. He had been in constant touch with the Doctors on my case and despite the fact I was told nothing, my medications were practically being changed on a daily basis (which originally had me puzzled, but was helpless at the time) only because of the constant conflicts with one of my anti-rejection drugs. I guess my transplant meds were keeping the powers that be on their toes. I then had my turn and a chance to rant and rave about the Dieticians constantly nagging me to eat, and my constant explaining that how can I eat, if I can’t swallow?????  At least now we were both in sympatico and I felt better being updated on the whole affair. I really do have to know what exactly is going on when it comes to me, myself and I.

I also had to explain to the Doc about the number of times I had fallen, hit my head and was now having balance problems. Knowing what I know about concussions, I had become concerned as the old noggin’ is taking its time getting better. The Doc then put me through a series of tests, as his trainee interns watched on. He had me stand up while he put one of his arms in front of me and the other in back and asked me to remain standing for several minutes. I could feel my body wanting to sway back and forth, but I held my ground. He could tell I was wavering but was satisfied how I did. He had me walk back and forth across the floor, touching my left index finger to my nose and then try and touch his index finger, repeating with my right finger. He appeared satisfied that I was alright and then explained to Nat and I how to proceed. As I’m wanting to loose at least 5-8 pounds, he agreed that the treadmill would be perfect for helping my balance and that a regular routine was now really recommended. It was also a given that I would strengthen my legs and concentration. I will admit this treatment is a great relief from what I had previously been thinking.

With more information in hand, a couple new medications (for blood pressure), Nat and I had lunch on the way home and then settled in for what was left of our day. My appointments in Hamilton, despite being at 10:00 am, usually take up over 5 hours. The drive (both ways) and parking alone are 3 hours. The walk from the parking garage to the Clinic is close to 20 minutes (2 ways), the waiting to be seen is usually another 30-45 minutes, the check-up close to 60 minutes (depending on scenario). Now you can understand why we just clear our entire day for that one appointment.

The sore back is continuing. This has been going on for several weeks and there have also been a couple of days where I couldn’t even stand up without a stabbing ache in my right hip and back. I was walking bent over like a pretzel and it was agonizing. I sympathize with all those in my family who are also experiencing back problems. Thankfully as the days have passed, most of the pain has eased up, but there’s always that little weak feeling in my lower back that reminds me not to go for a run!!

Our routine has now returned. Nat has his golf games 3 days a week, I’ve been trying desperately to get the baking caught up-to-date. I’ve not made bread in several months, the cookies are in extreme low supply, along with the Raisin Loaf and Scones. I started something almost 20 years ago, that I can’t stop. Nat has become use to having fresh baked goods for his Tea, it’s going to be a struggle to wean him off when the times comes that my baking slows to a “crawl”.

A few surprises have also come our way. From the beginning of the year, Laura has been coming by periodically for a visit. Sometimes she brings Zoe and sometimes not. She’ll stop by Timmies for us and we have a great visit. This has continued right up to this past week, and even Susan and Tom have caught on. I have no idea why they decided to change their ways, but it’s been absolutely great. The visits break up the days for their Father and I, plus we have a chance to visit more often than in the past.

In previous years I was enjoying Nat golfing and having a few hours to myself. I would eat lunch when I wanted, watch some crap TV, muck about on the computer, play games on the iPad or generally amuse myself without the love of my life looking over my shoulders. With the Thrush trauma last year, the old body walking like a drunken sailor, and now the back pain,  I’ve become a bit complacent and my ambition has given up the ghost. I long to sit in the recliner, play games on the iPad, watch boring TV and become brain dead. My emotions are also on the edge.  I’m now getting lonely while Nat is golfing. I’m dwelling on having dentures and my life has become quite stagnant. Even shopping has become somewhat boring. Believe it or not!!!!!! Not having a car, nor being allowed to ride my bike and being just a bit too long of a walk to downtown can add to my loneliness. Nat struggles to come up with any suggestions, despite his tries, as his imagination is a bit lack-luster and his spirit of adventure has disappeared with his childhood. I love him to death for even trying.

Getting out of bed is also becoming a struggle. Not that I’m sad, but I just don’t want to leave the warmth of our bed, close my eyes and return to the Land of Nod. My pill routine is the reason forcing me to get up and at ’em as I have to take one at 9:00 am on the dot. After 20 years this, too, can become a bit of a drag, but my health and well-being are more important than snuggling in bed.

I’m trying hard not to allow my depression to rear its ugly head. I’m hoping that if it does I’ll have the sense to talk things out with myself on my website. The last extreme depression I experienced almost became fatal. The sisters I called were unavailable and Nat tried with every fibre of his being to understand. Nothing in that world makes any sense to him and if he doesn’t understand then he shakes his head and struggles for words to say to me. With the passing of days, talking in bits and bobs, we soon stick our heads out of the sand and get on with our lives, as boring as they are.

Shhh, You’ll Wake The Living

That pretty much sums up our lives these past few weeks. If it weren’t for a few errands and a couple of birthdays this week, I’m thinking Nat and I would’ve been ready for the looney bin. This is another reason why I’m not posting on a fairly regular basis. A waste of time and space – so I’m posting on a weekly basis only to make it look more exciting!

Sunday January 16th started off quiet enough. Our usual routine of Nat doing crosswords and me watching Sunday Morning. We were storing up our energy for the trip into Niagara Falls just after lunch for Lucas’ 14th birthday. Grandma can no longer call him the “little guy” as he’s growing into a young man faster than any of us adults want to admit. He was elated at his gifts of cold hard cash and gift cards so he can shop ’til he drops for clothes and grooming products. Looking to be that “sharped dressed man” to attract the young ladies, Lucas will be the first to admit that is not his aim, but you can see the twinkle in his eyes whenever the subject is brooched.

As we had to be at Gail’s for her 65th birthday get-together at a 6:00 pm that same day, we decided not to go home after Lucas’ party, but rather head into St. Catharines and maybe check out a few of the big box stores on 4th Avenue. We walked around Best Buy to browse the latest and greatest in electronics and noticed how much smaller the CD aisle had become. With everyone choosing to download their music to MP3 players or iPods, it was evident that the music industry was going into a whole new direction. We then headed over to Swiss Chalet for supper and then off to Gail’s for another nice get together with family and friends. We left for home by 8:30 as it had been a long day, and it wasn’t long after settling into his easy chair, Nat dozed off. The TV viewing was that boring!!

Monday the 17th saw us staying home. Nat had had a restless night and with very little sleep he just wanted to stay put. Our son-in-law had asked for a new supply of business cards, so while Nat was lounging by the fire, I hibernated in the office to design some new cards to pop in the mail the next day for Tom.

Tuesday morning saw me waking up with the whim whams. It was my turn for a restless night and with the two of us in no mood to do much, we decided to at least get out and wander around the Seaway Mall in Welland. Not having been there in a year or so, it was a pleasant surprise to see what new stores had arrived and walk around that now infamous Food Court where the Christmas carolers had popped up everywhere singing and which video went viral on You Tube. Having found a top on sale at Sears I was beginning to get into the “shopping” mood. Wearing my favourite pair of shoes that were now about to sprout holes in their soles, we checked out a better known shoe store whereupon I found a great a pair of loafers in a narrow size that is so rare to find nowadays.

Waking up in perkier spirits, I headed into Niagara Square Wednesday morning for some quiet time of my own. That lucky little shopping fairy was still sitting on my shoulders, as I found a great duvet cover on sale (something Nat and I have been looking for) and, along with finding a couple of great white blouses, I drove home ready for the rest of the day.

The winter months, so far, have not been too exciting (as you can tell) for Nat and I, except for that bloody sump pump incident. It’s true what the pros say, you need fresh air and sunshine to keep mentally fit. Having never really fully recovered from my mental fatigue at Christmas, my emotions were still running north, south, east and west, including back and forth from Timbuktu. Wednesday afternoon saw Nat and I talking things out. He could tell that I’ve been edgy and down on myself lately and expressed his concerns. He wanted to be put in the loop and discuss why I wasn’t my perky self. Of course, being a man and knowing his understanding would only go so far, I was only forthcoming with some of my thoughts. It’s been tough for me to accept the fact that this house is taking up a lot of our funds and we no long have the freedom to do what we want and when we want. I’ve been finding it frustrating to see good money go to things that I can’t see, feel or wear!! Nat agreed that it’s been frustrating at times and he, too, felt at odds with how we could accomplish everything we wanted to. We were very much in sympatico and, as always, my mind was blowing things a bit more out of proportion than necessary. Our afternoon had now turned into early evening and we both agreed that we needed to have this kind of talk more often. It felt good and a lot of tension was relieved from both of our shoulders.

Thursday morning Nat and I both awoke from a better sleep. We headed into Fort Erie – me for my flu shot and then to the drug store for some shopping. The afternoon saw us sitting down and finally discussing our trip to Britain that we both desperately wanted to make. With a sketchy outline of what and where we wanted to go, Friday morning we drove into Niagara Falls to the CAA Office for a recent map of Britain and some advice on air and train costs. After having our questions answered we drove over to Zehr’s for groceries, knowing that Saturday we were suppose to wake up to more snow and even colder temperatures. The weather man was right – Saturday and Sunday were going to be snow days!!