The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The bad days are beginning to be more frequent in my senior years. On the other hand the good days that come along are very good, so I’ll keep plugging along hoping for more good than bad.

Starting off on what I thought was a good day, I decided to make pasta salad, which hubby and I haven’t had for quite some time. I only made a small batch for our supper and I was trotting along so well until the pasta had cooled enough to dress. That night we decided to finish off the last chicken legs in the freezer. We had been to Costco the previous day and stocked up on chicken thighs for a change. Not wanting a large meal we voted for the pasta salad as a nice side dish with the legs.

All was going well, as I said, until it came time to dress the salad. As I was stirring in the mayo, I also added the salt and pepper. Once done, I gave it a taste for seasoning and OMG my tongue felt like it had swallowed half the box of salt!! It was awful and I started to get upset. Not always thinking straight, I grabbed Nat to take a taste to confirm my suspicions. His face suddenly cringed, his eyes closed and his tongue was spitting out whatever it could. The following discussions:

“What were you thinking”?, he asked.

“No bloody idea. I took a pinch from the salt box and must of miscalculated”, was my reply.

“No kidding”, was his sarcastic retort.

I’m not starting over, so how do I fix it?”, I asked.

“The only answer is to boil some more macaroni, add it to your mix and see if it absorbs that extra salt”, Hubby’s response .

So away I went. It worked. We did, however, now have enough pasta salad to invite the neighbours over. In the end we decided to put away enough for lunch the next day and toss the rest. Ce la vie!!!! My fault and lesson learned, even though I won’t remember a thing.

As the week continued, and most days were just boring, I went for my hair appointment feeling somewhat optimistic and upbeat. I decided to get a perm this time, now that my hair has grown back from the Thrush scenario. The shampoo I bought for hair loss worked better than expected and I was pleased as I sat in my hairdresser’s chair. Even she had noticed my hair looked better and we proceeded with a discussion on what kind of perm I wanted. On a whim “Let’s go really curly”, was my smart ass reply. Without hesitation the process began.

This time there was some excitement at the salon regarding a possible abandoned car with Texas license plates. One of the customers went out to check the car and discovered it had also been left unlocked. Naturally, she opened the door, had a good look around at a small mess in the front seat and smelling what she felt was more than a dead animal lingering. She returned to the shop and the theories soon began. My hairdresser reported the customer’s finding to the owner of the Avondale Store who put a note on the car window that it will be towed if not removed by end of day. We all had a good laugh at the various scenarios being discussed and, trust me, they began to get a little weird only because they were Texas plates!! None of us have ever heard of anything good coming from the State of Texas, especially from watching TV.

With all things now settled, it was time to remove the small pink curlers and reveal the masterpiece. EGAD!!!! I was taken aback as I have never in my entire life had so many curls on top of my head. I looked like Mohammed Ali, with a mass of Afro curls only on a much smaller head!! I started to laugh as my hairdresser could see the huge disappointment in my eyes. She reassured me it could be fixed with a curling iron and smoothed out. But the whole idea of getting a perm was not having to use a curling iron. I wanted to finger and fluff my hair in the morning. Another smart ass idea of mine gone wrong. In the end my hairdresser fixed Mr. Ali’s curly top and I was at least able to face the public again.

For the last month, my mind has also been on the crappy eating habits I’ve returned to. Chocolate has been the bane of my existence. Eating more than I should. Buying more than I should and stashing whatever I can in the fridge. Whenever Nat is out of the house at his golf games (3 x a week) I’ll sit in front of our computer and stream my favourite British cooking or comedy shows while munching on as much chocolate as it takes to complete the show – each one usually an hour long. Seriously, I’m addicted and sick. I’m now anticipating really bad blood sugar levels at my next blood work which will probably confirm the high results I’m getting at home. Telling myself every morning to behave and lay off, I’m only good on the days that Nat is not out of the house. The true signs of a Chocoholic.

I finally came to terms once my blood work was done. After checking the results online today, my numbers weren’t good, but weren’t has high as I had anticipated. I’ve now disposed of any stashes in the fridge, started keeping record of my exercise, blood pressure and blood sugar results everyday to remind myself that if I don’t make better gains, I’m going to have two really pissed off Nephrologists. The discipline is extremely hard and it’s been getting me depressed at times. Hubby tries to support me as best he can but being an already disciplined person, it’s hard for him to connect with me. These are the times I miss living closer to my sisters. I know I can get through this, despite going it alone.

Back to normalcy, and in order to get out of the house to clear away the dust bunnies that had gathered on our shoulders, Nat and I headed to the Balls Falls Craft Show this Thanksgiving weekend. We had walked around the Marshville Heritage Festival the week before, which was a bit of a bust.

When we arrived at Balls Falls. we were surprised at the reorganization of the event. They had now extended the parking area to a larger lot, had 6-seater golf carts running back and forth every minute to pick up people who were unable to walk up and down the large hill that takes you down to the Artisans and Big Barn. The Artisans, too, had been re-organized. The large tent at one end was now split in two with new Artisan tents in between. All Artisans in the Big Barn were laid out in a more conducive manner, and the Food Artisans were located in another large tent set up behind the Big Barn. The only disappointment was the Food Tents and eating area, which seemed to have been downsized. It was probably just my mind playing tricks, but the seating area was moved behind all of the Food Vendors and the Band Stage was now abandoned with Artisans scattered around where picnic benches use to be. Really not conducive to enjoying lunch and watching the world go by.

As Nat and I walked around we really enjoyed a lot of the Vendors and their wares. Some of the Vendors seemed to have changed while other new ones had arrived. The one Artist I love was there and has expanded her village houses using recycled boards. They were gorgeous and it pained me to keep my credit card in my wallet. Damn!!! In the end I found a few more items I would loved to have bought, but I had to be good and save my pennies for our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip to Stratford for 4 days.

Continuing on the bad day vein, the Mail app on my iPad has decided to act up. Apparently I’m not alone in this, as I have a sister having the same problem. Mail will send or receive messages, but if you try to answer a received email, it won’t go. I get a message back regarding a problem with the setup on the Server or that the address is not recognized. Another one of those things where I’ll end up on the phone talking to someone at Cogeco to see what the problem is. I’m sure it’s something I’ve done wrong at this end – it usually always is!!

After visiting Balls Falls we returned home for a quiet afternoon. As it was such a perfect day, Nat went for a walk while I did a little research on cooking our little turkey breast for Monday. Wanting to save a lot of hassle and mini-arguments, I happened upon a recipe for the Slow CookerDespite not having all of the ingredients, I knew we could improvise as we have in the past and it would all work out.

With the arrival of Monday, we proceeded to get the Slow Cooker out and the veggies all prepped and ready. We cut up some potatoes, and onions, laid them in the base of the cooker and placed the turkey breast on top (after seasoning the breast). Switched on the cooker for 6 hours and we were done. Voila, our meal was complete except for the gravy and one other side which could be completed closer to eating time.

During the rest of the afternoon we could smell the turkey cooking away and as luck would have it, the turkey was done earlier than expected. It had reached its temperature so we decided to eat early. What the hell, it was only us!! With the drippings in the bottom of the slow cooker, Nat was able to make his gravy in the same pot, while I heated up another side dish. The turkey breast was sliced, the potatoes laid along side and the extra side was ready to go. We enjoyed a very quiet, yummy Thanksgiving dinner on our own. (Honestly, still not the same without a whole wack of family sitting around a big table and all talking above one another.) We retired to our recliners for the rest of the evening.

Regarding the Turkey Breast, I have to give cudos to Costco. While getting our semi-annual groceries this past month, we came across a small bin full of turkey breasts with bone in for only $9.99. A deal we could not resist, we grabbed a package and when we were unpacking it at home, we discovered it was the whole top of a turkey. Both sides were huge and we divided the pair and froze one for another time. Such a deal!!

With Thanksgiving over, we have Halloween to look forward to. Oh goody!! I’ve lost my zest for this event and would love to just turn out the lights. Nat, on the other hand, feels that since the neighbourhood has increased with Little Ones, that we should do something. This year, my love, it’s all yours.

Kissing 2018 Goodbye, In Spades

The healing process, although lengthy and time-consuming, has been going a lot better than anticipated. Within several weeks of using the walker, I shortly began to walk on my own. The walker, of course, was always in tow for safety and security sake. My confidence was beginning to get ahead of me as sometimes I would get a little cocky and take steps a little too quickly and would start to loose my balance before stopping to catch my breath.

The time I’ve been spending recouping has, at least, been productive. I’m now managing the laundry on weekends, with a bit of dusting in between loads, along with doing a little baking. Poor hubby is in dire need of baked goods for his evening tea and I can manage baking a raisin or coconut loaf, along with scones, that are simple and quick to do. At least I feel as if I’ve accomplished something and not whiling away the hours sitting on my butt.

After loosing so much weight (over 30 pounds) I’m managing to keep it where I’ve always wanted it to be. My Doctor calculated my Body Mass Index and concluded I’m where I should be and long may I maintain it. I’ve had to purchase a lot of new clothes – pants, shirts, undies, etc. In two sizes smaller than what was in my closet, and even I will admit it’s been an expensive ordeal. Not being able to find exactly what I had in the larger size, I’ve been having a wee bit of fun finding some new, funkier pieces than before, and it’s been kind of fun.

Dear hubby has to drive me anywhere I need to go. Sometimes I hesitate in asking as there are times I’d like to go on my own so I can have some “alone” time. He’s being very patient and not criticizing me for certain things I have purchased. For some reason his temperament has drastically changed since my time in hospital and he’s been more understanding of my situation. I can only wish he maintains this even temperament as it’s good for his mental health and getting better sleeps at night. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s been a worrier for anything that is beyond his control. Our lives at this very moment have been peaceful, quiet, loving and fun.

Not sure when he’ll allow me to drive. I understand his reasoning, but in my mind I’m as stable as a cement block. As I said earlier, it would be nice to have some time on my own. I’ll just have to be patient, which is not one of my strong points.

With the holidays now virtually on our doorstep, hubby and I haven’t had to do much at all. We give the grandkids money, as we have no idea what each one of them are into anymore. We sent out a few Christmas Cards, but the postage is just as expensive as the cards now, so we’re even thinking twice about that. We’ve at least cut the list in half with most cards going to Britain to family.

Speaking of Britain, our youngest granddaughter has spent the last three months in Leeds on a school program and is enjoying her time enormously. With her older sister and Mom joining her for a couple of weeks early on, they all had a chance to go north to Newcastle and meet their cousins and other family that they’ve never met before. Their Mom reported back that they had a grand time and would love to go back, if not for the expense.

The youngest granddaughter has been travelling while in Leeds, as the expense is very minimal, so she’s had a chance to visit Amsterdam, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc. In between her schooling she’s getting the education of a life time. Hubby and I are so glad she’s been able to have this experience at her age. Most teenagers will never have such a chance. Plus she’s worked so hard to earn the money herself, which proves she has the work ethic to achieve whatever she’d like to in life.

Hubby and I will spend Christmas Eve at Laura’s, along with her two children, and then we’ll go into St. Catharines and spend an hour or two at one of my sisters’ homes. I wish I could have hosted Christmas Eve myself this year, but my stamina is not what it was and hubby worries I may outdo myself, so he’s asked that I hold off for at least another year. I will admit I’ve not hosted Christmas Eve at our house in several years, and it really is about time I took a turn. The work, honestly, is getting to be a bit too much for any one of my sisters and myself as the years go by and our ages keep adding up. Perhaps one day we’ll come up with an idea that will suit us all??

Christmas Day hubby and I will spend quietly in the morning, and then head off to Susan’s home mid-morning. We’ll watch as her two girls open their gifts, hopefully hear of Bridget’s adventures in Leeds and the other countries she visited. We’ll then head for home and cook a small turkey breast for our own quiet dinner. Having bought a fresh whole turkey earlier in the month and cutting it into pieces for freezing, we can take a a piece out and still have plenty more for the new year.

In closing, I’m so glad to see 2018 go. It’s been a long, horrendously tiring year, frustrating to say the least and at times mentally and physically draining. There have been times where I truthfully did not want to continue, did not care about anyone or anything and had no idea of what was ahead of me, of what was to become of me and how in hell I was going to get past this whole thing of the Thrush and the Dentures. It’s been a tough ride getting use to the Dentures (things are never as easy as others say it is) and they are still a work in progress. Hoping to have my last visit this next week for a final adjustment and onwards and upwards for 2019.

Another one of those times where I just want to get settled back into my boring little life, spend time with hubby and enjoy 2019 to the best of my ability.

Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.

The Diagnosis Is In And The Cure Is Hell

With a manicure and pedicure booked on the 24th, and with my health deteriorating by the minute, I called to cancel the appointment, thinking I wouldn’t be able to last long enough. However, being deeply in need of at least a pedicure, my gal at the salon suggested she could at least give me a basic pedicure to get me through.

I could tell by the looks on their faces at the salon that I looked like death warmed over once I arrived. My gal soon whipped my feet into shape and I felt better for having it done.

The next morning I awoke and announced to Nat that I definitely wanted to get checked into the hospital. He agreed. This time it didn’t take as long, as I stressed the fact that I was now very malnourished and in need of an IV with nutrients. I was soon booked into a bed and headed to the Short Term Stay area of The St. Catharines General for however long it would take to get me diagnosed and back up to speed.

The Short Term Stay area is a connection of 8 Pods (or small rooms with curtains for doors) surrounding a nursing station where doctors and nurses can see into each and keep an eye on everything around them. A nice set-up. I sent Nat home once I was settled in as there was nothing more that could be done and I knew he was exhausted mentally and physically from this entire ordeal. He, at least for now, could relax knowing that I was in good hands and being taken care of.

Trying to get sleep in any hospital is virtually impossible. If you’ve ever been in one you’ll understand. At one point, I soon began to doze off, but by 3:00 am some nursing staff decided to have a small get-together around the station until 4:00 am. So much for that.

It was Saturday afternoon before I was seen to by an Internist who had read my chart from top to bottom and realized I had developed Thrush. A yeast infection in my mouth that affects immune-suppressed patients getting dentures. It’s more common in babies and other adults, but just my luck, I was also a candidate. This Internist was good!

A medication was prescribed, and naturally, it was disgusting – a creamy little drink that you had to swish around your mouth and then swallow. This little drink only added to my gagging and being sick more than ever. I became sick just thinking about each dose before I took it. In fact, I cheated a couple of times and tossed a dose or two in the garbage. I would rather have died than take this crap. It was that bad.

It was soon discovered that the Thrush had spread down into my throat which is the reason why the intolerance to a couple of meds. I had also developed a bit of a bladder infection which had to be taken care of immediately. With everything else going on in my body, my new little kidney also had to be taken care of. If I rejected it now, I wouldn’t be able to live. You would not believe the amount of medications I now had to swallow (now a huge struggle) – 13 medications for the kidney, 1 antibiotic, 1 for the Thrush, 2 for stomach acid and a Potassium pill (which I was now lacking). And that’s just the morning routine. You get an infection in your mouth and the cure is almost as worse.

I was finally released after 4 days, with the new meds in hand. The body was still extremely tired and I just wanted to curl up into a ball under my duvet cover and sleep for a thousand weeks.

Still unable to swallow any kind of “soft” food, I struggled to get any nutrients into me in order to get my strength up. One of the most difficult things I have to do. I’m such a picky eater and drinker, I’m struggling to keep things in my stomach long enough for the nutrients to be absorbed into my body and help to get me up and running. Nat is in such a state, we’re now starting to argue about it. It’s so difficult for me to explain about the swallowing and he has no idea of how it feels. He’s now extremely worried, but how do I reassure him that I’m okay.

It’s upsetting to me, too. I would die for any kind of solid food from a simple grilled cheese sandwich right up to a Panko-encrusted pork chop with homemade fries. I’m in such a catch 22 situation I couldn’t win even if the odds were in my favour.

Once I was diagnosed, Nat and I soon began to discuss the fact, that why didn’t my Dentist catch this thing as it was developing. Even I could see my tongue was getting coated as the dental visits progressed. We really could have nipped this disgusting thing in the bud. Alas, too late and now I must endure what befalls me and for as long as it takes to get cured.

I return to the Internist this Wednesday to see how things are going. She implied last visit that this could last for a couple of weeks before I see any results. My mind and spirit truly do not know how long we’ll last. 2018 to me will never end.