Life in progress


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What Day is it Anyway? Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

My day today so far–1:27pm: 

Alex dragged me out of bed at 7:20 again to go for a walk before it got hot. There’s no end in sight to this heat wave we’re having, so I suspect we’ll have a few of these early mornings. Time to start putting some real effort into going to bed before 2am.

I haven’t forgotten the Escapist Coloring Club. I also haven’t coloured much of my page, so I’ll try to get a bit more done before I write the July 1st post. Stay tuned.

Thanks very much for all the good wishes yesterday for my mother’s transition to the nursing home. The trip over there went well, though she was confused, understandably. She’s still walking okay, and she recognized me even with my mask on. She asked about a cigarette when we arrived at the new place–she was probably tipped off by the no-smoking sign at the front of the building. Hopefully now that she’s inside she’ll forget again.

I got a call from the nursing staff yesterday afternoon to say she’d been a busy girl. They were having a hard time keeping her in her room. To remind her, they put a gate up. Regression at its best.

She was apparently doing okay until the sun went down. She called me last night in a tizzy, asking to get out of there so she could look after the baby (me) and the dogs (who died back in the 80s), and to go home. I didn’t ask where home was, but she was probably referring to the house she moved out of in 2001, where I grew up.

Everything she owns that went with her yesterday was in quarantine for 24 hours, so she had nothing, nowhere, and no one she recognized. Last I heard, they were going to give her a sleeping pill.

Getting old really sucks.

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!


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What Day is it Anyway? Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

My day today so far–9:44am: 

I really need to start writing these posts again. I’m sooo lost now that “school” is finished. Not that school had much to do with my life, but I at least had an inkling of when the weekends were.

Alex and I have already been for a walk this morning. Even though the temperature was decent and there was a breeze, for a while I wondered if he’d make it home. The humidity really messes with his breathing. He was gasping for air by the time we made it home. He had to sit in the kitchen beside the window AC unit for half an hour to catch his breath.

In a few minutes I’m off to pick up my mother to take her to the nursing home, finally. I haven’t seen her since the beginning of March, a week before she went into hospital for a pacemaker. She’s being released from the hospital’s care today, though she hasn’t been there physically for a while.

The crazy thing is she had to have a Covid test on Sunday, then she has 24 hours to move into the nursing home after the negative result. But I’m allowed to transport her. It makes no sense. What if I was sick? One way or another, the hardest part is going to be not hugging her. I’d never live with myself if I did somehow have it and didn’t know it, and I caused an outbreak in the home. They’re isolating her for 14 days just in case, but still.

This plague seriously needs to be over already.

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!


11 Comments

#SoCS – Cheeky Bugger

Is it Saturday? Oh. No. It’s Sunday already. And I’m late again for my own party.

I remember my mother calling me (and many other people) a cheeky bugger often. I was very cheeky indeed when I was younger. And when my mum was younger, too.

We took her out today to a restaurant to celebrate her 90th birthday. She only remembered when someone mentioned it. And she can’t remember how old she is. I can tell her and she’ll forget again in under a minute. Under 30 seconds, even.

But she’s still smoking. Her breathing sounds horrible–the nurse at the home asked me if I wanted to send her to the hospital tonight, but I can’t be there with her, so the nurse said they’ll keep an eye on her. She has a puffer. My mum, that is. I don’t know if the nurse has one.

It’s rotten, getting old.

My mother never gets involved in conversations. Can’t make decisions. The simplest things confuse her, like whether or not she should have two creams in her coffee or one. In that case, it’s not that she can’t decide, it’s that she doesn’t understand the concept.

But, she still knows she wants to smoke.

Perhaps it’s the only thing that keeps her alert.

A photo of my mum and Alex, signing “friend” together. Taken about 8 years ago.

Not sure how I got from “cheeky” to here. Ah well. Such is stream of consciousness writing.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find the other participants’ posts in the comment section and see how you, too, can join in! It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-15-2020/


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#SoCS – The Year 2019

It’s been a long year. Normally I’m wondering where the time has gone, but this year–2019–has been extra eventful, it seems. Thank goodness the hospitalizations of my mother and Alex, my youngest son, ended by the spring. My mum has fallen a few times this year, but (touch wood) she hasn’t broken her neck again. The smoking is usually the culprit. She always loses her balance outside.

On a personal note, the year has been productive. I’ve either written or finished two novels and three novellas over the past twelve months, on top of my job as an editor. It’s nice to have that sense of accomplishment.

Today I accomplished tripping up a curb while out walking with Alex. I managed to get my hands out of my pockets before I faceplanted on the pavement, thank goodness. But I have a goose egg on my knee, a nice bruise on one elbow, and my knuckles look like I’ve been in a fistfight.

And I don’t even smoke.

For those wondering if I’m doing Just Jot It January 2020, the answer is yes. I’ll post about it soon, I hope. The busy-ness of 2019 continues, and not having had a break from Alex since the beginning of July (aside from my weekend in Kingston when I was as sick as a dog) and no idea when I will again, I tend to be tired most of the time.

But I’m getting there. One step at a time.

Trying not to trip and fall.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comment section and see how you can join in. It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2019/12/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-28-19/


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I’d’ve’n’t had insane issues, if …

I’d’ve’nt (I would have not) had the insane issue of being too tired to write this post if I’d been able to sleep last night.

And the night before.

I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of being alone to look after my mum (who’s okay, by the way–thanks for all the good wishes) if I hadn’t been an only child.

But there was nothing I could do about that.

I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of wanting to learn everything now, if I hadn’t been me.

But I am.

I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of having to keep remembering how to spell “I’d’ve’nt” every second line if I hadn’t asked for a suggestion for an “I” word.

But I did. (Thanks again.)

I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of wondering if “I’d’ve’nt” shouldn’t be spelled “I’d’ve’n’t” if I hadn’t been an editor.

But that’s one of the things I HAVE learned.

And it’s bugging me.

Because there’s no red squiggly line under I’d’ve’n’t.

So someone out there agrees with me.

I’d’ve’n’t had the insane issue of figuring out how to end this post if I hadn’t started it.

That’ll do.

Thanks to the three people who gave me my three “I” words for today’s “n’t A – Z” post. You’ll find two blogs and one Twitter account under the three links for “I’d’ve’nt,” “issue,” and “insane.”

Looking for “J” words … anyone got a “J” word for me? One per person, keep it clean if you please. I’ll accept the first three I get … remember, the oldest comments are at the bottom of all the comments on my posts.


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Mother Hen

It’s hard to not act like a mother hen some days, especially when you’re a mother and you’re responsible for your own mother.

She’s back in the hospital again. My mother, that is. She fell today when she was outside having a cigarette, and she cut her head open. Smoking is dangerous to your health, I tell you!

She’s had six staples in the back of her head and a CT scan to say that’s all that’s wrong with her this time. Unlike last time when she fell and broke her neck. At least it wasn’t that horrendous.

Now, I’m just waiting for my eldest son to come home from work at 11:30 pm so I can go pick up my mum and drive her back to the retirement home.

Oh, to have harmony in my life.

Thanks so much to the three ladies who gave me today’s “H” words. You’ll find their links under the words “hen,” “horrendous,” and “harmony.”

I could use some “I” words for tomorrow’s illegal A to Z post. One word per person in the comments, and please keep them safe for work. Also note when you’re looking in the comments to see if I already have my three words that the oldest comments are at the bottom of the page.

Thanks!


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#SoCS – Med Mail

The last piece of mail I received was from the people who provide medications to my mum’s retirement home. She doesn’t get her own mail anymore–it confuses her too much. They accidentally gave her her Visa bill last week and she’s been phoning me obsessing over it.

Anyway, this bill for meds comes to about $1.50 a month. Maybe less. I never know whether to pay it, because the bank charges more (I think) for processing fees than the bill is worth. It’s like the outstanding balance of $.79 I have on my credit card right now. Is it worth it? I dunno.

Alex and I went to see my mum today. As you might have guessed, she’s out of the hospital and back at the retirement home. At this point, though, she gets confused about where she is when she’s in her room. She’s having a hard time finding her way around the building, and everything worries her. She’s almost at the top of the waiting list for a nursing home–I think it’ll only be a couple of months–so when they get to her, she’ll be moving. Not the best situation, but what can you do? If she goes back to the bottom of the list, she won’t get one of the nicer places if it becomes a necessity.

Whatever I do, she’s not going to understand. She’s going to blame me for however she feels about it because I’m the only one she has. I’m responsible for whatever happens to her.

*sigh*

It’s much easier making decisions for your kids’ lives than it is your parents’.

SoCS badge by Pamela, at https://achronicalofhope.com/

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the following link to read all the other posts (you’ll find the links in the comment section) and join in! It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-23-19/


58 Comments

My mother, my basement, and my eye – Is 2019 over yet?

So let’s start with my mum. I haven’t written an update on her for a while.

She’s still in the hospital, even though her pneumonia is cleared up. For a while there she was so lethargic and unwilling to move that the doctor told me it was likely her dementia’s progression, and that she’d never get better. So last week, on her 89th birthday in fact, we had a meeting with the hospital’s discharge planner, the head nurse from her retirement home, and myself. My mother refused to get up and walk, so it was decided that I needed to start looking for nursing homes. She wouldn’t even lift her hand to feed herself.

I explained it all to her when the meeting was over, and it was as though a switch flipped. The next day she was up walking.

It took a few days, but I convinced them to go back and reassess. Yay! I thought. She’d be able to go back and live somewhat independently! But no, now her ankle is swollen and she can’t put any weight on it. The x-ray turned up nothing, so gout, maybe? The good news is she’s more alert and less confused than I’ve seen her in a long time, probably due to not smoking for a month.

And even better, she seems to have forgotten that cigarettes exist. She hasn’t asked for one in three weeks.

Fast forward to yesterday morning, I was sitting in the living room with Alex (who was supposed to go to his dad’s this weekend but didn’t–it’ll be at least 2 months again before I have a break), when my eldest son came upstairs and said he thought a pipe had burst. There was water under his desk in his room.

When I got down there, half the basement was flooded. All the cardboard boxes on the floor and everything in them, I figured, was ruined. Turned out it wasn’t the whole basement once we got stuff moved, but the leak had been ongoing for some time. The stuff that was ruined was really bad. The good news is I think we’ve managed to plug up the hole, which is half-way down the wall in the concrete behind an electrical outlet. The bad news is mold.

Fast forward again to this morning. The windy weather made Alex decide he wouldn’t get dressed to go to school. So we did our usual dance when he’s misbehaving, him screaming at me and punching me and me ignoring him the best I can until he complies. Which he always does, eventually, and usually with minimal damage until this morning when he decided to hit me in the side of the head with his sock. It wouldn’t have hurt except he got me in the eye. My only good eye. The other one is legally blind.

So I’m off to the eye doctor today, just to make sure there’s no serious injury. The sock in question was one he’d worn before, and I think he had it on downstairs yesterday. Nothing like an infection to ruin your entire life …

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

The bright side? Alex actually went to school today on the bus, even though there’s snow. Keeping my fingers crossed we’ll finally have a full week of school, the first one this year.

 


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Day 2

Day 2 is much like Day 1, Day 1 being yesterday, the day of ice.

Except Day 2 doesn’t involve ice falling from the sky. Now, ice is on the ground. Still keeping Alex from going to school.

Alex, who is at the moment gleefully jumping up and down in unison with the contestants on “The Price is Right.” Screaming as if he was just called up onto the stage.

We took down the Christmas tree yesterday. It didn’t help. Cross superstition off the list of causes for this year’s luck.

In other news, my mother has been diagnosed with hypo delirium. She may recover. Good news, though: her lungs are better. So the pneumonia is gone.

Yet, I am stuck at home. Unable to visit the hospital. Unable to escape the screams, joyful as they are.


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As the pneu turns, aka what I’ve been doing today

Yes, I know. Pneu means tire in French and this has nothing to do with tires. It does have to do with pneumonia.

Start from the beginning shall we? Actually, I don’t remember that far back, so starting at yesterday will have to do.

Yesterday afternoon I picked my mother up from the hospital, from a three day stay. The first thing she asked for was a cigarette. I asked her if maybe she thought it would be better to wait a day or two to smoke since she still had pneumonia. Her answer: “I’ve already waited two days!” I then said that maybe waiting another two will mean she can get better and not have to go back to the hospital where she can’t smoke at all.

So she had a cigarette before she even made it to her room in the retirement home. I went off to get her meds from the pharmacy, and when I came back, she wanted another one. I tried again to reason with her, but no. So I sat outside with her in the -20C-with-the-wind cold while she hacked and wheezed through another cigarette.

At 5:15 this morning I got a call from the home. She was having trouble breathing and did I think she should go back to the hospital. I asked the nurse to keep an eye on her and she agreed.

At 4:00 this afternoon I got another call. They were putting her back in an ambulance. I arrived in the emergency room a little while later, and as I stood at her bedside, holding her hand, she asked me why she was back in the hospital. I explained to her that she had pneumonia and smoking had put her back in there. “I told you yesterday,” I said, “that if you smoked you’d wind up back in here,” to which she smiled and replied, “You’re a wonderful daughter.” I couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough.

She seems to be worse now than she was when she went in on the 23rd, to me at least. But they’re not sure they’ll keep her, so I might be going back to pick her up in the dead of night.

I have my doubts.

And that pretty much sums up my day. Nay, my weekend: I have my doubts.