Monday, April 4, 2016

Family Disappointment

My father-in-law had his weekend pass this past weekend to assess his status for release from rehab. Long story short, he needed keys to the apartment, so I texted Mom to see if she could run the spare set to him. After a prolonged delay, I got, "Yeah I guess so..."

Well, PLEASE don't let me put you out with a 20-minute round trip. For a man who is recovering from a stroke. A man you professed to like "SO MUCH."

I. Was. Pissed.

Pissed was quickly replaced by disappointed and... well, embarrassed.

When we learned Pops would likely be at the apartment alone for two weeks before he moves out here with us, we talked about support for him. I started to say I'd ask Mom and was interrupted by a grimace from Chebbar. I now-now'd him and said if it was simply a matter of her checking to see if he needed anything *IF* she was in the area, it shouldn't be a big deal: I wasn't planning on asking her to drive him to rehab three times a week. Chebbar still said he doubted she'd be okay with it.

Fast forward to Thursday night, and a) she proved me wrong and b) she proved Chebbar right. I didn't even HAVE a chance to ask her about checking in with him before she disappointed me to the point that I WON'T ask her.

All I could think was that I hope to hell she's never in a position like Pops where she might need a favour or two.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Death Warmed Over

After a week of feeling like death-warmed-over, I noticed last night that my Cipralex wasn't in my vitamin holder. I double-checked to make sure there weren't two pills in Saturday (I've done THAT before): nope. Checked Sunday's: no Cipralex.

I haven't taken it in a week. As I said above, I've missed one day by accidentally putting two pills in the same day in the holder, but I've never missed this many in a row in the [checks archives] five years I've been on meds.

First thought? Holy fuck! What have I done? Jesus Christ. [insert boggle-eyed emoji here]

Second thought? I wonder if THAT'S why I've felt like shit this week! Maybe it wasn't (just) the infected tooth.

My third thought, I'm embarrassed to admit, was maybe I shouldn't start taking them... (at damn near the same moment Chebbar told me to hurry up and take a pill).

Embarrassed that, after five years, I still wonder if I need medication. Embarrassed that I still feel stigma - of my OWN doing - around medication. Embarrassed that I still feel inadequate for needing medication.

Then I realized that this was likely the reason I haven't been able to get to sleep all week, why my brain won't shut off (thanks, GAD!), why I wake up in the middle of the night and proceed to toss and turn because I can't get back to sleep. After so many years of shitty sleep and a relatively short period of feeling what good sleep can do for a person, I value sleep more than ever.

And yet, I still found myself wondering... what if I don't take this pill? What if I just "tough it out," this death-warmed-over thing? [With a(n internal) job interview, another appointment with the endodontist about this fucked up tooth, BUYING! A! HOUSE!, moving, cleaning the rental, a new boss starting, and my recovering-stroke-patient father-in-law moving in with us in the span of 3 weeks. I'm a GENIUS, I tell you!] What if I don't need it anymore?

At this point in time, I'm not entirely sure if it's the anxiety talking, the stigma talking, or if it's possible the meds themselves make me think this way, but I know better than to screw with something this without my doctor's input.

I still feel like a moron for forgetting (HOW, dude?!?), but I'm back on the pillwagon.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dearest Body

My dear body,

I've been fighting you, and I'm tired. I don't want to fight you anymore. I've been bemoaning how tired and achy I am all the time. I've been bitching about how no matter what changes, everything stays the same. I've been offering up a litany of reasons I'm frustrated to damn near anyone who will listen.

I'm tired, and I'm done.

Yes, I'm tired and achy, but I'm not *as* tired OR achy as I was back in October. Yes, I've made a number of (good) changes without instantaneous, obvious results, but I am seeing differences, like a moderate weight loss (3 pounds) and perhaps more energy/less fatigue. Yes, I've been scowling my praises, but I'm starting to see that part of it might possibly be a tiny bit of humble bragging (I walk 45 minutes a day, alternate weights and yoga 15 minutes a day 5 days a week, I drink 3 liters of water every day, and I'm eating better than I have in a long time, BUT I feel like I'm gaining weight, specifically in my belly - my pants cut across my midsection).

The exercise feels good. Taking that break every afternoon at work to move my body feels good. Eating well makes me feel smug good. I like water. I am losing weight, and even though I feel like my pants are tight in the waist, my waist measurement hasn't changed.

So, I'm asking for a detente: I'm going to do my damnedest to stop bitching about what isn't working  and start acknowledging all you're doing right by me. I'm going to do my best to work with you, not strain against you. I'm going to be mindful of thinking of and speaking to you with respect and compassion.

What do you say? Truce?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Health Care(lessness)

 I am 50 Shades of Furious and seriously disillusioned with the “health care” spanning two provinces right now. 
Last Friday, Pops was transferred from one facility to another; despite having THREE contact names and phone numbers, no one was notified. The only reason we found out he’d been moved – 75 kilometers away – was because a family friend went to visit on Saturday to find him… gone. “Oh, yeah. He was transferred at noon yesterday.” 
Pops’ sister was driving 3 hours to visit, so we had to get on the phone as fast as possible to let her know her brother wasn’t lost (which then required an additional hour of driving to actually see him). 
I filed a complaint, only to be told there was NO contact information in his file. When I got a little Furious George over that, the gentleman I spoke to quickly tried to cover his ass by saying that hand written notes may not have been transcribed to the electronic file (to which I replied, “that sounds like an issue that needs to be rectified: it’s not like it was a note saying he preferred chocolate pudding over vanilla…”). 
He said he’d be taking care of it straight away, but this shouldn’t have happened in the first place (and is the second complaint I’ve filed since Pops has been in that particular hospital’s “care”). 
Now for home: I had a CT angiogram done 16 days ago. I have not been contacted about the results. I called my doctor’s office – the one who referred me to the cardiologist – to be told that since he wasn’t the requisitioning physician, he won’t get a copy of the results. I called the clinic where I saw the cardiologist to be told they should have the results by now, but they don’t, so call back in a week (um, if the results are late, don’t you think YOU should be tracking them down?).  
There was confusion because the paperwork I received notifying me of my appointment came from an office I’ve never been with a list of doctors I’ve never heard of; I called them this morning to be told that I need to talk to my family doc. When I explained what I had been told, she told me my doctor just needs to call, and they’ll fax the results over to him. 
Uh, wait. So *I* have to call my doctor to tell him to call you before you’ll fax the results to him? Since when did I become an employee of your office?!?  
I lost the tiny bit of composure I had (dummy me took two Robax last night AND my antihistamine, so I woke up feeling stoned) and told her that clearly having an angiogram at 37 means someone somewhere thinks something might be wrong with me and not knowing the results after 16 days is stressing me out; I shouldn’t have to do all this leg work. 
I gave her my doctor’s fax number and asked her to please send the results to him since she wasn’t offering to book me an appointment to review the results with the fucking cardiologist (who was a pompous asshole who belittled me IN FRONT OF ANOTHER PATIENT, so I'm not too keen to see him again, anyhow - I was actually advised to file a complaint because of his behaviour).

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Don't Know What to Title This

A few weeks ago, I got a text from Chebbar's youngest sister, Sarah. She wanted to know when we'd last heard from Pops because he wasn't responding to her texts or calls, which is unlike him at the best of times, but especially in light of the fact that Sarah had just given birth to her first baby a week prior (since their mother passed away a year ago, Pops is all she has by way of parental support).

We hadn't heard from him in about a week, either, so I called Mom to see if Brad could swing by the apartment on his way home from work to buzz on the off chance Pops' cell phone was dead or something. He didn't get an answer to either of his buzzes, so he drove around to the back of the building to see if there were any lights on, but he could only see a faint light, like maybe a hall light. We realized, belatedly, that us having the spare keys to the building and the apartment 1,200km away was not the best decision. (In our defence, we never thought we'd need a contingency plan: he's only 60!)

At that point, I called the police and asked them to do a well-being check. That was 7:30pm. At 11:30, I called them back to be told (politely! and with apologies!) that they were swamped with complaints and hadn't been able to make it yet.

At 4am, I got a call from a police officer who had questions about Pops, the condo, and what she should do if he didn't answer the door. She ended up having to call a locksmith to drill the deadbolt because Pops didn't answer.

Unfortunately, Pops was collapsed on the floor where he had been for sixteen hours (SIXTEEN HOURS). He'd had a stroke and couldn't get up off the floor. He heard his phone. He heard the buzzer. He heard the police banging on the door. He just couldn't get himself up. It breaks my bloody heart to picture him all alone not knowing when - if - anyone would come for him, would find him.

He was rushed to emerg where they discovered a bleed on his brain, so he was later transferred to a bigger hospital in case he ended up needed surgery to repair the bleed (he didn't, thank goodness: his body is healing itself). It looks like untreated high blood pressure was the cause - he hasn't been to a doctor in many, many years.

It's been a long haul over the past month, especially for him, and we still have a ways to go - he just got to the rehab facility this week, and he still has some cognitive impairment. We're hoping he'll consider moving out here to live with us once all is said and done; we would feel so much better knowing he wasn't isolated in the apartment (and, to be honest, if the cognitive impairment doesn't improve, he may not be able to live on his own).

The moral of this story? LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! If it's telling you something is off, something's not right, check it out.

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