The Morning with Dad

Photo 2011-12-12 5 38 53 PM

Photo 2011-12-12 5 38 53 PMThis morning has been spent with Dads care.  The primary reason was for a trip to the eye specialist for a follow-up check on the condition of his eyes.  This is since he has had his cataracts done, and the subsequent laser surgery to remove the opacity from the sacs that hold his new lens.  The check up was a slow process or at least seems so to me. I think it was an equally tedious event for him. Continue reading The Morning with Dad

Dad’s day

Photo 2012-06-17 10 25 57 PMMy uncle posted a photo on Facebook the other day of my Dad and I.   I was being given a haircut by my Dad when I was about 3 or 4 I’d guess.  I certainly don’t remember the day.

I will show my Dad the pic when I see him today.  I’d be curious to see if he has any recollection of the event at all. Something tells me he won’t, but he has surprised me before and may do so again.

It just depends on how lucid he is on any particular day.

Continue reading Dad’s day

Thanks for Writing Award, and Time Flies….But where does it fly to?

award, blogging, Thanks for Writing Award

The Thanks for Writing Award

The other day I was given the honor of sharing the “Thanks for Writing Award” by My Soulful Healing.  Needless to say it came as a bit of a surprise, a very pleasant surprise but a surprise nonetheless.  It’s just that I haven’t been on the blog scene for some time now, by writing any recent posts I mean, and I’m very! grateful I am still on someones mind.  I still need to find out how to fulfill this honor, or pass it on.  The sharing of the award has inspired me though and I’ll endeavor to improve my blog presence. Awards are a nice thing. Continue reading Thanks for Writing Award, and Time Flies….But where does it fly to?

Moods, Good bad or Indifferent

I’ve been pulled back in, or at least the attempt is being made, and it’s the tug of the blog and not clutching of a tired swimmer struggling to survive. The last week or so has been hard, and not sense that my days have been full of onerous tasks. There has been some of that but moreso I had lost my drive to journal, to write my thoughts and to verbalized my fears. In short my mood toward writing, and other things, sucked.

Today had to be the day, I told myself, the point where “damn the torpedoes” I have to pen something.  It helps that another book I’ve taken up reading, called ” the Right to Write”, is describing that very situation. I’ve mentioned this book before, it happens to be the one that “jumped off the shelf” at me, figuratively not literally.  That really would have been cool, wouldn’t it.  The current paragraph describes how we just have to begin, we need only to promise ourselves that we will write for 5 minutes, only 1 paragraph, and the act of starting to write will unleash the torrents of words that are held within us.  Seems to have worked so far.  That part of my mood has lifted somewhat, like the curtains parting on a new play.

I don’t know what my problem has been, although my mind is full of speculation. The ideas of why, the reasons and/or excuses are in plentiful supply. to separate the wheat from the chaff is the challenge.

Certainly the issues with my Dad are ongoing.  The current situation is generally revolving around his scooter, and the lack of battery life.  He cannot go far without the scooter power dropping significantly and he is concerned (rightly so I must admit) of becoming stranded somewhere.  You think that’d be an easy one to fix, and it should be, but in a town with only one scooter supply store and a technician that “seems” to be run off his feet it has become a bit of a cluster f***.  Still no repair done, and the weather is great now where a spin outside would still be ok.  Soon, very soon, that will not be the case and he will be house bound, like a trapped animal, looking out from their cage wanting to be free.

Could also be my retirement plans, or strong desire for them to come to fruition.  I yearn to retire, I also feel like the trapped animal.  I’m fortunate that I can exit my cage but I am still held on a too-short leash. It’s only fear and common sense that are holding me back, fear of taking that step and common sense telling me I can’t afford it.

The passing of Andy Rooney, of the television show “60 Minutes” fame, has made me think as well.  Here’s a man who has made his passion his life , the art of crafting words.  He was described as a curmudgeon among other things, due in part to his talent for saying it like it was.  He pulled no punches and said what he thought.  His knack was also saying what many of us felt inside but were either afraid to say or unable to articulate.

So perhaps Mood can be a good thing after all, something that can drive us to say what needs to be said, if only for ourselves.  I do feel better.

Where do I begin?

It was an eventful day yesterday, running the gamut from dealing with Dad’s care, to full-on socializing, and being on the listening end of a full on bitch session regarding work.  By the end I felt beat-up and somewhat overwhelmed.

Dads doctor called in the afternoon, the results had come back from his blood work and his INR (International Normalized Ratio) was too low.  Essentially the INR is a measurement of the effectiveness of blood thinning drugs, in this case Warfarin.  If I understand correctly the low results indicate his blood has a slightly lower ability to clot.  In itself not too serious but the potential is there if left unmonitored or treated.  So between the doctors office and myself we got his dosage increased for a couple days and a further blood test this Friday.  The bus at the home will take him down to the blood clinic and he can get re-checked.  I have to say I’m a bit sceptical of this process, the whole “let him take the bus” routine, I see it having the potential for him either getting lost or missing the bus back, something that will require extra attention.  Call me a cynic, I just don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

Next phase was visiting with Bruce, who was in town to do his service, so we were able to sit and have a couple scotches before going to dinner.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to commiserate as long as I’d hoped, nor about more interesting topics as Wally came with us and while he is generally fine to be with today he wasn’t so much.

He must’ve been feeling especially frustrated because when he began talking about work and how things were going the torrent of verbal distress came forth.  It pretty much dominated the conversation after that and by the time dinner was over I felt anxious and depressed.  Doesn’t really have a lot to do with me directly but Wally was hired to replace me and he’s having some challenges on the job himself.  Personal reasons have driven him to hand in his notice and he only has another week or so before he leaves.  I’m sure the work issues have impacted his decision in no small way as well, end result is he’s going after being there only a year or so, and no replacement has been selected that I know.

Bottom line when I got home I disgorged to Mo somewhat myself, poor thing.  I’m having some challenges getting my head around all the issues, both personal and work.  I’m sure it will come together, it’ll just take some time.

Mentally exhausted, Dealing with Dad

For whatever reason last night I was mentally exhausted.  I think it began when I picked Dad up after work and all along the drive to Trail I was thinking “I’m late, I’m late”.  I did get away from work a bit later than expected, and there was the odd traffic tie-up in town, slowing for lights or construction on the main road through town, but the stress of thinking I would miss his 3:45 appointment was draining.

It was only after, later in the afternoon, that I realized the clock in Mo’s car was about 5 min. fast, and that was a relief because that was the 5 minutes I needed.  Add that to the time saved by calling Dad as I got into Trail, I was about 7 minutes away from him, and asked him to get ready and meet me downstairs at the Village.  Bada bing, Bada boom, I was back on schedule and got him in the door at our destination at exactly the appointment time.  Whew, big relief.

The appointment with the Optometrist took a little longer than anticipated as well, and I sat with him through most of it, the physical eye examinations and other tests.  By the time that was all completed it was about 5 pm and I had to return him to the Lodge.  It’s not really a Lodge, just seems to be an appropriate name for it.  Really it’s a Village, Rosewood Village, but Lodge seems to fit.

At any rate the Lodge/Village had called me while we at the Optometrists to see if I knew where he was.  They thought he may have been MIA and needed to know if he would be back by 5 pm for dinner and meds.  We made it with about 30 minutes to spare, both Dad and I were pooped.

So to end the saga I returned home, had a beer (2) and then made dinner.  Afterwards the exhaustion set in and I fell asleep on the couch, drained but otherwise ok.  I need a holiday.

Maybe I Should Write a Book about Dad’s care

So in the ongoing saga of moving my aging father I’ve often thought of writing a book, detailing the steps involved and hoping to help someone else through the process.  That may or may not occur, but in the process of writing this post and looking for photos I came across a site diarizing the tribulations and joy of a man who shared his fathers last days, his memory loss and the sharing of love they felt for each other.

Very touching, bringing tears to my eyes, and how I can relate.

Mentally tired, Move complete

It has been a long few days, maybe closer to weeks by now since we started moving Dad.  Even the prior days/weeks I have been arranging doctors and trying to get finances and tax info straightened around, closing accounts and setting up new Doctors and Opticians.  It all took place since Friday 9th.  The culmination was over the last 4 days with his move into an Assisted Living facility in Trail.

He seems like he will really like it there, the smell of flowers in the air, the lawns, the friendly staff and maybe the novelty of the move itself.  He was exhausted when I took him home last night to spend his first night in his new abode.  I could see the strain on his face, watched him drag his feet and stumble down the hall, even with the help of his walker.  I don’t want to do this again he told me, I think I want to stay here.  We’ll see I thought, let’s wait until you’ve settled a bit then maybe another move closer to us won’t be such a strain.  Maybe he won’t make it until then, who knows.

On the drive to the coast to pick him up I had some time for some thinking, mostly about my stress level and how I was reacting to the whole event.  I pondered some of the articles and passages of books I’ve read lately, about intensity and what it means.  For me, at that time, intensity meant an infux of sensory data, a berating of my consciousness by the sights and sounds of the drive.  By the thoughts and memories I had of the past few weeks.  The mental drain.  Calgon take me away.

I felt like I was hyperaware of the sounds and noises mostly, lesser so to the visual stimuli.  The din of traffic, the thrum of the tires on the road and the throb of the engine were somewhat draining, that and sometimes the conversation inside the cab overloaded me as well.  I became conscious of “Intensity”, at least my definition at the time.  Was this all because of the past number of days events?  Or was i just more aware of what my body was telling me?  Perhaps a little of both.

Move, Phase 1 complete

Friday 16th

Well we’ve done arrived. The first phase of dads move has begun. We have come to Kelowna to overnight and then onto Langley tomorrow to load up his things and bring him home. Not home literally but to a new home for him.

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Tuesday 20th

I began the post above on the first night of the move, rather the first leg of our trip.  I had every intention of putting more “ink” to paper and wanted to diarize the events over the succeeding days but did not have the heart, nor the intestinal fortitude.  I was tired even at that point.  Even as time went on I thought I’d feel more communicative but such was not the case.  As I update this after it’s all over (I hope) I can see that it had only just begun.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my disposition or the make up of my character but my head was swimming and somehow maintaining the blog was a distant desire.

Dads move

Progress is being made and with luck we will have him here next week.  We had planned to visit him anyway and this will fit, if/when the plan comes together.  I’ll get my sister to pack him up and we can load his stuff Saturday afternoon and bring him home Sunday.  It will be a long couple days but having him here will be a big improvement.  Dealing with his care from 600k away is a bit onerous at times.