Friday, May 15, 2015



Well, I had a difficult day. First there was last night. After a phone call with my aunt - dad's sister - who was trying to prepare me for dad's altered appearance after months of eating very little, and an earlier dispute with my son that left us both in tears (very rare, obviously my resilience and tolerance were way down), I was feeling pretty wrung out. Then we had a power blackout. The night was clear so I don't know why, but certainly the whole block was out. We read by the light of our iPhones (how medieval) but it started getting cold without the heater so we went to bed a bit early.

Obviously I couldn't use my CPAP without power. The electricity did come on later (then we found out which lights had been left on) but I had already settled in for a guilt-free "night off" my CPAP. I know that might not make a lot of sense when it helps me to sleep more soundly, but I still don't much like having that thing strapped to my face every night. I wanted the freedom of being able to turn over with a big tube dragging from my nose!

In terms of restlessness and quality of sleep, it seemed about the same as one of my bad nights with the CPAP that I still have every third night or so, so that wasn't a dramatic change. The main difference was that I accidently spent some time sleeping on my stomach, something the CPAP prevents with its bulk. It used to be my favourite sleeping position but now it makes both shoulders hurt. So I woke in a bit of pain after that and took quite a while to get back to sleep. Also, I had a sore throat when I first woke which makes me think I was snoring, common with sleep apnoea, although Tim slept through it if I was. Anyway, it was one night and I know I sleep better with my CPAP, back to using it tonight.

So we come to today. I dropped off the car at the mechanic and walked the couple of blocks to my physio appointment. I was running a little late and had to hurry, and I stepped in a pothole crossing the road and hurt my ankle (it's fine now). But I ended up only a few minutes late. Only to find I was actually three hours early! I had put 12:40 on my iPhone calendar, the clinic had sent me a reminder yesterday that said it was at 12:40, yet somehow I had got it into my head it was at 9:40. Did I mention my brain doesn't work too well when I'm stressed?

It wouldn't matter too much except that I didn't have my car. I was envisioning walking home, then back in again to my appointment, then later doing the trip again to pick up my car. I suppose it would have been good for me, but it seemed a bit much. So the receptionist managed to move my appointment up to 11:00 and told me to go and have a coffee or something for an hour.

I walked the couple of blocks to the big shopping centre and started to look for something to take to dad in hospital. It was tricky, because he hates greeting cards (someone else's sentiments on a ridiculously overpriced piece of cardboard), has no interest in flowers, doesn't read except the newspaper, wasn't eating much because he was too sick... His interests are sport and alcohol - not necessarily in that order. And I wasn't taking him a bottle of wine to wash down his morphine, although he'd probably appreciate it.

I had this bright idea of making him a pretend bouquet of "flowers" made of rolled up sporting pictures, like his favourite football or cricket stars. I thought it could look cute. So I went to the newsagent but although there were a million magazines for golf, cycling and fishing; apparently the kind of people who watch dad's favourite sports are not big readers. What little they had didn't have enough full-page pictures for my idea to work. I bought a general sport magazine and one with football stats anyway, I thought if he has the energy he might like to flick through them. And also a box of his favourite chocolates, maybe they will spark his appetite. It's likely they'll all just sit on his side table, but it was the best I could think of.

I still had some time so I went to a chocolate cafĂ© which has been there for at least a couple of years but I had never been in. I ordered their basic small-size hot chocolate. The first half I decided it was the best (and at $5.90, most expensive) hot chocolate I had ever had, but after that it just seemed much too sweet and I left the rest. I went from "yum" to "I'm starting to feel sick" after a few mouthfuls. I was feeling pretty sad and stressed, too, so I didn't really enjoy the indulgence.

Back to physio, which went well. My therapist was gentle again with the massage so it was only moderately painful, and she gave me some more exercises to add. Someone across the hall was obviously having a very painful manipulation - lots of sounds of someone in extreme pain!

I called the mechanic before I set off for my walk home to see if I could save myself a trip. They still couldn't get the car to make the worrying sound - it hadn't for me this morning either - but they said the belt (?) was possibly a little loose so they tightened it. Otherwise they couldn't find anything. I went and picked it up and got to drive home. I was glad not to have to do more walking, I'd done a fair bit of trotting around already and I just wanted to get home.

I found out that dad's current Will was written before he got divorced from his second wife, so the executor has asked me to make sure he makes a new one. I didn't want to do it over the phone so I'll wait until I get there but I did prepare a couple of options for him based on his previous version, if he's happy with one of those he can just sign and be done with it. Great conversation to have with your maybe-dying father who you haven't seen for three months. Maybe I should open with that. "Hi dad, great to see you, by the way just in case you die tomorrow..." Sorry, I'm a bit tired.

Later I took Jasmine to her ballet lesson. We got home just in time for a phone call from dad's girlfriend for another conversation about how we don't really know anything new, but that the doctors want to talk to family and when would I be there so she could arrange to be there too (she's had some problems I think because she's lived with him less than a year and isn't an official de facto partner). I was still negotiating that when I noticed the ants. We've been having a problem lately with these tiny little black ants, a few times a week there will be some in the kitchen or laundry or bathroom. Maybe swarming inside an unwashed cup that had juice in it. Or my (I thought washed and clean) sugar bowl. There have been a couple of bigger incursions. Tonight's was a doozy. I alerted the kids and we followed the thick busy trail. They came in under the back door, through the laundry, right around the outside of the kitchen and dining area, avoiding the carpet and staying on the linoleum and tiles, occasionally behind cupboards, finally disappearing behind the dishwasher right back near where they came in. All in the hour and a half we were away.

I mopped them all up with a strong eucalyptus solution, it seems to both kill those it touches and cover up the scent trails so no more come in, for a few days at least. I've won this battle, but not the war. Not sure what to do about it. I'm not keen on chemical sprays. I suppose there is a nest outside nearby, but I've never noticed it. The dishwasher is screwed in so I can't easily pull it out and see what is going on back there. The weird thing was they didn't go to any of the possible food sources like the full rubbish bin under the sink or the crumbs under the kitchen table. Maybe they were looking for a new home rather than food? Or water?

Tim is out tonight at farewell drinks for a colleague so I've got to get the kids to bed. I'm looking forward to sinking into my armchair after that and letting the day be over. It's been a tough one. I don't expect the weekend to be any easier.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck this weekend, sorry about the tough time you've been having.