PEDTM: Day 22

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:25 pm
mirabile: (Arthur)
[personal profile] mirabile
Saturdays are Mother's days, so I put together a little picnic for us (chicken salad sandwich, pickles, Bud) and took it to her along with her clean clothes. I started doing her laundry back in late April and it's working out well: I pick them up on Thursday, I wash on Friday, and return them on Saturday. I feel better about doing it myself than having the assisted living facility's laundry do it because Mother has such nice clothes, plus some pieces had disappeared. Now if they disappear it's my fault :)

When I arrived, she was still in her nightie but in her recliner. They had brought her breakfast and she'd eaten that, but she still ate one of the cinnamon rolls I'd made. She said she was tired and not feeling quite right, so we just sat and talked and listened to some Doris Day. My sister and her wife called as usual and we chatted for quite a while. Mother just closed her eyes and listened for most of it. Around noon I brought out the picnic and she ate about a quarter of the sandwich, some pickles, and drank almost all the Bud. I stayed until around 1:30 and hated to leave, but I was tired and a bit worried about Webster. I reminded her, as I always do, that she could have one of the nurses call me if she wanted. Ach. It's so hard to leave.

Anyway, came home and found Webster had had a very quiet day, too, which he certainly needed after the stress of the last two days. I had left him a sandwich so he had that and soup, and for dinner I made waffles. I needed some comfort food, you know? And I love waffles.

That was really my day. I did practice a little ukulele and played one song on the piano, but that was it. I finally watched Hidden Figures, which was excellent but hard to watch -- I had to stop several times and walk around because it was so upsetting.

Oh! I wore my new My Favorite Murder tee shirt! It says: Stay Sexy, Don't Get Murdered. Mother got a kick out of it. She must have asked me three times what it said and each time it made her laugh. Don't get murdered! she'd say; that's good advice!

PEDTM: Day 21

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:53 pm
mirabile: (My beating heart)
[personal profile] mirabile
Golly, did I choose a month for posting every day. Sorry. But today was pretty rugged. After that horrible phone call from Webster's doctor's office yesterday, he was a big mess. I was too, but not as much. He was unable to sleep and spent most of the night writing and re-writing a letter to his doctor pointing out the absurdity of getting in trouble because he did NOT have demerol in his blood.

We had to be at the car repair place by 7am, so we were up early anyway. I proofread his letter, made a couple suggestions he did not take, formatted it, and printed it out. He put in in a envelope with the doctor's name and URGENT: PLEASE READ on it.

Off to the car repair (which was to replace the visor on the driver's side and to install a retractable sun shade a friend had given us after visiting here) and then to Home Depot to buy replacement "coach lights" -- apparently that's the name of the sconces on either side of garage doors. Who knew? We swung by the doctor's, which had opened by then, and dropped off the letter, Webster making it very clear to the receptionist that he was upset and angry and "urgent" was really urgent to him.

When we got home I finally was able to get some food into him. He took a bath (to soothe him) and tried to nap but without any success. In the early afternoon he finally said: We need to buy a TV for the den. Which is true! I've been doing research because I never watch TV and the two little TVs we own are the old-fashioned CRT types. The technology has changed a bit. Anyway, I knew I wanted an LG and that it should be HD (high definition). We finally chose an LG HD LED-LCD, that's 4K. I had no idea what 4K meant but apparently it's really new technology. Whatevs. As long as Webster can watch TV that's all that matters. On Wednesday an electrician will be out to install the coach lights and the new TV, plus a few other things, so we are now ready for him.

I sincerely hope that is the last thing we have to buy for a while. So the electrician comes on Wednesday and the construction guy on Thursday and maybe that will be it for, like, twelve years. I hope.

We got home and I finished making another batch of cinnamon rolls (oh year, I started the levain last night and the rolls were rising while we were shopping). I fixed dinner and left Webster to eat his then ran over to the clubhouse gym. The minute I stepped on the treadmill I pulled out my phone to listen to The Essex Serpent -- and there was a voicemail from the doctor. So I emailed Webster to call him, and then ran back home to be there.

To our surprise, we were put straight through to one of his assistants who apologized and explained that the test results were really confusing, and she had had to go to the doctor to figure out what they meant, and that the doctor apologized for all the distress this had caused. I thought Webster was going to cry with relief, and we both thanked her profusely while she apologized again and again. Thank god.

But as soon as we hung up, a migraine tsunami washed over poor Webster and he is down with one of the worst he's had in months and months. As bad as in the pre-medicine days. I ended up working out in the new den using an aerobics video I illegally downloaded, and then swam for a little bit before coming in to shower. Then I cleaned up the kitchen and took the trash out. When I was out, the wind was calm and the sky mostly clear. Almost as soon as I stepped back into the kitchen, an enormous wind blew up and my phone started buzzing, sending me warnings about a storm.

The same thing happened last night. It was a calm and clear evening when I was in the pool. I came inside and by the time we went to bed I was hearing thunder. Then rain! A huge rain, too, really pounding down. No wonder it's 50% humidity outside these days.

But the kitchen is clean, Webster is dozing quietly, and I'm going to listen to my book for a while. I hope you have had a much calmer day than we have.

PEDTM: Day 20

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:57 pm
mirabile: (Angels in America)
[personal profile] mirabile
I am so glad to be home, sitting quietly. It was too big a day, again.

I was a tad late to Mother's because Webster and I were on hold with his GP's office while they tried to find his file so they could tell us why they left a voicemail for him yesterday. Finally they asked to call back, but I just had to leave for Mother's so Webster told them to tell me, and I left.

To my surprise, when I got there Mother was gone. I asked the floor nurse where she was and he said, BINGO. Bingo? But she's blind? Well, someone is helping her. I was thrilled, though pretty surprised, but I went back to the room to start arranging the flowers I'd brought her.

My sister called then and she also marveled at BINGO? I don't think Mother's ever played a game of Bingo in her life! At that moment a therapist rolled Mother back in: turns out she was at her first occupational therapy session. They did an assessment, checked the X-Ray, and the diagnosis is de Quervains tenosynovitis, and you say that five times fast! It's a sort of tendonitis, very similar to carpal tunnel, and they think her wheelchair is too high so she has to push with her hands too much. They are going to lower her chair a big, plus do therapy, and I had to buy her a right-handed thumb spica splint. So not a fracture, thank goodness, and now maybe she'll start recovering a bit.

No Bingo, though :)

After we talked for a while, I took her to Olive Garden for a gin and tonic and a bowl of her favorite soup, zuppa toscana. She only ate about half the bowl, which worries me, but she had eaten a couple of the cookies I'd brought her, plus some candy my sister had sent from Hawaii, so presumably she got enough calories. I hope.

When we were back in her apartment, I discovered I had missed a call from the GP's office, so I called back while I was with her and sat chatting until someone finally came on. The conversation was very distressing and, imo, almost incoherent. This wasn't a doctor, I think she was a clerk? But she didn't really identify herself. At any rate, if I understood her, Webster is in trouble because his bloodwork showed he did NOT have any demerol in him.

I explained (why is this not obvious?) that he only takes the demerol when all his other migraine drugs don't work. She said (I think she said) that the instructions are to take them everyday, so he isn't following the instructions. The implication being he must be abusing them? Selling them?

Foolishly I tried to discuss this with her but quickly realized she was both 1) ignorant and 2) hostile, so what the hell. I told her that, per the doctor's instructions, Webster had an appointment this Monday with a neurologist that the doc had recommended and another appointment with the doc in ten days to follow-up. She sounded bored.

Well, you can imagine how I felt, so double or triple that and you can imagine how Webster took the news. NOT WELL. He has drafted a letter to the doc and will continue to work on it, but I dunno. When he last saw the doctor, he was told that the doctor had received a letter from the DEA saying that he, the doctor, wasn't permitted to prescribe anymore narcotics. Today we hear something completely different.

I know the DEA is being extremely heavy-handed about narcotics, so maybe the doctor is just CYAing?

Anyway, we were worried enough about meeting the new neurologist (we have seen so many over the years), and now he's extra worried. Perfect migraine recipe! My god, do I miss Kaiser Permanente in California.

Okay, enough droning on about my weird day. When I got home, I had a glass of wine, made potato soup and vanilla pudding, and now I'm going to take a long cool shower and read.

Oh, a link! I haven't spent a lot of time with this, but it looks fun: the most iconic book set in every country. You have to scroll down a bit but they really do mean every country. I think a better title would be "the most iconic book IN ENGLISH in every country," though.

Spain - April 1 - last touring day

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:01 am
archaeologist_d: (Tintern Abbey)
[personal profile] archaeologist_d
April 1 – We drove through La Mancha territory, saw a number of windmills from the road, then went to Toledo. First stop was a ‘factory’ where we looked at steel swords, etc. but I didn’t buy anything. The swords were fairly priced, though. After that, we went to the Toledo Cathedral which was huge, with lots of gold in the altar area but it seemed rather cavernous and dark in other areas. The Church of Santa Tome with its El Greco painting was interesting in the artwork, but seemed ordinary otherwise. We also went to a synagogue with Moorish architecture which was very interesting. I’d been to all of them before the last time I was in Spain but it was good to revisit. After that, we walked down to the Roman bridge and then drove to Madrid.

And then the next day, home.

Spain - LaMancha country.
P1080878 Spain (14)
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Spain - March 31

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:33 am
archaeologist_d: (Default)
[personal profile] archaeologist_d
March 31 – An early start, we arrived in Granada about 11:30 AM, then immediately went to the Alhambra. It was as beautiful as ever, and this time, the lion fountain was all in sunlight so I got some great shots. After that, we went over to Generalife gardens. Some were having a hard time walking around and it is a bit of walking but the sunlight was gorgeous and it was a perfect temperature and day.

After going back to the hotel for a little while, we were off to see the Carthusian Monastery, started in 1516 and finished nearly 300 years later. Alas I wasn’t able to take photos inside, then next was to the Royal Chapel where Isabella and Ferdinand were buried (1505-1521) but again I couldn’t take pictures inside. Sigh. Then we went off to dinner which was lovely.

Alhambra
_1080647 ALHAMBRA COMPLEX, Granada (19)
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PEDTM: Day 19

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:55 pm
mirabile: (Saguaro Sunset)
[personal profile] mirabile
Another busy day, but not nearly as busy as yesterday and certainly not as upsetting. I was up before six to get to the lap pool so I would be ready at 7:30 when our contractor returned. Yes, a return to the mess! But this is just a little job. We went with him to Lowes' and purchased the material for the shelves we want installed in the closet, and to decide on a door that will separate the master bedroom from the master bath. DONE. He will start work on next Thursday.

After we came home and had a brief rest, we headed out for our dental appointments. Webster has some issues so after a lot of searching, we found a highly recommended dentist but she is way the hell out in Scottsdale. But she turned out to be just as good as we'd heard and he feels comfortable in her hands, so it's worth the drive. Plus it was a beautiful day with enormous billows of clouds, and on the way home we saw virga and rain.

Speaking of rain here, that big rain we had a few days ago included a microburst over Phoenix, and someone photographed it from a helicopter; check it out here (scroll down a bit). I'm so glad that wasn't over our house!

Today is Hyacinth-sky747's birthday. Remember her? My god, what a writer. Wherever she is, I hope she is happy and healthy and having a wonderful day.

This essay isn't for everyone, so click with care, but it's written by a journalist with a brain tumor, the same kind that John McCain was just diagnosed with: Going out like fireworks: A reporter investigates his own illness -- brain cancer. Really powerful.

Also, I've never been a fan of McCain, but holy shit. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. And his enmity with Tr*mp has proved really helpful, so for very selfish reasons I want him well and in the Senate. Dang.

My hat, but I want some chocolate. Alas, I don't have any in the house except one frozen Pret a Manger brownie that I'm saving for a really, really bad day.

PEDTM: Day 18

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:37 pm
mirabile: (Jack Fuckin' Daniels)
[personal profile] mirabile
Oh my god, what a day. My alarm went off at 5:45 so I could be ready for the sprinkler repairman who came at 6:30. To no one's surprise, we needed a new controller but he had everything required and I was pleased with the price. He showed me how to use it and left a manual, and I'll try tomorrow to make sure I remember how. He also showed me a few more things about the system, like how to turn the water off if there's a leak, and of course the most important thing: how to run some valves manually.

He left around 8, and I left around 8:30 to swing by Safeway and buy Mother a bouquet. They had a really nice one -- usually I buy a bunch of mums or carnations, not a pre-made bouquet, but this was lovely and even my nearly-blind mother really liked it. I also brought her more cookies and two of the cinnamon rolls I made yesterday. She ate those right away! So I will make a larger batch and freeze them. Maybe tomorrow or Friday.

We had a nice visit. My sister called as usual, but Mother's AIM person (Aging in Motion) came a little early so she took Mother down to the gym to start her workout and I talked, in private, about what's going on and what's worrying me. You already know it all: how prevalent my late uncle and aunt are in Mother's conversation, how short her memory is, and an issue with her right wrist. Then I went down to hang out in the gym and cheer Mother on. She is in remarkably good physical shape for a 93 year old, and she loves her AIM person. One of the PTs caught me to let me know that Mother's doctor has prescribed some occupational therapy for her -- OT is for the hands.

I was a little puzzled and talked to the director of PT. He explained that Mother's nurses had noticed that she had trouble transferring herself. That irritated me: yes, because of her right wrist, which I have reported and complained about for two weeks. We talked (with Mother) and the plan is they will do an assessment of her wrist. He will also check that it's been x-rayed (Mother thinks it has, but you know her memory). If it hasn't been, he'll arrange for it to be (they have a portable x-ray so they just do it in her room). If there's no fracture, they'll start OT for a week and then re-assess what's going on. I know where his office is so I can catch him and get information.

After I left Mother I also talked to the nurse on her wing, a really nice guy I've come to know and appreciate, and told him the story. He said he and the director of PT had already talked and he felt they were on the same page. So let's hope.

The good news is that's lots of people coming to see Mother: the AIM person, regular PT they have for all the residents twice a week, and now OT. Plus me, of course, and my sister's calls.

After I left, I hit Costco and then finally home. Webster came out to greet me and help me carry stuff in; when he saw me he said: Have you been crying? Are you all right? Well, I hadn't been crying but I was so exhausted and a little frustrated. I called my sister again and brought her up to speed, and of course he listened in so he knows what's going on. My sister advised me to have a drink, and I would have except then the a/c guy came by to check on a freon leak and instead of a five-minute check he just left, after two hours. So still no drink for me! I think I'll open a bottle of wine :)

But I did have a pleasant afternoon with Webster, once I'd settled down, and it looks as though we might have another storm tonight, yay! More rain would be lovely, even though the humidity + heat is pretty rough.

Oh, I found two cool videos on Jason Kottke's site:

Y40 jump: Guillaume NĂ©ry explores the deepest pool in the world. Only two minutes but my hat, what a video. What a pool! This is at a hotel in Italy, and I want to stay there and swim in the pool. No free diving, though.

Awaken, a documentary full of arresting imagery: This is the trailer for a movie coming out next year. Some of the images brought tears to my eyes. Also not very long but so beautiful. "Arresting imagery" is exactly right.

Now, what about that drink?

PEDTM: Day 17

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:16 pm
mirabile: (Saguaro Sunset)
[personal profile] mirabile
I drove my car for five different errands today. None of them were walkable -- well, two of them would have been but it's too hot. So: to the lap pool, to the pool store to have the water tested, to the dermatologist so Webster's treated basal cell cancer can be looked at (it's healing very well; they are pleased); to my ukulele lesson; to the car repair place to pick up the Jeep. My hat, but that is too much driving on a day off.

But my swim was great, and it's good to have the Jeep back, though they're sending us a list of things that will eventually need repair (well, it's twenty-six years old, so even though we take excellent care of it, things happen, especially in this horrible heat). My ukulele lesson was a little different but a lot of fun -- I have an excellent teacher, I think. I'd like to get good enough to take my uke to Mother's so we could sing along with it, but I'm not there yet.

I made bread today, from the levain I prepared last night. Normally it makes two loaves, but I made one loaf and then two pans of rolls: one just regular sourdough rolls but the other I turned into cinnamon raisin rolls. Webster says they're like candy, so I think Mother will enjoy them. I also made chili for dinner which turned out really tasty, even though I had to ad lib the recipe.

I see Mother tomorrow but don't have anything planned. I'll bring her homemade cookies and a couple of the cinnamon raisin rolls, but I'm not sure what else to do. I think I'll leave home a little early and swing by Safeway to pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers. If it isn't too hot we can sit in the garden for a while. She's lucky because her assisted living area has a beautifully landscaped garden with two fountains. I love sitting there; it's just the heat that keeps me from spending more time there.

I have to get up super early tomorrow because at 6:30 a gentleman is coming to look at the controller for the drip system. I've done as much testing as I could but I need someone with more knowledge than the owner's manual. He came recommended by our handyman, who promised he wouldn't sell us a new system unless we really need one. My feeling is we need a new controller, but we'll see. Maybe I just need to learn how to use it.

We heard from our contractor and on Wednesday he'll be out so we can go together to Lowes' and buy the stuff he needs to build shelves in a closet. This is the last job for a while so I'm anxious to get it done: put a door in between the master bedroom and the attached bathroom (I know! why no door there???) and shelves in the closet. Maybe two days of building and then it's done. At least I hope so. It's been lovely not having people wandering around the house.

I'm pooped. I think I'll call it a day. Good night!

PEDTM: Day 16

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:26 pm
mirabile: made just for me (Default)
[personal profile] mirabile
So a new Doctor Who! Now that Moffat has moved on, I think I'll give the thirteenth doctor a try. Besides, thirteen has always been my lucky number.

Had a nice, relaxing day. Slept later than usual, swam, then backwashed the pool. Webster and I grocery shopped, and then I made chicken and dumplings, his favorite meal (he's re-heating some right now). I also started a levain for bread tomorrow and fed my sourdough starter. I made another batch of buttermilk panna cotta but something went wrong and it isn't setting up. I guess we'll drink it? Practiced ukulele, but not enough. Oh well. My lesson is tomorrow at three, so I have some time.

There's a storm outside: lots of wind and lightning, but so far no thunder or rain. We keep peeking out the front door and back windows to watch the weather. Heh, I can hear Webster looking out the front door again. I wish we'd get some rain, but at least we've had some clouds. All of a sudden it's really humid, though; today while working on the pool the sweat literally poured down my face. I got in the pool a couple of times just to cool down, but I was very happy when I finished and could come into the air conditioned house. I honestly don't know how humans lived here before a/c. Webster points out that the rivers actually flowed back then and they would spend the hottest part of the day in the water. Sounds good to me.

Anybody read The Essex Serpent? I started it today; not sure how I feel about the characters yet. Guess I'll find out.

Good night!

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