Friday, July 7, 2017

This Week

Is it Friday again? That’s what the calendar tells me. And so here’s this week’s post.

We spent Monday in Ottawa. It was my younger daughter’s 20th birthday and we wanted to spend some time with her. She and her boyfriend were both off from work, so we took them for lunch at a place called Pure Kitchen, a vegetarian food and juice bar. The food was really good and really filling. After lunch we all headed over to a place called The Ministry of Coffee; a cozy cafe with a laid back atmosphere, rustic look, very friendly staff, an assortment of tasty food options and desserts, and most importantly, great coffee. It’s the type of place you’d want to sit in and work on your novel. The conversation was fun and the company was great. My daughter’s boyfriend is a wonderful young man and they both seem very happy. A great visit all around on a warm and sunny day. It’s hard to believe that my younger child is no longer a teenager. It feels like only yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital. The grey hairs on my head say otherwise.

You’d think I’d had enough of traveling and socializing but nope, I was in Montreal the very next day. My 80-year-old mother called at 5:45 AM stating she felt really sick and wanted to go to the hospital. I’d just spoken to her the night before and she seemed fine, so this was a little unexpected, although not entirely surprising. You see, she tripped and fell in her garden about a month ago and banged her head on the cement tiles. My brother took her to the hospital and after being thoroughly examined, it was determined that she had suffered a mild concussion. The hospital doctors and her family doctor that she’s seen at least a couple of times since then have told her that it will take weeks, possibly months, before she feels like herself again. She is also suffering from low blood pressure lately that brings on other symptoms. All of this has disrupted her daily schedule and interfered with her independence. This makes her anxious, impatient, frustrated, confused and irritable. She wants to get back to normal...yesterday.


My mom usually calls upon my brother who lives in the downstairs apartment with his wife (my mom owns a duplex) to help her. This time she didn’t because she didn’t want to bother him. I didn’t either. I moved closer to be able to help now that our mother is getting older. So I splashed water on my face, fed the cats (cannot leave without doing this), got dressed, filled a thermos with coffee, grabbed a bagel and out the door I went. “It’ll be an easy drive this early in the morning”, I thought. Wrong. Shortly into my drive, I ran into heavy fog on the highway that lasted about 15 minutes. Then I ran into construction that slowed everyone down. Then heavy traffic. It seems everyone was heading east, too, that early in the morning. Instead of taking an hour to get there, which is what I expected, it took an hour and 45 minutes. And I even had trouble finding parking on her street. Because big city living. When I finally made it up to her place, she told me she was feeling better. We never did go to the hospital.

My brother and my sister-in-law were happy to see me but stunned that I’d driven all the way there when they’re right downstairs, always happy to help. I said that I didn’t mind. Perhaps she just needed a little support from me. She’s probably got health anxiety at this point, along with a lot of fear; a patient and understanding approach is needed, especially as she gets older. Although it was a tiring day, it was not totally wasted. I had a nice visit with my mom, and my brother and sister-in-law took me out for coffee and for lunch. I have the best family and it’s always nice to see them.

The next day the most amazing man in the world met up with an old friend of his and they spent the day together. I had the place to myself and you know what I did? Ab-so-lute-ly nothing. I slacked off the whole day, did a lot of reading and even took a long afternoon nap to catch up on some sleep. Sometimes you need a little of that.


Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you couldn’t shake it off once you woke up? This happened to me this morning. I dreamt that I was eating something that tasted really horrible. So horrible, in fact, that when I woke up I could still taste it. It took all morning before I could rid my mouth of that awful taste even though I’d polished off two cups of coffee, a bowl of cereal and an oatmeal cookie. I’m okay now but still feeling a little haunted by it.

Okay, this has gotten longer than I intended. I’ll finish off with the song “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars. The video showcases images of James Bowen and his cat Bob. There is a book and movie about these two; a heartwarming tale of a recovering addict and a stray cat finding each other and healing each other’s scars. And you know what else? Bob the cat plays himself in the feel-good film. *tears of joy*

Enjoy the song and happy weekend!


38 comments:

  1. I like that quote about taking care of elderly parents. Great advice given there! It is good that you are closer living to your mom and can help out as you can when needed. Sounds like a fun time with your daughter and her boyfriend celebrating her birthday! All in all, seemed like an okay week for you, especially with the chance to get a nap in during the day!

    betty

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    1. It really was an okay week, Betty. My mom just needs a little support right now. Things will get better over time and she won't feel this frustrated.

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  2. You are a devoted daughter! I want to see that James and Bob the Cat movie but so far it has not made it to Edmonton.

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    1. I've only got one mama :) Gotta look after her.

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  3. I love the idea of mustering our love and patience each day. One day at a time. ♥️

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  4. Oh, gracious, Martha - I understand your worry. And I can back up what you were told about concussion (as if you need my say-so - haha) My elderly mother was knocked down by a car backing up - it barely touched her, but she fell on asphalt. It was a full six months before she was back to herself. She was not officially diagnosed with concussion, but her personality was different for all that time, and I could tell when she was finally getting better. Health anxiety is a very real thing, too. I am seeing it in my mom. And I know I tend to get more anxious as I get older if there is something wrong with me. Bless you for understanding that and being by her side (and bless your brother and SIL too). I hope I have a child willing to walk with me through the valleys when I need it, if I am on my own by that time.

    Ack, the video and the backstory made me tear up. So glad they've found each other.



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    1. Jenny, I love when you take the time to share information, so don't ever feel like it's a problem. I really appreciate that you care enough to do so. I'm so sorry that happened to your mom. The feel with the elderly is that a fall could lead to major issues. Thankfully my mom did not sustain any serious injuries that could have had her bedridden. Although if you speak to her, you'd think the world ended. But I guess from her perspective it has in some ways. She is not feeling like herself and she has days when she feels disoriented or wakes up dizzy or feels anxious or irritable, and so on. These are all in tune with her concussion, of course, but since she's never had one before she's not convinced of it. As for health anxiety, I totally empathize with it because I've experienced it. It's consuming and terrifying and debilitating. I feel terrible that my mom is feeling all these things and we're all trying to help her. But it'll take time for her to heal. In the meantime, we'll do what we can and be as patient as is required. It's not easy but I think about my dad and how he and my mother used to take care of one another. Now that he's gone, she feels very alone, and I can hear him say "Take good care of your mother." I try my best.

      That video...I know! *sniff* It really hugs my heart.

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  5. Hey Martha,

    Our elderly parents can be such a worry. Your beloved mother, of course, doesn't want to be a worry to your family. It's heartening that she craves her independence and hope she feels back to normal yesterday and before that.

    I'll watch the video with Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar.

    I've had some pretty real dreams in my time.

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

    Is it Saturday, again? Ah, time zones!

    Gary :)

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    1. A huge portion of my mother's anxiety is the thought that she's bothering us. I've told her to just ask for help when she needs it and leave it at that. Thus the 5:45 AM call. I feel terrible that she was at such an anxious frightened level to have to do that but happy that she felt comfortable doing so. I need to know that she can do that.

      I hope you and Penny enjoyed the video. And since Penny is also a superstar, I'm sure she appreciates others just like her :)

      And I hope you both had an amazing weekend!

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  6. Things seem to happen at the same time and make things miserable. I hope your Mom recovers quickly.

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  7. so sorry to hear your mom is not so well, but great that you are living much closer to her now. Happy birthday to your daughter!

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    1. Thanks, Christine! For my mom and for my daughter :)

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  8. i tried to comment earlier and blogger wasn't having it - i couldn't do much on any blogs through blogger - it would just freeze up and not load. Anyway, glad your mom was doing better by the time you got there. Sounds like you are really enjoying your social life at your new home town.

    enjoyed the laughs below this post also.

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    1. You're right, Sandy. I'm really enjoying my social life near my home town! It's wonderful to be able to easily get together with people I love.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your mother

    but the dreams that freak me out are the ones so awful and they wake me up.

    I have had a few dreams where things felt real, like sliding down a slide or kissing a woman.

    Funny how we never dream what we want to dream.

    Like it'd be nice to have a dream of being intimate with a celebrity crush

    but no it's some horrible nightmare where I'm at work, or I'm dying, or I'm embarrassed, or perhaps all of the above. Thanks sub-levels of my brain!

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    1. I know, right? Where are the really cool dreams like flying? Or touring the world? Or something fun and exciting? Nope. Always the scary, shitty types!

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  10. I read that book about A Cat Named Bob! It was pretty remarkable! I'm sorry about your mom. I've definitely had my experience of helping out elderly parents. Being a caregiver is not easy if it goes on for a while, so kudos to your brother and his wife as well. Happy 20th to your daughter! So, now you have no teenage children. Don't you just look back and think "where did the time go?" -Jenn

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    1. I do, Jenn! Logically I know that they're both all grown up but emotionally I still see five year olds when I'm with them. HAHA

      I must read this book! I'm going to check if our local library has it. Or else I'll just get myself a copy.

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  11. I had a dream that the nurse I had was a movie star. It was so so real I didn't speak to her for three weeks. I had a friend that is Canadian. I used to email her a lot for five months. Then it stopped. I always wondered what happened to her. She went into hospital to have an operation after which we sent a few more emails. I hope she is spending more time with her daughters.

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    1. People come and people go from our lives. I used to have some good blogging friends and then POOF they were gone. I always wonder what happened to them.

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  12. Concussions and elderly parent.....I know about these.
    Ron and I spent a couple of hours with my father yesterday evening in his 'nursing home' which is the best place and he likes it there (a federally funded hospital for veterans). We had a good visit but I noticed that he has been 'slipping' over the past month or so. It is very difficult to see this happen to our loved ones, Martha. And you are correct that this is the time for patience and understanding.

    Concussions can bring up a number of issues as I found out a few years back. But luckily these issues do fade as I am sure they will with your Mom. Must be a huge relief that you can get to her now that you are closer.
    Have a good weekend. Oh, great to hear you had a nice visit with your daughter too.

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    1. It is very difficult, Jim. We know that our parents will get older. And we know that they will start to slip and that there'll be problems. We know all this but it doesn't make it any easier. I wish my mother could see further along so she'll believe that these issues will fade but right now she's in the midst of them and can only see the symptoms. That makes me very frustrated and even fearful. We'll do what we can to help her get there. I hope you had a great weekend!

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  13. Our lives are pretty parallel right now. The quote of taking care of aging parents is right on the mark, though the hardest part seems to me is my parents 88 years of priding themselves in being self-sufficient. There are so many times when they don't ask for help and we find them in the middle of chaos and confusion.

    It is strange that no matter how much I love my folks and how much I want to help, it does take a whole day of recovery ('not doing shit today") but I think it's from emotional fatigue.

    I've got a shoulder here if you ever want to just rest!

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Toni, about the emotional fatigue. I feel that way every time I have to deal with these issues. I wish I could snap my fingers and heal all this concussion stuff but it will pass when it passes. Our parents don't reach out sometimes because they want to be independent and they don't want to bother us. I'm a parent and I totally understand this. But I don't like it. LOL

      Thanks for the shoulder! I've got a couple if you ever need some support, too :)

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  14. I am glad your Mom is OK and was feeling better. That is nice that you got to spend time with your daughter and her boyfriend as well as your brother and his wife. How sweet of you to feed the cats first :) I love A Street Cat Named Bob :) Have a great weekend!

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    1. I could not have left the house without feeding my cats! It's the first thing I do every morning. And I wanted to make sure they were okay before I'd gone. They are my fur babies :)

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  15. Patience and love is everything indeed when it comes to the elderly. Family is everything and hope your Mom is doing great. Warm greetings and best wishes!

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    1. Thank you, dear friend. Family is indeed everything. And when you have a good family, it's the greatest blessing.

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  16. I'm so sorry about your mother. I hope things improve for her. You are lucky to have such a close family. Love the Bob books. Enjoy your rest and the weekend.

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    1. Thanks, e! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I can't believe it's already over!

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  17. Your dream suggests you are having to swallow (deal with) something that is distasteful to you, Martha. Glad you took some time for yourself.

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    1. I look it up and that's exactly right! I just have to figure what the heck it is that's distasteful to me! And spit it out :)

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  18. James and Bob are wonderful! :) As others have said, you are very devoted Martha. You know, I'm not even 50 yet, and I have healthy anxiety. I know it's related to general anxiety that I suffer, but it's very unnerving sometimes having aches, pains and odd feelings that seem to come from nowhere. I'm glad Alex is here to convince me that I'm a healthy gal with no physical worries! I'm sure your mom appreciated your visit more than you know it!!!

    Dreams...I have had two recurring nightmares since I was 8 years old. 40 years later, I still have them and even though they are way too familiar, it takes me hours to shake them out of my head. I've never had one that left a taste in my mouth though! The mind is very powerful isn't it?

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    1. Not many people know about health anxiety. It is real and it is very troubling. I've dealt with it and I feel empathetic to whoever is going through it. My mom did appreciate very much that I visited. I'm glad I went to see her but I also feel helpless at times. I hope her concussion passes quickly, so she can get back to some normal routine.

      The mind is indeed very powerful! And dreams have stories to tell. I suppose that's why some of them are repetitive. If they're not too personal or too difficult to share, I'd love to hear about them on your blog! Hope you had a great weekend!

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  19. I held my breath until you reached to your mom Martha!

    i am glad she is doing fine .it reminded me my late mother when in her last few years often felt such anxiety and called us .i live a far city from my mother and train took more than 18 hours to get there.from our small city plane take off only twice a week .so twice i visited her on her such calling and when got there found everything normal {according to me}
    Really sorry that your dear mom fell and hurt her head .i wish her long healthy active and happy life amen.

    It is great you had wonderful time with your daughter and her friend.may they be blessed with happiness always.

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    1. Elderly parents sometimes become anxious and fearful, especially if they are not feeling well. I had a feeling my mom would be okay when I got there but I decided to go anyway. Just visiting her made a difference in her day. Thank you for your good wishes!

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