Well, I’m happy to say that my mother’s car ran well today, though it certainly did not enjoy starting! I made sure to give it time to warm up in the garage, before taking it out into that wind.
My first stop was to the post office, where I had several packages to pick up. One of them was these:
The heated gloves my husband got for me!
They were listed as XL, but they fit quite snugly when I tried them on. They were too stiff to wear while driving, though, so I went back to my mittens!
These have some interesting features. Obviously, they have batteries. The USB charging cable can charge both at the same time, so I’ve got that happening right now.
The third finger on each hand has a finger loop on it. You can just see one on the right glove. I have no idea what that’s for. The finger tips are touch screen compatible. They have wrist loops to keep them from getting lost, as well as being water resistant and having adjustable cuffs.
It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that one of the other parcels was also something my husband had ordered for me. A new pair of the “Military Tactical work boots” to replace the ones he got me last year. I love the side zipper feature on these, and wore them almost constantly, until the leather finally split and cracked on the side of one boot. This time, as soon as he unboxed them, my husband treated them with some leather conditioner – something we actually found while cleaning up the basement. A full gallon jug of it, barely used! He plans to treat the leather regularly with it, so hopefully this pair will last longer.
One other thing that came in the mail was particularly important: my husband’s disabled parking permit! He doesn’t get out much, but when he does, it will make things much easier for him to be park closer.
After picking everything up at the post office, it was off to my mother’s town. The roads were not too bad, though I was driving against blowing snow. Stopping for gas in the wind wasn’t too bad, either. Then it was off to get my mother’s prescriptions, hit the bank, then stop at the Chinese food place to pick up lunch. I even managed to get to my mother’s a bit earlier than I was shooting for!
We had a decent amount of time to visit and have lunch (breakfast, for me!), then head out early for her appointment. I’m glad we did leave early; it was blowing snow the whole way, with very little shelter along the route. Even as small as the profile of my mother’s car is, I could feel us being buffeted, and the engine working to maintain speed against the wind. The place was easy to find, and had plenty of parking, so we didn’t even lose time with that, and got there about half an hour early.
The specialist my mother was seeing shares a building with another clinic and a pharmacy. As we came in, there were signs all over, saying that even though there are no longer any restrictions, they still required masks. Which is bizarre, since yet another study was just released showing that wearing masks or not makes no difference in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, even when comparing surgical masks with N95 masks, at all (there’s now close to 80 such studies, just in the last few years, with exactly the same end results). You’d think the medical community would be on top of this sort of thing. We passed several of these signs just going through the two sets of doors; I’m not sure my mother even saw them. There were even stand alone signs scattered around main lobby area. As we entered, a woman wearing a mask started coming over, asking which doctor we were there to see. I gave the name and she directed us to the doors behind us. Doors that didn’t have a single sign on them. We walked in, and there wasn’t a mask in sight. Not the receptionist, not the other patients, and not the doctor. It was like a sanctuary of sanity in a sea of junk science!
Getting there early meant we got brought into the examination room early, but the doctor took longer with another patient, so he actually saw us late. Which was fine, except my mother got it in her head that the car would freeze and not start because we were waiting soooo long. I reminded her that I spent more time with her in her apartment before we headed out, and the car started just fine. Plus, the day was still getting warmer! She wasn’t satisfied until the doctor finally came in and she brought it up with him – and he promised to give us a boost if the car didn’t start! 😄
The visit started out a bit confusing, because we were thinking we were there about her breathing issues, but this was a referral about her acid reflux. When she gets really bad heart burn while lying down, she also has trouble breathing, and thinks she’s having a heart attack. Her heart checked out extremely healthy – fantastic for someone in her 90’s – but she still can’t accept that there’s nothing wrong with her heart. The doctor tried questioning her, but eventually started explaining things more to me, while simplifying things for my mother, as he figured out that I would be working to explain things to her later on. He asked her all kinds of questions, but it’s really hard to get clear answers from her, because she keeps wanting to talk about other things.
One of the things that came out is that my mother has been taking all her pills – she thinks she’s taking a lot, but really, it’s not that many – with food. She’s on a medication for acid reflux, that is in her bubble packs as a morning pill. It is NOT supposed to be taken with food, which I never saw indicated anywhere. She should also be taking it in the evening. She takes her evening pills at 5pm, but doesn’t go to bed until 11, so we talked about changing the timing.
After questioning her more, he decided it was appropriate to get a scope done on her, to check if there is any damage from the reflux. Then he talked to her about dietary changes. I recognized what he was talking about and reminded my mother that I’d given her a printout of what foods were good and which weren’t, and she said she never looks at it. *sigh* High acid foods are things she should be avoiding, like citrus fruits, onions and garlic, and tomatoes.
My mother loves her onions and tomatoes.
My sister recently gave her onions and a jar of tomatoes from her garden.
I’ve sent the food list to my sister, and we’ve talked about this before, but my sister just seems to forget completely!
A few more things were discussed, and then we headed out, stopping to get some information about the scope from the receptionist.
My mother was already trying to back out of it, asking if she really needed to get it done.
When she has these “attacks”, she gets really scared and things she is literally dying. But she hasn’t had one in a while, so now she doesn’t want to actually do anything about it.
The appointment was set for the end of this month and, after checking with my mother, my number got put down as the person to call with more information and instructions, closer to the date, which I will then pass on and explain to her. We also got a printout for her about the procedure and what she needs to do in advance. That was something for us to go over when I got her home.
I had offered to help my mother with shopping if she felt up to it, but she wanted to do that in her own town. All she needed was milk, anyhow. I did realize, with the longish drive ahead, it would be a good idea to find a public washroom before we got on the highway. There was a Walmart handy, so I ended up going in, while she stayed warm in the car, so I picked up milk for her, anyhow! I’m glad it worked out that way because, by the time we got her home, I don’t think either of us was up to a grocery trip!
I then spent perhaps an hour going through things with her. While driving home and talking about her medication change, she suddenly told me she was already taking that one pill (she didn’t understand what it was for, even though it has been explained to her by me, my brother and her doctor) in the evening. That was something the specialist should have been told! She was still taking it with food, though, and too early, so we worked out that she would be taking that one pill shortly before bed. I had quite a time convincing her that it was ONLY the one pill that needed to be changed, and that she didn’t need to change anything else. She kept thinking she shouldn’t take any of them with food now, but I know for sure that at least one of them is supposed to be taken with food. Then we went over the printout. I marked out on her calendar, when she needs to stop taking things like blood thinners (and confirming which of her pills is a blood thinner – when the doctor had asked about them, she couldn’t remember exactly why she was on them, other than “they are to prevent stroke”, and she’s been on them longer than we’ve been back, so I don’t know, either), vitamins, aspirin, etc, when to start fasting, and when not to take any of her meds at all. Then more notes were written down inside the cover of her bubble packs, complete with little drawings of the pill shapes.
While going through the printout, I got to the part where it said they would have her lying down on her left side.
But she can’t lie on her left side, she tells me. If she does, she gets the pain and problems with breathing.
Yes, she’s mentioned that she slept on her side (which is recommended for reflux) to the doctor, but didn’t specify why she slept only on her right side.
Turns out that she gets these attacks every time she tries sleeping on her left side. They happen when she’s on her right side, only sometimes, and that’s when she wants to go to a doctor about it.
That was something the specialist should have been told, but she seemed surprised that this wasn’t automatically understood when she had said she slept on her side!
It took some doing, but we got through it. Before I left, she paid me back for the lunch and gas, so before heading home, I stopped at the bank again to do a deposit, then went back to the gas station to fill the tank again. Driving against the wind really did a number on the mileage!
I am so glad I had the wind at my back for the drive home.
Where my mother is, it is sheltered, but the gas station is not. WOW did the wind increase since morning! It’s still blowing now. Even though the temperature is a relatively warm -18C/about 0F, the wind chill was about -33C/-27F. I think the wind chill was even colder while I was filling the tank again! It was absolutely brutal! I picked up a couple other little things then headed back to the car, pausing to check for messages from the family before I left. Which is the only reason I saw the notification from my bank about the purchase I’d just made.
The number was very off.
They forgot to charge me for the gas!
So I went back in and paid for it. 😄
I’m glad I caught it when I did, or I wouldn’t have seen it until I got home.
And I was sure glad to get home! The running around is pretty draining, but all that time trying to explain things to my mother gets pretty difficult after a while, even though she was definitely having one of her good days.
I’m glad it got done, though.
I’ll also be glad when this chill finally ends. It’s still only -18C/about 0F out there, and the wind chill is still at -33C/-27F! If the forecast is right, the winds will die down in a few hours, and then things will steadily warm up over the next while.
I’m looking forward the air no longer hurting my face!
4 thoughts on “Long day, and still chill!”
From the interwebs: “Those loops on the finger allow you to take a carabiner and hang your gloves on your pack with the opening facing down,” explains Drew Eakins, marketing manager at Hestra Gloves. “That way you don’t get any snow or debris in the gloves when you are hiking.”
What a great presents day!
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Oh! Thanks! That makes sense.
It was gonna make me crazy!
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