Today turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day! Just look at that sky!
It was nice and mild, with almost no wind, too.
Among my plans for the day was to take my mother’s car out for a test run, but also get some seeds started, now that the living room is barricaded from the cats and the shop lights are hung up by the window the current seedlings will be rotated to.
Well, that changed.
First, I got a call from my mother.
She was upset, because the specialist had put her on new medication, and she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure she still thinks didn’t happen, and he’s not her doctor, so why did he change her blood thinners to something else?
After asking questions, things became less clear! I couldn’t tell if she had a new medication added to her bubble packs, or if there was a new medication outside of her bubble packs, or what was going on with her blood thinners, which were now a different colour, and another pill was now a different size and no longer has a number on it, and…
I asked if she could read or spell to me the name of the new medication, but she just started talking about her blood thinners, and how she hasn’t been feeling well since the procedure and it’s because the specialist changed her medication… but she got her prescriptions delivered only recently, so she’s only been on these “new” medications for a few days. But she was telling me it’s the new medications that where making her not feel well…
It got very confusing.
I asked if she wanted me to come over to take a look.
Well, she did need to go to the bank, and the pharmacy, and she’s running out of groceries…
So we worked out a time for me to come over, and for me to pick up lunch, since her fridge is getting empty… oh, and I’d better make sure the girls would take over for me at home, so that I could stay with her for a long time.
All righty, then!
So I talked to the girls about what I needed to get done, so that I could at least have space to start on the seeds, then headed to bed.
It was a very cat-interrupted night, so I didn’t get much sleep.
Then, I made a discovery when I popped out to use the bathroom during the night, then paused to talk to my husband.
The door of the cat barrier was open.
I know I latched it after I turned the lights over the aquarium greenhouses off. Did someone open it during the night? My husband had seen it open, but thought I’d done that deliberately. I mentioned it to the girls, and they basically said the same thing.
So I latched it again, after making sure there were no cats in the living room, and went back to bed.
In the morning, it was open again, and the living room was full of cats.
After spending some time checking the hook and eye latch and trying to figure out what was going on, my husband suggested pulling on the bottom of the door, like a cat might do.
Sure enough, a couple of pulls on the bottom of the door, and the hook bounced right out of the screw eye and the door swung open a few inches.
So much for a cat barricade!
I let the girls know what we found, so they could figure something out while I was away.
Because I didn’t have a chance to test drive my mother’s car to see if that shudder was done, now that I’d knocked the ice away from the moving parts of one wheel, I used our van. My mother has a little folding step stool she can use to help her climb into the van.
I left early enough to hit a bank machine before going to the Chinese restaurant for the lunch that she wanted (but no rice, because rice makes her cough… ???), only to find the door locked. Again! The sign said they were open 7 days a week, and they should have been open for more than an hour, by the time I got there. The last time I tried to go there was when I spent the night at my mother’s after her scope procedure, and she wanted take out for supper, and they were closed then, too. Was the restaurant gone?
I decided to go with the fall back option and went to the gas station that has the most awesome fried chicken and potato wedges (just chicken for me, since I’ve given up starches and sugar for Lent; the breading on the chicken is pushing it! 😁), though my mother has decided it makes her sick. While paying for it, I asked about the Chinese restaurant, and it turns out that they are now closed on Mondays – they just haven’t changed their signs yet!
Good to know!
Thankfully, my mother didn’t complain too much about the fried chicken, though she did mock me a bit for not eating any potatoes. Because, of course… 😄
After lunch, I got her to show me her pills, and we got out her bubble pack. She showed me the pills that were now different; she had called them pink, but they were more orange than the lighter yellow they had been before – and in certain lights, those lighter yellow ones had looked pink to me in the past, so that had added to my confusion! She had the prescription list from an old bubble pack that I could compare with.
There were no new medications, and no changes to her dosages.
The only difference was the prefix to the name of her blood thinners, which I told her probably meant they were from a different company.
But why would this doctor change her medications? He’s not her doctor!
Since one of her stops was the pharmacy, I told her we could ask them, but said again, she has no new medications, and no new doses, so it must be a different company – and the doctor would have nothing to do with that. It’s just that sometimes, one brand isn’t available, so the pharmacy has to substitute with another brand that’s the same thing. This has happened to my husband’s medications quite a few times, over the years. She was not reassured, but looking forward to talking to the pharmacist about it.
Before we headed out, though, my brother had reminded me to call for maintenance to tend to my mother’s shower drain. She hasn’t been showering for about a month now, because so much water accumulates at the bottom, she has to stop before it starts flooding into the rest of the bathroom. She’s been refusing to call because the call goes to the city, and that’s really bad and a waste, and she shouldn’t have to call anyone, she should just tell someone here (who that someone is I’m not sure, since she still believes the social workers from the Senior’s Centre are managers for her building), and so on. So before we headed out, I tried calling the number for the department that owns her building, only to get a recording giving me another number for maintenance calls. I didn’t have paper and pen, so I hung up and started getting paper and pen together – until my mother brought me a letter that had the maintenance number right there! She could have given that to me right from the start, instead of directing me to the other number. 😄 It was an 800 number, so not long distance, which she was concerned about, too.
I called the number, followed the automated system, and found myself talking to what sounded like a guy in his truck. Talk about going right to the source! I explained the issue, with my mother confirming details and giving permission for them to enter her place if she wasn’t home.
That being arranged, we headed out.
Sure enough, when we talked to the pharmacist, the change in her pills was exactly what I thought it was. Just a change in companies. Seeing my mother’s concern, the pharmacist took the time to explain how it works legally for when they have to do substitutions, and that if it’s made by a generic company, they have to prove to the government that the pills are exactly the same for doses, etc. before they can be approved as a substitute. When she could see my mother’s eyes start glazing over, she started explaining more to me, so that I could “translate” things in vocabulary my mother would understand. She did such a great job of it, my mother was actually reassured, and that’s saying something!
The last stop for her errands was the grocery store and, by then, it was getting to be too much for her. Even with the stool, by the end of it, she was having a really hard time getting into the van. She was even saying to me, when we get a new vehicle, to make sure it has a handle by the door that she can grab onto! There actually are handles for the seats by the sliding doors, but when we tried having her climb into the middle of the van, instead of the front seat, it was even worse! Her knees are definitely giving her a hard time – which she has also been trying to blame on her medications, because now she thinks they should somehow make her knees better, even though none of them are painkillers or related to her knees in any way. She’s been on these meds for more than a decade, and before the car accident that messed up her one knee in particular, so I don’t know why she would think that!
I might be doing more grocery trips for her, while she stays home! Mind you, with so many errands to run today, it was a lot more stress on her knees than just a grocery trip would be.
Once back at her place, with everything put away, we settled down for a cup of tea. She kept offering me pie or toast or cookies or crackers – the crackers don’t have sugar! – to go with the tea, and made sure I knew how silly she thought it was for me to give up sugar and starches! I told her she could have whatever she wanted with her tea, and didn’t have to change anything for me, but she went with just tea, too.
While we were having our tea, there was a knock at the door.
It was someone to tend to my mother’s shower drain! I couldn’t believe it! I was expecting someone to show up sometime in a few days, not right away!
The woman turned out to be a manager for the building, and she used the same super powerful stuff we had tried on our own drain when the water from the washing machine kept backing up the drain. The smell was really awful, even with the door closed and the fan on in the bathroom. As she was leaving we talked for a bit in the doorway as I asked for instructions, which helped – except that one of my mother’s neighbours popped out and started yelling and ranting at her for talking in the doorway, because everyone could hear us.
The manager took it in stride, like someone who has dealt with plenty of this sort of thing before!
We also had a small world moment; it turns out she’s related to my SIL, and has known her and my brother for many years! Too funny!
One of the things she said to do was run cold water for a while and, if it still backed up, to let a specific person know when she came in, in a couple of days, and they’d go from there. I waited a while after she left, then ran the water…
… and heard some very familiar sounds, as gurgling water filled the pipe before starting to fill the bottom of the shower!
So I quickly ran out in the off chance she hadn’t left yet, and caught her just as she was returning to the building to fill out a log book.
I was able to give her a good description of what I was hearing as the water backed up, and she was all “you’ve dealt with this before, have you?” 😄 Why yes! Yes, I have! I told her about having to get about 30 feet of drain pipe augured. At this point, it has to go to a plumber, so she told me she’d call to make those arrangements as soon as she got back to her vehicle. The plumber might come tonight, but more likely tomorrow.
I couldn’t believe how fast it was being dealt with! And to think my mother has been putting up with this, and sponge bathing, for a month because she wouldn’t make the maintenance call!
We had a chance to talk some more about our my brother and his wife – she thinks they’re fantastic, too! – and when she found out where I lived, she asked if I happened to know…
Sure enough, we have mutual friends, too!
That done, I updated my mother about the plumber needing to come in and when he might show up. After that, I did have to go before the post office closed, as my husband messaged me to let me know a package had arrived.
Since it was such a nice day, I didn’t stay home long. Instead, I switched keys and left to test drive my mother’s car. If the shuddering was no longer there, I planned to go into town and run it through a car wash to get any last ice and dirt out from the undercarriage and wheels. If it was still shuddering, I’d turn around and come home, instead.
The car was definitely running better. Of course, on the gravel road, I couldn’t really tell at all, but once I reached our little hamlet, it seemed to be running pretty smoothly – at least while I was on smooth parts of the road! Once I got to highway speeds, I could still feel some shuddering, but was that the wheel, or the road conditions? Of course, I was paranoid the whole way, but did keep going to town.
When I parked to run in and buy a car wash, the driver’s side was facing the sun. As I returned to the car, I could see that the last chunk of ice I couldn’t break off had finally fallen loose. Landing on the moving parts, of course! 😄 At least I could just knock it off, easily!
What a difference it made. While it hadn’t been bad before, the ride home was noticeably smoother, even on the rougher parts of the road! What a relief! We had been so concerned that something had broken, and it was just a matter of finding and clearing ice out of one wheel. Blows me away how it had made the entire car shudder to such an extreme!
Too bad I hadn’t been able to do this yesterday, so that I could have used my mother’s car to run her errands, today!
Ah, well. It’s taken care of now.
Once at home, I found the girls had taken care of things for me, including moving the hook part of the hook and eye latch, so it wouldn’t bounce out anymore. The only concern is that there’s still a lot of play at the bottom of the door, and Tissue is the one who’s been digging at it. She is a remarkably muscular cat, and if any of them manage to pull it out enough to get through, it’ll be her! A second latch should solve that, I think, but the package I got had only two of them, and we’ve got one on each side, so we can latch is closed behind us when going into the living room.
The main thing is, tomorrow, I need to finally get more seeds started! Tonight, I’ll be going through the packets again to bring out the ones that need to be started this early, and set a few of them up to soak overnight.
It’s a few days late, but it should still be okay, I think.
Until then, I can prep some trays and get some Jiffy pellets soaking overnight, too.
I’m just so excited to be able to finally plant seeds again! The gardening bug it hitting hard, with these mild temperatures we’ve been having, even though the ground it still covered with a couple of feet of snow. 😄