Well, today is going to be a day of rest, whether I intended it or not.

And a day of painkillers.

Last night, I finished setting up the living room so that, once we build the cat barriers, it will be a plant room.

We hardly use the living room. The aquarium greenhouses are there, so of course I’m checking on those regularly, as well as tending the few plants we’ve been able to keep in there without the cats absolutely destroying them. My husband’s leather working desk is there, but between the pain and the mind numbing meds, he doesn’t use it as often as he’d like. The TV (which was here when we moved in) is there, which we tend to forget even exists.

So it’s been cat heaven in there.

The whole room needed to be complete rearranged, which meant taking a lot of stuff out completely, then working section by section. Move stuff out of the way. Vacuum. Empty the cat hair filled cannister after a few passes. Vacuum again. Empty the canister. Clear the next section. Repeat.

The frustrating thing was discovering all the spots a couple of our boys has been spraying. Yes, all the males are fixed, but we have two that still spray, and in the most inconvenient and inaccessible spaces. Leyendecker didn’t start spraying until after he got blocked and miraculously survived. Gee, thanks, dude. 😕

It was also the time to do little things, like replace a ceiling hook with something stronger (I had to get my younger daughter to climb the little step ladder to do that for me!) for the grow lights, and set up a power bar in a better space, since where it was hanging before would be blocked by shelves. Thanks, M, for the Alien Tape! It works great!

We had the couch in the middle of the room, close to the TV, since when we do watch movies, we always use the subtitles. It’s a big TV, but it’s still hard to read the subtitles from across the room. Well, that had to change, so I took advantage of the situation to not only use the pet hair attachment on our vacuum cleaner on all sides, but to tip it over so we could find where that piece of spring I found when I first moved it came from. How that cats managed to snap that, I have no idea!

My daughters helped as much as they could, but it really was a one person job for the most part. One of the things that had to be moved out was this monster.

This is my older daughter’s jade tree that almost got killed during the move, because of how cold it got in the van when we stopped to try and sleep in the drive out. What started out as three small plants now has 7 trunks, and is thriving – in spite of many attempts by cats to destroy it! It is just massive, heavy, of course, and very awkward to carry! 😂 I can hardly imagine how big it would be, if it hadn’t had so many branches lost to the cold during the move, or broken off by cats.

We had the pair of these cheap, square Ikea tables side by side before but, with the new arrangement, they are now stacked on top of each other – and secured together. The girls found a way to secure the pot with a Bungee cord, so it couldn’t get knocked off by the cats. At some point, it needs to be transplanted into a bigger pot, which is going to make it even more difficult to move around! We do have wheeled plant platforms, but that’s not much use then the plant is several feet above the floor.

But it’s done. The mini greenhouse frame and several shelves (a couple of them are bookshelves converted from old TVs, back when the screens were in wooden cabinets) are now set up all along the window, stuff that was taken out are all back and in their new spots, and we actually have an open space in the middle of the living room, instead of it being cut in half by the couch and shelves. All we need to do now is get the cat barriers built and set up.

I look forward to the cats not having access to that room. Ever since I finished last night, they’ve been all over the place, investigating things and crawling into spaces they shouldn’t be in!

I “celebrated” by watching a movie when I was done.

From across the room.

Boy, do I need a new prescription for my glasses!

During the night is when I started paying for it all. My whole body has stiffened up, and everything is hurting – and that’s with painkillers!

A day of rest it is!

The Re-Farmer

Forgot about that…

Yesterday, while working on the squash beds, I was thinking ahead to working on the beet and carrot beds today.

Braveheart (front) and Nostrildamus (rear) both allow me to pet them, and even skritch their ears now – but only after I’ve provided them with kibble in the morning!

Forgetting completely that today was our day to do our monthly shop.

Which turned out to be a good thing, since it also turned out to be a day of intermittent rain, so I wouldn’t have been able to get much done outside!

Rosencrantz (eating by herself) eagerly let me pet her this morning, but her babies and grand-baby won’t let me near them!

So my younger daughter and I made the trip into the city with our itinerary. It’s taken almost three years, but we’ve got the routine for ordinary stocking up down to a pretty efficient routine that also ensures the least amount of time for frozen and refrigerated items to be in the van. Ice packs and insulated bags are good only so far! We didn’t have any unusual things to get this time, so it was just breakfast (drive through, then eating in the parking lot) and the three regular stores we go to.

I was a bit concerned this time around, since the city’s “casedemic” resulted in mandatory masking, with fines, beginning rather arbitrarily two days ago. My views on the usefulness of masks aside, I really can’t wear one. (My daughter wears a home made cloth mask.) I’d heard some people had been given a hard time already. With medical exemptions, we should be able to just say we can’t wear one and that’s it. I’d heard that some people had letters from doctors demanded of them, which is ridiculous. For starters, as far as I know, doctors have been instructed not to give those out. Plus, it’s against PIPA to ask that information. Not all employees are told this, though, and some are are… shall we say… far more aggressive about it then they should be.

Thankfully, I had no reason to be concerned for the places we went to.

The first stop was Walmart, which is where we get some of our cat food. They have more flavours than Costco does, and we like to give the cats some variety. The last time we went there, there was someone at the entry that tried to offer me a mask, but was okay when I politely said I couldn’t wear one. This time, there was no one at that station at all. The sanitation station was still there, so I used some on my hands, but there wasn’t anyone at that station, either. Almost everyone in the store had masks, though I did see a few without. I might have gotten some startled looks from other customers, but with only half their faces visible, I’m not sure. :-/

The next store was a local international grocery store franchise that carries a few things we can’t find anywhere else. It’s also where we get our fresh produce in smaller-than-Costco quantities. This place has always been awesome. Aside from some signage, nothing had changed. I wasn’t really paying attention, but I think I only saw a couple of staff without masks, and that’s it.

The last stop was Costco. The last time we were there, there was someone at a booth offering masks. Again, there had been no issue with me saying I couldn’t wear one. Just a rather startled response. I think. Hard to tell behind the mask. In spite of all the booths, counters and cash registers being shielded, all the staff had to wear masks, though I did see a few face shields, instead.

Today, the woman in the booth with the masks, who had both mask and gloves on this time, immediately started using some kitchen tongs to pick up a surgical mask to offer me. I just told her “I can’t wear one, thanks”, and that was it. I think I saw maybe one or two other people without masks. I saw no staff wearing face shields this time.

In each place we went, things went smoothly. The only hitch was at Costco. The section where the toilet paper, facial tissues and paper towels usually are, was empty. Not a single product! Just a couple of pallets! I’d heard that people were starting to panic buy toilet paper again, but really? I wish I’d thought of it earlier and picked some up while we were at one of the other two stores. They had plenty of inventory. We have enough to last us a little longer, though. We’ll see if we have to make a second trip into the city later in the month. That partly depends on when we can get a plumber in to switch out the well pump, and how much that ends up costing.

Still, we managed to get pretty much everything we needed, and it was all nice and quick. No one gave me a hard time, which was greatly appreciated.

As we started heading out of the city, though, I did have to pull over and get my daughter to drive. My mystery pain in my side decided it was a good day to kick in. While shopping, I can use the cart as a walker, but it was getting difficult to sit up straight while driving.

The drive home saw us going through several downpours along with way, with wind gusts trying to push the van off the road. !! It sure felt good to get home – and to be restocked for at least most of the month, again.

Oh, I did have one splurge while at Walmart. I found and picked up a package of fermentation lids. I’ve never seen any other store with fermentation lids! These have a cap to fit a wide mouth jar, with a build in airlock and, instead of a fermentation weight, it has a spring to push things down.

Too bad we didn’t have these when we were pickling our squash! 🙂

I’m thinking maybe we should pick up another cabbage and try making small batch sauerkraut again. 🙂

Meanwhile, it looks like it will continue to be wet, chilly and unpleasant outside.

I think it’s time for a nice big pot of tea!

The Re-Farmer

Broken. Like our system


I think this is going to be a difficult post to write.

To recap for our new followers (Welcome! Thanks for joining us!); about a year and a half ago, my husband ended up in the emergency room for what turned out to be pulmonary edema. He spent the night in the hospital, was sent home with a prescription (without being told what it was for) and told to follow up with his regular doctor. He had a week’s worth of what turned out to be water pills, but the earliest he could get an appointment with his doctor was almost 2 weeks later.

While he had been feeling a bit better for a while, once he ran out of the pills, he started to crash again. When we got to his appointment, he was in such bad shape, I had to ask for the use of a wheelchair to help him come in.

The clinic was part of a hospital building, but there was only 1 bariatric wheelchair. I can’t even remember right now if they ever found it. I think he ended up using a regular wheelchair. The nurse that wheeled him into the exam room was looking very alarmed, and was saying my husband would probably be going straight to the emergency room. Sure enough, the doctor basically took one look at him and sent him over. They were wondering why he hadn’t been followed up on after his time in the emergency before, and we told them that this was the follow up!

He ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks. In that time, along with almost killing him by giving him too much insulin and not checking his blood sugars before deciding on the doses, they managed to drain over 100 pounds of fluid out of him. His pulmonary edema was actually peripheral edema, and he was diagnosed with heart failure.

Since then, my husband had been expected to go into the city once a month or so, as they tried to determine the cause of his heart failure and decide on courses of action. There is only one cardiac clinic serving the entire province so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty busy.

These trips have been incredibly hard on my husband, his back injury and his pain levels. It’s one thing to be sitting in the van for the drive (about 3 hours driving in total). It’s another to be sitting in the waiting room for such a long time, then waiting again in the examination room, only to be seen for maybe half an hour.

Now, we deliberately leave early for these appointments. It takes an hour to reach the city, under normal circumstances. Getting to the hospital, if traffic is light and we get nothing but green lights, takes maybe 10 minutes. Most of the time, though, it takes about 20 minutes. That gives us another 10 minutes for me to pull in, unload his walker, leave him to find his way in, then search for someplace to park.

However, we don’t leave things to chance and leave 2 hours early, and today is a good example of why this is necessary. On the way to the city, we hit a section where cracks in the road were being patched. A two lane highway was reduced to one lane, and they were alternating each direction of traffic to let through. So we spent some time driving very slowly through the construction, then just stopped on the road as we waited for traffic from the other direction to pass through. Then, once in the city, we were delayed by more lane closures bottle necking traffic. That one area has been under construction for as long as we’ve been out here, so more than three years! I really would have expected them to be done by now. :-/

My point being, we respect their time and go out of our way to ensure we will be there before the scheduled appointment, so he can be checked in and ready when they are.

There was one day, however, that – after waiting for 1 1/2 hours – he was in so much pain he walked out. It was that day that we discovered they built in a half hour waiting period. So while he was told in to come in for a certain time, they had his appointment for half an hour later. We’d already come in 15 minutes early. Even with the built in waiting period, they were still 45 minutes late when he left. Who knows how much longer he would have had to wait if he hadn’t. They certainly didn’t seem like they were going to bring him in anytime soon.

He talked to the clinic on the phone after that, and for his next appointment, they had a stretcher for him. It helped, but the trips still wiped him out.

To make things worse, they have not been able to figure out why he has an ejection fraction of only about 20% (I think it’s up to 22% now). They can’t find anything to explain it. There is no reason that they can find, for him to have heart failure.

Then the pandemic shutdowns happened.

He was supposed to have an appointment in April, when they called in March. After interviewing him on the phone, it was decided to continue with phone appointments until they could start rescheduling. It was a surprise to be called back for a June appointment. We were expecting July or August.

He ended up having having to cancel due to pain.

He was rescheduled to July and had an appointment then, but with the pandemic measures, I couldn’t go in with him. It was a short appointment.

He had an appointment in August. Pain was a major issue again, so he called to ask if they would be able to accommodate with a stretcher again. I’m not sure what exactly they said, but he was made to feel like he was imposing on them significantly, so he cancelled the appointment.

Today was the rescheduled appointment. One of the things they want to see him for, is to decide if he is a candidate to have a defibrillator implanted.

With all the delays, I was still able to drop him off almost 15 minutes early, then found a place to park some 5 blocks away. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go in with him, so I just walked around to play Pokemon Go.

The high winds that broke our tent had clearly hit the city, too! This tree was in a park near the hospital, and I was seeing broken branches all over the place.

My husband was able to text me to keep me updated, so I knew when he was able to get checked in. Some time later, I got another text from him.

He was still in the waiting room.


There was absolutely no other patients waiting. Not only that, but I found out later that at 12:30, which is he was told his appointment was for, he saw and heard a group of doctors, leaving. They were going for coffee.

Did they book in a half hour waiting time again? Without any other patients???

Finally, after he’d been waiting half an hour, and he was already telling me he was ready to leave, he was brought into an examination room. By that point, I was starting to meander back to the van.

Then I got a text simply saying “I’m out.”

So I rushed to the van. When I got there, I quickly texted him to let him know I had reached the van, so he would have an idea of how much longer I would be.

That’s when I noticed the time stamp on his last text.

There was no way anyone had seen him.

So off I went to pick him up at the main entrance. This is supposed to have a patient loading zone in front, with enough room for several cars, or a couple of handi-vans.

Of course, people were just parked there. The vehicle in front of me didn’t even do that. He just sort of half pulled in and stopped. I ended up having to drive around him, then stop in the lane – thankfully, there was no traffic behind me – to pick up my husband and load the walker into the van.

As we drove, he told me the rest of what happened. After waiting, in pain, for so long, he finally struggled to get his shirt back on, then simply left. As he was leaving, a tech was coming in with the EKG machine, and she called out to him, but he kept going. As he went through the waiting room (which finally had one other patient in it), the woman behind the counter started chasing him down. By this point, he had no tolerance left and simply said that next time, make the appointment for the actual time, and kept going.

We both realize that he is probably viewed as a problem patient right now. What we can’t figure out is how a cardiac clinic in a hospital can be so oblivious to accommodating the needs of disabled patients. I mean, besides heart conditions. After a year and a half, and his pain being an issue in the past so often, you’d think they’d at least have notes on his file or something, about his extenuating circumstances.

I don’t know.

My husband plans to write to the clinic with a letter of complaint – though he’s going to give himself time to calm down, first! I suggested that he send a copy of it to our new doctor, too.

At this point, he doesn’t want to go back. At all. He sees no point. They’re not finding why his heart is doing what it’s doing; everything else related to his heart is checking out healthy. He’d already been doing most of the things they recommend, and the things he isn’t doing, he can’t because of his back injury and pain levels. They did acknowledge this issue.

He is hardly the only patient they have with multiple health issues beyond a heart condition. How many other patients are going through the same problems he is, but aren’t confident enough to simply get up and walk out? How many are just meekly accepting being treated like afterthoughts, because they are too scared of their condition to speak out? I guess that’s one “benefit” for my husband; he’s been through so much over the last while, developing a heart condition is just another thing on the list, and not even near the top.

At this point, I don’t know what steps will happen next. For my husband, getting the pain under control is the greater priority. And that is waiting for the doctor at the pain clinic to talk to our new doctor. Which doesn’t seem to have happened yet.

This is all so incredibly frustrating.

The Re-Farmer

Get a little bit closer, and a follow up

I headed out to water things this evening, but got distracted.

Junk Pile and two of her babies were out!

I ended up lying right on the ground, in hopes that would make them less intimidated by the tall(ish) human.

Creamsicle took full advantage of the situation.

What a silly boy!

Tabby didn’t come any closer than this, but did spend some time rolling around under the grapes, in between watching me.

Little Braveheart did come a bit closer to the stick I was wiggling, but not close enough to actually touch it.

It was funny to watch Little Braveheart and her mother. They share many of the same mannerisms, and often mimicked each other’s movements.

They also have the same eyes! Even though the markings in their fur are different, they have the same facial structure and many other similarities.

The grapes, meanwhile, did eventually get watered, and are looking really good.

The more shaded ones at the back of the trellis are noticeably darker than the ones that are more exposed.

While tending the rest of the garden, I found this.

The tallest of our sunflowers is starting to open up its seed head! So far, it’s the only one at this stage.

Awesome!!! I can’t wait to see how big the seed head gets.


My husband and I had our medical appointments today. Heading out two days in a row was really hard on him. Thankfully, we got in quickly, and didn’t have long to wait.

I learned one thing today that my husband forgot to mention after yesterday’s appointment at the pain clinic. The doctor there was going to phone our doctor here to discuss recommended pain medications.

Another reason I’m unhappy I wasn’t allowed to go in with him yesterday. He forgets things more often, these days. At least he remembered this while with our doctor!

The doctor had a couple of concerns. For one, he will be referring my husband to an endocrinologist, so we’ll be getting a phone call about that. He also wants to adjust my husband’s prescriptions, but will wait until he talks to the pain clinic doctor, go through his current medications, and think about it. Once he’s done that, he will fax any new/changed prescriptions directly to the pharmacy.

As for the rest of my husband’s bloodwork, it was all fine.

Then it was my turn. My bloodwork was fine, across the board. During the physical, we did get a laugh. After testing my reflexes, he did the usual putting his hand on my knee while flexing the joint, as he started to ask if I had any issues with pain, etc. When he lifted my lower leg, he cut himself off in mid sentence with a startled “Oh!!”

To which I responded to his half-finished question, “yes. Arthritis. You felt that, did you?” 😀

Yeah, both my knees do some interesting things when they’re flexed!!

One thing with both my husband and I was, what we thought were heat rashes turned out to be fungal infections. !! So we both got prescriptions for creams to treat that. When we were done, I dropped my husband off at home, picked up a daughter, then headed into town to get the prescriptions filled before the pharmacy closed. A stop at the mail on the way out found a letter from the heart clinic, with my husband’s rescheduled appointment, early next month.

I’ll have to remind him to phone them about it right away, to arrange some sort of accommodations, like having a stretcher available for him, for an appointment they say might take up to 2 hours.

So while nothing much changed at today’s appointment, steps were taken and others are being put in place, for the near future.

We shall see what comes of it.

The Re-Farmer

A little friend, and change of (medical) plans

While picking cucalmelons this morning, I found a little friend!

We’ve been seeing LOTS of frogs about this size, every time we to go through the garden beds. Usually, they hop off too quickly for me to get photos, but this one didn’t move!

He was even okay with the cucamelon leaves being pulled aside.

I am very happy to see so many frogs in our garden beds. I’m sure they’re doing a great job of eating up things that would be eating our vegetables!

On a less cheerful note, the original plan for today had to change. This was the day I was supposed to bring my husband into the city for an appointment at the cardiac clinic. They want to discuss the possibility of implanting a defibrillator in him.

Unfortunately, about a week ago, my husband discovered cats had peed under his hospital bed, and under the small table with the mini fridge he keeps some of his medications in. He cleaned it up himself, rather than asking any of us to do it.

He still hasn’t completely recovered.

When his pain levels didn’t improve by Monday, he called the cardiac clinic about his appointment. The letter he received said to expect to be there for at least 2 hours. He explained his situation. The choices were to either cancel the appointment, or they could find some way to accommodate his pain levels and disability.

The appointment got cancelled.

They way he put it, the response was along the lines of, how dare he mess with their system.

They will send another letter with a new appointment (I find it interesting that they make these appointments with zero input from patients), and after he gets the new letter, he can talk to them about accommodations. Of course, he has no way of knowing if he’ll have a good day or a bad day – or even a good week or a bad week – that far in advance. That’s why he was stuck phoning them only about 48 hours before today’s appointment. No matter; even if he’s having a good day, being able to lie down on a stretcher of something would probably be needed, just after such a long drive.

I understand why the province has a single cardiac clinic in a central location. It is probably much more efficient, and allows for things like better access to equipment. The problem is, like almost all Canadian provinces, we are geographically huge, and not everyone lives in or near this particular city. We’re just an hour away from the city (though it can take another half hour to reach the clinic, depending on traffic), and it’s difficult enough. I can’t imagine living in one of the fly-in communities and needing cardiac care. Sure, the small communities don’t have the population base to warrant their own cardiac clinics, but there are large towns and other cities that could serve these more remote communities.

The fact that it’s such and inconvenience for them to accommodate my husband’s disability is also frustrating. They’re in a hospital, for crying out loud. And with so many hospitals cancelling care to make room for all the pandemic hospitalizations that never materialized, there are plenty of stretchers and beds available that could be used for someone like my husband, without having to prearrange it weeks in advance.

Another unfortunate thing with my husband is that his pain levels have forced him to cancel a number of appointments. He has also done things like walked out after being forced to wait well past his appointment time, due to pain caused by the wait itself, and basically has stood up for himself. He is likely now considered a “problem” patient. I don’t think they realize that, when it comes to his list of health problems, his recently developed heart condition is actually not at the top of the list. Not even close. With everything else going on, this new development doesn’t even phase him, and certainly doesn’t frighten him, as it probably more typical. His pain needs to be gotten under control first. Some of his other health problems are caused by the pain itself, and will improve on their own, accordingly. They have not been able to figure out why his heart failure developed in the first place, and we’re pretty sure it has more to do with the large number of medications he is on, and has been for such a long time, than anything else. We already know that there is no surgery or treatment that can “fix” the physical source of his disability, and it will continue to cause further degradation of his spine. The only real thing that can be done is treat the pain. That’s the foundational thing. Without that being addressed, treating his other problems are little more than stop-gap motions.

This has been explained at heart clinic appointments a few times. I’ve watched notes get taken for his file, that the whole team looks at. There is no reason for them to not be aware of his disability, and what that means for his appointments. Even the fact that we have to drive so far and the affect that has on his pain levels has been duly noted.

Yet when he tries to address this with them, he’s made to feel like he’s inconveniencing them somehow?

Not impressed.

Well, next week he has his first appointment with the pain clinic. Hopefully, that will get the ball rolling on more effective treatment.

The Re-Farmer

A hint of what this August looks to be like

Today, the girls held down the fort while I headed out early to take my mother for a doctor’s appointment – her first since things were just starting to shut down. Most appointments were being cancelled – thankfully, not hers – and they were only doing phone appointments. The clinic is still doing “walk ins” by phone, but are now doing in person appointments again.

The doctor had wanted my mom to be able to do fasting blood tests, so the appointment was shortly after the clinic opened. That way, she wouldn’t be without food for too long. The doctor also wrote her up for an EKG and chest Xrays. Without the results of those tests, he didn’t want to do a physical or address her prescriptions, etc. quite yet. So he did memory test with her, and talked about some of her concerns to address next time.

Which will be this Friday. He wanted to get her back as soon as possible after he got the test results. She also formally gave him permission to talk to me about anything regarding her health, at the same level as he can with my brother that has Power of Attorney. This will reduce the burden on my brother, as well as make things easier for the doctor, since I am more available to both the doctor and my mother.

Right after her appointment, we went across the hall to lab and Xray with her requisitions, only to be told that their Xray machine was broken and wouldn’t be fixed for 6 months. We could go to the hospital near my mother’s place, though, so we got that paperwork back while she got blood taken, then her EKG. The staff in the lab were the only ones we saw wearing masks and gloves, besides the odd patient.

We wanted to stop for lunch – breakfast, for my mother! – in the town the clinic is in, but the places we normally would have gone to were all closed. We ended up going back to her town before we found someplace open. By then, she’d gone 12 hours without food! Then we got her Xrays done. Thankfully, we didn’t have long to wait. At this hospital, there was one person near the door who was wearing masks and gloves and asking the usual “have you traveled, do you have any symptoms” questions. The only other people I saw with masks was a couple of patients. I found myself in the waiting room with a couple of people, with chairs physical distanced apart. The woman nearest me was wearing a cloth mask, and I could hear the poor woman struggling to breath through it. 😦 At both hospital clinics and lab areas, they had the same sign saying who should be wearing masks. Few would have been required to wear them, based on their list. It seemed very reasonable; cautious, without being excessive.

I was going to help my mother with grocery shopping after she was done with the Xrays, but she was – understandably – too tired and just wanted to get home. I’m glad I persuaded her to bring her walker. She was ready to just cane it, but I told her it was better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus, I have plenty of space in the van to bring it along, and don’t even have to fold it up. The only time she chose not to use it was when we went into the restaurant.

After dropping her off at home, I then had to head to the pharmacy – which made town number 3 I drove to! 😉 – to pick up the rest of my husband’s medications for the month. I let the pharmacist know about potential updates or changes in his prescriptions over the next while. As we were talking, she mentioned that my husband is the only person they have taking the painkillers he’s on; the ones with all the restrictions and regulations. He’s at the maximum dose already, and all they really do is take the edge off the pain. I really hope the folks at the pain clinic can help with that!

I took advantage of being in town to run a few errands. That included stopping at the garage to see when my mother’s car would be worked on. I was told they’d be able to work on it at the end of the week, or next week. I mentioned my mother having a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and that I hoped to be able to use her car, since it’s easier for her to get in and out of. He couldn’t say for sure, but they would try. We’ll see how that goes.

A stop to pick up our mail on the way home found a letter from the heart clinic for my husband. They made an appointment for him next week, to discuss implanting a defibrillator. His ejection fraction has improved, but not much – and they still don’t know why it’s become a problem in the first place. All the tests they’ve done have come back normal and healthy.

So we now have a phone appointment for my husband tomorrow, with home care. The day after, he and I have appointments for physicals with the same doctor as my mother. Then on Friday, I’m back at the clinic with my mom. Next week is the new appointment at the cardiac clinic in the city, and the week after is his first appointment with the pain clinic, also in the city.

I have to admit, I’ve become spoiled by our current situation. This is now a lot of driving for us. When we lived in the city, I did a lot more driving. Not drives of an hour or more, to be sure, but our mileage of less than half what it used to me. A few extra trips now feels like a big deal! 😀

It’s going to be tiring – especially for my husband – but I’m just grateful we’re finally “allowed” to get health care again.

The Re-Farmer

Good news!

And it only took 2 years and 5 months.

My husband got a letter from the pain clinic in the city today. He has an appointment for next month!

Which will make it almost exactly 2 1/2 years since he was first put on the waiting list.

It took 2 years and a new doctor making some noise just to finally get their 14 page (or was it 17 pages?) questionnaire. That got sent in, but then the lock down happened and my husband, like so many others, got knocked off the priority list for health care.

He had to call in to confirm, then answer pandemic related questions. He was also told if he doesn’t have a mask, they’ll provide one.

He had a little chat with our daughter, and she will be making him a pirate mask.

Finally, he’ll be able to talk to a specialist about managing his pain. Who knows what will come of it. At the pain clinic before we moved, he had a team of 5 different specialists overseeing his case. The heart clinic out here has a team of 5 specialists, too, but they all work together on the same things, so when he comes in for an appointment there, he can see any one of them. At the previous pain clinic, each team member focused on a different area, such as pain medications, physical pain management, etc, with one primary care giver. We have no clue what to expect out here. So much of the health care in this province is different from before. Even with basic health care, they do things slightly differently, though at least part of that is the difference between living in the city, or in the boonies, like we are.

I am really hoping this is the start of some sort of treatment plan to at least get the pain under better control. We’ve known for some time – and at least one specialist made sure we understood this – that my husband will never be not-disabled again. He will never be 100% pain free. The best we can expect is an improvement in quality of life. Any improvement at all will be a blessing.

The Re-Farmer

Recovery day

It was a sleepless night last night. Even with painkillers, I still hurt all over. That, on its own, would have been fine. What made it difficult is what I could only describe as a total rebellion of m body! You’ve probably heard of restless legs syndrome? That’s when you’re lying in bed, trying to relax and go to sleep, but your legs just can’t stay still. Now, imagine that, but with the whole body. It didn’t matter how tired I was, or how much pain the moving around caused, I just couldn’t stop. I think I finally fell asleep somewhere around 5am.

What I found odd, though, is that there was NO storm last night! I’d been keeping an eye on the weather radar, because there was a wide swatch of a storm system coming for us, including areas of heavy and severe weather. There was no way it was going to miss us.

And yet, it did. At one point, I checked the weather radar, and the system had passed us, and all I could think was, what happened? We didn’t even get rain or winds!

Today is looking beautiful, though. During my morning rounds, I took extra time to check on different areas, do a bit of weeding among the carrots, parsley and beets, and visit the MUCH taller sunflowers!

You can see the little, late planted, one in the foreground. 😀

I really look forward to seeing how big these guys get.

While checking the fence line along the garden, I found these.

I don’t know what these little shrubs are, and had no idea they bloomed until today! We have quite a few of them in the area.

There are also a few Saskatoon bushes in the area. We’d done a bit of clean up in the area, two summers ago, and they have gotten noticeably stronger since then, and actually producing berries now.

Breakfast! 😀

While doing my rounds, I had an internal battle going on. On the one hand, my brain was saying, “oh, the weather is so nice today! It’s a perfect time to get out the weed trimmer and clean up around the mowed areas. Then mow the old garden area. There’s also lots of Saskatoons to pick near the house.” The list went on. Meanwhile, my body is saying, “Ow. Ow. Ow. Are you kidding me? Sleep. That’s what’s on the to-do list. Sleep.”

I think my body is winning this fight.

We have, however, opened the new part basement door, which means there is an army of kittens (the 5 kittens seem more like 15! 😀 ) tearing around the house – and especially my bed! – playing with the adult cats that will tolerate them, and discovering cat toys the others have long gotten tired of.

It’s very entertaining! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Water, water, everywhere, and in recovery

Doing my rounds this morning is, for the most part, getting easier as the snow melts. There are just a couple of shaded areas where sheets of ice and formerly hard-packed snow suddenly giving way under my feet, have made walking somewhat more dangerous!

It also means that, while the water between the house and the garage has gone from “lake” to ” large muddy puddles”, there is a lot more water in other areas, too.

I noticed this while going past the outhouse this morning.

The outhouse door has a piece of plywood in front of it, with a rotted out hole. I’d had a metal… something I don’t know the name of, but it’s used as steps on large vehicles… over the hole, but while it’s there, the outhouse door can’t be opened. It had been set aside during our septic troubles (not that we used the outhouse; it’s too disgusting in there!) and not put back yet. This allowed me to see that the hole under the door is getting bigger – and the pit is full of water! I checked the access area at the back, and could see the water there, too. That pit is completely filled.

The outhouse is sitting on what is probably beams of pressure treated wood, which look like they have sunk into the ground. It really should have been on concrete or something, and raised slightly above ground level. I doubt any of the outhouses that have ever been here were done that way. Which would explain why they have been replaced so many times over the years. I know of at least 3, not counting the one that was there that we used before we got running water in the house.

Another reason why we want to build a new outhouse, without a pit and on a proper base! Composting toilets have their own issues, but I’ll take those over dealing with a pit, thankyouverymuch. 😀

I also had something I could really appreciate while doing this morning’s rounds.

I was able to do them without needing a cane.

Yesterday evening, after all the walking around with the wheelbarrow I’d done earlier, was a difficult one. I definitely over did it. My hip gave out again, and it didn’t recover as it had earlier. Thankfully, we keep canes around the house, including one of my dad’s canes that we’ve left hanging on an arm bar between the old and new parts of the house. I had to get my daughter to bring it to me, because I couldn’t walk from my desk chair to get it. Even my left hip was becoming more of a problem. Both hips have mild osteoarthritis, but my left hip hurts pretty constantly, due to bone spurs. Typically, it’s a level of pain I can ignore, but that was getting hard to do, yesterday evening. When my right hip was X-rayed, it showed mild OA, but also fragments basically floating around, and I think that’s what’s causing my problems. I think fragments are getting into the joint, causing pain until they get worked out of the joint again.

I will have to get myself to a doctor again to check it out.

I got very little sleep last night, due to the pain and discomfort, even though I’d taken pain killers. It’s better now, in that I can walk without a cane and put weight on my right leg again, but even with painkillers, it’s still hurting quite a lot. I also needed to use my husband’s bath chair while I showered.

So today is going to be a day of recovery for me. Aside from heading out to the pharmacy this afternoon, to pick up prescriptions, I’m going to have to focus on giving my body a break to heal up. I figure this is a good time to catch up on some more crochet projects. 🙂 I’ll have to remember to get the mail today, too. My order from Vesey’s is ready for pick up. The girls and I will go over what we want to start indoors. Almost everything we got can actually be sown outdoors after danger of frost is past, which would be about mid-May, but getting a head start on some of them would also be good.

I’m really looking forward to being able to garden this year!

As long as my body holds out. 😦

The Re-Farmer