These are two different cats, plus some updates

A while back, I was seeing the one ‘iccus that was still around. Chaddicus? Thadiccus? I know it’s not Bradiccus, because he had a white tail tip and was… well… male… and I don’t think it’s Saddicus…). This cat was very pregnant, so when I heard a kitten squeaking that one day, I assumed it was … Thadiccus. I’ll settle on Thadiccus.

But then I started seeing the mama, and finding dead babies, and when she came to me for comfort and cuddles, I realized it was Junk Pile.

Except this morning, I saw both of them at the same time.

That’s Junk Pile on the right, sitting on the roof. She no longer lets me touch her, never mind carry her, but at least she doesn’t run off quite as much.

That’s Thaddicus in the kibble house.

Junk Pile has more white on her chest area, but if you can’t see that area, they look almost identical. We also don’t often see them both at the same time, and I hadn’t seen Junk Pile for days before the kitten sadness.

Thaddicus is not pregnant anymore.

Which means, there is a litter of kittens somewhere outside the yard. If they survived being born this early in the year.


Thaddicus tends not to relax when people are around, so the chances of her lying in a position where I might see if she’s nursing is very low.

Meanwhile, Rosencrantz is also getting pretty big. She tends to have her litters in the junk pile by the chain link fence. I was really hoping we’d be able to catch her and get her fixed before she got pregnant again.

At least last year’s kittens were mostly male, and the Cat Lady has been able to help us with the females that we’d been able to socialize. Still, we have three calicos and two torties that are quite feral, so we will potentially have quite a few litters again this year.


Well, we’ll see how many of the males disappear over the summer, and find their own territory somewhere else.


My attempt to find a new doctor has not been successful. I found a third clinic in the town we’ve been going to and called them this morning, but they are not accepting new patients. When I asked, the receptionist knew of only one doctor that was accepting new patients, and that was in the smaller city where the specialist I took my mother to see is located, and I know that would be more than my mother would be willing to put up with. My husband and I still have some options to explore, but unless we’re willing to go to the cities, there are no doctors available for my mother.

So, we’ll likely wait to see when new doctors transfer to our doctor’s clinic, to replace the three that are leaving.

In between all that, I’ve been cleaning up and cleaning out this blog, to reclaim media storage space. It has been unexpectedly frustrating.

I’ve been taking out my old Critter of the Day and Photo of the Day posts. I hadn’t realized just how many of them there were! I started doing these in 2018! Most of these had only a line or two of text, or none at all. All had at least one image, with some having two or three images. So far, I’ve deleted images from and trashed over 270 posts. The first frustration is that so far, this has only recovered a little over 1% of my 13 gigs of storage space. On the plus side, 1% storage space is enough for a lot of photos!

I was going to start with the oldest posts and work my way to the more recent, since it was a while before we figured out how much to reduce our file sizes and not use up memory too quickly, so a lot of those files are larger, even though we had already started to crop and resize fairly quickly. A number of them won’t be removed, since the images in them are stored on Flickr. Flickr limits the number of files you can upload, however, so I can’t use that anymore, without getting a Pro account. I don’t want more annual fees.

The biggest frustrations I’ve been having is with WordPress’ lack of media organization. Everything that’s uploaded is there by date of upload, but if you try to do a search for, say, all images uploaded in a specific year and month, the only thing that will come up are images where the year and month are part of the file name. The only way to see all the images for a month is to keep scrolling back in time. Which is fine for the most recent couple of years, but this is a very photo heavy blog, and after a while, WordPress starts really struggling. Then I start getting pop ups saying WordPress is not responding, asking me if I want to wait or cancel, as thumbnails of images stop loading for a while before suddenly whole groups of them will appear. Then I can scroll down a bit more, and the while thing starts over again.

Last night, I did that for hours, just to reach 2019, when suddenly there was a glitch and I had to reload – but the reload put me right back at the start.

There’s a reason I was trying to scroll back through all the images to get to 2018 (I never got past 2019). What I had started to do was do a search for all Critter of the Day posts. You’d think all the posts with Critter of the Day in the title would show up, but nope. Every post with the word “critter” or “day” would also show up. Still, it made it easier to go through the old posts, and I did even get some going back to 2018 that I tried to deal with. I would open each appropriate post in a new tab in edit mode, then open the image/s I wanted to get rid of in another tab. From there, I would cut and past the file name of the image into another tab I had for the media files and do a search for that specific file. Once it came up, I could delete the image, go back to trash the post, then move on to the next one.

The problem?

Sometimes, the searches just didn’t work.

Obviously, the image is somewhere in my media storage, but they don’t come up in the search. This was a particular problem with early images, when I was using only descriptive words for the file names. I’ve since changed to starting every image file with the numerical year, month and day. That way, if nothing else, I can do a search for the numerical part of the file name and a whole bunch of files will come up. I then find the exact one I’m after, delete that one, then trash the post it was in.

Except sometimes, even that didn’t work. There are some files that simply will not come up in the media search, even though I am copying and pasting the exact file name as it shows on the image. The search cannot have the .jpg or .png file extension, or it won’t come up. Some images had an _ added to them for some reason, and most of the time, if those were there, the image wouldn’t come up in a search (but today, I had a whole bunch work, anyway!).

So while I was able to clean out almost 300 images, there are some that I will have to find the hard way. By scrolling through years of images to get to the date the post was made.

After much wasted time and frustration yesterday, I tried again today, slowly scrolling through media files in between doing other things. I still barely made it to 2019.

So instead, I’ve been going through the post files, looking for the picture of the day titles, from more recent to older. These newer posts have images that are all coming up in a media search, so it’s been a lot more productive.

But I still have only freed up about 1% of storage space total.

This is going to be a long, slow, monotonous job.

Looking through all those old photos, though… Gosh, there are some really good photos! I had fun with them, too. Especially the silly deer faces – I had a whole daily series of photos just for silly deer faces! But, this is not a photography blog and, unlike other posts that are still getting hits years later, they are just taking up space. Aside for the first day or two after being uploaded, no one sees them.

Ah, well. This is all a learning process!

I’m done with that for today, though. There’s probably another two or three hundred more posts to go through before I’m done!

Time for a break from that!

The Re-Farmer

Well, that’s going to make things difficult

First, the cuteness.

Gooby followed me around while I did my morning rounds, and posed nicely while I was switching out memory cards on the sign cam.

I got a call back from the plumber today, and we’re looking at him coming in some time in the middle of next week. From the sounds of it, he was driving (hopefully, hands free!) while talking to me and couldn’t give me anything more concrete, but we’ll get a call once he has the info. It’s not an emergency situation, so I don’t mind the wait. We have everything else we need, ready and waiting, barring any unforeseeable damage that might be found once the old tub surround is removed.

We got a bit of a boost in the mail today; a carbon tax relief check. One government takes a whole bunch away, another gives a pittance back. It’ll help with the work we need to get done, at least.

The reason I made sure to go to the mail today was because my mother phones yesterday about a letter she got from her doctor. We have the same doctor, so my husband and I got the same letter.

Our doctor is leaving the clinic for one in the city, as of April 1st.

The letter invites his patients to follow him to the new clinic, while offering virtual and phone visits, but driving that far for in person visits is a bit much for all three of us. The current clinic is already pushing it for distance as it is.

So I called the clinic to ask about other doctors there that are accepting new patients.

It turns out they are losing THREE doctors, not just one. There is one doctor that is willing to see their patients for now, but she can’t possibly take on that many new patients. Not that my mother would be willing to see her. She was already complaining about the doctor we’re losing, because he’s not white, but for a doctor to be both not white and female… that would be just too much for her to handle. ๐Ÿคจ

So I started doing some searches. There is only one other clinic in that town, and when I called, their answering service mentioned one doctor that was accepting new patients. I looked up the name and discovered both the clinic and that doctor have way too many negative reviews.

So I tried looking up doctors in the smaller city – that would be pushing it too much for my husband, but not as much for my mother.

That was pretty discouraging, too.

I finally tried looking at the town closest to us. We won’t go there anymore, but my mother might. No go.

There’s a town to the north of us that my husband and I could try, but that would be too far for my mother, plus it would require me to drive south to my mother’s town, then north to this other town, then back to my mother’s town, and finally back home, adding an extra hour of driving time.

Our province does have a service we can register with that will pair people up with family doctors, but if there aren’t doctors withing our area accepting new patients, it’s not going to help us.

What will most likely happen is, we’ll have to wait for new doctors to transfer over to the clinic that we’ve been going, and start seeing one of them.

With my husband’s private disability insurance, he must be “under the care of a doctor”. Every year, he has to fill out a form that includes mentioning how many doctor’s visits he’s had. Thankfully, phone and virtual appointments count, so until we are able to find a new doctor, it will have to do.

The “fun” of living in a rural area. Doctors tend not to want to work out in the boonies. There are simply more patients in the cities. As I understand it, doctors that have recently immigrated to Canada are required to serve in rural communities for a certain number of years first – five, I believe. Which is about how long our doctor as been at this clinic.

Oh, wow!

As I was typing this, I got a message from my SIL. It turns out there where is a mobile medical unit in our province that does house calls.

That would be ideal for my mother!

Time to go contact them and find out how it works!

The Re-Farmer

Update: looks like the mobile clinic is for the city only. However, I did just find there’s another clinic in the town we’ve been going to. This one looks more hopeful!

K, I’m exhausted, plus hard times for kitties!

Today I took my mother for her follow up appointment with the specialist, to tell her how her scope went.

The one she still thinks didn’t happen, because she doesn’t remember the procedure.

The one where, even after the explanation by the pharmacist that seemed to mollify her, she still thinks prescribed her new medications, replacing other medications she suddenly now things worked so well (which rather contradicts why she went to the doctor over concerns that lead her to this specialist in the first place).

It didn’t help that, once we got there, we ended up waiting in the examination room for an hour before he came to see her!

My mother wasn’t at her worse behaviour towards me, but she certainly wasn’t having one of her better days.

I am so exhausted.

As for her procedure, they found no problems. No damage to her esophagus or trachea at all. No, he didn’t change her medications on her and did not give her any new prescriptions.

As for her not remembering the procedure, he talked about the medicine they put into her IV (she’d never mentioned an IV to me; only the throat spray) and how he’d talked to her about not finding any reason to take any samples…

It wasn’t until we were driving home that something finally cleared up for me. After her procedure, she talked to me about how a doctor she’d never seen before had spoken to her and told her they didn’t “finish” because she was on blood thinners, so she was convinced that taking samples was THE reason she was there, but they didn’t do anything at all, because she didn’t stop her blood thinners.

On the drive home, she suddenly asked me, was this the same doctor that we saw last time?

Yes, it was.

She didn’t recognise him. It must be because he was wearing a mask.

No, he wasn’t. No one at the clinic was wearing a mask.

Which is when I asked her if she hadn’t recognized him at the hospital. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the “click” in her brain, and she said, no, she hadn’t.

All this time, she thought the procedure had been done by a completely different doctor she’d never met before.

Once she realized what was going on, she commented that she’s been having a harder time remembering faces.


There was a whole lot of other stuff we talked about during the hours I spent with her, and most of them were not pleasant. Even telling her mundane stuff, like how we had to replace the parts inside the toilet tank, and need to call a plumber for the bathroom fixtures, she suddenly went off on a tangent about how I only ever talk about “bad” stuff, and how if I only went to church, we would have blessings and nothing would ever go wrong anymore. *sigh* She’s been watching too much TV prosperity gospel. Particularly stuff by people on talk shows, selling their books. God is not a magic genie in a bottle, there to answer our wishes.

It gets really mentally exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden changes in topic or getting blindsided by illogical assumptions.

It made the hours seem so much longer, that’s for sure.

But, it went over okay overall, even if she went off on how she wished she never saw this doctor, and that the procedure was a total waste of time, etc., etc.

I was more than happy to get home.

Before I settled in for the evening, though, I decided to feed the outside cats, first.

When I go into the old kitchen, the cats in the sun room hear the noises I make and get pretty active. I started to hear a very unusual meowing, though. One I did not recognise. I opened the inner door to see, and discovered The Distinguished Guest was there.

Then he turned to walk towards an empty food bowl.

Using only three legs.

He wasn’t putting any weight on one front paw, if he could avoid it. I couldn’t see any blood or obvious injury, but recently we’d heard a cat fight outside, and when my daughter checked, she saw it was Shop Towel and TDG again – the two toms that wander in and out, but don’t live here.

I’m so glad we brought Potato Beetle inside.

Poor TDG is having a really hard time, but he won’t let us near him. He was hungry enough to not run away completely while I was putting kibble out, but he did keep running off to other trays, as I moved around.

I’m still sure that he used to be a pet that got dumped. When he first showed up, he did allow us to pet him, but now he’s gotten completely feral.

I really don’t know how to help him. I don’t want to contact the rescue about him. For starters, we have no way of knowing when he’ll be around, so it’s not like we can count on trapping him. Plus, she’s still recovering from major surgery.

She did contact me last night, sharing about how Cabbages, the bitties, and the other outside kittens that got adopted out.

Including Plushy, who just went through some major surgery, too!

Thankfully, he went to a family of means!

He had been perfectly fine until one morning, he threw up and there was blood. They immediately took him to a vet. They X-rayed him and found an intestinal blockage, from a twist. It’s the sort of thing that can happen randomly and has no specific cause. They put him into surgery immediately, and found all his intestines were messed up. It ended up taking a team of 3 vets 4 hours (and $6000, up front!!!!) to save him. Apparently, they were amazed he didn’t die as a kitten, with how is insides looked. !!!

He is now on special food, because his intestines are now shorter, but is doing fine. In fact, other than throwing up blood that one time, there had been no sign of any problems at all! While he was living with the cat lady and getting vet care, there was no sign of problems. Of course, while he was living here, when he finally decided that human contact was an enjoyable thing, we saw no issues, either. Yet, apparently his insides were messed up and, while it’s not actually unusual, when it happens, they usually die as kittens.

The Cat Lady even commented about how so many cats from us have had problems. With Tissue, it was behavioural. Cabbages had her major health problems (she’s doing fantastic now, and angry at the Cat Lady for being chastised after stealing a chicken leg off the counter), Muffin is a total homewrecker that is all over her husband, but won’t let the Cat Lady come near her, and of the two bitties they still have, the tuxedo turns out to have a “grade 3” heart murmur, which is apparently the most common type. Not a major issue, but still something to keep an ear on.

The bitties are going to be fixed during spring break, and they are totally loving life with the Cat Lady and the other rescues!

I wonder if we’d ever even discover they had issues if they had remained yard cats? Yard cats tend to have such short life spans, we’d probably never know if they disappeared because of something like this, or if a coyote or eagle or something got them.

I’m just glad the family that has Plushy now was both willing and able to have her taken care of!

The Re-Farmer

That’s how she rolls!

When checking on the seed starts in the big aquarium greenhouse, I’m usually greeted by this…

Beep Beep absolutely LOVES those aquarium lights. They are nice and warm, and I think she really appreciates that, after all her winters outdoors!

Also, isn’t that the most adorable tongue blep? ๐Ÿ˜‚

The down side, she rolls around so much, she starts pushing the one raised light fixture around. I’ve even found it with one end pushed right off the tank! The other light lies flush on the surface, so the frame of the wire mesh covers holds it in place.

In other things…

This afternoon, my husband and I had our rescheduled joint doctor’s appointment. When the phone range this morning, my immediate thought was that it was going to be rescheduled again! It turned out to be someone from home care doing his annual follow up call. The only thing we have from home care is my husband’s hospital bed, so most of the call was to make sure our postal and physical address was still the same.

My husband and I left very early for the appointment. It’s a good thing we did start heading out so early! I went out ahead to get my husband’s walker through the sun room doors (we need to find threshold ramps, but of the ones I looked at, they all seem to be the wrong height), then got the van set up and backed out of the garage a bit. Normally, I would have driven the van right to the house, but we haven’t been able to clear such a large area of snow. I had made sure the path to the garage was wide enough for the walker, and as clear of snow as possible, but anything beyond where there are actual sidewalk blocks will always be a bit rough on the wheels.

I did wonder, though, when I saw my husband hobbling to the van, without his walker.

It turned out he left through the main doors, not the sun room (which would have avoided stairs). He was expecting the walker to be at the main doors, and when he didn’t see it, he just kept going to the van!

When I saw him, I told him I’d go bring the walker, and he was all confused until I pointed out where it was sitting (the cats love the padded seat on that thing!). He went back to get it himself. I remembered just in time to ask if he had his wallet, with his health care card. Nope! He completely forgot! So I dashed inside to get that. By the time we were on the road, it was about 15 minutes later than I had been shooting for, but that is exactly why I factor in so much extra time!

The drive out was very rough on him. Especially the half mile or so of gravel road, just before the highway. It was a complete washboard, and there was no way to avoid it. The best I could do was slow down a bit, but all that did was give him slightly less pain for a longer time. Even on the highway, every now and then there would be a rough spot there was no way to avoid. He spent most of the time doing breathing exercises and meditation to help control the pain (yes, he was on painkillers), and the nausea that came with it.

We made a short stop to pick up a bit of gas and breakfast, which I had also factored in to my timeline, and got to the clinic about forty minutes before our appointment.

The clinic doors had signs saying, it’s cold and flu season, wear a mask! As if that ever made a difference. ๐Ÿ™„ We weren’t wearing any when we came in, and they didn’t say anything, but my husband still asked about wearing one. I think he felt other patients were having a problem with it, though the staff certainly didn’t. They know full well how useless they are. I couldn’t find the Mingle Masks that used to be in our van – I think my daughter might have thrown them out while cleaning out the front of the van, when we thought we’d be able to use it as a trade in – but I’d grabbed the last ones from the box we’d bought several years ago. It’s been so long, my husband forgot how to wear them! ๐Ÿ˜„

He then settled in for what he expected to be a long and painful wait, only for us to be called in just a few minutes later! My husband didn’t have a lot to cover. We started the paperwork to get a disabled parking permit, which now has to be done online with a doctor. The last time we did it, several years ago, we weren’t sure how it was done in this province, and left the paperwork with the doctor, thinking they had to send it in. Turns out, that’s not how it works here. After the doctor did the online paperwork and printed it out, there was a part for me to fill out as the emergency contact person, then details my husband had to include and sign for. Then it went to the reception desk, where we had to pay a fee to the doctor – cash or check only, and I thankfully had our checkbook – which was $30. Then we get the paperwork back and have to mail it out to a central office, along with a check for $15, for the placard to be mailed back to us. The alternative would be to drive to the city, find the place, then pay for and pick up the placard there.

In the province we lived in before, it was all covered. Even the doctor was able to waive the paperwork fee. All we had to do was bring a prescription to anywhere that did vehicle license and registration, and we’d get a placard immediately.

My husband rarely goes anywhere, but being able to park closer when he does would be a huge improvement for him.

After my husband left to do his bloodwork, I had my own appointment. I am now OFF that injection that was doing such nasty things to my insides. My husband is on the same injection for something else, and his dose got increased, so I’ll just give my fresh new refill to him. I’m now back on the medication I was on before that had no side effects with me, and worked just fine.

I also talked to him about whether or not it was time for me to apply for disability myself, because of the osteoarthritis. The last time I saw him, I got X-rays of my hands, and they only showed the beginnings of arthritis. I’m also not on any prescriptions for arthritis, so I simply wouldn’t be considered “disabled” enough to qualify for CPP Disability.

The hands are just the newest thing; my hips, knees and feet have been bothering me for a very long time. I even told him, I have no problem doing big things, like wielding a chain saw or pushing wheelbarrows around, but I need to use the bath chair to take a shower, I can’t take a bath, I struggle to do stairs, and can barely open a jar, because I’ve lost so much grip strength due to pain in my finger joints.

We talked about the painkillers I’m on now, which is just extra strength acetaminophen that I take morning and evening, and it’s not really cutting it anymore. So he gave me a prescription to try for 2 weeks, also taken morning and evening, to see how it works for me. That got faxed to the pharmacy, so I’ll be able to get that filled for the weekend, when I’ll be able to go into town to pick it up.

And we were done. I didn’t even get a requisition for bloodwork. I went to the lab to find the technician was still trying to find a vein in my husband’s arm and asked him about the parking permit application. It was at the reception desk, so I was able to write a check for that. By the time he was done and we were on our way home, we still had 10 minutes before our joint appointments were scheduled to start!

I love that when we come in early at this clinic, we almost always get seen early, too!

My husband was more than happy to get home, though that last push through the snowy paths with his walker was a lot more difficult than the first time around. He ended up going in through the main doors rather than fight through that last bit of snowy path to the sun room, and I took care of putting the walker away. Which certainly startled quite a few cats when I banged and rattled through the door with it! ๐Ÿ˜„ While we are at a relatively mild -9C/16F right now, the wind chill is supposedly -19C/-2F. I say “supposedly”, because we have been getting some nasty gusts of wind that make it feel even colder. The cats are quite enjoying the shelter of the sun room, that’s for sure!

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to have a high of -14C/7F and, if all goes to plan, that’s when I’ll be heading to the city for our Costco trip. After tomorrow, temperatures are supposed to drop to a high of -22C/-8F and stay chilly for a while, though the long range forecasts are not showing temperatures as cold as they did when I last checked them.

The weather app that came with my desktop provides interesting extra information, including average and record highs and low. The 30 year record high for today was 3C/37F, back in 2006 – but the record low in 1997 was -36C/-33F! I’m quite happy with a mere -9C/16F right now, even with the wind chill!

This winter has been the mildest – and closest to average – winter we’ve had since moving out here! I’m really, really appreciating it!

The Re-Farmer

Well, that opens up our day

But first, the cuties!

How many cats do you see?

There’s actually five. It’s hard to see, but there are three cats along the bottom of the window. When I took the picture, I could see the one on the far left moving around. It wasn’t until I uploaded the picture to my desktop and used the auto photo fix to see if it would be any clearer, that I spotted the one way in the back!

It feels so strange to look out our bathroom window and see only a couple of cats on the swing bench, instead of dozen or more. In fact, yesterday I actually looked out once and saw NO cats in there at all! The cats are definitely enjoying the relatively mild temperatures, and using the cat house instead of the sun room. This morning, I counted only seventeen cats, and only two of those were adults. Junk Pile and Caramel. I still can’t get near Junk Pile but, every now and then, I’ve managed to sneak a quick pet on Caramel, while she’s on the cat house roof.

She doesn’t like that, though.

In other things, my husband and I were supposed to be out today. Last month, we had consecutive appointments with our doctor (having the same doctor saves a lot of time and travel!) that got rescheduled to today. Just a little while ago, we got a call from the clinic. A very apologetic receptionist was calling to reschedule us again! She was able to book us for the earliest appointment she could find next week, though, so at least we won’t have more than a month to wait!

So that opens up my day. A trip to the doctor is about 40 minutes on the highway, plus town driving and usually a stop at the gas station along the way, too. We like to arrive early which, at this clinic, often meant actually getting in to see the doctor early. They’re good about that. We’re both going to be getting our regular blood tests done. Lab and X-ray is right there, so what usually happens is, my husband and I go in together for his appointment (I’m there to keep him honest! LOL He has a terrible habit of making light of what he’s going through, which is not a good thing to do with the doctor), then he goes to do his more extensive lab work while I have my appointment. Then I get my lab work done, which tends to be much faster. This way, we get home as quickly as possible, with the least amount of time for my husband painfully sitting in the waiting room.

Between the driving and the appointments, adjusting to make it as comfortable and least painful for my husband, it takes up quite a bit of time, and most of that time is spent driving “gently”. He feels every little bump and vibration, painfully, so I am a lot more careful about things like how quickly I accelerate or decelerate, taking turns, etc.

Gosh. Now I have a whole day freed up! What shall I do with myself?

I guess I ought to clean out the litter boxes in my office I’d asked the girls to do while we were gone.


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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ – 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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