♫ Memories… ♫

Today has been (and it is only 1pm) a “bad day” for Mom’s memory.

I have been noticing in the last couple of weeks a significant change in her memory. Usually, after she has been sick, the memory is worse but it improves as the days go by. It never gets quite back where it was before she was sick but there is a marked improvement from where she would have been when she was sick.

This time, however, I have noticed some subtle changes which seem to be getting worse, not better.

Firstly, she forgot which pills she needed to take, when. Formerly, she was more or less on top of this, managing her pills more or less properly.

One day last week, she said “I can’t figure out which pills I am supposed to be taking, when.” That night when I went to pick up a prescription refill, I mentioned this to the druggist and she showed me this great pill organizer. The ones I have seen in the past are big blocks with smaller blocks with lids.

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The old-style organizer

They are all the same colour and I would have a hard time figuring them all out.

Anabox Pill Planner

Anabox Pill Planner

This one, on the other hand, is a tray with different-coloured boxes, like pencil boxes. Each one is marked for the day of the week and has “Morning”, “noon”, “evening”, “night”, and “as needed”  for pills you might take once a week or for specific symptoms. You can slip the Monday one out when you have finished your pills for that day, slide it in at the back of the tray and that pushes Tuesday’s pill box forward. You can also take your Saturday and Sunday boxes with you if you were going to the cottage for the weekend and didn’t want to haul the whole thing with you… Very handy.

It was more expensive than the other one but I figured it was worth the money. I just worried how Mom would take to it… She is very proud and just doesn’t want to admit when she isn’t “on top of everything”. However, I brought it home and later that evening when she mentioned that she was confused again about her pills, I brought it out. She was quite pleased with it and was willing to give it a go, which surprised me.

For a couple of days, things went smoothly. Then on Wednesday night, after she had just taken her night time pills and headed up to bed, I walked in to say goodnight to her and found her going through her pills. I asked what she was doing and she said she was trying to figure out which ones she needed to take before bed.

I reminded her that she had already had her bedtime pills and she swore up and down she hadn’t. Finally, she realized that she had. I decided that I was going to have to take her pills and put them in a safe place in my room if she did that again. This morning, I walked in and found that she was going through her pills again and had already taken one… She couldn’t recall which one… Finally, she settled on the one she THOUGHT she took and I removed that pill from today’s tray. I also took her pills into my room.

Another thing had cropped up last night, too. Last evening, I found she had taken some sandwich meat out of the fridge earlier in the day and left it under the coffee table. I took it and said that I was going to throw it away and she said it had “only been out a short time” (to my mind 6 hours is not a “short time”). I pointed out that quite probably, it was eating something that had been out of the fridge for a “short time” that had made her sick.

Her response was “Food being “off” couldn’t make my hip hurt!”.

I said “Mom, you’ve been sick for the last three weeks!”

“No, I haven’t!”

I reminded her that she had been sick all day three weeks ago on Tuesday and hadn’t been feeling well for the last three weeks and she said “No, I wasn’t. I haven’t been sick to my stomach in months!”

I reminded her about her hospital visit, the being sick and the fact that I actually had to take my holidays to be with her because she was sick. At that point, she seemed to recall and admitted that she had been sick. I said that it could have been from eating spoiled food…

Of course, she always brings up that when she was a girl, they used to keep things in the pantry for weeks without ill-effects. This was, of course, in Scotland back in the days when they didn’t have central heating and the temperature wasn’t nearly what it is her during the summer. AND, their pantry had thick stone walls which kept it cool even in summer… AND, as I pointed out… just because you ate food stored that way in the past didn’t mean that you SHOULD eat food food stored that way, now. (Of course, too, food arrived at your house fresher than it does today…)

She is also coping with the fact that until next Friday, she has to wear an event monitor which monitors any anomalies in her heart rate, pulse… whatever. If she feels something she is supposed to press a button and it will monitor things she might not feel. So far, it has done all the monitoring. If she has felt anything she hasn’t ever pressed the button and when I as, she says she hasn’t noticed any symptoms. Some days there are only a couple of “events” and some days, like yesterday, I downloaded probably 20… To download, I have to unplug the monitor and call a 1-800 number and press a button on the monitor and “download” the information over the phone. Basically, what “downloads” is an audio recording of her heart rhythms and this is loud enough for me to hear. It is speeded up but you can make out the heart-beats and I can hear a difference between the rhythms.

Either she has heart rhythms that are faster than normal or slower than normal. I can also hear what sound like skipped beats. It will be interesting to hear what the results of this are. Perhaps they will be thinking in terms of a pace-maker. Whether, at her age and with her health, they would give her one is another matter. If it would give her an improved quality of life, it would be worth the risk. Whether she would go for it is another matter.

The one good thing today was that there was a bit of a spring in her step today that has been missing in the last few weeks. I took her out to the Experimental Farm and sat her on a bench in the sun while I went and took photos and she really enjoyed it. She still walks like a drunken sailor… just a little springier drunken sailor, today…

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Angry…

Right at this moment, I am seething.

Those who know me well know that my mother is 85, in not the best of health and her memory is going. Over the years, she has done far more than should be expected of any one parent to do in helping out and caring for an extended family that includes many grandkids and great grandkids.

Some of these grandkids have lived with her over the years when my (step) sister was unable or unwilling to support them. In many cases, she stuck by them when anyone else would have simply kicked them to the curb, as their mother had done (though no fault of their own, I might add) My sister had no parenting and didn’t know how to parent, as a result). In fact, she was the mother that their mother never was. She housed and fed them and financially supported them.

While a couple of them keep in regular contact even coming over to help us with chores and to socialize, others just don’t bother to pick up the phone and call.

So, I sent a Facebook message out to remind everyone that Mom isn’t getting any younger and that they might take the time to call, especially as she has been sick these last three weeks.

The only one who responded was the one I knew would respond, and in the manner in which I expected… She essentially blamed us for not being in when she calls…. She doesn’t leave a message  (which doesn’t help me think she actually DOES call) and whenever my mother calls her, she tells her she’s at work and not to call her at work. The is fact that I have been working at home (aside from the 5 days “holidays” I took to be home with Mom)  and Mom has been sick on the couch next to the phone for the last three weeks and neither of us has heard from her.

The fact that Mom has been sick for three weeks received no comment, not even “I hope she feels better….” Not one of the times on Facebook that I have said she is sick has gotten so much as a “gee sorry to hear that” from her or any of the other relations. Since none of them has bothered to give me their phone numbers, Facebook is my only way of contacting them.

Then I get a curt private message telling me that she has been working 12-16 hour shifts and “only has two days off” a week…. Again, no concern about Mom.

Last year at this time, I had to take Mom in to declare bankruptcy because she was tens of thousands of dollars in debt (she had no idea how much money she actually owed!), a good part of it because of helping out this same niece after an accident with the “promise” that she would receive money from the insurance settlement. Of course, she has received little bits of money from time to time but nothing near the amount she spent (including all her retirement savings) over the years ensuring that my niece and her kids had shoes on their feet and a roof over their head. Luckily, my mother has a reasonably good pension, otherwise she could have been out on the streets. It isn’t enough to provide her with the life she SHOULD have or the life she deserves at this point in her life, but 0nce the bankruptcy is discharged, we won’t have to worry about her living in a homeless shelter.

Strangely enough, before I told her that if she ever asked Mom for a single dollar more, I would put a restraining order on her, this niece called every day (often followed by a request for money). From then on, she has been “too busy” to call…

My nephew’s ex wife has made it impossible for my Mom to see his son and daughter (she has also managed to have a no visitation order for my nephew so he can’t ever see his children, either) and my Mom has now given up hope that she will see them before she dies.

It makes me angrier than I can say the someone whose whole life has been her family is either ignored by her family or has the right to see her family taken from her.

For those who are perfectly capable of picking up the phone but are “too busy” I guess this mantra will be some comfort when Mom is dead.

PhotoHunter: Ripples

Not a single ripple... near Tadoussac, Quebec

Not a single ripple... near Tadoussac, Quebec

photohunter7iq1

Sunlight through ripples... Toney River, Nova Scotia

Sunlight through ripples... Toney River, Nova Scotia (actually the ocean at the mouth of...)

Sunlight through ripples... Toney River, Nova Scotia

Sunlight through ripples... Toney River, Nova Scotia

Peaceful ripples... Charleston Lake, Ontario

Peaceful ripples... Charleston Lake, Ontario

And some ripples transcend time and place…..

Swissair Flight 111 Memorial, St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia

Swissair Flight 111 Memorial, St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia

——

If I don’t take the time to leave comments on your photos in the next while, it’s because I just not that I’m not looking at the photos. With my Mom having been sick, I just don’t have as much time to comment at I have had in the past. I still look and appreciate all the wonderful photos by everyone….

Geography of a Woman

woman-da-vinci

Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa: half discovered, half wild, fertile and naturally beautiful.

Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe: well developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.

Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain: very hot, relaxed, and convinced of her own beauty.

Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece: gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit

Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain: with a glorious and all conquering past.

Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel: has been through war,doesn’t make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada: self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.

After 70, she becomes Tibet: wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages, an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

GEOGRAPHY OF A MAN

Between 1 and 90, a man is like Iran, ruled by nuts.

VinceOffer-SlapChop

Japanese TV show Hole in the Wall

Normally I think Japanese game shows are just plain stupid. This one, however is pretty damn funny!

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People that burn my butt….

Today, while driving home in rush-hour traffic, I notice that the guy in front of me is driving slightly erratically. He isn’t “all over the road” but he is sort of wandering in the lane. I notice that he has his hand on the side mirror. Then I think… “Gee… he has a really odd shaped hand!”

A second or so later, I see why his “hand” looks odd. It isn’t his hand at all. It is his foot!

This brainiac is driving with his left foot extended out the driver’s side window and is resting his ankle on the side mirror. Meanwhile, his left arm joins his left leg in dangling out the car window and he drives with one hand, longing nearly horizontal with his seat tipped back. Not only is he weaving ever so slightly, he enters into the hectic traffic on Baseline Road cutting into the left lane of traffic with inches to spare.

And! It wasn’t like this was some teenager, either. I would say he was in his mid-late 30s!

Not that this is the first time I have seen someone do this.

About 2 years ago, when my ex and I were driving down to Brantford and were on the 403, we saw someone else practicing this singularly idiotic, brainless, and highly unsafe driving “technique”.

In that case, we were in the centre lane and this moron overtook us, cut us off and proceeded across the next lane of traffic, again cutting cars off, drove straight into the off-ramp lane, again cutting cars off and drove at twice the speed-limit up the ramp… all with his left leg, in a cast, pointing straight out the window. He had friends with him. I guess his friends were equally stupid to not just not stop him from doing this but willing to be passengers in his car.

Of course, if they were in an accident, their insurance would be null and void, and if they killed someone, they would be in for some extra penalties.

Meanwhile, I guess they, like the people shown in the following examples gleaned from the internet proudly displaying their disregard for human life, they think they are just the coolest thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, the police seemed to have better things to do when I called about this moron.

“Yeah bored again so I decided to drive with my leg out the window.” Read: “I am a fucking moron”

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"I am an accident waiting to happen"

"I am an accident waiting to happen"

"Stupid is as Stupid does!"

"Stupid is as Stupid does!"

Bayerischer – Whips

Yee Haw!

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Swearing Parrot

“Fuck off, Twat”

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PhotoHunter: Artificial

These two guys have been fixtures at my friend Krys’ house for about 10 years, now. Both have lost parts of their tails, one to tail rot and the other to a teething puppy. One looks so real as to startle you and I have grown used to thinking of it as real. One’s name really is Guy.

Real or artificial?

Real or artificial?

Real or artificial?

Real or artificial?

Kseniya Simonova – Sand Animation

via Casa Az

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