Thursday, 30 August 2018


Pyramid Mountain and Patricia Lake.

I love the mountains.  They don't require anything of me, they are just there.  They have been there for millions of years and will remain for millions of years.  My lifetime is but a blip compared to the lifetime of these mountains.  They remind me of how insignificant I am and if I am insignificant, then my problems must be as well.  Puts things into perspective.

I had a good rant on the way home last night.  The big guy listened to me as I yelled and swore about lazy coworkers, people who don't show up for work, people who lie, people who are incompetent, people who can't do their job, people who get paid well and have union protected jobs and basically screw everyone else over.  Selfish people.  I got it all out of my system and felt better.  I can't change these people but sometimes I have to vent.

The weather has turned cold here, cold enough for me to turn on the furnace and put fleece sheets on the bed.  Last week it was so hot I couldn't stand it and now I'm cold.  There is no pleasing me it would seem.

I  met again with the new agency that will care for Katie this morning.  This time it was for a day program that they provide.  Of course I cried, again.  This agency seems committed to seeing disabled people as important, unique, valuable human beings.  I am hopeful.

Miss Katie seems to be doing well.  We went over Sunday morning to pick her up and she had slept in so she was still in the bathtub when we arrived.  She was happy, laughing and her staff was singing to her.  Katie had a good walk with us, she got some fresh air and she made me run while pushing her wheelchair.  We saw dogs and runners and cyclists in the park, horses at the equine centre and babies at the mall.  After lunch while Katie and I wandered around the mall, looking at people mostly, Katie sat relaxed in her chair, legs crossed and her hands sat casually in the pockets of her hoodie.  She was not anxious.  She got to people watch and the noise and the people didn't make her anxious.  It was lovely to see.

And now I'm off to fold laundry and make cinnamon scones.  A girlfriend is coming over this afternoon.  I bought a crib off her and she is kind enough to drop it off here for us.  Her little girl is coming with her so I get little people time too which is always a boon.


Sunday, 26 August 2018


The big guy and I just got back from a few days in Jasper.  As always it was beautiful, even with the smoke from the wildfires. I have a thing for Aspen groves.


And I found this miniature world.


And a purple bluebell.

It's funny, when I'm away I want to be home and when I'm home I want to be away.  Are all people like that?  Or just me?

I forgot to add that I'm reading a wonderful book, "The Weight of Ink" by Rachel Kadish.





Monday, 20 August 2018


We met with a new agency this morning who wants to provide care for Katie.  They listened to us and asked questions for two hours.  And not only do they want to provide care for her but they also offer a day program for her.  They want the cape off, they want her out of the wheelchair, they want her living her life and they understand that the agency needs to accommodate Katie, not the other way around.

I am thankful and I cried of course.  Tears of joy.

Friday, 17 August 2018





I had a wonderful day yesterday.  I helped a doc insert an arm port, the first ever in Edmonton.  The doc is an amazing man whom I love working with.  He is kind, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable, mostly though it is his kindness which shines through.  He helped a patient yesterday, a young woman who is dying of cancer;  he made her life a little better

I got news that there is an agency that is willing to take on Miss Katie as a client;  strangely enough it is the very agency I had hoped for.  The big guy and I meet with them next Monday and Katie could move in to a new home in five weeks.  Her behavior, or rather her mood has improved radically on the valproic acid.  She can pay attention longer, she's less anxious overall and she's enjoying life much more.  I am thankful. The new agency will care for Katie alone at first, implementing the behavioral strategies as advised by the behavioral consultant before moving a roommate in with Katie.

It's not just Katie whose behavior has improved, I am also working at changing my behavior around her.  The big guy pointed out to me that unless I am looking at Katie, I am in effect plugging my ears.  She signs and uses body language to communicate so you need to be looking at her to "hear" her.  Only took twenty-six years for me to learn that but I guess better late than never.  I have been working at paying much closer attention to her, looking at her, looking into her eyes and she's much better.  He's right.  Of course he's right, he's often right.  He pays attention to people.  He pays attention to Katie and he notices things I can miss.  I've also started singing to her more as suggested by the behavioral consultant.  Katie likes music but it's not really the music she likes, she likes to be sung to, she likes the interaction and if the song makes no sense, she likes that even better.  She understands humor, gets that it's the disconnect between what is expected and what is delivered that is funny.  And she has a beautiful laugh.

Last Sunday I met my son's girlfriend.  She seems like a decent if somewhat fucked up young woman.  She is happy to let me be a part of this new baby's life and I told her that she has our full support, regardless of what happens between my son and her.  Both she and my son have stopped drinking so all we can do is hope and pray.

I'm also on holidays for the next ten days which is lovely so I'm sitting here, writing, thinking about taking the dog for a walk before it gets too hot.  Right now both animals are curled up on the chair beside me, fast asleep.



Time to fold laundry, walk the dog, paint a wall and some trim, maybe even work in the yard a little.  Happy Friday.



Thursday, 9 August 2018


I'm feeling a little desolate today.  The country is burning it seems.  The sun is a strange red color and the skies are hazy.  I tried to make pumpkin loaf this morning before it got too hot but forgot to add the baking soda and the baking powder so now I have two lumps of ingredients that appear dried out but not cooked.  Fuck.

My son is out of jail.  His young girlfriend, I'm assuming she's young because who else would believe all his lies, was happy to take him back, despite the fact that he's hit her and lied to her and trashed her place.  Yesterday he sent me an ultrasound of the baby, still a tiny nugget.  There will be a gender reveal party.  Would I like to come?

Just back it up a little here.  What about jail?  What about the abuse?  What about the drinking?  What about the lies?  I'm just supposed to ignore all of that I'm guessing but I can't and I won't.  My son knows how I feel about babies and family.  Family first.  Babies need love and support, they need family.

I am the grandmother but I don't want to sucked into his drama, don't want to be manipulated.  I feel for this young woman deeply and my grandbaby but I feel a wall going up to protect myself from my son.  I never knew this could happen, that I would need to protect myself from my own child.

Yesterday a patient came in, I'll call him Stan.  He's been coming to us for awhile.  He has MS and cancer, I don't even know what kind of cancer.  His wife is his fulltime caregiver.  She's much smaller than him but she moves him from wheelchair to stretcher by herself.  It's how she does it at home.  When they arrived yesterday he was pale and shaking and slightly yellow.  He looked awful.  We got a bed for him and I went to check his bloodwork.  His liver is shutting down.  His hemoglobin is low.  He's dying, not today but soon.

The poor man couldn't stop shivering.  I piled blankets on top of him while his wife explained that it was the air conditioning that was to blame.  I mentioned that I had checked his blood work, trying to get a feel for her understanding of how poorly he was doing.  She just talked about the weather, the heat and the air conditioning.  She doesn't want to know that her husband is dying, or rather she's trying to avoid knowing this.  Some part of her knows already that he is dying but she's trying to keep going, trying to have hope, trying to protect them both from the knowledge that his time here is short.

It's what we do.  We protect ourselves as best we can.  My girlfriend who died in May knew she had brain tumors.  She told me that she never thinks about them, can't think about them.  I told her I thought this was how we protected ourselves from awful knowledge.

When Katie was young she used to paint with poop or more precisely, smear shit everywhere.  One night I was home alone with the kids, had put Katie to bed and was sitting watching TV.  When I went to check on her she was smeared with shit from head to toe.  Her room was smeared with shit, the bed, the walls and the carpet.  I burst into tears.

My son was sixteen at the time.  He heard me and came upstairs.  He took Katie and bathed her while I cleaned her room as best I could.  His tenderness and caring with both his sister and me have stayed with me all these years.  I want to believe that he is still that young teenage boy.  I want to protect myself from what he has turned into, from this awful knowledge.  My son is an alcoholic and a drug addict and an abuser and it breaks my heart.  I don't know how to have hope with this knowledge don't know how to keep going.


Friday, 3 August 2018


One of the big guy's photos.  It really is that beautiful on Vancouver Island.

Life carries on.  It rained today which was a nice break from the heat.  I appreciated it and I'm sure the garden appreciated it.

We were short staffed at work today and we had six central lines to do.  There were no allergic reactions, no fainters, no transport patients, no hour long IV starts.  It was good busy which made the day go fast.  My coworkers and I all worked together like a well oiled machine and the radiologist we worked with is a gentle, kind man with a wonderful sense of humor.

At one point one of the my coworkers snapped his glove before cleaning a patient's chest prior to a central line insertion.  He ripped the glove and said he would use his left hand instead as the sterile gloves come in pairs and he didn't want to open a new package.  I said, "So your girlfriend is going to clean his (the patient's) chest?"  The patient cracked up and laughed so hard it was fantastic.  He didn't even feel any pain when we put in his central line.  Job done.

I love making patients laugh.

My last line patient was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer seven weeks ago.  The doctors have given him weeks.  We talked about it while we waited for the doc.  He's okay with it but his wife is having a tough time he said.  I think it's harder to watch someone you love go through cancer than go through it yourself.  He knows he's dying but his family hasn't caught up to his acceptance yet.  He doesn't have the luxury of time.  He's fifty-nine years old.

My son is back in jail.  Life carries on.  Last night I sat on the bed feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and then I just sat there and felt what I was feeling.  As I sat there just feeling everything, the anxiety, the dread, the need to move or do something slowly subsided.  I've gotta do that again:)

I'm thankful for the natural world which calms me.
I'm thankful for laughter.
I'm thankful for hugs from friends and the big guy.
I'm thankful for small beagles who like to walk.
I'm thankful I sat still last night and just felt.

What are you thankful for today?