Monday, April 24, 2006

Three days

That's how long Tammy's new glasses lasted -- when I picked her up yesterday they handed me the pieces.

She was in the dining room being fed and knocked them onto the floor somehow, and nobody noticed until somebody stepped on them and popped out a lens. I tightened it with my jacknife, thinking that would be enough for us to get home to the jewelers screwdrivers, but I was wrong. The lens and screw fell out again when I put them onto to Tam, and damned if the screw didn't just disappear. At home I tried a screw from one of her broken glasses, but even though it was an exact match to the remaining screw it wouldn't do the trick. It turns out that the glasses bent when they were stepped on, and the screw hole itself had stretched out. $395.56 spent for three whole days of vision -- great.

This morning I took them to Lenscrafters, hoping they could be drilled and tapped out to the next sized screw, and that's exactly what they did -- no charge. When I dropped them by the home Tam was sleeping, so I left them on her bedside table and just told the nurse, I hope she enjoyed the surprise. I also put on one of the many straps we've bought to hold them in the last year or two. There's a wide stretchy one that fits this new pair particularly well (it's even the right colour), and although I'd put it on the glasses when I delivered them last week, it obviously wasn't with them on sunday. Yesterday the nurse manager made a point of telling me she was going to write up the incident to the director of care, so I made a point of telling her that the glasses holder straps were bought to be used! (I got the distinct impression from the nurse manager's apologetic mood that it was the nurse who was feeding Tam that didn't notice the missing glasses until she'd stepped on them.)

Tammy had a great visit at home by the way, I'm glad I picked her up after I went to the gym. I'd debated a bunch about it because by 3:00 in the afternoon all I'd had was a cup of Tim's and a donut, but I figured if I went back home for dinner I'd never get around to picking her up, and didn't want that to happen either. I was dreading the pickup and sure enough there was the grief over the glasses when I got there, but once we were home things went well. I planned to take her back to the nursing home at 8:00 but we coasted right through until 9:00. Of course then she asked to stay until 10:00 which is really pushing it when I've got work the next day. I was so beat that it actually felt good to put it off for another hour though, and I only made a little bit of fuss before caving in. Who knows how many more good visits I'll have with Tam -- they've been few of late -- so what the hell?

As of this morning dad was still in hospital, no better or worse off than yesterday.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006


So dad's cancer has made a comeback...

It was first spotted in his bloodwork at the end of last year, but the chest x-ray (or cat scan or whatever it was they gave him) didn't reveal enough and they scheduled another scan in early March. That one revealed two spots on his lungs that are too small to operate on (which we assumed were lung cancer but have since found out is actually colon cancer that has spread) so he was prescribed 14 days worth of some new chemotherapy pills. They gave him a number to call at the hospital if any specific complications related to his diabetes arose, but when he had similar symptoms but not exactly the same he refused to call. Mom stressed out huge from that and was debating whether to call the number herself; we talked about it on day twelve and I convinced her that she should. On the morning of day thirteen she called and they said that dad should stop taking the pills immediately... he was beet red, had lost a lot of weight and the soles of his feet were so tender he could barely walk. The doctor saw them that afternoon and they learned that most people don't even make it to day ten, so hopefully those pills have done the trick.

That was two weeks ago thursday, in a follow up visit last week they found his weight had dropped too much and started him on an IV at home. Yesterday his blood sugar was over 20 and he had other complications so they called again and were told to come back to the hospital. They tried to get a hold of me for a lift but I was in an area with spotty cell coverage and didn't get the message until 11:00 last night. I phoned mom right back but couldn't get a hold of her, it turns out that she was still at the hospital; dad didn't transfer from acute care to a regular bed until sometime after midnight. I dropped mom off at the hospital again this morning. Dad was awake and alert but had been vomiting so they wouldn't let him eat his breakfast. He may be back home tonight but I'm not holding my breath.

In the meantime I'm sitting here at the office hiding out. I haven't seen Tammy since Tuesday night. That day a girl from work dropped by the office with her new baby daughter and it just depressed the hell out of me. I had Tam home for a visit that night and after getting back from tucking her in at the home I just couldn't get to sleep. Not that insomnia is new to me, but that night I literally never got to sleep. Made several attempts interspersed with some great educational stuff on the discovery channel, then finally gave up trying at 4:30 a.m. and got ready for work. Made it into the office at 7:00 a.m., had an appointment with Tam and the speech pathologist at 10:00 (that was fun, trying to figure out speech aids with Tammy blind with no glasses [a story that'll be in the easter post I'm working to backfill]), worked until 6:00, did a community meeting with the city about a park rebuild going on in my neighbourhood, and then went jogging to see the park property (and through the Kaufman woods in the dark; stupid!) and finally went to bed at 11:00 p.m. Slept like the dead! Which was nice for a change.

Thursday night I was going to have Tam over to Yas and Anne's for a visit, but they postponed until friday because Annie had something going on. That turned out to be good because I had tickets to Blue Man Group with a friend that I thought were for the 29th but were actually for that night. Teeheehee... oops! Just as in Vegas, the Blue Men rocked! I even got an 'autograph' of sorts in the form of a blue greasepaint thumbprint in my program. Got to bed late that night and was pretty wiped out friday, a common theme because Yas and Anne texted that they weren't up for a visit with Tam that night either. We rescheduled for tonight, presumably for on the way back from having Tam at home with me, but I just don't know if I'm up to it anymore. But how the hell do I explain all this to Tam if I don't end up seeing her today?

Fucking sigh.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Honestly, more posts are coming...

Yeah, I haven't got to this in a while. I took a vacation in March and meant to compose a long post about that; but the longer the post, the more time I know it'll take to craft, so the more I procrastinate on starting it, then more stuff happens in the meantime that needs blogging; it just snowballs. Sigh. Anyways, I've got half an easter post in the can, can't deal with seeing Tam tonight (work stress) and have no plans for most of the day tomorrow, so perhaps stuff will begin to appear here again soon. You'll just have to trust me on that.

In the meantime enjoy a little vacation teaser:

Yes, it rocked!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy Easter, wish you could see it

Monday, June 12, 2006: This post was found sitting in my drafts folder, unfinished for the past two months. Here it is, as found:


So Sunday morning I picked Tam up to have her home for a bit before heading out to her mom's for easter dinner. I get there only to discover that her glasses are broken, AGAIN! Between myself and her mom we've had her glasses out to be fixed at least four times in the past two months, juggling three different pairs to try and keep her in vision. At -10.5 her prescription is obscenely strong and she's literally, perhaps even legally, blind without them.

The titaniums bought for their strength just a year ago had an arm snap off at the rim in early March and were out for $70 laser welds. While they were gone the 2nd oldest did their duty, stretched out and rickety though they were. No matter, they shortly lost the screw that holds a lense in and left us with just the super old pair. The ones so scratched up that they looked foggy when freshly cleaned, and that had their bridge soldered together about five years ago. Of course they broke at the solder joint and left Tam blind for a few days until the 2nd pair came back with a new screw, followed by the new pair with the laser weld. Until that pair lost a nosepiece, and Tam was back in the rickety ones. Until the hinge on the rickety ones broke (not fixable), and Tam was blind again.

Though the glasses with the missing nosepiece were due back wednesday and the super old pair still fixable, Tam's obsessive-compulsive disorder has been making a comeback and all she could talk about was getting new ones. She hounded my parents, her mom, the staff, and me; until finally I gave in last tuesday. (It's not that I don't want her to have a new pair, but I'd just paid $2400 for a wheelchair, $70 for laser welds, $500 for vacation, and $450 to get my car through emissions and renew my license -- all in two months!) Since her disabilities make another eye test difficult and close to useless, not to mention how much she'd freak over any delays, her eye doctor agreed to just fax me last year's prescription. So fax in hand, we headed to Lenscrafters.

I wanted to go for the nearly unbreakable Flexon frames, but they all took large lenses that just don't work in her prescription so we had to go with titaniums again. At least this time they're a plain jane style (the previous were frilly and delicate) so I'm hoping that they'll hold up better to the abuse Tam puts them through these days. (It's not her fault, but her motions are so exagerated that just scratching an itch is guaranteed to send them flying.) They're due in two weeks and Lenscrafters even offered to deliver and fit them at the nursing home so I don't have to bring Tam in. Never knew they did that, kudos to Lenscrafters! (Then again, for $400 bucks, why fucking shouldn't they?)

So wednesday her mom brought back the old titaniums with the new nosepieces, and life seemed good in the world again. I was a little stressed

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