The Operation…

Yesterday found Colin and I up and getting ready at 7:15am. The cat carrier was ready to Colin’s liking, absolutely stuffed full of blankets so Blackie wouldn’t get cold (she’d overheated by the time she got to the vet). Then he looked at me and said, “Mom, don’t forget your bag!”

My bag? Oh my purse! I’ve never forgot my purse before and reminded him of that. Then we bundled up, stuck Blackie in her nest, and slogged out through the snow. We’d been standing at the bus stop for several minutes before I went to reach into my purse for a Kleenex and my purse wasn’t there. I’d left it at home. At that point the bus was due in one minute so there was no time to run home and grab it. I was pretty sure I could get on the bus, not so sure I could take the bus home. Colin was grudgingly willing to walk home with me but so grudgingly I knew I’d get attitude and snark the whole way back. So I walked home by myself instead, leaving Blackie and him at the bus stop.

I’d barely got home when my phone was ringing. It was the vet. Of course Colin had no idea when Blackie last drank or ate. That got sorted out and we were told to expect a call to pick her up around 4pm.

I’m in the middle of switching meds and am quite depressed at the moment so the afternoon was full of worst case scenarios. I was so relieved when I got the call at 3pm to say Blackie was awake and ready. When we got there, the vet assistant put her immediately into the carrier before giving us her instructions. Apparently her teeth were worse than they thought and she had several more removed than expected. It sure hasn’t stopped her energy though. She literally dove through the air when she saw me, she was so excited.

She’s on three different medications now. She does not take medication well by syringe. She writhes and squirms and contorts herself until she’s wriggled free. But she’s a hungry kitty and is willing to eat all her medication laced food (before wandering around the plate and eating Angel’s normal food).

I am so glad she’s still here and absolutely grateful for the vet and the Farley Foundation. My vet bill would have been $1060. I don’t have that money at all. As it is, I might have to pay $60. I can manage that.

I am so looking forward to moving into my new apartment with Blackie leading the way for the other kitties; she truly is the queen of our household. I’m looking forward to her nose licks and her imperious walks to get more wet cat food. You’re only twelve Blackie, I don’t want to lose you this soon.

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We should get together… soon…

This is not the post I’d planned on writing. In fact it’s a post I really don’t want to write, but it’s important.

Shelley was one of my ex’s friends. She, Erick, and J would drive around at night, listening to truckers and the police on their radio. I met her soon after, when J and I started dating. She was a fun loving chatterbox with a copious amount of pancake makeup. I learned later the makeup was to cover her heavy psoriasis.

It was a few years later that she told me she’d been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which she said was the worst type. She soon moved to an accessible subsidized apartment in Whitby. The kids would go off to school and I’d get on the phone and call her. We’d talk for hours about life, her cat, my kids and cats, and how crappy my ex was.

We always meant to get together. She couldn’t go out because her face had got a lot worse and she couldn’t handle the stares. Then the psoriasis in her toes got infected and a temporary nurse put the wrong wrap on, which left her with chemical burns on both feet. And life kept happening. I worked in the evening… the kids needed walking to and from school. I figured we’d have a better time better soon. My last post from her was this…

Shelley

I left it to her and eventually forgot. There was so much going on in our lives, just like everyone else, and I kept meaning to message her but didn’t. And, through it all she posted pictures of her cat and the sunset. And I kept meaning to write… sometime soon.

Her birthday showed on up on my Facebook page today so I added the message “I hope to see you soon”. I’m moving to Bowmanville in January so now would be the best time to see her. Thankfully I read the messages below mine before posting my cheerful birthday wish. There were several messages talking about how they missed her, then a note in May saying she’d passed away. She was my age, late forties to early 50’s. Way too early to die.

I’m not going to do this anymore. No more waiting for the perfect time. There are no perfect times. I’m no longer going to wait around for someone to call someday. Now is someday and just as good a someday as any time else. I’ve got a couple of friends in the same situation of getting together “sometime”. Life’s too damn short to wait.

And I invite you to do the same. Sure it makes cutesy memes to joke that sometime means never but will it still be cutesy when that person is gone? I can assure you, it won’t.

Goodbye Shelley. I wish we got together so many times. You’re definitely missed!

My favourite store…

It was in the early 2000’s and I’d heard about a new dollar store opening where Biway (a now defunct Canadian discount chair) used to be there. I must admit my expectations were low. I figured I’d find a dimly lit store with dusty, poorly made products, pretty much nothing I really wanted to buy. Instead I found clean shelves and a variety of products I actually was interested in.

A month later I was dropping a resume off at a new store. I had two so I dropped one off at Dollarama as well. I hadn’t even taken my shoes off when I got a call asking for an immediate interview. I turned around and headed right back to the store, where I got hired on the spot.

My fellow co-workers used to laugh at me because I always went home with bags of toys and treats for the kids… claiming I was volunteering there because my pay was going to my kids’ toys and ultimately Dollarama. My parents would have the kids tucked up in bed but as soon as I walked in the apartment they’d come running down to say goodnight and see what they’d got that day.

One of my favourite memories of Kait was her wanting to know if I’d seen Santa. I was very confused and simply told her “no”.

“All my presents and stocking stuffers are from Dollarama so I wonder if he went through your till.”

It took a moment to come up with an answer. “Sorry hon. Santa must have gone through someone else’s till.” Thankfully she was satisfied with that.

As the years went on, the stores became more and more plentiful. I have two within walking distance. The price has gone up to a maximum of $4 but the quality has gone up as well. I bought a new strainer yesterday, a lovely dusty teal one made by Pioneer Woman, a WalMart brand. I already have a strainer that works just fine but I have no happy memories of it, it was bought by my ex, and this one’s gorgeous!

my-new-collander

I don’t have much money and I buy presents where I can afford them. This year, with me saving up for moving and juggling a sick cat, I could barely afford a dollar store. But Dollarama was there for me. Where else can I find mermaid tails, sequined stuffies, mermaid sequin purses, mermaid pictures, neon figures, Himalayan salt night light, hovering helicopters, loads of books, floam, art work, word art, toiletries, boxes of chocolates and, of course, my colander.

If there wasn’t a Dollarama (or two… or five) nearby, I wouldn’t have presents for pretty much most of my family. And there’s a Dollarama near where I’m moving so I’ll still be able to spend time in my happy place.

Fading memory…

I had a great introduction to my blog but I’ve forgotten it. Which has got to be the most unfunny joke ever but it’s also so very real. Sometimes I feel like my life is fraying. I’ll think something and then it’s gone. Or I’ll be in the middle of a thought and the beginning disappears, then the end is gone and I’m left wondering what happened.

Depression and anxiety are what happened. One thing I discovered is that permanent memory loss can be caused simply by having a major depressive episode. Depression and anxiety also cause memory loss simply because you can’t focus. If you can’t focus, you can’t remember what’s going on. And, of course, meds cause memory loss too.

Memory loss is so frustrating. I’ll have a conversation with my kids and I feel like I’m right there listening intently. It feels right. Then we get off the phone (or leave the room) and the conversation is gone, or most of it at least. I watch anime shows with Colin and forget the plot completely, making the next episode that much more interesting. And I’m routinely saying, “Wait! I had a thought! Let me see if I can get it back again.” Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. And we all get frustrated, the kids because “Mom’s not listening” and me because I was listening as hard as I could and everything disappeared anyway.

Then there’s the elephant in the room… dementia. When does this switch from depressive memory loss to dementia? I don’t do odd things like put my keys in the sugar bowl and my psychiatrist isn’t worried so I guess I should stop worrying too, although it not quite that easy.

Yesterday I lay down for a short nap. I’d just fallen asleep when my phone rang. It was my psychiatrist’s secretary wanting to know if I could come in for a cancellation appointment an hour after my nap ended. I’d have plenty of time to do both so I changed my calendar and lay down. I dozed for a bit when I woke then spent some time petting our oldest cat. That was when my notification went off saying my appointment was in 15 minutes. What appointment? I didn’t see my psychiatrist for half a week. Then the second notification buzzed and I remembered the call. I don’t think I’ve left the apartment that quickly ever. I was speed walking down the sidewalk, calling and calling his office. They called me back at the bus stop then assured me there was a second cancellation at 3:40pm and I could be booked into that one, which was a relief. But, it shows again how my memory’s shot. I put everything in my phone calendar lately and check it several times a day. I can’t just wing it, if I don’t write it down, it’s gone.

My doctor’s slowly weaning me off clonazepam to see if my memory improves and my brain fog lessens. I’ve been eating well and going for regular walks in the hopes of improving my brain too. Now to see if my memory improves.

Lara sleeping like a people

If having cats improved memory, I’d be a mental wizard

Not worth my time…

I recently wrote a blog post about trolls and their poor reading comprehension skills but, honestly, they’re not worth the time. My life and my time deserves better people involved in it.

behind you for a reason

For my real readers. I’ve been struggling a lot these past two months while my medication is slowly being adjusted. I’m sure it will get better eventually, I just have to get there. And having everything buried in boxes doesn’t help me either. But the day will come when they get moved and I’ll finally be in my new place. I just have to be patient (easier said than done).

Oh and Blackie’s grant has been approved. She’s got her blood work done, then antibiotics on the 10th and soon we’ll be on to her extractions on the 14th! I can’t wait until she’s happy and comfortable again.

It’s a gorgeous day out there, albeit cold. Go out there if you can and enjoy the sunshine. I’ll be out there as soon as I get the dye rinsed out of my hair.

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My new building. I’m assuming they’re working on an underground lot. I can’t wait until I move!

Two steps away from reality…

I had a fairly busy morning yesterday. Colin and I hurried through a downpour, sans umbrellas, to catch our first bus. I spent that entire trip checking the bus app to see how long we had until the connecting bus and silently cursing whenever we stopped. By the time we got off our second bus the rain had stopped. We went to meet my Mom and walked to the restaurant for lunch… and it was closed even though their site said it was open. So onward to our favourite Indian restaurant where I had our worst food from there ever (and they’re usually amazing). I tried something new, which turned out to be tasteless, and our onion bhaji appeared to be onionless. From there we went to the grocery store, which was necessary but was one stop too many for me.

I went to pick up one last item then looked around in bewilderment. This is one of our regular grocery stores, we visit it about twice a month. I felt like I slipped though some sort of mirror. Everything was sort of recognizable but at the same time not. The only way I could describe it was by being two steps away from reality. I tightly gripped the shopping cart handle as if I’d fly away if I let go and slowly made my way to the front of the store, which was a zoo. Thankfully my Mom gave me her car keys so I could sit in quiet. There were police dogs by the exit, a promotion for their calendar, and I couldn’t even stop to pet them, that’s how badly I needed to leave. Thankfully I was okay soon after I got home. I looked it up and it’s called dissociation; just something else to tell my psychiatrist.

There’s been way too much happening. So far my occupancy date is set for January 1st but they have staggered move in dates. I can only hope I’m before January first and not after. Then there’s Colin and his move. He’s been having long meetings with one agency and has another meeting tomorrow that might be talking about a potential place. They’re even talking about a site in Toronto, which would make it hard for family to visit. But it’s urgent and any apartment is better than none. And, finally, there’s Blackie. She’s doing a lot better now with antibiotics and is absolutely ravenous, even with her sore, rotting teeth and mouth ulcers. We haven’t been able to see into her mouth so it was an unpleasant surprise to see her back teeth. I’m feeding her whenever she begs because she was starving and needs the calories. So far she’s had three dinners tonight. I need to drop some paperwork off at the vet clinic on Wednesday for a possible subsidy for her bloodwork and xrays. Then submit them again for dental surgery. But even there there’s a lot of uncertainty.  What if the bloodwork turns up something worse? I can’t picture my home without her.

And then there’s the whole move. I’ve bought beautiful things for my new place but it’s not going to be here. I’ll have a brief panic, like an elevator dropping a bit too fast for a few seconds and then the OMG moment hits. I’m not going to have my room there. Not with my teal and glitter walls. It’s going to be different. Everything’s going to be different. And I’m going to be alone in all that difference. Completely and utterly alone. Then I practice my breathing until I’m not going to pass out from hyperventilating and try to get on with my day.

And my world keeps spinning like a whirligig and I just keep hoping that my psychiatrist is right and this move will be a big help for me. Only 65 days to go.

 

Is this goodbye?

20191021_102325_hdrIt was 2007 and our cat Pumpkin had been put to sleep due to cancer two months earlier. The kids were begging for a new cat and, I must admit, there was a hole in our home that needed some extra purring and love.

I decided we’d adopt an older cat and told this to the lady at the shelter. Of course the kids had other ideas.

“Mom! Look at this one!,” Kait said and then she giggled. “She just licked my nose!”

“Those aren’t our older cats,” the lady informed me. “They’re… oh… you’re looking at one of our black cats!!! This one’s Blackie, she’s 11 months old. Would you like to hold her?”

Would we like to hold her? One of the silliest questions ever. I looked at the joy on Kait’s face and decided that was the one.

Blackie smoothly moved into our home, making friends with our oldest cat Angel, then befriending Oreo when he arrived. Colin and I moved with her to this apartment where she got adopted as Mommy Cat by Lara.

I can’t picture our home without her marching imperiously to the kitchen to be fed… her scurry to the front door to greet me… her happy nose licking… and her snuggling under the covers with me in the winter. Right now she’s sprawled in boneless bliss across the bottom of the bed, her sleep punctuated with slight snores. It doesn’t seem imaginable to picture her gone. My greeter of people and stander on keyboards.

I weighed her last week, first by weighing me holding her, then by weighing me alone, and finally subtracting the two numbers. She weighed 5lbs, which is worrisome. So I made sure she got the biggest portions of wet cat food, even at 2am. If Blackie’s hungry, she’s fed. Then I weighed her yesterday and was shocked to see her at 3lbs.

Blackie sees the vet this Wednesday, first thing in the morning. I’m hoping there’s a simple solution… but I don’t see one. And it feels so weird to mourn someone who’s still here and has no idea of the gravity of the situation.

I will update this post on Wednesday when I get more information.