Things Have Improved

Song: “Wasn’t That A Party” by The Irish Rovers

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

In the days since my last post, things have improved markedly. As I mentioned, Dr H called later on the same day and told me she’d spoken to the surgeon and got me an appointment the following day. I was tired and quite worried, but J was allowed to come in and ask the surgeon questions, and after the appointment I felt a lot better about things. Non-essential surgey is starting to open back up around here, and the surgeon asked her assistant to get me in as soon as a slot was available at one of the hospitals.

That helped a lot. This will be the second run at fixing this particular problem, and the thought of waiting another two years was really bothering me.

Other good things have happened. FA was in touch and told me about some new hobby stuff that piqued my interest and got me excited about something, which helped drag me out of my funk. My mother-in-law was in town and visited twice over the weekend. It was really, really great to see her and hang out and chat. I don’t know if she’s much of a hug person or not but I gave her two very big hugs. Hopefully I didn’t squeeze too hard…

But two big things happened yesterday that also helped to improve my mood enormously. The first was that the surgeon’s office called and my surgery is scheduled for a little more than a week from now! Part of me still can’t believe it, but the surgeon’s office emailed the paperwork and I printed it up so I can actually feel it in my grubby little hands. What a relief!

The second is that we got a notice from the bank stating that our mortgage is finally paid off! I can’t really take any credit for that – J is the financial mastermind here and did all the math and work shuffling money and balancing budgets over the years – but between where I’m at with my disability pension and where J’s at with her office being shut down in November, not having that monthly payment hanging over our heads is… well, it’s pretty amazing. I am hoping that it will have a big effect on the scenarios I worry about where we lose the house and have nowhere to go.

So yes, things have improved a lot. I am still upset about Dr H leaving but I certainly wasn’t her only patient and there must be a bunch of other people in the same boat as I am. They’ll get by and so will I.

I have a Dr W appointment this week, and on Friday morning I have an ultrasound that the liver specialist requested. I’m not looking forward to either event. Dr W is going to ask why Dr H leaving upsets me, which will also upset me. He’s also going to ask what I want to do with my medications. I’d really like to reduce the quetiapine again but I don’t know if right now is the best time to do that.

Aside from that, I plan to get in a bunch of project stuff and see if I can cross one or two more things off my list. We’ll see how it goes.

I also want to get Dr H a card and maybe some kind of gift. What kind of gift do you give a fantastic doctor who dramatically improves your quality of life and may have even saved it?

Stay safe.

Never Should’ve Got Out Of Bed

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

Lacking any other way to put it, today has not been good.

I often joke about how my health seems to be a zero-sum game. Last week, I got a call from the liver specialist and she was happy to report that my liver numbers have all gone back into the normal range (all except for one but it’s just slightly off and they’re not worried about it). Adding coffee to my daily routine was the only change I’d made, but the difference it seems to have made is fantastic. Easy, cheap, a little disgusting, but it got results. So that was great.

But like I said, my health seems to be a zero-sum game.

I had an appointment with my GP (Dr H) this morning for a pre-surgery physical. I went to bed early, got up early, but just as we were on the way out the door, one of the garbage bags we were taking outside tore and dumped garbage on the inside landing. So yeah, that was an omen.

Got to my appointment on time, got into the room, and was met by a medical student. He was pretty good, no problems there. I mentioned some concerns I’ve been having with the upcoming surgery, he took notes. Then he left and came back with Dr H. I explained my concerns, she had me hop up on the table… and the two of them did some prodding and poking. What they found was not great and will probably change the approach to my next surgery quite a bit. I also have to start taking my temperature regularly and be ready to zip over to the emergency room in the event I have a fever.

That was pretty upsetting, since I’ve been trying extremely hard to do everything the doctors have been telling me. But then came the little toothpick flag on the shit sandwich my day was rapidly becoming:

Dr H is leaving. She’s not moving to another practice or anything like that, so I can’t follow her around town. I think she’s going to be spending more time teaching at the university. Which is really good for her, but sucks very, very badly for me. When I first met Dr H, I was barely able to utter a whole sentence, and I would sit there, staring at the floor and shaking while she patiently tried to pry what it was I was trying to say out of me. She’s been very patient and helpful with my various physical and mental health issues, and she has truly been one of the pillars of my recovery.

She said she had two doctors in mind who she thought would be a good fit, and she was going to sit down and talk to them about me before she handed me over to whomever ends up being my next GP. She assured me I wasn’t going to be without a doctor, and she assured me I’d always have a doctor at the clinic I visit. She said I was one of her favourite patients (which I’m sure she’s saying to a bunch of people) and said she wanted me to hear it from her instead of being surprised by a letter (which I’ll be getting sometime soon).

I didn’t know what to say. I thanked her profusely, wished her luck, and when the two of them left and I was sitting in the office by myself, I had a good cry before texting J and letting her know I was on my way back out. Then I cried in the car on the way home, then went back to bed and cried for a while before I could feel things starting to spiral into panic so I took some PRNs and did my exercises as best as I could before falling asleep while clinging to J like a drowning man holding onto a log in the middle of a river.

J woke me up a couple of hours later. Dr H was on the phone, she contacted the surgeon I was getting the paperwork done for today and somehow got me an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow afternoon. So once again she proved how great a doctor she is and how hard it’s going to be for another doctor to have the understanding and do all the footwork she does.

This is really hard. Today is not a good day.

Stay safe.

So… 2021

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Here we are. A week into 2021. I hope the holiday season went well for you and your family and friends.

I don’t like talking about politics in this blog, but I’ll be honest – I’m still gobsmacked by the news and video that came out of the US yesterday. That’s not the kind of stuff one expects from the “leader of the free world”. It doesn’t matter who or which party did what and when. What happened yesterday was awful and those responsible for it should be prosecuted.

Yesterday’s events reminded me that I need to step back from the news. I got to bed a little after 3AM because I was glued to my computer screen, watching the (extremely boring) feed of the Electoral College certification. Why? Because part of me was still feeling ill from what had happened earlier in the day, part of me needed to see it officially finished, and part of me was certain that something else was going to happen. The later it got, the worse I felt (which is what happens when I stay up too late), and I didn’t do myself any favours by staring at the screen for hours after J went to bed.

So… I will be taking some steps to back away from some aspects of the news and embrace the little bubble I enjoy at home.

But I have to be careful about how much I do that, too. I went to the clinic the other day for an appointment and then picked up some groceries on the way home and even though it was very quiet out, I was quite uneasy driving and bring out – particularly in the store. Nothing bad at all happened. Things were just more difficult than they were a while ago. That’s got me a little worried that with all these video and phone appointments and not being able to go anywhere, I’m slipping a bit. That would be a real letdown too, because before all of the lockdowns started happening, I had big plans to go visit friends and family. Now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it when things start opening up again (whenever that may be).

I’m still doing my best to keep my mind and hands occupied during the day. I still have a bunch of projects on the go, and I’m actually getting some done, too. J and I are playing computer games and watching shows together, which is fun and a good distraction from other things. I’m expecting to get a letter shortly that will give me a surgery date; once the surgery is done and healed up, I will be able to get outside and enjoy moving around quite a bit more.

I’ve made a lot of progress with the whole coffee thing. J’s been a huge help with that, and while I still need to wait for it to cool down a bit before I can drink it, it doesn’t make me want to gag anymore. And I’m only adding two of those Sugar Twin packets to it. No milk and none of those fancy flavoured creamers. I’ve done some more observing and while I thought for a bit that it helped get me going in the morning, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. No matter.

Tomorrow, FA is swinging by for a quick visit and to exchange baggies of electronic parts. We’re both working on things and are at the point where she has parts I need and I have some she needs. Don’t worry – no reason to call the COVID cops on us – we’re going to stay outside and a good distance apart.

This time of year can be difficult for people even when things are quiet and there aren’t restrictions placed on where we can go. Please remember that if you’re having a difficult time that there are people out there who want to help you and want you to feel better. Don’t be afraid to visit or contact a hospital or crisis line if you need to, and if you’re asking yourself whether you need to, then you probably should.

If you are in Canada, you can call or visit:

– Your local hospital

– Canadian Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566

– Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868

If you are in the United States, you can call or visit:

– Your local hospital

– National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

If you live in another region, visit your local hospital. You may also find help at the International Association for Suicide Prevention Crisis Centre List at

There may also be other helpful information and links on the Resources page.

You are not alone. You deserve to feel better, you are worth it, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Stay safe.