Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lunatic Fringe

Since my brother was admitted to the hospital, I have been up there every day with the exception of Wednesday (had to go to NS for work) and today (recovering from mental meltdown). It's been exhausting. He's been having some personal life issues in addition to his health problems, and those two things combined are just totally exhausting to deal with.

My parents are on opposite ends of one particular issue. Unfortunate, as I had hoped they'd be on the same page for once.

My brother's heart issue is improving and they have moved him out of the coronary unit and down to internal medicine. Apparently the staff in this unit don't bother to read charts and like to argue with you when you chase them down for the proper medication. Getting decent care has been incredibly difficult. If you don't have family present with you, I don't know how you survive in that hospital.

On the down side, my brother has been officially diagnosed with Addison's Disease. He will have to take a steroid for the rest of his life, in addition to being diabetic. The doctor says he will likely leave the hospital feeling better than he ever has, because they think this issue went undetected for a long time. So that part is good, but it will likely cause him to remain in hospital most of this week as they monitor how the steroid affects his blood sugar.

I took today off from hospital duty because I was thoroughly exhausted. I woke up early but forced myself back to sleep until 11. I did some errands. I took a long walk around the perimiter of the Nature Park, and the exercise helped to relieve a lot of stress. I watched some TV and did my laundry and ironing. It was good to have some time to myself. I'm actually not minding a Monday at work tomorrow -- work will be a welcome distraction from family problems.

In other news, I bought a new PC. My old PC had reached its upgradable limit, so it was time for a new one. I'd been putting off the purchase for quite a while, not really sure what I wanted and not wanting to spend a lot of money. While I was in Costco a couple of weeks ago, I found a PC and monitor that had both been marked down. The monitor is a 19" LCD, and it's nice having the extra room on my desk. The PC has an AMD Athlon dual core, 1GB RAM, dual layer DVD+/-RW drives, card reader, and other things I don't need but it was a lot of PC for the price, and should last me a lot longer than the lesser models I'd been looking at, so I am quite happy with it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brother update

My brother has had a "fun" few days. First, a mistake in his medication meant that he wasn't getting enough and set his progress back. Then, his IV came out and he wasn't getting enough insulin, which was sending his blood sugar sky high. He had a test today that showed a 30% reduction in the fluid around his heart, so we now know he won't need the aspiration. Phew. He is stronger now and can walk down the hall and sit up a lot longer than before. So overall he is doing better. He definitely won't be out until next week at the earliest though. He's being sent for more tests for other things, so they may move him out of the coronary care unit and into another unit after his heart issue is substantially cleared up. I don't care how long he's in there, as long as he can get his health back under control.

There are issues other than health going on which I can't discuss here, but I am really worried about him. I hope when he gets better he will start taking better care of himself, on all levels.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Younger brother in hospital

My younger brother was admitted last night to the hospital, in the coronary care unit. He has pericarditis, brought on from his bout with pneumonia that he couldn't seem to shake. It is serious but hopefully treatable with medication. We'll know more in a couple of days whether or not the drugs are working. If they show progress, great. If not, he'll have to have an aspiration (i.e., stick a needle in his chest and remove the fluid.)

I'm going to cancel the work trip I had planned to NS this week so I can be close to home. My mom has been up taking care of him. There's not a lot I can do per se, but I just want to be around in case I'm needed.

My grandfather had a rough week last week, culminating in his loss of eyesight for a brief period. After a blood transfusion it returned, but this is not a good sign. They are trying to get his platelets up so he can get a pacemaker, but they are just not getting up high enough. My aunt is up staying with him because he's a little dizzy and disoriented at times and can't really stay alone right now.

Please keep them both in your thoughts/prayers.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Heading out of town

I have a busy next few weeks, work-wise. I will be heading out of town for most of the next two weeks. These trips are a way to intro my new co-worker as well as take stock of our equipment. This week involves trips to Bathurst, Charlottetown, Moncton and maybe Amherst. Next week is Yarmouth, Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow and Amherst if not visited the week before. Then on the last week: Grand Falls, Woodstock and Fredericton, possibly all in one day.

Unfortunately this means I will have to miss most of Theatre on the Edge. I will be able to see the Dance Collective tonight, but then won't be home until sometime on Friday. After a long week of travel, and preparation for travel again all of next week, I'm not sure if I'll be at any of the weekend events. I'll just have to see how tired I am and what needs to be done around the house.

I'll be glad to get this over with. I don't enjoy long car trips. I won't be driving, but that sort of makes things worse because I also can't read in a car. The upside is at least it will help keep mileage down on my leased car. And I can go to Costco. :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Too busy to blog

I've been too busy to blog this past week. Having finally hired help at work this week, I didn't have time to write anything and barely had time to answer personal emails. The week went fast, and I must say it's nice to have help again at work. Competent help at that. He's come up with a number of good ideas, which all involve a lot of work, but will make a lot of improvements. I'm looking forward to having a lot of this stuff implemented. I'm going to have to do a bunch of traveling in the next few weeks, taking him around to the various locations and introducing him. Not crazy about the travel part, but after that is done I should be back at home again until I head to Kentucky.

I've been very glad for this long weekend. I really needed an extra day off. Having to save every vacation day I can in order to be able to see John means that I can't take the occasional day off here and there to just relax. People keep asking me if I am taking summer holidays without remembering that vacation time is the only way I get to see John.

I spent Friday night at home, not doing anything in particular that I can remember. Saturday I got up, hung around the house, chatted with John and went to my hair appointment. After hair I went to church, where it was our first week with our new priest since the Redemptorists had left. Our new priest is a cousin of my recently departed grandfather, so there is a small family connection there. He said mass at my grandfather's funeral.

After church, I headed home to grab a few things and then up to the Peninsula for Dave & Jody's annual camp party. Thanks to Dave & Jody for hosting, and Dave for cooking my steak. :)

At the camp party, I discovered upon setting up my satellite radio that I was missing some channels. Apparently the company decided to remove some from the listing AND raise the monthly fee. I wrote them an email last night, expressing my displeasure. They gave me a standard, pre-written answer in reply. I would not agree with it, but I could understand if they had removed certain channels from the lineup and replaced them with Canadian content... but that is not what happened. They simply removed channels without any notification to their customers. I'm growing increasingly tired of being denied access to the same things as Americans, and this one I find particularly perplexing. It is a paid service, from what I understand is not subject to the same Canadian content regulations as traditional radio... so why are certain stations being blocked? Back in April, the Canadian listing dropped the ClearChannel content that was being offered in the US, which mandated commercials on certain channels. Those stations I don't miss, as I found them to be repetitive of one another anyway. But why block the movie soundtracks, tropical, opera, and hit list channels? I may be canceling my Canadian service and signing up for the US service soon. It's cheaper, even with the exchange factored in, and I would get more channels.

I just ran a spell check on this blog. Apparently Blogger's spell check does not recognize the word "blog." Oh the irony!

I finished reading Something Blue, which ended up being not as bad a read as I thought it would be. The protagonist is not the most appealing character at first, seeing as how she's very self-absorbed. Her transformation is what makes the novel worth reading. If you like chick lit, that is.

On Sunday my younger brother came over to pick up the Calais mailbox key. By the time he reached my house, he wasn't feeling well enough to drive back. I drove him home, stopped at the grocery store and Zellers to pick up a few things, then went back home to get ready for the pool party. Dad was waiting in the driveway with a giant truck full of wood -- my winter heat source. Unfortunately the truck is so heavy that it dented my new pavement. *sigh. It's still too soft to handle large trucks, but what can you do? I sought the help of Jenn & Stew to drive my car out to my brother's place so I could drop his car off to him, on the way to the pool party. That being done, I headed to the Valley.

The pool party garnered a very nice, sunny day, thankfully. A big thanks to Suzy and Chris for hosting and feeding - the burgers and cake were delicious. Despite my lack of love for pools, I did dangle my legs in for a bit and it was refreshing. That was as far as I was comfortable. :)

Today was my extra day off. I spent it sleeping in until 11am. I took an hour walk in some windy weather, which was starting to feel like fall. I got back and watched an episode of Star Trek. After that, I got to work on a couple of things that needed to be done. First was swabbing the deck -- there were a couple of dirty spots that needed cleaning. Dad may be coming over to apply the waterseal this week. After I finished that, I headed to the basement to move the 1/2 rank of wood remaining from last year. I didn't want the oldest/driest wood buried at the bottom of the pile. So I moved all of that over to the other side of the room, and will use that first when I have to start the stove again. The new wood will be ranked in its usual spot sometime this week.

Tonight I baked cupcakes to take to work tomorrow. I also read for a bit. I guess overall it was a good day off, but not long enough. I could really use a week off just to spend around the house. I have still been putting off that touch-up painting I need to do. I did buy some grass seed, finally, but haven't thrown it around on the lawn holes yet. Maybe I can work away at that stuff in the evenings this week, before I start hitting the road for work. I hate to start wishing for fall already, but since that's the next time I'm able to see John, it's on my mind. I miss him a lot.