Hello Mercury Retrograde 2022

It’s a new year and a clean slate, and hopes are high that this year will be the end of the Coronavirus as we know it. But the fact remains that we are globally, high in virus and numbers, due to the the recent appearance of Omicron. We can all hope that as this virus continues, it will tamper down, lose it’s hurricane strength, and hopefully, no new strains will mutate. And in the meantime, because the world is already in chaos trying to stamp out this virus, we’re about to have our first Mercury Retrograde of 2022. Crazy times 2.0. It begins January 13th, lasting until February 3rd. But these dates are not inclusive. Like a full moon, retrogrades begin their ‘retroshade’ effects within a week or two of its arrival date, and can linger just as long after completion. And I’m already experiencing the shakeup.

When Mercury retrogrades, it is said that this is because retrograde indicates the planet is moving backwards, when in actuality, a faster moving planet passes Mercury in its pause, leaving a feeling of going backwards. Mercury travels around the sun in 88 days and takes a retrograde 3-4 times a year. Since Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, its orbit is shorter than earth’s. It’s like Mercury has to slow down to let other planets catch up in-between its cycle around the earth. Things that occur during this period can make us feel exactly like things are moving backwards as Mercury pauses and other planets pass by. This first retrograde of the year will be in Aquarius. There will be three Mercury Retrogrades this year, all of them in air signs (yup, that’s me). Signs most influenced by these retrogrades are the people who have their sun or rising signs the same as the sign each retrograde falls into.

Mercury Retrograde Chart for 2022

January 14 – February 3 starts in air sign Aquarius, ends in earth-sign Capricorn
May 10 – June 2 starts in air sign Gemini, ends in earth-sign Taurus
September 9 – October 2 starts in air-sign Libra, ends in earth-sign Virgo December 29 – January 18 in earth-sign Capricorn

Refresher Course: Mercury Retrograde

How does this affect our energy levels?

We can expect to have more or even less energy during this period, mostly of the nervous, unsettling or over-zealous type, causing possible bouts of anxiety. Each MR will fall in and affect particular signs more so than others.

What kinds of things are affected by a Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury rules our daily activities – technology, communications, contracts and relationships. When the planet is in retrograde we can expect glitches, delays and miscommunications in all of the above areas as Mercury is the ruler of communications. Extra vigilance should be paid to planned dates, appointments, signing contracts, editing, buying, selling, researching, negotiating, wills, documents, deeds, leases, and more. Most often affected are, computer issues, transportation and travel. It’s a period where we can expect the unexpected. In plain terms, when a planet is in retrograde, the planet takes a nap. And while it naps, it’s like it relinquishes its duties and the territory it usually stabilizes can run amok. This period is typically a good time to take a pause ourselves from big decision-making and a good time to reflect, journal, re-organize and re-evaluate our intentions, as well, it’s a good time to re-connect with people and/or projects from the past. As you may have noticed in the previous sentence, anything to do with ‘re’ as in redo, revisit, etc. is good to keep busy with during the MR period.

~ ~ ~

And here I am, in the thick of a Mercury Retrograde. As I pretty much, limped through 2021 with a sick husband and then his ultimate dying, which left me in numb and shock and grief, and my consequent going through everything we lived and shared together and two months later, moving, and of course, all of this while living in a secluded Covid world, all that has kept me going these past few months has been to get the hell out of Dodge and spend a few months out of the dread of another cold, sunless, lonely winter, and get to Mexico.

Am I concerned about traveling in a pandemic? You bet your bottom dollar I am. This is particularly the time where I’m getting excited to go away, but I’m not. I’m feeling a surge of anxiety while constantly weighing the pros and cons of my traveling. I know I’m triple vaxxed and extremely cautious around people, but I know many on vacation sometimes forget they’re still living in a pandemic, often forgeting masks and social distancing. I have a girlfriend down there since November who I keep in touch with to get the scoop on what’s going on down there. Mexico was actually doing not too bad before the rash of carefree Christmas vacationers visiting there helping spread the germs. And as much as I feel armed with safety supplies and three jabs, I’m concerned about if things get even worse instead of calming down after the holiday rush.

Air Canada has already changed my flight three times before it flat out canceled my flight last week (thanks so much Mercury). They took off their daily direct flights into Puerto Vallarta and made them all into connecting flights to gather more passengers, leaving only two direct flights at this time, weekly. After making two phone calls – each with its own four hour wait until a human picked up, I managed to get on a direct flight again, leaving three days earlier than my original flight date. I was confirmed on the phone I’m booked, but it’s been a week now and I still haven’t received written confirmation.

Besides the airline kerfuffle, this event also entailed my trying to get hold of my agent in Mexico to first find out if the unit I’m renting was vacant for my early arrival. Thankfully it is, but I’m quite unsettled that more cancellations are coming, and the prospect of what if things get worse and I get stuck in Mexico when I’m supposed to return? These are a lot of heavy concerns floating in my uncertain mind in the already shady period of Mercury Retrograde, leaving me with uncertainty of things to come.

On the pro side, I’m not sure I can endure another long, lonely winter without sun again. I thrive in sunshine, and there are only so many times and methods in my toolbox I have to remove myself internally from the darkness around me. It’s getting real old and I need to get out of here!!! So, oh yes, Mercury Retrograde is already alive and well in my travel plans, and no doubt there will be more to come before this period gets roaring and then comes to an end. So I’m caught in this net of wondering if I’ll get to Mexico, if I can stay Covid-free, and if I’ll be able to get back home. I feel almost guilty about getting excited to go and apprehensive about preparing and packing for this trip. My long awaited vacation is living in a big question mark at the moment. I feel like I should be preparing to go, but also must be prepared not to. Nothing like trying to sit down on both sides of the fence. In my heart, I’m going, but in my head I am ever so vigilant on keeping an alert to whatever this retrograde has in store for me. It’s all quite unsettling to say the least, and that is proof that Mercury Retrograde is already warming up.

I will keep you all posted on the status of my trip. In the meantime, be forewarned and prepared for the first Mercury Retrograde 2022!

©DGKaye2022

#WATWB – We are the World Blogfest, #Gooddeeds – Feeding the Sick in Rwanda

Welcome to the October issue of #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest, where a group of writers share something good going on in the world to inspire and keep focused on some of the positive things happening in the world.

 

In this edition, I’m sharing an initiative I came across where the organization of Humanity United and  Kuzamura Ubuzima have united with the first ever Food share initiative. This initiative was formed in order to aid in the food shortage in Rwanda with the Food Forest Program, and recently added, food delivery for patients in hospitals. Food is not free for hospital stays in Rwanda and many cannot afford to buy the food, and many more have nobody to bring them food.

 

 

“Food Forests – also known as forest gardening, are a world apart from traditional agriculture. Standard farming models require that crops are planted in neat rows, segregated by species. In contrast, the food forest model revolves around planting techniques which mirror the ecosystems found in nature.

This means that crops are allowed to grow in the places where they naturally thrive – think shade-loving mushrooms underneath heavy canopied trees, or plants that mutually benefit each other interspersed in the same area. Because the food forest follows patterns found in nature, it is low maintenance and self-sustaining, requiring only basic upkeep from farmers. . .”

 

Please continue reading about this amazing initiative at Goodnet.org.

 

Anyone is welcome to join in at any time to post something good going on in the world on the last Friday of each month for the WATWB by posting a link to your post on our WATWB Facebook Group Page post. Hosts for this month are:  Sylvia McGrath (professorowlsbookcorner.com) and Belinda Witzehausen (BelindaWitzenhausen.com)  

 

..

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

This month’s Realms of Relationships column is about going ‘No Contact’. Sometimes in life we’re faced with becoming stuck in unhealthy relationships and that can mean anything from enduring an abuser or narcissist, but it can also relate to any unhealthy relationship we allow with someone in our life who demeans us, belittles, demands of us, or shows no interest or compassion for us, yet remain a part of our lives.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point

 

No Contact – The Breaking Point

 

I write a lot here about difficult relationships, the challenges about them, the symptoms, and I share my experience and my resolutions about handling some of these conflicts. In this issue, I’m going to talk about the No Contact rule.

 

This method is usually a last resort to ending a relationship after several other remedies have been applied without success.

 

When we have struggled with people who hurt, ignore, or harm us, either mentally or physically, and there is no solution left for handling these people, other than continuing to put up with them or creating distance from them wherever we can, sometimes all we can do is go full-blown No Contact. Yes, you can read 100 books on psychology about these issues, but when we reach the last end of the rope where we can no longer endure a toxic relationship, this may become the only option we’re left with to seek peace.

 

So, what is no contact exactly?

 

No Contact means taking a firm stance to remove ourselves from another person’s life or situation. It can often be a difficult process, especially when feelings of guilt intervene, but this is sometimes necessary to bring back sanity and peace. And despite our decision to go through with the process, it can still be difficult. And sometimes, despite our decision to break free, we may still get swept back into that person’s drama. Friend or family, sometimes we just have to let go to save ourselves. No Contact means the relationship is over. This is a self-protective measure we should take when a relationship isn’t just not fulfilling us, but becomes bad for our mental health. It’s a measure that will often entail grieving the loss of that relationship despite our choosing to sever ties with that person.

 

time to leave

 

So what is the process for No Contact?

 

First, we should set our internal boundaries. Once we decide to go No Contact, we must stop filling our minds with the situation and playing the hurt hits over and over in our heads. If we’re at this point in a relationship, it’s time to stop thinking about them, the hurt, the words, the guilt and the pain they’ve caused us, and think about ourselves. When we’ve exhausted every avenue of trying to discuss and fix, and they either don’t see the problem or aren’t interested in repairing anything, it may be time to banish them. Going No Contact is not only a physical action, but a mental one too.

 

Going No Contact means: no phoning, no texting, no engagement on social media or otherwise, no talking, no partaking in events around them. It means staying strong when confronted by those we’ve walked away from and remembering the many reasons why we chose to delete that person from our lives. The object is to remove our presence from their life.

 

Like any loss in life, we may well go through some of the grieving stages, similar to how we do when we lose a loved one. During this process, we may experience mixed emotions such as: I’m a bad person for doing this, I don’t want to make bad blood, I don’t want people to be angry at me. I know this ritual through my own experience. I lived it when I finally had to use it with my mother. And since my husband’s passing, I’ve realized a lot about the people who’ve been a part of my life with ‘new eyes’. One thing I know from experience is that a deep loss of a loved one will forever change you.

 

What can help when we’re weighing the scales about a certain relationship is to write out our feelings. Make a list of the pros and cons of the relationship in question. Look at the good parts and the painful parts. If the painful parts far outweigh the good and you’ve already given the relationship many chances with the same outcome, it may be time to consider this method.

 

letting go

 

Toxic people are manipulative people. They have an inherent knack for knowing how to overpower others. It’s important not to allow these people to define us by manipulating us into feeling obligation or guilt when we attempt to distance ourselves mentally and physically from that person. Going No Contact is often akin to abstaining from a harmful substance like drugs or booze. And just like going through any detox program, we will undoubtedly go through some withdrawal symptoms after removing a person from our lives. And yes, second thoughts, guilt, and remembering some of the better times, may all pop into our heads during the cleansing, but the idea is to remain strong in our resolution for a greater good. In essence, creating No Contact is self-love and for self- preservation. . . Please continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord

 

Original Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – September 2021 – The Relationship with Ourselves -Self-Care | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to my September edition of Realms of Relationships at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine that I contribute to monthly. There are many kinds of relatioships, but often, we forget about the one with ourselves.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – September 2021 – The Relationship with Ourselves -Self-Care

 

 

Relationships with ourselves – Self-Care

 

Welcome to my Realms of Relationships column at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Today I want to talk about the most important relationship we can have, and that’s the one we have with ourselves. It’s often easy to overlook ourselves, especially when times are tense, fast, and frazzled with life’s daily grind. And if we have loved ones to care for on top of daily living, often, the last person being served is usually ourselves.

 

I’m a living testament of what self-neglect can leave behind as resulting damage. Often, we get so wrapped up in our lives and lose track of time – the time we let ourselves go. So yes, self-compassion and self-care are just as essential for us to live in good health – not just to survive.

 

Sometimes, some of the most nurturing people forget that taking care of others requires us to be in good health in order to care of someone else. But often in the middle of trauma, our focus often falls on the loved one we’re caring for – both young and old, without giving a second thought for our own well-being. I know this because I lived it.

 

 

Self Care

 

Self- care encompasses the daily things we do for ourselves to keep our health in check – hygiene, eating properly, taking meds and required vitamins, and getting in exercise and enough sleep. Most importantly, any ailments we feel coming on should be dealt with as soon as possible once we notice things aren’t running as smoothly with our bodies, and not left to fester until such time we decide to stop pushing aside things a doctor needs to have a look at. And then there is emotional health.

 

If we are living through a stressful time, not just our physical health needs tending to, but, we need an outlet to relieve some of the mental angst that can sometimes translate to more physical ailments. Trust me, it’s not a myth, stress and worry have the ability to do great damage within us. Just like a health regimen followed daily creates cumulative benefits that add up daily, not following one will most certainly chip away at all the goodness we’ve already accrued through time as we continue to neglect ourselves.

 

Taking care of ourselves is vital for us to function optimally, but especially when someone else is relying on us to take care of them. When chaos or trauma strike, it shouldn’t mean that we abandon what’s important for us to remain in good health, but so often we’ll sacrifice what’s good for us and put others before us. Here’s what we need to know about taking care of ourselves:

 

 

  • Make sure to get enough sleep – not getting enough sleep can initiate other health problems.
  • Make mealtime a routine at least twice a day if you can’t manage three squares. If you eat a good breakfast it can sustain you through the day in case you do happen to miss out on lunch. But even more important to eat a healthy dinner, especially if we’re missing that lunch.
  • Don’t stop taking important vitamins and supplements, especially if you’re deficient in them. Not eating properly during stressful times, then not taking supplementation, doubles the drain on our bodies leaving us without efficient fuel or nutrients.
  • Take a timeout and go for a walk, read a chapter, listen to music – whatever you enjoy for a mental health break from high stressed life. If you’re caring for someone 24/7, arrange for someone to come by and give you a break for some down time and time to get household essentials looked after, and maybe even to eke out some personal time.

 

You can take this Self Well-Being test here to see how you’re doing: Berkeley Wellbeing Survey

 

Take care of yourself

 

How I can attest to this advice? Because I became one of those self-neglecters.

 

During my husband’s illness when I was caring for him 24/7, the last thing on my mind was about what I needed. While my world was spiraling out of sense, I didn’t care about eating properly, sometimes not eating at all. I had no appetite. I’d sneak in a shower when my husband would sleep, or if one of his personal support workers were bathing him.

 

I was full of preliminary grief and anxiety, and I wasn’t hungry. . . Please continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord to learn the repercussions after we forget to take care of ourselves.

 

 

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – September 2021 – The Relationship with Ourselves -Self-Care | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

What’s my Rage? Why? #Guilt, #Grieving and #Loss – #Birthday #Coronavirus and the ‘System’

 

Rage crying and guilt. It’s a thing. And it’s real for me. Like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross states in her book, On Grief and Grieving, there are five stages of grief and you may not feel them in order, but surely everyone will experience them all. Well, I’m still in big time denial, a.k.a., shock, and that doesn’t mean I don’t believe my husband is alive, literally, only that numbness and other defense mechanisms set in and help to play games with my mind to sort of attempt to ‘take the edge off’ the heaviness by playing the ‘pretending game’. Like when I actually get busy doing something, I pretend George is sleeping in the bedroom. But of course, that only lasts so long.

The five stages of grief are certainly not in same order for me. My denial stage is the shock not worn off. Depression is my inner rage. Bargaining is useless, as it’s much too late for that, so I’ve switched that one up to guilt, because guilt is part of the heaviness I carry within. And as for acceptance, it’s so far off I can’t even visualize it.

 

Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I know! I’m beating myself up at why my husband couldn’t be saved before he became terminal.  I’ve always looked after him. Every little symptom I’d report to the doctors. Covid made everything harder and worse. I can’t stop replaying the summer before he died. He’d complain and question why he’s so tired. What did I know? He was aging, he had ‘other’ issues, we were locked down for Covid, no real living, and no more getting to actually see a doctor! Tele-health calls were scant, but my husband had so much bloodwork done in the last year of his life, how did nobody catch anything? Labs should tell a story. Everyone was so busy taking care of his other issues that the possibility of cancer was totally over-looked.

Bloodwork weekly, low sodium levels, chronic indigestion and sleeping in half the day. I worried all the time. I spoke with doctors as much as I could get hold of them. Was nobody as curious as me? Did anyone consider something worse? Why did it take til February of this year to put him through the ringer of all tests til the grim discovery would show? He was so bloody tired!

These questions haunt me and squeeze my heart with grief when I start screaming out the whys. Yes, if my love could have saved him, he would have lived forever. Covid has shut down most of the world and the ironic part about it is that thousands more die because they can’t get a surgery booked or even see their doctors in the live. Labs are helpful – somewhat, but there’s nothing like being looked at by a doctor, to look in the eyes, skin, listen to hearbeats and breathing.

I’ve been told that my questions are all part of the grieving process, despite me feeling they are all valid questions. I’m living with guilt that I didn’t do enough for my husband. I didn’t scream out to doctors, my whys. People were dying from Covid and our doctor’s hands were tied with rules and regulations with lockdowns and cooties. Doctors not seeing patients, hospitals not allowing scheduled surgeries. Who was I to fight the system? This system has killed so many others who couldn’t and can’t see a doctor unless they were taken to emergency and admitted through the system. No. Right now I am far from acceptance. Nothing can bring my husband back, and yet, the guilt engulfs me; like crying over spilled milk, I know it will get me nowhere except into a darker abyss by dwelling on the whys, yet, I can’t stop asking.

Happy Birthday Puppy

 

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, only weeks after he passed. I had extra anxiety all weekend. I decided I’d be able to handle the day better if I went to visit his grave. I struggled with it being too soon to go there, but feeling worse if I stayed home and grieved the day all day at home. I went to visit his grave, although I somehow feel closer to him here at home. They hadn’t even finished shoveling more dirt and laying the grass over where he was buried. Remnants of the funeral flowers and ribbons lay scattered over his grave. I threw in a few of my personal stones – rose quartz for love, along with some others, and I placed the stick of the little balloon with the cub on it that says “I love you” in the ground. It was attached to the little puppy love who sleeps with me on his pillow. Puppy love didn’t need to hold on to that balloon anymore because he has me beside him, so I thought Cub balloon would do better keeping him company at his gravesite.

 

Beloved Puppy

 

Birthday at the grave

 

~ ~ ~

 

Note: I recently wrote a post about the state of craziness here in Toronto with vaccine output. I am happy to report that in the past week, our province has got their act together and currently 50%, almost 1.5 million adults, have had their first Covid shot in my city, despite the detrimental number of cases still occurring daily for weeks now, approximately 3000 new cases daily. And one very special nurse who promised they’d save me an Astra Zeneca shot invited me to come have it on this past Friday. I feel blessed that all my networking has paid off and whenever my city decides to ever open up again, I’ll feel a lot more secure about entering the fray – not to mention, be able fly again as soon as flights open up here, and the UK will put Canada back on the ‘approved’ to visit list.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss

 

A Short Visit and a Variety of Thoughts and Happenings

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I thought I could do everything. But I can’t. My first priority is, as has always been my loving “Puppy”, and our time together is growing short. I am his caregiver. I am his wife. And he is the love of my life, so I need not have to elaborate how triply difficult this journey is. Trying to suck it all up 24/7 so I can keep him happy and talk about happy things.  I may have done wrong by keeping him optimistic, knowing full well I was lying to myself and him. But I am newly over denial, and reality sucks.

I’ve taken this quiet time out to post here for a bit of this and that, and not quite sure when I will get the time to write again as my husband is in end stages, palliative at home, every day is stolen time. This whirlwind mountain of actual what the fuck, had taken me into a tailspin since the horrifying diagnosis and me trying to make like there was hope when there is none. I will also blame goddamned Covid and no doctor visits because I believe if they saw him in the past year, all the tests would have been done then. So yes, I BLAME COVID, like the thousands of people dying of non Covid ailments because of no doctor visits.

I won’t even allow myself to think of our good times, as that would just throw me over the edge. I function on autopilot. I do whatever I can, and if it means a few weeks of no sleeping, so be it. I’m 24/7. My always strong, smiling, loving husband is like my child now and I continue to fight for him, and I am thrilled at the most amazing doctors and palliative teams of nurses and personal support workers, and our country’s health system. I’m getting a bird’s eye view of what goes on when you’re actually living the experience.

This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life. And it’s something you can’t begin to explain. One who has walked the shoes only knows how affecting it is to be an eye witness. I’m an empath. These are the parts in books and movies I squint my eyes at, or fast forward. I feel the pain and the sorrow of others, and it’s cutting. And I’m smack in the middle of it. I cannot allow myself the time to grieve as I’m living it and because I must soldier on. I cannot allow my brain to wander over to the ‘after’ part and all that comes – and leaves, with it. So I don’t focus on it, I just keep to what’s in front of me one day at a time.

So much is going on daily here with nurses and support workers and phone calls and and medical supply deliveries, and I had to call 911 for the last time last Sunday again to try and save him one more time. He came home Thursday by ambulance to live the time he has left, at home with his Cub. I’ve learned to operate in numb-like mode, on autopilot. I dare not take any thought of what will be when he is no more. He is now bedridden since his last return and won’t eat, only sleeps. I thought I was losing him Thursday night, but my warrior husband is still here. He can’t talk but he can nod his head.

We’ve struggled our whole marriage about where we would ‘go’ once we leave this earth, as our religions are different and I never wanted to talk of such things. My bad indeed.  But I am grateful to my brother who did the legwork for me, and I have an appointment on Monday to purchase plots ten minutes away from where I live. They have a section for inter-faith marriages – something that was sparse 20 years ago.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need a Valium on Monday.

Time is very precious at this time, and I’m plum worn to the bone, so I’m not sure when I will post again. But I wanted to update you all here, as I’ve been getting so many emails, texts and messages of love and support from many of my friends and answer only when I get a short minute. I know my very good friend Sally Cronin has been keeping my online presence alive and I’m sorry I can’t like, comment or share, but just know, I will be back after this journey. I most definitely won’t be the same person as I once was, but surely, I will have much to write about.

Thank you all for your love and support and keep the love coming as somehow, it does help.

 

©DGKaye2021

bitmo live laugh love

Because life is never guaranteed.

Let’s Have A Look – Our Medical System During Covid #Health and #Wellness

I thought it was time to write another episode of #LetsHaveALook because I need a good venting about the current status of our medical system and compassion – here in my city of Toronto, Ontario, and god only knows what’s going on in the rest of Canada. Based on the shenanigan Covid policies of our current hospital system, I must dance through hoops to get things done regarding my husband’s health. I’ve learned about some appalling policies put in place at the hospital, both while hubby was in hospital, and now in the follow up procedures.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts about my husband’s illness and his recent two-week stay in hospital, I learned about all the strict policies in our hospitals currently in place right now. Since before Christmas our city has been in complete lockdown. Now lockdown has become a word of no significance to me anymore, because, Covid or no Covid, I am locked down at home now caring for my husband 24/7.

I’ve promised to share the documented journey here on my blog in a series of posts. And until I get the complete diagnosis, I won’t be sharing that journey yet. But in the interm, I feel I need to share my thoughts on one incident in particular that sparks a flame under my ass, and that is a severe lack of compassion in a ‘certain’ department. That department would be Oncology. Yes, you read that right. The most scariest department one would have to contend with, and their policy.

Before I get ahead of the cart with the horse here, allow me to elaborate on a few mountains I’ve had to climb thus far just to be able to visit my husband in hospital.

I found out in a cruel way that visiting patients is limited to TWICE a week only, each for only two hours. That’s it! Well, anyone who knows me, knows that isn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

At first my hub was left in emergency for two days because of a bed shortage, and while in emerge (what we call it in Canada), there were NO visitors allowed. So for those two days I was blessed to have my team of Dr. B and his secretary Lisa to get me through the hurdles and keep me in updated communication. As soon as I signed out after my second visit, a nasty admin at the nurse’s station informed me that my second visit was my last one til next week. I emailed Lisa with my complaint that this cannot stand. I cannot leave a sick weak, scared man alone for days without me. I just can’t! Lisa and Dr. B took my cries for mercy to the higher echelons of policy-making, and gratefully and miraculously I was granted daily visitation rights for two hours daily. I took those two hours to bathe and change my husband’s clothes, because I saw how overwhelming the system had become and the nurses have zero time to give a little compassion, conversation or anything else but the basics – meds and bloodwork. Yes, the hospital that I’ve always touted as one of the best of care, the nurses have spread themselves much too thin at this point.

I walked those corridors daily and saw so many seniors alone in their rooms, no visitors, no comforting attention, and it broke my heart because I know I couldn’t live that out with my husband who is reliant on me. Dr. B. promised he’d call me daily to update on the MANY tests my husband endured. I’d email Lisa nightly to let her know what time my visiting appointment was for the next day, and asked her to let Dr. B know when I’d be there so I wouldn’t miss his consults. When he was in surgery and couldn’t meet up with me, he’d call me at the end of the day. This is what compassion is about.

My cell phone is and was on 24/7. Most nights hubby would call me in a tizzy or disorientation mode of confusion and wake me at any hours of the night because he was scared or needed assistance. I’d console him then hang up and call the nurse’s station and ask to please send in a nurse to help him. Then I’d lie wide awake staring at the ceiling, praying he’d be alright and not be scared.

Now, the above was just a sampling of my world in those two weeks. After one test leading to another and my hub becoming a human pincushion, Dr. B called me mid-last week to report on what he could of the final biopsy results that had partially come in.

It began with my husband’s ascites – fluid buildup daily, requiring weekly paracentesis, blaming his liver disease – cirrhosis of the liver for the build up and Dr. B circumventing hospital policy that states NO BOOKING IN PATIENTS FOR ANYTHING. He informed me I need to get hub into hospital and the only way to do so was to get him to emerge and when they learned how sick he is, he would be admitted.

The hospital stay involved bloodwork taken from hubby’s battered and bruised arms three times daily to check his levels as his meds were evaluated and adjusted, and then an ultra-sound/liverscan to see what’s going on there. Well, ultra sound led to other Xrays, two CT scans, and finally, a biopsy. Each test produced questionable evidence leading to the next. The reason some of the tests weren’t exactly clear was because of the fluid in his belly – despite my poor hub having three drainings while in hospital before some of the procedures, hoping to enable clearer views.

P.S., biopsy results showed a mass on his liver. There were a lot of technical words and more I can’t get into yet, and as Dr. B stated, he could only read what was found so far and apparently, ‘staining’ markers were not complete and he told me he had referred husband’s case now to ONCOLOGY. I do not need to elaborate on how that word and news has affected me. Dr. B assured me oncology doc would get in touch with me soon.

Gratefully, but not really grateful, the secretary of the referred doctor called me the next day. This was when the next act of cruelty was presented to me.

The secretary called to give my husband an appointment to meet and discuss findings – operative word – husband. I questioned her. Certainly, I was coming with him? Nope. I was told, “Unfortunately, during the strict lockdown, doctor will only have one person in his office” and that I COULD WAIT IN THE WAITING ROOM!

I DON’T THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried to remain calm and use ‘honey’ instead of the actual venom I felt rising within. I told her that my husband is very ill, weak, scared and old. I am his voice and his caregiver and that he doesn’t absorb information easily. Again, I reiterated, that sending him on his own was NOT going to happen. She said she’d talk to the doc and call me back. She did, and nothing changed. So I sent off an email to Lisa to inform her about this policy and how cruel that is, and I will not do that. Lisa emailed me back that night and agreed with me on the sorrowful lack of compassion, and let me know she’d sent a new referral to a different oncologist.

The next day I get a call from the different doc’s secretary. She noted that she’d seen a prior referral to another doctor, and the note Lisa attached to the the new referral, stating that patient’s wife must accompany. But then she apologized and told me, it doesn’t matter which doctor you have in oncology, the procedures are the same. I lost it.

I told her I’ve spent two weeks visiting my husband and seen many nurses and doctors, one on one through that time, and asked her how on earth oncology can be so uncompassionate? I asked her why the doctor couldn’t take us into a ‘bigger’ room so he wouldn’t catch our cooties. I told her there was no way I am sending my husband into this stranger doctor to be given devastating news on his own. NO WAY! She went back to the original doctor to speak with him about my concerns and called me back. She informed me the doctor said I could wait in the waiting room and he would call my cellphone and let me listen in on speaker phone! JUST NO!

In my tattered and tizzied state, I asked her where the compassion is for the scared people going through nightmares in these predicaments. I also asked her why every other doctor is giving us telehealth calls, phone calls, and some even doing Zoom calls, surely we deserve that option than to scare what’s left of a person’s dignity to death before they even know what they’re in for. Again, she said she’d call me back and speak with the doc.

She called back a few minutes later, letting me know the doctor has agreed to speak with us both at home on speaker phone. Charming not, but I at least won the war.

Now I ask, WHERE THE HELL IS THE COMPASSION? I went through hoops and ladders to get as much as I did. Who else has this fight in them when they are faced with these dreaded circumstances? How many can push like I did? How many succumb to living in fear and uncertainty? Not this girl, as long as I’m able to I will fight for compassionate rights of the elderly. I am truly astounded at the heartlessness of this policy!

The Covid has not only turned all our lives and our personal worlds upside down, but despite the pandemic, people continue to get sick  and die in numbers much larger than from the Covid. My stomach turns at the amount of people with dire illness who don’t have a Dr. B or a  Lisa, or even an advocate who is tenacious and adamant to fight for rights against stringent policies. And I can’t help but wonder how many doctors themselves who have sick loved ones, wouldn’t fight tooth and nail themselves to ease the fear of their own loved ones in similar predicament.

Humanity? Humility, dignity. I really do believe that hospitals need to be able to make exceptions without having to go to the end’s of earth and sanity to do so. And oncology needs to find their compassion again. Put on a Hazmat suit, get a bigger room to chat in, heck, use the danged food courts that have been shut down, but just stop the madness! The people that have to go to oncology, DON’T WANT TO BE THERE in the first place. So please, bring back compassion!

The road is proving more difficult as the days pass. My time is no longer my own as I wade through this new role. I’ve been my husband’s caregiver for a few years now off and on while he’s been able to do most things on his own, but he can no longer get out of a chair by himself. With the help of our Ministry of Health system, he now has an occupational therapist, we’ll soon be getting in a physiotherapist, and this past week or so he’s been home, I’ve managed to have delivered all the seniorizing, safety items needed to assist him and around our home.

We will have our call next week with the oncologist, and I’ve currently got some phone numbers to call to get some homecare to stay with hub a few hours once or twice a week so I can run errands and get basics – like food. When difficult times come, it’s been interesting to actually see who shows up to the plate. Not many.

I am ever grateful for the friends I have who call, message and email me to check up on me and keep me uplifted, especially in the those moments when I could use a word of encouragement. I wish you all lived closer to me, but I am grateful to have you in my life. It’s not difficult to see how mental health can be eroded when our plates runneth over and there’s nobody else around. And the damned Covid restricted insanity to add to the mix.

 

Friends and family

Credit to Judy Hoskins of Pixaby

 

It’s so often friends who are more the family than blood relations, as is definitely the case for me. Maybe that’s because we get to choose our friends and not our families.

 

©DGKaye2021

Note: This posting went live March 9th morning, later that evening, my husband was rushed back to hospital. If you don’t see me around the usual haunts, it’s because I’ve laced back up my warrior boots and doing God’s work again.

 

Sunday Book Review – #Booklaunch, Lockdown Innit #Poetry and Observations by Marjorie Mallon

 

Sunday book review, featuring Marjorie Mallon’s latest #Booklaunch, Lockdown Innit. This is Marje’s second book with a new accounting of circumstances and observations from her journey through the Covid pandemic.

 

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity by [M J Mallon]

Get this book on Amazon

 

 

Blurb:

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

What people are saying:

Bestselling author Lizzie Chantree’s thoughts: ‘An intricate mix of observations from the author about how the pandemic has brought change. Some welcome, some not so much. A thought provoking read.’

Author and Poet Sarah Northwood: Lockdown Innit is a wonderful collection of predominantly free verse poetry on all kinds of themes experienced during the author’s third lockdown.

 

My 5 Star Review:

This is Mallon’s second book where she shares her views, observations and incidents she’s endured dealing with the Covid lockdown. Mallon shares her thoughts and worries and experiences through poetic prose, and free verse writing in this book, documenting a range of emotions from fear to humor.

The author gives us a glimpse of her views from taking in the mundane and everyday happenings in life, to a few scares of her own, expressed from her point of experience. She shares stories about her daughters and elaborates on some of the ideas they had to stay entertained, to an ode to her mum and the silly shenanigans that go on in supermarkets – “Shopping Bozos”, demonstrating some of the inconsiderate behaviors of some people during a pandemic.

This an entertaining documented journey through the author’s eyes of  circumstances and life during the Covid lockdowns. Memorabilia for the future – lest we forget.

 

©DGKaye2021

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