Wednesday, 29 July 2020

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Friday, 17 July 2020

Having an Aging Parent

Some people age slowly and some people struggle losing one ability at a time. If you're lucky you have agood family doctor. My dad has a good family doctor.
Dad and Bennie 2019
A few years ago Dad's doctor recommended he do an end of life plan. I went with him as you have to bring a family member to witness. Today I called to make sure it's on record. Dad just got out of hospital and went back in only a few days later.

Aging has not been fun for him. I don't see him often so I really notice hes changes. His hearing is still correctable using hearing aids but his vision is mostly gone. He's very negative (who can blame him) and anxious about all his loss of ability. Sad because he's a very social person. Once he stabilizes from this we'll get a plan in place to improve quality of life for him and his wife.

His family doctor is in total agreement. Don't wait for an event to find you and your doctor aren't on the same page.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Travel in a time of Pandemic

When my Dad was take by ambulance to the hospital with a cardiac event we had choices to make around traveling. 

One thing about traveling when COVID - 19 is it's so new. If you test positive away from home you have to isolate somewhere that isn't home. Even if you don't get sick enough for a hospital stay, where are you going to be stored, for an indefinite amount of time, while away from  home if you do get symptoms? A big consideration for us was if we got sick dad wouldn't be able to come home.

Since mid-March I've been in 5 stores with 3 of them being since late May. If I went alone that would mean flying since it's a 15 hour drive. If flying I would have an airport transit in a city that keeps having flare ups. In the en, we decided to drive. We did a ton of cooking, put our masks in the car, Bennie went to the kennel we were going to leave him at for our (canceled) trip to the Cook Islands, we had someone come check the house and water plants and we were off in the Macan.

Range at 3/4 tank
The trip out went smoothly and we got amazing gas mileage. We stopped twice for gas and once for a drive thru coffee (they wore masks and physical distancing was in place). We had made Vietnamese salad rolls for the trip and they were the perfect light food for long sitting periods. We used to leave super early but this time didn't leave until 8 am. We got in later but didn't start the trip fighting to wake up.

Once out there, we stayed in at my dad's, only saw his wife and went for walks in the rain. We knew we wouldn't be able to see Dad in hospital but wanted to be available if things took a turn for the worse. Fortunately, oxygen brought him around and he's booked for TAVI - he had been waiting for it but it's been bumped up. Once he had a date and wearing pyjamas instead of a gown - we went home. We'll go back in August if we don't have big (>50 that end up non-traceable) outbreaks here or out there and non-essential inter-provincial travel is allowed.

On the way back we ended up detouring down Hwy 93 because if a road washout just east of Jasper. Funny since we chatted about the Icefields Parkway on the way out. since neither of us had gone on it for decades (we've never been together and we've been married well over 30 years). It's a beautiful area even in the rain.

Last time I was by here ('82), the glacier was down to the road.
Snow was very close to the road - we're running 20" summer radials

Rocky Mountain House area. Crown land so free camping along the reservoir.

We got home to a lush yard between rain and warm weather. It's good to be home.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Bennie turns 2!

I've said this a few times before but I think Bennie is grown up and it's been quite the journey. Adding Bennie to our home was like never having had a pup before. It had been so long and puppy training has changed so much - with our first cairn, Rufus, I training in the manner of Monks of New Skete. The only obedience exercise I didn't do well was the recall and that was because we didn't use treats.

Fast forward to Bennie and the more collaborative way of training. Where are we now? One thing identified early is Bennie is hesitant in new situations and his default is to bark. Lots. So I walk him at times there are fewer people around. Luckily he likes Cheerios so they're easy to carry. He heels when he's in familiar areas and he can be attentive even when just dragging his leash. Some days he's just wound up though so leash and quick walk it is.

I think Cairns are barky dogs so we've got someone who comes to the house to look after him if it's just a couple days. We had taken him to a local kennel for a test day and that's where he'll be going when we get to travel again.

He's certainly the most attached pup we've had. He really enjoys sitting with us but also has his spaces in the house. One thing I really appreciate is when we call his name, he comes to see what we want. The is is NEW experience for us with cairns. Not sure if it's because we're home all the time or if that's just the way he is. 

I think this is the way things will settle until he gets old. A long time in the future I hope.

Friday, 15 May 2020

COVID-19 the reopening

It seems that in most provinces in Canada the curve has been flatten enough to start resuming some activities. Where I am, only the "extra" activities were really closed down. Construction and manufacturing (including oil production) stayed working. Travel, leisure based activities and health initiatives deemed less lifesaving were closed. Now it's time to decide how much I will participate; we are privileged in being retired so we have a lot of flexibility.

  • Leaving the house - we already shop at less busy time but I'm very uncomfortable going into stores right now. If I can't do curbside pickup, I will wear a cloth mask. I don't wear one outside because we can easily physically distance.

  • Domestic travel - this is pretty well by car. Once group meetings for 10 people are routine with no outbreaks in the area we would travel to, we'll probably make separate trips with 2 weeks at home in between to make sure we aren't carrying anything. August for the soonest I think.

  • International travel - unlikely until there is an understanding of long term effects of this disease along with medical interventions that would either the virus from infecting to any degree. This could be a vaccination or medication. Both would be preferable.

A lot of people seem very complacent about their risk and I can understand that. We go the the South Pacific where Dengue Fever is endemic; it's blood borne, there is no cure and it can be fatal but there are several controls that can be quite effective because it's known how it's transmitted - by mosquitoes. So reduce mosquito populations by minimizing standing water to, using coils (or even fans) to keep them away from areas and wear insect repellent. 

What do we know about SARS-CoV 2 in May 2020? It's airborne, there's no cure and it can be fatal. What's the viral load for infection? We don't know yet. How do we know we might be infected? A bunch of symptoms common to a lot of routine illness and some that are unusual and intermittent. What organs does it affect? We don't know all of it but at least lungs and heart in immuno-compromised people. Is there a full recovery? Seems like it. How long are you immune after you have it? We don't know yet. Can it come back in another form like chicken pox <->shingles? We don't know yet. 

I fully expect COVID-19 to become endemic. I will not get a vaccination if one is available in 2020 because I can self isolate and I don't think there will be enough time for a full health assessment. I am too old be be a guinea pig for health.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Review - 3 items

Hope you and yours are doing as well as possible as we come out of "Stay at Home" whatever that's meant for you.

Our spending habits didn't change too much but now that it's warmer out we can implement some of the changes. Blogger has changed so formatting for the pictures will be a bit different - oh well. Read ahead to see what I think of adjustable ring video doorbell mount, a silicon cookie sheet and the phone case I'm currently using.