First of all, an update that I started to write back in October, and then completely forgot about… so, I moved to Nova Scotia in October (after my brother and his family moved there from Toronto in August), and my parents followed me in January. Which was a good thing.
Then in late February/early March, I ended up with shingles.
[Note: If you have had chicken pox, and at some point end up with what look like clusters of bug bites over part of your body, but they are sharply painful rather than itchy, go to your doctor, or a walk-in clinic, before 72 hours (3 days) pass. The likelihood is that they’re shingles, and the only pain relief that really works on them needs to be started within 72 hours after they appear, or it won’t work. I didn’t realise they might be shingles for 2 weeks.]
So, that lasted until around the beginning of April. Not fun.
Then, six weeks ago Thursday (April 15, to be specific), I took a tumble while coming out of my (last) physio appointment for a problem I’d been having with my legs since August/September. Yes, it was to be my last one. I was delighted at that… until I tripped and fell while walking down the grass slope to my car. (My dad signed his car over to me when we moved to NS.)
At first, it seemed my right ankle had a bad sprain. I couldn’t really put any weight on it, so the reception staff at the rehab hospital (after a very kind gentleman who saw me fall went in to get them) got me into a wheelchair and back into the reception area. My parents came to pick me up, and drive my car back to my place. (Which, note, is a first floor walk-up.)
So, ankle was in agonizing, sharp pain (I’m more sensitive to sharp pain than I am to dull pain). I asked my parents whether we should have it checked out at Emergency, and they said a bad sprain didn’t really need that. So I iced it numerous times from Thursday evening to Sunday, but the pain didn’t really abate at all.
As a result, when I went for my usual Sunday with my parents, they agreed to take me to Emerg Monday morning (April 19), because I was worried that I might have actually broken my ankle.
Turns out, I did. (Dad turned to me in the car as we were leaving after getting it casted, and said, “You can now say, ‘I told you so’.”)
WARNING: VERY SAD/UPSETTING STUFF FOLLOWS!
Because my apartment is a one-floor walk-up, and there’s no way I’d manage much (and certainly not getting down to the entrance!), my parents brought me back to their place (which has an elevator), and moved my cats and half my stuff over, for me to stay there until my ankle was better. (I have just under a week to go before the six-week mark.)
I woke up Tuesday (April 20) to the odd sound of Mom counting in the main bedroom. When she heard me moving about, she ordered me to open the door for the paramedics.
Turns out that my dad had passed away that morning, and the counting was her attempting to do CPR (which was already useless) at the instruction of the emergency operator on the phone.
It’s been hard. Thankfully my youngest sister was able to get up here from Toronto before Nova Scotia re-entered lockdown (and because she’s an SLP/health care worker, she’s already had both COVID-19 vaccinations), and the rest of us were already here. It’s… been hard. It was very unexpected.
We’ve been… coping. My siblings and I have done our best to support Mom and each other (and the nieces and nephews), and it’s definitely helped, but because it was so sudden and unexpected, it’s taken a while to sink in. I’m not sure it has entirely for any of us yet.
(And I have to say, the RCMP officer from the medical examiner’s office was wonderful. Mom called in a compliment about him, because of how professional and compassionate he was.)
Anyway, so that was stressing us all out, understandably enough, and then I noticed about two weeks ago that Imber wasn’t eating. (I suspect it was a stress response; I wish she’d kept the dermatitis instead.) This also happened when we moved from St. John’s to here, and is not a good thing for cats. (After three days of not eating, their liver starts to take damage.) We brought her back to the vet who’d seen her in November, and it was the same thing, though not as much damage had been done, so we got the same meds as last time, and she was starting to improve.
Last Wednesday, she stopped eating again. It became a choice between a feeding tube and putting her to sleep. And I couldn’t put Imber under the extra stress of having to have an operation (she only had two prior, one was to spay her, and the other was to remove her right hind foot, so it would be exceedingly stressful), because that would be even worse.
So last Friday, I took her in to the vet and had her put to sleep.
So… yeah. Devastating pretty much covers it.