Archive | July 2012

Protected: Middle class angst

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Summer daze

Summer has finally arrived.  It wasn’t two weeks ago when I was wearing winter rain pants and walking the dog and the kid in the rain and now I’m digging out my ugly capris and t-shirts.  I say ugly capris because I’ve always had big thighs and shorts are an impossibility, so I have to wear capris and only the only two I have are too big for my waist but good on my thighs.  I dread going shopping for summer wear (never thought I’d say that), but perhaps I’ll give skirts a try this time.

Which brings me to fighter bootcamp.  Yep, I’m back in again. I hate burpees!  But I hate whiners even more so I struggle through them.  It’s a smaller group which means there is no hiding.  The girls are at least 20 years younger than me, but I’m hanging in there, spare tire and all.  I have to say I really enjoy it even though I basically come home, shower and crawl into bed with Advil.  Bootcamp and extra pounds on my girlish figure do not mix well, but at least I’m there.  I really love learning new fighting techniques; there’s nothing better than hearing that satisfying smack when you land a punch really well (on the focus mitts, NOT a person).  I also know my anger  (that quiet, burning righteous anger of a pissed off 11 year old) has returned  somewhat and without the release of exercise, it will leak out.

I’ve been keeping busy with visiting with out of town friends, keeping the kid occupied, Buddhist activities and meetings, attending to all the endless errands, chores, and trying to nurture our marriage.  Still not sure how regular people do this with more than one kid.  I bow to your Buddha nature.  I also took the Precious to a birthday party of a child we met in gymnastics.  That was really nice.

Later on that day, I had to go take my mum for an x-ray.  The doctor thought maybe her hip was giving her problems.  So I asked hubby to come home early, then I went downtown to get her.  Not realizing that her mobility was going to be an issue (was it only just 6 months ago, we got her into the car and into the house for Christmas), it was suggested I call a wheelchair taxi.  (I could have booked a transfer ambulance but that would be an $80 ride to a hospital 5 minutes away).  I call one and then go to get her and since there was only one elevator operating, by the time we got to the lobby, the cab had come and gone.  So I called again.

When he arrives he is agitated and upset cause he had to wait and ask for me and nobody knew who or where I was.  “Do you know I wasted time, blah, blah, blah, next time give them your last name, blah, blah, blah”.  I resist my first impulse to tell them I don’t give a rat’s ass and to STFU, one elevator doesn’t work so that means everybody is waiting and it’s his job to drive people around and he doesn’t have to drive me if he doesn’t want to.  Buddhist me calms his ruffled feathers and we get to the hospital.  I find the x-ray department only for them to tell me that they don’t “do these type of x-rays after 3 o’clock”.  What?!  This is a hospital, right?   I’m told to go across the street to the other x-ray facility.  So I wheel my mother away (more waiting for an elevator where once we get on, upon seeing 3 Native women in the elevator exclaims, oh, look at the darkies! If I were white, I’d be beet red, but I sputter an apology ) to take us down one floor to the ground level, cross the street, push her up a high concrete ramp, up another elevator to the x-ray place where they tell me she has to be able to get out of the wheelchair to get on the x-ray table.  The staff is not allowed to lift her.  Great.  They wonder why the hospital would send me away.  They try to find another facility with  a low table.  I tell them not to bother and start working up a head of steam and GO BACK TO THE HOSPITAL.  My mother is now incredibly agitated and yelling “HEY” at random people and repeatedly asking me why I won’t tell her where I live.  Over and over again. I write it down for her, try to placate her but she’s off to the races.   I’m sweating, I’m about out of patience, ignoring her doesn’t work and talking to her isn’t working.  I get back to the hospital with half a nerve left but determined to get what I want.  My angry black woman is waiting in the wings, but after I calmly tell the receptionist that we couldn’t get an x-ray, I pull out worn out black woman instead who explains with tears on hold(aka the REAL me) that my mother may have a hip fracture and I took a day off of work to get it done.  The compassionate receptionist says she will go speak to the technician and lo and behold, we  receive compassionate, efficient care from not one technician, but three!  Mum is now in full-out dementia agitation (and the PRN sedative …crushed it and put it in jam and now where is the damn spoon oh, I actually have a plastic spoon in my purse…. I gave her in the waiting room won’t kick in for another 15 minutes). I tell Mum to put her arms around my neck and kiss me as I put my arms under her arms and do a deep squat in order to haul her up safely.  Then I tell her to dance with me as I shuffle her to the x-ray table.  They situate her on the x-ray table.  She is hooting  at an ear shattering decibel like a demented owl.  I try to remember the way Unchained Melody starts off but I can’t remember with all the noise.  One woman suggests Christmas songs.  Turns out Mum hates Jingle Bells but Come All Ye Faithful works pretty good.   I struggle to not cry as the woman sings it over and over with me.  I don’t even know her name, I was so focussed on my mum.  I stay in the room (covered in a x-ray neck and body shield) holding her hands and singing to her.  I fumble to find the words to her favourite songs.  But it works, and we make it through and she’s starting to calm down somewhat.  My mum responds to the lone male technician who is holding her wheelchair.  I joke with her that he’s just another one of her boyfriends.

We make it out of there (back to screeching  HEY! HEY! HEY!  to anyone who passes by)  to wait for the wheelchair taxi.  I have to point her in the direction of a wall to cut down her stimuli.  This cab driver hears my mother’s singing voice – strong, deep – and says, “Oh, you ARE a singer!”  He is warm and compassionate as well.  I get her back by dinner time, she is now reasonably calm and I am wrung out.  I drive home chanting in my head thanking and appreciating all the wonderful people who showed up to support me.  Yeah, I was more than a little pissed off that the x-ray department sent me away in the first place, but they made up for it later on.  How can I stay angry at such display of compassion?  I mean, here I was all embarrassed for MYSELF cause my mum was acting all crazy in a hospital environment and neighbourhood.   I couldn’t CONTROL the situation, I couldn’t instantly solve everything and make it all perfect and smooth and I started to feel INCOMPETENT.    Yet I had handled it all really well, mum got her x-ray,she made it through, she’s a tough old bird and she won’t remember a damn thing anyway.  The fact that I got a little upset is perfectly understandable and reasonable cause a hooting, hollering dementia patient is stressful especially when it’s your own mother.  It’s not that much different that when I had to carry out the Precious last year out of the local coffee shop cause he was having a “toddler” moment.  I felt precisely the same way.

And so in the spirit of cutting myself some slack, I found a sitter that I thought could help me out once a week, so I could get away to do errands, get much needed dental work done, etc.  She’s great, she had great references, she lives within walking distance and has lots of experience AND  my kid really liked her.  We used her one evening so we could go out.  Budget be damned.  Hubby, for once, did not want to rush back home after dinner, we actually went out for dessert and GASP, a drive.  It was really fun.  And we both need more fun.

So of course, when trying to book her for Friday mornings, she tells  – IN FACT, TEXTS ME,  me she’s now booked on the two days she had free one week earlier.  Yes, I actually swore.  Motherf******* Dunbar mothers actually outbid me.  I could only offer her 1 day a week.

But I’m not giving up, I will persist with good cheer…and good pinot grigio.

Sportscars and rainy weather

I used to be such a newshound, reading the paper every day, watching news, CBC, CNN, etc, but these days I get it secondhand. Hubby comes home and asks me, hey did you hear about…..?    I had no idea that part of the Eastern US was going through a heatwave and power outtages.  I was too concerned about the cold and wet weather we were having here.  DH has been a little crabby lately and has been talking about the how Vancouver isn’t what is used to be and if we were only going to have crappy weather year round, we might as well move.

To where, I can’t imagine.  We’re not going to move provinces, he’s just missing the good life he thought he’d have by now.  His old friend and teenage son came to town for the weekend.  Driving a fancy Audi sportscar.  What is it about men and sportscars, eh?  Getting one of those is like saying: “I’ve arrived, life is sweet and I’m enjoying the fruits of my labour”.  Personally, I’d prefer gourmet meals delivered to my door.   And a cleaning service.  I swear this week I thought I’d go nuts if I had to clean up or cook a meal again.  I know nothing would make him happier  to have the ability to pick up every meal tab and host his childhood buddy in his own custom crafted home.  I also know he realizes his friend has had his nose to the grindstone for 25 years at 60 + hours a week.  They sacrificed for years.  There’s no logic to comparing himself to him but sometimes I do the same thing.

It did make me  think of what life might have been like if we had not experienced infertility.  Of course, just about everything does in one way or another.  Back in my 20s, I used to wonder idly what my life would have been life had I been born white.    Would I have had better luck with men?  Would I have had better jobs?  A better life?  Yep, wasted brain matter thinking about that. And now in my 40s, I get to think would I have had a down payment for a house by now? My kid would be in school right now and I’d be heading to the day spa after walking the dog.  If the market hadn’t crashed after my husband found his dream job, I’d be typing on a beautiful Apple or Sony Vaio instead of a noisy as  hell on its last legs Toshiba with no battery life.  I’d be driving a BMW Z5 and hubby would have his sportscar waiting to be detailed in the garage of our West side home.

So what? More  pointless wondering.  But that’s what happens when it rains too much here.