Nova Scotia Strong

Sunday April 19th, 2020 will be a day forever etched in my memory. A day I will never fully get over. I have not felt much like posting anything the last few days, too much shock, too much heartbreak, too many unanswered questions. Honestly, it took me till last night to really fully process everything that happened Saturday night and into Sunday in my lovely little Province on the East Coast of Canada. The cartoon above contains 18 pairs of shoes and was done by Michael De Adder a local (Halifax) political cartoonist. The shoes represent 18 lives lost on Sunday which incidentally is now up to at least 22 maybe more in the northern part of mainland Nova Scotia at the hands of a mass murderer.

The shoes include those of a 17-year-old girl and her parents, a nurse, a continuing care worker, 2 parents killed in front of their small boys (I believe they were the correctional officers), a beloved Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and a pregnant mother who had not yet even had the time to tell her family, among multiple other people that shattered a small Nova Scotia town and spread to other locations before the police eventually caught and killed him in Enfield, Nova Scotia. I will not mention his name. He doesn’t deserve the recognition.

I am not going to go into detail. It’s too horrible, to be honest, and it is all over the news anyways, a simple google search will bring it up. You’ve probably already heard something about it pretty much regardless of where you live by now. But it was senseless and heartless and watching it unfold and knowing he was still at large Sunday morning was heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time.

I do have family close to where he was but he was also on the move dressed as an RCMP officer for some of it and in a mock RCMP car so it was hard to know what was going on. Nothing came out over the Emergency Response System just a tweet from the RCMP. It’s just beyond words. Beyond comprehension. Beyond anything, I have ever experienced in my life and I was not even all the close to where it was happening at the time. With all the locations (16 active crime scenes) it will take a while for them to gather more info and there may be more bodies we are being told. I just don’t understand it. I can’t wrap my head around what would cause someone to lose it like that or the hatred that must have been there as there was planning to a point it seems.

The outpouring from people across Canada, the US and the World has been amazing and healing. I hope that eventually, we will get answers, and most importantly that the families will get some peace one day, but how do you? How do you get closure or understanding from something like this? They will though. Nova Scotians are strong. We will stop looking around the corner in fear one day. We will rise up again. We are a family and we stick together.

Fitbit Versa Lite

I finally bought a Fitbit Versa Lite a few weeks ago and it arrived in the mail yesterday. I am so excited to use it. I got it all set up and am really loving it. Sorry about the picture quality, the lighting in my living room sucks and I had no real surface to put it on as our place is to small for even a kitchen table we use TV carts as tables. I got the mulberry coloured one because it was on sale and I refuse to pay full price, but then I went and bought some screen protector cases in different colours and watch bands on amazon basically brining the cost back up to what it would have cost to get the black or white one , but that’s okay. I wanted to be able to change the colour depending on what I am wearing.

I found a nice simple digital face for it that is really customizable. I can’t wait to get out and start using it. It will have to be on the trail across the street down by the water for now as we are only allowed to go for walks in our neighbourhood and not drive anywhere but we can walk along the road or down by the water. My parents are letting us use their older pool they have which is around 15ft x 42in deep pool which we are going to go get from this sometime in the next week or two and start setting up and filling. It’s not huge but it will do for this year. We also plan on getting a badminton/volleyball net, we already have a Frisbee and we plan to get baseball gloves and a baseball to throw around. Thankfully we have half an acre of lawn.

We also bought a bistro set and my mom bought a mold to make our own patio stones so we are going to make a patio outside and this spring I plan to buy a new barbeque because we gave ours to my parents a few years ago when we moved into an apartment that didn’t have a balcony. Not an expensive one, Walmart has them for under $100. We also plan on moving for two weeks into a trailer on Mom and Dad’s property (completely self-contained) sometime this summer depending on the situation with COVID-19 so that we can redo the bathroom in our house. Mom and Dad bought a new tub and wall fitting to fit over our existing one, new flooring and we are going to finish the bathroom and likely redo the ceiling and possibly the walls as they are mouldy and we need to pull everything out likely. So we have some plans for a stay at home summer as it seems we will not be able to go too far from home due to COVID-19 and social distancing and such.

COVID-19 Testing

After weeks of being sick and getting steadily worse and worse, I was finally able to get tested for COVID-19 as a part of the community spread options they had. My symptoms fit what a lot of people recovering were saying. The testing itself was not as bad as I thought it would be. I looked it up and it showed them shoving essentially a q-tip up your nose as far as the back of your throat. I had had a test a few years ago for whooping cough and I remember that as being pretty unpleasant and because of the sinus issues I have been having I was really dreading the test but it was not bad at all.

After getting ahold of my family doctor via phone and him prescribing antibiotics again I was a little hesitant to take them as I had taken so much of them at the end of last year (almost 3 months on them) and so I talked to my pharmacist on the phone and he suggested that the symptoms met the criteria for COVID-19 and suggested I call 811 (our telehealth network) so I did and they agreed that the symptoms and timeline fit and that I should be tested. I got the call the next day to go to the hospital in Digby and get tested.

They asked that anyone being tested wear a mask of some kind or have a cloth or facecloth with them to put over their mouth and nose, we had some new dusk masks that had never been opened so I used one of them. You can not get N95 masks here anywhere, I am assuming that is the same for most places. Once I got there they had me hold my health card up to the glass while the receptionist took down my info so they didn’t have to touch anything and they were behind a glass, then I took a seat.

Every second seat was blocked off with tape and a sign saying not to sit there, I am assuming the ER is like that as well in the waiting room upstairs. They had it in a completely separate area of the hospital with its own separate entrance. I was surprised it was even in Digby actually because last I heard people from our area had to drive to Yarmouth or Kentville depending on where they sent them. The nurse came out and brought me into the room. She told me most people didn’t tolerate the test well and complained it hurt or even had nosebleeds after. I had neither pain or a nosebleed and since I had had a few nosebleeds over the few days before I was a bit surprised, but she did not seem to go back very far, did both sides and also did the back of my throat separately.

It took 48 hours or so to get the results back and thankfully for me they were negative so I am able to go back to what everyone else has to do and just do social distancing and all the other precautions because for a few days Eddie and I both had to remain 100% in quarantine until we got the results back (from the day I had the test until the day I had the results, previously I had been told that I did not have to quarantine fully because it was just a cold and couldn’t be COVID-19 as there was no community spread.

I isolated myself as much as possible before I was told to quarantine anyways though and was not coming into contact with anyone but Eddie as much to protect others as myself in as I did not want to give someone a bad cold or flu at a time when it would make them more vulnerable to something like this (I wasn’t sure what it was but now I believe it was a combo of a cold, sinus infection and maybe even a bit of a respiratory infection unrelated to COVID-19).

When I got the call with the results the public health nurse who was a nurse practitioner agreed with my doctor that as it had been so long and with the inability to get x-rays right now unless admitted that I should take the antibiotics so here I am again on another round of antibiotics but at least I do not have COVID-19. That being said I was told to watch my symptoms and call back if it seemed like it went away completely and then came back again as it might then actually be COVID-19. So for that reason, Eddie and I decided he would continue not working and take two weeks off from the first day so that I can get better in hopes that if he does work and end up bringing it home I would have a better chance of fighting it since I would not already have a respiratory illness which with diabetes and asthma.

I know asthma does not mean I have a compromised immune system but diabetes can make me more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. Fibromyalgia according to many sources, including my doctor does not affect your immune system and does not make you more susceptible or compromise your immune system in any way. Other sources say it does. Honestly, I have no idea what to believe I just know I get colds, flu, and infections easily whether they are viral or bacterial but with the diagnosis of diabetes maybe that makes more sense? I am not sure. If there are other underlying health issues there that I don’t know about then I suppose they could be an issue as well.

Either way. I don’t have COVID-19 at this moment in time so that’s what I need to concentrate on and be thankful for that as I was concerned about the pre-symptom days and the people I came into contact with, and their safety. At least that is not an issue.