2018 – A Year in Review

Happy New Years!!! Well, it is New Year’s Eve and tonight we are heading to my parent’s house for a new years eve party. They invited a bunch of friends of the family and we are staying the night as we don’t want anyone drinking and driving. We’re going to bring our blow up air mattress we got for camping a few years ago for our honeymoon and sleeping somewhere, though I am not sure yet where. We are going to play games like Uno and Bad People a game my parents got for Christmas.

Anyways, I’ve written and re-written this a few times. I find it a bit hard to look back on a whole year, mostly just because it’s hard to remember what happened when and also I never know what is the best way to write about it. Sometimes I feel writing is not one of my strong points, even though I have been blogging for almost 20 years – more than half my life! I’m just going to jump in though and sort of go in chronological order and do the best that I can to remember everything, not that there really is all that much to remember.

Edward gets his learners permit!

In January of 2018, Edward took and passed the test to get his learners permit and I have been teaching him all year to drive. I am really proud of my husband for this one and I know it seems like it’s his accomplishment and not my own, which it 100% is, but I am proud of myself for teaching him and helping him realise that he could do it. I’ve learned a bit about myself in the process. I am a pretty patient person and never really thought myself to be. Sometimes I get annoyed and forget he’s just learning but I am sure that if he was my child and not my husband I would probably do the same thing.

Getting my Freestyle Libre system

At some point in January while at my doctor’s office I mentioned to him seeing an advertisement for the Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. He told me that one of his receptionists Michelle was diabetic and used it and that she loved to let people know about it and told me to go talk to her and then do a little research on if my insurance would cover it and come back to him in a week and he would write me a prescription if I still wanted to try it. I decieded to go for it after speaking to Michelle and confirming with my insurance it was covered.

I can’t express how much I love the Libre. It’s helped me determine which foods and drinks really raise my blood sugar. It’s helped me determine how being sick affects my blood sugar and it’s helped me get my A1C down from 8.2 to the latest one which was 6.6 and it was even lower at one point at 6.2 which is the lowest I have been in a few years since being told I may be pre-diabetic.

It’s easy to install, with easy to follow instructions and other then sometimes stinging a little or occasionally getting a “bleeder” which is just a little blood coming through the hole in the sensor if you hit a vein, it’s virtually pain free and means that I only have to do a finger poke occasionally to ensure the sensor is working rather than when I get up, before and after each meal, when I go to bed and in the middle of the night overnight. With neuropathy in my fingers, it is really painful so I am glad to minimize the number of times I have to use test strips and a drop of blood and the Libre allows this.

Spending the summer and fall on crutches

In June I hurt my left knee and ankle when I slipped on my parent’s basement stairs. At first, I literally got up and walked up the stairs and went upstairs and sat down. Later when I got up to go home I noticed my knee was swollen and hurting a lot. I limped out and the next day Eddie took me to the emergency department because it was really swollen and I couldn’t put any weight on it and I had also hurt my neck and back as well. They sent me home without doing an x-ray or anything and just said it was sprained and to keep off it and take a few days off.

After about 7-10 days it was not getting any better and was really painful and swollen so I went back and it was x-rayed and I was told there were no fractures but I did have a bad sprain (grade 2) to both my knee and ankle and would need to see a specialist. I was told no weight at all on it until I started physio and to continue using crutches. I ended up being put off work for a while because I had to keep my leg elevated due to the swelling.

At the end of July I was bored but still in pain but wanted to try going back to work so I started back early August after they gave me the all clear.  I was back 2 weeks (while still using crutches and waiting to see a specialist) when I slipped in the shower and landed on my left side, the same side that was already hurt. I ended up re-hurting my knee and hurting my hip. This time an on-call doctor at my doctors office was really concerned I may have fractured my hip and sent me for x-rays after the hospital sent me home for a second time without them, but I was unable to get in the position they needed for the x-rays due to the pain and swelling so I was told I needed to stay off my leg completely and stay in bed for a week while they waited for the swelling to go down and try again. During this time I developed numbness, discolouration and tingling as well as more pain in my groin and thigh.

The x-rays showed nothing but my family doctor was still concerned and after talking with my physiotherapist who at that point refused to touch me until I had more x-rays of my whole leg and hip, referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon. He sent me for first a CT scan and then after finding what he thought might be something a bone scan which came back negative. It took me another month to get back on my feet enough to go back to work. I was off until the beginning of October when I convinced them to let me go back.

In October I got the final results of the x-rays, CT and bone scan and the orthopaedic specialist said that it appears that I damaged the bottom of my spinal cord and nerve endings coming out of the bottom of my spine and through my hip. He figured it was causing the pain, swelling, numbness and causing weakness when trying to walk. I was told to continue using crutches and slowly increase the weight bearing until my leg could handle it. I still have pain, swelling and numbness now but I am able to bear weight and walk short distances unaided and am slowly increasing the walking each day or two.

Making the move to Digby and new jobs

During all the above chaos my parents let us know that they were moving to Digby, they had been talking about it for a few months, my cousin who lives in the US was looking for a retirement/vacation home here in Nova Scotia and she asked my parents who she knew wanted to move back to Digby that if she could find the right place if they would move in and take care of it for a reduced rent and they said yes. Mom actually found the perfect place and my cousin came to see it and fell in love with it and her and her husband bought it. During that time my parents decided they wanted to purchase a small house near Digby for them to move into when my cousin and her husband moved here in a few years. They found and purchased a small cottage on October 1st.

We’d been saying for a while, Edward and I, that we wanted to move out of the city but it seemed like a long way off. After my parents bought the cottage they mentioned renting it out on Airbnb for a few years after fixing it up a little or finding someone to rent it to on a more permanent basis for a few years. Somewhere along the way we brought up the idea of renting from them if we could find jobs down there and they agreed and we decided that the first one of us that got a job we would move. Eddie got offered a job right away and we ended up giving notice at workplaces and I took a transfer leave to see if I could find a position with the bank down here and we moved around the middle of November but we still kept the apartment another month until the end of December so we could take our time packing and moving.

Eddie’s job kind of fell through but we both have jobs here now and are getting settled in and starting our jobs both on the 3rd of January. In the meantime, I am working from home transcribing which I actually really enjoy and am going to keep doing part-time on the side for my mom’s company. I will be working part-time in an office doing tax returns and part-time at home transcribing and Edward’s going to be working in a department store.

Working from home

We’ve been in Digby now for 2 full weeks, half way through our 3rd week. In this time Edward had not worked at all for the first two weeks. Department of fisheries stopped the boats from going out so there were no lobsters. He finally got a call Monday night he was working Tuesday. I drove him in at 6 a.m. to Digby to meet Dad and Denton at Tim Hortons. He worked from 7 a.m. to about 6 p.m. and I went back into town to meet them at Tim Horton’s again and then we were going to grab some groceries at the Superstore. We got groceries, got back in the car and got about 3 minutes down the road and I started to have issues breathing and felt like I was having an Asthma attack, something I haven’t really had much in years, just the occasional one. By the time we got home I was really having issues.

What neither of us considered in this whole thing is I am allergic to shell fish! Of all the things not to take into consideration, that had to be the worst one not to think of. We made it home, I didn’t have an inhaler but he did, so I took his. I made him strip out in the lean-to and throw his clothes right in the washer and I washed them twice. We talked it over and decided we couldn’t chance it as I have gone into anaphalactic shock before from eating shell fish. We just never considered the smell an issue or touch, just ingestion. I had heard of people reacting to the smell but never really experianced it myself. Only ever had issues if trying to eat it. On top of that he came home soaked and reeking of it. Needless to say he now has to look for another job. He’s frustrated and I feel for him he hates not working and not bringing in money for us. But we will survive, we just can’t chance it. On a good note though he has an interview at Walmart.

As for me I have been working exclusively from home transcribing and I have to say I love it! I really do. It gives me so much flexibility. I can sit and type for 2-3 hours, break for 30 minutes or so then type again. I can take a few hours anywhere in the day to run errands, clean up or do whatever I want. I can work 12 hours one day and 6 hours the next. I can take a day whenever I need it (as long as there is nothing that is a rush and needs to be done ASAP). I can get up, putter around, sit down, type, get up, move around and I can sit and type infront of the fire or the TV (or both ) I can work in PJ’s or sweats or get dressed and I don’t have to deal with customers on the phone or face to face and I can still make pretty close to what I was making in the city.

I still hope maybe to get hired on by the bank I was working for and still technically work for for the next 3 months at the local branch here in Digby but if I end up not getting on I may just continue working from home as long as Eddie finds a job with benefits. That’s my only real concern, that we have some kind of benefits to cover my insulin, needles, test strips and libre sensors but we could look into purchasing insurance. There are garenteed plans if needed in case neither of us has benefits but they cost a bit more, but we will figure it out.

I also signed up for a transcription work from home website and have done a few small things for them and got graded really high for the work. It’s not legal either so it’s like typing up video or other regular transcription type stuff. I really want to look into staying home and working especially if we plan to go ahead with our foster parenting plan and it pays okay, not as good as the work that I am doing for my mom’s business but it’s still decent and would help out if I need extra work or need a little extra money on top of what she is paying me. So I’m not too worried.

I’ve also been able to take an hour or two each evening before bed to read as well, which I am really happy and excited about. I have read about 4 books in the last two weeks and have a bunch more on hold through my local libraries through the app so that I can read them on my phone. I can’t wait to start a list of books I want to read. There is something so warm and comforting about stretching out on the couch in front of a warm fire on a cold winters night with a good ghost story or other book and reading by the light of the fire with a bowl of popcorn (or the occasional chocolate bar, yes being diabetic doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself once in a while) and to be able to do it every night. I feel like I am in heaven!

I would like to start walking a few times a week initally and then eventually every day as well. I want to get myself into a routine. Up by 6:30 to 7 a.m. get showered, dressed and start working by 7:30 to 8 a.m. until 1 or 2 p.m. with a 5-10 min break each hour or so to get up move around, load the dishwasher, sweep etc and then a hour or two in the afternoon to run chores, clean, cook or whatever. Then work from around 2 or 3 p.m. until about 5 or 6 p.m. then eat and maybe go for a walk then back working around 6:30 or 7 p.m. until about 9 or 10 p.m. and then relax until bed and watch TV or read or play cards, game, etc and just spend some time with Eddie.

Supper time and weekends will be family time, and we can have the occasionally night where I just don’t work after supper and we go out or something. It’ll be easier once he is working and I can kind of set it around his hours so that we can have some time in the evenings and on weekends/days off to have family time or dates etc. Money wise I think once he is working and I get into a routine it will not take long for us to start saving since we really owe nothing but the car and less then $1000 on our visa which I plan to pay off and just use the way we were last year and paying it off each statement.

I think this is going to be a lot better for us in the long run once we have it all figured out. As long as we can pay all our bills/rent and set some aside for savings each month I will be happy to live a simpler life here without all the extras we don’t really need or want that city life kind of pushes on you.

Camping & Crutches

Before you ask, no I did not go camping on crutches but yes I am on crutches and yes we had planned to go camping this past weekend but that was before I ended up on crutches This put an end to our camping plans with my parents. My parents ended up going without us this past weekend because I was in too much pain and can’t get very far on the crutches, I was only able to get to the washroom and back before my back and neck were in extreme pain.

I fell on Sunday June 10th, just after we got back from the Salt Marsh Trail. I had already wrote and scheduled the last two posts so I didn’t bother updating them I ended up injuring my ankle, knee, back and neck on my left side. At first I was more concerned about my back and neck. I went to see the on call doctor on Monday and he said I likely sprained my knee and ankle and soft tissue injuries to my back and neck. He put me off work till the end of the week. Within a day or two though I was unable to put weight on my left leg.

I ended up going back Friday for a follow up and was told that I have severely sprained my ankle and knee both and he was also concerned I might have fractured something in my knee or ankle so he wanted x-rays to rule out any fractures. He was concerned enough he told me to get a pair of crutches and stay off the leg till the x-rays came back. He didn’t want me walking on a fractured ankle. I haven’t heard anything back yet so I assume no news is good news

I plan to try and make an appointment tomorrow morning to go back and confirm and find out if I can start slowly putting more weight on it. I was told I might need physio as well. I am still in a lot of pain and the crutches really bother my back so I am trying to stay off it as much as possible. Hopefully this wont be much of a set back in terms of walking and hiking and camping and that within a few weeks I’ll be back to normal mostly.

My parents actually gave us a new tent today. They bought it for us for our birthdays which are coming up the beginning of July. So I am really excited to be able to get a few weekends of camping in hopefully this summer and if I have to camp on crutches I will! Just kidding. Hopefully it wont come to that. I should be back to work this week or Monday at the latest as I have Sunday booked off already.