A warning from Ethel?

I mentioned at the end of October about the ghost story involving the house my parents moved into. Well I have a story that I wonder if it might be related to the ghost Ethel. My parents moved last month into a house built in 1849 just outside of the town of Digby, Nova Scotia in Brighton. If you want to know more about the ghost herself, Ethel you can read more here but I have a story that I kind of wonder if it might have been a warning from her. A few weeks ago, about 3 days before we left Halifax to come down to Digby on my last day of work my mom called me to let me know tht they were in the cottage for a few days due to there being no power at the bigger house. She then proceeded to tell me the following story.

They evening before Mom and Dad were sitting in the living room watching TV and they started hearing loud bangs every once in a while. They thought they sounded like gunshots. Other then thinking it was weird for gunshots at that time of night (though it is hunting season) and so close to the house they didn’t think to much about it. It continued through the whole evening, there was aparently other knocking and banging sounds as well but they sounded like they were coming from inside the house and looking around they couldn’t find anything.

They went to bed around 11 pm and at around 3 am Mom was woken from a deep sleep (she takes medication for restless leg syndrome) by a really loud bang that sounded like it was right outside thier bedroom window. They looked outside but didn’t see anything so they went back to sleep. The next morning my Dad got up at 5 am to get my brother up and ready for work as he worked at 7 am. The power was on upstairs but when he went downstairs there was no power anywhere down there.

Dad went down into the basement which is litterally a door in the floor that lifts up with steps going down into a dug out, unfinished basement with my brother to help and they found the breaker box and everything seemed fine with it except they could smell burning. My mom called a friend to see if they could recommend an electrician and he came down and aparently they almost had a fire in the counduit on the outside of the house. It was wired wrong and was actually wired really dangerously. The wires had caught fire and burnt right through. Luckly the whole house didn’t go up at night while they were sleeping.

My mom is convinced that some of the bangs that sounded like they were from the inside of the house was actually Ethel trying to warn them as aparently Nova Scotia Power and the electrician both believe it caught fire and went out a few times throughout the evening and just never fully caught, thank god.

My parents now have fire alarms on every level and in both houses and carbon monoxide alarms as well in both places and on every level. It really scared us all.

Work, Medication & Relocation

I am about half way through my third week back at work. I am doing six hour shifts this week. So far I am doing okay. Not great but okay. I am still having considerable pain but I am just glad to be back. I started Lyrica about the same time I started back at work (the night before). That is not going so great so far, not that I really expected much. It’s not really helping at all with my pain during the day. At night it makes me so sleepy that I am unsure if I am sleeping okay because of that or because it is helping my pain. I think more just that it is knocking me out

I started at 75 mg and was supposed to increase it after about a week slowly up to no more then 300 mg. I haven’t gone up at all. The reason is that I don’t think I would be a fully functioning human being if I did. I can barely tolerate the 75 mg. I tried last night just the one time to increase to 150 mg, today I struggled with every word at work, I was staring off into space and I felt as if I had cotton balls in my mouth. I am not doing that to myself again tonight so back to 75 mg I go.

I am going to see if I can get a prescription for 25 mg from my doctor and try going up more slowly from 75 mg. I can see why I hate this medication the first time I was on it. It really does a number on you. I am so dizzy as well. I am scared to drive and won’t drive right after I take it. So I take it at night. I am not sure it’s going to work for me but I need to give it some more time I think. It’s hard because I am tired of dealing with the pain which is still pretty considerable. I have pain which is sometimes feels like a stabbing pain and other times a burning or searing sensation down my leg. I have pins and needles and a numb sensation that happens often. I am also getting a lot of swelling still.

I want so badly to just ditch the crutches and walk but I am scared to as well. Sometimes I wonder if that part is in my head. If I am just limiting myself because I am scared. The medication is making me unsteady and dizzy, plus my leg tends to give out from underneath me but should I just stop using the crutches? I am trying to slowly come off them. I can put most of my weight on my leg with them. Without them though I tire so quickly and I hurt so much more. I really am not sure what to do there.

Anyway, so as you can guess from the title of this post, Edward and I have been considering relocating for a little bit now and guess what? We are moving! We’re doing it! Edward found out today he has a job in Digby at Gidney Fisheries! He starts November 19th and gave his notice at his current job today. He was concerned how his boss would take it but he took it pretty good and was happy for him.

I also put in my resignation at the bank today, or at least that was the plan. Instead though I am going to see if I can take a leave of absence at their suggestion. Apparently they have an option when moving to another city or town in the same or different province that you can take a transfer leave which gives you 90 days to apply to and get a position in the same bank with another branch, location or department. If you don’t get one then on the 91st day your employment ceases as if you resigned but it also gives you a chance to keep your benefits and seniority while I attempt to find something and 90 days in case nothing is available right away. I read somewhere I have to give 4 weeks notice to do this but they suggested it so hoping no one notices

When I mentioned I was resigning my manager asked me to give him about an hour before I put in my resignation and talked to his manager then came back and told me this. They said they hope I can stay with the bank. They have branches in both Digby and Yarmouth. Yarmouth is only about an hour’s drive. We could settle somewhere between Digby and Yarmouth if I got something there eventually. In the meantime my parents have offered to rent us the cottage they just bought for quite a bit less then what we are paying for rent here.

They bought it outright so no mortgage. We would pay the utilities and a small rental fee all in one, the utilities will be on budget plans that will be the same each month, they plan to keep them in their name I think and we just pay them one amount to cover it all and even if we don’t and we pay the utilities ourselves in our name we will still be ahead. We’d be looking at half to two thirds what we are paying here once everything is said and done. About a $200 to $350 savings a month over our current living situation here. Edward will be making a bit more then $2/hour more there then here, plus after 6 months he will have full benefits.

If I stay with the bank I will still have everything I have here (full benefits plus lots more) but be $1 to $2 less then I make here. So in the long run it would even out pay wise. I have a lead on a job outside the bank as well and have been talking to a recruiter for a domain registration and web design/hosting company that has an office in Yarmouth and one here in Halifax, they are really interested in me. I have actually worked for them before.

They are looking for both domain specialists (sales) and technical support in Yarmouth. I enjoyed it the first time I worked there but I left to go to Afghanistan and when I came back they weren’t hiring and I moved on to somewhere else and honestly never considered them again till now. I know a few managers and other employees. In the meantime I can do some transcription work for my mom who has a lot of work right now and could use my help.

Overall this is a move in the right direction for us I think. We will be getting out of the city which we both want. We are tired of it here. We will be living in an area we love doing things we love. We’ll miss our friends in the city but plan on still doing a once a month game night with them and they can come visit and we will be in the city a lot still. We have to keep our doctor in the city as there is currently a shortage and over 50,000 Nova Scotian’s who don’t have family doctors. Plus we like him and want to stay with him anyways

So anyway, in the long run though it will mean saving more and much faster. We can save a down payment now, it would actually be possible. I plan on taking the full amount we would pay for rent up here each month, pay my parents what they want and take the rest and put it in a savings account. Something we can’t easily access. Also it will be good as well because the cottage is 2 bedroom, or will be in a few months when we make it back into a two bedroom. So we will start the process again for fostering/adoption. We are so excited!

I’m going back to work!

I received the results of my bone scan today. Thankfully there are no fractures. I do have osteoarthritis in the hip and an impingement which the previous CT and x-ray showed but for now he just wants to keep an eye on that and re-scan in about 6 months. He believes the pain I am experiencing now is not actually stemming from my hip at all but my lower spine and sacral joint where he believes I may have caused some nerve damage which is affecting my left hip, thigh and groin as I have some numbness on the outside and inside of my upper leg and hip area as well as pain.

He wants to start me on Lyrica at a low dose for a few months to see if that helps with the pain. As I have Fibromyalgia and have been on medications before I am familiar with Lyrica and have been on it at higher doses before. My only concern is the side effects. I was never a fan of them before. Hopefully I can keep it a rather low dose. Between my doctor and pharmacy team I am going to stress I want the dose as low as possible. I can deal with some breakthrough pain as long as it is under control. I just don’t want super heavy side effects.

If this doesn’t help I am going to push for them to look into this more. I don’t know if there is a way to confirm nerve damage and where exactly it is. Sometimes it’s hard cause I am always in pain somewhere and it can be hard to isolate an injury from something else. I thought I had gotten pretty good at living with the pain but sometimes things happen that aggravate or cause other issues that are unrelated but cause more pain. He mentioned I may need more testing and see other specialists. I am not sure what other specialist I can see, I guess a neurologist maybe?

The good news in all of this is that I can go back to work ASAP. I am expecting a call tomorrow from the short term benefits company and we already talked about me starting back this week coming or next on a graduated return. Which would be: 1st week – 3 days x 4 hours, 2nd week – 5 days x 4 hours, 3rd week 5 days x 6 hours and 4th week back to normal. As I am still on crutches for the time being and still in a considerable amount of pain when sitting I am okay with that. I will be weaning myself off crutches as I start on medication at my own pace, he told me to push it a little but not overdue it and take some time to get off them completely. I have a temporary handicap parking tag as well for 6 months to allow me some time to heal. Hopefully it won’t take that long.

He also suggested no physio at the moment as he is concerned that they might aggravate it more if I get a physiotherapist that is not as versed in nerve pain. I think the physiotherapist over the summer I was seeing would be able to handle it and would actually help a lot but I will wait and see how the medication works, besides my $750 a year for physio is pretty much gone so why start something I can’t afford to finish.

I am also going to be possibly switching insulin as well from Basaglar to Toujeo as the Basaglar stings and burns like crap. Last night after injecting it in my thigh it hurt for an hour! I mentioned that while I was there and he said he thought Toujeo would be a better option and is still only once a day. Mom’s on it and I asked her and she said she has not had any issues with it stinging other then occasionally for a second or two as it is going in, not a burning so bad you are rubbing your leg to get it to stop which you should not be doing kind of burn.