December 9, 2020



December 2nd has become an important date in my life and I spend the day in reflection and in remembrance of all the wonderful and precious memories of my mom.  My mom passed away on December 2, 2006.  It was 10:30 AM and the sun was shining through her bedroom window. I still miss her so much. She was a very special mom. When I was little, she would tell me this lovely story. My dad and mom were married for 11 years and had given up on a family of their own. One morning she noticed that the flag on their mailbox at the top of their driveway was facing up. To her surprise, it was a letter from their social worker in Winnipeg telling them that there was a six-month-old baby girl waiting for them. I was told the story about my adoption as one of my bedtime stories from as far back as I can remember. The story I was told is as follows: The next day my mom and dad went into the city and were taken to this house with a huge room filled with babies in cribs. They spent several hours looking around until they saw me and immediately told the social worker that I was the baby they had to have. Needless to say, the story was somewhat exaggerated since prospective parents were never shown a room full of babies to choose from but I loved that story and made me feel very special while I was growing up.

COVID 19 has hit too close to home.  My cousin, Barbra Kroeker, aged 69 years, passed away peacefully after a brief illness with COVID 19 on Monday,  November 23, 2020, at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre.  Her husband Jerry was also admitted to hospital.  Even though he is still very sick he has recovered enough to be allowed to go home.  In the last three weeks at least 8 people we know have passed away and at least that many if not more are sick with this horrible virus.

It is December 8th and only a few weeks until Christmas. Due to the rapid rise of COVID 19 in our province, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday that Code Red restrictions will continue into January.  A few restrictions have been altered in an attempt to make the Christmas season less restrictive. The province of Manitoba’s COVID 19 information page states that the restrictions will continue that prohibit the sale of non-essential items in stores — but some items, such as school supplies, will be added to the essential list. Holiday-themed items like Christmas decorations can now be sold. As well, thrift shops will be able to open to sell all items in store under the revised orders. But orders that prohibit visitors at private residences, with only a few exceptions, will remain in place — meaning no gatherings in homes for Christmas beyond members of a household. It will be a very lonely Christmas season for many people. Residents of care homes and hospital inpatients will feel the loss of visitors.

For the first time since our wedding, I have decided not to decorate for Christmas. My health at this time leaves me incredibly fatigued so I will take the easy way out. Thank goodness for online stores. I did however notice tonight while trying to place some orders that online stores have limited amounts of certain items and delivery dates into January.  I guess that can be expected since many people will choose to order online this holiday season. Thank goodness I am almost done with my shopping.

My health has certainly been a worry in the last while. For quite some time now I have complained about the mind-numbing fatigue that I experience every day. This last week a new problem was added to my already ridiculously long list of complaints. At times just the effort of walking from the bedroom to the kitchen brings about shortness of breath. Where this is coming from is beyond my comprehension. I saw a cardiologist and had an EKG on March 5th. The EKG came back within normal limits and the cardiologist informed me that he would recommend me for the surgery I should have had months ago. My chest x-ray also came back within normal limits. Another problem that has come to plague me is huge variations in blood pressure. I have been on blood pressure medications since my children were born. I had pre-eclampsia with both pregnancies and at times would have blood pressure readings as high as 223/110.  Thankfully both my babies and I survived but I have been dealing with high blood pressure ever since. The blood pressure medication I am on is called Clasipril. With this medication, my blood pressure hovers between 120/80 to 139/90. After days of hardly getting out of bed because of the fatigue and extreme attacks of dizziness when I tried to get up, I finally realized I needed to check my blood pressure. To my shock, my blood pressure would drop from 139/90 to 120/80 to 110/80 to 108/60 and 104/60. This variation explains one of the reasons for fatigue, dizziness and nausea. I would like to hear from any of you who have had experiences with fluctuating blood pressure. I firmly believe that these problems are directly related to the decrease in my thyroid medication. Once Code Red is lifted I will have to get in touch with my family doctor. He thinks that my numbers are putting me into a hyperthyroid range and that this could shorten my life. I feel that I would rather shorten my life by a few years but have a decent quality of life now instead of living longer but spending that time fighting fatigue and sleeping. I love to read and I used to read at least 4 – 5 books a week. Now I have to fight to stay awake long enough to read for 30 minutes.

Enough complaining.  You may have noticed that I have included the URL and several posts from the mental health site called My Mental Trampoline.   My daughter is the author of this site and the information she shares comes from her experiences dealing with Bipolar disorder.  I am incredibly proud of her and all her accomplishments.  She has not let this disorder rule her life and has fought through each debilitating episode to become a stronger and wiser woman.

Enough rambling for tonight.  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas season.  Try to make the best of this holiday season while dealing with so many restrictions.  The most important thing is to take care of each other and to keep safe.

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