Saturday, June 21, 2014
Goodness knows that my life is never boring, but the past few days have been exceptionally crazy.
It all started last Sunday after church when I packed the bare minimum to drive to Sudbury in order to drive my kids from there to Toronto in order to catch their plane to Prague. For those of you who know me, you will remember that my adult son has some pretty severe disabilities. He is in a wheelchair, unable to talk or swallow. That means food and water through a stomach peg, a letterboard and some acute frustration in times of crisis when no one has the time or focus to listen to him. Also, my son is in the process of moving to an independent apartment of his own allowing him to be independent for the first time since his brain surgery.
The following day I drove my daughter around as she picked up notarized medical notes, liquid food, power converters, and a few normal items needed for travel in Europe. Finally, chores done we went to pick up my son. It was late, we were tired, hungry, and the most challenging part of the trip still lay ahead.
So, basically the kids have a ton of medical equipment, and spare parts that MUST get on the plane with them, not to mention the insane amount of liquid food necessary to keep my son alive during their latest adventure. My daughter loaded our Ford Edge with the wheelchair, medical supplies (spare parts like stomach pegs and catheters), food pumps, etc. There was room for me to drive as long as I didn't actually want leg room.
Now the really unfortunate part of the drive from Sudbury to the hotel by the airport was that the entire route was under a severe thunderstorm watch with tornado warnings. In fact, a tornado did touch down in the town of Angus not too far from the hotel we were aiming for. Not a pleasant drive that day, and I was quite shakey and whiney when we finally stopped for the night. The car was bouncing around a bit as daughter unloaded wheelchair & son while I guarded the luggage for her return. I demanded 2 glasses of wine for services rendered thus far. Dinner was of course a disaster as the hotel restaurant cook was off doing house repairs and ordering in food wasn't really working well given the weather. I didn't care as the bar was open.
After a fun filled night of picking son up off the floor as we had inadvertently put too many cushions under his bed to give him the angle necessary for the food pump to work, we packed up for the ride to the airport. Hubby had given me strict orders not to help the kids - they would have to manage in Europe without me so I was to leave them to the non-wheelchair shuttle to the airport and their own devices. In my next life, I plan on listening to my husband, but it's probably not going to happen in this lifetime, so I drove them to the airport...BUT I did not get out of the car, and let them unload, and head off by themselves.
I then spent 3 hours trying to find the hotel again as DD thought we had left the IPOD there. It wasn't. Then back to the airport as it was the only way I knew to get on the 409 to catch the 400 back up to the cottage. I hit Bracebridge at dinner, found a very good hole in the wall Chinese place - I threw myself on the mercy of a kindly looking woman at M&M Meats telling her of my many travels, that I was weary and wanted cheap but healthy comfort food. I miss ordered at the restaurant and got unhealthy deep fried squid instead of healthy stir fried squid, but it was very, very tasty. I vowed to eat healthy for my next meal and reached the cottage before dark. I was thrilled to note that there was one other person up as I don't like being alone on the lake - for good reason.
I had been on the road since the previous Sunday, all of it was nerve racking and I found it difficult to get out of bed the next day. I called hubby and said that instead of driving home, I would spend the day at the cottage relaxing. Eventually I got up and did a 4 mile WATP that I don't think I have at home. It was an older one and slow enough for me to do. I took a good book out to the balcony and towards 4 p.m. thought I should probably do the laps in the lake that my exercise coach recommended. The water level in the lake has dropped about 3 feet over the years we've been there and we use a rickety ladder (which I had been complaining about) to get in and out of the water. After I did a diligent search for snapping turtles, I gingerly started to climb down the ladder. On the second rung from the top, my food smashed right through the step and I was flung into the water, first breaking my big toe on the ladder rung immediately under the one I broke. Three out of four limbs were bleeding profusely, and the third limb had a broken toe. I may as well tell you now, attempting to keep three bleeding limbs out of the water so as not to become turtle bait while trying to swim/hobble to shore with a broken toe does NOT work.
It took me a long time to figure out how to get up the ladder onto the deck and then I just sat there and recovered for a while. We go up a few nice cliffs from the lake to the cottage which took me an hour to negotiate through the pain. I called hubby to tell him that his evil plan to get rid of me didn't work. I found a 6" plastic ruler and some masking tape and violâ
my toe had a splint and I was able to hobble about and get a glass of wine. Life was looking up.
The next morning I gathered the bit of garbage I had generated (mostly coffee grounds and egg shells), pulled the fuses for the hot water and pump and headed home. When I reached the town closest to us I had a thought. We were changing propane companies, and there would be a "boom" truck (?) as well as a tanker full of propane in our narrow but long (1,200') lane....possibly not the best time to come roaring up the lane myself. I called hubby, but no answer, so I figured he was out guiding the removal of the old 6,000 litre propane tank and the installation of the new smaller 1,500 litre tank. I went to our local truck stop for lunch, vowing once again that this would be the last unhealthy meal I would eat. Why do I continue to make these silly vows?
Needless to say, I am safely home...and looking forward to my drive to the cottage. Hubby thinks I should stay put until the swelling on my toe goes down, even though he knows me well enough to know I'm not waiting for the bone to heal before I go back to the cottage. We will be dispensing with the whole ladder into the water think and finding an alternative way to get into the water.
In the meantime we have had 2 emails from the kids. My beloved son held up the airplane as he insisted on seeing that his wheelchair went into the correct airplane (understandable) and then Belgian customs delayed their connecting flight for an hour because of all the liquids the kids were bringing aboard. The second email said that once again my son fell off the toilet as he refused to wait for sister to assist him so they've been to the hospital in Prague to get stitches in his head (second time in a month) and the Czech medical services are great - just what every mom loves to hear!