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My Vacation (Long)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tomorrow is my last day of this round of vacation days. It's been an eventful one and in some ways, I wish I'd had more down time but it's not my last vacation from work this year so I'll try to enjoy more downtime during the remaining ones.

My first day absent from work was June 30 when I went for my second dose of my six-month Rituxan infusion. It went well and I'm finally learning to pretty much ignore the nurse as she's less grumpy if I don't bother her when she's busy.

DH had a football game to go to on July 1 with his brother, which was fine with me since I'm often tired after my infusion and in fact, napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon and went to bed early as well.

July 2 and 3, we spent the day doing chores around the house. I also called my sister and her son on July 3 as they both were celebrating their birthdays that day.

July 4, DH and I had a meeting with a licensed producer of medicinal marijuana to figure out whether I was a good candidate for it or not and then we scheduled a Skype appointment with a doctor in North Bay for July 6 so she could determine if medicinal marijuana (MMJ) would help me or not.

So on July 6, I'd never done Skype before so that was kind of weird especially with the sound delay and I was very nervous as I often am these days with my new anxiety situation. But, I guess that helped somewhat as she prescribed medicinal marijuana for me to help with anxiety, pain relief and insomnia, 3 of the top 4 things that aren't controlled all that well with regular medication especially the anxiety. The pills my family doctor prescribed were pretty worthless in my opinion and when I asked him if he was open to prescribing medicinal marijuana to me, he pretty much shot it down so that's why I went this route.

I got my first order in the mail today and I'm planning on trying the one for insomnia tonight. Hope it helps especially tomorrow night as I suspect, I'll have a hard time sleeping being the last sleep before returning to work after almost 3 weeks off. I also ordered two other kinds, one is to help with anxiety during the day and to help with my daily fatigue, the worst side effect of rheumatoid autoimmune disease, in my opinion and the other is to help with pain relief. (Ever since my cough started in February 2015, I haven't taken many pills for help with pain relief since I've been taking acetaminophen with codeine for the cough itself so I didn't want to also take my Tylenol for Arthritis with it so pain relief has fallen a bit by the wayside so I'm hoping this one will help somewhat for that. I don't have a lot of pain but I do have daily pain of one sort or another.)

DH says I should try one of them tomorrow at home to see how it goes before trying it at work, which is a good idea but I'm worried that I might not get anything accomplished if I try it at the beginning of the day.

And, besides that, even though I'm legal now, I'm not sure about using it at work. I need to look up my employer's policy about it and talk to my boss before I do that.

But, I digress... emoticon

On July 5, I was supposed to go to my sister's/dad's house to swim but I wasn't feeling particularly sociable so I ended up going for a pedicure instead:

July 6 was my Skype appointment for the MMJ but before that I took my mother-in-law out with me while I ran some errands and then DH met us for lunch. July 6 was also my sister's 25th wedding anniversary and she was celebrating it with her husband in Edinburgh so as a surprise, I ordered the following for them as a present (it was delivered today and they love it):

It's called Autumn in the Village and it's by Marc Chagall, my sister's favourite artist. I'm so glad she liked it. I liked it; that's part of the reason I picked it. I also asked her daughter for advice and it was one of the ones she thought her mum would like.

On July 7, I went to the Hamilton Tiger-Cat game with my husband as his brother bailed (and then changed his mind - duh). Here's a photo:

July 8 was the day before the BBQ we were holding for his family so the day was spent cleaning and getting ready for our guests.

The morning of July 9, DH was in a crappy mood, which always happens when we have guests coming. In fact, he was in such a crappy mood, we had words and then I went to get his mum from the nursing home to bring her to the BBQ but she'd had a rough night and using my judgement, I decided to not bring her. I even half thought I would go to a movie instead of going back to the BBQ since DH and I hadn't spoken since our tiff but I thought better of it.

My dad (the only guest from my side of the family) and DH's cousin and his family were already there when I got home so I hit the ground running. DH's brother and his family showed up shortly thereafter.

All in all, including DH and me, there were 10 of us -- 8 adults and 2 children (6 and 2).

Part of the reason we were hosting this BBQ was because prior to this year, we had a cat who we had to put down in March and no one from DH's family could come to our house because a lot of them were allergic to cats so now that we had no cat, we figured it would be good to have them visit.

It turned out to be a pretty good day, although it did rain after dinner but we were able to roast marshmallows outside before that happened and since neither of the children had ever done that before, that was pretty cool.

I had also bought bubble-blowing kits for each of them and Frisbees. The bubble blowing kits were a huge success.

My brother-in-law tried to teach his 2-year old daughter how to roll down the hill but she just didn't get the hang of it.

The 6-year old wore me out. Although, that said, she was a huge help, too. She helped me shuck the corn and she dumped the compost and she helped me carry stuff outside but when she was inside, she was looking into and touching and picking up everything. I honestly never even thought about childproofing the house. Oops.

When it stopped raining, there was a double rainbow that she was infatuated with and consequently, the 2-year old also was intrigued by it.

As it got dark, the kids, their mums and I moved to the TV room and I turned the satellite radio on and the kids danced. The 2-year old had an amazing time and was actually sweating she was having so much fun. Here's a photo of them trying to come up on my chair with me:

Afterwards, I asked DH if he thought the BBQ had been worth all the hassle and stress and he said absolutely. So we talked about his grumpiness earlier in the day and whether I thought it was worth it to do again and we decided that if I got my part done the day before, I could go out the day of until the guests arrive so that I wouldn't have to deal with his stress and he promised to try harder to not let it get to him. (We don't have guests over much since he works shifts and both of us value our quiet weekends without the hassle of entertaining.)

July 10 and 11 were quiet days at home for the most part. There wasn't much to do in the way of clean-up as DH's cousin's wife helped me clean up the dishes from dinner so I spent most of the day reading outside on the deck, one of my favourite things to do.

Finally, on the afternoon of July 12, I finally got up to my dad's/sister's place (they share a house so my dad doesn't live alone) to swim and enjoy their pool.

July 13 was spent puttering around the house and finally getting some quality reading time on the deck.

July 14, DH and I went to Stratford to see the matinee of the play, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I must admit I didn't love it although I did love the actor who played Mr. Tummus, the faun and overall, I liked all the characters and how they were represented other than the actors who played the children especially Lucy, the lead character. She wasn't at all how I would have pictured her in my head.

Before the play, DH and I went to lunch at Fellini's, an Italian restaurant close by to the theatre. We often go there for lunch ahead of time because the food is good and not too expensive. I had their minestrone and their chicken Tuscan sandwich. The sandwich was so good, really tasty and moist.

After the play, DH and I went to our favourite native art store, Indigena and I ended up with these beautiful items:

The first one is marble and about 10 inches wide and I just love it! It was expensive but so worth it in my opinion and as DH says, it was an investment, too.

The second was just a print but I love it, too and have hung it in my study.

Here's a photo of the deer that I bought from the same store a few years ago:

I spent the afternoon of July 15 at my dad's pool (my sister and her family have gone camping and aren't back until July 22) and then played Scrabble with him and had our weekly Friday night meal together (I have dinner at his place every Friday night).

July 16 was a big day as we were headed to Toronto to see Guns 'N Roses live in concert at the Rogers Centre. I napped in the afternoon as the tickets said the show started at 8:30 but when I was looking up info about the opening band, Billy Talent, the Internet showed the start time of the show as 7 p.m.

Our intention was to meet at DH's brother's place at 6 p.m. and then us and his brother and cousin would make our way over to the concert venue and find something to eat for dinner but that soon turned into panic at 10 to 6 when we found the new start time of 7 p.m. so we ended up having hot dogs and sausages from a street vendor outside the stadium, something that I would regret for hours afterwards since I don't typically eat either item because I can taste them for hours.

We didn't actually get into the stadium until about 7:30 but Billy Talent hadn't started yet so I was doubly pissed because I don't actually like Billy Talent and now I had to sit through their whole show prior to Guns 'N Roses taking the stage. They didn't start until about 10 to 8.

DH's brother and cousin weren't sitting with us; they were in the nosebleed seats while we had seats on the floor in the 3rd row, which I thought was pretty good when I ordered them.

When Billy Talent came on, the first thing I noticed was that it was really, really loud and the bass was so heavy, I could feel it thumping in my stomach. And, because I didn't like the music either, it kind of gave me a headache. DH enjoyed it though. Here's a link to one of Billy Talent's popular songs if you're interested:


I actually don't mind their music; I just don't like their singing.

After their set was done, DH and I climbed the gazillion stairs up so that I could go to the bathroom before G&R started.

I soon found out that the stairs were definitely a con to being on the floor especially since they were actually quite tall steps and I needed DH's help to get up and down them. They were bad enough when the lights were on but when I had to go up after GNR started, I felt like I was blind walking up them. There were no hand railings and it was dark and it was very, very hard. DH thinks I should finally get some paperwork designating me as handicapped so that I don't have to deal with stairs anymore and after Saturday, I'm thinking he might be right. emoticon

So, GNR finally took the stage around 9 and where I thought Billy Talent was loud and was glad I had brought ear plugs, I took them out for GNR because I loved their sound so much but they played a lot of songs I didn't know and my feet were hurting when I stood for too long so I sat down for the songs I didn't know. I wasn't drinking much because drinking would just mean that I would have to go to the bathroom again and I really didn't want to climb those stairs again and coming back down is even worse for me as I can't just walk down them like normal people; I have to put one foot down and then step down with the other one to the same step and repeat to the bottom.

But we did have to go up one more time to actually get me more water despite the fact that I wasn't drinking much and it was very, very hard.

Anyhow, I was okay for a while after that but it was very, very warm on the floor, another con for being on the floor is that there is less air movement due to everyone at the same height and I really wasn't feeling well. I was having problems breathing and was very, very hot. DH and I couldn't actually talk since the music was so loud but I saw him mouth "are you okay?" so I texted him that I needed air. He got me up and he said I only took about 2 steps when I fainted. Fortunately, the guy in front of us noticed me going down and caught me before I cracked my head on the concrete floor.

I have no idea how long I was on the floor but I knew that I didn't want to get up or move or anything. I was so very hot. EMS showed up and took my blood pressure but couldn't get a reading so they got a wheelchair and I actually managed to get myself up and into it without too much help and then they wheeled me up to the First Aid room where they made me drink a lot of water. First time I've ever been in a wheelchair and I don't even remember most of it and I was feeling bad because DH was missing his concert but he says he could still hear it and there was no way he was leaving me. He was also kind of irritated with me for not telling him sooner that I wasn't doing well but I didn't know I was going to pass out and I didn't want to have him have to leave the concert again for nothing (or so I thought at the time).

So, we caught the last part of the last song of the encore when EMS deemed me well enough to leave especially since they had at least 3 new cases show up since I did and they were worse off than me.

The show ended around 12:30 but by the time, the traffic cleared from the area, it was probably closer to 1:30 a.m. We drove DH's brother and cousin back to their place and then he and I headed home (roughly 1 hour west of Toronto). I was hungry as was he so we found a pizza place that was open at 2:45 a.m. and got a couple of slices plus some garlic bread, which I ate in the car before actually getting home. We got home around 3:30 a.m. and by the time I made it to bed, it was close to 4:30 a.m. but then I couldn't fall asleep (par for the course) but think I fell asleep around 6 a.m. or so. I slept in until 2:30 yesterday afternoon and was back in bed and asleep by about 9:30 last night. I was so very tired.

As for the concert that we came for, I didn't love it. First of all, the acoustics at the venue totally suck for a concert, which I know from seeing The Rolling Stones there years before but had forgotten and second of all, they played a lot of songs I didn't know but that said even though Axl's singing is a bit rougher than the last time they toured, he can still carry a tune and hold a note way longer and better than I can and OMG, Slash was so good especially when he did solos as the acoustical distortion just about disappeared during them.

And, kudos to GNR for getting Billy Talent as their opening act as they’re a local band. I don't love them but it definitely was pretty cool for them.

I would have loved the concert more if A) there weren't so many stairs, B) I hadn't passed out, C) they'd had an opening act I liked, D) that they'd played more songs that I knew and liked.

Today, I went grocery shopping, to visit my MIL and then swimming at my dad's pool.

Tomorrow will be spent preparing meals for the week and hoping it's a nice day so I can spend the afternoon reading on the deck before having to go to bed before the sun sets as I have to do when I work the next day. emoticon

I've also read 5 books:

- The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (the 3rd in a mystery series)
- The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau (the 2nd in the Ember series)
- Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich (the 18th Stephanie Plum novel)
- The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward (the 1st in the Bourbon series)

As I said, it was a busy vacation. I'm off again the week of August 15 and the only firm plans are a memorial service for a family friend on August 14, seeing The Tragically Hip on August 16 and the 25th wedding anniversary party for my sister and her husband on August 20.
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  • _LINDA
    Very interesting vacation to be sure. So sorry your concert experience was horrible :-( Personally, I hate floor seats because most people spend the entire event on their feet and being short you can't see squat and also standing for long is too hard. I am amazed you could eat what you did after feeling so poorly!
    I have had my close friend and bridge mentor pester me to try marijuana and my brother-in-law saying he could source it for me. I know you don't have to smoke it, but I don't bake either. I will be interested in seeing if you feel its helped. I am trying to heal myself naturally, through clean eating and eliminating anything which may be causing me inflammation. My Naturopath wants me to do a total elimination diet, starting with gluten. All my inflammation levels have skyrocketed so I am in a major flare. I need to put the fire out. My Mom is always skeptical about what I am getting into, but eventually, she comes around. Its hard staying with her as bread products are all her husband eats and she isn't much better. My freggies are bulky and fill her fridge up fast (it was struggling to keep up) I will be doing some specialized testing to see if I have that 'leaky gut' and what I may be lacking in my microbiome. I can't test for food sensitivities being on immunosuppressant drugs so I have to do it the hard way. I have heard so much about all your problems start in the gut, its hard to ignore. It turns out we really are what we eat. After my dizziness and balance problems and subsequent fall my Dr. prefers I not live alone. So my summer hasn't been as interesting as yours. I missed all of my first festival except the one hour I went to see a bridge friend play in her band. My concussion kept me from going to the rest. I hope I can go to my fair coming up, love the shows they have and hope they will feature a 70's band again. they had Burton Cummings and its amazing he hasn't lost his voice he can still sing and hold the high notes in Stand Tall. They had Talent here once, but after hearing him sing, wasn't interested lol. I envy you seeing GNR, or what part of it you did end up seeing. All the really big concerts go to Regina of course, because they have the big stadium. My brother took me to a Roughriders game once. it was storming and pouring rain and the stadium floor was flooded in places. I had my rain cape, but my feet were soaked and cold.
    I hope your Hip concert goes much better!!
    1647 days ago
    Whew! Not a very restful vacation for sure! I feel like I should envy yor 3 weeks off at a time, but think I'd have an awful hard time returning to work after so much time off! I don't like floor seats. I like to be on the next section up from the floor. That is how I handle stairs with no rails being truly blind.... I don't mind going up stairs, but coming down scares me! Plus, rough on the knees! Sorry you fainted! How scary! I know nothing of medicinal marijuana.... wondering if you get the "munchies" from it like non-medicinal marijuana. And, does it come in pill form? My MIL actually took it to try and stimulate her appetite, so thinking perhaps you may get those munchies.... something to watch out and prepare for! I really hope it helps with your medical issues! Relief is a long time coming for you! Good idea to read up on organizational policies on MMJ. //Wishing you well!!
    1647 days ago
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