Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Old dogs and travel plans

It may be September but the summer which was so late in starting, has extended itself and we are enjoying Boston temperatures. This past week there has been cooling a bit at night time which makes for more comfortable sleeping, as long as you remember to put the extra blanket on the bed if the window is open. We did get a bit of rain the other weekend which was surely needed - the tame ducks down the road were starting to look worried as their pond shrank to a puddle. They were happily splashing, quacking and diving when the dog and I checked on them during one of our early morning walks. 

The pleasant weather has been a good opportunity for the shore captain and his employees to do repairs on the 'new' barn (actually 25 yrs old) which have included replacing rotted windows and the walls surrounding them, replacing the roof with a metal one and new vinyl siding. The trim is now being painted by the senior maintenance man and those without carpentry skills have been picking up debris (some of it decades old) surrounding the building. I undertook to excavate the 'old' barn (100 yrs old or so) and can now truthfully add archeologist to my resume. I started sorting out things the kids have left in storage and looking for furniture for the Sudanese refugee family being sponsored locally, then realized the scale of the undertaking. Local fishermen have used it for storage of nets and gear, there were broken windows and explosions of fiberglas insulation from nesting critters, not to mention the various types of paints and products which will require another day to tackle disposal. With the loaning of a couple of employees and two trips east and one west to various storage sheds plus two trips (ton truck flatbed FULL of garbage) and a large pile of metal for the local collector, the place is at least manageable. I think the workers were glad to be handed back to their usual boss, he's not as demanding. 

I've made my way through the PALS course manual and have made a couple of stabs at memorizing some of the medication doses etc. I am remembering most of the material, as it's not the first run through but the 84% passmark looms in the materials they send….not enough to distract me from other tasks. The house is never cleaner than when I should be studying - today I even polished the copper range hood! I was delighted to find that I don't have to be in the city until 6 pm for the first  day - had thought it was a full Friday. 

I taught a marine first aid course in the local fire hall last week, another fire hall Monday and will finish the plant employees course tomorrow. Made them all commit to the two week period so that I could borrow the mannequins keep them. Back into the swing after recertifying and with the required number of courses, have the monkey off my back for another two years. The boy captain joined his home community vs workplace so that evened out the numbers in the first group. He's always a good participant as he's experienced or witnessed most of the calamities in the scenarios and is proficient in emergency scene management. He's had a couple of good fishing trips this month and I suggested I'd call him Capt. Halibut. This alarmed him as there is the corporate espionage issue. A long-awaited pleasure to see him functioning in the grownup world. 

Have had some online chats with the job share partner and discovered that we will 'overlap' the first of the next rotation and the holidays so will be able to catch up - woohoo! I usually just get to see her at the airport on the way in and out. My schedule is being changed forward a bit so I'll stay in through Christmas and fly home before New Years. Not such a big deal for someone with fledglings who have left the nest (hers haven't) and…we'll be heading out on vacation January 13th, so that'll be our holidays. 

Did a quick Frenchy's run and found a nice scrub top, pair of uniform pants and a bedskirt (which was my main quest) as I have (finally) put together my 'nursing museum' in the spare bedroom. Got the shore captain to hang the cabinet on the wall which holds my medicine bottle collection, and decorated the room with my vintage nursing paraphernalia. Of course no linens on the bed until guests appear as the animals take over - had to put a sheet in the doll crib as Stanley assumes it's his bed now. Pleased with myself over the 'new' room. 

This weekend has been rather unsettled as our senior dog (almost 16 yrs old) has been ill. Now I realize if you're not an 'animal person' you won't understand the effect of this development but…she must've had some sort of a spell in the night and Saturday morning was unsteady, wouldn't eat or drink and looked poor. Sunday wasn't much better and I considered the after hours vet on call but that was over an hour away and vehicles are distressing to the old girl. I phoned Monday as we had finally come to the difficult decision that we didn't want her to suffer - she didn't appear in pain but her quality of life was sure compromised. On Tuesday she had improved a bit, insisted on (slowly) going for a walk to see the ducks, ate a bite of cheese etc. The vet examined her and decided that 'today is not the day' so we reviewed her file (she's had two previous 'spells' like this albeit less severe) and she was given prednisone with improvement. By last evening, she perked up, ate tuna, cat food, kitty treats and drank lots of water, slept the night and was more like herself. Today was even better and she's been enjoying all manner of treats (the suggestion was made that she was playing me for things she's usually not allowed). I will call the vet with a progress report tomorrow and assume she'll make a (slow) recovery. 

All this extra nursing care, ethical decisions and worry have taken a toll on my studying for the PALS course as it's difficult to concentrate. I have had a couple of appointments - the spa as we're heading out on vacation this weekend just after the course, and today to the physio / rhuematologist to have my upper back injected. It is really helping, I only have to wear the posture support for leaning forward types of activities and at work, but prolotherapy is not a fun day of course. I stopped to pick up all sorts of doggie appetite enticements on the way back and discovered the dog loved those Cesear packages - the cats had to be banished to another room as there were beasts when it was opened. 

Off to organize my first aid supplies - as if I have time to be teaching tomorrow! To the city for the course Friday and Saturday then joined by the travel partner for the Sunday morning flight to Calgary, then San Fransisco. Going to have two weeks of San Fran, Sonoma, Napa, then back to San Fransisco. Might drink some wine……..