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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Happy-sad-happy Flowers

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We went shopping the other day. They had sunflowers. I've been very up and down lately. That's nothing new. I suspect it's either lack of diet/exercise, bad sleep patterns, depression and/or hormones.
The temperature at the moment also is a bit up and down which is one of the reasons my sleep is interrupted so that doesn't help either.
I'm pretty happy now though.
So I saw these sunflowers and I thought ah. Sunflowers. Indoor sunshine. We don't usually go for sunflowers. We'll usually go for more scent and/or colour. Every Spring as long as they sell them mum gets daffodils every week or so. They're her favourites. Well. That's not strictly true. Sweetpeas are her favourites. She would have liked them in her wedding bouquet but they weren't in season then and when she was pregnant with me (since they didn't know my gender. Most friends/family thought I'd be a boy. That whole thing about being able to tell the gender by the was the belly looks. Her mother said I'd be a girl. She was right. Though she'd hoped I'd have brown eyes since the majority of her family have blue. My dad's are brown) and since I didn't actually have a name until I was born (I guess they must've narrowed it down by that point but, as I said, gender unknown) she called me Sweetpea in those moments that mothers talk to their unborn babies.
But since sweetpeas aren't a common flower for cheap bouquets daffodils are her more readily available favourite. Mine are bluebells. We got bulbs years ago. Can't find them. But we have "wild" ones in the garden. Always have. As everything became overgrown they steadily migrated from the very back of the garden to one side by the window.

So. Back to sunflowers.
Not our usual flower.
But since I was still a bit up and down I thought. Ah, indoor sunshine. And that might be nice to look at when I'm in a bad mood. You can't be unhappy looking at a nice sunflower.
But I wondered if it was wise to waste money/space/effort for things that will just die. But they will make me smile I'm sure. And mum will smile too.

Ah. But there are only 2 in the tub. If I take one then the other will be all alone and I am not getting 2 like with the lavender.
I look on the other side. Another tub with two. That pleases me a little. I also worried about taking them when they might bring joy to someone else. So I selected a bunch and went on my way.
But at the end is where they put the less attractive reduced in price get them out of here before they completely wilt flowers. And there were some bunches of sad wilting sunflowers there. Should I swap them? It would make me feel better about wasting money (specifically my mum's money, since she buys the shopping and I contribute nothing but extra costs just be existing......happy sunflowers) if they're reduced to clear and they're cut flowers. They'll die anyway. One had lost half it's petals. One is wilting but the other three are passable. The wrapping looks like it exploded and no one taped it back up. Yep. THESE are my flowers. Sunflowers are stronger than regular flowers. Big thick stems. Big heads. bright yellow. A few missing petals does detract a little from their beauty but they're still vibrant and happy.
I had a bad sleep and still had a headache. I knew why. I'd stayed up late two days running and the heat messed with my quality of sleep.
I wasn't as bad as the previous day or so but it was just one of those days where you're kind of groggy and it's all bland.
I decided to hunt around for some ibuprofen since I'm the only one who can take it now. Mum tried to give me hers a while ago but I had my own in my desk.
Well that's out of date. All other boxes i could find were also out of date. I don't much mind. I'd risk it but it does specifically state not to take past the expirations date and this was 1-3 years. Note to self. Look up if it actually is safe to take out of date drugs. If it's just that the effectivity lessens I don't mind but on the off chance they can actually do harm I decided against it until I'd looked it up. Still haven't.
I found mum's ones so I took one. Better to be a little headache free than have it linger and make me grumpy.
So as I was getting it ready I looked up and noticed the sunflowers. I spent a while enjoying them. So they have served their purpose.
Mum ended up putting one with a leaf at the front, don't think it was intentional, but the leaf covers the bottom of the one missing half it's petals so you can't see them...well the lack of them anyway. There's one petal hanging on in there just poking out from underneath while there is a full crown on top. Very nice.

So. Why take ibuprofen? Normally I'd just let the headache be. But I don't want the drugs to go out of date so someone has to use them so it made sense this time.

Why do I have to be the one to use them? Why was my mother giving me hers earlier (the ones she kept in her bag to use if needed)?

Well. Because she can't have ibuprofen any more. Now she has to have paracetamol if she needs a painkiller.
She has a slight heart condition. It's quite common. So she's now on betablockers and blood thinners probably for the rest of her life.

She has a swollen leg. Has for years now. It, like most things, is up and down so so far it's never been of much concern. She's had it looked at before. Doctor wasn't concerned. It's to be expected if you're obese, old and mostly sedentary.
But it felt funny for a few days. Kind of hot.
Our neighbour has leg problems (she's very old and a heavy smoker) and she caught us while we were outside so she wanted to chat with mum (she's old and lonely, opinionated and her home absolutely REEKS of smoke. She doesn't smoke around us but when we've been summoned over we come back stinking to all heck. We, obviously, don't smoke. Since her dog died (he was a lovely boy) and she's too old to get a new one (her home isn't ideal anyway, the stairs are bad for their hips and legs) she can't get the dog walker to do all her odd jobs like getting her some shopping when her store doesn't have what she wants (ours does not have a suitable kosher section for her so it's rare we can get what she wants), help her change the gas canister for her heater (she's never had central heating but surely it's cheaper than regular gas deliveries) because apparently she's not strong enough but seems to manage when mum can't sort it, changing a light bulb (she has several bulbs that don't fit), "fixing" computer issues (that's the one I'm summoned for and I say "fixing" because i have no idea what to do and what i do do is just common sense and/or bling poking around. Do not ask me to change her printer cartidge again. It was out of ink. You have to order more ink. That's the problem. And I have no ****ing clue how to open this thing anyway. MY printer is older than hers and don't get me started on the nest of wires back there), flipping a switch that she can't reach because her lights have all gone out. No idea why. Neither do the electric company (it's a flat. She's upstairs. Tenants downstairs. Separate electricity supply and these houses are have got to be near a hundred years old by now. The house still had gas lighting when my parents moved in and that was 40 years ago) they put in this switch so she could get her electricity back on when what ever IT is happens. But it's too high for her to reach (We've both been called out for that), wanting mum to go over for a chat so she can complain about the people downstairs over and over (it's SOOOOOOOOOO hot over there and she keeps the tv on so loud) (neither of us are particularly sociable so being trapped in someone's house unable to leave because we're too polite and are waiting for permission to go and the person just keeps talking about the same thing she said five minutes ago and the day before and the 2 weeks before, added with the heat and oppressive smoke smell, that is one of our ideas of Hell), asking mum to draw her out some money (here's her card and pin number. Mum is uncomfortable having these things. It just doesn't seem right, these aren't things you trust to other people if you can help it. We don't even know each other's pin numbers. In my long running capacity as cashpoint shield......why does that word look wrong to me? maybe it's the Notepad text. Ever since I was tall enough to have my head and later body block the view of the cash point keypad for anyone nearby she's felt a little happier when drawing out money. When I was a child I'd stand next to her, as children do. When I was older I wondered if I should wait off to the side but she said she preferred it when I was there to block anyone's view. In all that time I have never looked at her pin number. I've always looked away just in case because I've always been under the impression that it's not my business to know and for safety it's best I don't then I can't accidentally reveal it to anyone.... I've thought that since I was a CHILD. So yeah. We're uncomfortable with the idea of having another person's pin number and card. Also prying into someone's finances, even with permission, feels kind of rude) but by far the worst is when she asks us to get cigarettes for her. Sometimes a phone call out of the blue, haven't spoken for months, hello little conversation can you get me cigarettes? Did I mention this is at around 2 am? As I've said. We don't smoke. We don't have anyone around us who does smoke (we used to a long time ago) so we don't buy cigarettes ever. It's as out of place for us as if you asked us to buy you heroin. And, since I at least, am opposed to smoking it goes even further. Would you ask a vegan to pop down to the butcher and buy you a leg of lamb?)
So yeah. For these reasons we don't seek out her company. But if she needs something, and there's no one else, we'll begrudgingly oblige.
She hasn't bothered us for months. She has a guy over a lot to do stuff for her now. He drinks. We know that much. I have wondered sometimes if she's alright but if she weren't I wouldn't really want to be the one she relies on. Well. It's all fine. She's introduced us to him. He smells like a smoker too but I'm not 100% sure if it's passive or not i think he does smoke. You know when you can tell a smoker by their breath? They don't even have to have smoked any time soon. You can always tell a regular smoker. It lingers.
He's been doing some work for her and seems to be a companion for her. I'm pleased for two reasons. Firstly now she has someone else to call when she wants something and secondly it's nice for her to have a companion. I know she really loved her dogs and it hit her hard losing the last one.

So. We're doing some gardening out front and she gets chatting with mum, doesn't really bother with me. Old people don't, well not those who have been aware of my existence since childhood. They'd rather deal with the adult. I'm 32 but I don't mind. Less hassle for me. She introduces her fella, talks about her leg, mum talks about hers and she insists mum come over and see the work her fella's done to her garden. Leaving me to carry on alone. Don't mind.
But after that mum got wondering about her leg. Could be a blood clot. So she calls the doctor. What with it possibly being a life threatening issue, and this whole pandemic situation, it's a phone consultation.
It's probably just an infection but I can't rule out a blood clot. You need to go to hospital for tests.

6 hours and numerous tests later.
It's a virus. Here are some antibiotics to clear it up. But during the overall health checkup they noticed her heart was beating too fast. Much too fast.
Can't you feel it?
No. It feels normal.
Can't you hear it?
No. If she could then she'd have sought immediate medical attention.

She has atrial fibrillation. One valve in her heart isn't working in time to the rest so the heart is beating faster to compensate. On it's own it's not too serious and it's quite common but carries the risk of blood clots. So they put her on betablockers to slow the heart down and blood thinners to prevent clots.
So yeah. Now she's on these meds for life pretty much. Better cut down on salt and caffeine too. Ooh that really stings. She loves her salt and her tea.

She had an appointment a day or so later to see if the betablockers were effective. Dosage upped. You really can't feel how fast your heart is beating? No. She can't. I've had a go and even I can't.
Last week or so I get woken by the phone. She's at work. It's in the afternoon but, as I said, bad sleep patterns. It's probably nothing but answer just in case. It could be a relative checking in or an update on my dad (he's doing well it seems. Seems obsessed with the idea that pests will get my plants).
Hello this is so and so from such hospital can I speak with Mrs so and so?
She's not here. Can I take a message?
Yes, I'm just calling about her appointment in 2 days time.
....(I feel like she would have mentioned that to me at some point) 2 days time?
She works on that day.
It's a phone appointment.
....(why didn't you say that in the first place) oh okay. When?
It's at 8:30am. It that alright?
Yeah. I guess.
Would it be more convenient to call the landline or mobile?
....(Thinks about it a bit too long. Would she be leaving for work about that time?) landline (obviously. Why did I even consider the mobile? It's barely charged, by the time she answers it it's stopped ringing and it's not like she'll answer it in the car. She'll just have to let work know she'll be a little late. That's okay)
Okay. Thank you bye.
Goodbye. (well at least she was cheerful. Good thing I didn't answer the phone with 'What?' the phone had rung, I'd gotten out of bed wasn't actually sleeping anyway but groggy, get downstairs and the phone stopped. 1471. Withheld number. **** you what ever you are (we've had a couple of scam calls. Automated we're from BT please hold while we connect you. Nope. Hang up. Pull the plug in case. Give it a minute and call BT. Yup it's a scam. They'd never randomly call with an automated message. It would be a human) Go back to bed and it rings again. So that's why I was grumpy when answering. But like I said, she was cheerful so I cheered up)
I go back to bed, text mum when I get up to let her know. She should still be at work so she has the chance to let them know before she leaves. Predictably she didn't get the text until much later. I told her when she got home. The next day she informed work and the day after she got her call.
It was from 8:30 onwards. was gone 9 when they did call. She really needed to pee. Don't know if it made a difference on the other end but she feels it was a waste of time. Everything was already covered before and there's been no noticeable changes.
Again. Can't you feel your heart beating? Can't you hear it?
She's getting pretty sick of that already and to be honest so am I. If she couldn't feel it before what makes you think she can feel it now? If she had felt something wrong she'd have come in to see you sooner. Doctors are supposed to be smart so why is this so hard for you to grasp? We don't know how long she's had it or how quickly it came on. Most likely it was a gradual change and you wouldn't notice it as easily.
I have tried to find her pulse. I check mine quite often if I've been startled, eaten too much salt and/or had a degree of exercise. Not all the time but I di check it quite often. I can never find a pulse in my wrist so I go for the neck. Very clear and easy to count.
I tried doing it on mum. Nothing. Doesn't help she has a fat neck and I have long nails. I worry I might scratch her and/or hurt her.
Cannot find a clear pulse. She's tried and failed. I showed her mine. Easy. But hers is virtually nonexistent (on the surface, to an amateur) **** this. Stick an ear on her chest and listen to the heartbeat.
Well. It's there but damned if I can count the beats. It's like it's underwater. It's not distinct. No wonder she can't bloody feel it. Are these doctors idiots? Clearly not because they found it. But seriously. It's all muffled. i guess because of the irregular heartbeats. How do they not get that's why she can't feel it?
She has another appointment later in the month with the anticoagulant doctor but it had TELEPHONE written on it in pen. Turns out it's a phone consultation again. Again, with the pandemic and all, it's completely understandable but she can't help feeling it'll be another waste of everyone's time. Unless she has symptoms of something then it's most likely to be normal. But they do need to keep an eye on her. The medication may need adjusting you never know.
She told them she'd made an appointment with the GP to measure her blood pressure (since she can't feel it and they can't do it over the phone).
Well that was a hoot and a half.
They're running late. Fair enough. She goes in. They don't have a record of her heart condition or treatment. Even though she tried to fill her prescription at the doctors but it was too late so she had to do it at the hospital pharmacy. They said they'd send a letter to her GP. Did it arrive?
It's worth noting that we've had the same GP since my parents moved here. But it closed recently so we changed to another nearby practice. So when they asker her what her GP surgery was she started giving the old one but corrected herself. Maybe they have it down wrong?
But either way you'd imagine that ****ing heart condition could be listed on her medical record. Is it all one thing or do GPs have their own notes and nothing else unless you tell them?
Mayne he was a locum. Maybe it's all a bit muddled because of the pandemic. I know the NHS had it's problems at the best of times but I'd hate to think of it badly. In these past months I've been thinking how much our family owes the NHS.
Off the top of my head;
My grandmother was a nurse, one of my cousins is a porter, the births of numerous children in the family including mine (particularly my cousin's boy who had complications at birth and needed to be in intensive care. He's a healthy happy little 4 year old now), my visit to the eye hospital as a child, my childhood dental care (it's free until you're 18), my mum's eye surgery, the care for my grandparents and elderly relatives, care for/of overall general sickness and my dad's cancer treatment, his deceased brother's cancer treatment, his living brother's diabetic care. If you think about it hard enough the list really does go on. NHS you have your problems. You're underfunded and over worked at the best of times but we'd be a lot worse off without you.
Will it all fit?
Also my tomatoes have started growing little fruits. No huge pest problems. Aphids indoors oddly enough but seems fine outside. For now slugs seem to have better things to do. But my dad keeps asking if pests have gotten to my plants. Strange man.
Mum has now bought a blood pressure monitor

Updated 08-06-2020 at 03:33 AM by Bluebiird (Ah it did fit. Yay)