Thursday, June 27, 2019

The rain and the ramifications of aging


The downpour last Friday was pretty significant, lots of flooding and washouts. 72 mm, which is a lot in one day around here. Damage to roads, flooded basements, so on and so forth. I heard that Main Street filled right up and overflowed the sidewalks onto adjacent lawns. But my basement stayed dry! All the work done two winters ago paid off. Of course the sump pump was very busy for a couple of days after that.

I just got email from a dear friend out west, she has been very sporadic about replying to my emails. She said there was a reason for that, the last couple of years have been awful for her. And now she knows why, she just got a diagnosis of Parkinson's. Apparently before any of the physical symptoms show up there is depression and anxiety. I remember that the last time I visited her (two years ago) she did seem uncommonly anxious, but I attributed it to recent events in her life. Which it may very well have been, but exacerbated by this other thing. We have a mutual friend who was diagnosed with Parkinson's around about the time I left BC, on subsequent visits I have watched his deterioration and the effect on his partner. Not good.

I was shocked by my friend's email and I was just headed out the door to a meeting. For the first half of the meeting I was kind of out of it. I did eventually get into things, but it was always there in my mind. Still is I guess.

My brother's birthday yesterday, I called to wish him Happy Birthday. We chatted about a bunch of things and he told me about our other brother's call, how other brother was quite upbeat about treatments for his liver cancer. I pointed out to my birthday brother that that may very well be, but other brother's prognosis is little more than a year without treatment, and a few months more than that with treatment. Birthday brother said he did not know that. Birthday brother is very busy right now and I said I hoped he could get everything done this year because next year we may be needing to travel out west …if not sooner.

The meeting I attended this week was a Green Party thing. First campaign meeting for the newly nominated Green Party candidate in my riding. Potluck and strategizing, very exciting. I met a very dynamic young woman in the committee I joined who kind of left all of us older folks gaping. Amazing energy and activism. WWW take note, she's headed your way, going to Memorial for first year university studying the ocean. Molly. We are sorry to lose her but she has left behind everything she can think of, all of her connections and history, for our candidate to use. Voting age is 18, which means high school grads, and I guess there's a lot of them wanting some meaningful change.

On another note, I went for an eye exam today. The local optometrist has quite a shop, employs a whole lot of people. I went to him back in the day when it was just him and his receptionist. Anyway, after the exam he sent me to talk to someone about prices for glasses. After a bit of a wait I talked to this woman who laid out all the options, ranging from the "cut rate deal" of $299 (just the lenses, frames extra) up to $869 (lenses only) for the super duper lenses that make you think you are not wearing glasses at all. We discussed coatings and angles and health benefits and she gave me a bunch of pamphlets and I noted down manufacturers' names and prices for turther investigation.

One of the things she told me about was this coating that is supposed to filter out "high energy blue" (or something to that effect). Used to be UV was bad, now it's creeping up the spectrum through blue.

So I went online to find out what the big deal about blue is. Turns out there is a lot of conflicting information. Blue is good/blue is bad. At my age, cataracts are starting, a number of my friends have already had the surgery. Cataracts cause your vision to yellow, blue is filtered out. One study says blue causes insomnia, another says blue cures insomnia. Cataracts protect against macular degeneration (caused by blue!). Cataracts good/cataracts bad.

Another thing I have been researching is lawn mowers. As noted previously, I can't start my gas-powered lawn mower, so I was looking into alternatives. My lawn is broken up with bushes and garden beds, there is a very dry area and a very wet area and a steep slope on one side. Not to mention all the holes that Hapi has dug either as hidey holes for precious bones or as cool nests to sleep in. A corded electric is out of the question, too many twists and turns. Self-propelled sounds nice but it means you can't mow backwards in tight spaces. I looked at a cordless electric (battery powered) and that was promising, but it was 20 pounds heavier than my rinky dink gas mower. It's big and hard to maneuver, but it's quiet and doesn't vibrate and it stores well.

For the life of me I cannot find a mower that is easy to start, light-weight and maneuverable, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I may have to give up on the idea.

In the mean time I am weight lifting in hopes of being able to start my mower before mowing season ends. And I decided not to worry about blue, I soon won't be able to see it anyway.


2 comments:

Wisewebwoman said...

I was asked to run for the Greens about 10 years ago. I have trouble with some of their policies (once I dug deeper). Not as green or prowomen as I had assumed years ago.

Glasses are far cheaper on line. I plan to replace my current set with on line and get a few extra pairs. tho I have to say I love the followup service with my opticians here. Everything has been fixed no charge for 9 years now. I am lucky my sight hasn't changed.

XO
WWW

Annie said...

Hi WWW, I know that glasses are cheaper online and I did try that once. The measurements the website asked for were insufficient for a proper fit and I was unable to wear the glasses. My vision changes with each exam, which is a bit of a hassle. So for now I will stick to local optical stores. Fortunately there are a few in the area for range of products and prices; the optometrist I saw was at the high end of the scale.

As for the Green Party, I probably would have had the same reaction as you 10 years ago, but they have changed over the years. I would be curious to know your specific objections and whether they have been addressed since then. Reading the "Green Vision" (2019 version) document I find it a bit pie-in-the-sky and very "Ottawa-ese" (having lived there), but workable. For me this is a bit of an experiment, whether I have the stamina for hands-on politics. I suspect not, but worth a shot. FYI, my next door neighbour is the riding president for the NDP, could be interesting when the lawn signs come out. My son is a strong NDP-er but I just can't go back there, not after our little run-in with Mulcair and the NDP establishment in the last election. Obviously the Cons are out for me and I would only go Lib if there was no other viable alternative.