restless nights – lockdown 2 day 78

I spent most of the day, and all night at the hospital. I didn’t want to risk another night like the last where all hell broke loose. Fortunately Aunt 1 was slower and quieter thanks to the sedatives they are now giving her.

Not that she’s calm. Unless she’s actually asleep, she’s pulling off her covers, murming or giving the odd yell to keep you on your toes, and struggling to get out of bed. Still. I’m amazed at her strength, will and resistance to drugs. Even when drugged to the eyeballs, slurred speech, eyes half closed, her hands and legs are struggling towards freedom.

Since 2 ladies left there are empty beds so I helped myself to one using a blanket over the plastic sheet and yucky pillow. And my scarf to lay my face on. Ugh. Its not easy sleeping in hospital unless you’re actually sick or injurred and your body just wants to sleep. but I got a couple of hours at least. Once I se the doctor this morning and full nursing staff is back on I think I’ll go shower and see if I can nap. Doubtful but you can always hope.

I did see the orthopedic surgeon for about 1 minute yesterday… Aunt 1 has 3 broken vertebrae, she’s had broken vertebrae before but these are in a new spot. I actually counted her broken bones vs mine last night. I’m still ahead at 12 to her 9. Unless any of her breaks were multiple spots in one area as some of mine were.

Anyway, the doctor said that all going well Aunt 1 would be released. Perhaps with a back brace. I’ll see him today and we will find out.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that its really rough out there and the ferries may not be allowed to travel. There’s a ferry to Paros tonight, none on Wednesday, another on Thursday. If we can’t get one tonight we’re here for another day and night.

UGH.

Since its quiet around here I snuck around and took some photos just around the room…

Evidence of leaks and mould on the ceiling in the hallway.
The wall between this room and the next.
I guess there are more important things to spend money on than holes in the bathroom ceiling.
There is no toilet seat in the toilet in the room… for people who are unsteady on their feet and can’t hover to pee!
Something sweet: the cat that lives outside the hospital. She’s always there to greet me as I come and go.

I’m off to find some coffee…

z

cyborgs and 3rd worlds – lockdown 2 day 77

Let me start this post with an update on Aunt 1, or the person I may start to refer to as my Cyborg. I’m convinced that that woman is invincible, beyond pain and impervious to drugs. She keeps going, no matter how many bullets are plugged into her.

Yesterday, the ferry got us here (to Syros) around 12ish. The ambulance brought us to the hospital where she was whisked in to have a CT scan while I was told to wait outside (despite being her designated ‘escort’*). I waited outside till 3.30pm when they finally let me in cause she was being unco-operative. That’s code for being a total uncontrollable pain in the ass.

So, in here, she was taken finally taken to a room on the first floor, shared with 4 other women. I felt sorry for them in advance.

I stayed here with my Cyborg till 10.00pm. She was calm for the most part… Going in and out of touch with reality. She wanted to go home cause her family was waiting for her and would be worried… Family? Yes, her mom and dad. Hm. She spent a couple of hours asking who I was, I was definitely not her niece, I didn’t even look like her. But what a coincidence that I had the same name! She spoke about people and places from her youth, saw people on the ceiling and then spoke to a cousin of mine on the phone and knew who she was, asked about her sister and parents. Made a total fool of me since she was lucid!

So I went and got a decent night’s sleep in a guest house provided by the church. I must say, that feels a bit weird to me since I’m not a church going person. I’m not religious at all… I feel rather hypocritical accepting their hospitality for free. Then again, my Cyborg is in a church owned nursing home and they arranged it for me as her ‘escort’. Plus, who can afford to pay for an air bnb (which looks like I may not use for sleeping in again, just a place to go, use the toilet** and keep my overnight bag).

I was way too tired to post last night.

Anyway, I got to the hospital at 9.15am this morning to find Cyborg tied to the bed by one hand and one foot. And to the complaints of all her room mates for her behaviour during the night. Luckily they like me and are nice ladies cause they were really angry. Apparently Cyborg, feeling no pain and having no sense of her condition, tried to get out of bed all night. Almost managed it a few times till she was tied down. She swore like a trooper, called on satan to curse on those around her and generally kept everyone awake all night. All the poor women are on headache pills this morning. One of them put crosses all over herself to ward off evil.

Meanhile, Cyborg was still in fine form despite having been given pain meds and something to calm her down. She struggled against the restraints, was constantly trying to get off the bed, twisting about in ways which reminded me uncomfortably of Linda Blair minus the pea soup vomit, swore at me and anyone nearby and even hit the nurse who brought her another dose of anti anxiety stuff. Ha. I think she needs a horse tranquilizer. Where’s a vet when you need him?

Maybe they shouldn’t give her pain meds… like they don’t give them to dogs cause if a dog doesn’t feel pain it will do things which will cause further damage…I’m not comparing my good ol’ Cyborg to a dog, but hey… the theory fits!

The second pill has finally kicked in or I wouldn’t be able to write this. A moment of breathing as she drifts in and out of sleep, muttering the whole while.

So…. now its time for the rant on the hospital… but before the general rant, let me address those asterisks.

*An escort is a person who is designated as THE person who accompanies someone in hospital. Pre COVID days this chore was split among family members who would take shifts. Now an escort is ONE person who has had a COVID test and has the paperwork to prove it and their role. Escorts are necessary cause greek public hospitals are either lacking in nursing staff. nursing staff don’t have actual ‘caring for patients beyond the very basics’ in their job description, or think certain aspects of care are beneath them. From what I gather, if Cyborg needs a bath I’m it. If Cyborg soils herself, I’m the one to change her pad (unless I’m not here, in which case someone will take care of it reluctantly). Anything she needs, I’m it.

Boy am I glad I’m here.

Yet despite the rules, two women in here have had more than the one person with them. One of them had 3 visitors last night. Another has two with her today. Go figure. Its Greece. Maybe its all about who you know. As always. A good friend’s son died yesterday in an Athens hospital and his mother was not allowed to go see him. His wife was his ‘escort’, no one else was allowed in. He was positive for COVID after spending weeks in hospital, but he died of cancer and she wasn’t allowed to see him even before he contracted COVID.

**The toilets… Another whole rant just on this one subject. The toilet in the room is for patients only. It has toilet paper and hand soap. No toilet paper. No soap should someone need a shower. No towels are  provided that I can see. When I mentioned that to a nurse she actually snorted. Maybe if a patient is well enough to have a shower and bring their own soap, they can ask for a towel. Maybe. I don’t know. Since Cyborg is unlikely to be allowed upright to shower I’m not going to find out any time soon.

The toilet for the public has no toilet seats. The one I braved didn’t flush. The hand soap pump didn’t work. There are no hand towels. Hands must be drip dried or wiped on pants apparently. Hygiene at its best.

Oh great. Cyborg is awake again and complaining that someone stole her glasses.

I’m back.

Greek public hospital. Wonderful places. I highly recommend them to anyone without self respect. And to those with a self sacrificing need to do for others. Great places where you have to provide  your own tissues, hand towels, and who knows what else.

Apparently the doctors in Greece are great… but the hospitals? I think I’ll go back to Australia when my time comes as I don’t have a daughter to be my designated escort.

That’s all for now. The tablet batter is running low. It didn’t charge up properly last night. I’m sure I’ll have more to complain about later.

z

things got too quiet – lockdown 2 day 76

It seems things got too quiet here on Paros so the universe decided it was time to shake me out of my comfortable little groove.

Aunt 1, the one who’s in the nursing home, fell and fractured a vertebrae. Apparently, from what I can gather, she’s broken one of the thoracic vertebrae and its causing some neurological issues. Such as her abiity to urinate. Till she has a CT scan they won’t know exactly what’s going on and what treatment she may need, including surgery. She needs to go to Syros to the hospital cause Paros only has a very basic health center.

My phone was on silent cause I’d been messing with settings and put it on silent accidentally so I didn’t get the calls till this afternoon. I had to come down to the health center to see what was going on. I was told the above, that it was a matter of urgency, that the small fast boat used for emergencies would be leaving for Syros in about an hour and someone (me) had to go with her, for most likely more than just one night.

Wasn’t there a CT scan anywhere on the island, in one of the private clinics I ask stupidly? Not today I was told. Not till Monday. I didn’t get that then, but I do now…

So I scrambled. Organised mom and an aunt to go to my house and pick up Lainee and all her stuff to stay with them and to pack me an overnight bag. I got the neighbour to look after Eric. There was a lot of running around for people to get things together for me.

Meanwhile people from the nursing home ran around getting Aunt 1’s stuff together.

An hour passed. Then another hour. The boat wasn’t coming, the weather was too rough. And it was going to be rougher tomorrow. Aunt 1 could have her CT scan up the road here at 6.30. PM.

What? Its urgent, but she can wait 24 hours for a CT scan?

Yep. Cause the doctor that does it isn’t on Paros till 5.30pm tomorrow. Now I get it… Just like a pet will always need the vet on a Sunday night, so will an aunt have an accident when no clinics are open.

So, if she needs surgery and needs to get to Syros, when does she go there?

The nursing home manager was here and he did some running around and organised us to take the ferry to Syros in the morning.

At this point let me explain: Syros is right across from here. One hour away by ferry. You can see it. Its the capital of the Cyclades Islands, of which Paros is a member. Its where the closest hospital is. Its where the courthouse is. Its where local government is. Yet there is no daily ferry to and from there. You can only go to Syros on whatever day the ferry goes there and return 1-3 days later when it does the route again.

Very handy.

So its settled. Aunt 1 (and I) will take the ferry at around 10.15am tomorrow morning. I had a very long Q tip stuck up my nostril (I wasn’t aware my nostril went that deep) cause I need to show a COVID19 test in order to go into the hospital. Since no one came running in here to kick me out I presume it was negative.

Aunt 1 is as annoying as ever. She’s not in pain for he most part, just confused. Not so many references to why God didn’t just take her so she wouldn’t suffer, but constant restlessness and repeated questions. She recognised me, most of the time, but didn’t know where she was, what that thing on her wrist was (IV) or what the tube in her stomach was (catheter) and asked what they were every 2 minutes. Also tried to remove them every 2.2 minutes. I had to sit and hold her hands.

She’s finally off the stretcher where she’s spent all day and into a bed. There is another bed in the room but not a single chair.

Every 2 minutes she’s fussing. She wants to turn over but it hurts. She’s too hot, throws the covers on the floor. She wants to get up and go to bed. She wants to pull the tubes out. The IV hanging over her head bothers her, etc etc. She sleeps, wakes up and starts again.

I fall asleep. I wake up when hear her tossing and turning, repeating the same words: You can’t turn over cause it hurts. You fell. You can’t get out of bed cause you hurt your back. You are in bed. You’re sleeping here tonight. You’re in hospital cause you fell. You hurt your back. That’s why it hurts. You can’t turn over, yada ada yada.

It’s hard not to yell at her to stop it and settle down. The bed has no sides, and I don’t think to ask for them. I mean, how was I to know they could ‘clip on’ sides? I’ve repeatedly asked for sleeping pills or something for her to stop the fussing over her drips and the restlessness and anxiety.

I am woken up suddenly by a loud crash. Yep. She’s falled out of bed. Or she tried to get up and fell. Either way, she’s lying on the floor with a split eyebrow and pathetically asking how she fell out of bed.

I run to get help and get yelled at by the doctor. How did she fall out of bed? Where was I? What good was I if I wasn’t watching her. F^%&. I fell asleep!

She’s got the bedside manner of a bull in a china shop, yelling and carrying on about how now my aunt needs xrays again and its the middle of the night, prodding her roughly ‘does it hurt here? what about here?’ Now I’m afraid to fall asleep again, though NOW, they pushed the bed up against the wall on side and put a rail up on the other.

Do I sound angry, frustrated, tired, fed up?

And joy… today is only the beginning of this adventure!

z

an update

So, you already know what I’ve been doing for the last week… emptying a house of half a century of belongings, finding homes for everything, organising the renovation of a bathroom and setting it up to rent. Enough said.

Right now I’m on the boat on my way to Paros cause it turned out I have enough work this week to justify the trip costs. I’m so glad. I’ve pretty much done all I can do in the house for now, so a break in my own home, some sea and sun will do me the world of good.Mom and Aunt 4 are with me on the ferry, they will both be staying on Paros while I have at least one trip ahead of me back to Athens.

I just spoke to the plumber, they will be starting earlier than planned, but that’s ok. I’ll be back in time for the finishing touches. I had a great time writing all over the bathroom tiles with instructions of where things will go. Its the kind of thing you can only do when you plan to rip out tiles and its so much fun!

I have a ‘Fuzz Day’ planned today.

Have I ever explained the ‘fuzzy’ thing? Way back when we were kids, my cousins PG and little Zefi came to stay with us in Athens for over a year. That meant we had 2 Peter Famelis and 2 Zefi Famelis living in the same house. Hence PG (Peter George), PE (Peter Emmanuel) and Little Zefi. Of course Big and Little was just not imaginative enough so my brother (PE) began calling me Ifez, and little Zefi Fezi… which morphed into Fuzzy… and eventually we both began calling eachother Fuzzy. My aunt (Zefi’s mother) still calls me Fuzz to this day.

Meanwhile we’ve been getting free and easy with it. FuzzFace, FuzzBucket, FuzzyWuzzy, you get the drift…

So… today after we arrive and settle mom in, its a Fuzz day: beach and chat and basically enjoy eachother’s company. She is the sister I never had. I’m so looking forward to it. Being close to my cousins was one reason I was happy to move to Greece. I keep telling them that since I’m older than them and don’t have kids, care of me in my dotage will fall to them! We’ve made pacts to shoot eachother if we ever become like Aunt 1.

Speaking of Aunt 1, she’s doing ok in the nursing home. The staff there tell me she’s settling in and doesn’t seem unhappy. She has made some friends etc. But if you talk to her its the same old story: what is this place? they keep the doors locked. I don’t know anyone. The staff ignore me. If you don’t come get me I’ll take a taxi home. If you don’t come soon I’ll kill myself and it’ll be all your fault.

(I don’t doubt the staff ignore her at times… It’s called self preservation: you have to in order to keep your sanity!)

Anyway, mom is ok, but she’s far from well. She’s not her usual self. She tires easily and she’s incredibly stressed all the time cause everyone calls her to tell her their problems and to ask about Aunt 1 and that upsets her. Aunt 2 now has a clogged artery and the first person she called was my mom. Not her son. So mom has been on the phone with doctors and her brothers and Aunt 2’s son trying to explain that its URGENT and that Aunt 2 needs to go to hospital and that its NOT her job to take this on.

sheesh.

Trying to protect mom from her family is a full time job.

Now more than ever I wish I had a bigger house so mom could come live with me. I could keep her from all this shit. At least a little bit.Of course she’d have to adapt to living with a poodle and a kitten. hehehe.

I did warn her that if she ever moved in with me and she saw a naked man in the bathroom in the morning I expected her reaction to be: Good morning. Can I make you a coffee?

On a different note, I found these little beauties in Aunt 1’s stuff. Does anyone know what they are? (Hint, they’re not little jars which is what I thought.)

And here’s Lainee, claiming her part of this post. She really is my heart and joy.

z

on my way home

The good news is Aunt 1 has settled in the nursing home. I haven’t visited cause they don’t allow visitors due to coronavirus, for another I didn’t want to set her off. However, I called daily and once her COVID19 tests came back clear and she was allowed into the lounge area she calmed right down. I knew the company would be exactly what she wanted and needed. She sounds ok there. Thank goodness.

… Cause I really had had enough of aunts and every Tom Dick and Harry calling to say ‘its criminal to put her in a nursing home. Couldn’t you just get a carer at home?’ Obviously NO, but even those who know my aunt really well gave me and mom a hard time over it. I’ve been telling people off quite severely over the last few days. I never expected to become like a bear protecting her cub over my mom! But here I am…

Now Aunt 1 has settled and is no longer threatening suicide or a jailbreak and is seeing the private ‘clinic’ she’s in as a kind of holiday with carers at her beck and call all day, things will hopefully calm down with all the do-gooders.

The best news is that I’m on the fery on my way back home!

Of course, its chaos on the ferry with the new rules… 1 person per 2 meters unless you’re travelling together, that means that most tables have 1 person on them even if they seat 4. Tempers are flaring. Greeks… ya’ know… There is still only one ferry a day to Paros and back, and now that they’re allowing travel within Greece people have started moving around. A lot. Even at 50% capacity, the ferry feels full. Masks must be worn at all times, but that makes it hard to drink a coffee or eat… hm…

Anyway, I’m so looking forward to being back on Paros and in my own home! Lainee looks like a beddraggled orphan… A disgrace to her groomer mother! Time for a good groom! (Me too before I can wear a bathing suit again!)

This summer is going to be a challenge, though. I expect quite a bit of back and forthing to Athens. First trip back will be in about 3-4 weeks to take mom to her next doctor’s appointment and then hopefully to Paros. I have to oversee the renovation work on Aunt 1’s house. And of course I have to take care of all Aunt 1’s affairs and go back to Athens to pick her up if and when they accept her in the Paros nursing home.

Not exactly how I saw this year unfolding. Then again, none of us saw COVID19 coming either.

z

difficult days

The cat above was meant to look surprised… instead it looks sad and kinda lost. Not to mention ugly…

Its been ‘those’ kind of few days.

I’ve been run off my feet as always, but I’ve also moved Aunt 1 into a nursing home so there has been less of that responsibility. I know it was the only solution, I know its for the best, but I still feel like a gigantic heel for doing it.

Of course she hates it. She began calling me the same afternoon, asking where she was, could I go get her and take her home, where was she, she didn’t know anyone, she wanted to go home, if I didn’t come pick her up she would kill herself and it would be my fault, if I wasn’t there by tomorrow she would take a taxi and come home. Naturally she doesn’t remember begging me to take her somewhere to be cared for and ‘made better’.

She managed to speak to my mom who’s been very upset over it all and its not doing her any good. I got calls from one of my uncles and Aunt 4 telling me she’d called them too and hinting that Aunt 1 should never have been allowed to keep her mobile or a phone book cause she will (if she hasn’t already) be calling people outside the family telling them we’ve locked her up and abandoned her to be tortured.

I’ve spoken to the staff numerous times. She is fine. The doctor saw her already, she had her COVID19 test yesterday and as such is still in quarantine which is probably what’s making it worse. Once she’s able to mix with others my hope is she’ll be much happier. She loves company. You know… more people to complain to!

And I had to ask the nurses to ‘misplace’ her phone and phone book. That when she wants to make a call, they are to make sure she only calls me.

Meanwhile I’ve been tidying her house, putting away all the nicknacks that gather dust, washing everything to put away and generally starting to think of the daunting task of renting it out. We need the rent to pay for the nursing home. I’ve already spoken to an agent and have someone (a good friend’s niece and her husband) coming to see the place tomorrow… I obviously want someone in asap as we need the rent, but I have to find somewhere to put the furniture or sell it. The niece has her own stuff.. If she doesn’t take it then we’ll look at renting to students and they may want to keep some of the furniture. We live close to the university and there are always students looking to rent.

Either way, I have a ton of quotes to get and work to organise – from a distance as I’m leaving for Paros on Monday.

I’ll end this post with the finished picture of a pretty cat. All I did was add a bit of detail to the eye and add whiskers. I love the fluidity of this one.

z

hot and i’m not talking about the weather

A wet Lainee as relief from the heat.

I really am about to explode. My patience has worn beyond thin and with this heat, I’m warning you, I take no responsibility for my actions.

The weekend at Artemis was ok, at least there were three of us there to share the care of Aunt 1, and it wasn’t quite so hot as Athens. Back here though… its back to the same old grind. I settle Aunt 1 in, take my stuff upstairs, take Lainee for a walk and come back to find she’s been out on the street calling that she’s been abandoned cause I didn’t answer the house phone.

I spent most of today on the phone. Mom and I agreed to put Aunt 1 in a nursing home not far out of Athens, at least till she is accepted into the nursing home on Paros. The two I singled out in the Athens area (from friend recommendations) said they would take her without having to provide everything from her birth certifcate, her tax returns, health reports and shoe size. The one we chose wants us to do a COVID19 test before they take her. Fair enough.

I asked where I could call to get the test done, ‘look it up’… sure. Ok. I figured I’d ask her doctor when I speak to him.

I had an appointment for a call from her doctor this afternoon. I’d gotten all the tests done last week – after another phone appointment where I told him what the nursing home wanted and he said he’d call today. I figured he’d call to make another appointment to take her in or for me to take in the results. He did NOT say, bring the results in for me to see them prior to the call. I guess he thought that was understood. But I’m not greek enough to know that… so he called today and told me that I should have taken in the results and now we have another phone date on thursday morning. This is how it goes and I’ll still be stuck in this shit of a life for another 6 months at this rate!

When I asked him where would I get the COVID19 test done he said I’d need to call the government health line or whatever its called. Which I did. They don’t do tests on healthy people. They have teams that go out to places to do tests when people are sick or have been in contact with others who are sick. Great. Who can I call to get a test done privately? He didn’t know.

So I call the nursing home again. They only know one place I can call, its outside Athens of course. Near the nursing home. Wonderful.

So now I’m scouring the internet to find where I can do the test at great cost.

Meanwhile, I’m running around in the heat taking stuff upstairs, downstairs, doing laundry, getting meals and medication for Aunt 1 hanging out and bringing in washing, making calls that go in circles without achieving anything, and I get a call from Aunt 1 to go turn on her air conditioner. I tell her I’m getting the clothes off the line for mom and will be right down when I hear commotion downstairs. She’s outside calling some guys in off the steet to turn it on for her!

If you hear about some crazy woman in Greece who killed an elderly woman before driving her car through a building killing dozens of people it’ll be me.

For the predictable future I’ll be called downstairs every 5 minutes to adjust the air conditioner cause its too cold or too hot, turn it off, turn it back on.

I really don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m already taking pills in order to relax enough to sleep at night. I have people waiting for me to do their poor dogs on Paros as they’re suffering from the heat just like Lainee is here. I want my life back.

I know life will never be the same again. I will always be the one responsible for my aunt and my mother from now on, but I just can’t take this stress much longer. I love my mother, but when I’m running up and down stairs and she says ‘don’t take long cause I want us to eat together cause I’m tired and want to rest’ I just snap.. Eat! Don’t wait. I don’t need that pressure as well.

I am not a good person.

At least you got a cute pict

z

athens day 17 but who’s counting

Today, with temperatures of about 36-38 degrees C in Athens, I find myself in Loutsa with mom and Aunts 1 and 4.

It wasn’t my idea but what the heck, figured it wouldn’t hurt. At least Aunt 1 would have company all around her all day and maybe would stop complaining. Well, that didn’t happen. She complained in the car all the way down (yeah, she was sore and uncomfortable) but then she never let anyone rest once we got here. She went straight to bed while we did stuff and got lunch ready. Then we all wanted to rest and suddenly Aunt 1 was full of beans and wanted to walk around and chat.

Loutsa is an area outside Athens – the official name is Artemisia which is a much nicer name, but its not that much of a nice area. Too built up for me, too crowded. But its close to the sea so there’s a breeze and that in itself is so much better than Athens. Mom and Aunt 4 have convinced us to stay the night and return home tomorrow. I dread spending the night with pacing mumbling Aunt 1… We need some serious sleeping pills… Mind you, she’s walking with a cane now, still saying she can’t walk, but she’s getting around pretty well.

I just got a bonus chunk of data so I’m set… I just wish I’d brought my paints with me. Seems such a waste to be sitting here without working on something.

Meanwhile let me share some pretty pictures of Aunt 4’s flowers. Here are a couple of pretty pelargoniums.

And a gorgeous bougainvillea… maybe one day mine will be as full of blooms.

And the most amazing cactus flowers. They only last one day so I’m lucky to be here to see these.

Hope you enjoyed the flowers. Not sure what time we might leave for Athens. Morning will be cooler and less traffic and I’ll be home in time to hopefully do some painting… but it would be cooler to stay here all day and leave in the evening – but that means we’ll be fighting traffic all the way home…

z

friday

Its been a stinker of a week. Today the temperature reached 35 degrees C and the worst is still to come with 38 over the next couple of days. What fun to be in Athens and not near the beach.

I continue to go not-so-quietly insane with all the crap that landed in my lap suddenly. I lived most of my life in Australia, thousands of miles from my family and all responsibility to anyone but myself. (I liked it that way!) Now I’m buried up to the eyeballs in it. Responsibility up the wazoo, decisions to make, paperwork to organise, you name it, I got it.

Making it worse of course is that I’m in a country that not only doesn’t make sense to me, having lived in a civilized country for most of my life, but that doesn’t make sense full stop! Add to that that the paperwork is all in greek and you enter a whole new dimension of f%”kuppery.

I speak greek fine, I read greek ok, I write greek badly. But forms in medical or legal language are doing my head in big time. And I’m in charge of finding, collecting, photocoping and putting together a ton of it to give to the nursing home and the solicitor. Oh boy, am I having fun!

Today the heat just about wiped me out. I got home from running around all morning and virtually passed out till Aunt 1 woke me up asking none of us cared at all and if we had all forgotten her. sigh. It was all I could do to walk Lainee and grab a frappe to wake myself up before coming to see her so I could open the windows and dust her bloody bedside table cause she’s well enough to be annoyed by the dust.

I did manage a couple of positive things for myself today though… I took Lainee for a long walk up the hill once it cooled down a bit which helped clear my mind a bit, and I reworked the latest two paintings.

The cut fig is still not quite right, but the others are much better. Overall I’m happier with it now.

I had a play with the sea urchins using the image transfer medium and some newsprint. I’m not entirely happy with the result. It didn’t transfer all that well and in some cases the paper wouldn’t come off as easily as they said it would and I ended up rubbing off the paint as well…. and almost made a hole in the paper at one stage!

Lesson: not a good idea to try to transfer over a painted image. Unless you seal it first. Maybe.

I love the look of the print on the urchins, don’t like where the medium wouldn’t come off and left marks. Still… for an experiment, not too bad.

I do love the print inside the image. If I can find a way to work that and incorporate it into my work without the globs of paper which refuses to leave I’ll be pleased. Then again, if I can’t find a way to do that I’ll find a way around it!

z

a bottlebrush in athens

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Athens?

Only about a million times. Except lately I’d decided I didn’t hate it quite as much as I thought I did. Cause I was here in winter when the weather was cold, windows were mostly shut, cafes were bursting with people and energy and it was a vibrant city to be in.

Compared to now: Hot and stinky. There’s been a very strong smell in the entire neighbourhood of diesel fuel for the last week. It actually wakes me up at night so I have to sleep with the windows closed. No idea where its coming from. It just IS.

The noise of course… cause now you have to have windows open most of the time so you can hear everything that happens in the neighbourhood. Including the buses on the main road and the angry motorbikes doing coffee deliveries.

Restrictions have been loosened so now people are out en masse and only some of them take social distancing seriously. The little ‘park’ opposite our house and the one on the next street over are full of parents with children playing. Kids are at the closed primary school playing forbidden ball games all day and into the night. Young children are out on their bikes or in the park with their parents till 11pm or later.

Greeks don’t believe in putting their kids to bed early the way I grew up.

The traffic is awful and, believe it or not, its less than normal cause not everything is open and not everyone is out yet! I’m spending quite a bit of time driving round the area taking mom and Aunt 1 to doctors appointments and for tests so I know. Roads are narrow, cars are parked on both sides, trucks, cars and anyone who feels like it double parks and you have to dodge traffic and risk life and limb every time you go out. then again, some people like the challenge.

A guy on a motorbike trying to overtake me yesterday was looking at his mobile!

Yeah I’m whining. Let me rant and get it out of my system. I’m tired and I’m over it. I wanna go home!!!

On the plus side, two afternoons now Aunt 1 has been getting up and shuffle walking and sitting on an armchair and not constantly complaining about the pain and how she can’t walk and her right side is all stiff. And this morning I took her to have some tests and she walked with a walking stick instead of the walker!

MOST IMPORTANTLY: SHE HASN’T ASKED FOR PAIN MEDS ONCE TODAY SO FAR!!!

She did, however, tell every doctor, nurse, passerby she saw that she couldn’t poop and could they help her… sigh…

This afternoon we saw the orthopedic surgeon again and he looked at the CT scan (or MRI, I’m not sure which it is as its in greek) and he gave me the final diagnosis and prognosis. My aunt had a fracture after all!!! It wasn’t visible on the xray but was on the CT… she fractured her pelvis in 2 places (I have no idea what its called, but its the bones that join the spine to the pelvis right at the bottom), also the little endy bits on her last vertebrae. No wonder she was in so much pain. So now, given its already been 6 weeks and the bones are held in place by the pelvis itself so the area was stable, there is nothing to do but wait it out, wean her off pain meds and at the end of May begin physio…. There’s no reason for her to not be able to walk again like she used to.

So all in all things are looking up. But you know me, nothing is easy for me. I’m a worrier. I worry about what to do about her. I can’t get someone to come live in to care for her cause I’ll be on Paros and mom will have to deal with any issues. And if the person I get up and quits I’m u. The nursing home on Paros isn’t a sure thing… they may not accept her… so I’m looking into places in Athens. Its a mindf£%k. Excuse the french…

There’s been no time for art though I did buy the bits I was after. I’m just too tired! Lets see what I can do between the next few appointments…

z