Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Relief -- Life Continues!

I got my ultrasound results and it was negative for abdominal hernia!  What a relief.  I was starting to mentally write off this year and part of next already should surgery be necessary.  D waited 7 months for his in a non Covid year, so what hope would I have for what is not usually a life threatening diagnosis.

What the radiologist did pick up on the scan were some benign uterine fibroids.  I'll be finding out more about their locale and number next I speak with my MD.  My blood work to check my iron levels also came back and they are good.  I really do not want to be on an iron pill.

My injury set back my plans to start sleeping outdoors this winter as I wasn't wanting to get into low positions to set up my bivy, tarp, tent etc alongside stomping down the snow for my camp site.  So I missed testing out my gear during the polar vortex.  Bummer.  

D thinks I'm insane for even wanting to try that.  It's definitely not something he is remotely interested in.  He would consider winter camping only if it involved a hot tent and wood stove.  We're looking into it.  I would love for him to experience it in a positive way.

So I have completed 4 nights of sleeping outside so far.  Initially with my new tarp, bivy and sleeping bag.  Temps dipped to -19 C and did great.  Actually wore too many layers.  My new sleeping bag was really thick, so it took up a lot of room.  I used a wool blanket on top of it to catch condensation.  

Next up for the test was my winter tent as I've only used it in late fall.  It was luxury to have so much more space.  No condensation until last night when temps got warmer.  Didn't do a good enough job leveling the site so I can tell snow melt is gathering in the low sections.  Using an avalanche shovel can be tricky as the handle is short, even for me.

Monday, February 8, 2021


I've delayed writing about this as I am but one of millions whose plans have been cancelled last year.  Nothing different or unique there.  What I am excited about is having finally reached resolution of all of my cancellations right up to Jan '21.  

My final set of flight purchases were from Feb '20, thinking at the time, that Nov, Dec '20 and Jan '21 would be "safe" timelines to choose...and a fun way to end the year...    

Plenty of us have found the road to getting refunds and credits to not be smooth.   I had a combination of easy cancels (points flights, that I could cancel up to 72 hr before departure without penalty due to my airline status), auto systems to get airline and hotel vouchers for up to 2 years expiry, calling overseas (Ukraine!) to request a refund for a flight voucher, to insurance claims that rivaled the joy of teeth pulling.  

With respect to the insurance claim, it ended up being a misunderstanding.  In my case, I had open jaw flights (departure and arrival airports different) and there is a rule that I have to be able to prove that I start and end up back at home.  

It took a while, many emails and phone messages to clear it up.  I mistakenly assumed that claims adjusters were travellers themselves, had knowledge of Canada and US airports or had enough experience with claims to understand.  

Once I realized what the hold up was really about, a final email sorted it out and all was cordial and good.  By this time, my claim had escalated a number of levels and I had "lost my shit" over the phone after being asked 5 times to send in the same 26 page document -- Not the proudest of moments.  I did preface to the phone representative it wasn't about him before I lost it.  

D told me afterwards that I sounded highly irritated but didn't lose control in the way it felt like to me.  I think he was obliged to say that as my husband.  Not surprising, the amount I got back was woefully pathetic considering the amount of time spent.  But it is done!  In fact, I've started working on requesting additional extensions.

Last week, I received an email answer from Bologna, Italy, positively extending my hotel voucher another year, until May '22 as there is no way I would be able to make it this year.  They said that they clearly understand and their situation is nowhere close to being normal either.

Am still laid up and now thinking I might actually have torn something.  Managed to get an appointment with my MD tomorrow, so hoping to get sent for imaging to confirm things one way or another.  Glad I have a lot of books to read. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Forced Down Day

Overdid it on the last couple of workouts so am forced to have a rest day today.  Made a couple of batches of soup, put a movie on the background while I catch up on writing while sipping on a coffee and amarula.  

The last couple of months have been a delicious indulgence in time.  Loving not having a strict schedule.  The biggest surprise has been how normal it feels to not be working.  Not once have I felt weird or guilty about not having an income.  Haven't missed anything about the office at all.  The only regretful thought being not taking the step 2 years earlier.

The couple of months leading up to Christmas were pretty horrible.  So many goodbyes, so many tears and red eye reducing eye drops, made even more awkward with all the PPE I was wearing.  That remains the toughest part of leaving.  It has passed and am thankful I do not have to do that over ever again.

D expected and was waiting for me to go into some kind of panic but that has not occured.  I don't think about money when I go shopping compared to before, which makes no sense.  The only explanation is that I trust that the plan leading up to this point works and we'll be OK.  I feel grateful, confident and free.  It is the feeling I had dreamt of. 

In fact, it is D, who is being more conservative and cautious about calculations for his end date.  It has been quite the role reversal.   Now that I've got the time, I've taken over the weekly errands and money management.    

The plan was for me to spend the ski season out west, leaving shortly after the New Year, with D coming out for a month.  But, our province went into a lockdown, interprovincial travel discouraged so I cancelled my flight and ski pass and booked for Feb and March.  We'll see if the stars align this month for it to happen.  It's starting to make me nervous (re: home insurance) not seeing our place for so long -- coming up to a year as we cancelled our last summer plans.  

We've been exercising, taking lots of early morning/early evening walks and cooking new to us recipes.  The gluten free baking trials haven't been very successful.  Still in search for a great gluten free vegan scone recipe.  Been starting to read more again, which has been enjoyable.  

What hasn't been enjoyable are the changes with my perimenopausal body.  My naturopath warned me about the effects of decreasing estrogen but I felt confident that I would be able to counteract it, until I couldn't.  Am in disbelief with how much more I have to do exercise wise to start noticing results compared to a couple of years ago.  Not thrilled and so easy to be discouraged.

Am currently drawn to country living or owning a parcel to land to escape to again.  We don't live in a large city, but we're not allowed to have a bonfire and it is something we'd like to be able to do on our property.   It's hard to find forested land without driving at least 4 hrs as we are surrounded by farmland.   Would also love to live in a winter wall tent.  

Buying something out west would be an obvious answer, so an option we are exploring is buying a camper van and hitting the road this summer to explore the different regions.  Want to head to the arctic (should our territories open up) as well, so this could check off a number of boxes as international travel won't likely be open for much of this year.  Now that I am no longer practicing, my vaccine timing will be based on age, which will likely mean end of summer.