Thursday, May 24, 2018

Deja vu

FIL's doctors have estimated he has about 2-3 months left with us. :(   He may very well be gone by the time fall rolls around. :(  And I'm getting a distinct feeling of deja vu...

Twenty years ago this month, I was happily pregnant and seeing my ob-gyn for the first time.
I also asked him whether there would be any restrictions on me travelling that summer (thinking ahead to a visit home to see my parents and my grandparents, & show off my pregnant belly to the extended family) -- nope, "enjoy your vacation," he said.
Of course, best-laid plans, etc. etc., and he was singing a very different tune after my routine prenatal tests (triple screen blood test, ultrasound and amniocentisis) revealed some potential problems with the pregnancy. :(
Thursday morning, June 25th, I called Dr. Ob-gyn's office again. I thanked the receptionist for the referral & said Dr. Geneticist was able to answer most of our questions. I told that we were supposed to be heading out on vacation in a couple of weeks. Should we cancel? Play it by ear? 
She consulted with the dr & told us we should think about rescheduling, because we needed to be available "in case of adverse results." I didn't want to think about what that might mean. I called our travel agent & asked: what if we had to cancel? 
Well, our tickets were non-refundable -- and we had not purchased cancellation insurance (uh oh!). She said we could cancel now or the day of the flight. However, we could rebook for the face value of the tickets for up to one year later, plus pay a penalty of $107 per ticket -- and a $25 service fee. Well, it was better than totally throwing away $945. I told my boss that I would be taking the next day off for the amnio, & that there was a change in my vacation plans.
We normally head west to visit my family in mid/late July. This year, my sister was not able to secure July dates for her vacation and is taking two weeks off in early August.  So we were planning to head home then, so that I could spend some time with her too, and so that we could both help our parents with whatever projects they needed assistance with. I hadn't yet booked plane tickets -- and then FIL's health issues intervened.

I haven't told my family yet, but dh & I agree there's no point in booking flights right now when the situation is so uncertain. :(  We don't want to have to cancel and incur financial penalties, or head west and then just have to turn around & fly home again. I know they will be disappointed -- but they are practical too. ;)  I think they will understand.

It's been a long time since we missed a visit with my parents in the summertime. (20 years, I think...!) Maybe I will try to head home by myself for a shorter visit (a week, maybe) -- or maybe we can go later in the fall?  It's been a long time since I've had my mother's fabulous turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving...!  ;)  (20 years ago, I wound up going "back home" for the first time in mid-October, after my grandfather passed away. It was strange to be there at a completely different time of year than usual -- but beautiful too.) 

Meanwhile, poor dh is driving back & forth to visit FIL (about 45 minutes, in Toronto's horrendous traffic) and take him to medical appointments, etc., every other day or so.  (I go sometimes too, but not every visit.)  I've told him he won't regret spending the time with FIL -- but of course, the time in traffic is another thing...!  :p

Besides vacation, other things are on hold at the moment, like our social life. My aunt has been visiting in the area (about an hour's drive away) and wanted to get together -- but I had to tell her that FIL's health issues are consuming our/dh's time and energy right now, and he's not up to much beyond that. :(  (He's doing enough driving as it is...!)  I do have a lunch date with some online (non-ALI) friends downtown next week -- I can take the subway there -- and am looking forward to that. 

And several months ago, I bought us (very expensive) theatre tickets to see "Come From Away" on our wedding anniversary in early July -- so we will probably (still) book a hotel room downtown, have dinner somewhere around there & make a mini-getaway out of it. 

(I'm reminded of Mali, who is also caring for aging in-laws and unable to indulge her love of travel at the moment... so much for being childless/free and having "no responsibilities," right?  :p  )

On the bright (?) side -- I was fretting that by taking vacation in early August, we would not be here for Katie's milestone 20th "anniversary" dates.  Be careful what you wish for, right?  :(


  1. Oh, Loribeth...I'm so sorry. This is a lot to carry with you. :(

  2. I'm sorry to hear this news. If I'm brutally honest, having a diagnosis and a bit of a time frame can help. Getting a time frame from a doctor meant that my sister and I were able to visit my mother one last time. You all get to say goodbye, and will be able to pick your time to do it. (I am forever grateful that I was able to do this with my Dad, and did it whilst he was still alert enough to feel the love and understand the sentiments behind it.)

    I very much hope that the medical professionals will be able to keep your FIL comfortable, and make it as easy as something like this can ever be for you all. My heart goes out to you, and your DH. These responsibilities can be onerous, but in some ways they are a privilege too, in that we can help ease someone's passing. I very much agree that what they are not is care free!

    Sending love.

  3. A heartbreaking time now, and a reminder of a heartbreaking time 20 years ago. Abiding with you and your DH as you navigate this season. xoxo

  4. Take good care of yourself when you can. Hugs