Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There's lots of things going on here at chez Briggz. Some of it's good, some of it isn't. Several years ago my sweetie was diagnosed with Meniere's disease which means nothing to most people. Meniere's causes deafness, dizziness and nausea and loud noises can make him fall down with dizziness. He may have days of misery where he can't get out of bed and when he does, he stumbles around clutching at furniture and walls to stay upright. Then he has other days where he has no dizziness at all and his hearing is fully restored. The "cures" for this illness are delightful treatments like severing the balance nerve - heaven help you if anything happens to the other ear- or destroying the hearing totally so that the loud roaring noises -similar to standing beneath Niagara Falls - don't bother you any more. My reaction to the so called cure, was to suggest that the illness is preferable.


In September of 2006 he started going into a period of time where almost every other day he experienced at least some of the Meniere's symptoms, then in November 2006 when he was scheduled to see the specialist, it more or less cleared up. They tested his hearing and reported that his speech recognition was gone in the one ear and his hearing was down to about 50%. He can tell by the sounds he can and can't hear, what his level of hearing is at even before the tests are done, so that was no surprise. Other than that, he was fine -translate that as functional- from then until May 2007 when he started having repeated "drop attacks".



Drop attacks are what they call it when you are fine, and one second later you fall to the floor dizzy. I guess that's why they call them drop attacks. You don't want to be driving a car and have a drop attack. From May through to mid October he experienced 2-3 drop attacks each day. The attacks are so distressing that once he lays down, to keep from falling down, the stress is so great that once the attack is over he just falls into a deep sleep. It's just plain exhausting.



In mid October his hearing suddenly came back nearly to normal and the dizziness and drop attacks stopped. Praise God!



A few days later he noticed while eating supper that his lips were numb. A little while later the inside of his cheek went numb too. It was right before the weekend and there was a lot going on so we put off going to see the doctor for a couple of weeks. The numbness didn't progress any further, his speech wasn't slurred and his mental faculties all seemed normal. He had felt a bit like he was coming down with a cold so we figures it was viral and didn't worry about it.



The second he got in to see the doctor he was immediately referred to a neurologist and sent for tests. They seem to think he's maybe had a mini stroke. Everything's back to normal and the numbness has gone, but they've already scheduled him for a bunch of tests.



His Mom went into the hospital and no one in the family thought it important enough to give him a call. Just because he lives 300 kilometers away is no reason to assume that he doesn't care. He tried to reach her for 3 days at the retirement home and finally called the front desk. His sister works at the retirement home and they insisted that he should call his sister rather than just saying your Mom is in the hospital. GRRRRRR!



After a whole bunch of phone calls wherein every family member gave a different story, he finally called the hospital and talked to the nurse to find out what was going on. She was sick. they thought it was high blood pressure but her heart and lungs are fine. She had a bladder infection and they gave her an antibiotic (which caused her to hallucinate, but that's a whole other story). While she was in the hospital the kids sold her house and gave away all her treasures. She's too frail at 96 to go back into the retirement home that she had only been in for a couple of months and the family is going to put her in a nursing home. They don't know which one and it's doubtful if any of them will remember to call my husband and tell him where they have put his Mom when she does get out of the hospital.

Yesterday, just before we made the trek to the hospital for one of the many tests my sweetie has to have, I received I foot thick stack of paper from the lawyer in regard to the car accident 2 years ago. Pages and pages of stuff to review and information to dig out and commit to memory so that I can spout back the details when requested. Doesn't that sound like FUN?

And now onto some good news. I got an email the other day from CBC TV - that would be the Canadian national station sort of like the BBC is in Britain. The do a show called Living in Toronto and they thought it might be interesting to do a bit on - are you ready for this? - TATTING.

I answered their questions to the best of my ability, but one of the things they asked about was courses available in Toronto. Now there may be places in Toronto offering tatting courses, I used to teach tatting in our local Michaels store, but they weren't well attended and the store doesn't really carry proper tatting supplies and it just wasn't a great fit. Toronto is a big city and I am sure that there are tatting classes going on in various places that I don't know about, but I suppose that as tatters go I am as well plugged into the tatting community as anyone and I didn't know about them.

I'd like to teach tatting, but I'd like it to be a regular thing at a regular time that people know is available all the time. I can and do teach from my home, but people that you meet casually, in the doctor's office, in the line ups at banks, cash registers or walking down the street, don't know me and for all they know I might be an axe murderer. Let me assure you that I'm not, in fact an axe murderer, but would anyone believe me? I mean it's not that I look frightening or anything but then neither did Ted Bundy... Anyway, back to tatting. Folks feel better about going for lessons in a public place because it just seems safer.

The local library does apparently have conference rooms that one can rent by the hour. I'd need at least 2 hours at a time and I generally like to do 4 weeks of classes that works out to 8 hours at about $25 an hour. I'd hate to book 8 hours and have no one show up. My local corner of the world which is like a suburb of Toronto used to have yarn stores and fabric stores and craft stores where tatting classes would be a natural fit, but most of them have been put out of business by WalMart so I was wracking my brain cells, all 2 of them, trying to think of what I could do.

Being a resourceful person, I wrote to my City Yahoo group, (yes we have one to discuss things like keeping the city green and reducing landfill and other good stuff) I explained my situation and asked if anyone had any ideas. Laurie the owner of the Pottery Painting Place our local ceramics store did. They have a party room that they use on weekends but the rest of the time it's empty. She asked if I was interested. Do dogs bark? Of course I'm interested!!!!!!

Tomorrow I go to meet Laurie for a face to face and sign a contract. Although she didn't request any payment, the person who used the space previously gave her $2.00 for each student that turned up, which I think is more than reasonable. I have commercial space near to my home that I can get to easily where I can teach on a regular basis any time Monday to Friday. How awesome is that? I'm absolutely thrilled.

Now how do I go about getting students? I'm figuring a newspaper advertisement might help but 1 ad for 1 day in a local paper might not reach many people. We get the paper 4 times a week here in outer suburbia. It's delivered free and half the folks don't even read it, preferring instead one of the large Toronto papers.

I'm sure there is a creative (translation, free) method of advertising. I'm thinking that if I can do this swiftly, and have a class up and running next week (Yikes!) that I could go back to CBC TV and tell them that Yes there is a tatting course available in Toronto. That would get me city wide television advertising which would make tatting very visible, very fast. Can it be done?

4 comments:

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

Wow... you're life has been really busy! I will keep you, your husband, and his mother in my prayers. My mother-in-law suffered from Meneires, and I know it's no picnic.

What a wonderful opportunity to teach tatting! Is there an elementary school near the building where you'll be teaching? In our little town, we've found the best way to get the word out is to do some sorty of demonstration for elementary children (I always offer the library), and then send home half sheet flyers to the parents. Not quite free, but fairly inexpensive... the school might even copy the fliers for you!

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Your hubby will be in my prayers. I know how difficult these long term difficulties can become. I cannot imagine what you both must go through. I have a condition that causes me to pass out quite a bit and I too get very tired afterwards, but I am trying to have a sense of humor about it.

Very exciting news on the tatting front. We'll keep our fingers crossed that your venture will be wildly successfull!

Tattycat said...

I am so sorry about all of the problems. I hope your husband's health improves and that you will both recognize the next time he has symptoms, you need to go to the hospital NOW!
I am sorry about the trouble with his family as well. Siblings can be the nastiest of people, especially when money or possessions are involved. I hope he doesn't lose track of his mom.
The tatting front sounds very promising and exciting. Good luck to you!
My prayers are with all of you.

yarnplayer said...

Adding my prayers to those already offered.
Good luck with the tatting classes! Diane's suggestion sounded good. Or even the local Senior Center, or another fiber guild, such as quilters, embroiderers, etc. If you need bodies in the room really fast, maybe some friends could help you out just by showing up!