Category Archives: Empty Nest Syndrome

A true empty nest summer

Matt and I on one of our summer walks

Matt and I on one of our summer walks

The summer is over and a different summer it was for my husband and I. This was the first time in twenty-seven years where not one of our children spent the hot summer days at home. The eldest has lived in her own place for a couple of years now, middle child is off on the other side of the world (home in less than ninety days now), and the youngest was able to get summer employment with the university he attends, thus it only made sense he would continue living away from home. The youngest did come home for a week in August, and really milked the “I am on vacation” attitude.

Our summer was spent with me working in my vegetable garden, drying herbs for the winter, canning, and swimming pretty much every day. When my husband wasn’t working, he spent his time re-building his shed from the ground up, and erecting a deck around the new pool. There was no camping this year, or canoeing, which I missed horribly. We did spend a few days in Quebec visiting our son, and after his vacation at home, I drove him back to university. This meant, it would be just me and our two dogs on the return trip. It took me two days to get home. The first day I drove for about five hours with loads of rest stops, laying in the back of the van with the dogs. I then stopped at my friend’s house for the night, knowing I would not be able to make the entire drive in one day. The next day, what is normally about a four-hour drive, if I was with my husband, took me ten hours. My legs kept going numb making driving difficult, so again I stopped at every OnRoute, for a nap. Thank goodness both our dogs are great travellers, as long as you give them walks at the rest stops, otherwise they both happily lay beside me while I rest.

Another reason we weren’t able to go anywhere this summer was due to my migraines. Ever since I started menopause, my migraines have become unmanageable. After keeping track of them for four months, it seems I was/am getting about fifteen plus a month. Due to the magnitude of them, the specialist believes I am a good candidate for Botox treatment, so in a couple of weeks, I will be stuck with approximately thirty needles in my head and neck area. One bonus of the treatment, is she promises to remove the wrinkle, well actually indentation between my eyebrows. Of course my husband doesn’t notice the wrinkle, he says he sees me like the day he met me when I was twenty-two. Such a nice guy or a good liar? I think I will believe “nice guy”.

How was your summer?

He promised to Skype with me, instead he met me in the driveway

A picture of middle child showing off while canoeing..

Middle child showing off while canoeing.

The past week was quite trying for me, with a hospital visit for middle child, new medication for myself, hubby working different shifts plus overtime, I had pretty much met my limit by yesterday.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, middle child now attends college about four hours away. It is not a far distance but when she is off to the emergency department because she had passed a very large menstrual blood clot, she might as well be on another planet.

Numerous phone calls were made back and forth, money was transferred so a cab could be taken to the hospital (and back again). Tears were shed as she waited alone in a strange emergency department. The snow was coming down hard, our first storm of the season, as I debated whether or not to drive up there, knowing full well that I couldn’t make the drive myself, plans were thought out as to who could watch the dogs, so hubby could make the drive with me.

Middle child was seen by a doctor in record time for an emergency department, I believe she only waited about two hours, rather than four. Vitals were taken, blood work done. After determining she wasn’t anemic and all was stable they sent her home, telling her that the gynecologist would want to see her the next day.

Also during this week, sleeping for me was getting worse, with my one medication for chronic pain giving me insomnia. After seeing my physician, we decided that I would try a new prescription in hopes that I would start to get some sleep. So Friday, being alone, because hubby was working a twelve-hour day shift, I changed my meds. Usually if I start a new medication someone is always with me just in case I have a reaction. Well with the young man away at university, middle child away at college and having her own medical issues, the eldest living in another city now, I was alone. So, I wrote out my new list and emailed everyone, that way if something happened, phone calls could be made and correct information given. My best friend was also given the list, plus a text message was sent to her, being that she is only about twenty minutes away and happened to be on vacation. By evening, middle child would be home for the weekend, and hubby would also be home from work to watch over me.

Later that night around 1 a.m. I was woken up with extreme nausea, only to hear a beeping sound from the answering machine. Work had left a message for hubby, needing him to come in for a few hours because all the boilers are down. (This is considered an emergency since he works at a hospital, the boilers are a vital component, without them the hospital is in real trouble). Of course it didn’t seem to matter that he would have to be back at work Saturday morning for another twelve-hour shift.

Back to bed I go, and in the morning I read over the side affects of the new medication. Well lo and behold, nausea was one of them, but was I being woken up by a migraine? I phoned my pharmacist to ask her advice and to find out if I could take my migraine medication, would it react with the new script I just started? After discussing everything with her, we decided I would take my meds for a migraine since it would not interact negatively with the new painkillers. She reassured me all was good, her information was up-to-date so I didn’t have to worry.

Within an hour or two, the migraine medication started to relieve the nausea and headache, enabling me to make my Saturday morning market visit. The had day progressed pretty well, I was starting to feel normal, and the new pain medication seemed to be working, allowing me to function. By the afternoon I thought I would phone the young man since I hadn’t spoken to him in a few days, to explain my new medication, and what was going on with his sister.  As I started to tell him my stories, he cut me off, saying he was busy at the moment, but promised to Skype with me in about an hour and a half.

After waiting more than the hour and a half for the Skype phone call from the young man that didn’t seem to be coming, I went out again to finish grocery shopping. It was getting late in the day, I was tired, the trying week was starting to catch up with me, I was borderline as to whether or not I would fall apart.

Picture of the young man's cowboy bootsAs I started to remove the groceries from the van, I saw middle child, plus the young man’s ex-girlfriend (but still awesome friend) walking towards me to help. Then out of the blue the young man appeared. I was stunned, overcome with emotion, and cried in the driveway as he held me. Though I couldn’t stop crying, I asked question after question, how did he get here, when did he get here, and then told him he couldn’t go out this evening. He continued to hug me as he chuckled and said I know mom, I will stay in.