A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I decided to ignore our household chores so we could go on an Autumn hike. Where we live in Hamilton, Ontario we are blessed with numerous trails and for being known as the Waterfall Capital of the world.
Now I had only seen Buttermilk Falls from the top at Oak-Knoll Park, so it was decided we would walk down the Red Hill Trail through Upper King’s Forest Park, then hike through the forest and stream to reach the falls (there is no trail to follow). At times the walk was quite treacherous, as you are climbing over fallen trees, up hills, down hills, and over plenty of rocks. Overall though the hike was a lot of fun, and once we reached Buttermilk we were able to stand under the falls.
Here are just a few of the pictures we took:
Upper Kings Forest Park
Cocoa tried to go north, when we had to go west.
Bear running upstream.
There was very little water coming from the falls.
The rocky landscape, the entire hike was pretty much like this picture.
I love taking pictures of fungi.
We had to take a couple selfie to send to the kids.
Is Matt contemplating, or playing on his phone while he waits for me to catch up.
Cocoa walking towards Buttermilk Falls. At the top is Oak-Knoll Park.
I am standing behind the falls as I took this picture of Matt.
After three kids, and old age creeping up on me, my bladder has become, let us say weaker. It doesn’t hold as much as it used to, or if it does, then trouble ensues. Most women can relate to this, you go to get up and oh, surprise, surprise, we have leakage, or one of your young adult children scares the bejeebers out of you, and oh surprise, surprise more leakage, only this time you have to run upstairs for a change of clothes. Damn kids making you laugh.
Now I realize most men don’t want to hear about their wives/girlfriends/partners having a bladder problem. Well guys, sorry in this case, I blame 50% of the problem on you. Why? You got us pregnant, and no matter how many of those darn Keagle exercises I did, the bladder still would not cooperate.
So a couple of weeks ago, I went to see a Doctor that specializes in Urinary Incontinence, god how freaking embarrassing is that? By the sound of it, I should be wearing a diaper, you know those ones that are now advertised on television, like your period pads, like it’s no big deal that you need to wear a diaper at age 54! Just for the record, I do not wear a diaper! Okay, back to my doctor visit, she was, alright is a lovely woman (with an odd desire to help women who pee themselves). First there is the obligatory medical history with the nurse, meaning did I bring along my list of medication, because I can never remember the names of the pills I take every morning & night (for the last god knows how many years) so I can have a maybe less painful day. Oh “you must be constipated with those meds” she says, gee thanks for the reminder that I can’t poo on a regular basis, but heck I can pee if you make me laugh.
With the history completed, the nurse explains that I am going to go behind that curtain over there, remove my lower half of clothing, but you may keep your socks on, because peeing has nothing to do with your feet, unless of course you dribble down your leg, and voila you have now peed on your feet. Then lay down on the bed, put your feet in the stirrups, like you are riding that imaginary horse with your true love…that might be another story. Then the doctor will come in the room, and the fun will be begin!
So there I am with my feet in the stirrups, riding the imaginary horse when the doctor bursts that bubble and tells me she is going to fill my bladder up with gas, and no matter how much I want to pee, I have to hold in the gas because it isn’t pee, while she watches the monitor (yeah there is a camera on the tube she inserted into my urinary tract, up into my bladder which fucking hurts but hey only for a minute).
Then she starts to fill my bladder with gas. At first no big deal, I can handle this, I feel like I want to pee, but it’s not pee as I try to remember. Then oh my fucking god!!! The pain!!! I am holding the nurse’s hand, which I am pretty sure is near bone breakage. I’m crying, and swearing while the nurse is telling me to breathe like I’m having a baby. Well let me tell you ladies, this is nowhere near like you are having a baby, why? Because you don’t get the baby.
What seems like an eternity (but in actuality is only a few minutes), the doctor gets the images she wants, and the gas in my bladder, which I was 100% positive was going to be sent flying into the stars is released. I am saved, I know longer want to harm the doctor, but now I want water, I’m dehydrated. Go figure.
She has me grab the sheet, come on over here, and we will have a chat, for some odd reason I can’t take a few minutes to get dressed. First she says I have stress urinary incontinence, and a week bladder neck. Okay, I’m pretty sure I knew that. My options. This is where I laugh (no peeing though). Keagle exercises (honestly do they work, no, even my own family doctor agreed with that, and he’s not female). Next option: medication, but I’m already on quite a bit, they cost a lot, and are not covered by OHIP (our government plan). Thirdly, a Pessary Device can be inserted into the bladder neck, but it apparently only has a 50% success rate, and requires changing every few months, it can fall out, and costs $75 each time. Lastly surgery – a TVT which is a tension free mesh device is sewn into the bladder neck. This has a 90% success rate and a 1% chance of erosion, it is an outpatient surgery procedure with a two week recovery.
This is a lot to take in, I tell her I want to chat with my husband, when really I just want to get dressed because now I’m cold. I get home, and tell hubby all about my bladder being filled up with gas. Apparently though my bladder leakage problem is not something he really wants to hear about? Fine, but he reluctantly listens, where it takes him a minute to say, go for the surgery, end the peeing.
I most likely will go have the surgery done, but I will have to wait till the young man moves back home for the summer. This way there is someone else to help around the house when hubby is at work. (Oh I did share this information with the young man, but like his dad, he really didn’t want to hear about my peeing).
I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in years, one of the main reasons was the crowds (something I am not a big fan of being disabled, easily bumped by others, and knocked down). So when my friend Suzanne was visiting me, and had travelled fourteen hours by plane, I figured I would just have to suck it up and deal with my crowd issues. We arrived in Niagara Falls before lunch, giving us plenty of time to walk from the parking lot located at the end of the falls, to the Skylon Tower where we were to have lunch.
The last time I was in the Skylon Tower was on my honeymoon ~ some twenty-eight years ago, it was night, and you really couldn’t see much. This time, we had a beautiful sunny day, so when we were seated in the restaurant, and luckily enough to have a window seat with a direct view of the falls, the scene was spectacular. Well in the restaurant, staff does not bother you as you snap picture after picture.
Canadian and American Falls
View of the Niagara River from the Skylon Tower
View of the American Falls.
After lunch we took the elevator up to the observation deck, where you are outside, protected by a grill, that is large enough for your camera to fit through, enabling you to snap even more dramatic images.
Matt and I on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower
After lunch we spent time walking and exploring the area, buying souvenirs, and of course taking more pictures.
I loved this t-shirt and the comment made by the staff member “Foreshadowing”
Suzanne and I on one of the walking trails in Niagara
One of the many gardens surrounding Niagara Falls
Another garden by the falls
I highly recommend you visit Niagara Falls at least once in your lifetime, you certainly will not be disappointed.