Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Okay, I apologize about the fact I haven’t written anything in over ten months. I would like to say that I haven’t had anything meaningful to write about but that would not quite be the truth. Let’s face it, I never write about anything meaning and this submission just reaffirms my goal to waste your time when you actually be watching cute cat videos on YouTube.
Any of my tens of followers will know I am a bit of a Holiday Freak. Today I’d like to deal with what is not exactly a holiday, New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve or for those people too lazy or way too busy to write out all eleven letters, NYE, has never been one of my favourite times to celebrate but I did have few that went well and not so well. I am now going to share these with you along with a few notes about how my typical December 31’s went.
And rather than start from the beginning we will begin with 2012/2013. Last New Year’s Eve was a bit out of the ordinary. It was actually one of the most enjoyable I had experienced in quite a few years. After all, I spent the evening in a bed watching the Time Square Ball drop sipping champagne in the company of a very attractive and intelligent woman and then interacting with another beautiful woman after the first one wandered off into the night. Hey, I am not lying. This is the Interwebby Thingamajig and there are rules about posting lies on the Interwebby Thingamajig. Hey, you can look it up! In fact, check out Episode 62 of "How I Spent My Fall Vacation".
I once tried the overpriced packaged night club experience. It was way back in ancient history when I was still with Version 1.0. Along with two other couples, we went one of the first multi-room themed nightclub/restaurants in Vancouver. The package included dinner, party favours (read: cheap paper horn and hat) and champagne (read: something extremely cheap and vile) at midnight. Because they wanted to keep you around buying their beverages for as long as possible dinner was served quite early at seven or eight. By the time midnight rolled around you were so bored that the next phrase out your mouth after “Happy New Year” was “Can we go home now?” My advice to anyone considering this option is save your money; go out for dinner at a great establishment the next weekend or so and maybe even go to club to dance if desired. (Note: avoid waiting more than a few weeks because then you run into Valentine’s Day and that’s another story altogether.) You will even have enough money left over to purchase a bottle of bubbly that doesn’t taste like mouldy soda pop. Besides you may have a better chance of getting "some" on another day. I guarantee on New Year's at least one of you will be having a meaningful conversation with Ralph and vomit has never been listed as a major aphrodisiac. Hee hee!
Not all my other New Year’s Eve party experiences have been disastrous. I have attended a few enjoyable house parties particularly during my “Tween years” as in “between marriages”. The most memorable of these was a weekend at Whistler where at least thirty of us managed to cram ourselves in to a townhouse with people sleeping everywhere including the heated garage. (At this point I should offer this advice to anyone considering sleeping in a garage. Make sure you are the one with door opener. Hee hee!) The actual party spilled out into the village square where the people in all the restaurants and clubs got to watch everyone having so much more fun and we were doing it all for free. I believe the following year the powers that be put a stop to revelry in the square because after the clubs need to sell those overpriced packages with the cheap champagne and paper hats. However New Year’s Day was not so pleasant  and not because I was hungover because hangovers actually require sobriety. I went up the mountain for one of my first experiences skiing. Within the first hour I managed to get stuck on a chairlift for over two hours. It may not have been so bad if I stuck on the chair with a Pretty Young Thing and if it wasn’t snowing and the wind wasn’t blowing. But alas, that was not to be. Hey, it wasn’t all bad; they gave everyone a five dollar food voucher which at the inflated resort prices would have allowed me to get a half slice of cheese on my burger if only I could have afforded the burger in the first place.
During this string of “Last Nights” I even managed to attend a wedding. The fun part of that was it took place at 8:30 AM. Who in their right mind gets married at 8:30 AM? But then again what moron would be drinking champagne in the Bloedel Conservatory parking at 9:00 AM after the ceremony? Let’s just say any further details about that New Year’s Eve are a little bit blurry. ;-)
One of the best things about social media is that over the past few years, I have managed to reconnect with several of the players from these Tween years including the aforementioned bride who was kind enough to bring me a Christmas care package while I was in the hospital last winter.
During the time I was living with Lorraine (Version 2.0), more often than not I worked at the Coliseum or some other venue on the grounds and even once at BC Place in 2000 for a Kiss concert. Lorraine never minded missing out on celebrations because she liked her sleep and I was usually being paid double time. Because of this the first kiss I received most years was usually from a co-worker or some random overly exuberant young guest.  Some of those events were not so pleasant. I can remember coming home one night and the radiator cap blowing off so I had to leave the car parked illegally on the hill below our condo only to discover in the morning someone had managed to sideswipe our Toyota. Luckily, the dude that did it wasn’t a rocket scientist and he parked his bright yellow pickup truck around the corner. The worst actual event was one year when it seemed that everyone wanted to fight. My partner and I got the fun job of escorting the bleeders to First Aid. My shirt had to burned after that one.
Tonight I will only be working until early evening so I will be ringing in the New Year on my living room couch and may even cheat and ring in the Eastern Time Zone New Year so I can hit the sack early so I can get up and enjoy an orgy of College Football Bowl Games tomorrow morning. But then I wouldn’t object if a mysterious woman shows up at my door with a bottle of champagne again. That would be n*** too.
Oh and the answer to the title question – Sometimes it’s not always bad thing.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the day here in the Magic Kingdom...Oh crap, wrong theme park. ;-)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How I Spent My "Fall" Vacation - Epilogue

And then what happened?...

This morning, March 1, four months after my injury. I will be returning to work.
I think would be a good time to put *How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation* finally to rest and tell you about my return home and the progress I have made in my recovery.
Going back to Episode 73, you all know I checked out of the hospital and arrived home at my townhouse on the afternoon of January 11.
Aided by my wonderful neighbours, Pam and Dennis, we were able to set up my bathroom with aids that I would be required for my day to day living. When I say “aided” I really mean they did all the work while I hobbled around the house.
After they left, it was time for me to take a shower in my own home, in my own bathroom. This was the only time I used the bath seat I had purchased as an actual chair. I discovered the hardest part was getting back up from the seat. After that I found it was easier just to stand in the shower and used the back of the chair as a bit of a support. I made a point of using all the hot water in the tank in that first shower. It was the first time in over three months that I felt almost clean. It would take a couple of more days for my hair to get that soft and squeaky clean feeling back.
After the shower, it was time for dinner. I had now escaped the disgusting hospital menu and the tyranny of hospital dietician. What did I do? I ordered a pizza, of course! It was extraordinarily delicious that day. I vowed that for today nothing existed and my recovery would begin tomorrow.
You may remember that two of my immediate goals upon release were get the mop on the top of my head under control and to get the claws growing at the end of  my feet back to normal. I made an appointment for Tuesday for the hair and my dear friend, Allana, hauled me off to her aesthetician for a mani/pedi the following Sunday. I finally felt human again with my short cropped locks and pink, sparkly nails. BTW - Tanya, thanks for the offer! :-)
My recovery and rebuilding could be split up into three separate components; physical, mental and emotional.
The physical component is the easiest to deal with. The biggest hurdle I had is that there are thirteen steps leading from the main floor of the townhouse to my bedroom and bathroom and the same number from the main floor to the basement and laundry room. To start with, I always required my cane and the hand rail; taking one stair at a time moving my left foot up then bringing my right up to the same stair and using the opposite going down. I’m still using this slow method most of the time although I rarely use the cane. Also, carrying anything was extremely difficult. I could only take a small weight each trip; carrying it in a small shopping bag. This has gotten a lot easier now because I have at least one free hand especially going upstairs.
One ordeal I still have is getting my laundry baskets up and down the stairs. Luckily, I have more than most other straight guys have even though there are an inordinate number of pink and purple golf shirts. At least this means I don’t have to do laundry that frequently.
The other most difficult thing I have had to conquer is getting up from a seated position. I overcame this originally by stealing the cushion from one armchair and doubling it up on the other as well I had three throw cushions stacked up on my dining room chairs. Getting up from the bed was a little easier because the mattress already sits high but I originally required the cane as a brace.
Speaking of braces, I threw the left leg brace in the closet the day I got home and have not worn the right brace at all for at least two weeks.
I still use my cane when I am walking any distances outside and it comes in handy as a sympathy tool.
I am still going back to the hospital as an outpatient for physiotherapy twice a week where, Leslie, my physio beats me up pretty good each day and each day I can do more. My left knee is almost at fighting strength while my right still has quite a way to go. The highlight last week was when Leslie got me on the mini-trampoline and had me jogging on the spot. This brought me joy because it gives me hope that I will be able to run again. This is important to me because running the trails below my house clears my head and I get best writing ideas cruising along side the creek. This is good news (or maybe it’s bad news) for you my loyal readers because I will find more things to blog about.
On top of my lower body rehab, I’m going to have a few other health issues to deal with now that I’m out. I lost a lot of weight while inside and I will have to continue my struggle to keep it off and burn a few more pounds off as well. I will now have to also work on keeping my blood sugar under control with the aid of exercise, diet and medication. The third issue is a little more complex. It was discovered while in the hospital is that I have a vitamin B12 deficiency and could lead to anemia. I’m treating this right now with supplements and may eventually be forced to eat more beef. This does not get me that excited because beef and I don’t get along that well. I’d rather have a slab of salmon than a juicy steak.
The mental component struck me shortly after getting out of the shower when I saw the huge pile of mail sitting on the dining room table and realizing the place had needed a thorough cleaning even before I went into the hospital. There were also all kinds of regular maintenance that needed to be done around the house. I spent a lot of time tossing  and turning in bed that first night thinking about all the things that needed to be done.
Waking up the next morning, I realized that I would just have to take everything in baby steps doing just a little bit at a time. This was the same approach I was taking physically. Once I realized that my anxiety levels dropped quickly. I worked at dealing with all the paperwork a few minutes per hour and then resting rather than tackling it all at once. I took this approach with cleaning up the place as well. There is still a lot of work to do around but I’ve now taken the attitude of looking after myself first and worry about the house later.
One big mental block that has come up and still occurs is the idea of standing up. As I said before this is one of the most difficult physical things I have to do. There is also a mental component because every time I get ready to stand up I know there is going to be some pain so sometimes I have position myself and then I will think about what I’m going to do for several seconds and occasionally it will run in to minutes. I’m still having some of these difficulties.
The emotional component has become a little more complicated. Several of you know that awhile back, someone special had walked into my life or rather limped into my life. (Actually you could even say she rolled in if you include the gurney she arrived on into room 621) This would have been the purveyor of the “...er...um...sparkling apple juice” on New Year’s Eve that I told you about in episode 62. She was there to understand and share all those simple small victories and feel the pain from the setbacks as well. She made the tough seven weeks that I had been home so much easier to deal with and she had made me happier than I had been in many years. The storybook ending would have been her becoming Version 3.0 and we ride off into the sunset. Sadly, the “happily ever after” isn’t there at least for now. She felt that she had some emotional healing to do on her own and that I wouldn’t be able to help her along the way. I cannot bear her any ill will because she is a beautiful woman inside and out and she made me extremely happy for that tiny sliver of my life. I can only hope she can resolve her issues and she finds peace. Perhaps she’ll realize her happiness was right in front of her all along and that would be n***. Regardless, I know she knows at least she will always have a loving friend in me. Thank you, C, for a few weeks of happiness; you will always own a piece of my heart.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the day here in the Magic Kingdom...Oh crap, wrong theme park! ;-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 73

Episode 73 – January 11 - I have almost run out of  things to write about and even things to repeat writing for the fifth or sixth time so today I thought I’d start with something different.
First I would like to send my thoughts and prayers out to Sergio’s family, friends and co-workers who succumbed to cancer last month. I was perhaps a bit harsh on him when he was my nurse but he probably should not have tried to return to work when he did. I was shocked to hear how he was actually a few years younger than me. The disease had obviously made him appear so much older.
I have to thank all the nurses on 6 West especially Denise, Layla, Esther and Kevin. All the nurses on 5 East especially Katha, Via and Maria. All my physios, Jennifer, Adrienne, Lisa (x2), Leanne and Amanda.
Thank you to Dr. Dana Haaf for his support and even thanks to Dr.McConkey because even if he lacked bedside skills he did a great job putting the big guy back together. And Dr. Brown the anaesthesiologist for administering the right combination of goodies the ease me through the surgery.
Thank you to everyone who dropped in to visit and or call. With very special thanks to Pam, Dennis and Bryan (aka the Crown Prince).
My three worst days here were October 31 the day of my injury, November 2 when i had the anxiety attack just before surgery and December 19 when they moved me into 623 and I had my worst anxiety attack.
My favourite three days in chronological order were December 21 when I first walked, New Year’s Eve (see Episode 62) to figure out why and the third would be ...um...did I happen to mention I am posting this from home. :-)

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 72

Episode 72 – January 10 – Last night’s sleep was not my greatest, I kept waking and having to shift my legs because they were a bit stiff.
This morning started off quite well. Both nurses on the floor, Maria and Via were excited to come in and tell me that Dr. McConkey had given the okay to weight bear with the braces off. I won’t the real significance of this until I’m done with the physios today. I still think I may need to wear the right one and use a cane for a bit. However, I did celebrate by walking into the bathroom to brush my teeth sans any braces or walking aids then taking a quick lap around the unit with the walker and no  braces. I felt naked and cold but damn good. It was another silly grin type of walk.
The braces are the answer to Leslie and Lorraine’s reason for questioning my sanity the other day about exercising at 5:30 AM. If I have to strap on the frigging things to get up and pee, I may as well accomplish a few more things while I’m tied up. Now questioning my sanity for a whole bunch of other things would be completely justified.
I have turned my trusty reacher over to my roomie, Dale. I don’t really need one anymore especially when I don’t have to worry about standing up to get things on the other side of the room.
Dale is a couple of years older than me but like me, he also lost his wife to cancer about five years ago. He’s lead an interesting life working as a set carpenter on several major film productions including Romeo and Juliet in Mexico City. He’s only been here at the hospital for five weeks now but I can see his stay eventually being longer than mine in total but at least most of it will be spent on the rehab unit. He developed an abscess on his upper spine after lifting a heavy box on set. Many of his symptoms mimic those of a quadriplegic  but he is now able to stand and walk using a standard frame walker but still has a lot of numbness in his lower body. His ultimate prognosis is a lot more questionable than mine. That is one more reason I saying there are so many people out there much worse off than me. I will likely have some permanent damage but not enough to restrict me from doing most things. Dale will likely also inherit my window seat when I leave if his doctor gets her way just for his mental well being.
My physio, Leanne, came in and she tested me out without the braces in the room and there was no problem. We then went downstairs to work more on the stairs. This time we worked with the braces and a cane and again all went well.
It was great just being able to walk into the dining room at lunch time with bare legs although I did have to use the walker.
My afternoon physio session consisted of working more stairs with just a cane and the brace on my right leg. We were working on the regular hospital stairs going up  and down a flight of eleven stairs with Leanne and another physio, Deborah,  following me up and then walking backwards with their hands as I came down the stairs. At the bottom we had to rest  mainly because neither of them could stop laughing when I asked “ just what do you guys plan on doing if I fall forward?  I know I’m going to have a soft landing.” Everything went well; so I’m allowed to either walk around the unit with either bare legs and the walker or the cane and one brace. I’ll be opting for the cane because that’s what I’ll be doing at home. In the room, I can walk bare legged with the cane.
So another routine close to an evening with Rachel and the little blue pill.
Too be continued...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How I Spent My "Fall" Vacation - Episode 71

Episode 71 – January 9 – Well today begins the eleventh week of my involuntary vacation and the beginning of week number 2 in the rehab unit. I’m still waiting to hear from the moron, Dr. McConkey. Apparently the concept of dealing directly with his patients is beneath him. Everyone knows that a doctor knows more about your body than you after all they went to school for a bunch of years. Some of them seem to think that those extra years of memorizing textbooks gives them a deity status.
We have Maria again as our nurse and she’s great but a little hard to understand when speaks fast.
It’s the charge nurse today, Kathleen, I can’t stand. She’s only here part time and I believe she’s semi-retired. She is a total bitch and needs to go completely. When you hear the phrases “I liked it better when...” and “The changed the format...” you know you don’t belong. I wanted to tell that I was still pissed that Plymouths no longer have tail fins either. Then she chastised two staff members for not staggering their breaks and she had to do some work while they were gone. That would be her job to make sure breaks are organized. Okay lady, you’re a lousy manager, a miserable person so get the eff out! I will give her credit she is very good at the front desk talking about her grandchildren.
My first physio session went great. Rather than wheel me down; Amanda asked if I wanted to try walking down. (Via elevator of course). We started off with a few warm up exercises on the stairs before actually walking up and down the stairs using only one handrail which simulates the condition at home. Then we moved across the hall to do more quad work on the shuttle machine. And the best part of this is that my favourite ex-cellmate and new found friend, Cheryl got to witness all this. Cheryl was there for her outpatient therapy. Sorry, Cheryl I forgot to bring to bring the...er...um...sparkling apple juice. But don’t worry there will be many other chances.
I doubled down on great friends today. When I got back to the room, my former classmate, Janice was waiting with a big bowl of homemade soup. It was delicious and filling. The only bad thing about it, I missed out on the tuna sandwich from my usual lunch. Damn, I may have to wait a whole two or three days until they bring us another one. Janice also volunteered to put her old lifeguard skills and help out with some water therapy at one of the local pools.

Amanda put me through a good workout in my afternoon first on the bike, then the shuttle and finally more stairs. For the first time I was actually tired by the time I was back in the room. As a reward for abusing me I shared with her my not-so-vast knowledge of Palm Springs recommending at least one restaurant and a few other things. Like me, PS was not on her radar until someone offered her husband use of their condo in La Quinta next month.
Speaking of travel, I figured I’d ask my nurse, Maria, about Columbia, because I was originally thinking about going to Cartagena. Good thing I didn’t book early for once. She sang high praises about the area. It has both the natural beauty of the Caribbean and a lot of history. I did as her what part of the country and she said Calli and by coincidence the care aide working today, Karen was from Medellin. I would likely leave both those cities off my itinerary.
Hopefully, I will have enough time between being reasonably fit enough to get around and having to return to work for a little getaway to recharge the batteries. I immediately ruled San Francisco or Vegas as destinations at this time because my knees would hate me if I sentenced them to those hills in SF and I know I wouldn’t be able to relax enough in Las Vegas. A week or two by the pool in Mexico or even Palm Springs may be in the offing. We shall see.
The other day, Dale and I made a pact regarding meals, if the dinner fairy appeared while one of us was out of the room we’d order for each other. Simple rule: everything trumps the fish, order chicken only when fish is the other option and jump all over the salmon whenever it’s available.
Dr. McConkey finally resurfaced at dinner time and I impressed him when I stood up in the dining room and stood and talked to him without any support. It looks like he’s going to let the physios work me without the braces and possibly lose the left brace altogether.
As per custom my night was capped with Rachel Maddow, a orange and one of Pam’s delightful chocolate goodies and a dash of Zopiclone.
To be continued...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 70

 Episode 70 – January 8 – Today is the 45th  anniversary of the opening of the Pacific Coliseum. Growing up a block away, I watched this ultra-modern grow up each day as it was being built and I’ve spent 36 years working in this building. When it was less than 30 years some “very wise men” particularly in the sports writing field deemed this building to be old and obsolete and a bigger and shinier new arena. I guess none of these “wise men” had ever been to Europe. How many of you live in a house built over 30 years ago and find it old and obsolete? Does anybody see the irony in the fact that this obsolete building was completed in 1968 and the newest secondary school in Vancouver was built in 1962.
By coincidence, my friend, Nancy, posted a report today on FB about the new arena being built in Lincoln, Nebraska which her husband is helping construct working on the high steel. I am happy for Lincoln and even happier that this is a union project. Nancy, Shane would be proud that the bridge I take to work every day is named in honour of his union brothers who perished during its construction, The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.
Yesterday, I opened by speaking of focusing on two things. The first being the Notre Dame football game which turned out to be a disappointment but I was still happy for the team; they made all Irish fans proud for a remarkable season with only a small blemish on its record.
The other focal point of my day was making progress on the stairs. If you read my journal yesterday you would know I wasn’t too pleased with that either. I didn’t feel much more confident this morning when I found one of the physios on the floor was off sick.
I had another tantrum that began with the OT,  bringing in what they called a heavy duty commode/shower chair that was huge. Any first year physics student could tell you that it was actually structurally less sound than the regular weight unit which by the way worked fine when I had my shower on Sunday.  Ironically, it reminded me of the bridge collapse I was referring ti above. She made the error that they were just trying to be cautious and then went into the “if you lived on one floor” bullshit that I’d be out of here. It’s the stairs in your townhouse that are the problem. This is when I went ballistic. They weren’t even challenging me. How could they know if I can or cannot do stairs without even trying? I still want to talk to that idiot surgeon. If he doesn’t want to cooperate sign himself off the case and assign someone that knows something about patient care rather than just anatomy.
I even implied if something isn’t done soon, I would be walking out of here on my own because I would be getting the same treatment or more at home.
Well the squeaky wheel does get the grease. Sabina talked to the physio, Amanda, and because of it Amanda agreed to try me out on the shallow stair set they have in the outpatient clinic. Well, I tried it out with no problem up and down several times. She then asked me if I wanted to try the set of regular stairs today and I did and conquered those just as easily. The only problem I had was remembering rather than alternating feet I have to take one step at a time. Left leading going up and right leading going down.
The second physio session in the afternoon built upon this morning’s session doing more quad strengthening exercises and more stairs. We ignored the low stairs and went straight to the regular ones. Amanda did want to try walking without the braces but the idiot...er...I mean surgeon had specific instructions on the chart that the braces must be on when weight bearing and the effing clown is nowhere to be found.
One problem with the rehab unit is it is obviously meant as a stopping off place for elderly patients before moving to or back to an independent care facility and not really geared for relatively healthy people my age. Dale and I are the only patients under 80. Believe me there is nothing therapeutic about eating your meals with a room full of elderly sick people.
Joanne was my night again. And I had to laugh when she heard who my surgeon was and said “I met Dr. McConkey when I was working downstairs and I have to say I liked his father better.” She had worked with the senior McConkey at UBC Hospital. The elder surgeon started the UBC Sports Medicine Clinic along with Jack Taunton and Doug Clement. I have never met his father but I already like him better.
It was a standard finish to evening, a fist full of delicious pills, an orange, a chocolate goodie while watching the Big Bang Theory and Rachel Maddow.
To be continued...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 69

Episode 69 – January 7 – My mind today was focused on two things, the Notre Dame – Alabama Championship Game and the desire to attack the stairs. The first could bring some temporary joy and the second absolute ecstacy.
Last night’s sleep was the same as the night before but I was much more alert in the morning and I was up doing my exercises at 5:30. Of course, if I hadn’t made another decision based on pride over convenience, I may have been able to sleep a little longer. I have decided to forgo the urinal bottle altogether even if it means tying myself into the braces in the middle of the night.
Katha is back is as my day nurse and she’s always fun. The thing is that on this unit, your nurse isn’t as critical on this unit where you are no longer totally dependent on them. I can do most things for myself. However, they still get cranky when I help myself to the meds cabinet. Nurses can be so picky!
Fatport, the wireless provider for the hospital was still working on correcting my billing issue but they have provided me with another access code so I can maintain my online presence while they correct it.
My first physio session was scheduled for 11 but Amanda was running late but at least I was informed of the situation. The problem is that I have to suit up with my braces then sit and wait. This is a lot like when you get dressed up for dinner and then you end up sitting waiting for your partner to finish getting ready. It always seems like hours. She arrived at 11:30 and took me downstairs to the main physio department where we basically repeated a lot of the exercises we worked on last Friday with Leanne on the parallel bars with a few more repetitions. She showed up for my 2 PM session and did more of the same plus some work on the shuttle machine where I did some horizontal squats. I keep asking to take to the next level but we keep going over the stuff I can do already. At this rate I’m never getting out of here. Let’s kick it up a notch. Hopefully I got my message through to Amanda. Stop babying me and start challenging me.
The options today for lunch were a chicken salad sandwich or meatloaf. I chose the meatloaf. Well, when I lifted the cover I couldn’t believe the amount. There were two huge slices of meatloaf and two mountains of mashed potatoes. The old guy, sitting beside me, eyes just about popped out of his head. There wasn’t a square centimetre of empty plate. On top of that they sent up two salads. However, they did send up another packet of French dressing for the fourth day in a row. Does anyone actually like French dressing? I ended leaving those giant mounds of spuds alone and I hate leaving stuff on my plate. The nurse that was responsible for increase in my portions saw the plate and even she thought it was way too much. The portion of shepherd’s pie at dinner was more reasonable. And there was no French dressing either.
They did some more bed shifting with my first roommate, Mona and sent her upstairs to neurological floor where Dale came from while she waited for more surgery on her degenerated disc. The nerve block the tried didn’t take. She was in terrible pain all the time she was on this floor; so I hope all will work out for her. I know she appreciated my short little visits to her room. She wasn’t exactly popular with the nurses because she wasn’t really into the whole program and in many ways I can see why. The unit is designed primarily for geriatric patients to get them back to their care homes and independent living facilities. I don’t really fit in here either.
I received another surprise visit from a former classmate, Ray. I’ve know Ray since elementary school. He grew up one block over from us. He happened to be over on the North Shore to quote on a roofing job so he thought he’d just drop by. We chatted awhile about his business and a lot of other things while I relaxed on the bed letting my legs cool off without the braces between therapy sessions. Thanks again for dropping by Ray.
After my afternoon therapy session, I took it easy caught up on my writing and even drifted off a little.
My plan to get to the TV after dinner, worked. Those old people eat so slow so I just ate at a normal pace and hurried down to the lounge and the remote was mine. Unfortunately, my Fighting Irish  were not as cooperative going down 28-0 at the half so I headed back to my room. However it was worth listening to those self-entitled old men and ladies grumble that the News Hour wasn’t on. Look it’s 6:15 so the actual news has been over for at five minutes and don’t worry Mike McCardle will do the same sickening sweet story at the end of tomorrow’s news just with different characters in a different location.
Okay so my favourite lost tonight and they lost big. I think Notre Dame fans everywhere are proud of the Irish. They won all twelve regular season games during a season they were not even picked to finish in the top 25 and they ended second best in the nation losing to the odds on favourite to repeat as national champions. The team was led by one more ND legend in the making, Manti Te’o who overcame personal tragedies this season and became the best defensive player in American college football. Notre Dame student-athletes are students first and athletes second unlike many of the football factories in the south.
Now back to the hospital, my nurse tonight, Joanne, is another part timer from paediatrics and even she couldn’t figure what I was doing here when she saw me walking around the unit. I told her the magic word “stairs” and she sighed. But one knows if I can do them or not because the physios are afraid to overstep the surgeon and he’s nowhere to be found. Surgeons should leave the healthcare to healthcare professionals and stick to cutting and sewing.
And so to bed.
To be continued...