Episode 55 – December 24 – This being Christmas Eve, after my morning exercises, I listened to Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’sChristmas in Wales” before settling into my busy work schedule. This included reading both morning papers before breakfast.
Everyone that knows me I’m a Christmas freak and love keeping old traditions and creating new traditions. This is one tradition I don’t plan on creating. Now if we can only get rid of those silly Christmas Crackers at dinner. If you go back in the archives you can read about it in Yes, Virginia.
Christmas Eve has always been special to me. Rumour has it that I may have even gotten engaged one Christmas Eve a few lifetimes ago. The Crown Prince and I have made a tradition over the past few years of mixing a vat of mulled wine and watching Christmas themed movies like “Apocalypse Now”. In the past six months, I have been able to reconnect via Facebook with members of two families, the Burmas and the McIlroys that I shared a few Christmas Eves during my tween years (between marriages).
(Kim, Donna and Jean, remember I did such a mean “five golden rings”) Actually I spent more than few Christmas Eve days at the Burmas during my childhood as well.
My second big project for the day put me into nerd mode. In my mail that the Crown Prince brought up on Saturday was Canada Post’s quarterly stamp category. For reason Canada Post and my laptop have not been getting along for the past year or so and won’t let me order on line. I have no problem placing orders on my desk top but that’s obviously not feasible at this time so I did it the old fashioned way filling out their order form. The one thing I never do is extend the prices then calculate the taxes. A government agency can calculate its own taxes. I am not about to do their work for them.
Katarina was my nurse for the day. An excellent and very efficient nurse but a bit on the dour side. My goal for the day was to get her to smile or better yet laugh.
I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad about being on the north side of the Orthopaedic wing we get fed first. Our gruel wagon arrives 10 to 15 minutes earlier than on the south side.
Okay as you know I basically live in a twenty square foot condo, also known as my hospital bed but I somehow still manage to misplace things. I usually find them hidden beside my hip. Of course, I sleep, eat, wash and everything else in this little space. To shave, I have small mirror that folds out of the overbed table so the angle is an upward view getting a great shot of my nostrils. I lathered up this morning and then I looked in the mirror and what should a see but a tiny little booger safely hanging inside my left nasal passage. At this point I could not just blow my nose because I would have a tissue full of shaving cream. So I every time I looked down at mirror it seemed to grow exponentially just that minute stain on your shirt that looks more and more huge every time you look at it especially when you’re face to face with someone. When I realized how absurd I was being. I was behind curtains and no one be around until I was finished. Yes, before you ask I’m bored and the littlest thing amuses me. The real irony in this silly story is the thing I misplace most is my tissue box.
Pam and Dennis dropped by this morning to bring me my mail and drop off some Christmas goodies. They then told me about their son, Dennis getting engaged. Apparently, he went traditional right down to getting down on one knee. The story was so sweet I wanted to gag. ;-)
Sorry, ladies I told you about him on FB a few years and now you missed out on a good one. That’s him on the right. And not only that he’s going to be a daddy...of a sixteen year old girl! We will all pray for you, Den! Congratulations!
And thank you again, Pam and Dennis for being such great neighbours. :-)
While they were still here, my good friend and favourite smart ass, Leslie came in. (Yes, Leslie I know that last sentence ended in a preposition and I don’t care.) Leslie also came bearing a cup or two of Christmas cheer. I’m still trying to convince the physios to share some of their ice. I mean, do they really need that much for a couple swollen knees and hips? We had a few good laughs and we also...Oh crap, I’m hallucinating again. Damn medications! ;-)
Within minutes of Leslie leaving, Dr. McConkey came in to check on my progress and he told me that I could take the braces off while I was in bed and only need to wear them while sleeping and while walking. I feel naked without them and that’s a good thing. :-)
Lisa, Adam and Nate, the physio and her assistants came by and got me standing up and shifting my weight. Then we tried the same walk I did on Friday and this time I made it fine without fainting and no tears. The light is getting brighter and it gets better every day.
I received even more surprise visitors today. My cousin, Colin, his wife, Susan and their two children, John and Gracelyn. (I love names that end in ‘lyn” they always sound so cute. And yes, Mrs. B I include you.) They stopped off on their way from Sechelt to Surrey. I had not seen Colin in many years and this was the first time meeting his lovely family. They brought me a beautiful poinsettia plant. Thank you so much Colin and Susan!
Because of the wedding last week and Christmas, Edna has had a lot of visitors and they are all so friendly. The problem is that because the room is so tiny they tend to overflow. I have no problem sharing some of my space but it always seems I need to pee when they are here. My choices are too close all the curtains or just go with the bottle under the sheets or just hold it until they leave. The first two seem at bit rude so we back to where we started at overflow. ;-)
Barb replaced Katarina at 3 because they swapped a few hours so each could enjoy family get togethers on respective nights. I still haven’t got Katarina to laugh but she did smile when she saw me walking. I guess it’s just that stoic Eastern European manor and perhaps a small language barrier.
Poor Edna. Just after 4 we heard a group of carollers (employees and volunteers) coming down the hall and Barb had just gotten Edna onto the bedpan. Barb was a bit worried that they might come into the room and all three of us started laughing about with Edna leading the way. Actually, the laughing probably helped Edna’s cause. ;-)
They didn’t come in but sang outside each doorway. Now I said earlier there were no tears but that was just about walking. I am a big pussycat and I get very sentimental at anything Christmas related. I was tearing up a little as I was listening. (Happy tears) But I nearly lost it when I recognized the woman leading was the ostomy nurse that looked after Lorraine. As everyone leaned in the door to wish me a Merry Christmas the best I could manage was to mouth the words and wave.
A co-worker and friend, Andy had texted me the day before telling not to eat dinner. He had a friend bring in a turkey dinner which was absolute heaven. The problem was my actual stomach has shrunk from the small portions I had been eating. I got most of the turkey and vegetables down but had to forego the potatoes and half the stuffing. The tryptophan combined with my little blue pill are going to put me solid into dreamland.
I got Denise good tonight. I hid the braces behind a pillow and when she came in to take my vitals I looked at her my best worried face and told her she needed to look at my legs. She got this concerned look on her face and asked “are you serious?” I nodded still keeping a straight face. She lifted the sheet and saw my bare legs and was delighted but I know somehow she will get revenge.
As a side note Denise re-read Dr. McConkey’s orders and I don’t even have to wear them sleeping because I’m too big to bend in any abnormal position in this caged in bed. Also we discovered that because of the constant friction and lack of air on my legs has left a trail of lost hairs between my legs from my upper thighs to my ankles.
Here’s an interesting gift etiquette question? Is anyone else a bit embarrassed when you are handed a wrapped gift and you are embarrassed to open it because you might look greedy or ungrateful but you are dying to find out what it is? Gift bags work a little better because you can start by subtly looking into it and gradually increase the apparent curiosity level until you can ask “So what’s this? Am I nuts or what?
Finished the night with an orange and one of Pam’s chocolate goodies. Hey it’s Christmas! I can indulge a little.
To be continued...