Friday, January 4, 2013

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 65

Daryl and some old guy with beard
Episode 65 – January 3 – It was a bit different waking up in a new environment where I can appreciate the fabulous view of Grouse and Seymour. I’ve lived in this area for over 56 years and I never get tired of the looking at the snow capped mountains on a clear winter day.
If you include my stay in Emergency, this the sixth room in this hospital I’ve slept in over these two months.
Although I feel for anyone that was stuck in another Port Mann Bridge fiasco this morning, I get this smug look every time I hear about something going wrong on that billion dollar boondoggle. I’m so glad my tax dollars went to something important and not wasted on health or education.  Besides if you on your to work it really doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in traffic. It’s only important if you’re on your way home.
I hoped this wasn’t going to an omen but breakfast came and there was a banana on my tray. The food service woman recognized me and grabbed the banana and took it away. She knew! I checked the menu card and it was supposed to cantaloupe cubes.
After breakfast, I got dressed and pulled on my braces, grabbed my walker and flew solo around the unit. In my journey I ran into Leanne, the head physio on the unit and she told me that McConkey had at least authorized unlocking the hinges on the braces today. I really wish that guy would leave patient care to caregivers .
My morning nurse is Luanne who was called in for half a day because of a nursing shortage. I had overheard her in the hallway saying that she had not worked since August. From the looks of her she’s probably been retired for several years. There is no excuse for constant staffing shortages; this shows that the organization is poorly managed. Perhaps if you started with more staff they wouldn’t be so overworked and burned out.
While writing this and looking out the window, I realized that I can see the peaks of The Lions from the edge of my bed. If it wasn’t for another of those ugly condominium towers going up I’d be able to see the whole slope.
Another small victory this morning, I was able to wash my face and even better shave in a sink standing in front in front of a mirror.
Leanne came in around 10:00 and unlocked my braces and we started a new phase in my therapy. We experimented a bit in the hall with walker and then we went downstairs to main physio department via wheelchair to progress a little further. Leanne should know better than to ask me if I want to do more. I want to do everything! We started working on the parallel bars working on weight shifting progressing to lifting one knee and finally a simulated stair. I jumped through all of the hoops again so Leanne’s is going to talk to McConkey about removing the braces sooner than later.
My new roommate is Mona. She thought she shock me by telling me that she already been in the hospital with a disc repair for two and a half weeks. I win again! She is having severe pain problems so she can only either lie down or stand up and she can’t sit. I turned around and saw her standing in the doorway and looked down at her feet. Anyone care to guess what she was wearing? Oh that one was too easy! I’ll have to compose a few more difficult questions for the final exam.
It’s great to actually lie back on the bed for a bit of the afternoon when you have to option not to.
After a good rest I decided it was time for a walk. Okay, I lied I needed to use the bathroom but I figured if I was going through the trouble of tying myself up I may get some walking in. When I came out of the room, Martin, a co-worker was waiting for me so he walked around the unit with me and then we sat down in the dining room and chatted about a few things included a couple of union related that I had some details on and I gave him the answers he needed. While talking with Martin, Leanne came by and asked if the equipment in the physio department downstairs was free would I be interested in doing a little work today. Again, well duh! It turned out that the department was almost empty so she brought my wheelchair and we put Martin to work pushing my chair to the elevator.
By the elevator on the fifth floor there is an interesting double door with windows that leads to nowhere except a large drop to the roof.
Down in the physio we did a short review of what we did in the morning to make sure I hadn’t stiffened up the knees.
I got back upstairs and laid back on the bed. No sooner had I begun to relax and a woman comes in and said “Hi Mr. Donnelly, I’m Brenda from the Cardiac Care Unit”. Okay, at that point I was pretty sure I was going to be shipped downstairs because that introduction almost put me there. She was just there filling in as my afternoon nurse. Phewww!!!
This afternoon, I received another surprise visitor, Daryl, my grade 5 teacher. Apparently I still had some outstanding homework that hadn’t been turned in. Darn, I thought it wasn’t due for another week.  He was on his way home from snow shoeing on Seymour. He still looks great and a lot younger than some of his other students I’ve run into over the years. Thanks, Daryl! It’s always a pleasure seeing you!
Katha is back as my night nurse; at least they are fully staffed on nights. I heard the charge nurse scrambling to fill spots for dayshift tomorrow. This is not the way to run anything let alone a hospital.
To be continued...

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