Weekly Recaps

Some weeks I want to write about someone else.  🙂

This blog will be mostly whiny and complainy.  Please browse away now.

Not that last week was all bad.  A number of good things happened.  I attended a course.  My comics were particularly good.  I am reading a decent book, DATS worked without a real hitch, I had a great lunch with Tony, a good evening gaming and a very nice time hanging with my folks and watching the game.

Friday, I had a kidney stone attack.  Here is what happens.  I drink my morning two glasses of water and about 50 minutes later the pressure of my kidneys trying to empty into my bladder around the stone creates pain.  At first it is just a twinge in the back.It grows and wraps around (although still predominantly in the back).  At first it is like a mild headache – something you can work around for your day.  The pain doesn’t seem to increase, but it becomes more intolerable.  At its worst you cough, it turns to retching and you sweat buckets from the pain.

That was where I was at quarter to 7.  So I canceled my DATS ride, called in sick to work/the course, called my folks to let them know I was going to head to the hospital if it became worse and took two Tylenol 3s.  At the hospital what would happen is that they would triage you, take blood and urine samples, give you a more powerful painkiller (through IV) and hydrate you.  Then they send you for a CT or X-ray.  If the T3s work it accomplishes the same thing.

Lo and behold they did work.  The pain diminished and by quarter to 8 I was pain free.  Yay.  I waited another hour and they had another glass of water.  No pain.  So I drank lots of water.

Now I had canceled DATS so I was stuck at home, but I had the work laptop.  I could catch up on my e-mail and my project, but when I tried to log on it rejected my ID.  The error indicated my user account wasn’t cached.  By 9 I was feeling guilty for missing work and feeling just fine.  Waste of a day.  (It turns out today that I was entering my userid incorrectly.  That is right, I had forgotten my own userid.  Which is written on my id badge.  Gah!)

Friday night, while the company was great, I lost every game I played.  By lost, I mean I came in last.  By a wide margin.  Every time.

Saturday was mostly great until the fire alarm went off in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  I got dressed in time to meet the fire fighters doing their sweep in the hall.  They said to wait and they’d come back and rescue me if there was a fire.  2 minutes later the alarm stopped and the fire fighter came back and said it was a faulty pull station.

Sunday the Riders lost the Grey Cup.  As I left my parents told me not to fall down since the evening after the last time I visited them that is what happened.  Well, history repeats itself.

I had shut off the lights and was making my way down the hall into my bedroom.  My walker hit against a door jamb and caused me to lost my balance.  My ankle folded underneath me and I crumpled slowly to the ground.

I was quite scared (still am really).  First it was very dark and when my head hit the ground my glasses went flying off.  I couldn’t see a thing.  Second I had pulled my walker over my body in the tumble and it was tangled in my legs.  Third I had been carrying a phone on the walker, but it went flying as well.  Fourth, the hallway is narrow and didn’t provide much room to manuever.

I need to backup a little.  I’ve been falling for a while – since university really.  Shortly after 2001 I became unable to stand up again after I fell without a lift.  But it was just two weeks ago that it escalated again.  I fell and found out that I couldn’t even raise myself into a sitting position.  This means I can’t move around and get a phone and unlock the door to let help in.  After that I booked an appt. with a consultant to review my apartment, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I also made sure that I brought a phone with me everywhere I went.

So I kicked the walker off me with difficulty.  I manage to roll over and reach over my head to find my glasses.  It was tricky due to the tight confines, but not too bad.  i felt much better as my eyes adjusted to the dark and I could begin to see again.  Then I tried to inch worm towards my bedroom and the direction the phone must have gone.  I did not make it very far – only inches really.  I’m sure I could go slowly the other direction, but it was very difficult going feet first.  I was also worried the phone might have fallen into my closet and be lost amid the stuff in there.

I paused to catch my breath, slow my racing heart and think of my next option.  I rolled the other way and managed to inch a few inches down.  I used my feet and arms to feel around to find the phone.  Eureka!  It was in my closet.I pulled it up with my foot and into my hand.  I called Dave to come and help and I think I was still a little panicked.

A few things.  Most easily – no more walking in the dark at all.  Second, I’ll carry a phone in my pocket whenever clothed (no possible before a shower, but otherwise doable).  I considered switching to wearing my braces inside all the time, but it isn’t practical.  But maybe I will have to wear them more often.  I will also be getting a lifeline type device that I can wear as a watch or necklace so that I can be sure to have help.  Finally, I am contacting the fire department to see if emergency lifts are something they can do.

But now it is twice in two weeks I’ve been mostly helpless in my own apartment.  Both Dave and Mom have suggested I might need someplace with a higher level of care.  That is something I have to seriously begin to consider.  But now I need to go to bed because I was up worrying all night about this.  I am exhausted.


Health Care and Current Events

So two things to talk about here…

To recap, our head of AHS was fired yesterday as a result of many factors, but the most recent and immediate cause being his infamous cookie comment.

So many factors here to upset me.  (Or at least cause questions.)  Should the head of AHS be a political position?  Should it be a position that gets something done?  With the Alberta super-board it seem to me to be impossible that the position won’t be a little of both.  So we hired a fellow with almost no political acumen at all.  For years everything Duckett has done has resulted in the Gov’t coming along to smooth the waves after.  Since Zwozdesky was given the Health portfolio it has been apparent that they plan was to keep Duckett away from the cameras – create that separation.

But that doesn’t work.  The province either needed someone with the political skills in the position or they needed to change the position.  Here’s what I see as the problem.  If you hire a politician into the role they will not be able to provide effective leadership to the board.  I think it is unlikely to find someone competent at organizing a Health super-board and being a politician.  But the head of the super-board is too big a job not to be political.  I’m not sure there is a correct person for this job.

Next thing – what the heck is the separation between the ministry of Health and the AHS?  The longer the super-board has been in existence the fuzzier this is getting.  The ‘direction’ given by the minister to the board last night shows quite clearly the lack of true division between the two.  That isn’t the first example of that kind of meddling though.

Next thing – the job as AHS board head is impossible.  The direction provided whiplashes according to political winds.  Tighten the belt.  Don’t impact services.  Improve services.  Fix wait times that are in crisis.  Don’t do anything to make the Gov’t look bad.

So I come to these conclusion.  Mr. Duckett was a jackass, but getting fired for being rude to the media is silly and shows that the priorities of the job are messed up.  Secondly, they’ll hire a friendlier face to replace him, but don’t count on that working to fix any of the deeper problems.  I do not think the supper-board can work at all without significant restructuring and a much clearer division of roles and responsibilities.

(Personally, I think the whole super-board idea is a mistake, but I don’t really have an argument to support that point of view.)

The second issue to talk about is wait times.  The whole Duckett affair has provided a week of distraction from the actual problems.

Now, personally I haven’t had any problems with our health system.  I’ve dealt with it recently in three ways.  Normal checkups with my doctor.  I have no complaints other than my doctor’s booking system (but that is her system not the gov’ts or boards).  Second interacting with Gov’t programs and AHS programs to assistance with mobility.  This is slow, but seems to work.  Third, visits to the ER and followups for stones.  My wait times have been agreeable.  The care I received was fine.  I then had access to specialists quickly and have had several minor surgeries and many CT scans, X-rays and ultrasounds.

But that is only a single anecdotal data point.  The stats show that wait times are way too long.  I think 8 hours is too long to wait to get a paper cut looked at.  Certainly the number of deaths while waiting should be a number approaching zero.  Really, really close to approaching zero.

The question here is what is an effective strategy for dealing with them?  I don’t know.  Anyone have any ideas?

Weekly Recap

So this has been momentous and calamitous week.  At least by my standards of such things. By any rational standard it would be considered a normal week.

I took DATS for the first time this week.  I knew when taking the job at Telus that when the snow flew I wouldn’t be able to drive to work anymore.  The substitue has been weighing on me since the first week of August.  I was fortunate enough to be given a scooter to aid my mobility and it makes taking DATS possible.

Now for the rest of my life I am going to do nothing but complain about the ways in which DATS annoys me.  At this time I’d like to say it is an incredible service.  For the price of a bus pass I can go anywhere in town with door-to-door service.  Heck, they even open the doors for you at either end.  That is pretty awesome.

I started complaining about it to the guys on Friday already.  Gives a distorted view of how well I think it will actually work out.

On Thursday I went to a scotch tasting.  That was very neat.  I love scotch.  My biggest problem is that I have a horrible sense of smell.  No matter how much I swirl the scotch in my glass they all just smell scotchy to me.  They all test different though.  My favorite of the night was the one Islay scotch we tasted.  This was no surprise since Islay’s have always been my favorite since my first bottle of Laphroaig.  I ended up buying a Highland scotch though.  It was very good and I don’t have many bottle of Highland scotch in my collection.  It is called Glen Garrioch, but it seems to just be pronounced Glen Garry.

I also met Lou’s new girldfriend and had a nice chat with Craig.  Plus Tim fell down and not me.  So it was good all around.  (Tim wasn’t hurt.)

Saw Troy’s Mo on Friday.  Or perhaps I didn’t.  He didn’t bring along any magnifying glass to aid.  Troy said no one could make fun of it without donating to his Movember fund.  I had already donated and had the privilege, but pretty much everyone donated before the end of the evening to get in on that action.

We also watched a seminar by Fr. Conrapi that night.  It was very interesting.  I was a little surprised how critical I was during the presentation.  But every time I raised an argument in my mind it was answered.  (Except for one.  I’ll need to remember it to talk it over with the guys sometime later.)  It was a very good presentation.

Now the bad stuff.  Dave’s comics are missing.  I think Troy hid them on me.

Worse I’ve written a total of 384 words on my book so far since Monday.  384.  Pitiful.  I’m completely blocked.  I have no chance of finishing my 50,000 words on time now.  I’m still committed to finishing though.  Tonight I WILL figure out what the heck comes next.  I’ll resume writing everyday.  But it means I will end at least a week later.

Work was good.  Nothing new there.

Heard a bunch of interesting news out of SA today.   Congrats and good luck to all the respective parties.

Hope Miss Hoffman did well on her exam yesterday.  I’m confident she did, but you can never be positive with these cert exams.

I’ll try and get another blog up this week too.


Weekly Recap

So it was a pretty awesome weekend.

Friday night had seven people out for gaming.  Unfortunately I was crazy tired.  But I had a good time and I think everyone else did too.  One person was notably absent as he was off getting his eyes zapped.

Saturday was a BBQ over at Dave’s.  Two other families turned out as well.  8 kids and 7 adults.  I brought doughnuts – my first doughnuts since February.  The highlight was when I was left at the kids table playing Angry Birds with half the kids while the adults went off to do whatever boring things adults do.

Sunday was the football game at my folks.  Spellbinding ending.  Wow.  Wow.  There were nachos and then supper and then cheesecake.  Good times and good food.

The week previous was fine.  Nothing to report other than I was working on my November Novel.  It is coming along well provided I get around to doing my words sometime this evening.

The low light was late last night when I took a tumble on the way to bed.  I had to call Dave out of his own to come and help.  If he fell asleep at his first day at the new job I have to claim culpability.  Booked an assessment with AADL today to see if there are any better options.

I missed both Dan’s and Bran’s birthday last week.  So Happy Birthday.  (Did I wish Dano happy birthday in the last weekly recap?)



TV Sucks

So there was a comment on Friday night that TV sucks these days.  I didn’t say much at the time, but I was sitting there thinking that I’ve never seen so much tv that I liked than in the last two years.

So I’ll argue both sides of the case.

Network TV mostly sucks.  If you can find a good show a season you aren’t doing too bad.  Then again this has almost always been true.  The ratio of signal to noise on TV has always been low.  I think we are weighed down by rose-coloured memories of our youth.  Memories that are often shown as untrue when the shows come out on DVD. (This statement also covers the fact that there is five million versions of the same thing).

Reality TV mostly sucks.  Yep.

Lots (and lots) of TV is less than morally upstanding.  Yep.  One particular one that I am not down with is the portrayal of the serial killer on primetime in graphic detail.

A significant addendum to the last point is that family entertainment is almost non-existent.  No show whatsoever that would appeal to children and adults pops into my mind.  I can’t even think of one that shows a working family.

While you might be able to argue these points, if you accept any of them they make a pretty convincing TV sucks argument.

The argument for the reverse is the following list of top tv shows according to metacritic for the last year:

  • Mad Men
  • Breaking Bad
  • Eastbound + Down
  • The Good Wife
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Treme
  • Boston Med
  • The Pacific
  • Party Down
  • Sherlock

Treme in particular was just an awesome show.

These shows have many of the flaws that I listed above.  They certainly don’t disprove the other case.  I’ve only seen half of them and I haven’t even liked all that I’ve seen, but I think they are all inventive and well done.

Alright.  I have another blog entry to write.



What if?

Sitting and eating a pizza and playing what if.  I am so fortunante that I have be almost untouched by losses in war.  Even in the recent engagement in afganistan I only have one acquitance who lost a loved one.

So instead of remembering I do what if.

What if our soldiers hadn’t been there?

What if people hadn’t lost their daughters and sons, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers?

What if there weren’t those brave enough to go fight for us in the wars?

What if there weren’t those solid enough to wait for their to come home?

How would the world be changed?  How would the lives of those who lost loved ones be changed?

The soldiers motivations for going are likely all different, but they have enable me to do something so mundane and trivial as sitting here with a pizza.  They suffered deprivation, hardship and fear.  We think today about those who suffered unto death.  They were wounded.  They were changed by what they saw, experienced and did.

There was a time when no one was as fortunate as I am now.  Everyone knew people who died.

Still people enter our armed forces with the memory of those who have gone before them.  They see not just the loss, but what was gained.  They see not just the suffering, but also the suffering they might be able to alleviate.

I said a prayer today at 11 am.  A prayer for the souls of those who never came home.  A prayer for those who did.  A prayer for those who are still out there.  A prayer of thanks. A prayer of sorrow.

Weekly Recap

In the last week I have worked on my novel.

So far I hate what I have written.  Unless it improves drastically, I doubt I will even show it to anyone.  🙂  My choice of narrator is my first mistake.  At first I didn’t understand who they were and they spoke only with my voice.  Now I’ve got a better feel for them and they are yanking my narrative off into the realms of teen melodrama against my will.  I’m debating having the dragon eat my narrator in the current scene.

Then i have a problem with the middle lull.  Lots of stories have a lag in the middle.  Mine is very dull.  (I am writing the novel as three books – so I’ll have to deal with it three times.)

Finally my dialogue is wooden.  I get into dialogue scenes and they have no point.

I’m at 9190 words to date.  I plan on writing another 800 or so tonight before bed time.

The goal though is to finish a book in a month and revise it latter.  If I ever wish to work on this book again, I think it will be drastically rewritten.

In other news I got phone calls from both Brandi and Treek this week.  I hadn’t heard from either of those friends for some time.  I’m happy to report that they both seem to be doing well.  Treek says he might pop down to visit us near the start of December.  Brandi is likely going to be in Iceland with her mother during the same period.

Work was both stressful and boring and stressful in turn this week.  It moved from having projects fall apart, to a lull when there was little to do, to a move on those projects again.  I did accomplish a lot of neat things this week.  I game a presentation to my director.  I solved a technical issue that has been ongoing for a month.  I did some major work on the main project and I am nearly done organizing a major training course for my team.

Stef and Rob came out to gaming on Friday fulfilling a threat that has been over our head like the sword of Damocles since the start of September.  I hope they can make it out again soon and aren’t driven away by the chaotic nature of our gaming.

The big news of the week is of course Dave’s unemployment.  he invites you all to call him an unemployed bum.  He starts the new job in a week.

Belated birthday congratulations to Dano!  Sorry I didn’t make it out to your party.  I hope it was a good time.

Jeepers 429 words.  It only took ten minutes.  Grr.  Takes me 90 minutes to do my daily 1316.

I’ll be in touch!