Friday 12 July 2024

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Play the game

I have made an unlikely friend.

Pat is a very nice eighty year old lady. I believe she is in the hospital for a stroke and she has Parkinson’s.

Many many years ago when I was not even in my teenage years I got stuck visiting my paternal grandmother by myself for a few days on a few occasions. My maternal grandmother was a wonderful person who I miss to this day. My paternal grandmother not so much. She had her favourites in the family and our branch were not it. Visiting her was a chore. She did teach me how to play crib. She played daily for some reason. It is not one of my favourite games.

Pat loves to play crib and I like Pat so I play crib with Pat. She is good company. I have met her husband Jim and he still works at eighty years of age refinishing hardwood floors. He prepares food for her from home and visits frequently. I have not so much won the large majority of the games so much as I have dominated them. For some reason I am on a bit of a hot streak. Sometimes the cards just go your way. Pat has taken it as a challenge to beat me. Her husband has enjoyed watching me win as he has suffered numerous defeats to her. We have some entertaining games.

She has speech therapy sessions here and I have gone over some of her word lists to help her out. I have listened to her say the words, marked down some of the ones she had trouble with, and gone over them with her later. I check in on her a few times a day to see if she is doing okay. Be nice to people. It usually costs you nothing.


Tuesday 9 July 2024

Random late night post

All true.

Years ago I was in a co-op education program at an insurance company. It was common for Chinese people who moved to Canada to use a different first name. For example I have a friend named John Liew. I did not know for years that his actual name was, if I remember correctly, Sin Tam Liew. He just went by John Liew. Sometimes things got lost in translation as it were and you would run across an purely unintentional hilarious name solely because the person choosing the name did not know any better.

Which brings me back to the insurance company. Back in the day before the internet and fax machines all companies had mailrooms. Insurance applications would arrive from the brokers via mail or courier. One of my tasks was to record, stamp, and number new applications before they were handed out to the designated underwriter.

One of the applications caught my eye. The last name was Ho. The first name was Heidi.

I have never forgot that one.

Monday 8 July 2024

Progress is slow

Still alive.

Incrementally getting better. Still using a large upright walker and slowly getting better at it.

I have not felt much like posting. I have not been in the mood.

June 26 I had updated x-rays taken for a follow up with my surgeon. There was no bad news. Everything is healing as it should and progressing as it should. Progress will unfortunately be slow. 

Saturday 6 July 2024

Emotional support chicken

Spotted at the Glenrose Hospital.



Friday 5 July 2024

Elevator Friday

Dale Redekopp was kind enough to send me these photos of the long abandoned grain elevator on private land at Rex, Saskatchewan. There is not much left of this place.



Wednesday 3 July 2024

Tuesday 2 July 2024

The Former Residential School at Birtle

 


High on the hill above the town of Birtle, Manitoba, the former residential school slowly crumbles.

A residential school for the local Indigenous communities operated in Birtle from 1889 to 1972. The tragedy of the residential schools across Canada is well documented.

This three story brick building was completed in 1931. The federal government sold it in 1975, and the owner started to reconfigure the building but stopped. It was sold again in 2016 and so far it continues to stand derelict. It is private property.

Opinions are divided as to whether it should be demolished or preserved. Until then, it will continue to rot . . . maybe that is for the best.

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog


Monday 1 July 2024

Canada Day!

I would take the day off but since I am in the hospital I am not working anyway. 

Happy Birthday Canada!

Saturday 29 June 2024

Near Binscarth

 


Spotted near Binscarth, Manitoba.

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog


Friday 28 June 2024

Somewhere near the MB-SK Border


I honestly don't remember where this lovely old house was, but I know it was somewhere on highway 16. It might be in Manitoba, it might be in Saskatchewan, but it's definitely not in Alberta!

Photographed on June 16, 2024.

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog


Thursday 27 June 2024

Abandoned near Harmsworth

 


This old house is a little bigger than the usual abandoned farm house! I photographed it from the road - no trespassing.

I like the detail around peaked dormer window. The roof looks pretty good from this side - a "fixer upper"?


This house is in/near Harmsworth, Manitoba.

The foundation / house below is not far away . . . but in far worse shape.


Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog


Wednesday 26 June 2024

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Why do parallel bars never meet? Because no one introduced them.

Still making attempts to walk with the assistance of a walker. Best today is thirty-six feet. I asked the physiotherapist if I could try the parallel bars. I was not allowed to walk as the physiotherapist said I am not far enough along. I said I just wanted to stand and try it out. One day I will be trying this equipment. I marked the occasion with a photo.

Monday 24 June 2024

Davidson, Saskatchewan

 


The town of Davidson, Saskatchewan is located on Highway 11, roughly midway between Regina and Saskatoon, it serves as a hub for the local area. There are a lot of services available.

From my point of view, not only does it have a wooden grain elevator (and two concrete ones), it serves as the end of the Last Mountain Railway and the start of the CN Craik subdivision up to Saskatoon.

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog

Saturday 22 June 2024

Some news

My stay in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital has been extended to August 8th from July 5th. I have another follow up with my surgeon on June 26 at the University of Alberta Hospital, my last one was on May 15. Some x-rays will be taken and my doctor will update me on how I have been healing and how I am progressing.

I am damn happy to have my stay extended. I am making progress and I have been pushing myself however I know that I was not going to be ready to be discharged on July 5th. I have not progressed enough. On Thursday I pushed myself to walk thirty-three feet in the walker, my longest distance yet. I felt damn good. On Friday I was hampered by pain all day and could not gather the strength to try walking after I did the other exercises. The pain was too much. There is no physio on the weekend so I am going to take some time to heal and throw myself back into it on Monday.

As I said, I am ecstatic to stay here longer. I do not want to be in the hospital but on the other hand I want to squeeze every bit of help and healing I can from this place before leaving.

I have a few friends who have contributed some posts for this blog for which I am grateful. I have nothing to post other than my experiences being in the hospital. I hope to change that one day. For now, this blog gives me a bit of an outlet while I am here and I appreciate you sticking with me.

 

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Sunday 16 June 2024

My favourite old house

From one of my many trips.

Near Dollard, Saskatchewan.



Saturday 15 June 2024

Quick note

As per my last post I just started the process to get back walking.

My Wednesday results were posted in the last post. Thursday I could barely manage five feet in total. My left ankle was really bothering me and my left knee was weak. That day was a disappointment.

Friday, yesterday, I had time in physio for two attempts. Both were eighteen feet.

No physio on the weekend, it resumes Monday. For the weekend I am doing some homework, otherwise known as some exercises my therapist asked me to do, and being careful not to overdo it. 

Wednesday 12 June 2024

More progress

Not long after the accident I got a look at myself and I quietly cried. I had horrible bruises on my feet, a bruise under my eye, cuts in my scalp, fractured ribs, a fractured wrist, and shattered femurs held together by external fixators. I was a mess and I was awaiting a fourth operation to put my legs back together. 

Today in my physio session I did two attempts at walking in a straight line with the aid of a walker with a physiotherapist on either side. This was scary. I did eight feet on the first attempt. I did twenty feet on the second attempt. The two attempts wore me out. After the session I found a quiet spot in the hospital as I could feel tears welling in my eyes. It is so hard going from feeling completely broken to feeling like you might just make it back.


Monday 10 June 2024

Goodbye Jim

Progress is slow. I need  to strengthen my knees and thighs. I can manage standing for five minutes at a time. I will get better. June 26th will mark four months from the last operation on my legs. From what I have read on various internet sites typical femur healing time is four to six months. It can be longer. If my progress is slow I am also still healing at the same time.

I have made a few friends here. The problem is that connections you make here come with an expiration day. People get better and get discharged. 

I met Jim some weeks ago. He had his leg amputated months ago due to diabetes. There are some diabetics on the ward that have lost a leg, a couple have lost both. Jim and I have had some good conversations and some laughs. A few times we ditched the scheduled lunch meal and went to the basement cafeteria for bacon and eggs. I could tell Jim would be a good guy when he readily acknowledged that I had excellent ideas like hitting up the cafeteria or ordering pizza to be delivered. He helped keep me sane by being good company. Jim is being released in the next few days and I will damn well miss him. Hard to find an easygoing guy with a sense of humour here.

I have made a few acquaintances and seem them paroled, I mean released. I am here for the long haul and it hurts to see people leave before you. The ones I like, and the few I dislike, when I hear that they are getting discharged I make a point to wish them well and that I hope to succeed. I genuinely mean that.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Stories

There are lots of stories posted in various places in the hospital. You stop and read them and find yourself in awe of what some people have been through.


The text on the poster says: 

“A semi hauling two combines hit her vehicle. She was thrown six hundred feet and trapped for two hours. She did not want her accident to win.

Rehabilitation helped her regain independence, live on her own  and walk again.”

Monday 3 June 2024

Monday notes

Since I have been cleared to put weight on my legs they have been doubling up on my physiotherapy. I am in physio from one to three five days a week.

When they have me standing it is in a walker. I pull myself up and stand in the walker without help. I am good for about two minutes at a time. I am stationary. I can pick up either foot to reposition them, not well, but I can do it. I then sit down and repeat the process. The most I have done it is five times in a row. I have little strength in my knees and my thighs. I need that strength back to proceed further.

My knees do not bend at ninety degrees. I am getting closer. Not that long ago I could barely bend them. 

I woke up today feeling okay. Until I moved my legs. Then the pain hit. I took some painkillers and I am waiting for them to take effect while I sit here in pain. The pain is horrible. Unfortunately you have to get off your ass and try to attack the day. The only other choice is to give up.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Some good news

My auto insurance company formally declared the other driver to be at fault. As a result my deductible is being reimbursed so I have five hundred dollars coming my way. It only took them over three months to acknowledge what was obvious, the other party drove into me. That happened Friday afternoon.

Also on Friday I heard from my group health insurer. My claim for long term disability was approved. One less thing to be worried about, not that I was concerned. With the application there was a copy of the police report and doctor’s notes so there is no doubt about me being injured and disabled.

Friday 31 May 2024

So I met a black guy named Sven . . .

He is in rehab due to being on a motorcycle and being hit by a car. Staff here do not like motorcycles for obvious reasons. They see a lot of motorcycle related injuries.

How did he get to be named Sven? Apparently his father was in The Netherlands many years ago and did not have much. A guy named Sven helped him get established and he decided to name his first born son after him.

Monday 27 May 2024

Taking a stand

First time I stood up since February 16, 2024.



Saturday 25 May 2024

Abandoned in Uckange

 

Recently my wife and I toured southeastern France by train. En route between Metz, France and Luxembourg, I was gazing out the window and spotted a huge derelict industry. I made sure to sit on the correct side on the return journey and captured a few images of this former blast furnace in Uckange, France.

According to this page, four blast furnaces were built at Uckange in the very late 1800s. At the time this area was part of Germany (Alsace-Lorraine) but after WW I it became part of France.

It ceased operation in 1991 and most of the furnaces were demolished. This is #4, according to the site above.


It seems to be a popular place for "abandoned places" seekers.

Since we were passing by at track speed, there was no chance to investigate further!

Steve Boyko

Friday 24 May 2024

So how is rehab?

Rehab is easy. It is well past twenty-eight days since I had a drink.

Physical rehabilitation at this stage is painful.

Last week I was cleared to start putting weight on my legs. That does not mean I get to stand on my legs right away. I am slowly being introduced to putting pressure on my legs and working up from there. I just got some new exercises in my physiotherapy session. Yesterday morning before my session my lower half hurt. After my session it hurt worse. I was sweating and trembling from the pain. Putting some weight on my feet feels like my feet are weak and pain travels up my legs. I have went through a lot of horrible pain since the crash and I will go through more. Today was a bit better.

The people that look after my case decided my hospital stay would be extended. I will likely be here until sometime into July. I told the social worker that if they keep moving the date to keep me here I am going to put better furniture in this room and hang some artwork on the walls. My birthday is in July and I would like to make it home by then.

Extending me makes sense. I need to accomplish a lot more before I can be discharged. I have not stood at this point. It is going to hurt when I do. I cannot leave until I progress enough and that will take time and effort. Depending on how I do I may be able to leave earlier. As for the pain it reminds me I am alive. It reminds me of how far I have come. It reminds me of what I have left.

Thursday 23 May 2024

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Tales of my father

Dad has been gone since March 5, 1997. There were six kids, dad was the youngest, three boys and three girls. Ken was the oldest. Out of the brothers and sisters dad was closest to Ken. None of them are around anymore.

Through the years dad and Ken kept in regular contact through visits and phone calls. Dad did not call any family member near as much as Ken. At one particular time dad had called Ken far more often and decided to stop calling to see how long it would take him to notice. I remember visiting home in my early twenties when this was playing out. That night the phone rang. Dad picked it up and as Ken had one of those louder distinctive voices I knew it was him. The first thing dad said was “I see your dialling finger healed up enough that you can make phone calls again.”

We lived in British Columbia, the rest of the family lived in Alberta. We moved around a lot. When Ken left home he got some land and farmed. Ken was born to be a farmer and loved being one. Ken could be downright particular. He hired a local kid once to help out and had him rounding up round bales from the field and lining them up near the corrals. Ken did not like the way he had them placed so he had him do it all over again. 

We did not live on a farm although dad would have loved to have some land and a few quarter horses. Dad loved horses. He and Ken frequently went out on horseback for a ride.

A lot of our holidays were spent visiting relatives. One summer before I was in my teens dad and I dropped in on Ken’s property and we eventually tracked him down on a field on his tractor. We hopped on for the ride back. It is customary for whoever is hitching a ride to hop off and run ahead to open a gate and close it behind you then hop back on the tractor. We approached a gate and dad hopped off and opened up the gate. Ken did not drive through.

“What’s the problem?”

“You didn’t open the gate right.”

“What???

“You didn’t open the gate right. Close the gate and open it the right way” From what I could tell there was only one way to open the gate.

“Drive the damn tractor through.”

“I am not moving until you close the gate and open it properly.” 

This went back and forth a few more times with neither side budging. There were a few swear words involved at this point as it started to get heated.  Finally dad told him to go fornicate with himself and said he was leaving and started walking back to our truck. I hopped off the tractor and ran after him.

As we walked away Ken shouted after dad “You don’t have to go away mad.”

We left. Somehow sometime later this either got resolved or ignored and never mentioned again. 

Sunday 19 May 2024

Time Stand Still

I was supposed to be in Kalso, British Columbia

For the last two years I had been meeting up with a friend of mine spending a few days in British Columbia over the Victoria Day long weekend doing some exploring and drinking beer. For obvious reasons I will not be doing that this year. Shortly after the accident I cancelled my reservations for New Denver, British Columbia for the Victoria Day weekend which happens to be this weekend.

Knowing I cannot do the trip this year hurts. There are certain activities I truly enjoy doing, like exploring old cemeteries, old mines, and ghost towns to name a few. All of those were on the agenda. No physiotherapy happens here on weekends. Nothing much happens in the hospital on weekends. This will be my third long weekend spent in the hospital.

I made a point to do some leg exercises this weekend and work through the pain. A few people have told me I am brave and stubborn. I will admit to being stubborn. Brave I am not sure about. Some of this is legitimately scary, you question yourself many times. If you want to get better you have no choice other than to plod along, the system drags you forward. Do enough and with a certain amount of luck you find yourself across the finish line.

Thursday 16 May 2024

A milestone

Today is my ninetieth full day in the hospital. 

Still alive

Had some stuff going on. 

Last Friday I received a text from my employer just after seven in the morning. The text was to tell me that they sold the company and they would like to meet me at the hospital later in the day. When they did meet me I was told the company was sold effective May 1, 2024. The new owners were informed of my situation and nothing would change for me. I am not being expected back to work until next year and there will be a job waiting for me. I have been through this sort of thing before. We shall she how well the new owners honour this commitment. Nothing like having your life turned upside down from a car accident spending a long time in the hospital and finding out your employer has changed. There is also nothing I can do about it now anyway. 

This June 1st I go on long term disability and I got to fill out paperwork for my group health insurer. Doctors are never quick signing off on forms and getting them back to you, mainly because they are too busy. The resident social worker here likes me and she leaned on him for me. It pays to be nice and develop relationships with staff. I managed to get it turned around in a week and a half. Interestingly enough the doctors that signs off on your forms is a psychiatrist. I asked why and I was told it is because this is a rehabilitation hospital. I still do not understand that one.

My disability insurer wanted a copy of the police report to go with the completed application and signed doctor’s forms. All was sent. The ball is in their court. I am good if they delay paying me. I set up an emergency fund ages ago. Save your nickels boys and girls. You might need them some day.

On May 15th I had my follow up appointment. I got transported from the Glenrose Hospital to one of the University of Alberta Hospital buildings. I had what seemed like twenty x-rays taken of my left arm and legs in various poses. Then I met with the surgeon who operated on me. The first thing I did was thank him for putting me back together. To summarize, I am healing well, I should make an eventual full recovery, and I am allowed to be weight bearing on my legs. That means I can move to the next phase in my rehabilitation, the process to start walking. The metal in my legs is there to stay.

I was also informed that my stay in rehab has been extended to June 30th. I think they love me so much they do not want me to leave. Or more likely I am not the usual broken leg case and I am going to take longer to heal than the average Joe.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Stuff my roommate says

This happened this morning.

I am in a shared room. Nurse comes in to do the morning check on my roommate. I have a different nurse assigned to me. My nurse arrived later to check my vitals.

My roommate was previously in a hospital in northern Alberta. He is a diabetic with a number of other issues. He is also a heavy smoker and recently had a bout with pneumonia. He disappears hours at a time hanging out in the smoking area outside. He looks rough.

The nurse taking his vitals was not his usual nurse. There are some staffing issues this morning that they are getting ironed out. My roommate has some unpleasant coughing episodes every day. He mentioned he was coughing up some blood. The nurse asked how long this was going on and he said it was a few months. The nurse then asked if he mentioned it to the doctor here. He said no but he mentioned it to the doctor at the prior hospital. She then asked him what the other doctor told him. 

“He told me to quit smoking.”

I started laughing. I could not help myself.

Saturday 11 May 2024

New guy on the ward

There have been a few patient changes. A few people got discharged and there have been a few arrivals.

One of the new guys is special. He is in a private room with a police officer in his room twenty-four hours a day. There is a sign on the outside of his door that says “No Metal Cutlery”.

Personally I think if you end up in a rehabilitation hospital with a police officer keeping watch you might want to re-examine your life.

Friday 10 May 2024

August 2023 by Highway 22 north of Highway 3 in Alberta

Time for a holdover summer photo that I took last year.


 

Thursday 9 May 2024

Upon review

Still alive and feeling good. Except for my legs and not being able to walk I otherwise feel too healthy to be here.

That is the problem with me. I feel too optimistic in regards to getting out of rehabilitation and going home. A few days ago I was heading back to my room after physiotherapy and crossed paths with the occupational therapist. I asked if he had a few moments and he took the time to talk.

He showed me my most recent set of x-rays done about five weeks ago. I have more metal in me than I thought. Basically both femurs are held together by a long pieces of metal, screws, and pins. If I was able to get an image I would post it. It was a good talk and I got a few ideas of what to expect.

I needed to see that to bring me down to earth. I needed to be reminded how badly my legs were injured and that if I end up being in the hospital for longer than I expected there is a good reason for it. For some reason weeks ago I thought I would be out of the hospital in three months. That is not realistic. I am more damaged than the average person with a broken leg. I just wish that a doctor would have set me straight ages ago. 

It is hard to see progress some days in physiotherapy. I cannot put any weight to bear on my legs. Leg exercises consist of moving my legs sides to side, pulling my heels toward me to stretch my knees, moving my ankles, that sort of thing. Some days my body does not want to cooperate and it feels like I never made any progress. Some days my hips are in pain, my knees are in pain, and I can hardly move. It is easy to get mad at yourself because you do not see anything getting better. I had to look at the photos of myself just after the accident and surprised I lived. Then I look at myself now and there is a massive difference. Everything will take time.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Tragedy strikes

My favourite nurse is going on vacation for six weeks. By the time she gets back I should (fingers crossed) be paroled from this place.

I shall genuinely miss her. She is always happy, has a great attitude, and makes being here bearable. The funny thing is that she is originally from another country and due to her accent I am understanding about half of what she says. No matter, she is a joy to be around. I have had a few dark days here and running across her during the day makes the day better. I have told her she is my favourite nurse and thanked her for looking out for me.

I will tell the appropriate people that I think she is a stand out nurse and does a great job. I want them to know. When I heal up and get more mobile in the months ahead I want to return to thank her once again. I think it is important.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Regarding the x-ray I posted

The other leg was worse. I cannot get my hands on a copy of that x-ray. 

Saturday 4 May 2024

Yard art

Going through my photos and somehow I don’t think I ever posted this.



Friday 3 May 2024

Have a break

My medical records are on computer here. I tried to get copies of my x-rays right after the crash. They do not let you do that sort of thing but I managed to get a photo of one of the x-rays.



Thursday 2 May 2024

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Update

They just moved my roommate to another room. The nurse told him he was being moved because he had issues with me. He had complained about me. Threatened to do me harm. Yelled at me at odd times telling me to shut up. I got blasted awake three times during the night due to his alarm going off. Of course because he has dementia he remembers none of this and somehow I am the villain in this. I refuse to feel bad about this. I am doing my time quietly and make a point to be nice to everyone until I am paroled.

If you do not experience the low points in life how can you appreciate the high points?

I am still alive. 

It is May first. On May 15 I have a follow up to see if I can put weight on my legs and begin the process to start walking again. One day I will leave this place.

A week ago I got moved from a private room to a shared room that houses two beds. I was told when I arrived here I may get moved. A day later in my new room I got a roommate. Unfortunately he is eighty-eight and has dementia. To keep him from wandering around during the night they have him alarmed. I have been blasted awake a few times at insanely early hours due to him deciding to get up. This has been playing havoc with my sleep. He has some other issues that are not endearing. 

I have been told they are looking for another place here to move him. I hope they find one.

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Give me a sign

Rerun of past material. Signs that I have run across in my travels. As for the last one, it was a steep hill.








Sunday 28 April 2024

Tales of my father

I wear running shoes, or sneakers if you prefer, practically all year. I think I currently have two pairs of running shoes and one pair of boots. I think that is all the footwear I own. When I was married my wife had about one hundred pairs of various footwear.

My father grew up on a farm. He died March 5, 1997. His preferred footwear was cowboy boots, or as he sometimes called them riding boots. I rarely saw him wear anything else. I owned a few pair through the years, I could never like wearing them.

Years ago I had left home, was single, and trying to figure out my way in life. I had a bit of an adversarial relationship with my parents. Both of them made my life miserable in my late teens. It may have been by design or there may have been other issues unknown to me. At one point I got fed up and left and cut off contact for a number of months.

Things got better after a few years. Things got far better years later. We were never the type of family to talk about things so past issues were never discussed. I never did find out what the problem was. After a time I started coming home to visit on the occasional weekend.

Dad had kind of decided that maybe he should seek out more comfortable footwear. Wearing cowboy boots all those years were getting to be hard on his body. So he bought a pair, a good pair, of running shoes. He wore them twice, tossed them in the closet and went back to wearing boots. Dad was a creature of habit and some habits were hard to break, namely wearing boots. On a visit home when I was getting ready to leave I noticed a like new pair of runners in the closet by the front door. Dad and I were the same shoe size so I put them in my bag and never mentioned it to anyone. I figured he owed me for past transgressions.

My father could occasionally be absent minded. On a subsequent visit home I checked the closet and there was another pair of pristine shoes. He must have thought he forgot where he put the last pair, given up trying to find them, and bought another pair. I filched those as well. He would try runners but kept going back to his boots. His boots were part of his identity, dad never seemed to be dad if he was not wearing a nice pair of cowboy boots.

I carried this off a few more times. Then one day I got a phone call.

“Have you been stealing my shoes?”

“Yes.”

I heard “Goddamn it” in a slightly annoyed voice. “I could not figure out where my shoes were disappearing to” and he hung up. 

I left his footwear alone after that. I had enough shoes for years.


Friday 26 April 2024

Random post

In rehab you get interviewed by people. I have been interviewed by nurses, a social worker, doctor, therapists, and a psychologist. The admitting nurse asked me a long list of questions when I first got here. One of them was if I was suicidal. If you were would you admit it? I said no, but even if I was is I am in a bed unable to walk and anything I could possibly use to harm myself is out of reach. I guess I could spread myself to death with a butter knife from mealtime but it would take time. By the way, be careful with humour when dealing with nurses from another country. Humour is very subjective and not always understood.

Anyway, therapists are interested in your home life. Living in a two bedroom, two bathroom, apartment style condo, no stairs wins me major points. I will have less problems getting around. Then they want to know if I am active and if I do anything in my spare time. I am sure when they release you back into the wild they do not want you sitting on a couch watching the television all day.

I must not come across as believable. I tell them that I get out to take photos, have two motorcycles that get used quite a bit, do some hiking into places, and try to get out as much as possible. I get some skeptical looks. Maybe I do not look like the kind of person that gets off their ass and does things. In the past people have told me I do not seem the type which perplexes me. Photos or it did not happen and I have an iPad with me with a fair number of photos on it. I have proof with photos of the motorcycle, photos of wildlife, photos of places I have been. When I show my photos I get a totally different reaction usually asking if I actually took the photos. I end up proving my point that I may not be really fit but I am active.

One thing I have discovered is most of the staff I have dealt with here rarely venture outside the city. They know nothing about wildlife or rural areas. Which is likely why there is a degree of skepticism when I say what I do in my spare time. 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

How to get from your bed to a wheelchair

I do this a few times a day and wheel myself to the dining area for meals and wheel myself to physiotherapy. 


As the calendar moves with glacial speed . . .

Until my follow up appointment on May 15 I cannot put any weight on my legs until they clear me. I also hope I am cleared to put weight on my legs when the results come in. There is always a chance that might not happen and my stay becomes longer. If my stay is extended then I suck it up until I heal up. Until I can put weight on my legs I am kind of limited with what I can do. From my last operation on my legs until May 15 should be seventy-nine days, just over eleven weeks, or close to three months.

While I am here waiting to heal further as the days pass you find yourself with time to kill. I fill some of the time by reviewing my finances.

Since the hospital is feeding me I am saving money on food and the food here is not bad. I had butter chicken last night. My only car was written off so I am saving money on gas and insurance. I am currently getting disability payments from insurance. I long ago set funds aside as an emergency fund in case something happened. I love living in an age where there is online banking and I can pay my bills online. I have overpaid my monthly bills a month ahead. I have no mortgage which helps.

I have been reviewing my investment fund and been making some changes. I liquidated one underperforming account and reinvested it. Otherwise I have been adding to some of the stocks I own. I only buy Canadian dividend stocks, such as Canadian banks, and when enough dividends pile up I buy more stock. Sometime in the future I may have enough dividends rolling in on a monthly basis to help fund a retirement. 

I might as well put some of the time to good use.

Monday 22 April 2024

Side of my left knee

I will have an interesting collection of scars. From the last operation.



Things you do not expect

I have been in the hospital since the evening of February 16. There are a lot of things you are cut off from being in the hospital. A lot of simple things.

One of the things I miss is Coke. I love the stuff. After weeks of being in the hospital I got my hands on a bottle. I took a swig and I was . . . disappointed. It did not taste the same. It did not taste the way I remembered it. That was a few weeks ago. I have had a few more since then, I had one today. It is just not the same.

I find the same thing for coffee. I like my coffee triple cream one sugar. I usually had a cup or two every day. In my entire hospital stay I have had five cups of coffee. It is not the same either, granted hospital coffee is not good coffee. Maybe I will enjoy it once I get out and have better coffee. Maybe it will be cut out of my diet entirely. 

In a recent comment someone asked . . .

Why so much of what I photograph abandoned?

Simple. Abandoned places, churches, old schools, farm houses, ghost towns, and cemeteries are the subjects that most appeal to me. Not just any abandoned place, a lot of them are junk. It has to be interesting. I like visiting places that are off the main routes and take a bit of effort to get to. I like local history as well, a lot of places started and died off without much being known at all.

I like landscape shots and love waterfalls. I am always on the lookout for a good wildlife shot. I would love to get a good shot of a skunk. I admire people that can do great photos of people. Taking shots of people never seems to result in an image that I like. I am never happy with the result. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

Kenny Chesney - I'm Alive (with Dave Matthews)

Time for another summer photo

You win. 

I received enough comments telling me to keep posting and keep you updated. A few were quite direct telling me I was wrong and I can see the error of my ways. Something of some kind will be posted here and there.

Southern Saskatchewan, July 2023.

Saturday 20 April 2024

On hiatus

I do not know when or if I will be back.

I likely will be back. I really have nothing new or nothing to say for the foreseeable future. I have a lot of days ahead of me where very little of any note will be happening.

I need to set the blog aside for a bit.

Accident notes

I managed to get a copy of the police report. I know the name of the other party, I do not know them personally. I have their name and phone number. I have been tempted to contact him to let him know what he did to me but I won’t.

My lawyer emailed me a copy of the report. I literally read every line beginning to end ten times. I read all the witness statements and pored over the photos. Nothing triggered any memories, I still remember nothing. I was in a northbound lane and he was in a southbound lane. It happened on Highway 2A, a secondary two lane paved highway, south of Leduc, Alberta. The other driver was turning from the highway and we made contact.

The whole event makes me livid. This should not have happened. It was rush hour and a lot of people commute to Edmonton and drive home from the city. I was in a line of traffic after work heading home, it was a bright day, the road was bare, there was practically no snow. No apparent harm to him and I end up in the hospital with multiple injuries for over three months.

Friday 19 April 2024

Time for an update

I got some news today. I have a follow up on May 15, 2024. Until then I cannot put any weight on my legs. The follow up will likely involve x-rays to see how well the bones are healing. I have a tentative release day as well, sometime in the last week of May. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Monday 15 April 2024

Threshing Machines (and a few Bales)


Spotted this collection of colourful threshing machines near Pakan, Alberta.


And, there were a few fresh bales in the adjoining hayfield to boot.  Can't beat that!



Michael Truman

Sunday 14 April 2024

Rehab

I have been in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital since Tuesday. This is a good place. The food is good.

The staff here are very friendly and helpful. Believe me that makes a difference when you are in a new place with new procedures trying to get better. The staff was friendly at the prior hospital, here they are friendly in a different way, they are more centred on you.

So far I have been introduced to dieticians, doctors, nurses, a social worker, and most importantly physiotherapists. They want you to get better. I have had some sessions with physiotherapists. I have told them as soon as I was introduced that I will do whatever they want willingly and I will try my best because I want to get better. Range of motion in my legs is better than I thought it would be. My knees are stiff from the operations and scar tissue. It will get better.

I cannot put any weight on my legs for about ten more days. I have to be cleared by the doctor that operated on me. I may have to have more x-rays to check how well the bones are healing before I am cleared to put weight on my legs.

I have been in a wheelchair a few times and taken it for a spin. I took it to the elevators to the third floor where there is a garden area and a recreation room. I found a pool table and discovered there is no damn way I can shoot pool in a wheelchair. 

No idea when I can get home. Possibly June. The goal here is not to get you home fixed, it is to get you home safe. I have been told that I should make a full recovery and that may take up to a year. Quite a change from weeks ago when one doctor told me I might not walk again. Once home I will be using a walker until I do not need it. I was told not to consider driving for five months. Since my car was totalled I would need to buy a vehicle. On the bright side I am saving money with no car expenses.

I have been in three hospitals for over eight weeks. I have been unable to enjoy simple everyday activities. I am putting in the time and work so I can eventually leave this place and carry on to the next phase. I am grateful to make it this far.

Legal matters

For some reason I cannot respond to comments. It was suggested in a recent comment that I hire a lawyer. I already did this on March 7, 2024. I hired a well known firm in Edmonton on a contingency basis. I contacted them, one of their lawyers came to the hospital to see me in person and went over everything with me. I am definitely suing the other party.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Mary Anne

Mary Anne at magpiesmumblings.blogspot.com has done some wonderful quilting with my some of my photos and her creations are for sale. Here is some of her work.