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. 





Friday 12 April 2024

Netley Grain Elevator

 


This ex Manitoba Pool grain elevator in Netley, Manitoba is an anachronism, a working wooden grain elevator. These days the elevators are all concrete behemoths, loading 100+ rail cars in a giant loop.

Not so this humble elevator. Owned by Scoular, the Netley grain elevator in Petersfield, Manitoba receives and ships grains. There is rail access but I believe most product is shipped by truck.

The elevator was built by the Pool in 1948 and refurbished in 1986. Agricore sold it in 2000 and it was privately owned for 16 years before Scoular acquired it.

More information is available on the Grain Elevators of Canada web site.

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog

Thursday 11 April 2024

Random stuck in the hospital note

Everyday I get my blood pressure taken four times a day. After a while for no particular reason I ask for the numbers. Just had it taken and I am 111 over 68. I was told this is good so I will take their word for it.

February 16, 2024 revisited

My former 2013 KIA Soul after they cut me out of it. You can see my blood in the car, on the bottom of the door frame, and on the ground. This is from the police report.


Various parts that came off in the crash plus what was cut away. I still remember nothing from the crash. The report states the other party was charged.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Tuesday 9 April 2024

One step closer

Today I was transferred to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. I am excited and at the same time a little scared about the next phase of my recovery. I got here via ambulance at eleven this morning and have been going through admitting and meeting physiotherapists that will be working with me.

Onward. 

Monday 8 April 2024

The Roadmaster

 


I spotted this beauty in Gimli, Manitoba recently. It's a Buick Roadmaster.

The last incarnation of the Roadmaster was built from 1991 to 1996, in both a 4-door sedan version and this 5-door station wagon edition. Under the hood, a 5+ litre V8 provided the power to haul a family around, and it could tow up to 5,000 lbs.

The last Roadmaster was built on December 13, 1996.

source: Wikipedia

Steve Boyko

Traingeekblog

Sunday 7 April 2024

The reason for the lack of televisions

The used to be televisions in the rooms in this hospital. The ones they had were old and needed to be upgraded. They were removed and were going to be replaced. Then COVID hit and everything went off the rails. Televisions are supposed to eventually be back in the rooms once they revisit that plan. Or so I have been told. 

As for entertainment suggestions I have seen Deadwood. The second Justified series was an abomination. I will check out the older movie suggestions. I just got a few murder mysteries I will be trying out.

The elderly lady who I share a room with that snores and talks in her sleep all night long I suspect has cognitive issues. I am supposedly on my way out of here sometime to the rehab facility so I will tolerate it as best I can. 

Critter post

Daniel Harvard, a friend of mine, captured this on his property recently. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

Holding on to sanity

No televisions in this hospital. A few visitors dropped off magazines. I have some nature, hunting, and photography magazines. 

Thank God for the technology of the day and age. Hospital wifi is not great but it is adequate. I managed to download an app on my iPad so I can watch hockey games. I have downloaded some television series. So far I have watched:

Justified

Southland

Better Off Ted

Burn Notice

Resident Alien

This has definitely helped pass the time. Especially at night since I have a roommate who talks in her sleep and snores like she is in some competition and is out to win. Some nights I do not drop off until midnight. 

Important note

If by some unfortunate set of circumstances you find yourself in the hospital for an extended period of time here is some advice. Be nice to the nurses. Cooperate with them and do not cause them any problems. Be good to them and they will likely be good to you. It will make your stay a lot easier. 

Friday 5 April 2024

Cast off

 


Only to be replaced by a lace up splint. 




Thursday 4 April 2024

Ice Fishing on Lake Winnipeg


My wife and I went for an overnight trip to Gimli, Manitoba in mid March 2024. We knew that there was ice fishing on Lake Manitoba but we had no idea how many ice huts there were! There were at least 30 in sight from the shore line.

The ice was clearly still thick enough to bear the weight of vehicles, as we saw a few trucks and vans driving the slippery "road" to and from their huts.

It looked like most if not all huts were on skids and were designed for easy placement and removal.


That evening, I had to have lake pickerel for supper, likely caught not far from the restaurant...
-
 
Steve Boyko

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Apple juice

Everyday I get apple juice. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes I cannot keep up with it and it stacks up until I manage to drink it and clear it out. I got reminded of an Alan King bit I saw on tv decades ago. What follows is a greatly condensed version. For the record I do not mind apple juice.

When I was in the hospital they gave me apple juice every morning, even after I told them I didn't like it. I had to get even. One morning, I poured the apple juice into the specimen tube. The nurse held it up and said, 'It's a little cloudy.' I took the tube from her and said, 'Let me run it through again,' and drank it. The nurse fainted.”

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Kiss any sense of dignity goodbye

I have not yet been transferred to a rehab facility. I have been told there is nothing further they can do for me and the next phase is rehab. I am lying in a hospital bed with my two broken legs encased in braces, my left arm with the broken wrist still in a cast, and injured ribs.

I do not have much mobility. I can move my legs from side to side, wiggle my toes, move my feet, and barely lift my legs a half inch up for a few seconds. I am getting more sensation in my legs and I know I am getting better as the days go by. The upper half is fine. Rib pain has largely went away. Otherwise all I am doing is taking up space until I can be moved elsewhere.

The problem is that I need help with a lot of things. I have gained a little independence but used to need help with everything. I mean everything. I would get a meal dropped off and I used to need help with setting the meal. If I need to get cleaned up I get washed down on the bed while I am lying down and rolled on either side while your areas get washed. 

The worst is when you need to do certain other things. I have become somewhat proficient at sensing when I need a bedpan and using one. This is a skill I will cheerfully discard once this episode in my life is over. 

Being in this position has been demeaning, degrading, embarrassing, and at times humiliating. I learned to quickly roll with it and tossed any sense of dignity out the window long ago. I think every nurse on the ward has seen all of me at one time. Thankfully they have all been great. 

Sunday 31 March 2024

Everyone is from somewhere else

So far I have encountered nurses from Senegal, Jamaica, The Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, India, China, South Africa, and some actual Canadians.

One x-ray tech seemed to be German. I could barely understand him.

One doctor was from England. One I encountered was from Bahrain and she had worked at a hospital in Saudi Arabia. No complaints, everyone seems to be competent. You would think someone would warn these people that Edmonton, Alberta has snow and nasty winters.  

Friday 29 March 2024

A few notes

For some reason I am not able to respond to comments with my iPad. I could if I had my laptop here. For some reason Blogger has some weird quirk regarding responding to comments.

To the Unknown commenter that suggested that I used a filter in the post “How I look now” the answer is no. Having someone help you shave makes a big difference.

I kind of made a reference to religious belief and a few commenters made a reference to it. I am Lutheran. I did go to church heavily for a year many years ago. I will add that I do believe and leave at that. I genuinely appreciate those that have said I am in their prayers. It means a lot.

To the person that sent me the Amazon link for root beer, I may have to try that out when I get out of here.

I appreciate the emails from Joe. The information is very helpful. 

Addition by subtraction

I think you can tell if you are getting better by what gets removed. When I first got admitted I had external rods keeping my leg bones in place. I had an oxygen tube in my nose and a few tubes in my mouth. A cast on my arm for my wrist. At one point I had four separate IV lines, one of them was in my neck. My veins were at the point they needed ultrasound my arm to try to find a suitable vein.

Now I am free of any tubes or IV lines. My arm cast may come off soon. It feels damn good not to have any IV lines to constantly watch whenever you move your arm. Progress. 

Thursday 28 March 2024

Music post


 

Quick update

Good news. I am on the list to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility. 

Wednesday 27 March 2024

I look like this now

Hopefully a big improvement. 



Monday 25 March 2024

My legs shortly after the accident

Held together by external rods. I am currently held together by plates, pins, and screws. 






What I looked like shortly after the accident


 

Sunday 24 March 2024

No one tells you anything

I have learned while being in the hospital that the least informed person is the patient. At least that is my experience.

One day I asked if anything was on the agenda for me as I was expecting company. I was told there was nothing. Minutes later I was whisked out of my room for a series of x-rays. When I was returned I was in my room for a short time and then carted off for more tests.

Part of the problem is that the nurses often do not know. An order may be put into the system ordering a test. You may get taken away for a test in a few minutes or wait a few hours. You do not get told until it is confirmed a porter is coming to get you.

Some of the tests they do not really tell you what they are. They just take you to another department and drop you off. I wound up in Endoscopy to get a camera put down my throat to check out my stomach. That is an interesting experience. You are awake for that one. Thankfully it did not take long.

What they did not tell me until a week later had to do with an issue I was having. My stomach was not processing food like a regular person and I was having gastro-intestinal issues. It might have been related to the accident, or not. I was not keeping food down and it was causing concern. It got better over time and I was given medication for it, medication that I was told I will have to be on for the rest of my life. Anyway I was told by a doctor on rounds that they thought I had a tumour, hence all the tests. I do not have a tumour, a number of tests eliminated that possibility. I was a little irked no one told me until much later that they suspected one. 

Some advice. If you find yourself in the hospital ask questions. Question everything they do and question everything they prescribe. Grill the doctor whenever they come around. Sometimes they forget you are a person rather than a project. 

Saturday 23 March 2024

Encounters with nurses

A lot of the nurses have been great. Some others have been horrible.

They like to come to your room at various times and roll you. Basically move you into different positions so you do not develop sores. First moving you onto one side, then the other, then a final reposition. I now have just enough mobility that I now largely escape this. If I get a sponge bath or sheets changed I still get rolled.

After my last surgery that was over eight hours my pain was off the charts when I woke up. You get enough painkillers pumped into your system the pain will subside or the amount of medication will kill you.

The pain became tolerable. Then some hours later four nurses came to roll me. I asked them not to. They did it anyway. They roll you on one side, then the other, then reposition you. They started moving me and I started literally screaming from the pain. They stopped and the nurse in charge of this venture told me that it was not going to help them if I was going to act like that. I begged them to stop hurting me and I could not hold it together. The circumstances I was in and the utter cruelty of that comment broke me. Thankfully they left me alone. That was in ICU and I was transferred out after a few days and I no longer had to be subjected to them. I was in too much of a mess to complain.

Later on I had an encounter with a couple of nurses who did not treat that well when I needed help. I reported them and got an apology. Otherwise the care has been fine. 

Friday 22 March 2024

Thank you Linda

My glasses were lost in the crash. I have two pair but the other pair are prescription sunglasses. Ever since I have been in the hospital I have been without glasses until about a week ago.

I had contacted the last place I got glasses and got my prescription. Unfortunately I could not get them, or anyone, to create another set. The reason being that my prescription was about six years old and no one would get me a replacement set without an updated prescription. Never mind I had to tell people that I am in a hospital with no means to get a new prescription.

I was talking to my cousin Linda who puts up with me. Maybe Linda does or does not know but I really enjoy conversing with Linda. She is my cousin on my father’s side. My father was the last in the family of six kids and there was a bit of an age gap between him and the next oldest. What this means is that a lot of my cousins are much older than me. Regardless I have been trying to reconnect or strengthen ties with some family as there are fewer of us left as the years pass. Linda has this interesting affectation where she addresses me as cousin as it it is some type of title. If nothing else, it is accurate as we are first cousins. Her father and mine were brothers. 

As I mentioned my tale of optometric woe to Linda I remembered she used to own and manage optometry stores. I asked for an assist and she was able to get me a replacement set. Not only that, she and her husband drove from their home in British Columbia to visit me in the hospital and personally deliver the glasses. It is hard to not feel a bit emotional that someone would go that far out of their way to help you out. I am damn grateful and pleased that people have stepped forward to help me out.

A heartfelt thank you to all that have dropped in to visit and given me an assist in my hour of need. From my cousins, to my roommate who is looking after my place in my absence, a friend in my building who is helping me with various insurance forms and errands that I cannot do, to a friend that moved my motorcycle into storage. There are others and I want to say it has all been appreciated. 

Thursday 21 March 2024

Sometimes root beer is more than root beer

Friday February 16, 2024 I was driving home from work and I was involved in an incident. I work in Millet, Alberta and live in Leduc, Alberta and I was driving on Highway 2A. I still remember nothing about someone driving into me. I remember everything going black, waking up in an ambulance, then everything going black again. I next came to in the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

I found out later that they had to cut me out of the car. My clothes were cut off me and were covered in blood. I almost died on the way to the hospital due to blood loss. I had three operations at the hospital to save me and to hold my legs together with external rods and screws. Broken wrist, multiple brakes in my femurs, a broken tibia, and broken ribs. I later had eight hours of surgery at the University of Alberta Hospital on February 26 to properly set my legs and insert metal plates, pins, and screws. I saw the x-rays after the operation and they were enough to make me feel ill.

Before I had the most recent surgery a friend of mine dropped in to see me. It was a good visit and he asked if there was anything I needed. I declined since I did not know what was happening or where I would be. He told me he was going to make a quick trip to Montana to pick up some truck parts, apparently there was some issue getting them shipped the rest of the way into Canada. I said if he was going to be in Montana to keep an eye open for Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve Root Beer. You cannot get it here. I discovered it years ago and have not had it in many years.

He dropped back in to see me a few days later. While in Montana he checked out stores and did not find any. On the way back he stopped at the grocery store in Sunburst and found it. He promptly bought out their entire supply and let me know I had enough root beer for a while. He even made sure it made it to my home where it is waiting for me. He told me I owe him nothing. I could not help but laugh and maybe get a little choked up. I love the guy and the gesture really made my day and brought some sun into some bleak days. I have one unopened bottle sitting in my hospital room on the nightstand as incentive to get better so I can drink it when I feel up to it. 

If you can find Henry’s and you like root beer then buy it. Root beer can be more than root beer.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

The mind wanders . . .

Being in a hospital really screws with your sleep. When you can sleep you get woken up by a nurse to check up on you. Then they usually ask if you have trouble sleeping. 

You get so bored you find yourself watching anything on your tablet to induce sleep from documentaries on McDonald’s fast food packaging to looking up English footballer Chopper Harris. All of this is in a bid to scrape together some sleep and kick today over to tomorrow, marking another day of healing.

For some reason one night my mind wandered over to the subject of tongue twisters. I remember one my Grade Four teacher introduced in class. It was: Mrs Smith’s Fish Sauce Shop said the shiny sign. I have never seen that particular one since.

The things one remembers . . .

Monday 18 March 2024

I must be getting better

Instead of feeling anxiety about the future now I am starting to feel irritated and mad. Probably a better motivating emotion. 

Some notes. Doing some physio. Talking to a nutritionist. Doctors have dropped in on me and are pleased with the healing. Cannot really move my legs much. Doctor showed me X-rays today. My legs were not so much broken as they were shattered. I could not bear to look any further, no need to torture myself further. 

Friday 15 March 2024

One month in the hospital so far

New wrist cast today.

Typing is arduous.

Had an infection that was dealt with. Temperature spiked four degrees a few days ago.

I have had diet restrictions removed.

Physio has been working on me. I can barely move my legs. I may be here for two more months. There is a tunnel with light at the end. 

Saturday 9 March 2024

Another update

Still not dead although some days I want to be. I am more positive than negative. 

I will be out of action in the hospital for months. 

Currently I am on IV fluids only as the medical establishment here thinks I have a gastrointestinal issue now as well. I am undergoing tests for that so they can track that down. Trying to remain upbeat. 

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Update about Dale

I talked to Dale earlier today.  

He wishes to thank his readers and friends for their blessings, thoughts and prayers at this tragic time.  He'll be needing all the support he can get during the long recovery ahead.  Thank you all.


Friday 23 February 2024

I am not dead

 I am in ICU and intubated since last Friday. No idea if I can go back to work. Third party hit me in a car accident. I have a broken wrist, several leg and rib fractures. The usual cuts and lacerations.

Never saw it coming. 

Who knows when I can continue posting on a regular basis  

Will update when I can  


Friday 16 February 2024

Elevator Friday

On a farm near Milk River, Alberta from Dale Redekopp.


Wednesday 14 February 2024

Cpt Mo Wednesday

Cpt Mo gets some interesting photos.

I have seen skunks many times, I have never managed to get a photo of one.

Years ago I lived in a three storey walk up apartment building in St. Albert, Alberta. A family of skunks made their home under the front sidewalk one year. You would come home from work and see kits playing on the lawn. To my knowledge no one got sprayed. Those were the days when I did not carry a camera with me. I would love to get some photos of some in the wild.

Tuesday 13 February 2024

updates

On February 6, 2024 I posted this house that I stumbled across in southwestern Alberta.


I had no idea it was a historic site.

Monday 12 February 2024

Hay! Bale! Now!

 

West of Elm Creek, Manitoba, February 11, 2024. Not much snow left!

Steve Boyko

Friday 9 February 2024

Thursday 8 February 2024

My source says he spotted this at Wayne, Alberta

Sent by Dale Redekopp.


The Immigrant Women

Life was often difficult for the immigrant women.
New to this life and often unable to speak the language,
these courageous people made a home for their families
with little more than inner strength.

They lived in small shacks and baked in wood stoves.
They washed hand-sewn clothing on a scrub board, with water
carried in buckets. They had no electricity, plumbing, or gas heating.

These women raised and educated their children to become
productive citizens in the cultural mosaic of Canada.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Abandoned Alberta

Spotted this a little northwest of Cowley, Alberta. The roof looks new. The windows are broken. This is a very solid house and I have not seen another one built like this in this part of Alberta. I would love to know what it looks like on the inside.


Monday 5 February 2024

The Terrible Trio



Or is that The Terrific Trio?






Some handsome old vehicles never the less.

And all worthy of a full restoration, don't you think?


Spotted in Larson, North Dakota this past summer.

- Michael Truman

Friday 2 February 2024

Thursday 1 February 2024

South Saskatchewan, July 2023

It is very nice spring-like weather here. We will eventually get another blast of winter, we always do.

Time for another summer photo. Summer days are coming.

Wednesday 31 January 2024