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