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.”


“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


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.