Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bloody hell. It's been ten days?

I know, I know. It's just been that when I had something to say, it has just not been a good time or I have been away from the computer or this damn cold has kicked me in my chest again and typing has been painful or distasteful. I really have to get that mobile blogging thing set up again so I can post from my BB at will.

Anyhoo, the usual nothing much is happening at the moment but a whole lotta shit happened in that last few weeks. I have been debating about blogging about it but I think it is therapy for me and hopefully a warning and a help for somebody that happens by this site. I mean, all that pain has to be for a good reason in the universe, right?

Riiiiiiight. Soon, but not right now.

DW is off in the US doing work stuff and TC and I are kicking it old school at home. Well, sortof. I am sick as a dog and she is helping to take care of me. Naturally, it means she has a bit of a snow day as well since no one is exactly on her about various items but that will come to an end today as I am feeling much better and much stronger. Don't get me wrong though, she has been a welcome help and company while DW is away and I welcome the time alone together, while missing my wife.

So, I have been up since before 4AM, watching Bond movies and sports recaps (f**king Leafs). Now, as I often am when I am up and no one else is, I am restless and listless so I will get caught up on things this cold has hindered me from wanting to deal with all week. The office machines and the office itself, the minefield we call a living room, the laboratory we call a kitchen and finally the graveyard we call a basement. Yes, each of these areas will get a little attention today if only to plot out the extra attention it will get this week as we approach our first anniversary in Ajax and realize it looks in here like we just moved in.

I vow that 2008 will be different not just because we want it to be but because it has to be. We have to lead by example and we have been piss poor at it thus far. The future is only as good as building upon the lessons of the past so it is time to reinforce some foundations. Plus, with the expectation that I will lose my office upstairs, I need to figure out how to power up the toys in the unwired basement. Also, I would like to play in the basement (i.e. billiards, etc.) so the items taking up necessary space (i.e. boxes, boxes, old equipment, boxes, etc.) have got to go. This year (yes, yes, I know) we will definitely be having a serious, ORGANIZED, garage sale and we will be properly prepared for it. Not waiting for that though as I will start taking pictures of everything and try to sell them off on craigslist or kijiji and maybe even the old buy and sell (now online and modernized). Between the online and the at home sales, everything that does not get put out and used must be sold, given away or trashed. When we move again, this simply cannot move with us. It is one thing if we were using it all, but there are boxes unopened from when I split with my first wife. I have lots of memories, I no longer need all the stuff that goes with them.

What I have learned is that long slow steps will still get the job done and I don't have to try to do it all by myself in a week or two. So, it will be a family project instead that will be part work and part fun as we go through the stuff, recover some treasures, laugh at some stuff we did and say goodbye to the ghosts of the past as we welcome the unknown of the future. I am really looking forward to that day when we can sit back and marvel at the space again. I will post pictures of the before and after so you can marvel too.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lest We Forget

I know this is posted past Remembrance Day but I guess that is the point. Yes, we have a day (Veteran's Day to my US cousins) where we take the time to honour those living and dead for the sacrifices they suffered and the horrors they faced so that you and I can have the freedoms to write silly posts speaking our minds and the freedom to read them. We can drink clean water and eat fresh food and be kept healthy by good doctors and nurses. We can be protected from the evils of local society by our police force as well as by our church. We can gather freely for functions of fun or rallys of renouncing the ideas of others.

We can do all of these things because somebody fought for us, without knowing us, to ensure we could. We should take some time, not just two minutes of a single day of the year, to thank those that thought our way of life was worth risking theirs.

To all those who were part of all those wars, wars to make a difference and to preserve our way of life, we say thank you.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

"Children who do not hear does feel!"

I am sure it translates into various languages and old adages around the world but it is the one I am familiar hearing from my mother when I was a kid. In a nutshell, it meant that when a parent told you not to touch something, or to climb something, or to run, or to speak out of turn or anything you were not supposed to or allowed to do and then you did it, well, there would be consequences; a scraped knee, a broken arm, a chipped tooth, a backhand across the head.

TC has asthma. While this is not necessarily life threatening, or unique, it is still something that has to be managed and monitored. The doctor has spoken to her many times explaining exactly what she has, why she takes the meds she does, why it is very important to follow taking the meds properly, what an attack actually means in terms of her body and anything else a reasonable person could expect to be told about a condition he or she has. She listened intently each time, said all the right things, made all the right promises. She lied.

Tonight, she was over at a new friend's place on a a sleepover. They have a dog but it is one with hair not fur so it should not have induced a reaction and we do not know that is what did it but it may have contributed. This is a new friend at a new school so this was a big deal too thus a heightened excitement and anxiety. Oh yeah, and the fact that she stopped taking her daily medication of Advair because she was feeling fine may also have a contributing factor. The result was the start of an increasingly worse attack.

With TC out, the wife and I had a date night and went out to dinner at Applebee's; one of our favourite local spots. TC had called earlier on the home phone and left a message to call her but we thought nothing of it because if it was important, she would have said so or better yet, had called our cells or sent a message; none of which she did. At the start of dinner, she called and said she was having a bit of trouble. We asked where her puffer was and she said she was out; scolding ensued. We asked where her Advair was and did she take it and she said at home and no she had not; more scolding. She was getting annoyed but I persisted because she should know better.

More calls back and forth as she was coughing a lot and with the dog, we thought the allergies was producing a reaction. She took some Allegra and had some Halls and said she would call us back if anything. We finished dinner and went home. While I was changing, she called and her friend, OM, spoke to DW and explained that TC was now barely able to speak, coughing heavily, throwing up and miserable; sleepover was canceled and they were dropping her home. I sighed heavily and changed back into my street clothes because she needed her medication so we would have to find a free clinic or go to the Emergency Room at the Ajax-Pickering hospital. As luck would have it, Durham region (and apparently the GTA) does not support enough hookers to warrant a 24hr free clinic so we would have to go to the hospital.

I sat by the door, bag of magazines for reading over the next few hours, dressed to go. They arrived and OM's mother, a bit flustered, explained the rest of the evening and brought TC's stuff up to the house. TC slowly made her way up the front lawn to the house. She can be a bit of a drama queen so it seemed like she was laying it on a bit thick. We thanked OM's mother, waved at OM and had TC change into something more appropriate and warmer than the t-shirt and shorts she was currently wearing before we left for the hospital. While she was doing that, she called out to DW to get the bucket. I thought it was overkill but dashed that thought when a stream of unholy substances spewed forth from the child into the bucket as she made her way down the front stairs. OK, leather in TR; bucket is mandatory.

Off TC and I went to the hospital emergency room. I must admit at this time, while concerned for her, we were both annoyed that she allowed this to happen by not taking the medication she knows she needs to take. We arrived at the hospital and got in line. The nurse was processing someone and when she was done, there were two others in front of us but she called out to us. "Do you have asthma?" Yes, she does. The triage nurse explained to the others that she had to take TC first and told TC to sit in the chair. She asked questions, took down information and recorded the readings on the machine in front of her that measured blood pressure and oxygen content. She handed me the OHIP card back along with another sheet and told me to go register her in while she took TC immediately in to be treated. OK, this is f**king serious!!

I sat waiting for the unconcerned dip to do the registration and went inside where they took TC. The triage nurse told me to sit back out in the waiting room as she was being prepped and checked out so she was not ready yet; they would come and get me shortly. I updated DW via BB and did what I normally do; I observed the human condition around me. A girl looked deathly ill and was chucking up while looking extremely cold. An older East Indian gentleman was getting triaged for a new shoulder pain that appeared one day recently. A man was inquiring when, after two hours of waiting, his daughter would be seen by the doctor. Finally, I was called in to see TC as she was asking for me. Sixteen is not that far removed from six when you are ill.

I was not prepared for what I saw when I walked in. TC was connected to three things: a blood pressure monitor, an oxygen level and heart rate monitor and she wore an oxygen mask that also had a built-in dispenser for meds that can be diffused; her Ventolin is one of these meds and she was on her second batch apparently. I sat beside her and as the nurses did their thing and the doctor came to see her, I made her understand that this was serious and that it was not a good thing her not taking her meds properly. She asked me why she was put in front of the others. I asked her if she really wanted me to tell her and she said yes. So I explained that she was in risk of stopping breathing so they had to get her treated immediately; that is how serious her condition was.

She started to cry and I started to cry. I told her that we were not mad with her but she cannot do this again. She is feeling fine because the meds are working. She has to take them regardless of how she is feeling. That is the long and short of it. I think she gets it now. That is when I reminded her of the old adage and said that she has now felt it; she started to cry again and so did I. She held my hand as the third set of meds finished diffusing. She was feeling much better by this time and was asking about water and food; cured! They moved her to another section so they could treat a little boy that came in. Not too long after that, the doctor came in again, said she was okay now and wrote a prescription for her puffer (Ventolin) and also for a steroid to help get her back on track quickly over the next few days. She was also told that due to the air and irritation to her stomach, which caused the vomiting, she needs to stay on clear fluids for the next day or so.

We left the hospital and headed over to Shopper's Drug Mart on Westney as it is 24hrs (unlike the free clinic in the same plaza). I left TC in the truck as she was already reclined and half asleep; retching, wheezing and all that is tiring stuff. I got her meds and some organic soup broth and headed home. DW was up and waiting for us. TC kissed us both goodnight and went to bed. I broke down as I explained everything to DW who hugged and comforted me. We went over the meds and what TC has to do now and then DW went off to bed. Obviously, I cannot sleep right now so I decided to blog tonight's experience while listening to BNL on the iPod.

I have not blogged about it yet but part of my emotional response comes from the fact that TC may be diagnosed with Graves disease, a thyroid condition; she has to get a second opinion from a specialist at Sick Kids. She was jaundiced at birth along with nearly dying during childbirth and ending up at Sick Children's Hospital's NICU due to meconium aspiration syndrome. The child has not had an easy path and seeing her wired up like a video game in the NICU for weeks leaves a lasting impression; we came close to losing her and we don't want that feeling ever again. Tonight, I had that feeling all over again and did not like it one bit. I am done typing now as the tears won't stop and I do not want to wake and worry DW.


UPDATE: TC is much better today and breathing normally. In order to ensure her stomach issues are past, however, she remains on clear fluids for the day. She is royally hating that part. We will remind her that a simple choice would have avoided her fate. She also is a bit headachy but considering her convulsive retching last night, her brain is probably a touch sore from banging on her skull. She should be back to normal tomorrow, which is good because her chores await her. We will also be a thorn in her ass until we see she is handling her medication with the seriousness it deserves. Teenagers!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today's Funny

Submitted by LB

Newfoundlanders had heard stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that Len's father, grandfather and great- grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 21st birthday. On that day, they'd walk across the lake to the boat club for their first legal drink. So when Len's 21st birthday came around, he and his pal Corky took a boat out to the middle of the lake. Len stepped out of the boat and nearly drowned! Corky just managed to pull him to safety.

Furious and confused, Len went to see his grandmother. "Grandma, it's my 21st birthday, so why can't I walk across the lake like my father, his father, and his father before him?"Granny looked into Len's eyes and said,

"Because, ya dumb arse, yur faudder, grandfaudder and great grandfaudder wuz born in January, you wuz born in July."