What we've been doing lately

Events of the day meaningful to you.

Re: What we've been doing lately

Postby meteorite » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:31 pm

Well, since late January, I have been nursing a wound in my leg.

It all started when I went hunting for some documents I still haven't found. I needed to move the cart that provides the working surfaces for both my desktop computer and laptop to get access beyond. Since quarters are rather cramped, I took the paper tray out of the laser printer, not noticing that in doing so I had pulled the printer forward on the shelf, which is one of those typical squares of wood supported on plastic pins at four corners. Then I stood in front of the cart, gripped it, and moved it. This was enough to overbalance the printer, which showed its disapproval by tipping the shelf off the front pins and diving forward onto my left shin. Let's just say I invented an entirely new swear word on the spot.

I limped into the bathroom to assess the damage and inventory the bandage supply, which was adequate. The falling printer seems to have smashed or scraped along an area about the size of a business card, while crushing the surrounding flesh for a couple of inches all around the perimeter. The bruising was fascinating; before my eyes a hematoma swelled out of the scraped area, rather looking as if a plum, or one of those little Chinese eggplants, was growing out of my leg. Miraculously the skin wasn't broken so, it being late in the evening, Mrs. M. carefully bound it up with gauze, a took a Tylenol, and awaited developments.

Came the weekend and I awoke Saturday to find my leg showing all the classic signs of infection, so I took a taxi over to emergency where, after much paperwork and a long wait, a highly decorative young blonde doctor came in and inspected matters. She finally concluded that despite appearances there was no infection, but called the Chief of Emergency in to be sure. They rebandaged my leg with a tensor bandage, and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic to be used if needed.

A couple of days later the hematoma started leaking blood, so I took it over to my family doctor. He decided it was to a stage where it needed professional care, so wrote an order for a daily visit by a public health nurse which started a day or two later. Just as well; the liquid leaked out of the swelling but took the skin with it, till I had an oozing open wound the size of a business card. The regular nurse dealt with it very competently, but called for a specialist who was not available till yesterday. She inspected and cleaned the wound, and specified a new and more sophisticated type of bandaging that would protect the wound sufficiently much better that the nursing visits could be backed off to every other day.

So far the new bandage is much more comfortable and convenient, will happily survive a shower, and is sufficiently hypo-allergenic not to irritate my skin. I also appreciate freer movement and not having to wait around every day for the nurse to come. Definitely an all-round better solution.

And or non-Canadians wondering how I can afford this, the answer is simple. I've been paying for it since my first job; almost half of my taxes have gone to the provision of government-supplied health insurance. So the nurse, the doctor, the bandages, the hospital services are all no charge, covered by the insurer. I've been paying the "premiums" all my working life. My only expense has been the taxi to and from Emergency. And I can cope with that.
User avatar
meteorite
 
Posts: 1489
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:15 pm

Re: What we've been doing lately

Postby meteorite » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:42 pm

It's been a long time since my last post. My leg is now as healed as it is going to get, though my engagement with doctors and hospitals continues. About four weeks ago I had a fierce pain in my back, which rapidly got worse. I phoned my doctor's office only to find he was away on vacation, but got an appointment with his backup for the next day. But as the day wore on the pain got worse till I was totally immobilized - I feared that one of the loose pieces from my broken vertabra had started wandering or something. At any rate the pain was continuous, agonizing, and immobilizing, so my wife phoned 911 and had the paramedics cart me off to emergency, where they have the methods of pain control not available outside a hospital. Over the next few hours I was admitted, given painkillers, and ferried all around the place being given diagnostic tests.

As it turned out I had the mother of all muscle cramps, a diagnosis finally arrived at by a very bright and visibly exceptionally competent young staff doctor. So it became a case of feeding me painkillers till the agony was under control, getting me into shape where I could turn on my side in bed, then finally with the aid of a physiotherapist, stand up and move with a walker. Since at this point there was nothing more acute care could do for me, they called an ambulance and shipped me home again.

So after 48 hours I was moving again, albeit gingerly. That's when I remembered a couple of times in my working days, two or three (or more) decades ago I had had a couple of attacks of basically the same kind, which had kept me off work for a week. At that time Tylenol 3 had tamed the pain,and physio with a TENS machine eventually disposed of the lingering soreness. This time I have asked my doctor for a supply of muscle relaxant, and the necessary prescription to order a TENS machine once the mail strike is over - it appears that buying from a U.S. supplier will save me at least 50%, likely more.

Meanwhile while I was in hospital the bright young doctor saw an anomaly in my medical history from 2007 and blood tests from my current admission that have caused him to call me back for further investigation of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. It's very confusing, because it can be very fast or very slow moving, and most of the symptoms are also the normal events of the aging process.

But there is nothing to stop me from going over to western Michigan for our annual Adam computer convention in July, though maybe I'll wait for the final test results before going out and buying a new car. But that's being chronicled under another section.
User avatar
meteorite
 
Posts: 1489
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:15 pm

Re: What we've been doing lately

Postby meteorite » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:27 am

Well, it's been a while, so perhaps a bit of an update is in order. It was an eventful summer. We went over to Grand Rapids, MI for our annual computer convention, going over early to keep the trip under control. We did make it in one day, despite a long delay entering the U.S., which given the distance isn't bad for a pair of octogenarians (actually Mrs. M. still has several weeks to go, but work with me on this, OK?). But I was able to put the van on cruise control not that long after we left the Greater Toronto area, and given that keeping my preferred median traffic speed (passing no more than pass me) which turned out to be 112 kph in Canada and about 70 mph in Michigan rolled along nicely and made our arrival in excellent time.

While in Grand Rapids we had time this trip to do a thorough survey of Meijer Gardens sculpture gardens, and finally found out the very fascinating story of the gold fossil designs embedded in the floor, not to mention "Leonardo's Horse". We also had time to thoroughly examine the Art Gallery, which had a special exhibition of a very high percentage of the famous folio prints by John James Audubon - the prints are world famous and familiar, but the actual enormous "elephant folio" originals are scattered and rarely seen, especially not together. Some time was spent shopping, Mrs. M. requiring a studied examination of the local fabric shops, while I trolled Russo's specialty food and wine shop to come up with a few grossly underpriced, superb Zinfandels. They also rendered a six-pack of Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout from the West Coast, and if I'd known how good it would be I'd have doubled that at least. To my utter astonishment they also had a couple of bottles of Dieu de ciel Rigor Mortis from St. Jerome, Quebec, a nectar so rare it's usually sold out even at the brewery. The price will curl your hair, till you open ad taste it and discover what a bargain it is.

As it turned out we had a new attendee at the convention, a collector who is regional manager for a major US supermarket chain and as a hobby is in the process of establishing his own brew-pub. As it happened I'd brought a couple of six-packs of Ontario's best beer, Wellington Brewery Imperial Russian Stout, to show off to everyone. Not to be outdone our new member turned up the next night with a number of beers for the gang to sample, and things went on from there. The daily activities were very sober strictly business, but as things unwound after dinner some serious tasting efforts took place.

We took a day or two to recover, and do more shopping, before heading home, again making it in one day. As it turned out, barring a jaunt to visit the sister-in-law on the shores of Georgian Bay, we did very little additional roaming over the summer. Maybe just as well, as four three-hour football games each weekend rather pushed Mrs. M's tolerance of football widowhood, and every other week we had the F1 races as well. But I was able to get out most every day for my daily stroll, piloting my walker up to the neighbourhood park and doing the half-kilometer lap around it, and three times this year have managed to make it to the neighbourhood plaza, a two kilometer round trip on foot. I've had some dental grief, which I am still getting attended to, but my visit to the respiratory specialist showed such continuous improvement he told me the annual specialty checkups were no longer necessary.

I also rather surprised myself by buying a new car. That's why the van is for sale (see Automobile for sale thread above). The trigger was when I was backing out of my slot in the supermarket parking lot, and nearly erased the totally oblivious pedestrian who marched along inches from my back bumper and was too short to be seen in the back door windows. While I was using the mirrors I was checking every way and she slipped into the blind spot; fortunately Mrs. M. spotted her and shouted a warning. But it wasn't the first such incident born of the bulk of the van, which given the pace with which the developers are rebuilding our neighbourhood and parking illegally often up and down both sides of the road in the process, the slightly greater bulk of even the compact van is awkward for the way we use our transport fifty weeks out of the year.

So the driveway now houses a nice new 2011 Ford Escape XLT V-6 in a near candy-apple red metallic (oh I so hate dull cars), the first car we have bought new since 1978. And if all goes as oped and planned, next year we will be driving it down to our computer convention in Quebec City, and wherever else fancy and opportunity conspire to direct us. Meanwhile it's winter, time to hibernate, but perhaps have a less frenetic time keeping carnuts.ca up to date.
User avatar
meteorite
 
Posts: 1489
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:15 pm

Previous

Return to This day in my life

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron