Archive for January, 2008

Boler trailers

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

OK, for all you "retro"ites.  Do you remember Boler trailers?  Right across the street from my work place in the seventies sat a Boler trailer in the driveway.  The doctor had purchased one of these "new" fiberglass trailers.  Almost a status symbol — unique but not too much money!!

Well, Boler trailers are still alive and well (although not manufactured anymore). Here is a site you will want to check out.

While in the hospital, one of my nurses — Greg — mentioned that on a lark he had started this site.  The idea was just to connect a few people who had Boler trailers.  Years later there are thousands signed on!!  And once a year they hold a "camp out" — started as "Bolerama" and now called "Prairie Egg gathering".  The latest was just outside Macklin Lake in Saskatchewan or Emily Provincial Park in Ontario.

Take a look at some of the pictures of the 2005 gathering outside Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  Plans are in the works for 2008 — maybe around Macklin once again.

Grab your Boler and get on the road!

On blood transfusions

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Autologous blood transfusion — banking your own blood to be transfused back just in case!!

On my day of surgery, January 21st, I was prepared with two units of blood that I had already given.  As well, the blood services had cross matched two other units of blood.

The surgery itself seems not to have used too much blood.  In recovery I awaited a bed (I didn’t realize until this time around how much administration it requires to be sure no one ends out in the cold).  A few hours into recovery I began to feel flushed.  I looked at the blood pressure monitor and saw only one number — 47.  There should have been two numbers.  I was losing it!

Quite literally!  The next thing I remember was being leaned over by a horde of medical personnel — an oxygen mask over my face, a red cart to my left.  A blood transfusion was immediately infused into my system – hoping to raise my hemoglobin.

Two days later the hemoglobin is still not up.  I’m told I could have defined "pale" on that first day.  I still am rather white.  A second round of transfusion is indicated.  The drip takes a few hours. Two days later my hemoglobin is getting a better reading.  And I’m feeling much better!

I must say I’m thankful for the ability to donate my own blood, but even more for those who donate!

We're back

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I’ve been incommunicado!

Well, not quite.  Jill has been available for phone calls, the church secretary for updates and some have even called to the nurse’s desk or used the hospital "Get Well" email service.

So, today we headed out and were home around noon (we had been asked to leave yesterday — the ward had people in the hallway after a bit of a blizzard — but it was a little too cold!). 

Our two biggest concerns turned out to be non-issues.  One was getting in and out of the car.  The seat is low and not with a lot of room.  An aid assisted us to get me in, and after moving around a lot during the trip I was beginning to understand how little or how much I could move. 

When we parked in our garage, I shoved backwards, slipped out and used my crutches to approach the next concern. 

The two stairs into our bungalow!

Anticipating this, I checked with physio.  We have no handrails.  On to Plan B!  Use of crutches.

Now, generally this can prove to be a problem.  Because the database of ortho cases is based on an average of around 80, not 50.  At eighty you may not be as steady or have as much upper body strength as a fifty year old.

With this "80 year old" expecation in mind, I was given a 20 minute time slot to practice going up and down the steps.  I walked to the physio department (with my walker), sat for a moment in the wheelchair, was given instructions on getting out of the wheelchair and onto the crutches.  Then lift a foot, push up onto the step, and repeat until you’ve reached the top of the four or five stairs. 

Two minutes later they sent me back to my room!!  Mission accomplished.  And the same when we got home — up and into the house in mere rmoments.  Then I lay down for a rest!

And so the day has gone. 

Oh,  I started to write a bit more for this blog and lost it all!  I’ll try and get back some of the thoughts for tomorrow’s blog — see you then!!

The Scrabble Game

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

So, in the latter part of the evening, we embark on a Scrabble Game.  We now have the newest "Official Scrabble Dictionary" — a killer of creativity!!  We did let one word slip by — we believe in local variations!

As the game came to the end, the finish line was open to both of us.  At one point the 300 point mark was achieved.  But then, the last tiles were played.  I had too many high pointers so lost that elusive 300 points, moving down to the 290’s.  Unfortunately not enough to win.

Oh, if there were only more words — I could have rid myself of those weighted letters and instead of being pulled to the bottom of the sea of losers, I could have been triumphant — freed of all burdens and weight.  Free to live in the whiners circle (oops — wrong spellling — better go back to the Dictionary!!).


Thursday, January 17th, 2008

This Sunday I will lead a discussion on one of those interesting characters of the Bible.

He was strong, but the not silent type.  History shows he was concerned for construction, a builder and a rebuilder.  Set up an irrigation pond hundreds of miles full of water.  A hanging garden to impress his wife.  Lots of religious buildings were refurbished or built under his patronage.

That’s good old "Nebby". 

Of course, you wouldn’t have called him that to his face.  Or to his shoes, or even to the back of his head!

When he was upset, he could easily order a whole employment grouping killed.  Even if the culprits were very few in number.  A crematorium was a good option!

Decades of rule, and yet no book written by him.  Today’s culture would have seen hundreds of biographies, both authorized and unauthorized.  Blog sites would have extolled him, or excoriated him.  His picture would be on every tabloid and business magazine.

Do you have to like the guy?  No way!  But you do have to reckon with a man who has found his place in history.

Pre-Assessment Clinic

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I guess my thoughts from Monday somehow didn’t get saved!  So here are the basics from our Monday visit to Saskatoon.

A few things I found out — I have B+ blood (this information is for my sister, Bren), mentioning bilateral knee surgery constantly got a quizzical look as though I were doing the unusual (which I guess it is), and the hallways in City Hospital all look the same (good thing there is signage throughout).

People seen:  Admissions clerk, then to blood work, then to heart tracing, then to a video (I guess that would be a person on tape!), then to physio, then to general information personnel, then to medical specialist, then to XRAY,  then to blood donor clinic personnel.  And that’s just for surgery.  We also did some shopping for ourselves and the church, and brought someone home with us who had stayed over in Saskatoon.

In all, denial is pretty well over with.  This surgery is going to happen next Monday!   We were told to be there at 6:00 in the morning — any who want to join me to "see me off" can come a 6:00 and say "Hi".  I think I won’t be doing much blogging next week, while I’m in hospital, but I’ll let you know how things go as soon after as possible.

Jacquie DeLong farewell

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

A friend of ours bids farewell the end of the month.  Tonight she sang her way through the hearts of her friends.  Her friend, Wayne Gibson, played the piano and sang with her.

Thanks, Jacquie, for your voice, your enthusiasm and love for the Jesus!


Lunch was fun!

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Today we sat with some new friends.  We took the couple on a tour of our house.  They also have a house in town.  Every house  needs renovation (probably even the new ones!).  So we talked about what we had done and what we would like to do.

Then we found out she loves music and has a background in composing and singing.  So I showed her some music I had been working on — and a CD I had helped to produce.  She headed home to send me a music file (MP4).  I played it — nice voice and definite musical ability.

The lunch hour stretched to two.  Just plain fun.  They enjoyed their time, so did we.  Hopefully this friendship can continue to develop — you never know what might come!  Another friend or two never hurts!!

In life and in death

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

This week, so far, two deaths of relatives have touched people in our congregation.  I’ve listened a bit to stories of life and of death.  The real world is never as pretty as we would like to imagine.  At the same time, living in the real world means we cannot imagine what God has in store!

To the families — may God be your strength and comfort, a very present help in times of sorrow and grieving!


Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Today I tried to walk up the two steps into our house. 

Normally that is not a problem. 

Today I tried without bending my knees.  As though I had just had knee replacement surgery.

I used my arms to grab the door frame.  Still put extra weight on my knees.  Will that hurt?  I guess a few weeks from now I’ll know.

Walking the floor will be a bit of a problem, since both knees will have been worked on.  I’ll need to learn to walk with a walker.  A number of people have remarked how embarassed they would be to have a walker.  Not me!  I’m kind of looking forward to it.  Maybe I’ll even learn to dance with it (I’ve never been able to dance before — this could be a miracle).

All in all, practice is fun.  The real thing may be a bit more gritty. 

We’ll see!!