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Friday, August 23, 2019

I'm a comic character

I bought my way into the pages of Lowell Dean's comic "Atomic Victory Squad" #2. I play some goon, but with some sort of super powers that are yet undisclosed, and I am not shown as dead, so perhaps I'll return.....?

Thursday, August 22, 2019


I've been trying to continue using the gazebo while we have the weather for it. It gave some, but not entire, shelter from the strong wind so that I did my first camera painting since the spring course ended. William came out and drew with me. The honey bees, probably the ones that Berny transplanted to Rowan's relatives down the block, visited my bird bath.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

M. Hulot in back yard

I screened M. Hulot's Holiday on 16mm in the backyard. Fortuantely the mosquitoes were not a problem as we opened up the screen of the gazebo to watch from beneath it but without its full protection. I used the projector I bought from Value Viillage a few days ago for $69. Very bright but the sound was sometimes odd (perhaps dust collecting in gate?). Chrystene, Berny, Mike, and John Kennedy all joined us. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

William turns 18

William's 18th birthday was full of activity, beginning with a new fountain pen, some long walks, a visit from grandparents. Friends Emma and Xander were over for both the afternoon cake and the supper and supper cake. After Allan, Geremy, and Mike arrived, we had a round of "Fiasco"in the gazebo in which a science museum and genetic mutations were the central concerns.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

William's glasses

We picked up and fitted William's glasses yesterday. Conservative and radical simultaneously. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Peach pie with mom

Mom's church fundraiser peaches arrived today. William and I went and picked them up and also stopped in to have a great piece of pie and some coffee with mom. On the way there, we also went to Value Village and bought and Eike slot load projector. Cost more than my last one but it sounds like it runs well and there is no moisture damage or any other red flags. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Worst cat hair cut ever!

We took Nick to the vet. He had more matts than even last year. Two technicians worked on him for quite a while, shaving the bad parts off. Now he is much more comfortable, but we didn't have time for any finesse. He looks ghastly. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Big Lebowski party

John Kennedy hosted his Big Lebowski screening fundraiser at the Cultural Exchange Society instead of his back yard this year. They found William a better chair than the normal ones, so that was a very nice touch. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Art in Davidson

Drove back to Regina today, stopping for a break for William in Davidson. Margaret suggested that we check out a gallery she saw a sign for. It is a really nice gallery/studio/home renovated into an old bank building - great space. We bought a collage fashioned from old paper. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Saskatoon medical appointment

We drove up to Saskatoon for an appointment with Dr. Allan and an x-ray. William is coming along well. No more dressings on his incisions.
We supped with Mike at Angeethi's Flame on the south end of Saskatoon. Mike had brought William butter chicken from there, which was some of the best I've ever tasted. Really great meal. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Game of Microscope

Allen and Geremy came over and he had a game of "Microscope". On William's suggestion, we ran the parameters as the life of one person, rather than on a story of more long/epic proportions. Great fun. Most of the twisted stuff came from the central character's mother inventing a mind-transference device with Tesla. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Jess Richter art house

We drove out to see the art house installation that Jess Richter has been working on over the past year. Beautiful work. He previous pieces were smaller and perhaps more clearly evoked the fairy tales and legends, but this was grand and I think could ultimately eclipse that earlier work. Love the colours.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Emma visit

William's friend Emma was over for a while. She'll be leaving town soon, which is sad. University should bring William more opportunities to meet people, which is important given how many of his friends have moved away. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Retro Old Dutch chips

Retro-style of Old Dutch chips were quite eye catching and tempting. Wasn't really shopping for chips though. I'm curious to know if it is still multiple bags inside the box. I assume that is the only reason for such a box. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

AGR opening

The AGR opening has a display of strange embroidered garments reflecting upon iconography and mythology of eastern Europe but shaped and displayed as fancy western/rodeo wear. The artist was here. She's from Alberta and studied in Montreal - an interesting fusion. Rachel was in town, great to see her too.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

William picks new glasses

William picked out frames for his first set of glasses. There are many gadgets I've never seen before for helping fit them properly. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Terri and Xander visit

Terri and Xander visited.
Having binge watched "The Boys" on Prime over past few days, I borrowed the first four books from Kevin. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Back to regular activities

William drawing on back deck. He still needs to figure out how his body works in conjunction with his drawing arm. He took four walks today including a trip down to the Slate Gallery (where they gave him a chair for a short break). Frans had a charming miniature dart board in the new exhibition. It was sold. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

more walking, no walker

William forgoes the walker now and we've been taking longer walks. Heat persists. Paul came over in the evening for a visit in the gazebo.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Walker

Just as it was getting hot today, we took a walk down to the Balkwill Centre. As with earlier in the week, William decided to take his walker. Due to the roughness of the sidewalks, half the time he needed to carry it rather than actually use it. I offered to carry it for me and he rejected that saying "I can carry my own walker". 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Gertrud and Fred visit

Gertrud and Fred came over to visit William this afternoon and to hear many of the stories about his surgery. I measured him on my ongoing "measuring wall" and William seems to be 6' 2.5" now. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Allan visits

Allan has been one of our loyal cat sitters this past two weeks, even though he is allergic. Thank you Allan. Margaret went to Richard and Gerda's gin party but William wasn't quite up to it so we didn't go with her. Thank you Gerda for cat sitting as well. We got the One Take films back and watched them in the kitchen. Turned out well. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Geremy visits

Our day was full of errands. We took William to his family doctor who was surprised to see William in his office so soon after surgery. Since we've been home, one of us was always home with William. Sometimes he seems to be in good enough shape to just be home alone; other times not. I picked up the temporary handicap parking sticker for the car, and stopped in to talk to the pharmacist about which order William should take his meds each day ( to try and optimize pain control and reduce nausea.) After supper Geremy came by with a card that outlines further suggestions for bionic implants.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Return to Regina

We drove William home to Regina, two weeks from the day we drove there for his back surgery. The ride was okay when the road was straight and flat, but turns and bumps made him feel bad. He has a nauseous morning so we need to get on top of how his medications work. The last stop was a surprise visit to Xander whom William was texting to in the car.
Once home, we saw Lori and Al who had been so great bringing a pie and installing the screenings on the gazebo. A short time later, my mom and dad came to visit, also bringing some sweets. Settling back into the house took a while but it is much better than hospital or hotel. Good to be home. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mike and his visits

Mike Grzesina visited William most days in the hospital, arriving with drinks, suppers, and cards. Every visit was appreciated and he gave William as well as Margaret and I a nice break to the day. 

Outside and eventually out of the hospital

 First thing in the morning, William was uncertain if he was ready to leave the hospital. The physiotherapists gave him the green light, but everyone also said it would be his choice about how long he would stay. After a trip outside, a walk on the grass and up and down some stairways, and some fun adventures getting lost in the under-construction health sciences building, he declared that he did want to leave.
 We had one last meeting with his doctor and disembarked for the hotel. The hospital adventure was coming to a close.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Walking around

Yesterday was good for walking around the room and into the hallway. Today was much better. He went to physiotherapy and learned how to get up from a tub chair, a car seat, and to go up and down stairs.  I think that walking for the sake of getting better is uninteresting to William, but walking to engage with someone or some place drives him harder. Mike and George both visited and William literally rose to each occasion.
The other big event of the day was that the respiratory specialist came by with five residents under his tutelage. William had been taken off oxygen yesterday but last night had some difficulty breathing so was back on it for a while. This doctor had the x-rays which showed fluid in William's pleural area outside of his lungs and had a few suggestions ranging from radical (tube to drain over time), moderate (needle to remove fluid today) to minimal (let nature take its course). William wanted it drained so they hooked up a vacuum bottle and syringe and pulled over a litre of fluid from William.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

new room, more visitors

William was detached from his IV and other machines attached to his body today. Leveraged with the bacterial infection this time, William got a private room again (the same room) which is much better for countless reasons, including having a bathroom that he can use with impunity. Mooky and Sara visited on their way to North Battleford for a festival. It was great to see them. To avoid contamination, even though it likely wasn't a factor by this point, we had a huge virtual hug. Later in the day, Frank Bessai and his sons also visited on their way from the farm (where we were unable to see them) home to Edmonton.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Moving to private room again

It was suggested that he eat food that gets the old digestive system in full gear and KFC came up as a suggestion. I bought him two pieces. This is the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken that William has ever eaten. He was up on his feet a few times but is not supposed to use a bathroom that other patients use, so this was a big problem.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

First step to recovery

William spent the night with a breathing tube. The doctor saw him first thing in the morning and began taking him off the drugs that were keeping him asleep. He was alert quite quickly. He tried to write a message which was to tell me to video the process but it was just scribbles and the doctors prefer that procedures not be recorded without permission, so I didn't. A couple of hours later, we sat William up and even got him momentarily on his feet, at which point he described the pain as being at level 10.
As I said in the previous post, he was moved to regular adult observation by the end of the afternoon. Shortly before moving, they told William that he'd picked up a bacterial infection so needed to be isolated for six days during that treatment. It's always something. In the six bed observation, an older woman called for the nurse to make her toast or hold her hand every six seconds. Mike visited as he is tremendously supportive, bringing booster juice. Got through the night by drowning out voices with My Little Pony on tablet and eating baking from Christie's.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Huge second surgery on William's back

Getting the band back together for one last spinal concert
We got back to the hospital at 7 am to be with William through the pre-op sessions, questions, etc. The team assembled and answered any and all questions he had before wheeling him into the operating room at 8 am. They spent the next two hours doing precise x-rays and scans and positioning his body into just the right position using tables, bean bags, sponges, and who knows what. At 10am the surgery began. Margaret and I were able to leave the hospital and be in phone contact and we did laundry, playing cards, sorting stuff that we needed to remove from the private room, and trying to get through the day without worrying too much. Calls from the O.R. came every two hours, all positive, and many telling us that they would call again in two hours. The operation took until 9 pm, a total of 11 hours. In the end, he was kept in PICU, "pediatric intensive care unit" overnight, which is an amazing facility. Until the children's wing is finished, the PICU is supposed to be only for people 17 years old and not a day older (the age will go up to 18 year olds later). However, scoliosis surgery is more common on younger patients so the PICU is well trained to treat them. Dr. Allen arranged for William to be there post surgery, and the head doctor felt it was okay, but other forces prevailed so as soon as the breathing tube was remove (William was mad I didn't video that process) he eventually was sent back to adult. But for this first night, he was unconscious in their unit.