Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Rising to new heights

Come Thursday next week, I'll be rising before the chickens... in the dark... bleary eyed but excited. We get some pretty spectacular sunrises... and sunsets too... here on the Prairies. Having enough space for the colours to spread out and be their best on display makes for some pretty cool early mornings, coffee clutched in hand.

You see, the Man of Steel is on holidays next week and told me he had something planned. So when he came over last Friday for dinner, before we trundled off to the concert hall to watch Wicked! (which was excellent, I might add), he told me he wanted to take me on a hot air balloon ride. His concern, however, was for my not fully function right arm. The company that offers the balloon rides wants everyone to be in good health, with no back or knee problems. It says that right on their website. My back and knees are in decent shape, for someone who's been bucked off the odd horse here and there. I visit my chiropractor regularly so I'm fairly well adjusted, as individuals go these days. I figure I can deal with things with one (very strong) good arm and one not quite up to snuff limb, plus a nice helpful man by my side.

So needless to say, I am very excited about this! One evening, when he and I were sitting on my balcony enjoying a drink and yakking up a storm, we watched some balloon floating over the south end of the city. I see them often from my place and it's nice to watch them drift along. I casually mentioned that I thought that would be a cool thing to do.

It would appear he heard what I said. I have to admit, and I have said as much to him, that I appreciate the fact that he does listen to what I say. About pretty much everything. He's not what I have come to view (from personal experience) as the "normal" male... where words travel down the ear canal, only to bounce off the ear drum and fall to the floor without having made it to the brain.

When I commented to him that he's not like other men, he said "I know I'm not" and I told him that was a very good thing! I think that has something to do with why I like him so much.

So upon rising in the dark of night, or wee hours of the morning if you prefer, we will wander over to a designated meeting point, to be transferred to the launch site and there we will watch the inflating of the balloon. The flight itself follows, for about an hour I think, and once we touch down again on the verdant earth, we'll be transported back to our vehicle.

I am taking my camera and I think I will change the setting to high resolution so that if I get some really nice shots, I could have them enlarged and printed if desired. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and it's clear and dry that day!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Today is going to be a hot one here... The forecast high is 35C, which is in the mid 90sF, for you south of the 49th.

I am going for my walk early today to beat the heat. I will be closing the windows and turning on the a/c soon, to prevent my south facing apartment from turning into a toaster oven. Crispy kitties are not on the menu!

However... I fervently hope that UB and Hope did not jinx a change of seasons into happening too early because of their mention of the cold temps and that white stuff that coats the universe when the days are short.

I like the heat, thanks. And I would like summer to last as long as absolutely possible! Because it is usually much too short here. This year has been wonderfully hot, dry and sunny... which was not expected after the horribly wet spring and massive flooding we experienced.

So bite your tongues, people, and keep your wishes for cooler temps in your own neighbourhoods! I quite like the heat wave we're having, even if it does mean I have to do more laundry.

It beats being dressed up as an imitation of the Michelin Man any day...

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I listen to the chorus of crickets outside my window as the evening settles in. The sky is clouding sporadically, although nothing threatening. The temperature dips a bit as the sun's warmth fades with the light.

I await the arrival of my oldest friend and her eldest daughter as they are driving up from Texas to come visit her mum who fell last Sunday and fractured a hip. Given that the old one has Alzheimers and possibly cancer, treatment options are limited to keeping her comfortable and possibly saying a final goodbye. My heart goes out to them all.

This is the first weekend I have not been at the Man of Steel's in many weeks. It feels a bit odd. I can honestly say I miss his company.

I was able to walk one of my regular routes today with minimal shoulder discomfort. That's a first in almost 4 weeks. And it felt very good to be out and moving again. My activity level has been rather stagnant since the repair job.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Slingin' it all about

I've been asked if I have a broken arm, or if I hurt my arm riding a horse, or if I fell down.

I still have to wear the damn sling most of the time, although at home I am slowly spending time without it. It has gotten very old, let me tell you! I swear my shoulder muscles have gone on permanent hiatus to Mexico or some place south. And my tricep muscle has shrunk to the size of Wales (comparatively)... The province I live in is much larger than the whole of the UK, so Wales is pretty tiny.

Maybe I need a sling with a pictogram on it, so people would understand what happened. I've not yet found one that is appropriate, so I may end up designing my own. (Or not. It's just a thought.) I think I would pick a different colour, though. For some reason, purple comes to mind. But this will give you an idea of what I mean:

After the Labour Day holiday in September, I get to start physio therapy. I have "The Plan" as mapped out by my surgeon for the rehab. It will be slow going, but that's okay. I plan on taking however long it needs to get my shoulder back into the best shape it can be. And I am not going to rush it.

And because of that, because it still hurts like a bugger at times, aches a lot most of the rest of the time, and still wakes me up a lot at night (gee, I've been chronically sleep deprived in a really big way for seven months now!), I do go around and read all the blogs, but right now, I am not commenting much, simply because of the work involved. And I find myself doing too much (like right now, typing this out) and then I pay for it in pain later on.

So please bear with me while I muddle through this recovery period. I'm still here, I still go visiting, I just don't say much. I'm just a little on the quiet side at the moment.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Man of Steel

To settle the bet between (the "real") Jimmy and Mapstew, as Jimmy has mentioned on my previous post, I have decided to show you all what my Man of Steel (aka the New Beau) actually looks like.

He is a handsome example of a fine Canadian Steelworker, who chops wood on the side for extra cash.

(He's gotta pay for all that beer somehow.)

He's shown me his tools. No, I mean tools. That go in a tool chest. Like this:

He's got lots of tools. And really big ones too. I was impressed! That tool chest is almost as tall as me (I have to stand on my toes to see on top of it properly) but it is much wider (and that's a good thing).

I'm not easily impressed, despite what you think.

He also has a big truck, just like this:

I like big trucks too. I've not driven it yet, but I'm pretty sure he'll let me one of these days. He's a pretty generous and easy going kinda guy.

So, to settle that bet between Jimmy and Map: He does not have a beard (yet - will have for the winter) but does have a moustache. I think you two might have to split the £50. Here, you decide who gets how much...

He's tried to take up some of my Viking ways, but his Scottish blood keeps showing through, what with the tartan and all.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

It's been (almost) two weeks since my last confe...


That's not right.

It's been nine days since my last post.

There. That's more like it.

Do you know how tedious it is to type and use the mouse with your "other" hand? I admit to cheating a bit the past couple days with the typing bit, but I have to stop that cuz it's making my shoulder ache a bit more.

Not a good thing.

And along with the suture abcess, which I now have to take antibiotics for, the aching bit I could do without. It's definitely downgraded from brutally painful to bloody annoying at times, so its a big improvement, I guess.

I saw the surgeon today and got the lowdown on the operation. I even got colour photos to take home! He explained what each one was and what he did, and also gave me the game plan for the next couple of months. I now have a plastic anchor screwed into the bone of my upper arm (the humerus, in case you're itching to know) that comes pre-laced with some string that he then threaded through the shredded tendon and tied it up snugly to the bone, where it can (eventually) be put into service once again.

Which means, I should be able to lift my arm to scratch my armpit by about Christmas. Isn't that just too exciting?!?!

And just because I can, here are some photos of all that.

On the left is the drill and on the right the anchor screw.

 This shows the shredded tendon at the top, looking rather like chicken feathers...

And this shows everything tied snugly, although still rather fluffy.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

At least I slept

I am one week post surgery now and last night was the first time I slept through the night. I have spent that week of nights propped up on the couch, as lying down hurts waaaaaaay too much and I think the longest I've lasted is about 5 minutes. I'm back home after spending the weekend at the New Beau's (on his couch) so tonight I will try the bed and use lots of pillows if propping is necessary. Which I'm sure it will be.

You can see the dressing on my shoulder is smaller than the first one. The smallest incision on the back of my shoulder is dry and almost healed. The other two are another story. One is closed but a bit red for my liking, and the other, while now considerably smaller, is still open and draining. And no, I won't gross anyone out with photos of those.

My upper arm is still swollen and bruised, with most of the colour having migrated to my elbow. Gravity has a way of making that happen. A couple of days ago, it was a lovely purple on the middle of my bicep, where all you see now is faint yellow.

There's still no moving my arm away from my body. Aside from being told not to by the surgeon, it hurts too bloody much to even think about it! And you know how your body twitches as you're falling asleep? Let me just say that the slice of pain that little muscle spasm causes takes you back to wide awake in short order.

The worst part, though, is the heat rash on my inner arm, chest and arm pit. It's been hot and humid here and armpits were never designed to be a closed system.