Sis problems

My sister’s health hasn’t been great.  She’s been to hospital a few times this year.  I’m sure part of the problem is her fitness and diet.  Like me, she doesn’t sleep well – perhaps less than I do.  I think I come from a family of insomniacs.  Whenever there is bad weather (rain, wind, thunder) – she doesn’t sleep.  She’s been like that since she was a kid.  On bad nights, when she’s stressed out – her blood pressure and heart goes crazy.  So I stay over.

I guess it works out that I’m not working.  All her blood work, heart, thyroid, urine have checked out so far.  It’s puzzling.  She has one more blood test to do.

Stay healthy everyone.  Go out for a walk.  Do some stretching.  Eat healthy.  Get some quality sleep.


It Was a Long Night

I spent the night at the emergency room of my neighbourhood hospital.  The hospital wasn’t far from my home and while I could have walked, I decided to take a cab.  Besides it was already past midnight.  The front door of the hospital was already closed when I got there so I went into the Emergency Room.  I’ve been here a few times before so I knew what to expect.

Within minutes, they triaged me, had my EKG done, got my paperwork done and led me past the patients waiting to get in.  Some were on stretchers – their ambulance attendants waiting patiently with them.   Heart problems gets you front of the line access to the ER.

The rest of the night was uneventful as they tried to figure out what I had.  Basically my heart started to race although it didn’t go as fast when I had previous problems with it.  The staff was good to me and patiently explained what was going on.  They were hesitant to give me the same medication as before because the symptoms exactly fit what I had before.  I had a bit of time to chat with a nurse.  When he found out I was in IT, he told me his family was all in IT except for him.  I told him he was the smart one.  We chatted a bit about travel and his work.  He had an easy going manner and a good sense of humour which helped to put me at ease.  I complimented him on that.

The ER was busy.  A man was swearing loudly.  The woman beside me had a stroke.  Another patient across from the hallway asked for a bedpan.  The bed I was on was narrow.  Another guy wanted water because he was very thirsty and got angry when he couldn’t have any.  Sometime in the middle of the night, the doctors decided to simply give me a double dose of a medication I was currently taking.  It took several hours for the meds to work.  Before I left, they told me they would follow up on me.  I got out around 6AM.

The sky was still dark and the air was cool.  The 2 coffee shops on the corner were just getting busy.  I passed by a deserted park on the other side of the street.  The elderly Chinese women haven’t come out yet for their Tai Chi exercises.  A skunk wandered out from the park to the edge of the sidewalk. It kept walking in the same direction.  I kept my eye on it just in case it tried to cross the street to say hi to me.

I took a nap later in the morning.  My sleep patterns were all messed up.  I made a couple of appointments, did some chores and just took it easy for the day.   J came by for dinner. I feel fine now but I need to find out what caused this.



It Will Probably Be a Long Lunch

I just got off the phone with an ex-colleague.  It was a very long call – over 90 minutes.  She called me earlier in the day while I was walking home but I missed it.  The odd thing is that I was thinking of her yesterday.  She called again when I got home.  We always got along very well at work but we have never met each other.  We did eventually meet for lunch and had a wonderful time.

She asked me how I was doing and I gave her a quick update.  Her voice though sounded a bit slurred.  Was she drinking?  Then she told me that when she went in to check on her migraines, they told her she has an unruptured brain aneurysm.  Because of where it is in her brain, it is very difficult, if not impossible to treat.  The doctors said it could rupture in a week or a year, there’s just no way to tell.  So she’s been running around trying to settle her affairs.  I listened as she calmly went on talking about the doctors, the insurance forms, work, her family, her funeral plans and her dog.  She spoke about her life, her parents, her brother who passed away at 18 in a car accident and all the questions she still had about life.

She told me while she was doing all of this, she heard her guardian angel reminding her to connect with old friends.  So I was one of the people she called.  As we were winding down, I asked if there was anything I could do for her.  She asked to have lunch with her and so that’s what we’re gonna do in a couple of weeks.

Aging Body

My body has been out of rhythm for awhile now.  I’ve had foot problems since my 20s and had to wear orthotics to address pronation problems my flat feet.   Now I’ve got some pain in one of the joints of my second toe (capsulitis).  I had it last year but it went away when I got new orthotics and new shoes.  My podiatrist suggested getting new shoes again with more cushioning in the midsole and less toe lift.  The orthotics are still in decent shape.  It can be painful walking sometimes and unlike last summer, my daily morning walks has stopped and my weight is slowly climbing back up. It’s just so frustrating.

My shoulder and thumb are slowly healing.  Once it fully heals, I can start lifting some weights.  I had an eye infection (stye) but thanks to some antibiotic eye drops, this is now going away.  I also have a bit of a stomach flu but it was mild compared to the food poisoning I picked up Singapore.   Hopefully it be gone by the weekend.

I need to find the fountain of youth.

Shouldering Some Pain

I’ve visited my chiropractor twice recently. My back was giving me some problems and I also have pain in my shoulder and thumb.  My doctor told me to get some physiotherapy.  Since I was seeing my chiropractor about my stiff back, I showed him the diagnosis from my doctor and asked if he could also help.  So my chiropractor worked on my back, shoulders and thumb for about 45 mins.

It’s always a bit awkward for me to see him.  He’s young, Chinese, incredibly good looking, muscular and always looks like he just stepped out of a fashion shoot.  I try not to tense up when he touches me.  He held my hand while he worked on my thumb which made me swoon a bit.  While he was holding my hand and making small talk, he mentioned an upcoming vacation with his girl friend.  I think this is what straight guys do to make sure there are no “misunderstandings”.

I have a date an appointment with him again this week.  On a more serious note, I hope my shoulder will heal.  I can’t figure out what I did to injure it though.





A Long Night

The emergency room was the busiest I’ve seen.  A steady stream of patients gathered in line for the triage nurse.  The steady sound of hoarse coughing filled the air.  Most of the seats in the waiting room were already taken. The ambulance bay door opened.  Amidst the swirl of medical staff, I could see patients inside being attended to. A paramedic wheeled a small, elderly lady into the waiting room and placed her in the line for patient registration. Her slippers stuck out from her night gown which in turn was covered with a institutional white blanket.  She looked scared and confused.  A long, dark green winter coat hung from one of the metal poles attached to her wheelchair.  It  looked several sizes too big for her.  She clutched a bag in her hands.  It took perhaps another 30 to 40 minutes before a worker from the registration desk attended to her and then wheeled her to a spot not far from where I sat.

She looked scared and confused.  Every so often she would vomit into a plastic bag. She never looked over to the entrance to see if a familiar face was coming in. She never got out a mobile phone.  She gestured to a trio nearby and a man came over.  He went back to and got a bottle of water from his bag and opened it for her. When her blanket slipped another man came by to readjust it for her.

8 hours later,  I was inside the ER keeping my sister company.   We had already told my brother to go home hours ago.  He was already fighting a cold.  I told him I would call if anything urgent came up.

My sister was waiting for the results from a second round of tests.  The first round was clean and the doctor was very optimistic. We sat with a group of about half a dozen people.  An attendant wheeled the same woman to a spot beside me and covered her with a couple of warm blankets. I thought she would fall asleep but she kept moaning.  She said to no one in particular that her pain was unbearable. She asked why was she here in the waiting area instead of the room with the bed.  I closed my eyes.  I have enough things to worry about.  After a few more minutes of taking, she started to shuffle her wheelchair to the hallway.  A nurse intercepted her. With a firm voice the woman asked why she was waiting and what was going on.  She was told that a doctor was waiting for the results of her CT scan before he could see her.  The woman muttered aloud that no one ever tells her anything.  Humbled and defeated, she let a man wheel her back to the spot beside me.

Underneath all that, I saw that she was trying to hang on to some shred of dignity.  She didn’t know why she had an IV line stuck on her arm.  She complained that part of her face was numb.  She hoped she didn’t have to stay up all night.  Someone remarked that it was already 4:30 AM.  Her bottle of water and her purse fell when she tried to adjust her blanket. I picked it up for her.

Despite the frantic environment of the ER, time doesn’t pass by quickly if you’re a patient. Eventually the doctor cleared my sister to go home. Everything was fine. The woman saw that and asked about her status.  He came back with her file and said her tests were negative and she can go.  But she needs to come back for follow up appointments.

While my sister went to get changed, the woman looked at me and asked about the IV.  I told her a nurse will take it out for her and she shouldn’t change until it’s removed.  Within minutes the nurse came by with her appointments and removed her IV.  She asked where the washroom was.  I told her I could wheel her there.  I pushed her wheelchair inside the washroom, pointed to the emergency buzzer if she needed attention and told her how to lock the door.

As my sis and I left, I told the nurse the woman was in the washroom and might need help getting out.  She thanked me for the heads up.  The sun wasn’t even out when we left the hospital.  On the sidewalk, I saw another wheelchair abandoned by the crosswalk.  The cold morning air of this new year tasted sweet.


Just Think and Act

It’s tough to see your sibling taken to the emergency ward in an ambulance.  But I was remarkably calm.  I stayed with her until the wee hours of the morning until she was released.  I shooed my brother and his wife home so they could rest.  A week later, I went to the hospital to pick her up again.  Today, I drove her to the walk in clinic to get some meds until she found a family doctor.

You know how I deal with this and stay calm?  I just turn into a robot and take action. It’s easier that way. I don’t have to deal with emotions.

Stay healthy everyone.