Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Birds at Parkwood

Shortly after arriving here, we went walking by the frogpond, and found an older lady who feeds the birds.  With a handful of cracked corn, she had attracted a busy flock of House Sparrows.  I decided it would be fun to keep track of the birds I see here over my stay.  So far I've seen14 species.

So here is the first list of birds.

American Robin - scattered across the lawn digging up worms.
Flicker - on the lawn with the Robins, digging up grubs.
Redwing Blackbird - I first saw several females joining the House Sparrows to feed.  Later the males got bold enough to join in.
Blackbirds - a large flock swirled through the sky outside my window a few days ago.
Chipping Sparrow- one solitary bird in the flock of House Sparrows .
Turkey Vulture, one, soaring through the sky with its huge shallow 'V' shaped wings.

This group of birxds will all leave us for the winter, migrating  to warmer climes, though I increasingly hear of Robins or Vulture s staying in southern Ontario over the winter.  Lots of other birds that  migrated here in the spring have raised their broods and quietly headed off again.  It's so obvious when they first srrive, with their sprirng mating or territorial calls , but now they just quietly vanish for another year.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Happy Anniversary!

Yes, it was 46 years ago that the Furry Gnomes got hitched.  We're still together, what more can I say?

I don't think any young couple realizes the ups and downs they may go through as a married couple.  from careers through children to teenagers, to the challenges of older life, a lot of it is not easy, and some of it is an incredible challenge!

I also don't quite know what keeps us going, what keeps us loyal and what gives us strength,but something did and here we are, struggling with this latest challenge.  All I know is that Mrs. F.G. has been an angel sent from heaven the last few weeks,

So Happy Anniversary dear, only 14 more to reach 60!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Is the end in sight?

  • Life in the hospital here at Parkwood moves haltingly ahead.  I'm being kept very busy, but there are lots of gaps in the schedule I have to fill, especially on weekends.  I get two hours of physio and occupational therapy each weekday, and I'm supposed to practice the exercises in between.  Butjust getting up, washed and dressed takes 3 hours of the day, and I fear I'm getting lazy just sitting here reading blogs.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I still can't eat or drink.  I've been on a tube feed since I arrived.  I could SO enjoy some real food and drink!
I'm sitting at my window looking out at the gardens while I write this (wih one baby finger and one thumb mostly), and it's a beautiful mixture of greens - trees, grass and plants with paved pathways interweaving between them.   There are several small shelters within sight, as well as the frogpond.   And visitors pushing patients in wheelchairs.  Often there are families around, so there are children too, though it's quiet on weekends.   There's an active day care centre aound the corner during the week.

There are amazing areas to explore here in the building itself, from a bowling alley tothe chapel, from thelibrary to the Tim Horton's outlet, and lots of lounges.  It's a very interesting building and community.  Unfortunately for me, I'm not allowed to leave the floor alone until my tracheotomy is removed.  Hopefully only another week or two.

They held a 'family conference ' the other day to report on their initial assessments of me, and lay out what I need to accomplish before I can get out of here.  It seems like an awful,lot of work and dedication is required, but my planned discharge dat is Sept.11th!  Can we get the house ready for me to return to in time?

Friday, July 27, 2018

How Do Read Your Blogs?

I receive notice of the blogs I follow either in my email or in my Reading List on Blogger. I usually read them that day. I comment if I notice something particularly interesting, but not all the time.

Having missed almost 6 months of blog reading, I'm now in the unusual position of being able to read all the sequential posts from one bloggger day after day or week after week to atch up.  It is givivg qme quite a different impression of those blogs.  You get glimpses into a blogger's life the first way, but you get to follow the story of their life for a while the other way.
For example, I'm currently catching up on Al's 'Travels with the Bayfield Bunch, one of my favourites.  In March they were driving their RV home from the south.  Reading it this way lets me follow their whole trip day after day, which I really enjoy.  I'll probably put in one great big long comment at the end.

Soon I'll get to some of all those other blogs out there awaiting my attention.

As for readers commenting on my blog, some comment rarely, others comment if I  comment on their blog.  And finally there are those of you who comment regularly regardless.  You're the ones who have kept me going these long dark months.  On reflection, I'm going to read more blogs sequentially rather than as isolated posts, and I'm going to try and be more generous in my comments.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

First Day in the Physio gym!

I had my first chance in thephysio gym here this morning, and it was amazing!   This is the rehab I dreamed of. Lots of equipment and a 1/1 staff/patient ratio.  In one case it was 4/1 as a patient tried to learn to walk again.  I have a long way to go to get my fitness back after nearly 6 months lying flat!  But I think I'm really going to enjoy a carefully supervised hour inthe gym every morning.

Then I was hit with another hour of exercises this afternoon.  Had to have m a little nap after that!

Last nightI I woke at midnight to the brightest, longest brilliant lightning show that I can remember!  My window gives a great view, and the lightning lasted nearly 45 minutes, with heavy rain.  I loved it!  Too bad I couldn't get my paralized legs out of bed to take some pictures!

Monday, July 23, 2018

What Actually Happenedk

Lasr January I went in for some admittedly serious heart surgery.  We were told there was a 4% risk, but everything that could go  wrong did.  I ended up almosr in a coma for a month  and then spent 81 days in ICU.  I  haxd  kidney disease, a chast infection  and am paralized from the waste down.  It hasn not been easy !

The tips of four fingers  and all my toes were amputated - it's VERY slow writing this!  Then the miracle happened .  My kidneys recovered, I could stop dialisys, and that part of our catatsrophe was over.  That opened the door to a lot of things.  I now have a good chance of getting homeaathough life won't be like it was.   I'm daydreaming about sporty motorized wheelchairs.  Above aall this opened the door to rehabilitation.

After ICU, there were 75 days in recovery  and now I have been transferred to Parkwood Instsitute, one of the premier hospitals here dealinqg with brain injury, amputation, and spinal cord injury.  I'll probably be here for a couplae of moncths or more for rhabilitation.  Then I'm looking froward to getting home againf.

Outside my window is a large area of gardens, with paved pathways, and lots of alcoves so visitors
 Cana sit with patients.  Lots of trees too.  More on the gardens to come.

Help.  Has anyone figured out how to post from an ipad and import pictures from a cellphone?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Nature in the city,

Even though I have been living in a cement monstrosity for the last six months, I have  appreciated deeply the little corners of green that I can  access  here  at the hospital.   There is a fair amount of green grass around the Hospital buildings and quite a few planted semi-mature trees.  There are three gazebos we take advantage of.   If we're lucky it's sunny, cool and a nice breeze.

A family of House Sparrows took over the biggest gazebo as their territory in the spring, so even though they were just squawking House Sparrows, we were surrounded by birdsong.  We watched the parents nest-building, feeding their, and then dispersing to raise second broods.

Did you know that the young appear bigger than their parents because they still have fluffier feathers and they hold their wings out wider appearing quite fat when begging for food?  We've seen as many as three fat, fluffed out yougsters following a slim hard working adult.  Today two were having a dust bath.

Those aren't the only birds we've seen.  Earlier in the spring the Canada Geese control the morning ramparts, honking to let the world know they're here.  Once the goslings are born, the adult males act as traffic cops while the females lead the young ones across the roads.  Now we don't hear them much, as they've dispersed learning to fend for themselves.   The hospital is located close to the valleys of Medway Creek and the Thame River, so there's lots of natural habitat for them to explore.

At other times our lives have been enriched by the red flash of a cardinal or the long musical song of a House Finch.  We regularly see Turkey Vultures soaring outside the windows.

 After spending several hours over several days trying tp insert pictures for this post directly fjrom my ipad, I have given up.  If I figure it out  I'llshare, them with you. . Cheers!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Day 141

The Furry Gnome reporting in here.  About time you may say, and you're right!  It's day 141 in my visit to the big London University Hospital where I've been spending my latest healthcation.

There are lots of details you'd like to hear, but I'll leave that for later.  Fit to say, I have been taken off dialysis and I'm peeing lots --- a minor miracle for anyone with kidney disease.  Only took five and a half months!  I've now been accepted to Parkwood Hospital's Spinal Cord Rehab Unit, one of the best in the country.

There are a number of smaller points of progress.  I can ride my own wheelchair around the hall (but boy is that hard work)!  I've learned where all the cracks in the sidewalks are  and avoid them.  But outside there are several nice places to sit with plenty of green to sooth the mind.  Even the lowly House Sparrows have been fun to watch.

I'm looking forward to more progress and will keep you up to date.