Sunday, 29 April 2012

Home again home again jiggety jig

Well not home exactly but maybe better! No royal family member ever received a better welcome than I did at the Schlueter house today. Despite the fact that their beloved little cat Whiskers has gone on a walkabout without notice. We sure hope he will be back soon!

My brother Henry help me pack up and ship out of the hospital. I had another little adventure sitting in the sun waiting for Henry to bring the car around, as my wheelchair's right brake failed. But I only went in a gentle slight quarter turn.

When we got settled in a bit at the Schlueter's, Caleb and Emily each got to cut off one tag.

Emily will be my spa administrator and gave me a delightful foot massage to begin the luxury treatment. Caleb plans to be my personal waiter, chef and activity director and has already created a menu.

Dinner was delicious and served with a flourish! Caleb had a little help ; )

Who's an extremely fortunate aunt, sister and sister in law?

Raises hand as high as possible. Me that's who!

Tune in tomorrow to meet Mr Mew, my new not so little iv buddy in a back pack. We are going to be very close friends for a while!

P. S.

This is the only good part to Whiskers' being missing. Harrison is able to come here for a visit till his arch rival returns. Everyone else here got lots of love and turtles but I received a resounding punishing ignoring from my cat till just now at midnight when he couldn't hold out any longer.

I never really doubted that Harrison loves me but it really touched my heart when Henry said that Harrison was the perfect gentleman at their home but every once in a while he would go downstairs and cry and wail his little heart out then come back up and join them politely as if nothing had ever happened. What a guy. He wouldn't want his hosts to think he was unhappy in their home.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

On Golden Commode or Commodo Dragon Strikes Again

Up until just now the strangest thing that happened to me (in this room) at night was that I dreamt about this thingy;

It's been above my head all week. It's to hang on to to help you change your position. In my dream the bad guys were coming so being the super hero that I am, I turned the thingy around 63 times, you know, how kids turn swings around so they'll spin.

Now here's where my special skill came in. I could turn the thingy 63 times AND THEN make it stay totally still so that when the bad guys came they wouldn't see the trap till it was much too late and those bad guys were toast and the day was totally saved. Huzzah!

Well. Tonight was stranger and it wasn't a dream. I wasn't going to blog about using the commode but now it's gone too far and must be punished.

Today was the first time I used the big girl potty instead of the commode all day long. The washoom is a trillion steps away from my bed and it's so well designed that I have to do a 17 point turn just to get into the washroom with my walker. You could never get a wheelchair into it.

Anyway today I took all those steps all day but decided that overnight I would use this thing of beauty instead:

So I'm tired and I've been drinking ICE cold drinks from my rocking thermos that can keep ice cubes for over 24 hours (thanks friends) and I really should get up but decide to go to sleep instead.

An hour later I'm no longer being given a choice in the matter. I have to pee. I do my fancy pivot out of bed and find out that my pants have been velcro'd securely into the top of my brace (see below) and will only pull down a few inches, which sadly, was not enough.


There was no help for it. Things were already happening. I got them down as best I could and scooted onto the commode where I STILL couldn't free the pants from the brace so I tried to get them off my good leg and work from there. Okay but because of the way I was sitting my good leg got stuck inside the leg of the pants and couldn't go up or down

Since I couldn't stand on my sore leg to save my life right now, I was completely hog tied onto that chair.

Are you wondering if I had taken the time to move my call button close enough to the commode to use?

Silly Rabbit course not. Lesson learned.

So for a good 5 - 10 minutes I'm hollering for help. A bunch of people finally came by and one of them is my lovely nurse who rescues my good leg so I can stand and just generally helps me get my act together.

So there you have it. My little adventure for this evening.

Slow day here at the okay corral so the party is at the nurses station. On the meantime my iPod and this puzzle book that my friend Marjorie brought me are doing their best to keep me sane.

I hope to find out later tonight if there's enough Vanco in my blood to let me go home tomorrow. In the meantime my roomie went home, turned out she's deaf not grouchie. Who knew?

There. Did you hear it? We had 30 seconds when you couldn't hear someone talking or clomping down the hall! I should probably be more grateful and I'm sure I will be at
some point.

Harry is doing well at his unky Henry's. He can't quite believe he's allowed to explore their fenced in yard without his harness and has been cautiously peeking into every corner.

Henry says that he comes in when called and always rushes to use the litter box!

But he does miss he mom


Dana and Deb came to visit!

They brought me more clothes and food. Lots of veggies and fruit yum! Deb even brought me a mystery juice. Turned out to be carrot, celery and apple and it was delicious!

My theory is that if I have lots of supplies they'll let me go home!

Friday, 27 April 2012

What's Up

My knee is coming along really nicely. I've been able to decrease my pain meds a bit. Today I walked all the way down the hall, slow going with a wheeless walker but it's what I need to use so that I only put 50 % of my weight on the hurting knee.

I was able to go up and down the steps so physio would be ready to discharge me but I can't leave until the levels of the antibiotic Vanco are in the target range in my blood. So possibly I could go home by Sunday if they have the correct dose figured out.

If not I just have to hang out here. I'll be getting a new roomie tomorrow. Always interesting. The lady with me now is nice. Very quiet and sleeps most of the time.

They have the picc line in my arm. It's nice because they can draw blood through it and can probably use it in Hamilton too unless hospitals are territorial with their iv sites.

My incision is great, totally dry, I'll have to get Caleb and Emily to count the staples. Last time they counted 48. Already the tape sites around the incision hurt more than the incision which actually I can't feel at all but probably will as the meds decrease.

Hey I learned how to put the pictures under the words!

Most of you have seen pictures of the food that I've posted on Facebook but I just have to share the BBQ chicken and sweet potato mashed again. Can you see the profile of Ben Kingsley?

Missing my furry boy but I have a picture and can listen to the video I took of him purring. That is not a delicious hamburger in the background it's my life saving snack from home.

And last but certainly not least here's a picture of my friend Alice making a peace/happy vulvectomy sign. Don't forget to send me yours!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fresh air and ice cream

Last night was fun. We closed down the cafeteria of rules (they are lunch lady despots one and all) and Caleb drove me around like a formula 1 racer. We went outside and breathed some air and I showed them the art of the diabetic treat eater. You eat only your favorite parts. In my case the choc crust, the very center of the icecream and the bottom tip of the cone - then you throw the rest out.

I'll try to blog more tomorrow, there's a chance I may get to go home tomorrow!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I'm movin on up!

Am being moved to a room with another woman! yaaay! Who I presume is not sneezing and horking up phlegm and throwing up and having diarrhea and talking to strangers who are not there alllll night long on his sleep and out of it and denying all of the above when he is asked about them. He's a very sweet man, never once felt uncomfortable because he is man but come on.

And also have pain relief that works! Still hurts like a hurricane to move but I'm okay when I'm done moving which is all you can ask for at this point.

Life is good!

Hurray! Noise of the iv pump going in is to the theme of Rocky. Okay so I'm a little crazy too. So what!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Feeling better - aaaaalmost

I think I'm almost over the Terrible No Good Hump Day o' Pain where in the epidural totally wears off. Tomorrow is a big day where they'll look at the incision for the first time. And having chatted via email with 3 knowing nurses has calmed my fear re my roomie's germs. I wash my hands a lot and say no thanks to the leftover's he wants to share with me! But his stuff is spread hand to hand not airborne which is good. He is currently chatting away in his sleep.

Speaking of chatting look who I got to say good night to tonight! It's a very attractive shot of myself if I do say so!

Tomorrow's a big day of checking the incision for the first time and more meetings about which anti biotic to put in the picc line. I feel like I'm in an episode of House!

p.s. I also got to see Caleb's new electric guitar!

Happiness Email

HI from JIM

hello Ruthe from Ava and I love you

I love you so much Ruthe from Olivia

we're making cookies do you want one? how is your day going?
How is the leg working did you get snow in London?
good by for now.

Sitting up

Okay apparently some major source of pain relief has worn off so we're figuring out what it'll take to control things.

A very nice physio person came and taught me how to get up. We even did a bit of walking over to the window, here's my view. She was impressed with how I could sit up so easily and told the student with her it's because I've kept up with the swimming etc. that made me feel good and also happy that my surgeon actually listens to me because she was quoting stuff I told him.

Take a look at the makeshift brace the surgery team made for me. No tape which I'm allergic to. To me that makes it beautiful. They really were awesome and caring.

Pray for my room mate he has some kind of mystery infection and that it will stay on his side of the room!


Hey. Fairly rough night. I didn't know that I could press the pain med pump every 6 minutes so I didn't get ahead of the pain so very little sleep. Also it's a sauna in here and my room mate is freezing. Physio is coming to help me sit up soon. all stuff to be expected. I'll feel better after some sleep tonight

They said I'll be here at least till Friday for sure.

The surgery did confirm infection - holes that had been there for a while. They are trying to grow a culture with stuff they took out during the surgery

Maybe write a bit more later on today. You can reply by email if you want, just easier to write things once here.

Monday, 23 April 2012

All's well

Hi! The surgery went well and so far I'm doing great. Thanks for all your love and support!

I'm in room 9-220 with a lovely nurse who will bring me a pain pump soon.

Feeling fortunate!

Here's tonight's supper:


All hooked up and almost ready to go. Talked to my surgeon and he says he thinks the joint they put in will be able to bend but he doesn't want me to start bending it for 2 weeks. Interesting to get in and out of cars!

Karen is with me, they are running ahead of schedule so I might go in at one.

Pip pip!

We have contact!

Hey, I've paid for a week of wifi! so far I have wifi in pre admit. Not sure I'll have it in my room but cool that I'll be able to use it in the lobby for sure! So I'm thrilled about that!

Safe trip here no snow!

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Here we go, just have to try to get a little sleep and we'll be off, hopefully not in a snow storm!

Guess what? I asked my niece Melissa to design a logo for Cure Crotch Cancer, (we decided to go with CCC instead of KKK for obvious reasons.)

Look below to see what the talented woman came up with! I think it is beautiful - stunning actually.

Also a dear friend of mine named Johanna is going to do the weekend to end women's cancers' walk in sept. She'll be looking for sponsers as she has to raise quite a bit in pledges to join. I like that we are having some fun here but are going to do some good too. I'll post details when they're available.

So to sleep I should go. The second picture describes my inner core. Nervous but also a building feeling of excitement and optimism.

Enter co-ordinates for London UH and set phasers on hope.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

More happiness

The first card is from my niece Melissa. I have never danced in my life except in the water holding my nieces and nephews when they were babies. However I plan to dance at all future weddings. This is both a promise and a threat!

And what can I say about my friend Susan's poem except well played Madam, well played. Love it, you and my bonus nephew Matt!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Where I'll be on Monday

So. Think of me at 1:30 on Monday. I'll be having the knee revision surgery at University Hospital in London. No really good idea how long I'll be there - likely about a week. I hope to find a computer or a wifi safe zone after a couple of days (or I'll be going all Alec Baldwin on a non private jet) so I can blog about the view and marvelous food. I'm sure it will be every bit as delicious as the fantastic supper I had with some sweet friends tonight at Arabesque on Victoria Street.

You don't need to visit, and flowers make me sneeze but you can go to the London Health Sciences Centre website here

(look at me embedding a link) ((Thanks Judy))

Go to the bottom right and choose Send a Patient an e card. I promise that I blurred my eyes and didn't look at the pictures so I will be totally surprised! Maybe wait till Tuesday so they can track me down to a room.

I LOVE the part about how they strive, nay yearn for complete confidentially but suggest you don't write anything you wouldn't write on a post card. I hope some of you take that on as a personal challenge (I'm looking towards Calgary when I say this) and write lots of really obnoxious cotterwalloping balderdash.

See this is why blogging is helping calm my nerves. Where else can you make up words like cotterwalloping that are immediately added to my blogger dictionary as if they really existed!

p. s. Truth must out. I thought cotterwalloping was a real word but not even Google thinks so, so I guess I made it up. My point is that I am currently Googeling silly words instead of reading hospital propaganda.

So yeah, here's what I assume the food will be like in the hospital - delicious hot out of the oven pita bread and beautiful pools of olive oil and herbs nestled in the loving arms of mild but flavourful humas. And also for no particular reason other than I love it, a picture of me proudly wearing my brand new Aberdeen FC Dons scarf from the newly minted Mrs and Mr Bruce!

Go Aberdeen!

Test from Henry
Keep smiling

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Did you wash your hands before you touched this blog?

This is me gearing up for Monday. Up until the last few days the knee surgery has taken a supporting actor role in my brain - just kind of been a back seat driver to the cancer surgery.

Reading hospital information propaganda is fun. You get your odds of dying (0.7), find there's only 0.5 chance your knee will get infected (guess who beat those odds) find that the exercises they give you to do after surgery shouldn't hurt (must have been doing them wrong cause they still hurt 4 years later) and learn that it's okay to ask staff if they've washed their hands before they touch you. Yes I'll get right on that!

I'm remembering last time with the initial knee replacement. The nursing staff at UH was great, I only had one crazy and she was followed around by a kindly student nurse who apologized profusely in the wake of Ms Crazy RN who berated my elderly room mates and refused to contact the pain team for me for 4 hours when my nerve block quit working and it was just me and the bare naked pain slow dancing through the night because "This patient is new to me and I don't know if I can believe her."

I'd like to think I will be a bit more assertive this time. This time, when as the person who comes to take me home wheels me past the nurse and clerk station, if while everyone else smiled and said good bye one of them said snarkily, "And don't come back," I'd like to stop and assure her that I would do my very best to make that happen. And I did do my best snarky person at the desk, I tried really really hard.

However it HAS happened and in the words of the immortal Britney: "I'm back Bi$&@)!" and I'm ready to kick some snarky butt.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Getting Ready

Today I was going to do laundry and worry and pack but I decided the weather was far too nice for that. Harry and I took a walk instead. My knee co operated for the most part and we made it a quarter of the way around my building. We met a nice dog named Deana, did a little bird hunting and took lots of pictures of trees - see Facebook for more.

I still want to post pictures from all of my birthday celebrations which has turned into more of a 2 week long affair! Thanks everyone!

Tonight I plan on reading all my hospital information, it will no doubt be riveting but everything's easier with a sleepy cat on your lap!

One more thing, stay tuned for some guest test posts from my brother and sister so they can see if this works to keep you up to date on my whereabouts etc once Monday rolls around. Thanks!