Friday The Thirteenth

Friday The Thirteenth

Friday, February 13, 2015

I guess I’ve been lucky all through my life. Friday the thirteenth has not been a day related to bad luck in my world. With one notable exception, one person who was born on a Friday the Thirteenth was an exceptionally negative element in my life for many years, changing the course of my path significantly. All water under the bridge now, but it was difficult to cope with at the time. I need to acknowledge that one black mark against Friday the Thirteenth in my reverie, as I acknowledging reality, which although it can be harsh, is crucial to my mental health. For me, acknowledging harsh realities is not the same as giving them power to darken how I see the world. Quite the opposite really, placing them in light of day puts them where I can see them, so that they can be easily balanced with the realities that fill most of my life, which are positive. Dark forces rely on darkness and denial to maintain their power.

Yesterday Terra and Lares arrived early to drive me to my appointment with the Orthopaedic Surgeon. It was just my luck that the snow plough drove by just after they called to say they were on their way. There was a six inch pile of mushy slushy junk across the end of the driveway. If the weather report had predicted warmer temperatures for the day, I would have left it. But the thermometer was to drop during the day, and I didn’t want a huge ice barrier left across the end of the driveway during the cold snap. So out I want with my shovel. I cleared the end of the driveway and was just finishing with that when Terra and Lares drove up. They stopped the end of the driveway, jumped out, grabbed the snow shovel from me, and finished most of the driveway. Then Lares rummaged in the garage and found a bag of snow melt, brought it out and applied it to the shovelled area.

It was interesting, when I looked up from my shovel as they came down the street, Terra was driving, and Lares had his hand across his eyes and was shaking his head. I do believe he was shaking his head because I was out there shovelling snow so they could get in! Terra tells me I am very independent! I don’t think she always approves of that, but as long as I can, I will be doing things for myself. Then, when I can’t do things for myself, I will ask for help and be thankful for it!

My appointment was interesting and extremely beneficial. I was almost immediately escorted to an examination room, and interviewed for intake. The surgeon arrived within minutes and we reviewed my knee issue. He sent me next door for x-rays, and then I was back in the examination room. Soon afterward, it is a teaching hospital, the Intern arrived and reviewed the problem, did an examination, and left. A short time later he arrived back with the surgeon himself, to discuss the x-rays, and treatment.

The upshot is that I have early arthritis in the knee, and mild meniscus damage. Surgery would be premature. I am relieved! I opted for a shot of cortisone under the knee cap to aid in healing, which turned out to be the truly time consuming aspect of the visit. The cortisone was allergen free, but the anesthetic was not. Since it is a teaching hospital, this eventuality was not regarded as an annoyance, as it has in similar circumstances, in three other hospitals where I have received treatment. Just the opposite, the allergen was regarded as an interesting problem to solve! And they did solve it, eventually bringing an alternative anaesthetic from the pharmacy at the hospital. If they had not found the alternative anaesthetic, they were prepared to do the injection without an anaesthetic. I would have gone through with it even then, but was extremely relieved that they were able to locate an allergen free product. The shot did not hurt, just a very strong feeling of pressure. My knee felt almost immediately better. We had to stay at the hospital for an additional half an hour, waiting to ensure I did not have an allergic reaction, before leaving the proximity of the emergency department. All was well.

Ongoing, I will be taking a temporary course of painkillers, attending physiotherapy, and beginning to go for walks again, lengthening my walks slowly as the days go by. I have a follow-up appointment in two months, to see how this regime is working. The surgeon emphasized that the exercises provided to me by the physiotherapist are crucial, and must be done EVERY day. I find that much routine difficult to maintain, but the alternative is pain, so it is a priority!

Diesel was a bit disoriented when I arrived home. He really would like me to stay put, here in the house! It is partly because he likes to sleep on my bed, and could not. I put the cyclamen in the bedroom while I was away, and shut the door to keep him from getting into it. I spent a few hours with him sleeping on my lap; he felt a lot better for it.

This morning was an early one here at the little house in the city. At 4:09 a.m. I was ready to get up and get started with my day. I had a lot to accomplish during the morning hours. It was recycling day, so the recyclables had to be gathered and brought to the curb early. It was pay day, so bills needed to be paid. A computer support visit was scheduled for the morning hours, which I needed to prepare for. AND, the big event, Attila was packing the car and getting ready to travel to the little house in the city! Anticipation about Attila’s visit is probably what inspired the early rising this morning.

Cold! What a cold day! Tank started up without issue, the new battery is working well.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Attila arrived safely on Friday afternoon, in time to share a hearty lunch!

He gave me a Valentine’s Day surprise. He made me Chocolates with cherry centres! They are my favourite!

Attila shovelled the snow off the garage roof, and it only took him about an hour. He started to carve out a path to the front door, and came in for a short break in the warmth of the house. While he was in the house the neighbour from across the street snuck over with his snowblower and cleared the path to the house! What a guy!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

We have been enjoying our time together immensely. Friday we did our shopping, and took the little car in for a lube and oil change, then we settled in for the weekend. It has been a cold one!

This morning there was another mound of snow across the driveway, but Attila took care of that in less than thirty minutes. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out, watching a movie, cooking, puttering. It was lovely.

Attila leave in the morning to return to the country house. The masonry heater will have discharged in his absence and he will need at least three full firings to recharge it. So, he must arrive home in time to chop the wood and accomplish two firings in the masonry heater tomorrow, before dark.

Diesel and I are going to miss Attila. Mist is going to be very glad to see him. She has been safe and warm in the country house, which is being heated with electric heaters in Attila’s absence. The cost of this visit will be high, as heating the country house with electricity, in this extreme cold, will be pricey. It was worth it though, to be able to spend a little time together.

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City

-25°C (-13)
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 13 February 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -24.5°C
Dewpoint: -29.0°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: W 6 km/h
Wind Chill: -30 (-22F)

-20°C (-4F)
Date: 8:00 PM EST Sunday 15 February 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -20.4°C
Dewpoint: -27.7°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: NNW 26 gust 38 km/h
Wind Chill: -32 (-25.6F)

Country House

-28°C (-18.4F)
Observed at: Muskoka Airport
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 13 February 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -28.3°C
Dewpoint: -31.1°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: NW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -36 (-32.8F)

-24°C (-11.2F)
Date: 9:00 PM EST Sunday 15 February 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -23.7°C
Dewpoint: -30.7°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -31 (-23.8F)


“I have to say, this global “warming” is turning out to be quite a disappointment.”
Attila, after coming into the house after shovelling the drive, in the wind with a a -38 wind chill factor, February 2015.


  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Oh, good! I was hoping that with the long weekend Attila would be able to spend time with you. Yay! And he made chocolate covered cherries for you? That’s amazing, both that he knows how to do that and that he could find time for it! Attila, you’re an amazing man in oh so many ways!

    Glad to hear that shot made your knee feel better. Yes, I’ve noticed myself that walking has made a major difference with the strength in my knee, so I can see why it will help yours.

    Friday the 13th has always been a good day for me. Probably just because I’m a contrary person. 😉

    And tell Attila we agree with his sentiments about global warming. 😉

  2. Bex

    Snow here has totally clouded my countenance! I can’t think right. I can’t write a blog, I can’t laugh (much) and worry is my overwhelming essence lately. Worry that our roof will collapse in on top of us as we sleep. When will this winter ever end? Why are the days going so slowly? The scariest part is that if I lived alone, I’d be sunk. Having a man around the house for me is essential to life. That is the scariest part. You are so brave to be spending a winter, for the most part, alone there in the city… but nice that you have friends/neighbors/children who pitch in for you! Good luck with your knee. My diagnosis was “end-stage osteoarthritis” which seems a far distant one to “early arthritis” – it sounds so hopeless!

  3. I think walking is great exercise Teri, and as soon as this cold snap lessens its grip I will begin again with my daily walks. I won’t be going far to begin with, but some is better than none!

  4. I hear you Bex! Our male partners are essential to life as we know and love it!

    I also sympathize with your reaction to the severe winter weather you are experiencing. From my blog entries in the last ten years you will know that the winters are a challenge here in Ontario, and particularly at the country house, where the type of weather you are seeing is present, and often more severe, from November through to the end of March. Snow and bad weather can be intrusive enough to affect your perspective. What I call “cabin fever” had been worsening every winter spent at the country house, until last winter it moved from merely affecting my perspective to impacting my health. I knew then that I could not spend another winter at the country house. I was right. Attila is much more relaxed when he does not have to worry about me suffering in isolation and cold. He knows I have a thermostat and know how to use it, here at the little house in the city!

    Personally, Bex, I think you are a very capable and inventive person, and if push came to shove, and Paul needed you to take the reins managing the house, you would find a way to get the needful things done. It would be quite an adjustment, but you are a “can do” kind of person, and would figure something out. Thank goodness you don’t need to to do that!!!!

    End-stage osteoarthritis is a lot more challenging than early arthritis! I have advanced arthritis in my cocyx, and have had for more than twenty years, it is extremely painful and affects a lot of other stuff. Luckily it isn’t systemic yet! That is coming though. When I was a kid, the specialists told me I would experience a lot of pain from arthritis in my older years, because of the injuries I sustained during childhood. I knew the pain was coming, but I am always disappointed when it does, :). Forward ho Bex!

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, I found with walking that the best way for me to start was actually grocery shopping. Having the cart to help with balance and the inevitable times when the knee might give or tire when you’re first starting out after injuring it can be truly helpful.

    Hope you’ll take care when it comes to walking outside. Every time I’ve re-injured my knee it’s been during snowy weather, when my foot has slid forward or to the side in the snow/slush.

    I had damage to my coccyx when I was a teen, during horseback lessons. It caused me a great deal of pain for many years. Fortunately, some time in my thirties it finally got better. I have a questionable back just below where my ribs attach but other than that (and the knee) I’m pretty happy with the way things are so far. I get sore fingers in the cold but otherwise I can’t complain much about the odd ache or pain after no longer having the bruised tailbone (coccyx) and my knee getting better. For the moment, arthritis is giving me an easy time compared to where I’ve sometimes been earlier in my life. I’m just a little slower when it comes to getting up from a chair and straightening out, that’s all. 🙂

  6. Am glad the doctor’s visit went well. Avoiding surgery is always good – and perhaps you will be able to avoid it all together. But if the time should arrive that things worsen, don’t delay. Most people do. I did with my first hip replacement and afterwards regretted the fact that I stalled and waffled. I had the second hip replaced in a timely fashion. I’m not encouraging surgery – not at all! But if it becomes your only recourse or choice, don’t hesitate too long. 🙂

  7. Teri, I shop almost daily right now, because I can walk up and down the aisles with the cart, no snow, no ice. I have a handy folding stool, which I plan on taking with me on my next visit to Costco, those concrete floors really are difficult to manage joint issues.

    My cocyx injury came with the birth of my first child. It did not get better, but rather evovled into nasty arthritis. For years I just sat funny, but that ended up injuring my back. Then, with the help of a surgeon’s advice, I found a way to sit that gave my back a break and the back issue subsided. The arthritis isn’t going anywhere, but I manage by standing and sitting when I know it is time. So far, so good. 🙂

  8. Reenie, I think your advice is sound! I had decided that if the surgeon recommended immediate surgery, I would go for it. However, he felt I had a real chance to manage the issue and that is what I am going with. I am following his advice to the letter, and have my fingers crossed that I can carry on, not as before, but in a new and viable way that includes daily exercises. We shall see! Pain, I don’t much like it, so if there is a way to avoid it without taking pills, I’ll give it a go.

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