Done and Dusted

Good news about the knee! I went to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon yesterday, and since my knee seems to be doing well with my current regimen, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory cream, that will be my last scheduled appointment. I do have arthritis in my knee, but he assesses it as at the initial stages, so that surgery is not needed, particularly since I am able to keep the pain under control. He was funny, though he didn’t mean to be. He thought I would be disappointed that surgery wasn’t needed at this time. I guess a lot of the patients that he sees want a quick fix, so he assumes that is how I felt as well. I explained to him that I felt it was good news, that I could keep going without needing surgery. Temporarily, the knee issue is done and dusted.

I will need surgery down the road. He told me that the condition will flare up from time to time, and each time it does it will recover to a lower state than the last flare up, until finally I will need surgery. I am hoping that is many, many years down the road!

When I consider how very painful it was back in January and February, and that my case is not very advanced, my heart goes out to those who suffer pain from an advanced case of arthritis, or any other painful chronic condition.

While I was waiting in the very large waiting room, I noticed a couple leaving. From out of nowhere, I suffered a short sharp pang, missing Attila. It took me by surprise, as I don’t like to spend time thinking about how much I miss him. Luckily my name was called shortly after that, and day flowed easily around the incident.

It was amusing to watch myself prepare for that appointment yesterday. What bothered me about it? The parking! The parking garage, the one that Tank would not fit into, was something I was not looking forward to using. I don’t like parking garages, they are stark and lonely places. The biggest obstacle though, was the payment system. I can NEVER reach those darn machines, just out of reach outside the driver side window. I almost always have to unbuckle, open the door, and lean out of the vehicle to reach those horrid machines, then quickly bring myself back into a driving position and slam the door of the vehicle shut, as the barrier briefly rises to let me through. Two vehicles, that were ahead of me in the long line to exit the parking garage, had serious issues with the machine, requiring an attendant to come out and sort through the problems. Luckily I made it through without needing assistance. That parking garage exit exercise was the worst part of the visit to the clinic.

My visit to the parking garage confirmed that indeed, Tank would not have fit into the space between the floor and the roof on any level of the garage. It would have been madness to try it!

I am now left with no obligations to keep me at the little house in the city. Attila is working on projects this weekend and in the evenings for another week, so that my return to the country house during that time period would interfere with his progress. He also emphasized to me that the snow has not fully retreated; winter is lingering there. I am loath to return to an empty house, to sit in the bush by myself, staring at the snow. I will not be heading north for at least another week!

Diesel has spring fever! I am finding him in odd places. This morning he was sitting on top of the refrigerator. Yesterday he was attempting to chase birds despite the window glass between him and the birds outside. Yet, when I open a window for him, that offers a perch, he avoids it. He is the quintessential “‘fraidy cat”! During the night last night, he frequently touched noses with me, slept nose to nose with me most of the night, and even wanted to lick my face. His whiskers tickle. I wasn’t receptive to the licking! I was glad he was there.

Our personal finance books are almost balanced! This is quite a feat for us, considering the new used vehicle last fall, and the very expensive dental work for Attila early this year. In a few weeks we will break even, universe willing, and begin to put ourselves back together again.

We have a sunny day here today, coolish, but not nippy. Neighbours are out all up and down our street, washing their cars, raking their lawns, tearing up gardens and shrubs. The neighbours pets are out all up and down the street, cats prowling, dogs barking, birds singing in the trees. After being shut in all winter, all of these sights and sounds are welcome!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
-1°C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Thursday 16 April 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.7°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NE 6 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Country House
3°C
Muskoka Airport
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Thursday 16 April 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 2.9°C
Dewpoint: -7.8°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: ESE 9 km/h

Quote

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”
Henry Winkler
1945

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

Weather

Little House in the City

EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
-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

EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
-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)

Quote

“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.

Yes… No… Yes…

My appointment with the physiotherapist at the hospital has been cancelled. I got a letter today with a copy of the appointment, and a handwritten note that the appointment had been scheduled in error. I have no idea at all what that is about. The note also said that I would be hearing from the office of an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the hospital. This is a different Orthopaedic Surgeon than the one whose office called the country house and left a message. What a muddle! They have my name though, it will be just a matter of time before they sort themselves out and get around to telling me what is going on.

My knee is holding steady, no pain unless I stand for more than ten minutes, or try to walk about for more than five minutes. My daily walks are still on hold.

We had a mini-blizzard last night, here at the little house in the city. It highlighted just why I like it so much in this neighbourhood. Last night, after the snow abated a bit, I heard a noise outside, and peeked out the curtains to see my neighbour across the street using his snowblower to clear our driveway. Then this morning, the plough went by and left a two foot high, four foot deep, snow bank across the end of the driveway. I had my breakfast, then headed out the door with the snow shovel. I was making a bit of progress, when I stopped to say hello to the new neighbours next door. They are a young couple, and were out shovelling their driveway together. The next thing I knew they were both in my driveway helping me! The fellow quickly took care of the snowbank across the end of the driveway, and they both worked to clear the entire drive, including the snow that came off Tank! He even shovelled a path to the front door!

People here are friendly, and help each other when they can. Such a contrast between here, and the neighbourhood at the country house. We have one good neighbour at the country house, he will clear the end of the driveway for Attila after a snow storm, with his little tractor, so that Attila can get off the road when he comes home for lunch. The other neighbours, permanent and seasonal, well…

When Attila was getting ready to drive down on his last visit, a group of young men knocked on the door. This is pretty shocking, because I think we have only had about four people knock on our door in the last ten years. Anyway, they had come to the cottage across the street, for the weekend, and since the driveway was covered with six feet of packed snow, they had parked in an open area in front of one of the other unoccupied cottages. I guess our second permanent neighbour on our street took offence, and approached them aggressively, so much so that there was almost a fist fight. The upshot was that they knocked on our door, and asked Attila if they could park in our driveway. Attila told them that since he was leaving, they were quite welcome to park there for the weekend, which they did. The conflict they had with our second permanent neighbour is just one of many he has initiated with seasonal people. The permanent neighbour’s obvious intolerance for seasonal property owners is a natural reaction, it comes from so many seasonal people being rude, aggressive, and inconsiderate to the local population.

So, here we are, approaching the end of January! Two more months of full-on winter at the country house. We don’t expect to see any serious signs of snow melting or the arrival of spring there, until well into April. It will be interesting to see how early spring arrives here at the little house in the city!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

The Little House in the City
-10°C (14F)
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 30 January 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -9.8°C
Dewpoint: -16.8°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: NNW 27 km/h
Wind Chill: -19 (-2.2F)

The Country House
-14°C (-6.8F)
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 30 January 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 15 km
Temperature: -14.4°C
Dewpoint: -21.0°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: NW 24 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -24 (-11.2F)

Quote

“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
Thomas A. Edison
1847 – 1931