Category Archives: personal

Random Thursday Night Thoughts

For seven eight months now, I have been battling this infection in my foot.  It has gone from a part of my foot into my ankle, my skin (cellulitis) , and now my bone marrow.  They have been pumping me full of antibiotics and then to keep from developing colitis, they give me probiotics.  If you have ever had probiotics to go with your antibiotics, your quality of life goes way down.  They are just there to minimize the worst of the what the antibiotics are going to do to you.  Even my pharmacist would get freaked out at what I was being prescribed.  The antibiotics make some progress but at the end of the day, the infection comes back worse when they are done.

It came back yesterday and I was stuck with the worst fever and chills cycle that I have ever experienced.  Then today I topped that fever and chills cycle.  My whole body aches from it.  That was my last two days.  I spend hours trying to get warm and then the fever goes the other ways and I have a hissy fit trying to get the covers off of me and so I can cool down. (no one throws a hissy fit like me when I am burning up and I have seven blankets on me)

As a diabetic, this is not a lot of fun because it plays havoc with my blood sugar levels.  Twice in 2015 my blood sugar has gone so high that I have acne on my hands as the body is trying to figure out what to do (yeah, that was gross).  As one doctor said when he looked at my blood sugar numbers, “oh fuck”.   It’s so far down on the list of things they need to fix that they haven’t really made any progress in dealing with it.  Of course it means that a combination of fighting this infection and the high blood sugar levels means that I am exhausted all of the time.

Of course part of the treatment is with CPAS.  If one department needed to reorganized and changed as part of lean, it is them.  Wendy goes to every appointment with me because she helps me with this wound on my foot. This should be straight forward but it never is.  Several times I have been given appointments for things that don’t happen on that day or even that facility.  Other times they call me and say, “You had an appointment”. Wendy and I are saying, “umm, no one said anything to us about this.”  Then we get lectured because we show up for appointments written on an appointment card (and confirmed) but don’t show up for appointments no one tells us about.

Then when I am there, I get lectured by nurses because I haven’t had this test done or an appointment yet with a specialist.  You know I tried to walk in and ask for a MRI myself and that didn’t go so well… I don’t even know what to say (which as we all know, is rare for me).  I’m the one caught in the cracks of a slow system, you don’t think I want this resolved?

I wish I could say it wasn’t painful but it is.  The dog licked my leg this morning (creepy, I know) and I thought I would going to pass out.  The one saving grace from all of this is that it is summer and I can wear short pants (also trying to get a job at the PMO).  I have had jeans on lately and the pain was horrible.  It’s not like I don’t have a high tolerance for pain.  I have had neuropathy for years and cope with it without pain killers but this is something else.

I wish I could say that I have faith in our Medicare system but I don’t.  8 months.  Of course my mother lost her leg in a very similar way.  It just took a couple of years.   The weird thing is that this just seems normal here and from my personal experience and family history it is.

Knife Fight

I use a knife at work and for months, I have used a Strider folding knife.  Strider makes knives for Seal Team 6 and they are really, really nice knives.  This one is smaller but still looks intimidating which isn’t the look I was going for. 

I found a Gerber Rip Stop knife and I decided to get it but Wendy said that the boys would want to get it for Father’s Day.  So instead of letting me have it, she got me a $3 knife from Wal-Mart.

I had it with me and never really used it until one day it wouldn’t even cut through tape.  It was that bad.  Mark found out and starts to re-inact a potential 911 call.

Mark: Help, I am being attacked by my knife wielding lunatic father.

Operator: Are you hurt?

Mark: Well kind of.  He has jabbed me several times and I am starting to get a rash.

Operator: I hasn’t broken the skin?

Mark: No but a couple more days of this and I could get a callous or something.  Maybe a minor infection.

Operator: All the police are busy but I can send a dermatologist early next week….

The knife was that bad.   So finally I get the Gerber Ripstop and the first thing I test is that it can cut Scotch tape.  So at least I am making progress.  It also doesn’t look intimidating  So we are winning in that way as well.

Father’s Day

It was a weird day around here today.  Wendy’s father is dying of cancer.  While they used to be close, he has been horrible to her from the night she told him that she had been molested as a child.  He changed that night and has been horrible to her ever since.

In hindsight if he had said to her that he never wanted to ever talk to her and owned that, it would have been easier but no, her mom has tried to work things out while at the same time blaming Wendy ever since then.  With him dying he wanted to see Wendy (just Wendy, not Mark and Oliver) one last time.  Wendy said no and he kind of burnt every bridge remaining.  Well not that there were not burnt bridges left but he knocked over the piers as well.

It’s really tough on her.  They used to be close.  She thought of him as a friend.  Over the years her mother has been clueless on everything while at least her dad understood some of what she was going through, he would then be cruel while fully understanding what he was doing.  In many ways he hurt her more than the people who molested her did.

So every Father’s Day I get the full brunt of all of that emotion and anger that Wendy feels towards her father.  It just spills out.  Today was no exception except that it had all of the emotion of her being upset that I was sick as well.

Today I had big plans.  The infection in my leg plays havoc on my blood sugar levels.  That makes me really tired so the plan was to go to bed early last night and sleep in today.  However everyone was upset at that plan and was somehow mad that I went to bed early (except the dog) and early this morning they were upset that I was still sleeping.  That was the start of my day.

Another transition in the house is that I am no longer making everyone get ready.  I am frustrated with having to get Wendy and Mark moving out the door every time that I have calmly told them that I am going to give them an itinerary and if they aren’t going to be ready to leave on time, I will leave them behind.

So Friday I let them know that I had tickets to the Saskatoon Valkyries game and that I would leave for Gordie Howe Bowl at 12:30p.  No one was even close to ready.  So I left without them.  That upset everyone even more and made them even more emotional and upset.

I come home and lay down because the last thing I should have done is sit on a bleacher and watch a football game today and waited until my foot had returned to normal.  Again, that caused more anxiety because I wasn’t having fun. 

This kind of anxiety just freezes Wendy and Mark.   Wendy doesn’t know what to do and just introverts everything until she explodes.  Mark is processing this too and doesn’t know what to do. 

So finally I send all three of them out of the house to go for dinner.  The silence was awesome and I got some reading and writing done.

In some ways it is easy for me to deal with things because I have been down this road before with my mom and I know whatever happens, happens.  The doctors will make emergency referrals and do emergency tests and then two months later I will see the specialist I should have seen a month ago.  It’s the Saskatchewan way.  You may die because of how slow our system is but you won’t have to pay for it (somewhere right now Brad Wall is preparing a bar graph that shows less people dying or losing their legs while on a waiting list then under the NDP).

In Wendy’s defense, she had good care when she was really sick.  She has sat there while angry nurses have gotten angry at me because tests haven’t been done yet and have had them say, “Doesn’t anyone realize how serious this is?”  Last time I said, “think of the greater good.”  It didn’t go over well.

In the end, Father’s Day is a difficult day for Wendy.  That makes it a confusing day every year for the boys. 

One of these years we will have a nice Father’s Day.

Grey Owl’s Cabin

Well this sucks.

Six months ago I booked off some time to go to Grey Owl’s Cabin this weekend with Mark and Wendy.  We had bought new backpacks, a lot of gear, and we were ready to go.

On Friday I went in for my wound treatment and had the last conversation with a doctor about my leg.  The infection which they can’t kill has spread to my bone and bone marrow.  Not only that but looks increasingly like it is MRSA.

I knew things were messed up and I know that I am looking at some surgeries and a painful process ahead which is why I decided to do this now and not later.  There may not be a later (or at least a later with two feet).

So as much as it hurt me to do this, I agreed to not go on the trip.  Deep down I thought I could have done it but being 20km from no where with a serious inflection in my foot, ankle, and leg was not wide.   There are some treatments that they can do in the meantime and hopefully that makes a difference.  To be honest, the infection has been taking a toll on my entire body.

We are going to try again on August 21st and 22nd and do it over two nights and take Oliver this time.  We will break it into two night and instead of three.

So we unpacked three backpacks tonight and I realized that a long road ahead for my foot keeps getting even longer.

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news is that doctors are somewhat closer to finding out what is wrong with me.

Last night the infection and swelling had made it’s way out of my foot, up my ankle, past my calf, and now into my knee.

I am off to a vascular surgeon as the feeling is that I need a vascular by-pass surgery on my leg.   Of course they just did some tests that suggested I don’t need vascular surgery.  It kind of feels like a line out of City Slickers.  “I don’t know where we are going but we are making good time.”

So until then I am on another anti-biotic (actually it’s one that didn’t get the job done before) and I find myself on another waiting list.

I get asked if the process makes me angry.  I don’t know about angry but it makes me anxious.  The not knowing what is wrong with me causes me to feel some anxiety.  Since anxiety is a feeling, I never know what to do with it.

If the news was bad, then I would just face it but the entire, “I think it is this” “No, I think it is that” keeps me awake at night.  Well I don’t know if it is that or the pain but something is keeping me awake at night.  It also makes it hard to figure out what to do.  Do I cancel the hike to Grey Owl’s?  Do we cancel our vacation to Calgary?

Anyways, it isn’t something that I factored into this summer.