Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 1 at the Hospital

This will be a brief post. I'm all sweaty from my workout just now, and am about to go get clean. But in case I don't get a chance to post again, I'll just say it was Good! It's a pretty straightforward job of keeping things in stock, ordering, cleaning some things, and communicating with staff.

Interesting things:

In this job I am a member of the Health Employee's Union. I wonder how active this union is.

If I forget to bring a lunch, I can order lunch from the kitchen. It's quite reasonably priced.

The kitchen staff put on pots of tea for the staff in the lunch room at lunch time.

Lunch Time is noonish, and most people have lunch at the same time.

The guy from housekeeping says he goes through a box of gloves every day.

I read and signed a lengthy Confidentiality Understanding document today, so there isn't really much I can say. I'm just getting my feet, so we'll see how I adapt to Life With a Schedule!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

the week that disappeared

Um... hi.


Where did this week go? Has anyone else seen it?

I worked my one and only day at the college library on Tuesday, had an offload on Wednesday, taught the last knitting session to the little girls on Thursday, snuck into Port Alberni on Friday, puttered around yesterday, and here I am now. Wondering where the week went.

I sort of hesitated to line up the training with the college library, because I was fairly certain I would be offered a job at the Tofino Hospital. But I went in anyway. It was perfectly straightforward, a library is a library after all. I have combined five years experience in libraries, I can check out books in my sleep.

The next day I had a boat to validate for and that was perfectly fine too. I like the plant, the people, and the guys on the boat were nice. The weather was good and the work easy.

Thursday we found out that the job Dan had been waiting to hear back from had hired someone else weeks ago and forgot to let him know. Nice. Unprofessional much? What is it with these flakes in Tofino? That very afternoon I got the call from the hospital, offering me the job of Inventory Assistant. Monday-Friday, 8:00-2:30. I get to wear scrubs! I start on Monday.

Suddenly my brain was working in different ways. It's not very often in my life that I've had work that was weekdays. It has almost all been shift work, evenings and weekends, casual. But to have a regular schedule and a steady paycheque! I spent an awful lot of time imagining. I had to call the college and let them know I was no longer available for them.

I remember from my time at the library that when I was living alone, my life was very orderly. My home, rather. I am hoping that my work at the hospital will insert some of that orderliness back into my life at home here, my craft room could sure use it!

So we took a spontaneous trip into Port Alberni on Friday. I need scrubs, and the Vancouver Island Health Authority will reimburse me. They were willing to lend me some until I got my own, but really I am just too excited. I got two pairs and discovered how comfy they are! Everyone says they are like wearing pajamas. I wore my scrub pants yesterday and was delighted.

I heard yesterday that my father has spent some time in the hospital where he lives, in Alberta. That he was coughing up blood, that he was there for four days. My sister and I were not told about this. Why? He hasn't been answering or returning our calls.

I have been doing knitting and crocheting too. I finished a scarf, finished a sock (have started sock #2), and have worked on the test knit for a new designer. I'm way behind where I want to be with my knitting but that's okay.

I've been exercising. I have an iPhone and have found a few great exercise apps that lead you through workouts. One, Body Fate, develops workouts for you based on what equipment you have. The NikeWomen app has a huge variety of workouts and they are easy to follow. I'm flipping back and forth between the two and am enjoying them both. Afterwards, I log my exercise into my LoseIt! app, the same place where I have been logging everything I eat since December 19th, and I have so far lost 12 pounds. It's good. I have never made a concentrated effort at weight loss before, but I was getting dangerously close to 200 and I was tired of feeling frumpy. Fitness, here I come.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Luckily, I'm not pregnant

Dan woke up this morning and told me about a dream he had where I was pregnant, in labour, then gave birth to twins.

EEK!

Even before the brutally difficult pregnancy & labour my sister went through with her first child, I had decided that I didn't want to have children. It's true! I'm a woman and I don't want children. Fancy that. I had many reasons:
- at the time, I was planning to go work in third world countries
- I was single
- I could barely take care of myself and my cat, let alone another human being
- I was simply not interested in producing offspring
- I didn't want to do that to my body

I had my mind made up, and I had seen a number of doctors that supported my decision. I was 32 at the time. I was in line to see a gynecologist to talk about having a tubal ligation.

A few months before my appointment with the specialist, I saw an astrologer. He said that there would be something around my reproductivity happening around July 18th (I think, I don't recall the exact date), and that was the exact date that my appointment with the gynecologist was scheduled for. Spooky, right?

The day before this appointment, I was standing at the sink, washing dishes, when I had sudden excruciating pain in my abdomen and I was on the floor, curled up in a ball, crying in agony. I thought my appendix was bursting.

I laid down to see if it would pass (I had a beach volleyball game to go to that afternoon), and when it didn't, I had the friend I was living with drive me to the hospital.

O, hospitals. Where you have to be bleeding on the floor with a dismembered limb if you want service right away... I must have waited four hours in that room. Someone brought me a sandwich and some water, because this was turning into an all-afternoon event. Eventually the (young, cute) doctor came in and asked me about an ovarian cyst. No, I said, I think it's my appendix. (Appendix? Appendics? Something doesn't look right in this spelling). He got out the wheely-ultrasound thingy and said, sure enough, I had a cyst the size of a grapefruit.

shock

Then he said "sometimes these things go away on their own. Here is some pain medicine. Come back if it happens again. We've scheduled you to see a real sonographer (ultrasound) tomorrow."

So the next morning I had a proper full-blown ultrasound (the wheely one was just to get a rough idea). She confirmed. O boy.

That afternoon, I made my way to the gynecologist, as scheduled. He said "I see you're here about getting a tubal ligation but obviously we have to deal with this first."

duh

Then there was another "sometimes these things go away by themselves, here is more medicine, go back to emerg if it happens again..."

A few hours later I was back in emerg. They put me on a gurney, I was in PAIN and it took breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably to have the Magic Nurse Dave appear with the Morphine. I loved Nurse Dave in that moment.

Ahhh.

The doctor came at some point (morphine blur kicks in) and told me I was being admitted, but the ambulance would come come and take me from the Royal Jubliee Hospital (downtown Victoria, where only cardiac and geriatrics are handled) to the Victoria General Hosptial (in Langford, just outside of Victoria, where pediatrics and gynecological issues are addressed). It's about a 20-minute drive.

The paramedics were nice, as I vaguely recall, and on the way they had a bazillion questions of me. Who knows what I told them. Did you know that morphine is great?

I'm pretty sure it was well past midnight when I was rolled into my room. The night nurse came and asked me more questions. A gynecological surgeon came and asked me some more. This is where it gets good. He said "I see you are wanting a tubal ligation..." so I told him my spiel. I have been rattling off my spiel about not wanting kids for so long, that even in my morphine-induced state, I sounded coherent, articulate. Then this lovely doctor said "well, it sounds like you're sure, so we might as well tie your tubes and remove the cyst at the same time".

Music to my ears! I loved that doctor, whoever he was.

So it was the next day I went in, they did some stuff in the OR, and I came out with a wee four inch scar just above my pubic line. I woke up with a catheter. Did you know catheters are GREAT? You don't have to do anything! You just look over and see that there is a bag of pee. I loved that.

A couple days later, I went home. Went back to work (a sweet summer job at UVic) a week later and took things easy. What I found the hardest was not so much the pain but how tired I got. Everything exhausted me. What was previously a 13-minute walk to the bus stop was now a 35-minute ordeal. I had a cane, thank the heavens, for I could not have made that walk unaided.

Over the years, before and after this surgery, I have been told countless times "When you find the right man, you'll change your mind [about wanting children]". A year after this surgery, I found the Right Man. I was worried in the months that followed the surgery, that it would be hard for me to meet men that would be willing to be with me and not have children. So when I met Dan, I got it on the table the first night. Guess what? He didn't care! He was perfectly happy either way.

Whew!

So this whole not-having-kids thing has sat with me so long, I forget sometimes that other people do want kids. Most of the couples I know, hetero and queer, are also of the not-wanting-kids variety. It's liberating, really. Not that I'm disrespecting those who choose to procreate, but it's nice to be among people who don't think less of us because we are choosing not to.

I could easily launch into a tirade now about the things breeders say about non-breeders, but I don't want to go there. This is a happy post.

When we hear from friends announcing that they are expecting, I am always a bit confused on how to respond. Is this good news? Is the couple happy about this? Was it planned? Well, after finding out this data, I can then be happy for them. Babies are fun to knit for, after all. :-)

Last night we had some friends over and the conversation turned to financial planning for the future. It had never occurred to me that, because we don't have kids, we don't have that expense - food clothing shelter school extra-curricular activities vacations university etc. We do, however, have three nieces and a nephew that have a really great Auntie Stacey and Uncle Dan.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My friend Juliet

 I know I've featured Juliet before. She's the shop dog for Knits by the Sea and gets very excited when I come in. She is featured above with Bonus, who belongs to The Good People at Stellar Coffee. Here they are waiting for their people to return.

 A stitch night in December, I think. Juliet liked my fluffy jacket and decided to make herself at home.
 Here Juliet is wiggling away in her Santa outfit for the Jingle into Christmas Celebration.
 It was hard to get a non-moving photo of her.
 On Erin's lap.
There, still, at least for a moment. The shop was really busy that night and after the first hour and a half, Juliet was plum tuckered out.

I'm sure I have more photos of Juliet, because I see her a lot and she rates almost as high as my kitty on the cuteness scale. Last night at Stitch Night I had to give her a good ten minutes of scrubbing and scratching before she would walk away from me. It's nice to be adored, I tell you.

I've noticed lately that I have been spending a lot of time with dogs. I remember blogging sometime (a year ago?) about my lack of interest in dogs, but it seems everyone here on the West Coast (except me & Dan) has at least one dog. I don't mind dogs, and get along smashingly with quite a few. My favourite tricks are Belly Rub and Be the Baby (some dogs like it, some don't).

Sam, our cat, hates dogs, largely because of the dogs our former landlords had. When we first arrived, they chased Sam up a tree three times until she figured out they were dumb and could totally kick their ass (they were black lab x with something else). I've been trying to get her used to dogs being around, and have had a couple of docile dogs in the house in the past few months. There was growling and the stink eye, a constant mistrust of what that dog will do. O well.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moco Loco

 Burger

 Gravy, in this case, curry gravy.
 Fried onions in curry gravy.



 Burger on rice.
 Fried egg on burger on rice.
Gravy on egg on burger on rice = Moco Loco. It's cheap, easy, and delicious. Dan made this at Christmas time for the family, and included a veggie version with Yves Ground Round. Fun for everyone!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

today's adventures: Logging Roads

 Second Bridge. We've been fishing here, have picked rosehips here, and have wondered what is on the other side of the bridge.
 A view of Kennedy Lake and Second Bridge.
  Dan taking a picture of Second Bridge.
 Logs washed up on shore. The waterline was the highest we've ever seen it, and there was much evidence of higher water levels.

 Tree art? Litter?
 So the campsites (this is an untended free campground, there are no services or garbage buckets here) are mostly on the left side, where water is now.
 Previously one of the campsites was on this side of the trees.
 Another flooded campsite.
 The things I found on the shore...

 When I lived in Victoria, a former co-worker from the library, Jonathan, once remarked on the huge amount of clothing he used to come across in the streets of the city. There were quite a few garments here too.



 An empty campstove fuel container. There was a disturbing amount of these.
 Styrofoam.


 I'm guessing this used to be a pillow or some other fluffy like object.
 The view from the opposite end of the beach.
 Ok this is weird. A painted pole. What was the point of this?
 A faux-Totem pole?
 My new T-shirt. Really. It was in pretty good condition so I salvaged it. It's in the washing machine as I write.
 I like this - someone carved seats out of this log.
 Our new fork.

 View from the spot we ate our picnic lunch. It was cold.
 We kept on our driving adventure and occasionally had to jump out of the truck with our axe and hatchet and play lumberjack so we could get past. This is Before.

 My Sweety!
 Watch out! I have a weapon!
 After. On we go.
Rats. This is the After but the Before for this spot in the road was WAY more impressive. We were here hacking away for a good 20 minutes. I did take a photo but it came out as a blur.