It Happened to Me

Dad Update

Dad’s had diabetes for a long time. For those of you not familiar with the disease, it’s most simply described as a failure to produce insulin (a discovery made right here in Accordion City),

which functions like a key to “unlock” the energy stored in

carbohydrates and sugar. Without insulin, you could eat your fill and

still be starving your body.

One of the side-effects of diabetes is that your organs will fail. In

Dad’s case, it was his kidneys. Luckily, his sister, my Auntie Beth,

kindly donated a kidney to him (kidneys are redundant systems — you

can live with just one).

Unfortunately, receiving a donated organ requires you to go on a

regimen of drugs that suppress your immune system. Without these drugs,

your immune system may start attacking the donated organ, mistaking it

for some kind of invasion. A suppressed immune system is essentially a

low-rent version of AIDS. Bacterial infections that would bounce off

most of us can make someone with such an affected immune system ill,

possibly fatally so.

Dad recently got an infection in his toe, and it just got progressively

worse. The whole foot’s no longer a pretty thing to look at, and the

infection’s making the rest of him feel ill. It was decided that either

some of the foor went, or he did. He was last-minute scheduled for

surgery last Sunday.

On Saturday, he noticed some numbness in his leg. Mom, who’s a pretty

observant doctor, gave him a quick checkup and noticed the signs of a

blood clot. She rushed him tot he hospital and the clot was removed.

However, over that period of time, his kidney was starved of blood and

wasn’t functioning at all. We’re currently waiting to see if they

kidney was just shocked by the lack of blood and on its way to

recovering, or whether it’s out of commission for good.

He had a couple of toes removed on Sunday — the thought of losing body

parts makes me cringe — and the doctors are waiting to see if they

have to remove more toes, or the foot, orf a bit of leg.

Dad was taking it as well as possible under the circumstances; he even

joked that he’d better not find his foot for sale at an antique shop.

He’s currently still in the ICU at St. Joe’s, and he’s sort

of fuzzy, drifiting in and out of consciousness. When he’s conscious,

he’s about as lucid as someone who’s just woken up. We’ve been able to

have conversations — he asks “How’s the job going? How was the wedding? How is your new girlfriend?”

For now, it’s a matter of waiting and seeing how his condition evolves.

His ICU nurse tells me that it’s good for him if there’s family in the

room, even if he’s not always conscious (apparently, it keeps him

better oriented), so I’ve been spending my evenings by his bedside with

my laptop getting work done and just being a smiling face whenever

needed. It’s the least I can do for a guy to whom I owe everything.

If you’ve got a spare prayer, wish, good thought or even a fung shui furniture move, could you please offer one for him?


In the News

When tattoos and surgery go terribly, terribly wrong

According to this news article,

an unfortunate man went into surgery with a tattoo that read “I LOVE

WOMEN”. Unfortunately, the tattoo was right over where the surgeons

made an incision — after surgery, the tattoo read “I LOVE MEN”.

It sounds more like an urban legend than actual fact. In fact, it reminds me of the old joke about the guy who had the name “Wendy” tattooed on his penis.

(Don’t even think about it, Redhead.)

It Happened to Me

My favourite photo of the vacation

…and surprise, surprise, it’s not a photo of me or an accordion. It’s one of The Redhead,

taken at the supermarket. We’d just finished some breakfast and were

about to start shopping for ingredients for a New Year’s Eve dinner

when I said “Hey, hold that pose.”

Photo: The Redhead, taken December 31, 2003 at Loblaws Queens Quay, Toronto, Canada.

As I mentioned earlier, she was an excellent travelling companion and a lovely wedding date. Plus, she’s been writing such nice stuff about me!

If wonder if Jason and Meg were this sicky-sweet.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Feeling human again

Monday’s and yesterday’s sleep deprivation-fest ended with a standby

flight on the “red-eye” from Calgary to Toronto and an arrival time of

7:45 a.m.. Since The Redhead didn’t have to fly back from Boston until

about 7 p.m., I dropped her off at my house to catch some sleep while I

went off to work.

Then drop The Redhead off at the airport (always a sad thing).

Then back to work.

Then over to the hospital to visit Dad, who’s stable and resting in the ICU (long story).

Then over to my sister’s house for dinner.

Then home, where I got a call from The Redhead to tell me that she’d made it home safely.

Then fourteen hours of blissful sleep.

I’m no longer functioning on caffeine, willpower and autopilot and I’m

feeling pretty sharp again. Regular blogging will resume later today.

In the meantime, here’s some reading:

A Saddam Hussein impersonator comes out of his spider hole and back into business. Jerry Haleva, who played Saddam in Hot Shots (the first movie and part deux), Mafia!, The First 20 Million is the Hardest and The Big Lebowski, went into retirement last year at the start of Gulf Wars II: Clone of the Attack. Now that Hussein’s been captured, he’s decided that it’s appropriate for him to resume his most unusual hobby.

A snippet from the article:


now that Saddam is in the custody of the United States Army and is

awaiting trial for war crimes, Haleva feels ready to resume making fun

of the Iraqi dictator. “I have to be fairly selective on what I can do,

because of my real job,” he said. “But if the right opportunity comes

along and I have time for it, I’m always interested.”

The only thing that may stand in his way is Saddam’s scraggly new

beard. “Clearly, we have different grooming habits now,” Haleva


Burbs vs. downtown. The

National Post is running a series of articles that “examines the

eternal struggle within all of us: the choice between the monster

suburban home with plentiful parking or the modest plot in the city

with the coffee shop around the corner.”

As you may know, I’m renting a

modest plot in the city with a number of coffee shops (and bubble tea

shops, for that matter) around the corner, and I respect the decision

of folks like my sister, who lives in the near ‘burbs with a large back

yard, which is great for her kids. I’m a creature of both downtown (most days) and

the suburbs (weekly visit with Mom, Dad, sis, bro-in-law and nephews) and have always had a fascination with cities and suburbs,

and this series of articles has piqued my interest.

Here’s the first article, Get me outta here!, and here’s today’s, Where everybody doesn’t know your name. I’ll probably throw in my own two cents later.

Have a good day, everybody!

It Happened to Me

Back at last!

At long last, and twenty-four hours later than I intended, I am back from beautiful (and incredibly cold Canmore, Alberta. My quick reviews:

  • The wedding: Amazing. Ashley and Turner put on a great ceremony and reception, and they’re such an amazing couple.
  • The Redhead: An excellent travelling companion and wedding date.
  • WestJet: One helluva of a great airline.
  • The Drake Inn: A nice motel with a great restaurant.
  • Banff Airport Taxi: May they spend seven eternities burning in seething pain in the 9th level of Hell.

More later!

It’s good to be back!

It Happened to Me

Happy New Year!

Happy 2004!

The Redhead, with whom I spent the stroke of midnight in a quiet and dark corner of The Dance Cave, fly off to Calgary this afternoon, followed by a shuttle bus trip to the town of Canmore, where we’ll be attending Ashley Bristowe’s and Christ Turner’s wedding.

Regular blogging will resume Monday. Have a good time, everyone!