Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Oh Summer, At last!

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Finally the temperature and my summer turn on!


We enjoyed a wonderfully healing week at a cottage near Sauble Beach Ontario with Tom’s family.We had our own little bunkhouse and did the typical wonderful healing cottage things I’ve grown up loving: reading by the lake, canoing, playing music (in the bunkie, on the deck by the moonlight, on the lawn by noonlight, on the beach, play play play: we brought ever instriment we owned!)…. we also had some extraordinary star gazing, and even swimming (with the aid of my waterproof piccline cover).  Hernry loved being able to trot down to the lake in the mornings and drink from the water’s edge. Sunsets were amazing. I even got to eat my favorite treat from the Crowd Inn @ Sauble beach, the Strawberry Funnel cake!


One sort of massive moment of realization came to me when I’d just finished running the length of our beachfront several times with Henry through the shallows. I stopped and then found myself a little out of puff. A LITTLE OUT OF PUFF! Holy cow! That’s massively awesome!!!!


On the way home we came to a garage sale at which there was an english saddle for sale. It happened to be in Tom’s exact size! I never whipped out $35 at a yard sale so fast in my life. Now Tom is the very proud owner of his own all purpose saddle, and I think has all the gear he could possibly want or need.  And riding feels nice now at 2.5 litres: I love the feeling of moving my body around again; look forward to it eagerly: nothing’s a greater relief than seeing the lung function slowly returning.

The summer gifts keep coming: I had an amazing night with the Alleycats, my swing band. (My first full night of singing jazz since the surgery!!!)   It was a reunion of sorts, because we had back with us the fabulous Kevin Clark on trumpet (in town on a brief stopover)  It was a strange feeling, like time travel: there I was singing in the same clothes with the SAME band singing the same songs but without any coughing. It was as though everything and nothing had changed. As though nothing momentous had happened, when really it had & through the miracle of organ donation there I stood belting them out with the band like I did as a younger woman. It was a truly amazing night for me to be re-united not only with a clear voice, but with my good ol’ band of Alleycats!

My goodness… On September 4th it will be ten months post surgery….

New Life

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2009 at 5:38 am
I didn't realize the symbolism of the Life Saver I saw today until I got home and read about my friend getting a lung transplant this week!!

I didn't realize the symbolism of the Life Saver I saw today until I got home and read about my friend getting a lung transplant this week!!

With the light quickly fading on Friday, Tom and I threw on the horse’s bridles and headed off bareback into the fields. It was a delightfully engaging ride:  trotting & cantering around the fields, around the orchard, up and down hills, & all without the cushion of a saddle. I was amazed how only a week ago I was still strapping on the oxygen tank and now here I was legs wrapped right around my pony as unencumbered as it gets! It was a fun thing to do and something I’ve not indulged in for many years. What’s more amazing is that my husband can do the bareback riding! As luck would have it we were not alone at the farm for peeping out of the woods we spied a deer. Then another, then suddenly there were THREE young deer chasing each other around in circles and galloping across the fields.  We watched silently this magical sighting from the backs of our likewise quizzical horses.  It was delightful: frolicking deer, sunset, crickets calling, the heron fishing, moon and Jupiter rising?! YES!!

Today we went to the Toronto Island for the wedding of friends.  The staff very kindly allowed me to eat first from the buffet table when I explained that my immune system was low due to transplant. It was the best wedding food I can remember: Lamb chops? Wicked!  The bride looked like a movie star, her groom a bit like Obama, and their young daughter nearly eclipsing them both! It was a lovely celebration, and oh so wonderful on the island: it’s own private wonderland. The ferry ride was a delight too, watching the skyline of Toronto get smaller… and such a fantastic treat to see the C.N. tower from that view, as opposed to the one from my hospital window.

And then I got home and found out that a fellow lung sufferer GOT HER TRANSPLANT this week! I am so excited for her: she waited a real long time and totally deserves this!  I’m sending her all my very best wishes for a smooth recovery!!! I like the symbolism of the life saver that I photographed on today’s ferry ride. Nice, eh?


In Uncategorized on August 6, 2009 at 3:27 am
Summer sunset at the farm.

Summer sunset at the farm.

Wow.  I had all but forgotten what the summer night smelled like… in the country no less.  No longer having to rush back to my suite at “The General”, I did in fact go riding this evening, mounting up at 7:30 and riding  in the last warm glowing rays of a beautiful summer night.  Gypsy and Mister were both excellently behaved, and me without oxygen feeling nearly normal again! Oh, that, and the gift of being able to smell the moist smell of the country grasses at nightfall… Watching the sun drop lower, seeing the tern negotiate the swallows over the pond: nighttime even sounds different from daytime! A treat for the senses: crickets chirping, deer-like rustling in the tree stands, evening bird calls… it was fragrant, and vibrant… watching Gypsy graze afterward, I’d quite forgotten the lovely calm that comes over the farm at sunset, as Theo the cat emerges engagingly from the hay loft to socialize briefly before slinking off to do some hunting, the swallows all a twitter at his presence…

The above-mentioned Theo

The above-mentioned Theo

And speaking of wonderful “sensational” things, smells, feelings, etc… Monday’s show in Stratford was terrific. At one point I was singing with the full warm sun on my face, open lungs, barefoot on stage while the smells of candy corn and summer filled my senses. It was excellent, and a large enough crowd to spread the word about transplant. There was also the Avon to wander by with my sister, and the classic car show to enjoy with Tom. A GREAT day.

Tom feeling mellow yellow!

Tom feeling mellow yellow!

I just made the bed up. Tonight, the most sensational thing of all will be to sleep there with the full moon coming in the open window… let’s hope it’s just that good!!!

Before Stratford performance, I pose with a great looking car to match my dress! (Note: do not wear a wrap dress on a windy stage!)

Before Stratford performance, I pose with a great looking car to match my dress! (Note: do not wear a wrap dress on a windy stage!)


In Uncategorized on August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm

It is true. Me, myself and my pillow are home at last!

Happy Accident = “Awesome-gen”!

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Yesterday I realized I’d tacked up with an empty oxygen tank.  Using this as a spring board I realized I didn’t need the oxygen anymore to ride. We outran a seething hoard of flying insects without it. When the deer popped out of the brush, when the pony stuck her head between her ankles and joyously bucked, I was fine! It was awesome. The best gift ever to realize I was getting better, and merely “out of shape!” Oxygen + Awesome = awesome-gen!  (or should that be MINUS oxygen?!)


Off to Stratford momentarily to play with Lickin’ Good Fried: Awesome! Getting all dolled up is really a balm to the spirit, although clothing my body is a bit frustrating. With the up and downing my weight has taken with the iv medication/fluids/etc, I look a bit like a prison camp survivor again: muscle must be rebuilt, fat stores too.  Think I found something that accentuates the positive: PLUS, today I can fit into my new red shoes!!! Look out Stratford!  ALSO, something  I noticed the last few times I’ve been in hospital: it makes my eyelashes grow really long! As I slapped on the mascara today (for the first time in a month) I felt like Greta Garbo! It must be all the pepper I’ve been putting on my cereal 😉

Docs (predictably) are now saying a “Wednesday or Thursday” release. I never trusted the Tuesday theory..!

Three More “Sleeps”…

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

So, try though I might NOT to do a mental countdown to “coming home”, I am.  Only three more sleeps till I can rest unmolested again.

Or rather, unmolested by nurses throwing on the lights at 6am to take my blood saying, “Good Morning, How did you sleep?!”  Eyes squeezed tightly shut, throwing my arm out from under the covers for them I customarily reply, “I’m not *done* yet!”

Or, unmolested by staff at 8am making their twice weekly sweep of hospital residents for “super bugs”… this means having a swab/queue tip in places I shudder to mention: It is hard to believe I’ve become blase about this invasion.

Perhaps unmolested by the squack box next to my head that is always pronouncing, “Nurse to room 120. Nurse to room 120!”  Perhaps my favorite announcement is — not kidding — “Dr. Ruth holding on line 5330. Dr Ruth 5330.” This loud box starts up at around 7am every morning, and is manned by a woman I call, “Says Everything Twice Loudly”. Says Everything Twice Loudly does just as her name implies. I will not miss her when I go home.  The only time she didn’t say everything twice loudly was the time I buzzed repleatedly to get some gravol as I was going to be sick. Then she became “Says it barely audibly once”.

One person I have a tempetuous relationship with is the gal whose job it is to weigh us. She drops by every morning with her giant scale. Banging the door open with her large size portable measurement device she demands you to get out of bed and clock in for her. About 50% of the time I oblige, the other half of the time I mutter something about “I didn’t have a good night” when the call bells have kept me awake long into the evening.  I think she likes to torment me by tossing on the lights. I tell you: TGH is no place for rest. It’s no place for privacy, I’ll tell you that!

The other weird thing about TGH is their breakfast menu. Everyday for the last six weeks I’ve gotten something along these lines: bland cereal, scone, coffee, milk, juice, cheese *AND PEPPER*. Every day a little pack of pepper…. to put in my coffee perhaps? Strange.

In any event, sometimes I awake to find one of several “detectives” (You might call them Doctors) at my bedside. A rotating staff, I sometimes feel as if Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Snoopy are all on the case each having their own well educated theory on what is causing what in my body.  The one I like most is that the fluid we drained off my lungs was merely overflow from the giant rations of fluid I am pushing by i.v. to hydrate my kidneys against the nasty CMV drugs.  Those drugs are having their toll: the kidneys help regulate Blood pressure, so just one month shy of my 33rd birthday, Sherlock has put me on blood pressure medications. *Sigh* I hear adema is on the way: serves me right for buying those cute red pumps last month…

So in conclusion, hopefully I can get some peace once back home and start to strengthen myself again: hopefully muscling up what I’ve lost, and fitting back into that green bikini I bought the week before admission! Finally hoping to snip off these hospital bracelets. And while the bulk of the TGH nurses are actually quite tremendous, I’m hoping for a time soon when it’s only Tom “disturbing” my sleep!