Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Limping into the Holidays!

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2009 at 2:58 am


Lickin Good Fried as photographed by Iner Souster at The 6th.

Here’s a photo from our gig last weekend with Lickin’ Good Fried. You can see it’s a very cool space at our friends gallery, “The Sixth”.  Don’t you all think the cane was a nice look? Very chic, non?  However, it was useful for stage as we share the microphone between us all in this band and there’s a little “dance” that takes places around the mike as we share. Having the cane meant I didn’t wrench my knee in the process of said dance.

(On a funny note, the bass player in the opening band was actually my music teacher in grade 8 who even remembered that I wasn’t allowed to play clarinet any more (because of my lungs) & so remembered me as a drummer)

Physio is going well and I’ve gotten signifigant range of motion back in the knee and the swelling is going down. However, I do have the odd uncomfortable step that sends me to cringe.  Hopefully though it heals on it’s own –as it may– without needing surgery.  I was able to ride, albeit bareback– the other day.  I will have to stay away from stirrups while it mends. It felt really nice to excercise,  and now I’m even allowed and encouraged to ride the stationary bicyle. At this rate I may be able to get the leg straight soon.

It all seems pretty small compared to the sufferings some of my friends are enduring presently, waiting for transplant or recovering from it.  My big complaint at present (aside from the knee) is that the mild cold I had last week has robbed me of my tastebuds, and I am really hoping they return for turkey time this Christmas!!! Right now I can’t smell or taste a darned thing: it’s quite bizarre!

Speaking of christmas, our Christmas Gift jazz CD is now selling on ITUNES, and you can download for purchase some or all of that cheerful holiday disc at the above link.

Oh! We had the horse vetted this afternoon.  I was reminded by the vet that “no horse is perfect”, as is the case with this guy.  However, Gypsy did not pass her vet inspection back in 1989 (not with flying colours anyhow)  but we bought her anyhow and it’s been 20 years!  We await the results of joint and hoof xrays as I write. Tom enjoyed helping the vet by acting as an extra xray technician.  The horse was suprisingly tolerant of all the poking and prodding: and I do mean poking and prodding. This Doc was thorough! He was pinched, pushed, had a light shone in his eyes, had his tonge grabbed, his blood drawn, his sides poked, etc etc etc.   And through it all he smiled as only a horse can and looked about curiously.  Hopefully he passes. I pray he does. Come on xrays! Big decisions ahead.

UPDATE: It is with regret that we’ve heard from the vet that the horse did not pass the xray test.  Apparently the poor guy has some problems that will proclude us from taking him on.  I am so sorry about this because he really is a great horse and I could see he and Tom really becoming a beautiful partenership, however we just can’t be taking on those potential burdens. Oh well…. I’m pretty blue about it, but back to the drawing board I suppose.


In Uncategorized on December 18, 2009 at 6:31 pm

"God Bless Us Everyone!" (Tiny Tim)

As I write this the snow has finally arrived in Toronto, and baby? it’s cold outside!

Life has been busy.

My one year bronch showed “inflammation”, but they didn’t get good enough samples to ascertain if there is any rejection. Not sure if this means we repeat the test, but I’d be okay with that. The antibiotics I’ve been inhaling are helping with my cough. It’s pretty much stopped which is a HUGE relief.

I’ve been gigging a lot lately which is pure joy. Earning cash again is amazing! Like Tom said, “people often feel enslaved to their jobs, but for you it signifies freedom!”  And he’s right. And joy. I’m so joyful for the chance to sing!

Last week I played a swing dance on Friday which was fun, as always. I even had a dance with a good old friend and had the pleasure of dancing while conducting a conversation at the same time and never having to gasp for air or words. Another huge thanks to my donor!

In any event, it turns out one of the swing dancers has CF.  She’s a great little dancer too, but because the CF department frowns on it’s patients having social contact, I have actually had to ask that she not come to our shows.  These dances are hot sweaty & moist events & we might bounce infections around between each other in that environment. Even though we both LOOK healthy, this is for the greater good. Sucks though.

Speaking of CF, I sang for the Saint Mikes Hospital Respirology Staff Christmas party! It was fantastic to see everyone again after not having seen them since the week before my transplant. To see Dr. Tullis after such a year was fantastic. I got quite emotional, and enjoyed re-uniting with all the wonderful staff & nursing family again (those 6bond nurses sure know how to party!)  As Tom so eloquently put it, they played such a huge role in getting me to where I am now.

I have been filling in at the Rex hotel again singing for my friend Terra Hazelton who has been off filming a movie! Anyhow, it is a hoot to play for the people and nice that my sister and mom could come out (Jennifer is in town for the holidays).

Last weekend “the great horse search” continued for Tom. He rode a big gentle gelding that  he quite likes, named “Bruce”. We are having the vet take a look at him next week to make sure he’s all sound. If he passes inspection we will buy him and Gypsy will have a turnout partner, and Tom a project!

I wish I could say that I was “all sound”.  I’m not sure how but I’ve torn my meniscus. That means my knee is locked. I started physio last night: they even did acupuncture. Damn knee. If I can get through a lung transplant, hopefully I will ride again as soon as this knee is addressed. In keeping with the season, I now have a cane, much like Tiny Tim!

We were just up in Owen Sound at the inlaws and it is a winter wonderland!  Henry had a great time galloping around the snowy woods but his foot is in a bad way. The poor old fella has a growth on his toe. The vet is treating it with antibiotics, although they propose amputation.

This was followed by the ultimate in Canadian experiences, a horse ride through 3 foot deep snow drifts: now THAT’s horsepower!  The sounds of the hooves squeaking in the snow, snorting, blowing, snow flakes on my glasses. Awesome. In my sickly state over the last several years I was simply unable to enjoy this great pleasure and so the mere fact that I was able to ride outdoors in the cold temps in the snow without a tank of oxygen brilliantly washed over me as we rode along the drifting snow!

Pray for the resolution of this knee injury.  Pray for Henry’s toe, and that Bruce will fit under the tree for Tom! Pray that everyone who needs a transplant gets it soon,

Have a safe and happy holidays! God bless us, everyone!


This is December?

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2009 at 12:01 am

I know it won’t last long, in fact the cold temps and precipitation are on their way now…

But today, on December 2nd, it was 9 degrees… I went for a sunny walk in the woods on Gypsy.

We could smell the woods, the leaves, the fresh air… and I am grateful and thankful for that opportunity. (I think this extended fall has in some measure made up for the time I spent in hospital this summer!)

Coming indoors this winter will be tough. Not because we’ve enjoyed such a great outdoor year, but because Gypsy’s breathing is poorly of late. The second she gets into the indoor ring to exercise she coughs.  I’m not sure what we can do to manage these symptoms, but it breaks my heart. Cough meds, big dose anti-inflamatories, bronchodilators and the like serve to help her COPD. The Docs say there is no cure for that. We soak her hay, we give her lots of turnout (not night-times though, she fusses to come in) and we maybe get her horsie breath-right strips? perhaps a dust mask for the riding ring (a panty hose over her nose). It hurts me so much to see my pal suffering in the lungs.  Especially as she has so much zip in her spirit!  It doesn’t seem right that now we are felled again by lung disease. But, like I said earlier, it was a great summer and so we’re grateful for that.

Is it greedy to want more of the good times and the good health?