Surgery Wait Lists In Canada

ProvincePostponements
BC24,287
AB16,893
SK23,209
MB8,391
ON148,364
QC70,467
NB1,562
NL23,867
NS35,753
PE1,120
TOTAL:353,913
Source: Waiting Lists Numbers In Canada

Last night I tuned into the local evening news, something I like to do each night.

There was a report about the waiting list numbers across Canada since the outbreak of Covid. To be honest I thought maybe I heard the report incorrectly. I had not, for I went and found the report online at the CTVNews website. That is the reason for the table on the side, it shows the numbers of each province and it totally shocking.

What was really shocking to me was a man that they interviewed. He needs hip surgery and the surgery has been postponed four times. My spirit hit like a thud for I have been waiting for something to be done to my hip for almost six months.

When I saw the orthopedic surgeon after going through an MRI I asked how long will it be to I have the surgery. His response was astounding and also shocking. He said this, “I just work here”! Several days ago I called the Office of Surgery Schedule to see if they could give me an idea of when I might have my surgery. I learned that I am way down on the list due to the fact that they only received the report back in December. So much for a moderate wait.

This is Canada, we are capable of all types of surgery. Before I was born my paternal grandfather had the first ever brain surgery. He survived and his grandchildren watched as he had to go back to school to learn the basics. Learn how to drive a car once more. He passed all that with flying colors. However, his speech never came back fully, he managed to speak enough for people to understand his train of thought. When he couldn’t find the words, he would just swear.

I thought about writing the MLA in charge of managing the Health portfolio. I realized that my time would be better spent doing something else.

So dear reader, I am not sure what the answer truly is. I do no think it would be wise to perform surgeries around the clock, for one thing there would not be sufficient number of support staff. I just wonder if we are that far behind, what are the numbers like in America or even Britain.

Is anyone else experiencing a long wait for surgery because of how Covid has affected the Health systems?

My Mental Health Self Checkup

I thought I would write about what I have found myself doing quite often over the past several months. That being, I have been giving my mental health a self assessment.

Here is the list:

  • Change in appetite – loss or binging
  • Sleeping patterns – too much or not enough
  • Withdrawal from social interactions [at this moment this is very limited]
  • Shutting down my interests – reading, writing, or maybe even my music
  • Change in physical activity

It is a short list, but, my fluctuations in my mood has been like a roller coaster. I have caught myself even thinking that maybe I need to be in a long term care home.

So dear reader, maybe you can find some sort of help from this brief post.

How about you, do you perform a mental health checkup? If you do, what is in your list? How often do you find yourself doing the checkup?

Mental Health and Having A Budget

“Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.”
― Leslie Tayne, Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness


Several posts ago I wrote, “Mental Health and Finances“, but I have been thinking about mental health and having a budget. I do my level best to stick to a budget. It is what keeps me from going over the edge of complete lunacy.

The biggest thing that has helped me with keeping a budget and keeping track of my finances is, online banking. I can go into my account and see where I stand at any point in any month in my finances.

The other major breakthrough that I learned years ago, it was tough, was distinguishing between needs and wants. I need food, but I want a large screen television.

BTW, I am not a financial advisor, but I thought I would share my insights on the subject.

I recognize and have sympathy for those who are struggling in these very extreme circumstances. So, to you hearing about having a budget is far from your thoughts at this moment.

My Steps

  1. Pay my rent
  2. Pay my prescriptions
  3. Pay my phone/internet/tv provider.
  4. Buy groceries – never go shopping when you’re hungry. It is recommended, not always possible, never take children.

After all those things whatever I have left I try to set aside a small amount of money for incidentals, like milk and bread, that I will need throughout the month. That is basically how I manage from month to month.

For other difficulties that may come I do my best to ask for the privilege of making a couple of payments. It is difficult for many families to even handle a four hundred dollar emergency.

So dear reader, do you have a budget and if so, do you have any insight on how you manage? I would love to hear some of your tips on the subject.

Nighty Night!

“The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, ‘You must eat and you must sleep.’ They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life.” – Francesca Annis


When I was in treatment, I think it was my first time here” there was one group session on the subject about getting enough rest and sleep. We went through all the do’s and don’ts on how to get a proper night’s rest.

There were many things that fall into both do’s and don’ts.

  1. Turn off the television. Make your bedroom so that when you put yourself into bed it signals your body it is time to sleep,
  2. Turn off the computer, cell phone, According to SCLHealth.org tells why:

Blue light is harmful to your eyes.

The blue light emitted by your cell phone screen restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day. The circadian rhythm seems to be especially sensitive to blue light since it has a short wavelength. Studies also show that exposure to blue light can cause damage to your retinas. 

Also:

Blue light is harmful to your eyes.

The blue light emitted by your cell phone screen restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day. The circadian rhythm seems to be especially sensitive to blue light since it has a short wavelength. Studies also show that exposure to blue light can cause damage to your retinas. 

3. It was also said to turn our digital alarm clocks backwards so that you cannot see the time. I have found this true, for when I cannot get to sleep I am constantly looking at the time.

4. When you cannot fall asleep get out of bed and find something that is soothing, something like a cup of herbal tea, read a book, or some type of craft. Some have found that there are some natural supplements to help induce sleep, our body needs melatonin for sleep. If you are not in favor of supplements, you can try to eat a sandwich of tuna fish.

5. If you are still not able to get a decent night’s rest, it may be time to speak with your doctor. For me at this present time I need a pain killer along with a sleeping pill. Also, I am able to handle my pain when I have had a good night’s rest and sleep.

Now everyone is different when it comes to the number of hours they need of rest. My best friend finds he can function with only six hours of rest. For me I find I need at least ten hours of rest.

So dear reader, rest and sleep are essential for your mental health and even pain management. I hope that you find something that will help you achieve a proper night’s rest and sleep!

What is your routine on how you achieve a proper night’s rest?

Mental Health & Government

“Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living or where you come from, it doesn’t discriminate, we all kind of go through it.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Usually when I hear about government and mental health I automatically think, “here come more cuts to the mental health services”.

Good News

Well, for this post this is about good news for those who suffer with mental health issues here in Saskatchewan. Now, if you have similar things happening where you live, I would love to hear it.

The Sask Party has now established a help line aimed at helping people who are struggling with their mental health. This helpline is similar to 9-1-1. Now all you have to remember is the number, 2-1-1 and there will be someone on the other side of the call to assist you. It is totally safe and there is nothing to worry about, everything is totally confidential.

One more piece of good news here in my home province. Sask Party has created a portfolio and is dedicated wholly to Mental Health. The Sask Party MLA is, Everett Hindley.

So for this guy, I say, “Hats off to the Sask Party”!

p.s. : this is not an endorsement of the political party. Just some praise for something done right.

Choices, Choices, Choices,…

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


Since I have been housebound I have had to find ways not to get cabin fever. At times it has been difficult, but I do my best to keep myself moving forward and aware of what is happening in the outside world.

I liked the above quote because it is true for my situation. My life at this moment does not give me many choices, but the ones I do have all are to do with me keeping a stable mental health. It would be easy to allow myself to slip into despair, but that is a choice I choose not to make. There are days where the thought about just staying in bed and pulling the covers up over my head, but again that is a choice that I will not make.

I could be like an old country and western song said, ‘Everybody going out and having, I’m just a fool for staying home and having none…oh lonesome me”!

My concentration is poor for being distracted by the pain around my upper leg and hip. So, writing also has been suffering. There are times I think I have something to write about, only to find I have already written it. I wonder how many times or ways there are to discuss being bi-polar and suffer from depression.

I am now again taking forms of opioids to manage the pain and a sleeping pill so that I can have a decent night’s rest. My doctor is only allowing me to have just seven days at a time, which means I have a phone consultation with him. I am happy that I have that choice. There is no way that I could get to his office because getting into a car would be impossible.

Over the next several days I am going to look for some books to read. I will have to order them online, going to the library is not an option.

So dear reader, I wrote all this to give you a head’s up. No matter how much you may be going through most have choices. If you have choices the option is there to make changes.

A Word of Caution

Comment Caution

The other day I had to do something that I have never done before. I had to delete a comment from a person. The reason being, the person had put a phone number in the comment that belong to a different person. I did not feel comfortable allowing to accept that comment because it was not from the actual person.

So, I am asking everyone not to place personal information in your comments, whether it is yours or another person.

I am not sure if this had happen to others and would greatly appreciate feedback from other bloggers. other than yourself.

What do you think?

A Letter to Dwain

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” ― Robert H. Schuller


Dwain, a name my mother had picked out long before I was born. It was on a Sunday back in 1961. That name doesn’t really describe who I am.

The following is something I have been contemplating in my mind. So, here I go.

Dwain:

You have been through some tough times and survived. You are a survivor of a bad motorbike accident which should have left you a crippled being. You’re a suicide attempt survivor.

Do you remember, you know what the inside of a Mental Health Ward looks like? How about the feeling you had on your very first admission? The feeling that left you sitting in a corner and not interacting with those who were also there. To escape this you basically spent your time in the smoking room. How about the feeling you experienced when you began to open up during the group sessions? It really wasn’t that bad after all.

Why are you starting to beat yourself up, almost cursing each time you have to move? You do understand that the hip replacement will be the start of a better you. Going outside to walk with your dog, Natalie. You will once again be able to do your own shopping. Yes Dwain, it is been a long year being locked away from others, not able to talk with neighbors or jest with the cashier tellers where you shop. You do know that they ask about you every time Stuart goes shopping for you. So, Dwain they really do think about you!

So Dwain, keep reminding yourself the quote from Rev. Robert Schuller; “Tough times don’t last, tough people do. ”! You are going to beat this if you keep yourself in a positive mental attitude!

Sincerely,

Your friend,

Dwain

The Gang is All Here

“The mob believes everything it is told, provided only that it be repeated over and over. Provided too that its passions, hatreds, fears are catered to. Nor need one try to stay within the limits of plausibility: on the contrary, the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily is it believed and followed. Nor is there any need to avoid contradictions: the mob never notices; needless to pretend to correlate what is said to some with what is said to others: each person or group believes only what he is told, not what anyone else is told; needless to strive for coherence: the mob has no memory; needless to pretend to any truth: the mob is radically incapable of perceiving it: the mob can never comprehend that its own interests are what is at stake.” ― Alexandre Koyré, Réflexions sur le mensonge


If I remember correctly it was around 1974 when Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau visited where my family was living. My best friend and myself went to hear what he had to say. The Prime Minister was not afraid of what anyone thought of him. During the period of our bringing our Constitution home Prime Minister did a pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth at the signing ceremony. Anyway, we were there standing listening to the Prime Minister when someone decided to make an ass out of himself by yelling, “if I had a tomato I would throw it at you”. That brought about great laughter, but, it also encouraged others to yell out hateful expressions towards the Prime Minister. The amazing thing was this, Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t miss a beat and kept going with his speech. It wasn’t minutes when the mob realized that they couldn’t get the Prime Minister roiled up, so they quit.

In 1975 we moved back into the city of Windsor, Ontario. In the summer a preacher would come to the city and conduct tent meetings. During one these meetings a former teacher and her son were also there. It was really strange and somewhat uneasy for me. After the meeting they approached me. What happened next truly gave me a shock. The teacher’s son, by the way I did not know they were related when I was in the prior school, and the son apologized for bullying me. I will never forget that few awkward minutes, I will always remember their names and how a bully turned into a acceptable young man.

I have learned over the many years that many who act while in a mob presence would not act that way if they were alone. It is the power of “mob mentality”.

Herd mentalitymob mentality and pack mentality, also lesser known as gang mentality, describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis. When individuals are affected by mob mentality, they may make different decisions than they would have individually. – Wikipedia

I am not writing this to make a political statement. I believe in peaceful protests. However, when a protest turns into violence, property damage, and setting fires, it no longer is a protest, but, it now has become a riot.

In 1968 America was burning. Riots across the nation in cities of Detroit and in Chicago In the latter it was while the Democratic National Convention. The riots were triggered by the assignation of Martin Luther King Jr.. I was not that very old, but do have memories of looking across the Detroit River and seeing smoke rising in the air. I did not understand what was happening, but, I will never forget seeing the smoke rising all across the water front in Detroit.

In Canada back in 1990 we saw a protest that lasted seventy eight days. It occurred in  in the community of Kanesatake, near the Town of Oka, on the north shore of Montreal. The protest was broadcasted on all news channels here in Canada. The catalyst was the announcement of an expansion of a golf club and development of townhouses on disputed land in Kanesatake that was also on a Mohawk burial ground.

I feel protests like the one that happened in Washington, D.C., on January 6 was ripe for violence and all it took was for the mob to let down it’s inhabitations.

InhibitionAn inhibition is a force that prevents something from happening—and often comes from you yourself. Shy people are often said to suffer from inhibitions. Some inhibitions are good, such as the one that prevents us from choking the life out of people we dislike.

It is my guess that many who have been in a mob setting may be regretting it a day or so afterwards. It may have brought criminal charges, embarrassment to the family, and even to the company they work for. The criminal charges if the person is found guilty may imperil their job or future jobs, for that record will always be with them the rest of their life.

So dear reader, have you ever been caught up in the frenzy of a protest turned riot?

Indecision, Indecision, Indecision

Once I make up my mind, I’m full of indecision. Oscar Levant
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/indecision-quotes


Once Dwight Eisenhower makes up his mind, he’s full of indecision. Oscar Levant
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/indecision-quotes


I don’t know how many times this week that I hit the “delete” instead of the “publish”. I would start to write and then proof-read and decided that I was sounding too dire, and maybe, too dark. So, this may come across as rambling.

Indecision is something that can hold me back. Let me explain, my best friend made a suggestion that I should make a call to the Surgery Scheduling Office. I shrugged it off several times because I felt it would not accomplish much good. I theorized that they would be hostile to my question concerning a time frame of when my surgery would take place. I had to call my doctor and in passing I mentioned the idea. He thought that might be a good thing to do. I relented and called the office, and to my surprise the lady on the other end of the call was sympathetic to my situation. I felt at ease and began to ask other questions about the process of a surgery. So, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been indecisive about such a move. I hung up the phone feeling peaceful, however, the waiting list it could be at least eight months.

It is amazing that when it comes to all things government I tend to shrink away. I am not a pushover when it comes to standing up for myself. Earlier this year I wrote about my experience while in the hospital when I felt unsafe. (The Night I Felt Unsafe) I stood up for myself when I thought a nurse invaded my private space.

I am a person who dislikes confrontation. I will cross the road to avoid someone I see coming my way if I feel like there is going to be a dispute. I have been that way for most of my life. It could be situations as such takes me back to my relationship with my father.

So dear reader, this was my week for indecisions, indecisions, and indecisions!

My Journey to Hip Surgery – Pain and the Mind

“I will be living with chronic pain for the rest of my life. I don’t have the mobility, energy or life options I used to have. I work hard to manage the pain, and I want the medical system to be a respectful and effective partner, not a jailer. The opioid crisis is not my doing.” ― Sonya Huber


Last Friday started me on a very painful several days. I needed refills on my pain and sleep medications. I thought my doctor and I understood to have them refilled on last Thursday. My doctor closes his office on Fridays at 11 a.m.. So, I ran out of medication and suffered greatly until mid Monday.

Friday night was bearable, but, as Saturday became mid day my pain increased to the point I could barely move around. I found myself not being able to sleep for over forty eight hours.

What I found within myself was how the mind takes you for a roller coaster ride. I started thinking about moving into a nursing home. There were hours where I laid in bed crying just thinking what it would feel like just to quit living, (no suicidal thoughts thought). Also, my thought was to have my wheelchair brought in and move furniture so that I could maneuver throughout my home.

My thoughts also turned to imagining what it must be like to have your mind intact, but, laying in a bed somewhere unable to interact with your environment around you. I pictured myself laying in a bed and the only way to communicate would be by blinking my eyes in a pattern to represent a yes or a no answer.

Finally, Monday morning arrived and I was on the phone with my doctor. Being myself and telling him the very thought about moving to a long term care home. I believe he heard the frustration in my voice because I was almost in tears. So, finally last night with my pain killers and sleeping pills I found the relief I needed.

So, dear reader, pain almost brought hallucinations to my mind! Pain is a powerful influencer on the mind!

Celebrating Black History Month

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.


I think it is no secret by now that I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, directly across from Detroit, Michigan.

I learned in Social Studies about the Underground Railroad that went through our very area of Ontario. There is a church in Chatham, Ontario that helped the Black Americans escape the United States.

The one method that I can recall of how Black Americans were smuggled into Canada was false bottoms coffins. That thought has always stuck with me some forty years later.

I went to school with Black people and it never occurred to me that they were any different than myself. I can remember my grade eight graduation. I went to school with twins whose father was a local Pastor in Amherstburg, Ontario. I use to love attending his services for the music. My mom attended the graduation dinner and found out that her best friend in high school was the mother of the twins, the wife of the Pastor.

When I started traveling throughout the United States is when I had an eye opening experience about the racial differences. We we hold meetings in many different churches and many times it was obvious that many congregations were divided by race. It really set me back on my heels and maybe to this day has influenced my view about the race war in America.

I am not a black man, but, one of the people I would have loved to heard in person was the afore mention, Martin Luther King Jr. I still can recall the feelings and emotions that welled in me when I first heard his speech, “I Have A Dream”. To this day it draws out the same emotions. I think we could use more of him.

Now, let me address the race war in Canada. It basically is divided between white and Indigenous People. It is well known fact that many of the Indigenous People live in below poverty and many reserves still have boil water alerts, due to unclean water sources. So, dear reader Canada has it’s share of a racial divide.

Many Black Americans settled down around the Chatham, Ontario region. There is also a strong presence in Eastern Canada.

I salute Black People around the world, but, I have high honor for those within the fifty states of America. I admire their tenacity, their will power to keep believing in their dream of equality, and their desire to be considered a full fledge citizen, even though the constitution has never been amended about their citizenship.

So, this writer, this person, raises a glass to all Black Citizens here in Canada and the United States. Maybe, with Kamala Harris being elected vice president will turn the tide around for the Black Americans.

One Year Later…How’s It Going With You?

“When I look outside, I feel nothing,
When I look inside, I feel Nothing!
Lockdown of Emotions!
Completely Blank, its Black everywhere…
Suffocating, claustrophobic, saturation point is crossed!
Yet..

My Happiness is due…
I Will Live for that!

SustainCovidTimes”

 Somya Kedia


A year ago I wrote about the feelings of being in lockdown in a post, Obsession and Covid-19 and looking back I really don’t see much difference.

Oh, I forgot the vaccines. But really, has there been that much change. I am still in my house, still have to wear a mask and still the number of people I can meet with at and in one place is limited.

I started this post yesterday and for some reason did not get back to write the rest.

Letter to The Reader:

I have some thoughts about the younger generation, no, not what is wrong or right, just thoughts from my own life.

I was thinking of my younger life and here are some thoughts I would like to pass on.

  • Before you settle down take time to see your own country. I have found that many never get beyond the area the were raised. I found that my country is more diverse than I ever imagined. Also, I found that people no matter where you go love to connect and share their thoughts. You really can learn a lot about life if you just listen to others.
  • Cherish every moment, life is not a given and can throw you a curve ball. I do not regret my decision to pick up and travel for I have great memories, not many pictures, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
  • Be open for everyone. My pastor once said, “strangers are friends you haven’t met yet”, it is so true!
  • Learn from everyone, there are many lessons we can learn that will avoid us from learning it the hard way. Many things I have learned, I have learned them the hard way, the long way, and as the saying goes, “too old smart…”.

I have been more reflective over this past year. Maybe, it is that I am reaching the age of being called a senior. Or maybe, I have spent too much time thinking.

So dear reader, I hope you may find something worth keeping from my post. There are so many great people here in this WordPress community!

So, how has it been going for you in the last year?

Affordable?

It’s critical that we lower the cost of prescription drugs and develop a health care plan that works for all Americans. Mike Braun

I am Canadian, but this could be applied to Canada.

I am not really sure when I started noticing the price of everything. Debating with a company over the cost of their services. Look through all of the flyers to see which store has the best prices. Is it something that happens when you grow older, I don’t remember noticing the prices of everything before buying.

The bill for the repair made on my furnace arrived in the mail. Glad that they will let me make payments. Then over the past couple of weeks I have been having a change with my pain killers and something to help me sleep better. I had to call my doctor and explain that I couldn’t afford the medications. I had to ask him to once again change my medications.

If a person cannot afford something, something like their medications, it could sit on the lowest shelf in the store, but, it would still be inaccessible. I am on assistance from the Provincial Government. I called my pharmacy that I deal with and asked if there were any exemptions available, the reply was, “no”. So, I asked about generic brands, turns out I have the generics. These medications have to be renewed every seven days. For a month of the prescriptions would cost me just under three hundred dollars.

My thoughts have been wandering all over the gambit. Thoughts about what I could change to afford the medications. Thinking about the prices doesn’t inspire a person to write!

I have read many reports about innocent people were given Oxycodone after surgery. They become addicted to the medication, a medication they cannot afford to keep on taking. So they turn to the streets, heroin for it gives the same euphoric high, but the cost is much cheaper.

I read a report about overdoses and how pharmacies are teaching people how to use naloxone, if they have people around them that use needles. The number of overdoses in a day is climbing and the stuff on the street is deadly. You are playing roulette with the stuff.

So, dear reader, this old guy has been wondering what the fix is, a fix to the cost of medications so that they are affordable!

The Wall Won’t Move, but, I Understand


“If you are self-aware of what you are going through, you would be in a better position to understand others, and affect people around you.” ― Oscar Auliq-Ice


Yesterday I learned about a young man, who lives two rows over from me, had to have surgery on his hands. He was being treated for “boxer’s hands”. I knew him as a young pre-teen and he had a terrible temper. When asked about his hands it came to the light that he in a fit of anger punched the wall. In doing so he hit a wall stud. Apparently this was not the first time. Now he has his hands in bandages from surgery and cannot work.

I grew up around that type of anger, anger in which you never knew what would ignite it. Being around those with that type of anger you would walk gingerly and would filter your words carefully. I learned which words could cause a volcano of anger. Politics, racial discussions, and yes, sometimes religion. To this very day I begin to shake and tremble when I see someone’s anger level rising.


Now, onto what I was thinking when I saw the quote I inserted at the top of this post.

If someone mentions the word “migraine” they would recognize it as some type of headache. My thought is this, would they identify with the pain and discomfort a migraine can cause to a person. For myself I have to lay down in a dark room and try to fall asleep. There are times that Gravol is necessary for an upset stomach. So, when I hear someone talk about a migraine I can have empathy for them and what they are going through.

I have had a bad back for as long as I can remember. Being sent flying through the air, while being a passenger on a motorcycle, I landed butt first and totally damaged the back. Last year I found some relief with cortisone shots. I received two treatments in my back and for the time being my back has not been in severe pain. If you have a bad back and suffer with pain, I understand how it limits your range of motion.

A doctor could put up a power point presentation about nerve endings that run through your spinal cord. He probably would be speaking to a medical versed audience. For everyone else his words would go straight over our heads.

When it comes to depression the subject is very broad and very deep. One thousand people could be asked about their depression and for the greater percentage everyone would have a different experience. Yes, there may be parts of their journey I could understand, but, there would also be parts that I would have no knowledge or understanding about it.

So dear reader, I use my own experiences as a launching board for most of my posts. Sometimes, it may seem like I am repeating myself, it is probably true. When I write I do it with understanding that maybe those who are reading will also be able to relate to my experiences.

#7776

I think that age as a number is not nearly as important as health. You can be in poor health and be pretty miserable at 40 or 50. If you’re in good health, you can enjoy things into your 80s. Bob Barker Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/good-health-quotes


While growing up I never once gave it much thought about my health.  I was physically active.  Even after breaking both arms, I still gave little thought about health.  I would walk across the city in my teen years to see my then girl friend. I walked to the farm where I picked tomatoes to earn money for the school year. Then once there would work a full day picking thirty baskets of tomatoes.
Lately however, I have been thinking about my health more often.  Getting around the house is somewhat a challenge. Walking with a cane, or my walker is an exercise of moving around obstacles.  My pace has become slower and trying to answer the phone is a challenge in and of itself.
My bathroom looks like ones you would see in long term care homes. Just taking a shower sends me into a mild panic. I cannot just step into the tub anymore. First, I take a seat on the bench in the tub.  Then I swing the right leg in, following lifting and slowly moving my other leg into the tub. Grabbing onto grab rails I begin to stand upright, panicking the whole time doing so.  Turning around causes a cold wave of panic for fear of falling.
I no longer cook for myself, not confident that I could handle an emergency, I feel I would not be fast enough to respond to something like a grease fire. So, I am thankful for my best friend for cooking for me. 
Today was different for me. The basics were the same, no major changes to my routine waking up and getting moving. No, it was different with me mentally.  For this time my thinking was about leaving my home and placing myself in a long term care home.  I was feeling like I could no longer truly care for myself.
More and more just doing the smallest and simplest things, getting up to warm up a cup of coffee is a fight that leaves me windless.
So dear reader, if you have good health, be thankful for it. Work to keep it that way, for it can be taken from you ever so slowly.  For those who already have physical challenges my sympathies are with you.
Always be thankful and grateful for good health!

A Poet and Poem That Moved My Heart

On January 20th a young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman took the microphone at the podium during the President’s Inauguration and read a poem of her creation. I thought I would place it here.

When I heard this young woman one other poet entered my mind, the poet, the late, Maya Angelou. I truly hope that we will hear more from poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. Her voice seems to be needed at a time like this in the world.

Suicide Myths – #3

Trigger Warning: This post contains subjects and issues that may be upsetting to some.

Being suicidal isn’t about wanting to die. It’s about quieting the pain inside. –Unknown


Source: Psychology Today

People often commit suicide for rational reasons. – False!

I write this post with some ache in my heart. It is about a young first nation man. I had begun to know the family and also him. I had him come to my home to spend a weekend together. Then I went to his apartment to visit. We had fun talking about things concerning his culture.

Several months passed since seeing him. I then received the news that the young man had committed suicide. They found him hanging from the shower rod in his bathroom.

Back on that day when I swallowed a bottle full of sleeping pills it wasn’t for anything that was rational. I attempted suicide because I felt like I just couldn’t hold onto things that I was told to believe. The attempt wasn’t planned, I hadn’t given much thought prior in doing so. I was upset and angry because of an argument I was having with a certain friend. I grabbed the pills, ran into the bathroom, took the top of the pill bottle off, and then swallowed all of them in one quick gulp. It was not a rational thing, trying to commit suicide over an argument.

One time not so long ago I had to call an ambulance. While in the ambulance I asked about the new drug, new at that time, Naloxone. The ambulance attendant told me that they had used it six times just that morning.

When I was about eight or nine there was a death of a great uncle of mine. The adults were speaking in hushed tones. Eventually, I found out what happened that day. My great uncle was found in the garage with the car running and laying under the exhaust pipe. I don’t believe my great aunt had any idea why he did that. I truly feel the family still has no real answer.

So dear reader, when it comes to have a reason about why people commit suicide, they are no rational reasons.

Mental Health on Thin Ice

Howie Mandel

“There isn’t anybody out there who doesn’t have a mental health issue, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or how to cope with relationships. Having OCD is not an embarrassment anymore–for me. Just know that there is help and your life could be better if you go out and seek the help.”


This past several days or week has been one of the most frustrating times I have had to deal with. It just wasn’t one event, but, it was the culmination of several events. My mind was screaming, screaming to take back control.

I have always had great admiration of those who are physically challenged. It has always amazed me when I would watch the Paralympics how the athletes could face the challenge of a ski slope, or play hockey sitting on a type of sled. I am not one of those, but, I have a physical challenge with one leg and hip that does not want to function. It screams every time I have to move it.

Then came a household emergency when my furnace decided to quit working. I had to think fast to find a solution. That emergency will set me back when I have to pay the bill. Also, one more financial stress moment when there was a misunderstanding in regards to a service that is offered, but, is totally an arm of the Provincial Government.

That brings me to last night while I am sitting on the side of my bed talking to my doctor. Talking while in the midst of a total break with tears streaming my down my face. He switched me meds that are meant to handle the pain and also try to give me a better rest when I sleep.

I came to realize this morning that my mental health was on thin ice. Thoughts of going to the emergency to speak with a Mental Health advocate and maybe admitting myself to the mental health ward.

The pressure cooker that I spoke of yesterday, “One of These Days Alice...”. Well that cooker boiled over, and thankfully no harm done. Just a reminder, my mental health needs to be attended to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly!

So dear reader, take the time to nurture your mental health. Do not wait for a “thin ice” moment to remind you of that fact!

One of These Days Alice…(Ralph Cramden -The Honeymooners)

Intolerance is a thing that causes war, pogroms, crucifixions, lynchings, and makes people cruel to little children and each other. It is responsible for most of the viciousness, violence, terror, and heart and soul breaking of the world. – Betty Smith


Tolerance:

1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina.

2a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.

b : the act of allowing something : toleration.


Acceptance:

1: the quality or state of being accepted or acceptableHis theories have gained widespread acceptance.

2: the act of accepting something or someone the fact of being accepted APPROVALacceptance of responsibility

3 law an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound


Over the last couple of weeks my tolerance has been tested. I ask myself when do I draw a line in the sand and say, “that’s enough”.

Thinking about the difference between “tolerance” and “acceptance”. For this fifty-nine year old guy there are times I only tolerate something. I may tolerate it because just to keep peace. With acceptance it is the complete wholeness that I accept something flaws and all.

Before counseling years ago my tolerance level was not very high. I guess I was like an unwatched “pressure cooker”. I have learned the ability to express myself with tolerance without it turning into a shouting match.

This blog has become my steam valve in many aspects. I find after I have finished writing that my mind seems clearer.

This week I have been feeling like some take advantage of someone’s tolerance. They push buttons looking for a response. They pick at you, constantly asking questions repeatedly waiting for you to explode. If you explode or sound cranky their reply sounds something like this, “boy someone is certainly touchy”.

I am not sure how far a person can go with their tolerance. What has to take place to where tolerance goes out the window? That is what I am asking myself this last couple of days. Dealing with someone who seems to not understand what your concern or need is. It is those on the other end of the phone conversation that has been testing my tolerance.

So dear reader, how far does your tolerance go and what would push you over the edge? This curious guy would like to hear…lol

p.s. – Ralph Cramden was a character on a fifties tv show. When he and his wife, Alice, would have an argument, Ralph would tell her, “one of these days Alice, pow, bang, boom, straight to the moon.” (picture a man with fists clenched making a punching motion)

Belong, Belong To, Belonging

“You must get lost outside your comfort zone to find where you truly belong.”
 Debasish Mridha


Cambridge Dictionary: B2[ I ]to feel happy or comfortable in a situation:

To Fit In: Cambridge Dictionary: C1to feel that you belong to a particular group and are accepted by that group:

I have never felt like I belonged. I grew up feeling out of place. Not really a nerd and definitely not a jock. When I entered high school I only weighed ninety-nine pounds, really, I am not kidding.

I didn’t have many friends in school, come to think about it, I never really had lots of friends as an adult. It seems I would only have one close friend at any given time in my life. It still holds true to this very day!

Maybe, I may be mistaken, but I feel everyone wants to belong. Belong to a group, a team, or just a couple of friends. I once heard or read, that the loneliest place to be is in a crowd. There just might be some truth to it.

I keep thinking that maybe if I would get out more I would feel happier. Nah, I don’t like being with lots of people. I remember once while in high school when I was invited to a party. For some odd reason I decided to go. There was lots of kids I knew, but, I was feeling awkward so I left after being there for just over an hour.

It’s just lately I find myself feeling like I am in a hamster wheel. Sorry hamsters, that wheel is all you have to exercise with. Really though, my days seem to meld and if it wasn’t for certain t.v. programs I would have to ask what day it is.

So dear reader, I wonder if the feeling of wanting to belong is all that it is cracked up to be!

Attitude or Attitude?

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy


noun

  1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.

2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.


Growing up in Windsor, Ontario taught me quite a lot about attitude. Attitude good, or attitude bad.

The attitude good is hard to see, but, I feel you can have attitude that is good, you are sure of yourself. This good attitude leaves people feeling good, feeling like, “he really does listen to what I am saying”.

The attitude bad would be the one that leaves you saying, “what a snob”. There is also the attitude where the person is walking around with a “chip” on his shoulder just begging for someone to try and knock it off.

A family member had just bought a car and was preparing to cross the border into Detroit, MI. They had on a long dark blue over coat. I mentioned that there will be problems with the crossing guards if they wore that coat. Sure enough, they did have trouble. Pulled into secondary exam area they were told to go inside. Once inside they were taken into a private room and was stripped search. Border guards can detect those with rotten attitudes.

The preacher I travelled with was invited to hold a crusade in New York City. I was newly married and opted out of going. He took a different organist. Now this organist had an attitude problem. He thought he was better than everyone else. They arrived in New York City and the Pastor explained to them not to go outside on their own because it would not be safe. For some reason the organist didn’t listen and stepped outside. Once outside a group took him and beat him. They robbed him of jewelry and left him with a broken jaw.

I have never really had a problem with most people. I learned from being in Detroit and also Toronto to mind my business. Not to look down on others, just keep moving in the direction you are going. I have found people are decent when they are interacting with someone who does not have a bad attitude. I have found that to be true throughout Canada and the United States.

So, dear reader, it boils down to this, “attitude, attitude, attitude”!

Advocate?

“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”- Maya Angelou. Maya Angelo

Advocate –

a. a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually followed by of):

b. an advocate of peace.a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.


Yesterday I woke up to find that my furnace wasn’t working. My best friend, he means well, called one of the managers to take a look. Well he tinkered and tried different things to no avail. Finally, I took the reigns and called the company that I have dealt with over the years. I told them my problem, they asked me ‘what type of furnace I had’. I replied to that by saying it was them that installed it. So, because I had good credit with them I was able to have someone come and fix my furnace. The repairman came in, took out a small part, replaced it with a new part, the furnace was fixed in a matter of fifteen minutes.

I told that story to say this, I have learned quite a long time ago that I am my best advocate. I have learned to speak up when it comes to my physical health, my emotional health, and yes, even my financial health.

I wonder at time what if there were never a person by the name of, Martin Luther King Jr., where would the African Americans be today. It was because of King Jr., that eventually saw Lyndon B. Johnson sign the Civil Rights Bill.

Imagine if we would have lost the war against America, Canada just might have been a large state of the United States.

When I was younger the only time I would stand up for myself was when I was provoked to anger. With that anger I only screwed things up for myself. I had to learn how to speak for myself minus the anger. It took me years to find my voice, the voice that was able to speak for myself, the voice when used brought results. I had now learned to be an advocate, an advocate for myself. I could not wait for someone else to come along and speak for me. I had to do the job myself.

When I started having trouble with my hip the doctor took the usual route of examination, get and x-ray. When it came back negative I decided that wasn’t enough. With some careful pressure the doctor finally ordered an MRI. The results came back that there definitely was a problem, I need a hip replacement. If I would have not pushed for the MRI I probably would still be suffering, suffering with no apparent reason why I am having such pain and discomfort.

So dear reader, if you need something done for yourself, do not wait for the prince on a shiny white horse to come to your rescue. You need to stand up, become your own advocate. Don’t always accept the first negative answer you get!

Diabetic Lemon Filling- Pie or Tarts

This filling has become one of my favorites. I am not diabetic, but I love the taste. Amazingly it does not shrink away from the sides of the crust. Give it a try the next time you make a lemon pie or some tarts.

1 1/2 cups of Splenda No Calorie Sweetner , Granulated

1/4 cup corn starch

1 3/4 cups water

4 egg yolks slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon