Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Back to Walking Sheba


Sir Grayson Perry is made a Knight Bachelor
by the Prince of Wales for service to the arts
at Windsor Castle. 28 June, 2023.

Sunday was a glorious day. I’d thoroughly watered all the gardens late on Saturday, and the footpath was finished, so the day was mine to enjoy. 

I decided to start by joining the big community dog walk. It’s been a couple of months since I last was part of the group. I took my cane and decided to walk at the back of the pack in case I wanted to turn back. But Sheba and I did the whole walk (an hour) and then came home for a brief stopover before heading to Silva Bay where the food truck in the park serves fish tacos. 

I love going to the food truck on Sundays. There are kids playing and lots of dogs to pat, musicians play (and yesterday it was the delightful Carolyn Bell, who was a colleague when I was teaching at Emily Carr Uni, and the food. Then we returned home so that I could participate in a Zoom call with my theatre friends. 

Not long after the call, it was time for Kris and Nancy to arrive for prosecco in the garden before we went to Woodfire for dinner. Kris and I were buzzing about CAYA. It was a lovely night to eat al fresco together. Nancy, Kris and Stacy have become wonderful, wonderful friends.

This morning, after a long time away, I am re-joining my small dog walking group—me, Sheba and my cane. But this may be my last day with the cane. I’m feeling so much better, and full use of my toes and ankle is returning. I’m still having a lot of tinglies and numbness, but I’m sure that will eventually stop. Woo hoo!!!

Monday was also a great day. It was cool in the morning, but once the sun was up, it became a perfect day. I walked with my dog walking group, watered everywhere, had a nap in the sunshine and a spa. There was just one problem. Colleen’s crew are converting an old building on her site, into a woodworking studio for her husband. Yesterday, they brought in a pump and a truckload of cement to pour the foundation floor for the new build.

The pump is an amazing instrument. The truck pours the concrete into the pump, and it transports the cement to the site through a massive structure that extends to deliver the cement from Colleen’s driveway to the farthest corner of her lot. During the last half hour of the time the truck and pump were working next door, the pump operator blew a viciously loud honk over 60 times. I wanted to kill.

By evening I needed my cane due to a lack of mobility. But I’d had a great day, no pain whatsoever and in normal posture. I don’t see Cory until August 11. It’ll be interesting to see where I’m at by then.

In my mid-twenties, I had to buy a return ticket to Ottawa and back. It was paid for by a client. I bought myself a return ticket dated many weeks after the departure date. And for the time in between, I bought myself a ticket to Europe. I had to go to a professional meeting in Ottawa, and afterwards, to a reception. At the reception, I staggered to the only person I knew, and asked for help getting to a hospital.

I have vague memories of arriving at the hospital and the next thing I remember is waking up between hanging curtains and feeling dreadful. All I could see, was a panel on the wall. It bore praying hands with wings and the words: When I die lord, take me to heaven. And I thought, wait a minute, that should say, IF I die lord, take me to heaven. Not When.

That’s when I realized I had phenomenal pain in my mid-section and I could not raise myself without feeling extraordinary and insupportable pain. And then I thought: Wait I minute, maybe that sign says When because I’m in palliative care. I moaned, and a voice said, “Hello.”

I said, “Sick. Gunna be sick.” 

And from the other side of a curtain, a priest in full regalia, came, grabbed a. kidney dish off my side table and caught my vomit. My vomit was green. It looked like the vomit of someone who’d had a meal of pea puree and had green food dye to wash it down. The green, the priest, the sign … that was the first time I thought I was going to die.

Today I’m going to do some gardening and end the day with a Zoom session with elder stutterers, most of whom are American. It’s hosted by the American Stuttering Association. I’ve never met with this group before.

Bus stop, Japan.

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