Thursday, August 11, 2022

Grateful's a Massive Understatement

 A year ago, for a variety of reasons, I could not have dreamt of being where I am today.

A few weeks ago, I underwent bilateral hip replacement surgery and I am already moving in ways that, a few weeks ago, caused me pain.

 

The surgery happened June 29th 2022. I went home the next day. Three weeks later, I stopped using a walker to move around the house. On Sunday, I stopped using a cane. I am slowly going up and down stairs on my own and doing exercises to regain muscle strength and my range of motion.

 

I’m walking slowly but, more importantly, without pain.

 

I am getting my life back. As I moved around the house and even the grocery store on Sunday, after setting aside the cane, the word that kept coming to my mind was “incredible”.

 

This morning, I went to see my amazing surgeon, Dr. David Zukor, for the first time since I last saw him the morning after surgery. It’s been six weeks. He was pleased with the new x-rays, incisions, and my progress so far. He has given me the green light to resume pretty much all of my prior activities.

 

I’ve got lots more physio to do!


In recovery a few hours after surgery, eating a protein bar.


Here’s just a bit of back story. I started physiotherapy in the summer of 2017 after noticing that I seemed to be losing strength in my legs. I no longer had my skating stride. I saw several physiotherapists over the following years, most of whom were curious to know what was going on inside my hips. I finally went for an x-ray in July 2020 and was diagnosed with moderate to severe osteoarthritis in both hips.

 

As a physician injected cortisone into my more painful hip in June 2021, he told me the shot typically lasts three months for some patients, six months for others, and as long as a year for a lucky few. The shot provided me with 13 days of relief.

 

Surgery was something I desperately wanted to avoid and yet, faced with diminishing mobility, intensifying pain and so much more life to live, surgery seemed inevitable and the only sensible option.

 

For me, the thought was frightening and the prospect, nothing short of dreadful.

 

My mindset changed completely after meeting Dr. David Zukor on November 1, 2021. I left the Jewish General Hospital that day with so much confidence in Dr. Zukor and the direct lateral procedure he performs, even though I had not expected to hear Dr. Zukor recommend replacing both hips at the same time.


The first three weeks at home, I worked the walker.

Dr. Zukor’s office put me in touch with a flight attendant who had undergone the same procedure. Her words provided insight and encouragement, boosting my conviction.

 

It’s not easy, but if you keep your eyes on the prize, which is sunshine and rainbows, it’s more than worth the journey, besides it’s all happy stuff - you’re headed in a happy direction and, given all the terrifying health issues people face, I am eternally grateful that Dr. Zukor and his team had this option to offer me. 

 

My wife and son were so incredibly attentive, patient and helpful, preparing meals, collecting materials from my downstairs office, and entertaining whims.

 

I am grateful to be loved so much.

 

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gratification - Instant vs Delayed

I don’t know about you, but I find it frustrating that I have to wait seven days before I can see another episode of my favorite weekly shows. Every time an episode ends, I always think how completely awesome it would be to go straight into another episode.

Once a new episode has been recorded by our PVR, my wife wants to watch it. I have tried to convince her not to watch a taped show right away. I have tried to convince her to wait another week so we can have two new episodes of a show to watch.

 

Years have gone by without any luck convincing her to hold off seven days.

 

Our PVR taped Episode 17 of Season 12 of “Blue Bloods”. Over the next seven days, I kept suggesting we watch other shows that we had taped, in hopes I could get another episode of “Blue Bloods” into the PVR. We didn’t have as much time to watch taped shows over the week and when we did have time, we had other shows we could watch.



Mission accomplished. Our PVR taped Episode 18 of Season 12 of “Blue Bloods” on Friday and on Saturday afternoon, we settled down to watch two new episodes of “Blue Bloods” back-to-back. 

Hot diggedy!

 

It was definitely worth the wait.

 

You can just imagine the both of us binge watching. It’s not pretty! We morph into shapeless potatoes with twitching eyes, sprinkled in popcorn bits - but smiling.

 

Press that play button. Forthwith.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Vroom Vroom

Look both ways!

 

The bike path is no longer a bike path.


It's a super-highway for unadulterated freaks and their flying machines!

 

There are motorized vehicles zooming along carelessly, oblivious to the rest of the world, and they range from scooters to wheelchairs, to four-wheel chairs and idiotically small cars.

 

None of them should be allowed on bike paths, I say.

 

Fix it. Give out a ticket every once in a while to these bike path maniacs. Our laws can't possibly be so shoddy as to legally permit these motorized vehicles on bike paths!

 

For cyclists of all ages, they pose a serious risk. All of them seem determined to travel at breakneck speed, sure to cause serious injury to an adult cyclist, child cyclist, or dog being walked, on or near the bike path.

 

I understand mobility issues, but you’re not the only person on this planet, you’re the only oblivious person on this planet. You should care about keeping other people safe.

 

I would insist there is a better solution, only now these motorized vehicles have begun invading stores.


Believe you me, they're giving drive-thru a whole new meaning.

 

Too many motorists ignore pedestrian crossings to think they’ll work in the dairy section.

 

Maybe we can put bells around the necks of these senior zoomers. Better still, confiscate their blooming buggies.


Soon, police federations are going to be pushing to have the Highway Code expanded to supermarkets. Then what? A police chase through fresh produce?

 

You just don’t know when you are going to come face-to-face with a speeding senior seated on a turbocharged wheelchair. What chance does a grocery cart have?

 

Police; legislators; fix it! Parameters, please. What's legal and what's not, and do the laws make sense and keep everyone safe?



It’s most unnerving to someone who’s always enjoyed going to the grocery store without having to contemplate the possibility of being run over in front of the frozen yogurt.

 

Maybe I’m overreacting.

 

Deep breath.

 

I’m sure I’ll feel better about the whole thing once they get traffic lights installed at the ends of the aisles.

 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Get Your Act Together

What the hell?

Francois will not be getting my vote, not that he ever had it to begin with.

 

The curfew is wrong. Requiring a third shot on your vaccination passport is wrong.

 

How can you justify removing the rights of people who are double vaccinated? They no longer have the right to be outside after 10 p.m. even though they did exactly as you recommended and got vaccinated? Twice.

 

Why did we listen to you idiots?

 

We got vaccinated twice and what do we have to show for it? House arrest. We are confined to our homes from 10 at night until 5 in the morning.

 

Infuriating.


Oh shutup!

The arbitrary stupidity continues and, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to be led by droning Legault and his inept cronies.

 

You cannot keep banging people on the head with your arbitrary, inconsistent, unscientific rules.

 

So, omicron is the latest worry but, wait, it’s not really a worry because it’s a run-of-the-mill cold, or flu. Well, if it’s a run-of-the-mill cold, or flu, leave people alone.

 

Pfizer says its omicron vaccine will be ready in March. Well then, why wouldn’t I wait for Pfizer’s omicron vaccine if that’s the latest issue, even though the symptoms that come with the omicron variant, we are repeatedly told, are not really an issue?

 

What the hell?

 

You had it? You haven’t had it? You had it but showed no symptoms? You had symptoms but tested negative? 

 

Self-isolate for 10 days, 7 days, 5 days, wait, you work in health care, no need to self-isolate, get back to work.

 

What the hell?

 

I know who I’d like to see self-isolate.


Get your act together and stop acting.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Stop By Anytime

How stupid is that? As stupidity goes, it’s positively rarefied.

Why would the government and science approve of people mixing COVID vaccines and then turn around and say recipients of mixed vaccines are subject to travel restrictions?

 

Typical.

 

The worst part is no one answers for all the COVID related inconsistency and stupidity. No one is accountable; makes me want to spit fire. The government can make up rules, change rules, warn you, then change those warnings, recommend actions, change recommendations and coerce citizens with propaganda.

 

I am not comfortable with forcing people to have things injected into their bodies. I also feel like mandatory vaccines would set a dangerous precedent, allowing government to decree who knows what in the future.

 

I do wonder how many of the people who are against vaccines would be willing to swallow a COVID pill?


Now, doctors and politicians are saying they always told people the vaccines would wear off, immunity would wane. Strange, I honestly don’t recall hearing too much about that as the masses lined up for their shots. 




I would have rathered not have to take vaccines, but that wasn’t really a reasonable choice. I guess many of the vaccinated would say the same thing.

 

The passports seem to be a bit of a joke. At two different fast food restaurants, they simply asked if I had been vaccinated without even a perfunctory glance at my QR code. At a different branch of one of the first two fast food restaurants, they actually scanned my passport to make sure I had been vaccinated. To sit in the food court at Montreal Trust, my QR code was also scanned. 

 

At a Laval restaurant/bar where I just met with colleagues for a holiday gathering, they simply looked at the QR code on my phone without scanning it. 

 

Seriously? What’s the point?

 

You don’t really need a passport to eat out, although fake QR codes are out there and being used by some individuals who've had no vaccine.

 

With omicron making the rounds, a third shot seems likely, not just for the immunocompromised and elderly.

 

People seem happy to get rid of 2021. My extreme good fortune is not lost on me.  I have been able to work from home, my favorite place, where I was able to spend more time with my favorite people, and my favorite dogs. I bear 2021 no malice.

 

I did not miss going to concerts, movies, parties, conferences, or sporting events.

 

So, 2021, feel free to stop by anytime.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Synchro Tennis is a Real Slice

No doubt about it, I was as skeptical as any sports fan could possibly be when I first heard synchro tennis would be introduced at the Olympics.

I wondered, quite vocally, what is the point of synchro tennis? You play tennis. You are an accomplished player. Now, why would you want to synchronize your playing with a teammate? What does it prove? What do you gain? What do sports fans gain?

It seemed arbitrary and utterly pointless to me and something that should be reserved for any eventual Synchronicity Games.


However, after watching the athletes perform, I am entirely convinced the sport is worthy of my attention.

The players, in teams of two, call out their strokes and with lightning quickness, execute incredible and precisely timed shots as mirror images of each other. In doubles tennis, players can move anywhere on the court and are not required to mirror each other’s strokes.

In synchro tennis, the two players on each side of the net can only move within their side of the half court. Teams consist of one right-handed player and one left-handed player. Their opponents, on the other side of the net, one right-handed and one left-handed, must respond together with speed, agility and grace to the identical shots coming their way.

The synchronicity of the players is rather astonishing. I am certain I could never think as quickly as these synchro tennis players, not to mention move as quickly.

The down-the-line, backhand slice executed by the British team to win the inaugural gold medal was absolutely brilliant. As the two balls were struck by their Spanish counterparts, the British captain called the return shot. In a matter of a millisecond, the two British players simultaneously positioned themselves with perfect footwork, and gracefully sliced their respective balls back down the line.

If you did not see the game live, I hope you get to see the highlights.

I can hardly wait until beach cricket is introduced at the next Olympic games and, if it’s anything like synchro tennis, it’s sure to be a smashing success.

 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Click Went My Switch

Listen to pharmaceutical ads on television; most of the disclaimers are downright scary.

Yet, a whole slew of pharmaceutical companies popped out of the woodwork with leading edge, perfectly safe, somewhat tested, COVID vaccines they all developed seemingly overnight. Evidently, these vaccines all came with no scary disclaimers, or side-effects.

 

“Perfectly safe”, droned the politicians and physicians, in unison.

 

Seems unlikely to me.

 

Oh, wait, there is that one COVID vaccine that can cause blood clots and has cost far too many people their lives. Why was that risk not mentioned in a disclaimer? There are those other COVID vaccines that contain nanoparticles of polyethylene glycol which have triggered anaphylaxis in an unfortunate few who happen to be allergic. Why was that risk not mentioned in a disclaimer?

 

Don’t the scientists and politicians have a responsibility to be transparent, or do pandemics permit dispensing with transparency?

 

Instead, the government and medical community insisted, very paternalistically, all the vaccines are perfectly safe and “the right vaccine for you is the one that you’re offered.”

 

I don’t think so. I will choose the vaccine I get and if I can’t choose the vaccine I get, I won’t get one. Period.

 

How dare they tell me what I have to have injected into my body? How dare they tell anyone they must accept the risk, however statistically unlikely, of clotting, or death?

 

I found that arrogance infuriating. Click went my switch. I decided I will not get any vaccine; at least, I would wait until I was convinced it was right for me.

 

How is it possible that no one has been held accountable for the tragic deaths of the women in Canada, the UK, Australia and elsewhere? Shouldn’t Astrazeneca, or the politicians who so cavalierly endorsed its safety, be held accountable? Shouldn’t someone be held accountable for the clotting issues people have endured?

 

There were hundreds of millions of dollars up for grabs. Every pharmaceutical company in the world was salivating, eager for their piece of the pie. In spite of compressed testing times and incomplete results, many managed to get a share of the millions of dollars being spent by governments. Of course, after spending millions of dollars to pay for these vaccines, governments felt the need to push as aggressively as possible to get the shots into arms.


I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was some deal whereby the government purchased vaccines from pharmaceutical companies that agreed to chip in for the cost of propaganda campaigns.

 

Social distancing, masking and hand washing might have been able to get it done, but there was no enforcement and most people are too idiotic to comply. They can’t even wear their masks properly or follow the arrows in grocery store aisles! Some gym, restaurant, and other business owners went above and beyond, but most did not.

 

Aggressive propaganda campaigns have been bombarding us with didactic ads, preaching about social responsibility as the politicians very likely keep their fingers crossed in hopes snowballing peer pressure would help get it done.

 


As people marched obediently off to vaccination clinics, the moronic announcements just kept coming. In most instances, they contradicted what we were first led to believe. The announcements seemed arbitrary and haphazard.

Now, suddenly, the vaccines that needed constant super freezing can be stored at regular refrigeration temperatures for one month.

Now, suddenly, you can mix vaccines from different pharmaceutical companies.

Now, suddenly, the recommended interval between shots has been extended.

Now, suddenly, the recommended interval between shots has been shortened.

Now, suddenly, it’s perfectly fine to extend the expiration dates on vaccines.

 

As she outlined the newly shortened interval time between first and second COVID shots, the woman registering me for my first shot on Saturday summed it up nicely, “C’est du n’importe quoi.” It’s whatever.

 

Since hand washing, social distancing and masking seem to have gone out the window, jabs may well be the only way out of this now. Certainly not my first choice.

 

At the height of the pandemic, I watched a CNN documentary on the COVID vaccines. It offered a glimpse into what different pharmaceutical companies had done to develop their vaccines. 

 

On Friday, two things happened that made feel like I would eventually have no choice but to succumb to the intense propaganda pressure and take the jab. I won’t elaborate on what these two things were, or who was involved. Everyone is being brainwashed into thinking they have a moral obligation to save society by getting the jab. Many believe that anyone who does not comply is failing in their social duty to save society.

 

Travel, work, friendships and much more, seem to be at stake.

 

I caved-in to the pressure and conformed, indirectly and reluctantly falling victim to the propaganda machine created by the politicians. I don’t trust what they say or do. In order to make sure the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on vaccines are not wasted, they invested in bandwagon propaganda.

 

If they had been forthcoming about the risks of vaccines, or endorsed the right of people to choose between vaccines, maybe I would feel differently. Instead, true to their oily nature, politicians were frothing at the mouth, and still are, eager to conjure up the perception that everything returned to normal on their watch, making them worthy of retaining power.

 

Truth be told, I don’t entirely trust pharmaceutical companies. Some may argue their motivations are pure, but when so much money is at stake, purity almost certainly becomes tainted to some degree.

 

Messenger RNA vaccines supposedly teach our cells how to make a protein, or part of a protein, in order to initiate an immune response inside our bodies. Admittedly, incredible technology. I sincerely hope there are no side effects related to cell manipulation that emerge down the road and, ideally, the vaccines vanquish the variants.

 

As far as the politicians are concerned, they can stick it.