A Ramble

Bleeding Hearts (by StarbuckGuy)

I’m sitting on the front deck, sipping green tea, on the warmest day we’ve had so far (around 18C or 65F). It’s a delightful temperature for walking, sitting, and, I suppose, photography, though I’m not doing much of that. It’s been two and a half weeks since my surgery (double-bypass), and I couldn’t have picked a nicer time of year to recover, even though it wasn’t planned.

The sky has changed. Until today, the sky had an April look to it with its deep blue and not quite fluffy clouds. Today the sky is a little paler and fluffy cumulus clouds predominate, looking very Mayish. The trees are pushing out leaves and our bleeding hearts are in bloom. I’ve seen quite a few migrating warblers, kinglets, thrushes, sparrows, a pair of towhees, and yesterday, a Baltimore oriole. The robins are already nesting with the male robins singing to mark territory and, I suspect, for the sheer joy of singing. What a lovely time of year.

My recovery is going well. My ribcage is healing and I’ve had minimal soreness and pain from it. My walklets have now extended to 8-9 minutes each, 3 or 4 times a day. I put my back out today and had to call the cardiac ward to find out if I could take any muscle relaxants. The nurse on duty reviewed my meds and didn’t see any problems so I’ve taken a couple. Bad timing, but it hasn’t prevented me from walking, even if I walk with a pronounced stoop.

My friend Marty stopped by for a visit today, and I’ve had visits in the past few days from Richard and Dave as well. It’s fun to see them and catch up on their news. I tire a little, but not as much as I thought I would. I think that’s a good sign.

Marion has been doing a super job of looking after me. She makes all the meals and does all the cleanup, except for the little bits I can now do. I dislike it that she has all the responsibilities, but our roles were reversed when she had her hip replacement a bit over a year ago now. Perhaps it evens out.

Our son Trevor, who decided to learn to ride a bike just a few weeks back, at age 23, is now taking healthy bike rides almost daily. He bought a bike that we intended to share, but when I tried riding before my op, I had strong angina pains whenever I rode up any grades, even gentle ones. My goal is to be riding a bike by mid summer and taking longer bike rides along the lakeshore by autumn. With luck, the angina will no longer be with me.

I’ve not done as much reading as I thought I might but I’ve been watching some new lectures. We purchased two more courses from the Teaching Company: The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology, by Professor John Renton, and Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes and Their Real-World Applications, by Professor David Sadava. I’ve started with the geology course, to help fill some gaps in my understanding and appreciation of that side of natural history. It’s very interesting, though I doubt I’ll be very good at remembering many of the mineral names. The reintroduction to chemistry is a stretch as well. Good brain food, this.

I have Skype working fine on my Dell portable, using my new headset, on the Windows partition anyway. I’ve been unable so far to get the mic working in Ubuntu Linux. I’m not up for a challenging troubleshoot right now, so I’m booting into Windows more often than I like. Yesterday I had a 30-minute conversation with my friend Tim in the UK, using Skype. My brother Jim and I use it regularly. He lives in Russellville, Arkansas.

As always I’m enjoying my technologies. The iPod remains a favourite, especially for podcasts. We finally upgraded our TV to a digital LCD and we’ve enjoyed some movies and TV shows on it, though we find little to watch on live TV. My Dell portable in wireless mode allows me to avoid climbing the stairs to my office where my desktop computer resides. For photography I’ve installed the Windows version of The GIMP to match the version I use in Linux. I’m not certain whether or not my Photoshop CS3 license allows me to use it on two machines. Fortunately I’d already taken the time to learn The GIMP fairly well and I enjoy using it.

And of course there’s my little lightweight Alphasmart Neo, the little text machine I’m using to type this. It runs something like 700 hours on a set of AA batteries. It’s not fancy, but it has a great keyboard and is a writer’s dream.

I’m a lucky person. My health will be restored and modern medicines will keep me operative for a number of years to come, barring accidents and other complications. A century ago I’d probably be dead by now from my cardiac problems. I never take life for granted.

This has become a ramble but sitting out on the deck in this lovely weather as I’m healing has made me want to write. I hope you don’t mind.

4 thoughts on “A Ramble

  1. Hello Gene and glad to see you are on the mend. We miss your images and comments on the OE forum but I know the task for you right now is to get your strength back. I have a coworker that had the same surgery about three years ago due to his diabetes and after the initial healing process he never looked back. He is almost finished with his custom retirement home and has done most of the work him self. Any way wishing you well and look forward to seeing you again at OE. Mike McCahan

  2. Mike, thank you so much. I keep hearing stories like yours and hope that it’ll work out that way for me too. I visited OE today and posted a pic there. It felt good to visit.


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