28 June 2013

Flat-Out Friday: Fallout

I was trying to decide what to write this week and I realized that I have been so emotionally and physically invested in what has been happening in my province that I haven't really taken the time to figure out how I am.

In the car on the way to our tattoo parlour today, I was talking to Matt about it. I came to realize that this whole thing with the scar tissue and my pain increasing has really done a number on my body and my soul. In addition to being in pain constantly, I'm nervous - way more nervous than I should be.

So is the pain I'm in heightening my latent anxieties? Or are the uncontrolled acts of God weighing heavily on my soul?

24 June 2013

Week in Review: Science Experiment Goes "Boink"

As any Calvin and Hobbes fan will recognize, the title of my post today refers to the small blond boy's escapades with his transmogrifier, a cardboard box that at times duplicated, transformed, and transported him on epic adventures. This past week I've felt like someone has transmogrified me into something I'm not usually, and taken the regular me out for pizza.

Everything aches, and I wish I was exaggerating. I have been laid out cold with a headache three times. I haven't been sleeping normally, as you can probably tell by my tweets and posts at all hours. I'm pale (for me) and wan, black circles under my eyes, and don't ask me how I'm doing because I just might start crying.

21 June 2013

Flat-Out Friday: The Great Deluge

I can't sleep. It's 3 am and I'm making hot chocolate in an effort to try and normalize myself. I can't sleep because I'm having a mini-crisis. I'm having a mini-crisis because of this: Calgary has declared a state of emergency in response to the flooding of the Bow River. Dams are overflowing. Authorities are evacuating over 25 neighbourhoods. People are banding together over social media to offer support to those effected by all this. Environment Canada's Weather Office is now saying it will continue to rain in Southern Alberta until Tuesday. And I'm glued to my Twitter feed. They have evacuated the Calgary Zoo. The Zoo! Do you have any idea how hard the transport of that many animals would be? And where would they take them?

This is one of those things that sets off my anxieties. It is a situation completely beyond my control that is effecting people I care about, and, I'll admit it, me. Even here in Edmonton, it's effecting me. Thursday night was Date Night again. Matt and I went out for supper, and it was supposed to be a fun, relaxing evening to celebrate his long weekend. He got the call just before our meal came; we took it to go. I drove him to the base, and right now he's somewhere south of here, coordinating military efforts to support the Calgary Emergency crews and meet with city engineers to lend help. It's not looking like he'll be here tomorrow night either. And I'm not holding my breath for Saturday night's all ranks dinner/dance.

19 June 2013

What's in a Name?

Since I started writing in my spare time (oh, 20 years ago give or take), I have been obsessed with names and their meanings. It started by wanting to have the perfect name for each character, which grew into wanting to have options for the perfect name for each character. I started with a baby name book, the kind that new parents can get free if they sign up for certain things, and a notebook with built-in alphabetisation. That notebook was colour coded, meticulously kept, and the source of hundreds of "perfect" character names. My handwriting changed, and the notebook underwent some heavy revisions, but it was my personal name bible for a long time.

20 years later, I don't have the notebook any more but I do possess no less than three baby name books as well as several books on etymology, and the development of written and spoken language. When I say that I proposed a thesis to do my Masters in the connections of language, naming structure, and symbolism between the Egyptians and the Mayans, I am not lying. I was accepted into the program - I just chose not to go.

I am a huge word nerd.

17 June 2013

Week in Review: Head Spins

What a week. I feel like my head is still spinning. Actually, that might be the weather. It's been really weird here for the past little while: like today, which had bright blue skies this morning but by 3pm it's expected to be thundering and lightning. It makes everything ache, which makes my head feel all dizzy-making, which gives me a "my-brain" ("migraine" for those who haven't had a toddler say the word to them), which causes me much napping. It's a cycle, and a vicious one. This is also why I can't seem to keep a proper swim schedule. I suppose the lesson here is, don't worry about it. Just swim when you can and everything will turn out okay.

14 June 2013

Flat-Out Friday: Scar Tissue

I can't rightly say if it's because of the swimming, or just because my body has reached that point in the healing process, but my physiotherapist thinks (and I agree) that the scar tissue is now pulling away from the break sites in my pelvis.

Say what? Basically, it's like this. When you break a bone, fluid and blood rush to the area to protect it; sort of like curling into the fetal position if you've been kicked in the stomach, it's a physical, involuntary action. In the case of many break sites like mine, there is only a finite amount of fluid and blood to do the rushing. This means some areas ended up with massive swelling around them that is still definite and present (like my lower back, upper thigh, and right calf and foot), and some areas ended up with visibly less tissue mass around them. My abdomen naturally swells outward but then unnaturally concaves at the front pelvic break site due to the lack of fluid and tissue in the area. This results in more scar tissue and less soft tissue to cushion the site as it rebuilds. What is causing me grief now is that, through the process of building muscle mass again, I seem to be causing the scar tissue to rip away from the break site it has spent all this time protecting.

Gross. I know.

12 June 2013

Not in Kansas Anymore

I was going to write a filler post today, but then something interesting happened:

We got a tornado warning. A severe tornado warning.

And suddenly my filler post didn't matter so much any more. There is nothing as scary and exhilarating as watching a storm bearing down on your location. This one was no exception. Though I have not heard yet if there have been any downspouts confirmed, I can assure you that the clouds were doing the twist right over central Edmonton.  The flag on the pole, though sodden, was flapping from the south wind. The clouds directly above it were moving in from the north fast. There was a wall of water obliterating my view of the river, and I watched as it swallowed up the valley until it hit me. I couldn't see the WEM first, then I lost the Groat Road bridge, and then suddenly it was on us.

It was raining so heavily that for a moment I even lost Jasper Avenue. And in that moment, the sky lit up pink and purple and the lightning streaked through it. I was blinded and deafened. The sound rattled the windows hard. Wherever it hit, it was close. Really close.

The hail came after that, white marbles bouncing off the concrete building with a distinct ping. They stopped traffic for a moment as no one could see where they were going. The buses waited at their stops so the commuters wouldn't have to get off into the pelting ice. 

Just as suddenly, it was gone. The sky lightened, and for a moment I could see my whole view of the valley again. The flag stopped dancing.

Then the rain switched direction, and suddenly the wall of water was advancing on me again. The flag began to point south, but the southern clouds were moving steadfastly north. Once more, the hail pounded down and the street lights came on in the middle of the afternoon. Traffic ground to a halt.

The storm is slowly lifting now, moving north, taking the hail, thunder and lightning with it and leaving behind a trail of rain. It is expected to rain now until tomorrow. There are patches of blue sky sprinkled amongst the clouds now, which makes the whole experience seem surreal. My only hope is that this blue sky is a promise of what is to come, and not the eye of a much, much larger storm.

10 June 2013

Week in Review: Tripping the Parks Fantastic

The last weekend with my mum and grandma visiting was an eventful one. We had a lovely trip to Fort Edmonton Park, did some shopping at the Strathcona Farmer's Market, and visited the Muttart Conservatory.

Fort Edmonton Park was fantastic. Matt and I bought annual passes so we can visit frequently through the year. They are having a Canada Day celebration as well as a Hallowe'en costume extravaganza that we plan on attending. The Fort is laid out in separate sections, starting with a replica of the actual Fort that was built by the Hudson's Bay Company to provide shelter for traders and to act as a meeting place for the Natives and the newly arrived Europeans. Next comes 1885 Street, the era where Edmonton became a proper town. There is a hotel, a saloon, an RCMP outpost and a millinery, where I tried on the hat.

There is also 1902 Street and 1920 Street, where you can see the changes that time brings about to the city. There is a midway with games, a ferris wheel, and a carousel. It was a lot to take in, and we will definitely go back just to see all the rest of the sights.

07 June 2013

Flat-Out Friday: Home to Stay

It's been a long haul of exercises this spring, but finally, FINALLY, Matt is home to stay.

Yesterday felt a lot like the day I came home from the hospital after the accident. My physical therapist and occupational therapist escorted me to make sure I could manage getting up the stairs to our second floor condo, and then up the stairs again to the second floor. They checked to make sure my detachable handle on the bathtub was installed properly, that the bath seat was an appropriate height, and that I could get in and out of bed. After they approved my stay, they left and, for what felt like the first time in my whole life, I relaxed. I made it up to my bed and snuggled in for the longest nap ever. It was glorious. And when I woke up, Matt was lying beside me, grinning. I had finally made it home to sleep beside him.

I imagine that this feeling is similar to the one that Matt has when he arrives back from the field. Though I did not have to sleep in a tent or poop in the woods, I did have to put up with nurses and two courses of antibiotics for the diseases I caught while hospitalized. Though I wasn't living on rations, I was living on hospital food. And though I could see my husband and speak to him unlike his absense, we still did not get to hold one another until that homecoming.

Everything I worked towards while I was in recovery, every step I took and squat I did and wobbly moment I had was all work-up training to go home. Every single day I fought a thousand little fights and won, building my stength and courage up for the risky business of living away from immediate medical attention. I pushed myself until I couldn't push myself any farther. Despite all my setbacks, I persevered. And the reward, that glorious nap in my own bed, the waking up in my husband's arms: it was all worth it.

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't stop staring at Matt. I imagine that's how he felt too, like I would disappear if he blinked. You don't realize how incomplete you are until the one you love isn't there, even temporarily. Today, when I stretched and snuggled in closer, I was whole once again.