Monday, August 28, 2017

At Long Last

Well I never knew it would turn out this way.

A few years ago I embarked on a journey to get better vision and get rid of glasses and contacts. That way I could feel freer to learn how to swim.

I investigated Lasik surgery but was too chicken to move forward. The reason being the jury was out on whether I was a good candidate. I had been to 3 surgeons. One pronounced me a suitable candidate but I swear the man was under the influence of alcohol when I met with him and I could not feel comfortable with his assessment. This was borne out when I met with the 2nd doctor who found me to be an unsuitable candidate for Lasik. The medical staff did explain to me why I wasn't a good candidate but I didn't understand the jargon. I guess the bottom line is I wasn't a suitable candidate.  This made me trepidatious.  I cannot remember what the 3rd eye surgeon said. I only remember that I was not comfortable going forward with Lasik surgery.

Later when I mentioned my experience to my eye specialist where I visit once a year for diabetic follow up, he suggested I get cataract surgery. Though I wasn't yet an advanced case I have enough cataract build up to make me a candidate if I so chose. He said I  might as well get it over with since I will need it at some point anyway.  It made sense but I thought about it for another year. Why the delay you might ask.

In the meantime I developed a retinal tear, unrelated to diabetes according to the 2nd eye specialist who repaired it. So I had that treated and several follow up appointments to deal with it. This new eye specialist told me I should not go forward with the cataract surgery. What a dilemma!

I thought about it for another year. In the end I decided I would get the surgery. Over that year I could tell my vision had changed and was getting cloudy.  I wasn't sure if it was because of better blood glucose management and improved vision thus the need for changing my eye prescription,  or if the cataracts were getting worse. My optometrist told me it was likely because of better blood glucose management. The eye surgery coordinator told me it was because my cataracts were growing.

In any case, I decided it was better to move forward now that blurriness was occurring more frequently and I was past the immediate issues of the retinal tear.  I also know that at some point everyone needs cataract surgery and people seem to be getting younger and younger who need it.

I have a Kenyan friend who is still quite young and just had surgery last year.  I am still relatively young as far as cataract surgery goes but this will save me the bother of getting this common surgery when I am old and not necessarily as mobile. Years of experience with needing to help my late mother go to doctors, including eye surgeons and so on, helped me make a decision,  Of course I also wanted to be free of contacts and glasses. I will still need reading glasses. I opted not to go for specialty lenses which the doctor said are harder to fit and if they need to be redone it is difficult as the lens needs to come out in pieces.  Much harder than putting them in.

A few weeks ago I had the first eye done and it went very well. However at the same time I developed vertigo due to inner ear fluid. In running errands I was almost passing out at times. That was a bit scary and prompted me to see the doctor last Friday for  assessment. I get my 2nd eye done today and my last visit to the eye surgeon should be in another month with two appointments and many eye drops in between visits.  I have to say I am looking forward to it (pun intended).

If you are thinking about cataract surgery or have a parent or friend you need to help get to their surgical appointments you may wish to read more here.

 (Update:  I've just come home from the 2nd eye surgery. I must say it is more uncomfortable than the first go around. The eye specialist said it is often that way. I have a follow up appointment tomorrow so hopefully all will look okay with the eye. For now it feels like there is something in there. I guess there is. A new lens! But last time the "fit" was somewhat more comfortable.  Last time too it was a resident doctor and my eye specialist supervised and walked me through it. Today she worked alone. In both instances I was offered medication. In this case, Ativan for anxiety. I declined because of the addictive nature of the drug and I also didn't want to be under the influence for several hours afterward. Though I was a bit anxious prior to surgery I felt I could manage, and I did.)

End of summer garden.
The summer has just flown by and I have been so very busy trying to catch up after many months of doing very little. My garden never fully got planted but what I did plant I enjoyed. Now as the summer wanes I am already missing the colour.

Have a great week ahead everyone.  I'll be seeing you.

 Soon I shall be back to visit your blogs, comment and reply.

Friday, August 11, 2017

National Indigenous Day 2017 - John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)

National Aboriginal Day 2017 occurred on Summer Solstice, June 21. It was a very beautiful and peaceful day. Clear blue skies and not too hot. This year, the Prime Minister of Canada renamed National Aboriginal Day. Hereafter it will be called National Indigenous Day to mirror the terminology in the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

UNDRIP codifies "Indigenous historical grievances, contemporary challenges and socio-economic, political and cultural aspirations" and is the "culmination of generations-long efforts by Indigenous organizations to get international attention, to secure recognition for their aspirations, and to generate support for their political agendas.
(Source: Wikipedia)

National Indigenous Day is a special day to celebrate the First Peoples of Canada and the heritage, diversity and culture that they have.  It was first celebrated in 1996 after years of lobbying by the Aboriginal peoples of Canada (Indian, Inuit and M├ętis  peoples).  Originally the Aboriginal peoples had hoped for a national statutory holiday recognizing their unique place in Canada's history however this didn't happen. It may happen in years to come.

I hadn't been to John Henry Park (otherwise known as Trout Lake) for a good many years. I used to go there for the celebrations on June 21st and also from time to time for Farmer's Markets.  This year I invited a friend to join me. I thought it was time she have an opportunity to see a pow-wow  (traditional dancing celebration and competition).  It turns out they no longer have a big pow-wow and even though they had a mini pow-wow we missed it entirely. My friend had to go to a seminar earlier in the day.  By the time we got to the park a good many activities had already wound up for the day.  Though a number of booths were still up most of them were packing up for the day.

I managed to capture some photos of lazy, sunny late afternoon.

There were ducks on the lake.

Watching them paddle around gave me a feeling of peace and tranquility on such a lovely day.

The canoes looked beautiful against the water and greenery.

I enjoyed this lady's leggings with the printed West Coast Aboriginal ovoid forms.

Later in the evening there was a big stage where some national and USA entertainers would perform.  We didn't get a chance to stay for the entertainment. We were only there for the first few minutes of the rap duo (on the stage in the photo below) from La Belle Province (Quebec)

I'm enjoying some family company at the moment so I may not have time to visit your blog until my guest leaves.
Enjoy your week and thanks so much for stopping by!

 Linking up with Saturday's Critters

Friday, August 4, 2017

Early August

Hello friends,

It's the end of another week. Time passes so quickly.

I had great news today. My nephew has successfully completed his Master's Degree in Psychology and will commence his PhD studies in a few short weeks. I am very proud of him. We have long had a "deal" that once he has completed much of his education we will travel together to France. He reminded me of it today.

In other news the wild fires which have been burning for weeks now continue to wreck havoc several hours to the north of me. The air quality in much of the province is very bad and has now affected my city for a few days.  Have a look at the sky in the photo below.

This has been the picture for much of the past 3 days. Our province has not seen fires this bad for about 60 years or weather and we've been smashing temperature records all week. What we need is some good rainfall but there doesn't seem to be any in the forecast. The moon has turned orange. You can see it peeking out of the trees in the photo below (sorry the trees are in the way and I wasn't high enough to see over the trees). I read on line news today which said a controlled burn a few days ago is now an uncontrolled burn due to high winds (*sigh). It is threatening a power station that supplies electricity to Vancouver Island and Vancouver. Crews are working hard to make sure it isn't impacted but at this stage only God knows the outcomes.

 As of 6:23 a.m. PT Friday, 10 communities had reached a seven out of 10 on the Air Quality Health Index:
  • Central Fraser Valley.
  • Central Okanagan.
  • Eastern Fraser Valley.
  • Kamloops.
  • Metro Vancouver - NE.
  • Metro Vancouver - NW.
  • North Okanagan.
  • South Okanagan.
  • Squamish.
  • Whistler.
When the index shows a number of seven or higher, Environment Canada recommends that children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions "take it easy" and reduce outdoor activities.
The general population should do the same if they start to cough or feel an itch in their throat.
(Source: CBC News, August 4, 2017)

Yesterday when I was out running errands I had to make a dash for the bus and I ran as fast as I could for almost 1 block.  I noticed later in the evening that my throat was very sore. I've also had an intermittent, irritating cough for a few days. I'm largely indoors but it is too hot to go without throwing open the doors and windows and running the fans so I guess I must be breathing in the small particulate matter which is in the air.

With the run of hot weather I haven't felt up to much though I am keeping very busy with the daily things of life. I've made a bit of progress with some household updates; mainly buying new accessories for the kitchen, dining and bathroom areas. This has also meant decluttering a bit in these areas and giving away things.  All the giveaways take time because one must take photos, place the advert, respond to emails and phone calls and then hope the people show up to pick up what they requested. Sometimes there isn't much interest in what is posted. It is all a matter of timing.

With the really hot weather this week I haven't done much reading. Even so it won't be difficult to meet this year's reading goal as I'm several books ahead of schedule.  Currently in my reading pile is The Legacy of Pemberley by Rebeccah Ann Collins. It is the 10th book and final book in the series. The funny thing is I didn't know that when I picked it up so I've had to try and decipher who everyone is.  If are a Jane Austen fan I'm sure you will enjoy the book just as I'm enjoying it.

There Was a Country:A Memoir  by the late Chinua Achebe is also in my current reading pile.  It is about his personal account of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970.

Besides these two books I've got several more on hold request at the library.  I've also downloaded several free ebooks this week from both Amazon Kindle and Kobo (Canada's version of Kindle).  I probably wouldn't spend money on these books but since I got them for free I will now be introduced to some "new to me" authors.

As you can see, I won't be without reading material any time soon.  The nice thing too  is that I'm already prepared with reading materials for any future travels. While I still prefer reading a paper book you can't beat the convenience of an ebook. I can carry an entire library of books in my mini Kobo.   Such wonders. My grandfather and great-grandmother would have marvelled at the thought if they had lived long enough to know about it. I think my grandfather would have especially liked an ereader. Every time I saw him he would be reading.

My niece will visit me in a few short days and  I'm looking forward to her visit. We always have fun and I do things with her that I wouldn't otherwise get to enjoy.  While she is here we will celebrate her recent birthday and her brother and I have a few surprises planned.

In coming weeks and months,  I'll be trying to solidify future travel plans with my nephew.  He is a very busy guy so it will be difficult to pin him down over a mutually workable period of time to travel. I do hope we can work it out.  I'll also be working on a few other fun plans.  More about these in future.

I've been busy helping students and widows in Kenya.  There is always great need there. Sadly the little toddler with the cancerous tumour on his eye passed on.  We were unable to save him though the doctors tried hard.  My friend Jonah worked tirelessly to get the City of Nairobi to provide land to bury the lad who died while being treated in hospital in that city.  Ordinarily one would be buried on the family compound.  However the sad fact is this young lad and his mother were turned out of their rural home due to the boy's tumour. The father thought his wife and the boy were cursed.  As a result they had been living in a shelter for some time and the boy had been many hours away in hospital for much of the time.

Last but not least, Kenya will be having it's national elections on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017.  It is a always a very tense time.  If you are a person of prayer,  please pray for peace and safety for the nation and it's people as well as fair election outcomes.

Take care until next time.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday and Friday Foto Friends.

City Gardens, Weather & Cooking

Hello dear friends and fellow bloggers, Time passed too quickly this month and before you know it May will be here.  With it's return th...