Monthly Archives: June 2019

The Scare

My husband had a headache. He took a nap and woke up an hour and a half later and couldn’t move his arm properly. Next thing he’s being transferred from our small rural hospital to a major teaching hospital with lights, sirens and a full stroke protocol organized.

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We got lucky. Hubby dearest had a dissection of the inner carotid artery possibly causing a mild stroke. He had four days in hospital and was released with residual damage only the neurologist can detect. It was the mildest stroke one could have, if it was a stroke. The neurologist also said all the signs the stroke occurred should vanish completely because it was so very mild. If one has to have a stroke, this is the type to have.

The dissection is considered traumatic in origin because of a seatbelt accident. That means it will likely not happen again. All the other blood vessels are clear with no more plaque or issues than that of a twenty year old on a bad diet. My husband is in very good shape for 75. During his hospital stay, my husband had crazy wonky high blood pressure the doctors left alone up to a point. If it went up to what they considered too high, they gave him drugs to pull it down. He spent one night hooked up to monitors with the ICU crew. Fortunately, his 72 hours CT scan showed no change from the one he had on arrival. And so he was released with an arsenal of drugs and strict instructions on followup. He has been fine at home except for tiring easily. Post carotid artery dissection fatigue is well described in the literature. His blood pressure was still pretty high on release but once he got home it soon dropped to normal. The drugs they sent him home on and the relief of being back in his own bed both did wonders for him. The dog was so happy she kept giving little yips of joy and shivering and then nudging him for a head pat during the two hour and fifteen minute drive home.

We got another wonderful demonstration of how the Canadian health care system works. It has two speeds, glacial and lightning and nothing in between. Folks around here wait literally months to get a CT if it is “elective”. My husband got his CT in the stroke protocol within twenty minutes after arrival at Emergency Room. He had a second one exactly 72 hours later. I have no complaints about the quality of the care. We had the usual issues with different doctors telling us different things. We had to repeat multiple times no pork for food. Breakfast was ghastly so I picked up take out and then got scolded for all the salt in the Subway sandwich. We had friendly wonderful nurses and grumpy ones. Normal hospital stuff. The quality of care was excellent.

We had demonstrations of wonderful kindness and much appreciated support from family, friends, neighbours and perfect strangers. Most people are good. We forget that fact sometimes in a world of 24 hours news services, but most people are indeed good.

He’s home. We dodged a bullet. He has used up one of his lives.

We went walking today because exercise between bouts of post carotid artery dissection fatigue helps you get over the fatigue in less time according to the literature. The air was sweet smelling. His hand in mine as we walked felt so very warm and so very alive. Colours are brighter and more vibrant. His laugh, his smile, his scent, and the twinkle in his eye and everything about him is handsomer then it has has been in a long time even though I didn’t think I ever took him for granted.

Thank you, Master of the Universe for giving us a little more time together.



Solar Water Heater for Pool

After the Alonsa tornado the beach got full of wood bits and broken glass. We’re a bit hesitant about swimming there. I have always wanted a pool in my yard but never felt I should waste the money when we had a perfectly good beach 12km away. This year I did it! I bought myself a pool.


Okay, it’s not exactly an Olympic pool but I am delighted by it. I also ordered a water test kit and some chlorine stabilizer and several bottles of household bleach. I now have the chlorine and stabilizer in the water and the test kit shows the level of chlorine and the pH are perfect. The big problem is temperature. The water came out of the well at 6C (43F) and it was COLD in that pool. It’s been cool at night so the temperature is now up to 19C (66F) which is a lot better than the heart stopping cold of the initial fill but still not what I consider good for a casual dip.

In order to more quickly raise the temperature I cobbled together a solar water heater using some stuff we had laying about. I stapled a black mat onto some plywood and then wound 50 feet of black hose in a loop. I purchased a submersible pond pump and attached it.



The pump sits on the bottom of the pool where the water is coldest. It pumps the water up to the looped hose. The cord was long enough to easily have the plug outside but I will have to remove it if we’re using the pool because it is in a spot it could get wet and deliver a nasty shock.


The result? Well in full sun water goes in and then comes out a full 2C (3.6F) higher. The pump is strong enough that the water is going out at a good pace. Given it took 16 hours to fill, it will take 8 hours for each degree it goes up. However we are going into a stretch of nice hot weather with daily highs predicted to be 27C (80F). I regard 24C (76F) as perfect swimming pool temperature so we’re on the road to that. The pump is also working well enough I plan to buy some more black hose and add another 50 ft.

I look forward to taking a swim in my pool shortly.