On December 11, 2010, I had a stroke that put me in hospital for an undetermined amount of time and when I had another stroke two days later, things were not looking so good for any immediate recovery. Because I was in my second year of a photo a day group, I got my iPhone and managed to finish the year. I wasn't so sure about starting up again for 2011, but was encouraged by some of my online friends to give it a go, and not to worry about missing any days.
It was a great challenge and I believe the commitment to continue the photo a day was a good part of my somewhat speedy recovery, plus, it meant that I talked and interacted with many people at GFStrong Hospital that I might have otherwise.
On January first, I was still in St. Mary's here on the Sunshine Coast and that is where 2011 began...
Well I'm feeling stronger and more co-ordinated as I enter 2011. Thank to some offline urging I will make an effort to share this year. I see this sign a dozen times a day as I do my laps, chatting with staff as I go. So many good and caring people here. Because I have a long school based history on the coast I run into staff I have taught, principled, or coached. I see some of the patients who I first knew as parents and it saddens me to see some in such dire straits. The past three weeks has opened my mind to many of our health care issues, not simply the funding, the staffing plan, but the bureaucratic things as well. I have more testing to be done - it seems like one test leads to another and still in the middle of the referral process to get into consistent rehab in Vancouver.
Working out on this bike for 20 to 30 minutes a day is really great. It clears your mind as well as getting aerobic benefit. Today was a bit of a distracted day for me as I was told yesterday that going home today was not going to happen. I need more tests as a result of the brain MRI and obviously it makes more sense to do that here.
Also it was the last day for the students I have been working with. From having past experiences working with many student teachers, I had a different insight into their work than most other patients. I really enjoyed working with them as a "student" and also enjoyed talking with them a lot about their education and their goals. Both were in their mid twenties. It was a bit tough saying goodbye to them today and both thanked me for my efforts and wished me well, too.
So, I actually did three sessions on this bike today, and that was good for the spirit.
Another weekend to be here, another CAT scan Monday, and more work ahead. The reality is, though, I still know how lucky I am given the condition some of my new found friends are in.
Home again and still loving to cook meals for Judy and I.
One difference is that I use much less salt in my cooking, specially making soups! Looking good and almost ready to eat after simmering all afternoon.
I am waiting to go into Physio as an outpatient this afternoon, sitting in front of the open door. I decided to play with Camera+, a new iPhone app I downloaded yesterday.
I became a member of a very exclusive club today. That gives me a very special feeling.
One of the things I love about the 365 photo group is reviewing the shots the members have taken and virtually meeting people from around the world. One of those people happened to take an extended vacation this year and she and her husband had a stop in Vancouver. I footsied over to North Vancouver and met them there for a few hours. We talked, laughed, took some photos, had a nice lunch and as we were making our physical separation until who knows when, she presented me with one of the pens she makes as a hobby. What a special treat.
It was quite special watching my daughter perform tonight. I last saw her dance over 15 years ago. And, she last wore this costume when she was 17.
This week is bring a child to the course week and so we took Caia and Eibhlin and Caia loves to pose for the camera. We rented a cart and played a few holes with them. Caia also loved to sit on my knee and drive the cart.
I'm just starting to golf again, though my scores are a good 20 strokes a round more than what they were a year ago. It is good to get out with the guys and gals I play with.
Eibhlin has quite an interest in golf and so we signed her up for lessons again this year. It is interesting to watch her progress. It will be fun when we get to play with them more.
My Father in Law celebrated his 92nd birthday today and we had a bit of a party. It would be his last birthday as he passed away in early December.
He was a great guy and our two girls really did enjoy visiting with him.
We'll miss him.
Since getting our of the hospital I have found a new interest in walking / shuffling. I set myself a goal to do a 10K and on June 26, I achieved that goal, albeit slowly. I went 10.57K in 1:42:48 and according to my GPS map, I did the first 5K in 47:45.
Today I ran with my daughter in memory of my son-in-law who passed away 2 years ago from brain cancer.
My daughter has become an advocate for other widows - helping herself along the way - and was running today in support of the Liz Logelin Foundation, a positive support group for widows in need.
I set up the course for us and we did a touch over 5K in a time of 44:49. Am I becoming a runner again :)
I went back on the on call list to take the place of a principal for a day or so if he or she was sick or had to attend a meeting. I got a call to ask if I might be able to sub for the principal at the school where I worked for 4 years a half dozen years ago. I said I would and had the 5 day a week commitment to school again.
The sky looked pretty awesome this morning as I was driving to work for the day. I pulled over and used my iPhone and Pro HDR for this shot which takes two images and merges them… thus the ghostly looking car approaching me as I stand in the middle of the crosswalk. The driver must have been confused about what I was doing at that time in the morning, looking down the street with something in front of my face.
Well, I am still at school working for the principal and now it appears he will be off for an indefinite period of time.
November is a month that some folks grow a mustache in support of fund raising for prostrate cancer. I talked with our intermediate students about the reasons behind Movember and my personal reasons for participation having known some who have suffered from this form of cancer. Over 95% of the students joined me on Movember Friday and wore their home made mustaches in support of the effort. I was quite proud of them.
My wife and I have been fortunate to have had both our dads in the same care home for some time... my dad (pictured here) for three years and Judy's dad for 18 months until Saturday evening when he passed away at the age of 92.
Today, I went to see my dad in the care home where he has been for about three years. I don't take the opportunity to see him more than once or twice per month because of the travel commitment and visits with him are generally short ones, but I do think of him a lot and know there are many memories I have of his life as my dad that I will cherish for years.
One of my daughters looked at this photo and said, "Grandpa looks deep in contemplation." Maybe so.
December 31, 2011
And one final photo I must include, even though it did not make my top twelve list for the year. As I noted in the January 1 photo, I was in the hospital and unable to participate in our New Year's Eve tradition of having dinner with the fine folks in this shot. This year, they came to celebrate at our home and we loved hosting them for a couple of days. While I was in the hospital they came to visit, took me out for some time when I got a pass to leave, and we had our annual Spring wine trip to the Okannagan as well as what might be a new annual trip to Washington and Oregon in September.
Thanks to Jane, Marty, Lorne, Joan and of course my wife Judy for being a good part of my recovery in 2011.
And thanks to those in the 2011365 group, now 2012366 group, on Flickr for being a part of my completing my 365 challenge for the 3rd year due to my watching daily for your contributions to the group and comments on my photos.
Now it is time to make the commitment to 2012.