Monday, July 23, 2018

A nice cup of hot tea

Last evening I set my iPhone alarm for five o'clock this morning.  I had an early morning appointment at the Pacemaker clinic of the Heart Institute in Ottawa.  At precisely 4:57 am this morning I suddenly awoke. I got out of bed, turned off the alarm and immediately prepared to shower.  Afterwards I grabbed a bit of fresh fruit and we were then on the road shortly after six o'clock.  It was smooth sailing to the Ottawa Hospital.  We were thus afforded a convenient parking spot in the in-door lot upon arrival there (the out-door lot historically becomes hopelessly congested by mid-morning).  Signing into the registration desk on the second floor before proceeding to the Pacemaker clinic on the first floor was handled comfortably as well though it angered me that a late arriver - from Calabogie no less (as I overheard him say when he signed in) went to the head of the line as soon as the folding doors of the registration desk were drawn back.

My thinking is that we're better to kill time in the waiting room at the hospital than risk delaying the journey in order to arrive exactly on time. The cost of the accommodation is a minor delay which I sought to quell by reading an article in the Canadian National Geographic magazine about an historical sunken exploration ship in the Arctic.  Not long afterwards a nurse came to the reception area and shouted my name.  I followed accordingly.  The nurse directed me to the same room in which I had initially been three months earlier; and from what I could tell, the mechanical device used to monitor my Pacemaker was the same as before (though this particular attendant was clearly more obsessive about what she was doing).  The entire evaluation process took about an hour.  When the nurse had finished her investigative work and printed it, she called me back into the same room to confer with the young male radiologist (who had an identifiable Cockney accent).  The summary of opinion from both the nurse and the physician was that the battery of the Pacemaker is good for another 11 years.  This naturally promoted various collateral conclusions, the thrust of which I generally ignored in favour of "que sera sera".  For the time being the only thing that mattered to me was that the device is functioning properly (and that the nurse terminated the connection of the Pacemaker to my mobile monitoring device which after all only reports to the Florida hospital where it was installed last February). Seemingly the manufacturer of the Pacemaker has not seen fit to provide the Ottawa Hospital with the means of switching the reporting resource.  The nurse assured me that they do not use monitoring devices for any of their other products (which she emphasized are numerous and competitive).  My feeling is that if I experience a problem with the Pacemaker, I'll know about it without having to consult a mobile monitor.  And having to communicate with physicians in either Florida or Ottawa as not in any event wildly helpful. So! That was that!

Upon leaving the Heart Institute our next stop was the Elgin Street Diner.  We hadn't been there for years. But the memories were fond.  We had about an hour before our next meeting with the Executive Director at my elderly mother's retirement residence. The breakfast was as usual delicious. There were several staff members whom we recognized from the past, always a good sign in my opinion.  I thought the chalkboard advertisements for various food preparations qualified as Works of Art (though admittedly I couldn't imagine why anyone would want a miniature rendition for any reason).

After having put on the nosebag we trolled to where we parked the car.  We walked through the Jack Purcell Park adjacent the former Boushey's Fancy Fruits & Vegetables - now a "Quickie" convenience store, an unfortunate descent into the mediocre.  The reminiscence of past urban experiences was mildly uplifting.  I recalled the people who once lived in the apartment buildings; the shops and bars once there but now gone; the awakening of youth to new ideas.

We arrived at the retirement residence and made our way to my mother's apartment.  The visit went well.  We had no trouble leaving a few moments early as my mother was expecting the arrival of her masseuse.

Then followed the business meeting.  It is sufficient to observe that the Director appeared supportive of my cause and seemed eager to settle the matter as I had proposed. The Associate Nurse was also in attendance. We parted on what I felt were favourable terms all round. It will be several days before the terms of our discussion are finalized.

This effectively concluded the business agenda of the day.  I confess as well to being chuffed that the two major ingredients had gone so agreeably. We motored home in the same spirit.  I then spent the soggy, grey afternoon doing precisely what any automotive-enthusiast would know to do on a rainy day - namely, drive the machine! The chosen route covered about 100 kms in what essentially was a huge circle.  The Village of Merrickville was on the way. In fulfillment of my habit of rewarding myself, it occurred there might be a bakery in town (at least one which is open on a late Monday afternoon). And there was!  It took me a moment to put my fingers on it, but I found it! By the time I had scoped the wooden racks with the goodies on them,  I was eager with appetite!  Nanimo bars, date squares and apple pie!  Whew!  What treasures!

The drive home was sodden.  Torrential at times.  I made a cup of tea.

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