Friday, October 24, 2014

Nursing My Bike

Other than a mild concussion suffered when I wiped out on some ice in the McKinnon Ravine, there has only been one time I had to seek out medical attention from riding my bike.

Coming off the sidewalk on a bridge, I somehow used my front brake and flew over the handlebars and onto a very busy thoroughfare.  Since it was rush hour, the road was clogged with traffic and as my bike slewed onto the pavement it was only by the grace of you know who that I wasn't run over by the bus in that lane.

Cradling my left arm, I managed to make it home and it wasn't until the next day that I sought aid at a local medicenter.  An efficient nurse got me x-rayed and put in a cast within an hour.

Nurses can make all the difference to a hospital stay.  When I was 14 it was necessary to have my appendix removed. My appendix nearly ruptured so my stay at the hospital was two weeks instead of a few days.

My older sister Janet had just completed her nurse's training and our family knew a lot of her classmates.  Fortunately for me, two of them were assigned to my ward and unfortunately for them, two of them were assigned to my ward.

Years later, my sister informed me that I was a complete brat during my whole stay.  Being a pubescent male, I thought it was completely natural to ask these young, attractive women to go fetch me uneaten meals from other wards and other selfish tasks.

Or I would make numerous demands on their time.  "Can you turn up the radio?  Brown Eyed Girl is one of my favourites!  Can you open the blinds?  I want to see if my family is coming to visit me every ten minutes!  Do you have any more Ginger Ale?  This tube sticking out of my gut hurts.  Can you get me an aspirin?"

When I was twenty and single, I found myself in a teaching hospital where my mother and sister worked.  The operation I was having meant having everything from the waist down shaved.  Luckily a male nurse took care of that procedure but what I didn't expect was an action by the head nurse.

One morning she hustled in a group of nurses in training to my bedside and without so much as a how-do-you-do, she whipped back my top sheet and there was my naked body for all to see. What made it even more embarrassing was that one of the nurses in training was someone I had been trying to date.  Now that she'd seen everything I had to offer, my chances were probably nil.  I never called her again although since she was a family friend, I saw her many, many times afterward.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Food Glorious Food!

There does seem to be a strong connection between cycling and food.  When I'm on the trail, my thoughts are often on food.  Commuting to work, I'm concentrating on what I'll eat when I get to my desk.  Riding home is the same.  Food.

At Thanksgiving time we are thinking about being with the ones we love and just as importantly, the food we are going to enjoy (usually with those people).  Just last night my wife and I were filling our vehicle with brussel sprouts, a fresh ham, a large turkey, bananas, crackers, cookies, pop, juice, eggs, beer, wine, bread, yoghurt and ice cream.

I remember one time when we owned a Suzuki Sidekick that seated four and had just enough trunk space for an envelope.  When our family of four would go grocery shopping, it was necessary to strap a blue recycle bin to the roof of the vehicle to hold our groceries.

On the way home, we jested about what would happen to our groceries should the blue bin fall off the roof.  Our list of consumables would change dramatically.  We would now have cracked wheat, squash, pressed ham, scrambled eggs, split peas, mashed potatoes, shredded beef, whipped cream, crushed ice, bread crumbs, shake and bake, creamed corn, pulled pork, rolled oats, Bounce, battered fish, chopped liver, grated cheese, milkshake...

My family rolls their eyes every time I mention the Suzuki grocery list but I also know that my family enjoys the meals we share together and this Thanksgiving was no exception.