You Know You Live Near Seniors When..

Cherryhill Village, an apartment community in London, Ontario, has been predominantly a seniors enclave for many years.  With its close proximity to the University of Western Ontario, however, the demographic has been slowly changing.  Now you see seniors and their walkers living happily along side of university students, young families, and middle-aged people like me.

In spite of the increasingly younger population, however, one is constantly reminded that the majority of residents are still geriatric.  It’s not unusual to see EMS personnel on the elevator with a senior resident strapped to a gurney and a waiting ambulance outside. And when you see a police car accompany that ambulance, its fairly certain that someone probably died.

The other day I was waiting at the elevator and saw that someone stuck an obituary notice above the elevator keys.  Since we have a bulletin board in our laundry room for such things and since obits don’t belong in lobbies (!!), I figured this was the work of a family member who didn’t know better.  I pulled the obit off the wall and stuck it where it belongs.

A few days later I was checking my mail and turned to see an opened box of Attend Adult Diapers sitting on a bench.  Why anyone would think that adult diapers belong in the lobby is beyond me, so I moved them to a shelf in the laundry room under the obits. Exhibit A:


I’m in my 60th year, but I’m not ready for obits and free diapers.  I hope I never am.


Meet Botir

One of the reasons I hate travelling is that I don’t like sleeping in hotels.  My sleep requirements are exacting (ok, anal):  I need a certain type of mattress, my own down pillows, a down duvet, and–most importantly–some form of white noise.  At home, I sleep year-round with the ceiling fan whirling above my head AND a nightly rainstorm, courtesty of this great little app on my iphone (which is attached to a small bose system.)

But when I saw this little guy while surfing one night, I decided I might give hotels another go, just to meet him.

He’s Botir, a robot which delivers things to your hotel room.  Gets on the elavator, delivers the goods, exchanges pleasantries with you, makes cute noises, and then makes its way back home. Forget your toothbrush?  Not to worry–Botir will bring you one. Have a hankering for some bottled water? Not a problem for Botir.  I think I would spend the entire evening dreaming up things for it to bring me, just because it’s so cute.

Try This One On For Size

It’s summer.  That time of year when my attention turns to enjoying the sunshine, spending time at the pool or beach, drinking beer on my balcony, drinking beer on my balcony (sorry, said that already), and finally getting some decent exercise. Further to the exercise thing, I decided to get some athletic wear because it’s proven that wearing it will burn calories. (That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.)

Shopping for athletic wear is as problematic as shopping for ordinary clothing: wild variability within sizes.  I used to wonder why this was so, until I discovered that the wrong labels were sewn on.  Exhibit A, below.


These are two difference sizes

Shopping isn’t fun, like in the old days.  Back then, all you had to do was stick your head out the change room door and ask the sales girl for a different size. Now you have to get dressed, leave the change room, rummage around until you find a different size (or, if it’s a suspected labelling problem, another of the same size), run back to the change room (assuming no-one took it in your absence) and start all over again.  This happened to me for over an hour in a store which happened to monitor its change rooms. I spent more time talking to the cloyingly cheery change room monitor than I spent buying clothes.

Which brings me to the other half of my complaint: where are the pesty sales people when you need them?  You know, the ones that follow you around the store and bug you constantly until you want to deck them?  Maybe they’re conspiring with the dummies who sew on the wrong size labels.  I may be onto something.


Golden Boy, Part II

You may remember a post I wrote back in November about Clancy the Cat’s emergency (and hugely expensive) bowel surgery.  He made a full recovery and, except for a slight modification of his diet, life went on as usual.

Fast forward a few weeks ago, when Clancy decided to stop eating.  He clearly felt awful and by the end of the week, ended up at the emergency veterinary hospital.  Fluids were administered, x-rays were taken, blood was drawn, medication was dispensed, but no diagnosis was given.   Three vets had a go at the x-rays and all seemed to see something resembling gas in the abdominal cavity. The emerg vet included the observation that Clancy’s intestines were “abnormally positioned”.  All three recommended an ultra-sound but I declined, asking instead for a consultation with the veterinary radiologist, who I suspected would be better able to interpret the x-rays than the vets. My vet forwarded the email containing the x-rays files she received from the hospital to the radiologist, expecting to hear back by Wednesday.

When Wednesday came and went with no word, I had to consider my options.  It was possible that the radiologist would not be able to determine anything of consequence from Clancy’s x-rays, and I would have waited for nothing while Clancy got sicker. It was also possible the radiologist would render a finding that was sinister and/or required more medical attention that I could not afford. After much thought, I reluctantly decided that it would be best to have Clancy euthanized. The date was set for the following morning.

My vet arrived at my apartment with her tech and we started proceedings.  Just as she was filling the syringe with the pre-euthanasia sedative, her cell phone rang.  Her assistant answered it.

“It’s the radiologist,” she said, handing the phone to my vet.  She was phoning about the x-rays.

Or rather, she was phoning to say that she couldn’t open the x-ray email file.  We told her we would phone the hospital and have them send the file to her directly, and to hang tight.  Ten minutes later the phone rang again. It was the radiologist.

The x-rays were normal, she said, except for some fluid, indicating possible pancreatitis.   Try giving the cat a trial of prednisone, she said.  A stay of execution was at hand.

After the governor radiologist’s call, my vet dispensed prednisone (actually prednisolone, a form of prednisone for cats) and left, asking me to keep her informed.

Twenty-four hours after the first dose, Clancy no longer needed pain medication and began to eat.  Forty-eight hours later, he no longer needed gastric medication and begged for his dinner. A week later, he no longer needed the appetite stimulant and wakes me up in the morning for his breakfast.

He now is being weaned off the predisone and will be off all medicine in less than a week. He’s slightly traumatized by the administration of pills and liquid medication via syringe, but he’s found that taking Buddy’s spot beside me on the couch is a good a tonic as any.


The patient, taking Buddy’s place on on the couch.  Buddy isn’t impressed.