Our weekly guest columnist send me his third different head shot in his time with us here at Markbialczak.com, all predicated by a change in his personal style. I’ll say. Paul Curran told us why the facial hair had to go in his story titled ‘I’m Sorry.’ He continues to touch on it in this installment. Warning: His injury-area photo below is not for the squeamish. Go to it, my Canadian friend.
Welcome to the weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here at Mark Bialczak’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, New York. Please come in and go through to the living room. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B have prepared a nice, comfy place for us so I can tend to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. There are clouds this morning with a high just over 70 F. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our worldwide readership and adult beverages for those who wish something stronger. We can relax with a cuppa while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. Ellie likes to be patted, so please indulge her when she greets you. Have an electronic sweet – all are all calorie-free. How has your week been? Are you enjoying the weekend? Any special activities?
First and foremost I would like to express my empathy to America at the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001. All of our hearts go out to those who died in this insidious attack on your country on this date 15 years ago. It is so sad to see the photos of the wreckage and the faces of those whose lives were so irrevocably changed on that day. I don’t want to elaborate because the story grows daily with over 2,500 of the rescue workers now diagnosed with or dead from cancer. The tale will continue to grow and deepen and I pray for all those whose lives it touched and will touch – like the ripples in a pond, 9/11 grows outward daily. My prayers go out to America as a country and all those who have given of themselves and their lives from that day even to now fighting terrorism the world over. We are honored by your giving of yourselves. Thank You.
Personally, I continue to get back to normal after my death last week. Strange to read that … Anyway, a long list of activities including getting sutures removed and staples removed, appointments with Thoracic, Thrombosis, etc. There’s a lot of paperwork that goes with dying, you know. So, no nurse or doc at the hospital likes to remove stitches or staples as they feel that is the duty of the GP – heaven forbid that a patient be helped: not my job. PFFFT!
After inquiring I was told: Take it to your GP or emerg – your choice. Sigh. So I called my GP and accidentally got his cellphone. He told me he was retired and had tried to get a new doc to take his practice but none would. (I suspect I know why – he rarely charged patients for anything even if it wasn’t covered by insurance, like filling out forms or doing required physicals for licensing, etc.) I rarely see my GP anymore because I have so many docs at the hospital and I can use emergency if I have to. Anyway my GP said he was vacationing in Niagara Falls so I apologized for bothering him. He asked my name and I told him. He perked up considerably and said he still received copies of my records from the hospital and then commented: ”That was a heck of situation last week wasn’t it?” Ha! I laughed and agreed and bid him a good vacation and retirement. I thought about this later and found it sort of amusing that my medical situation is so strange that it actually provides interesting relaxing reading for my retired doc. He has an innate grasp of medicine along with many other degrees and it makes me feel comfortable knowing he is reviewing my records because, knowing him, I am sure he would make himself heard if he saw something bad or dangerous.
I am healing well and took a few pictures as was requested:
Arm where fistula and aneurysm were removed – about 40 staples.
Credit: Steve Watson
Tunnel catheter installation that went so wrong
Credit: Steve Watson
All of that considered the doctors say I am still good to drive to Vancouver – the much delayed move that appears to still be on. When I originally reported here that I was moving I had waited months not wanting to make untrue statements. Well, every day some new issue would arise and the date would get pushed back. And it has been pushed again and again and again until it now appears that it will happen at the end of September – just a few weeks away. The owner calls daily to make sure we are still taking the property and he is as interested in getting us into the property as we are interested in getting there. If all goes according to plan –which I am sure it won’t – the owner leaves for Australia in the near future to take up employment there until his retirement.
The latest delay is the absolutely ludicrous stupidity of our federal government. My partner in the new home in Vancouver is waiting for a great deal of family money from the Canadian government – money that he is owed and that all taxes have been paid on and that they have been promising for months now. It is that money that will be used for the cash expenses of moving across the country and for deposits and costs of signing, etc. Back in January of this year the feds installed a new computer in the Finance Dept. that was going to be the solution to all their problems. The installers warned the politicians that they were not comfortable bringing this system – Phoenix – online as it still required a lot of work. Phoenix was to control all Government payables including civil servant payroll, all monies crossing international borders, funds being dispersed to contractors, payments on funds held for death taxes, etc, etc. The politicians had made promises of streamlining and lower admin costs and they insisted that Phoenix go live.
From Day 1 Phoenix has had problems, sometimes not paying owed debts, miscalculating wages earned, and applying incorrect charges to accounts. Still the Feds insisted that the roll-out go forward. As it did, more and more issues came up when thousands of connections were added to Phoenix. It has completely ignored paying over 80,000 federal employees driving them into serious financial ruin, causing some bankruptcies and serious hardships, like losing their homes. The other 200,000 plus employees have gotten some pay but not what they were owed – sometimes way more and sometimes way less. It is a mess. My partner in the moving has funds caught up in this and the government has been promising to pay out for months – since April. This time many have gotten lawyers – including my friend – and the Feds have admitted they cannot fix the problem and so are dispersing a sizeable percentage of monies owed as an “advance” in good faith until they can get Phoenix fixed. They said that will be October, but I would bet it will be 2017.
I cannot believe that the Canadian Government with the resources of an entire country and unlimited funds to purchase whatever help they need – has been so negligent as to allow this problem to continue to grow without fixing it. They should be fired – politicians included.
Anyway, that is the latest delay and the lawyers say funds will be released on Sept 20. God willing. Hopefully I will be on my drive west to Vancouver by Oct 1.
Vancouver Calls Out To Me
Please join me in thanking Mark, Karen and Ellie B for their invitation to tea on this weekend. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Mark’s other posts while you’re here. Oh and roughseasinthemed, your bottle of chilled Muscadet will be on the table on ice every week now. Have a great week all.