barksville.ca

Recovery

June 17th, 2010

Olive,

Things remain slow at Barksville though there have been some indications of a slight upturn. We have but 6 or 7 here today which is going to do very little to cut that visa bill off at the knees as is our summer slogan. There is the requisite Yellow Lab who just arrived named Clyde. Not five minutes into his stay he has assumed the position characteristic to his breed( not unlike I noted in a previous letter): bored, confused and famished. And so he sits staring off into space and barking relentlessly at, as far as I can tell, nothing. A full bucket of water to the face barely puts a dent in the cycle(hypothetically speaking). We also have a Karelian Bear Dog. Finnish in origin, they are noted for their tenacity in the hunt. Elk, moose, boar and bear, that’s their specialty. I heard a radio interview with this conservationist explaining how these dogs in combination with rubber bullets had been successful in convincing Grizzlies as well as black bears to stop frequenting garbage dumps and populated areas thus sparing many from being shot by conservation authorities. At the end of her interview she made a strong argument advising against people having these dogs as a house pets. For the same reason people see fit to purchase a little Malamute puppy for their 16th floor apt. this dog’s owner just knew she needed one of these babies. He came with the advisement: “If you put him in a crate he will shit himself…..” I just snapped a picture of him. He is looking at me like he wants to come in the house. Meanwhile a bear, not fifty feet behind him is also looking on. He never saw it. Must have been a wind issue. Anyway just like all of them(even the Yellow Labs)he has managed to endear himself and is now curled up on the chair. He does have an aggressive streak though and isn’t against diving on the unsuspecting boxer cross who in turn isn’t against returning the favor. So far no bloodshed. We strive for no bloodshed around here.

As you asked, the Gall Bladder extraction was just super. 30 minutes before the operation the surgeon entered the “holding area.” The holding area, I am sure, used to be a storage closet. A curtain served as a door. The doctor was dressed in jeans, deck shoes and a frumpy shirt. I was dressed like a patient in a mental hospital. The nurse turned her head in a privacy granting gesture as he pulled aside my fashionable gown and marked, with a large felt tipped pen, an X on the right side of my abdomen-not unlike someone marking a bingo card really. The effect was disquieting. I was hoping for something a bit more precise. I misplaced my shower cap type deal somewhere between the holding area and the operating room. The anesthesiologist was kind enough to find me another.

To slice four holes into a guys abdomen, inflate the area with carbon dioxide, empty the bile from his gall bladder, haul it out and then staple everything back together takes 33 minutes. I woke up sort of thrashing about like the time I dreamed I had fallen off a roof and impaled myself on several pieces of re-bar that were sticking out of some concrete work below. They put something in the i.v. that gave me the idea that worse things could happen. They asked if it hurt. I said that I believed it did. I had something in my throat( great big gob of phlegm if you must know)and the muscle contraction required to produce a cough hurt too much to dislodge it.

The post-op room was restful. Initially I was the only guy in a room that held four beds divided by curtains. I heard one of the nurses say to another, “Why don’t you take your break. There’s nobody here right now.” I felt obligated to pipe in, “I’m here” which sounded like I was talking under water on account of the oyster lodged in my throat.  She then felt obligated to walk over, hand me two little white pills and say, “Take these” and, “of course, we know you’re here.” A while later there was a slight panic as a nurse came in, presumably from the operating room saying, “Where is the vein stripper?” A male model preparing for an underwear shoot and wanting to appear especially endowed, as seems the case, would probably not want to hear the words“vein stripper” just before heading out to the runway. It turns out they were stripping the veins of my neighbor. She has no idea to this day I was lying in the bed next to her as she babbled away all hopped up on pain killers. My experience with her suggests she’s a fan of painkillers, if you know what I mean.

Back home things have progressed well. There was only one incident the evening we arrived. See every year this shit box trailer develops a new little tick. This year it is a larger than normal population of nasty carpenter ants that are slowly eating their way through the back wall of our bedroom. This actually suits me fine as I intend to rip the whole wall out this year to make way for the sleep tower I am going to build in lieu of the new house I was going to build out back because the bank, when offered the opportunity to finance such an endeavor, sagely told us to piss up a rope. In the mean time the ants remain virulent pests. Were they to just remain in the walls doing there damage they would be less of a problem. However they insist on dropping from the ceiling on to your head at all hours of the evening and crawling about. If it suits them, they haul off and pinch big hunks of flesh off of your person. Thus most nights these days we do a pretty thorough sweep of the place. Still, you miss some and if they decide to drop on your head it becomes pretty key to find and crush it before it gets you.

As I lay in bed I was pretty sure I saw one walk across my chest. A large search ensued to no avail. Eventually I gave up thinking that I must have just imagined it and dozed off. I awoke to hear Phyllis hissing, “I got you, you bastard” and opened my eyes to see her palm swatting down onto my stomach. She made contact just as I yelled, “Nooooooo.” Everybody knows you don’t kill a big old hard shelled ant against a slightly portly stomach by just gently tapping it on the back. No, best thing is to whack it with conviction, like you know you can and then, when you have it trapped under your palm, smear the thing along in a dismembering tactic to seal the deal. It was at about the smear stage that Phyllis remembered she was smearing across a stomach largely held together by little staples. Phyllis showed genuine signs of remorse. Though she did see fit to advise me that it shouldn’t and quite possibly couldn’t have hurt that much. I guess she’s right

A week later Dr. Byong Yu pulled out the staples and now I am pretty well fresh out of excuses for not getting back to some kind of work around here. It is time to tame the garden as it is battling for it’s life. As well there has been some serious excavation going on out in the dog runs.  I received an apropos card the other day from a friend that pictured a Golden Retriever on the front and inside read simply, “Heal.”

I will fill you in on Cindy’s graduation at a later date.

Do send news from the epicenter of the American Financial Crisis soon,

Love,

your brother Kyle

P.S. There is a new place opened in town.  I need you to email them and ask how much to board an incontinent(just hint that it’s incontinent don’t tell them outright)Yellow Lab that isn’t to be left with small children.  Whatever they tell you, email them back and tell them Barksville came in a fair bit cheaper.





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