photo side view of MarkTumber working on a commissioned drawing

In Honey Harbour, Ontario this morning, from my visit to the art sale show. Mark Tumber, artist and teacher.

Mark is using a white blending stick to graphite he has already laid down on the page. He uses 2B B H and 2H pencils, blending sticks and eraser to create photorealistic pencil drawings of people, wildlife, architecture, and other scenes. He teaches drawing and does commission work.

I took two pencil drawing courses from Mark
great artist and articulate, effective teacher, he offers courses based in Barrie, Ontario

see my John Huston drawing from the portait course

Sony H50


virtual pencil drawing from software, photo of Mark

a quiet day and peripheral neuropathy

PN pain cut heavily into my sleep last night.  So today turned into a quiet day where I tried to claw back some needed sleep. I did pull out the mower and set the height to max.  I cut the road patch of the back lawn, the only really tall part of all the lawns.  I weedwhacked the hell out of stone path. It was awfully shaggy.

You can see from the bare nature of the steps what I will be doing this weekend, restaining the deck.

dialysis in a skillet today

Got to dialysis to find the balky air conditioner was out…..seems the heat sensor was misreading the room and thought the room was 50 F and thus fired up some heat to blow into the room …. the sensor is supposed to keep the clinic at 70 F….so a skillet for dialysis today.

The poor nurses had a 12 hour shift in high heat to get through.  They did great.  I did less well. I asked for a cold wet cloth for my noggin after an hour of cooking.  Then I cramped badly around the 3.5 hour mark ( my run is 4.5 hours,  other patients go for 4, some for 3.5 hours).  Then after we got that calmed down, by letting me stand up while keeping my left arm still and steady as best we could so the needles did not come out and three nurses surrounding me, I felt another cramp coming on and said take me off early.  Which is always an option, but one I have never chosen before today.

I think I was drier coming in than I realized.  I had a pasta meal the night before.  Something I have maybe once a month and oviderdid it.  I had been cautioned to take it easy.  We did not get all the fluid off me on Monday after the weekend.  So I drank less, ate more and got into trouble.

Dialysis is one massive complex balancing act of fluid intake, diet, medications, etc.  If you are old enough think back to the old Ed Sullivan Show and the guy who would set up dinner plates spinning on pieces of dowel,  he would put more and more up and then run back to the first one which had slowed down and was wobbling.  And back and forth he went spinning the about to fall plates.  A multi-task balancing act of the first order.

I do hope they get the part on order and fix the a/c trouble by Friday.

a fews thought about my Dialysis these days

  1. heat wave –  the clinic air conditioner had a nervous breakdown following last week’s high temperature record day on Thursday and so Friday we had an hour or so of heat although the day was less scalding.  On Monday, I wore shorts to clinic but I never shorts because the old a/c unit always seems to over do it and it is too cold for shorts.  A/c was out on Monday.  Now this morning my decision is shorts or jeans?  If I wear shorts and it is cold they have heated blankets, they call them blankets but real world would call them flannel sheets.  But I am leaning toward jeans.
  2. Peripheral neuropathy –  had a couple of bad days of pain with this.  To  a look online and noted that tighter blood sugar level control might help.  So I adjusted my diet a smidge, I had been bending the rules some.  Better result last night, I got to sleep with no pain.  The two nights prior was not so great.  I only managed about three hours of sleep.  I was getting up and walking inside my home.  I also stand behind a big easy chair and walk in place and watch the late late show on TV.
  3. health communication between doctor and patient – The one troubling observation I have about the health care system is how much, too much reliance on telling patients information only verbally.  From my brief stint studying adujlt education at Georgian College, one thing that was stressed was hearing loss as people age.  My personal learning style is both aural but primarily written/visual.  I need to see it on the page.  Very little is given in writing.  I assume this is a time constraint not a legal defense of some kind CYA.  In another sense patients are genearlly so fed up waiting long times in the waiting room to get in to their appointment that consciously or subconsciously they may subvert their grasping and retaining all their information by their desire to get finished and finallly at laong last get to go home.   As on old technical writer, I may be biased toward wanting written information. I do think that using a single channel of communication, speaking alone, is a mistake and less effective in helping patients do their own health management.
  4. Parathyroid –  dialysis patients have to fight to keep their parathyroid under control.  It is a complex thing related to calcium and phosphorus levels.  I learned one thing this past month at clincic — we see our nephrologist once a month — that my parathyroid enlargement is not a piece which could be removed surgically, but is the whole gland.  The problem with that is to be a viable kidney transplant candidate you need to have your parathyroid. If mine is removed I am out of the running for a transplant.  The best thing I can do is to be religious in taking all my calcium carbonate pills (extra strength TUMS) with meals and snacks.  There is a medication treatment for the parathyroid but it costs a small fortune and the Ontario government is very reluctant to approve this med.
  5. weight loss – or as |I like to call it, the magic number.   Earlier this year I was coming in for dialysis around 119 kg ro as high as 121 (particularly after the weekend and its extra day of eating and drinking).  Partly from intent and partly from loss os appetite from my horrendously long lasting winter cold I lost some weight.   Dipped down to 112kg coming in.  Now I am up a titch to where I am coming in at 113 to 115kg before dialysis.
  6. heart rate problem – that earlier episode of rapid heart beat rate has been absent, medication control seems to be working fine.  I see my new cardiologist, not that I had one before, next week down in Richmond Hill.  There is no cadiologist in the Midland area.  There are two in Barrie but their waiting lists were over 12 months.  One question my cadiologist has been asked is am I a viable candidate for kidney transplant.


Robin’s Point on Georgian Bay – Victoria Harbour, Ontario – morning after the hot spell broke

taken early this morning after the humidity broke

SONY DSC H50 on an old, cheap tripod from Black’s Photo store that must be twenty five years old. It is lighter than my Manfrotto which seems like overkill for my smallish, lightweight H50