I am distressed, as I believe chunks of my remembery are falling into the sea much sooneer than I allowed was poassible before moving to Kelowna to marry Michelle Hewitt. She, as we joked has “just MS” which is an unpredicatble disease, without a cure, but with manageable, (to a point) symptons. She drives and thrives in a power wheelchair.

I have “just osteo-arthritis,” recently becoming the owner of my own power wheelchair, whith sea-foam-coloured trim. Learning to drive it may turn out to difficult for my brain, as any occassional twitch may cause the machine, or worse, my fingers to smash into a door frame, still waiting for a diagnosis. That’s my brain, not the door frame. I just tried to save this document at 134 words in, but can’t remember how.

Fortunately I live in British Columbia which has a Community Support for Independent Living program which allow me and my wife to stay in our house and hire our own staff, provided we do all the paperwork, personnel and financial management required by all government progerams to provide transparency for the public. The paper work is just an inch or two short of making it impossible, though there is a plan for that too. Clients can set up a community committee to look after themself.

I need to economize my writing, often short already, for clarity. To remember the idea of the paragraph before I get to the end of it. Or to remember whas I was after in my first or second draft as I revise again. But, that’s writng and telling stories. More concerning is forgetting what I’m up to in the world around me, often bringing me down in the dumps.

Today, for an example I’m trying not to feel wretched for having twisted and turned an errand into a pretzel on my way home from the rhuematologist. There is nothing the rhuematolgist can do to help me reduce my symptoms or my pain. Thiis was expected, but having moved into a new valley; from ther Red River to the Okanagan, I believe I should establish benchmarks with specialists where I live now.

The errand was this. The last name of my caregiver, whose first name is Jayden, in another one of a con tinuing string of coincidences, my son is name J.Alden Sefton, well her last name is Ryga. She is George Ryga’s grand-daughter. She is happy to have a part-time job looking after me. I am grateful for her help. So now about the errand.

After my appointment we were to drive to the hopital and drop off my (Holter?) Heart Monitor. My brain associated this task with my visit to my new GP Dr T. Wells, because she ordered the test a few days ago. The Office she was is within less than a block of walk distance from the rhuematologist, though I was in my manual wheelchair. This meant no driving for new parking to drop off the monitor.

My care-giver may have been a little confused, but I was very confused. We went to my new GP’s office and proudly presented the heart monitor to reception staff who were puzzled as why I was giving them the monitor. Though I managed to persuade them to keep it, we hadn’t reached the elevator before one of the staff stopped me to clarify. The doctor’s office didn’t need the heart monitor, it was to be returned to the hospital. They alreadsy had the results said the GP’s assistant. So ok, lets do this again, and we did return it easily to the hospital. And that was that.

Jayden drove me home, where one small wall of the living room was covered with blood pressure results on a flip chart, two reps, twice a day. We had been doing these for a week, and Michelle took another reading in late afternoon, and then faxed (actually she took a picture with her phone’s camera) um…sent them tlo PRIME Medical. I had thought these numbers were just verifying the heart monitor reading.THe heart monitor readings on the heart monitor we downloaded and emailed to my GP. This was to checxk out my arrythmia. THe blood pressure readings we copied and emailed to my brand new GP, to see whether my claims of low blood pressure were accurate.

Michelle clarified this for me.

[ If you can remember what the actual task I did, or expected to do, on my excursion yesterday, you are doing better than me now and yesterday. ]

Here’s poem called Arythmhmia, found in Love & Surgery (Radiant Press, 2019.)


You have taken
the rubber mallet
to the cracked wall plaster,
dusting the hardwood
under your knees.

I’m looking to name
your epithalamium
 & all I can hear
is the banging of your
hammer, angry with me.

I am not a carpenter,
not handy with much

but the turn of a phrase,
you don’t want my
fine excuses, in writing

or in law. Too late
for apology, I offer
my irregular heart.
Just a little jazz later
tonight, Moonglow plays

quietly, with soft touch,
my hope & my wish
for you to love me
without good reason;
My Crazy Love
Your Blues in the Night.


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