Friday, July 31, 2009

Slow like Turtle, heart like Rabbit

So yesterday evening I was at Shopper's Drug Mart and simply on spec tried out the blood pressure cuff they have for public use at the pharmacy.

Was I surprised at the result? You bet.

187 / 94

For those of you who aren't in the know, 120 / 80 is normal. My "normal" is slightly lower, actually, at 110 / 70. You can see why I was surprised!

My resting heart rate is high, too - this afternoon it clocked in at 79 BPM, and although in music terms that's the tempo of a slow song, it certainly isn't anything plodding where my heart is concerned. Normal for me is in around 58 to 61.

What's up?

Dunno, but I called the Health Link folks and was told a few things of note:

--Because I'm showing no "symptoms", there isn't any reason to panic

--If my numbers reach the low 200s and/or are accompanied by blurred vision or back pain, I must seek medical attention within four hours

--Because 187 / 94 is well over 20 points higher than my "normal", I should go in to the clinic to be checked out... today or tomorrow.

I think I'll sleep on it. I was also told that you should take your BP on an empty stomach - which mine wasn't yesterday - so perhaps I'll return tomorrow to the pharmacy first.

Taken now after sitting to write this post, my pulse is down to 66.

Hmm... sleep on it, yes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

River Run

This, the title of a James Keelaghan song, seemed suitable for today's post. James wrote the song in support of the Alberta Wilderness Association and to curse the Alberta and Canadian governments for the construction of the Old Man River dam.

I woke up early this morning, around 5:00. After several months of attempting to calm my own waters, and feeling a lack of physical vitality, I was inspired by the words,

"Now the river's not running as fast as it did,
there's a dam there restricting the flow;
and I don't run either as fast as I could,
guess that river and I have grown old."

inspired, yes, to go running this morning. I thought about where I had tucked my running shoes from about a year ago - having given up running because of the strain it caused on my right knee. I've since had a lift added to my orthodic to compensate for my leg length discrepancy, so felt comfortable taking it on this morning.

It's been beastly hot here as of late so to step out to a cool, freshly-rained-on yard was yet even more inspiration for the run.

Do you know that wet smell that brings out the fragrance of the Evergreens and the grass?

I was quickly reminded of why, a year ago, I started with a 30-second walk-run.

With River Run programmed on my iPod, I ran.
Then I walked.
James' words struck incredible metaphor for me as I ran and paralleled his account to events in my own life.

I've returned now, going to grab some change and walk over to the U. for a coffee - perhaps a bit of an indulgence after such an incredibly healthy start to the day, but it will allow me to smell the trees again.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Go West!

Indeed I did. Last Sunday I accepted a ride to the airport from my friend Jim. Up practically the whole night before, I sleepishly miscalculated the time and ended up at the airport TWO hours ahead of flight time, not one. Ah well, time for a Tims with Jim then to the terminal.

Calgary from the air facing south across the river.

From my travels on Westjet to Quebec I learned that if you order a beverage that they likely won't serve to anyone else, they give you the whole can. I love tonic, and get the whole thing every time!

Once on the ground in Comox, I *texted* (ouch, I can't believe that word is now acceptable in the English language!) my friend Mike who was to pick me up. Trouble was, he was flying from Calgary to Nanaimo via Air Canada to grab his truck to drive to Comox to meet me for Folk Fest. Thing is, he'd missed his connecting flight in Vancouver. He was going to be an additional two hours, then the hour and a half drive north.

The Comox airport is a lovely place, and I got to know it intimately. I also got to know the security personnel and the Westjet office staff. You see, I'd inadvertently left my binder sitting on a seat outside the main doors to the terminal. I had sauntered in to the snack shop and when I came out, realized I didn't have my book. I went from one end to the other trying to remember where it was. I finally clued in to the fact that security must have picked it up. Sure enough, they'd taken it to the Westjet office. I got a teasing little lecture not to leave things lying around the airport. After hearing my friend's story of being bumped in Vancouver - the reason for me hanging around Comox - the Westjet girl said, "I guess he'll be flying Westjet next time, eh?"

I spent the bulk of my time listening to my iPod and reading poetry. Both endeavours had me reading and listening about marginalized peoples; my mood inspired this photo:

Mike showed up around 4:30 and we headed to Campbell River to pick up a couple fishing rods for my friend Norm. Campbell River is beautiful and yielded these:

We came back down to catch the last of the Folk Fest but discovered the day price still applied at the gate - a whopping $95.00! Four bands left on the stage list, none of whom were James Keelaghan - after I had noted on the website that he was to play at 8:00 Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

More than rather disappointed, we headed back to Nanaimo and stopped in at the Piper's Pub for a bite to eat. Great food, a visit with a great friend... a fabulous start to a much-needed vacation! be continued

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.