Monday, November 21, 2011


My apologies, Faithful Reader, it seems that I have been remiss in keeping you up to date on this writer’s ongoing back problems. Thank you for your inquiries into my health issues and, again, I apologize for feeding you enough information to get your curiosity up only to then discontinue the flow of news regarding the ongoing saga.
It was not my intention to keep you in the dark but writing for a weekly newspaper makes subject-picking very difficult especially when there are many more important issues to discuss than my achey-breaky back. Sorry, also, for the Billy Ray Cyrus reference. Try to get that tune out of your head now, ha ha. Sorry, once again, but I digress.
What I may have discovered, though, was that keeping people in suspense keeps them involved. That was the premise behind all of those old “serial” books, newspaper serials, movies and TV shows that fed you a certain amount of information about the plotline only to leave you hanging at the end of the chapter or episode… Da-da-daaaaaaa… “Tune in next week for the conclusion of….” and, of course, there was a sort of conclusion to the last episode but it would only lead to the cliffhanger for the next episode and on and on it goes.
We still find this continuing in today’s world in many venues from graphic novels, to comic books, to TV shows, to movies like the Harry Potter series that leave us hanging on until the next segment is released.
So…cue the suspenseful organ music for you are about to enter the next episode of…“What’s Up With His Back?”
Narrator’s deep baritone voice: “When last we heard, our victim was still awaiting another MRI to determine whether the April 28th microdiscectomy surgery, performed by Dr. Chris Ekong of the Regina General Hospital, had been effective enough to repair the damage incurred while our victim had been lifting his grandson into his carseat in the backseat of a truck on his way to the Wolseley Opera House to decorate the hall for his oldest daughter’s wedding causing an herniated disc which put him in the Wolseley Hospital overnight where he was injected with multiple drugs in order to be able to escort his daughter down the aisle the following day.
The drugs “did the trick”, as they say, and the victim and his daughter were able to make the trek down the aisle and later successfully perform the traditional “Father-Daughter” wedding dance without the aid of his newly-acquired but much-needed cane.
Still not knowing, at that time, that the disc was herniated our victim tried, in vain, to discover the source of his extreme pain and discomfort and was then put on the most horrible of things…DA…DA…DAAAAAAA!!!...THE WAITING LIST!
He waited for his doctor to send him to a specialist and he waited for his specialist to get him an MRI (the first time) and he waited for the results of the MRI and then he waited to see if non-invasive strategies like more drugs and exercises and laser treatments would ease the discomfort and repair the damaged disc but none of that worked so he waited weeks and weeks for surgery to repair the damage and then the surgery didn’t appear to have worked so he waited weeks and weeks, again, for another MRI which his surgeon would not deem “urgent” but then local nurse/hero Barbara Kuntz convinced the WAITING LIST OVERSEER to move up the MRI date and at last his waiting time was reduced from twenty weeks to the more acceptable twelve weeks of waiting and on the 14th of September the MRI was performed…but what will the results show?...stay tuned…”
It is now weeks later and the narrator continues: “The scan showed that he was just a slow healer, or something, and a bit of a crybaby, too, and the surgery according to the surgeon, in fact, had done what it was supposed to do even though there are still two bulging discs in his spine but they are not putting pressure on the nerve any more and our victim just has to come to grips with the fact that his leg will always be partially numb and he will experience shooting pain in his shin and ankle for months and maybe years to come so just “walk it off, not-so-young man and quit whining about it, things could be much worse”. The music fades…the picture fades…and our victim’s limp is mostly gone as he slowly walks away into the sunset still unsure he’ll ever be whole again… ‘Til next time on…“What’s Up With His Back?”
“This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”-Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).


I think I’m going to make it. It was touch and go there for a while but I’m pretty sure I will survive. Survive what, you ask? Why, the Remembrance Day weekend of course.
Over the course of the weekend of the 11th, 12th and 13th we had Remembrance Day, our son Nolan’s wedding in Regina, which was a beautiful event, and then there was the 25th edition of the Dale Blackstock Memorial Hockey Tournament here in Kipling. Trying to get to and get through all of the events was more than a bit of a challenge but we did it.
11-11-11 was not only Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918 but it is also a date which reoccurs every 100 years, when written in a 2-digit style. For various reasons people often ascribe different kinds of significance to dates and numbers, for example the 2011 “11-11-11” showed an increased number of marriages taking place in different areas throughout the world and babies born on this date also receive special media attention.
In fact, in Mount Holly, New Jersey, Jacob Anthony Saydeh was born at 11:11am on 11-11-11. Canadians call November 11th Remembrance Day and Americans call it Veteran’s Day and adding to the significance of Jacob’s timely birth, on Veteran’s Day no less, is the fact that his mother is an Air Force veteran and his father currently serves in the United States Air Force. I know. Weird, eh?
In Numerology: “11:11 represents the ultimate reunion of the Divine Masculine and Feminine, the collapsing of duality surrounding masculinity versus femininity, that there is no separation between the sexes, only unity. Two “ones” are united to form pillars to the heavenly gate…the connection between yin and yang, female and male. The significance of two into one is the perfect symbol of Twin Flame. Twin Flames are the other half of your soul.” This numerological meaning is why so many couples chose this date for their marriages.
I am pretty sure that numerology never entered into the discussion when the Kipling Royal’s Senior Hockey team met to decide when they should host the very first Dale Blackstock Memorial Hockey tournament back in 1987. Many times throughout the history of the tournament the event fell on and around the Remembrance Day holiday. This, as it turns out, was completely circumstantial. If memory serves me, the first available weekend to host the tournament, after the ice was put into the rink, was the 14th and 15th of November in 1987. The Royals’ executive badly needed the tournament’s proceeds for their contribution towards the expenses for the rink expansion that was going on in the fall of that year so we booked the first available date.
I am quite sure that for the first few tournaments all of the games were played on Saturdays and Sundays which, for people who find significance in these things, meant that the tournament avoided its start on Friday the 13th!
Due to all of the other activities going on in our lives during that weekend I missed getting to the rink for the first time in the history of the tournament but I did manage to make it to the celebratory post-tournament cabaret held at the Rec Centre and I certainly made up for lost time. So says my aching head. There was a huge crowd in attendance and the Alex Runions Band was fantastic putting an exclamation mark on one of the most successful and eventful tournaments.
The exhausting, fun-filled, memory making weekend will soon be over and I’m ready for a nap. I will be sleeping with a smile on my face, though.

“The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways, but he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers.”-Scott Adams (1957- ).


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