Seriously unglued …

It’s been a shitty month. Literally. Bartlett, my cat has been sick. Woke up one morning and one of his eyes was shut. Took him to the vet. It wasn’t serious — a little ulcer on his eye — something must have irritated it. 10 days of antibiotic ointment cleared it up.

However a complete examination revealed he has some kidney disease. The vet said it wasn’t that bad, changed him to a kidney diet and Continue reading

Day 176. Handling Anxiety

Yesterday I watched part of a Charlie Rose interview with Dustin Hoffman.  Just a month or so ago he (Hoffman) became a Kennedy Center Honoree.  Plus anxietythe movie he directed, Quartet, was recently released, so they had a lot to talk about.

When the discussion turned to Hoffman, the actor, he said something that struck a chord with me.  That actors are observers.  Of course they are.  And so are writers.  We have to be.  Otherwise we would never be able to create characters and story lines our readers could identify with.

Today is a volunteer day for me.  On Tuesdays I volunteer at a hospital here, in Toronto.  There are three areas where I help out.  An elective surgery recovery room, palliative care and a surgical waiting room.  All areas where patients and their families are under a lot of stress.  Emotions run high and everyone is anxious and scared.

I’ve been doing it for four years now, always in the same areas, and I’ve had a chance to observe a lot of different people; and how they handle their anxiety.  They’re all different.  Because of how long they can take, I spend the most time, in the surgical waiting room, with those who have friends or family members having surgery.

For the most part, these are complicated, serious operations.  They can last anywhere from a couple of hours, to more than eight or ten.  Sometimes even longer.  It’s here these ‘loved ones’ wait for news.  It’s here the doctors Continue reading