Whistler and I go walk-about

If you haven’t read the previous post, you might want to read it first.

Whistler and I are living in harmony while Whistler is still waiting for his specialist appointment.

As Favoured Auntie of the moment (after all, I’m putting him up, aren’t I?), I’m trying to keep Whistler busy, not thinking of his medical troubles. When I went to the gym the other day, he accompanied me, just to get out of the house. Not that he was into the treadmill thing nor the reclining bike.

He took the opportunity to walk to the bank and then to the walk-in clinic. There he made in-person inquiries as to the status of his appointment with the specialist.

“It’s on our posting board. We’ll call and see if we can get one for you,” smarmed the receptionist.

“It’s been a week since the doctor determined I needed one!” he almost wailed, voice raising.

“We make our specialist appointments on Mondays if there’s nothing urgent,” declared the young women.

To Whistler, it seemed that she didn’t care a whit. Of course, she had no idea how desperate he was beginning to feel, not knowing what was the matter with him

During the week gone by,  Heather had been speaking openly amongst her friends in Sechelt as to Whistler’s case. The minister from the church confessed that he had had the same problem and that he knew of four other men with the same condition – all had turned out to be cancerous. Of course, Heather had passed this information on to Whistler. Now armed with his conviction that this was his fate as well, he tackled the nonchalant receptionist.

“Good grief! he exploded. “I’m being assessed for cancer and you sit on making the appointment!”

The girl did not change her demeanor, but she was paying attention none the less. She couldn’t afford a crisis in the reception area.

Whistler is normally a mild mannered young man. It takes quite a bit of passion to get him to be assertive. He defers to many; but this wasn’t one of those occasions. He caused a fuss (so unlike him) and he left the clinic, adrenaline pumping, with a promise that the specialist would be contacted within the three hours left in the work day.

Next day, he was back up at the clinic asking for status; and then the weekend came in between and there was no point in checking.

Heather, in one of her phone calls from Sechelt said,, “Don’t they know how agonizing it is to wait when you are sick and don’t know what it is; nor how sickening it is to wait while you know something is worsening and they don’t do anything?”

Monday came. Whistler heard from the specialist that he had an appointment on the thirtieth, two weeks away, but he still hadn’t heard from the doctor nor from the clinic’s receptionist.

And so Favoured Auntie is trying to keep Whistler amused. Distracted.

On Saturday, we went to the Haney Farmer’s Market. It was Sunflower day and the contest for the tallest sunflower was on. There were about ten giants lying on the ground, their shallow roots dripping dusty dirt, their glorious and sometimes misshapen heads burgeoning with seeds. They were the kind of plants that would have made Jack and the Beanstalk believable to young children.

We didn’t stay for the judging. The tallest one there by the time we left was over thirteen feet!

“Twice my height!” I remarked to Whistler. “Twice MY height” he replied. He’s a good seven or eight inches taller than I am.

We bought some Artisan Foccacia bread, top sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary; some farm fresh tomatoes; did the tour of the craft products – bead stringers, jam makers, soap producers et al –  but I could see that he was losing interest. We went to the produce market and picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables; we went to three garage sales on the way home and then he was tired and slept the afternoon away.

On Sunday, he showed me how to use the pressure washer that I’d bought and never opened. It wasn’t rocket science. He offered to powerwash the peeling paint from the front steps that needed paintingbefore the snow flew, and I left him to it.  It kept him busy. He had a date on Sunday, too, with a long time friend from college. He drove to Burnaby to meet her and they had coffee that they took down to the beach. It was a fine, sunny day, just like the summer we almost missed out on this year. (We had only two weeks of really hot, sunny weather).

On Monday he primed the stairs and on Tuesday he painted them. We’d also gone out to select a colour of paint and done some banking for me and a trip to the post office. At the end of each activity, he was tired. Not so tired as required sleep, but that lethargic “I-can’t-hold-myself-up-any-longer” kind of bone weariness where one needs to stretch out on a bed or a divan and let all the muscles sink into the sofa cushions.

On Wednesday, he still had not  heard from his doctor’s office that he had an appointment, although he was feeling much better to know that the number of days to the thirtieth were diminishing day by day. He phoned each day to see if there were cancellations; but, no.

On Thursday, the sun was behind clouds. A more dismal day I had not seen for a long time. It was grey – a deep depressing grey that pervaded the house. It was better outside. Still twenty degrees out, despite the gloom, it was a perfect day for gardening. I was out in the garden digging up a bed that I would like to use for vegetables next year. At some time, someone had filled it with excellent quality top soil. Things that I’ve planted therein have flourished.

Whistler came out at  about eleven o’clock, just breakfasted, looking for something to do. He fixed some hooks to the fence so that I could tie up the raspberries. He mixed some grass seed with sand in a large container to let it germinate (which is a great way to keep the local denizens of the garden from eating all the seed and becoming permanent pests).  He pulled out the overgrowth of Lamia so that I could dig out the next bed. He helped me transplant some big plants from one place to another (as I slowly sort out this big garden to my tastes).  There’s a fine line between providing him with things to do and overtaxing him. It’s the last thing I want to do. It wasn’t long before he was going in for another couch hug.

We did a second day of gardening on Friday with similar progress. He lasted about an hour or so and then went back to his Ken Follet thriller whilst listening to the television.

And there it rests.

We visited Mr. and Mrs. Stepforth in the evening for a cup of tea and a lot of chuckles. They are a great pair for lifting the spirits. Nothing is sacred and everything is fair game for a dig and lampoon. We laughed and sipped our tea and then came home.

We watched Numb3rs on the television until it was time for bed, and the rest is another story.


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