Sunday, July 19, 2009

Phoenix Festival

This year it is called the HSBC Celebration of Light, but if you ask me, it should be called the International Phoenix Festival, because this is one event that keeps rising from the ashes of the one before.

It used to be known as the Symphony of Fire, and has a troubled history of losing sponsorship every few years or so. I'm happy it's still around though because it's one of the events that has become a summer tradition in Vancouver. This Wednesday is the first show and I expect the usual pandemonium to take place. Police will be on high alert, residents will be alarmed at how inconsiderate people walk over their lawns and flowers, suburbanites will not understand why there isn't more parking downtown and the helicopters will fly all night. I still love this festival.

Ok, enough of that, I'm sure I'll be blogging more about the fireworks later in the week. If all goes well, I will also still be riding across the Burrard Bridge a few more times. By Friday of last week my back was still pretty sore, forcing me to take it easy again this weekend.

I was originally planning to just go to the Vancouver Aquatics center but it is scheduled for maintenance from tomorrow until... September 8th. So it looks like I will be finding a different pool. I guess I could do some swimming out at UBC once the Sports Medicine department starts working on my arm. That might be a good possibility.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Bike Lane Day, update on my arm.

Starting off the post with another x-ray - how cool is that? It's not the most informative one, but it was the one that had the best focus at least. The reason I am starting with this one is because it turns out that my arm has been broken for the past two months.

Yes, I rode to Seattle with a broken arm.

Obviously, it wasn't broken in half or anything like that. After 8 weeks, the fracture looks like a very small crack, in part because it has been quietly healing during this time. There is still an excess of fluid in the joint though, and none of this is visible to the untrained eye, especially not in this particular view of my elbow. (The crack is only visible from another angle.)

I got the x-rays done today and the doctor at the lab made a point of speaking to me prior to letting me leave, pressing on me the need to get into the hospital to get a cast on my arm. The situation sounded dire. I came home to drop off my bike and planned to head to the hospital. Holly suggested I call first to see what the wait times were - the hospital close to us had close to a two hour wait but they suggested I call the UBC hospital - a good idea since they don't receive ambulance patients. I called and they suggested I come over as they weren't busy and could patch me up.

I bus over to the campus, enter the hospital and the guy there informs me that after 8 weeks there is no point in putting a cast on and that they wouldn't be doing anything for me as it clearly 'wasn't an emergency'. I explained that the doctor who saw me earlier that day insisted I come in to get a cast and he informed me that said doctor was wrong. After being ushered out, I was perplexed. I still have the x-rays so I figure I will take them back to the doctor who originally requested them, and let her at least decide what is best. The whole thing seemed a bit odd to me, with such conflicting opinions on what should be done to treat me.

So it's an update, I'll have more to this story later I suppose. Oh, and for another update, the rest of the photos I took while riding across the new bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge! Apparently it was quite a big deal, with media camped out on both sides interviewing anybody and everybody they could convince to stop. But hey, notice how many bike helmets you see? Twenty-six in the last photo, or loosely translated into 'every single one of the bike riders.'

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm moving around a bit better today. I would have been pretty concerned if things weren't improving. I didn't stray too far from the house, but did manage to take the dog out for a walk and got as far as Coal Harbour and back without any real drama. That and well, I've been able to sit at the desk without problems afterward too.

I just hope I'm well enough to ride my bike soon. Monday morning is the opening of the bike lanes on the Burrard street bridge and I plan to participate if possible. Of course, at some point I also have to fit in an appointment at a medical clinic to get an x-ray on my arm. It feels like I have been saying this a lot, but I realize it is because I've been twittering and posting to facebook like a bored madman. There really is little else to do (aside from play sudoku) on an ipod with wifi. In hindsight, the laptop vs desktop decision takes on a new dimention. Laptop would have won this past weekend.

So it looks like I will have to take up yoga. Either that, or at least I have to be more consistent with stretching and strengthening my abdomen muscles. These past few days have sucked pretty bad for me, so I have the motivation (at least for now) to give this a real shot. Holly also suggested that I start swimming laps at one of the local pools, another viable option. All I know is that I have to do something if I don't want to continue pulling back muscles.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Self Inflicted Torture: back pain strikes again.

As I was leaving the office on Wednesday, I managed to hurt my back again. I was lifting Louise into her stroller and felt things go bad instantly. I made it home but the next morning was pretty clear - I needed to see a doctor.

The doctor examined me and ensured that I wasn't suffering any other more serious problems from this, but really the focus was on what I can do (ought to have been doing for years) to help prevent this sort of thing from happening again. We talked about yoga to help strengthen core muscles, among other exercises. We also talked about my arm, which is still not completely healed from the bike crash I had weeks ago. I have instructions to get an x-ray on it for them to determine what needs to happen next. I had been meaning to get in to the doctor regarding my arm - it just took back pain to get me there.

The second worst part about all of this is how boring it is at home. There is nothing good on TV in the daytime, I can't be out enjoying the sun very much and even being on my computer is pretty painful, except in small doses. I'm on it now, but figure I will have to lay down again within an hour or so. If I was sick, I could at least medicate myself to sleep.

I can tell when my time is up on the computer. I start shifting positions a lot, leaning forward, leaning back, anything to find something comfortable. Since I am shifting a lot right now, I should probably wrap up this post.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Two Weeks wait for Burrard Bike Lane

On July 13th Vancouver starts a trial on the Burrard Street bridge to reconfigure it so that one of the lanes normally used by cars is dedicated to cyclist traffic. One of the pedestrian walkways will be used for bikes as well.

This means that in two weeks I will adjust my commute to work so that I ride across the Burrard Street bridge in support of this measure.

Could this have been done differently, or perhaps better? Definately. But I see this as a step in the right direction and don't mind showing the city some support by making use of the lanes allocated for cyclist traffic. I am sure that over time some valuable information will be gathered from this trial and that like other traffic measures, it can evolve into whatever makes sense for the city. The point is, they are recognizing that many more of us are choosing to commute by bicycle instead of by car and at least they are willing to try new things to better accommodate this growing segment of Vancouver's urban commuter public.