Starting Day 5, Part III at G.F. Strong, the Vancouver physical rehab centre, and have to admit that I'm feeling a little wonky. A good chunk of that could be that I was out last night for two periods at the Vancouver Giants-Kelowna Rockets' game.
After a bout with Solitary Plasmacytoma cancer and eight back surgeries, I'm still not ready for much excitement. We did watch the game from the stands, rather than the Giants' suite like last time with Carol-Ann and I, so that's a step. I was still worn out by the second intermission and wasn't the least little bit on getting caught up in the crowd afterwards, either.
En route to the game (I went with Carla "Solitary Plasmacytoma hater" McAloney, allowing Carol-Ann a hall pass to hang with her buddies) I got a text from Joey Kenward (somewhat shameless name drop) who was in Moose Jaw to celebrate the final days of the rink there, the Crushed Can.
Jo-Jo, being Jo-Jo, had to remind me of my most recent visit to the Can. (That's what the somewhat shameless name drop was for.) It was 2006, the Giants were wrapping up a four-game sweep of the Moose Jaw Warriors, and I had food poisoning and I had it bad.
It could have been worse. Once the symptoms started coming on after a questionable helping of chicken wings, I went straight to the team doc, who gave me some meds that seemed to work a little. (I knew to do this after failing in that regard after getting food poisoning during a Canucks' 2004 playoff game in Calgary. You really haven't been sick until you've been sick in a public washroom with drunk hockey fans. And that's all I really need to say about that.)
I did manage to pull off what I thought was a fairly entertaining pre-game radio interview. The rink had a pronounced dip in the middle, so from the pressbox on the north side you can't see the top eight rows of seats south side. Jo-Jo had always explained to me as "If the bus driver gets in a knife fight in row 15, I can't tell from the press box. I was getting to that part of the story and realized I couldn't use Joey's version, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
"If strippers were performing an act in Row 15, I wouldn't know from the press box."
Yeah, stay classy.
With all that, I wasn't out the woods from the sickness, though. By game time, I was probably stumbling around worse than I do now. (My walking, albeit with a walker has improved drastically of late.) After the game, when I went to get quotes, several players started chanting "Chicken Wings, Chicken Wings." They had obviously heard. Team captain Mark Fistric hadn't heard or had heard and didn't care because he picked me up in a bear hug, started carrying me around and said, "You're my dawg...you're my dawg." (I'm a big dude now, but I was a bigger dude then. The fact some 19-year-old kid could do that scared me.)
By the time I finished my stories, I couldn't step up for long periods, so I had to crawl my way down the stairs and out of the stands.
Fast forward to today, I'm feeling as well as I've felt in months. I still get frustrated with how wobbly I am, but I'm trying to be patient. (I'm supposed to cook on Tuesday and stand for several minutes without any asssistance, and that's scaring me.)
We're on the Spine Floor this time, after being on the Brain Injury and Neuro-muscular floors on our past two trips, which means we get a whole new team of doctors, physios and occupational therapists. Everybody seems to be as ultra professional, just like the teams we've had here before.