Two year post pandemic period

Our lives have changed substantially since the lock downs from the pandemic of the last two years. From our perspective, this has meant government spending on subsidized payrolls, increased interest rates to combat the cash injections, and ever declining healthcare outcomes because of deferred tests and postponed medical activities. This has meant very long waiting lists to healthcare access. It has also meant adjustments to criteria for waiting lists so that the lists were not as long. We have assumed this is for political expedience.

Big Boat Man is now 77 years old and age is impacting him like an unwanted hanger-on. He can’t shake it but he certainly tries. For three years he put off having a knee replacement. He went through typical BBM stages, initially declaring that he knew exactly what it was like to cut around joints. He spent years doing it on the farm with home-kill. There was no way he was going to let a butcher touch his knee.

But over that period his pain increased such that he could hardly walk. The pain was constantly in his eyes and he aged by the day. He finally agreed to talk to his GP. It was a long saga with his GP twice adding BBM to a waiting list to see a specialist through the public system. For some reason he was reluctant to refer privately.

In the meantime, our house insurance representative talked to BBM about her husband’s wonderful surgeon. I figure it’s time for BBM’s pushy wife to take over. I rang the insurance woman’s husband’s surgeon’s clinic directly, explained the reluctance of the GP to refer privately, and arranged for an appointment with the surgeon. Long story short, BBM had his right knee replaced in November 2022. That was another long story which involved my arranging a secret bathroom overhaul while BBM was in the hospital and couldn’t oversee the work(men).

Other health issues have come up over these two years as well. BBM began having symptoms which Aunty Google indicated could be colon cancer. Reluctant to see his GP because of the saga over three years with his knee, BBM thought perhaps a change of eating habits would solve his problem. A wife knows when her husband is lying though. How are things? Good, I think it’s all better. Are you sure? Are you having any symptoms? No, not really.

The ‘not really’ symptoms greeted me one morning and I emailed the colonoscopy clinic that day. BBM had the procedure and the doctor sat down with us both. He explained that a huge polyp was removed. Hopefully it was not cancerous. He then told BBM that he should bow to me each day and say ‘yes ma’am’ since my insistence for him to be seen had certainly prolonged his life.

The test did come back positive for cancer, and BBM was asked to have a scan and see a surgeon. For a second time, he was told to bow to his wife for saving his life because it was believed the cancer was caught before it spread. But the best news for BBM? The best news was that, after paying around $4000 for a colonoscopy, a scan, and two specialists’ appointments, the follow-up would be funded by the public sector because he was now on a cancer patient list. Woo-hoo. The luxuries in life.

Another change in our lives since lock downs has been my continued working full time from home. We compromise and agree it has been hard on us both. I close the door when I’m having online meetings so that I don’t get interrupted with ‘So, what do you think? Morning tea?’ At least BBM hasn’t walked behind me half naked as one of my co-workers’ husband did. He bent over to walk behind her, hoping that the camera would not pick him up. In the time it took for her to glance at him, note his state and look back at the screen, the automatic background had picked him up, shown him, and then reverted back to the automatic scene. I believe no one ever told her that, yes, we did see him, and yes it was hilarious. Her eyes revealed her panic and then relief when she saw the automatic background behind her. I scanned the others’ faces online. They all had frozen faces which reflected mine. Not one of us has ever mentioned it.

BBM tends to go to his boat shed to have time to himself. He has wired Dona Lucia with electric lights. He tells people it is because I demanded the lights. The truth is that we think it would be easier to go out for three days instead of launching, fishing, and returning all in the same day. Been there. Done that. Don’t want to repeat it. We need running lights to be safe on the water overnight.

We bought BBM a Go Pro camera for Christmas last year. The thought was to capture video of some of his work on the boat and then out on the water. However, it still sits in the new box because of the many disruptions which have occurred. Between long-covid headaches, a bout with shingles, and more recently a month of vertigo, BBM hasn’t felt like rushing anything. I remind him that it is the process which adds to the enjoyment of getting out on the water. There is no hurry. All things in good time.

There are moments when BBM’s work is rewarded in ways unexpected. A couple of weeks ago a friend rang up to ask if he could drop by and see how BBM was wiring the boat for lights and electronics. It seems he is renovating his van to be a camper. He figured that the wiring needs would be similar to BBM’s boat requirements. Sure, come on over, says BBM. That day he was in the mood to visit rather than crawl around the interior upside-down. So, the two of them spread out the diagrams and mock-up BBM had done for Dona Lucia. BBM comes home laughing to say that his own workings won’t really help the friend because of all the decisions which need to be made.

Physically wiring the boat is nothing compared to all the hours a non-electrician needs to spend figuring out what decisions need to be made, what the unique context requires, and then making decisions based on simple preferences. Hours and hours, I can tell you. For example, the running lights only require .01 percent of something (amp?). But I overhear the guy in the shop telling BBM that he will require much more than that if he is going to run a little frig or freezer. I step in and state that we’re not going out for that long. Then, the guy asks if we are going to have mobile phones to charge, an electrical water pump for the flushing toilet, radar equipment, fish finders, etc. I’m now looking at BBM and admiring how he simply nods and listens to the advice of the guy in the shop. After all, it’s all information which we may require in the future. For now though, neither of us is going to admit that our scow is more like the cheap version of camping. We have a chilly bin, a toilet which looks like a glorified bucket with lid, no plans for fish finders, radar, or even gps gadgets. The guy in the shop advises us as if we have a multi-million dollar yacht with bottomless pockets. We like him. We buy another little $4.50 connector thingy.

One thought on “Two year post pandemic period

  1. Nice hearing about your activities! Ha! my activities?NitavJ—–Sitting in my chair that fits my back just right and watching Jeopardy and wheel of fortune!


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