If We Were Having Coffee…..

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you this blog just turned a year old! I’m glad WordPress reminds me of these things. I knew it was sometime around now.

If we were having coffee, I’d want you to tell me all about your week. I hope it was a good one with lots accomplished and time for fun. I’m going to need to take a few sips of coffee to warm up my voice before I attempt to speak. Yesterday was the annual university conference where all the various vision research projects get presented. I had a poster to present on one of the studies I am working on. I got to show pictures of the retina and there was a 3D virtual environment involved in the testing procedure. It is definitely one of the cooler research projects I have presented. This is probably why the poster was drawing such big crowds. The talk I gave for the poster was only 5 minutes long, but I had to speak loudly so the crowd could hear me and I had to repeat it nonstop for almost two hours. Now, my voice is all crackly and keeps coming and going.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that despite the success of the poster and its award nomination, I’m still feeling rather low. I came home from the conference yesterday and just went straight to bed. I don’t know, maybe it is just exhaustion that is getting me down. When Hubby got home he brought in some mail for me. It was a package from my aunt. She sent some stuff that I had left at her place along with some new paint brushes and a new stencil. Very exciting! Check out the stencil..an eye diagram! Awesome! That cheered me up a bit.

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If we were having coffee, I’d probably tell you about a friend and a colleague of mine. I am really worried about them. The colleague was supposed to fly in next week to work on that grant proposal with us but he has had to cancel on account of his heart. He has a weak heart and went to the doc thinking he had the flu. It turns out his heart isn’t sounding good, so he has had to cancel the trip and do a full workup. He is not the only one with concerning health problems though. Hubby and I had dinner with our friend Lynne last night. She is scheduled to have her surgery to have her liver metastasis removed in a week and a half. Her latest CT scan shows a new tumor. We are hoping it popped up on the portion they were going to remove anyway.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you my art class is tomorrow morning. I’m a little nervous. I hope it isn’t too clique-y. I’m also still doing the 30 Day Colouring Challenge from The Daily Marker. There is about a week left. I have been enjoying it. Here is a collection of this week’s stuff. Two of them are from colouring books. The rest I drew myself. I even used regular old crayons this week. It was fun to revisit childhood with a box of nice, sharp, new Crayolas.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a good weekend! Hope to see you for coffee next week!

This conversation coffee post is part of a weekly link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Drama Queen

August 3rd 2000 was a day I’ll never forget. The night before had been a sleepless night. How could I sleep knowing that I was going under the knife the next day?! A lot depended on this surgery; my self-confidence, my vision and possibly my ability to drive. You may call me a drama queen, but to a 15 years old, this was a really big deal!

I was born with strabismus, a defect which caused my eyes to turn inward, essentially crossed eyes. It caused me a lot of grief. I remember one girl telling the other kids to stay away from me because it was contagious. Kids can be cruel…and ignorant for that matter. I’m sure you’ve seen at least one person with this. If not, look up photos of Kristen Bell and Ryan Gosling. Didn’t know they had a lazy eye, did you? Maybe if they had been famous back then I wouldn’t have let my eyes bother me so much.


I arrived at the day surgery unit of the hospital early in the morning. Right away, they forced me in to the traditional hospital wear…the dreaded paper napkin gown. They also gave me slippers. The slippers were like shower caps, but for your feet. I felt as stupid as I looked. On top of that, they spelled my name wrong on my hospital bracelet, bravo!

I didn’t have to wait in the waiting room very long. The person scheduled for surgery ahead of me forgot to not eat, so my surgery got bumped up. My heart stopped and my legs felt like jello as I rose from my seat to follow the orderly. He sat me in another waiting room full of strangers hooked up to IVs and various machines. That was where I worried myself sick, literally. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity wondering all sorts of things. Would they get it right? Would I wake up on the operating table? Would I go blind? Would I wake up at all? Just when I thought I was about to throw up and my heart was going to explode, my surgeon walked in with his army of doctors to announce that they were ready for me.

They led me into a room that was the sickening colour of sour milk. I was told to lie on the bed in the center of the room. It was cold and hard, they had dug my grave already! They put the gas mask over my face and told me to count backwards from 10. I don’t remember much after 9.

When I awoke, the room was spinning. Not that I could see it, I couldn’t open my eyes, but that didn’t lessen the spinning sensation. The pain in my eyes was pretty bad. The stitches they had sewn into my eye balls poked me with every blink. At least the worse was over though, or so I thought….

I couldn’t open my eyes, so the nurses guided me to a waiting room where my parents were waiting for me. I had to stay there until the anesthesia wore off. A nurse offered me Gravol to help with the nausea. Have you had Gravol before? It’s chewable, tastes like orange and always seems to magically take my nausea away. So of course I said yes when offered. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Before I had a chance to figure out what was going on, the nurse jammed a needle into my hip. Ouch! Thanks for the warning!

However traumatic it was at the time, I’m glad I did it. It improved my vision and did not affect me getting my driver’s license. It also did wonders for my self-confidence. I actually felt pretty once and a while.

Good Things Come in Threes

I know a lot of people who believe that bad things happen in threes. Whenever something goes wrong they are on the lookout for the next two. I try not to think this way, who wants to be waiting for bad things to happen? Today, I am wondering if the superstition works the other way too. Can good things come in threes? I have three bits of good news to share.

The first being my Dad. The doctors found that the left side of his heart wasn’t contracting all the way. This is scary, he is 60 now and bad hearts have claimed all the men in his family in their early 60s. He had an angiogram on Thursday and it came back clear! His arteries are wide open! We still don’t know why his heart is off, but I am choosing to focus on the positives here. The angiogram has ruled out several bad prognoses. I’m thankful for that.

The second thing is my husband’s job. He is a high school teacher and we were told there weren’t enough students for him to have a position next year. This was devastating as it brings our one income household down to none. So the last month or so of knowing we weren’t going to have an income has been nothing short of a stress fest. This problem came to an end this week. The other teachers in the science department at my husband’s school heard about his situation. One of them was planning on taking a half year sabbatical. She decided to make it a full year sabbatical, giving my husband her contract. We are safe for another year! I was speechless when my husband told me. What a huge kindness! I have to find some way to thank her! Flowers maybe?

The third is to do with my Ph.D. Lately, I’ve been lost. I’ve had no motivation to leave the house to go to work/school, whatever you consider Ph.D. research to be. My dissertation is stuck in ethics, I’m having trouble finding participants for the other studies and I’m completely overwhelmed trying to run the lab. I know this is just typical stress that most people experience, but I have this bad habit of defining my worth based on my achievements at work. Since work was going no where, I was feeling pretty worthless. I was wondering if I was cut out for research. Before we got the good news about my husband’s job I was wondering if I should be quitting and trying to find a real job. I guess I was looking for a sign to tell me if I was in the right place or not.

Thursday morning, I got my sign! The application I made in the fall for a Doctoral Fellowship from the Provincial Government came through! For the next two years, the government will pay me to focus solely on my research. This is amazing!! I had applied for this fellowship in 2012 and 2013 and been turned down. This was my last year to be eligible, my last chance. Just when I was starting to think quitting might be right, it came through. This validates all my hard work. I’m going to do my Ph.D. research!

So there you have it, good things can come in threes too. I like this superstition much better. It’ll put me on the lookout for good thing, big or small.

Do you have any good news? I ‘d love to hear it, no matter how big or small!

lego girl

If you haven’t seen the Lego Movie, you need to see it! The “Everything is Awesome” song is very catchy and will put a smile on your face!



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