Kerri Dawe Design

Over the years I’ve dealt with hundreds of creative people… photographers, artists, designers, writers & musicians. Their talent levels were like their personalities…. all over the map, covering the full range of possibilities, some easy to deal with and some were a royal pain in the ass.

From my perspective the real talent in a commercial artist [of any specialty] is the ability to utilize their creative abilities to deliver an end product that truly represents their customer’s vision. In our ever more web & digital world the task for any web designer is to capture that elusive essence of the business in a package that will be shown to the world. A lot of designers loose track of one of the core sales philosophies….. KISS… you know ‘keep it simple stupid’. The over use of Flash, java, video clips and the wiz bang of what appears to be a circus on your screen does nothing but confuse, slow down the loading of the site and frustrate most users and they leave never to return.

Any of you who have visited my blogs are aware that I admire Kerri Dawe’s design talents. She is an exceptional artist with that special ability to capture that essence that so many other designers miss. As well she has an intuitive sense for the ‘art’ of marketing a combination not often found in young web designers.

Kerri recently launched her own web site with a portfolio of her work. I think my friend [even if Facebook doesn’t think we’re friends … we are] has done an exceptional job of capturing her personality and has built a site that speaks for itself….

Visit and you will see clean lines, beautiful colour choices, the site is easy on the eye, with a logical layout, and a straight forward confident statement of her many talents. This in not a cluttered site….. classic understatement of talent and much like its creator there is so much more ….

Posted in Author Les Muise, Profile


Les red_crcooltext74706406

By Les Muise 6/10/2008

Interesting…. is the only phrase that I can use in a printed format to describe my response to the proposed $40,000,000.00 Community Recreation Center in the works for the Mainland Commons.

Sounds nice. BUT:

  • There is still no detail as to what is included in that proposed facility,
  • There is still no time line on a decision.
  • There is still strong resistance by the [HRM] elected representatives to the idea of communicating with their communities & organizations like Build it Right.
  • There is still a crappy paternalistic attitude from the councilors…. ‘We’ll tell you what it is that you want and you’ll damn well like it!’

The timing of this pending announcement is amazingly political. After four years of sitting on their hands, all of a sudden there is a plan that has fallen out of the sky. By the time the Feds actually get around to formally announcing this project we’ll be within 90 days of the next municipal election.

The ground has been cleared, the building pad has been defined and prepared, the street has been paved, trees planted and sod laid…. What a photo opportunity. Proud Councilors and Mayor will be able to stand in front of a busy construction site with a large sign showing a vision of our future. They’ll thump their chests and proclaim “look at what we’ve brought to our community!!! Isn’t it beautiful?”

But nothing has changed.

Maybe they think that $40,000,000.00 will buy their re-election. Is it?

Not in my books!

Posted in Author Les Muise, myhalifaxca, Political Issues

The time is now…..

Les red_cr Saturday, May 24, 2008


Les Muise

Build it Right – Protest March

Mainland Common

The sun was out, just, it could have been warmer but that didn’t stop a group of +/- 50 concerned citizens from gathering in front of the ‘Indoor Soccer Field’ and armed with Build it Right signs marching down Thomas Radell Drive to the planned site of the yet to be announced Recreation Center.

You’d think that the potential of a new multi million dollar ‘Field House’ for the upcoming Canada Winter Games would be welcomed with open arms and be enthusiastically supported by the community that will benefit from this legacy.

Unfortunately that’s not the case…..

To Quote the HRM website description of this situation:

Planning for a new community recreation center on the Mainland Common in the Clayton Park West area of HRM has been underway since 1985, when a Mainland Common Study, anticipating the need for community recreation and open space in the rapidly expanding community.

In 1992, the Mainland Common Master Plan for the City of Halifax outlined a vision for the Mainland Common as a central location for sport, recreational, cultural, and nature appreciation activities for the City. In 1998, Burke/Oliver Consultants Ltd. completed a Recreation Needs Assessment and Sitting Study for HRM, which concluded that the Mainland Common is the optimal location for certain high-cost facilities that; by their nature, must serve the region.

Further, the 2004 Indoor Recreation Facilities Master Plan recommended a multi-purpose regional facility to be built in this area of the Municipality providing a mix of high caliber sport training and public uses, in an effort to achieve maximum usage.

This previous planning work, and the associated public consultations on the Mainland Common, provides a good foundation for the current plans around a multi purpose field house. Read More….

The frustration that has faced the Build it Right committee was evident in the speeches delivered …. Everyone involved in this issue has consistently encountered issues that are centered on control, transparency & attitude.

Senior staff and all the elected municipal representatives have shunned any involvement from Build-it-Right or any other community based organizations. The HRM version of ‘public consultations’ on this matter is nothing short of laughable. Its over 2 ½ years since the last Public Meeting on this issue and since this past Christmas there has been little or no communication as to the plans for the sight, the stage of negotiations or even a time line as to when we will be informed as to what will be built.

Ever since the Commonwealth Games disaster and the sudden arrival of ‘disgruntled business interests’ such as Citizens For Halifax it appears that the orders from the Mayor’s office are to shut down any conversation with the community, don’t make any verbal commitments that might be overturned… basically a gag order has been placed on staff and counselors to control the spin. After all this is an election year….. tick tock the clock is ticking…. October is coming soon….

I’ve included [Link]the Build-it-Right document The Time Is Now for your consideration and I encourage you to contact any/ all of the following and express your concerns with the unacceptable handling of this project and make it clear that if they don’t communicate with the community that your voice will be heard on the ballot in October.

Halifax Regional Municipality

1841 Argyle St. Halifax, Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 1749 Halifax, B3J 3A5

Fax: 490-4012

– Mayor Peter Kelley (902) 490-4010


Mary Wile (902)476-2048

Debbie Hum (902)476-7212

Russell Walker (902)497-7215

Province Of Nova Scotia

Office of Health Promotion & Protection

Minister Berry Barnet 


Posted in myhalifaxca, Political Issues

The times they are a changing…… at least politically.

Les red_crThere is a bielection today in Bedford with two worthy candidates each hoping to fill Gary Martin’s seat. They will face a challenge ….. Gary left a large void to be filled and the winner will only be in office till October and then its back to the poles.

When I arrived home yesterday there was a message from Stephen McNeil inviting me to the Nomination Meeting for Halifax Citadel …a reminder of how easily we could be facing a federal election.

Halifax councilor Sheila Fougere was in Dartmouth on Friday to unveil her mayoral campaign platform that has such planks as safer communities, improved public transit, better conditions for the city’s needy, more recreation centers and a smaller regional council.

All political parties and their candidates have to face the fact that the world has changed. The old world of ‘what’s your father’s name ….’ as an indicator of how you voted is over. The current generation of voters needs of feel that they are being heard, that their votes count and they will hold the political system to its promises….  or the next time they vote for somebody else.

This years mayoralty election in HRM will be interesting, this is the first time that Peter Kelley will face a credible opponent. In the previous election the only competition was from disgruntled bus drivers without any political capital.

Its still early and there very well be more people throw their hats in the ring but if it comes down to a choice between Peter & Sheila … to me its a no brainer… Sheila’s got my vote.

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Posted in Author Les Muise, myhalifaxca, Political Issues

Maximizer CRM…. the cure for ADD????

By Les Muise    May 1, 2008

I’m one of those guys…. You know one of those guys who frustrate any teacher, instructor, manager or for that matter any partner who has ever had to deal with me. Without bragging [too much] I’m bright, funny, a quick learner, observant, easy to get along with and a natural salesman…. I do it in my sleep and I have been known to introduce myself as ‘a flirt, a tease and a pain in the ass.’ That’s when I’m focused and in a good mode.

When I’m scattered, frustrated or most importantly …. Boarded out of my mind …. I can be a real pain in the ass. I don’t like doing book work on a good day but if its one of those days I’ll do what I want, not what anyone else wants, including anything my boss wants.

In my younger years those days were the rationalization for the number of jobs that I left earlier than expected. I liked the jobs and the people but in the end I lost my focus. The impulsive, compulsive, hop skip and a jump of that attitude along with my ability to easily talk my way out of [for that matter into] trouble made for a rather extensive list of companies that I worked for as a young sales representative. If you were to talk to any of my bosses from back then, every one of them would make comments along the line of:

‘Les was a great guy when he was on track but couldn’t or wouldn’t live up to his potential and he had potential.’

In the late 80’s after my mirage failed and I had stumbled through a couple of other relationships I finally started to reign myself in and did some research into the ‘why’s’ of my life. It was clear to me that I wasn’t reacting logically in many situations and at that point in history there was very little known about a condition that was emerging known as Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD].

Then the most

In the early 90’s computers came into my life, first a Commodore 64 and then a IBM XT clone. I instantly understood the logic that was the core of their strength. Even the first rudimentary applications like word processors, spreadsheets, and calendars worked to my benefit. I quickly fell into relying on my computer’s memory and scheduling ability to put some order into my life. Briefly in 1991 I owned a Computer Retail Store in Halifax and with that a Commodore 386DX notebook running DOS 3.1. Instantly I had the flexibility and mobility that I had been wanting.

Then an amazing thing happened……

Along came Maximizer…….. the DOS Version.

I was in heaven!!! I found the perfect information organization system for me.

Maximizer is a logically structured information storage system that allows for the customization of its interface and multiple classifications of the data saved. I spent the time the time to input all my paper based contact information and when I say all I mean ALL! The ability to assign people to groups & subgroups and then to further classify them meant that I had a manageable dbase that has never failed me.

For the past seventeen years I have been religiously loyal to my daily Max time [roughly one hour per day] and as time passed it became easier to maintain and build that information file. Initially it required a considerable amount of time and commitment to input all the contact information and history but the benefits have been huge. Over time it has become my diary, journal, document file, communications point, email coordination, promotion campaign manager, expense tracker, project manager and my memory. You have to understand that I have The day my life changed…. an extremely good memory but if a situation is not in my conscious memory and its not in my Maximizer file it DID NOT HAPPEN!!!

This system, although it seems complicated has actually simplified my life. I learned that if I was loyal to my Maximizer it was loyal to me. At this period of my life I was slowly building my consultancy, the combination of Maximizer, AccPac [now simply Accounting] and Corel’s Word Perfect Office I was able to keep my overheads low, my information safe, meet all regulatory reporting requirements and present a professional package and image to my clients.

November 17, 1997: the day my life changed…

As part of my ongoing self awareness research I had found the research into Attention Deficit Disorder was showing personality tendencies that basically described my life. After additional personal research and a formal assessment by a local, world renowned, expert Dr. T. Ahmed I was diagnosed as ADD in Adults. By nature I’m a laid back guy who never had been the Hyper active kid of the typical ADDHD that has become the image of the disorder. One of the things that I quickly realized was that for 7 – 10 years I’d been relying on my computers and more particularly my  Maximizer to put order,  consistency and stability into my life. Like any personality dysfunction there is a scale of control [or lack of] …. In my case on a scale of 1 – 10 I’m about a 3.5 … mild enough to be manageable with counseling, education and mild medication.

With the diagnosis came the relief of knowing why…. It certainly rationalized a lot of situations in my life, how I reacted and I quickly accepted that I could control the negative side of ADD and rely on the system I had developed for putting order in my life.

The only time I have ever used my ADD as an excuse is actually an annual event. My sister is often referred to as Martha Steward on Steroids and is a confirmed Xmas nut. Every year she puts well over 1,000 mini lights on her Xmas tree and has routinely asked for my assistance in meticulously lighting this tree, hiding all the wires (of course) ….. every year I run away yelling ADD, ADD, ADD!

When I look back on my life I can easily identify the impact and benefit that Maximizer has been to my life. I’ve long ago accepted that without my trusty Maximizer and my Dexedrine I’m in trouble. With out them it wouldn’t take long for me to be tripping over my ADD and to be forced to deal with the disasters that would be there.

So in the end …. Is Maximizer really the be all and end all cure for Attention Deficit Disorder?

No not really BUT if used properly and consistently it can and will assist in simplifying and stabilizing the impulsive and compulsive side of any individual.

Now if I can figure out how to get my Maximizer to put those damn lights on the Xmas Tree…..


For additional Information on Maximizer CRM click on……





Posted in CRM, Medical News, Personal Issues

Will they ever learn? I doubt it!

By Les Muise, March 26/08 posted to &

Recently MLA Diana Whalen posed an interesting question in her Letter to the Editor of the Halifax Chronicle Herald that pointed at the shoddy handling of the ‘Mainland Common Recreation Center by the staff and elected officials of the Halifax Regional Municipality. I’m in full agreement with Mrs Whalen’s position and the comments offered by Bette El-Hawary, P.A. Kidd, Rhonda Beers, Francis MacDonald, and Doug Boudreau each in their own Letters to the Editor, all of whom speak from their personal frustration with the whole process and lack of involvement by our elected leaders.

I have a few comments of my own but first some personal history.

Where to start?

This issue has been part of my world for as long as I can remember.

  • I’ve lived between Meadowlark Crest.,Chadwick Place and Westridge Drive for 30 of the past 35 years.
  • I attended Halifax West High School when it was on Dutch Village Road and was considered a New School with 1,500 students from the area now serviced by Halifax West, J.L. Ilsley & Sir John A MacDonald. All bussed in each day by a fleet of 50 buses and requiring 6 portable classrooms and split shifts in my grade 10 year.
  • I remember when Lacewood Dr. stopped at Bayview, when the YMCA opened the Northcliff Pool with its inflatable roof, and when there was no Dunbrack Dr or Bayers Lake or Parkland Drive.
  • I remember when the old city of Halifax took over the Northcliff Pool from the YMCA (they could not afford the upkeep of the roof) to serve a population of 20,0000 in its catchment area.
  • I’ve witnessed the phenomenal growth of the community referred to as Clayton Park & Clayton Park West from a sleepy bedroom community, where new homes sold for $ 28,000 to $35,000 as it grew into a dynamic, thriving, multicultural center with new homes in the $ 250,000 to $500,000 range and a population in the service catchment area that is pushing past the 200,0000 mark. Most of that growth exploded into the area in the last 10 – 14 years.
  • I have watched the change in what ‘we the people‘ want in our community. There is a much greater demand for municipal services that would not have been considered in the past.
  • I have campaigned door to door with the candidate in the past two Provincial Elections and was campaign coordinator for a candidate in the past Municipal Election & was at his side at every door, every day of that champagne and I have a pretty good idea of what this community was asking for at that time.
  • I have attended Chebucto Community Council meetings on this issue when I was one of a dozen people in attendance & when the room was over filled with angry residence objecting to a proposed Recreation Center that resembled a resort with out the floating bar.
  • I have attended ‘Town Hall’ meetings at the New Halifax West with a couple of hundred other concerned citizens where we were treated as unwanted interference and at one session managed and controlled as to what we were allowed to ask.
    • I have spoken out at every one of these sessions of my concern that the City was not building a facility for the future of our community but was doing the minimal that it could get away with and ducking the responsibility.
  • I have been involved with the Build It Right group from its inception as a public participant, a petition signature gatherer and I’ve attended meetings as a member with the Managers of both the Department of Planning & Development and Recreation and Sport. where our concerns were treated with a rather condescending attitude.
  • I have talked personally with those same Department managers where they have commented that ‘anything is possible if there is the political will’ . And there is the biggest part of this problem, that lack of political will starts right at the top.
    • Every project with in the Recreation and Sport domain had been waiting with baited breath for a successful Commonwealth Games Bid. It was absolutely mind boggling the number of times that the Management of those departments commented that ‘everything depends on getting the Commonwealth Games and being able to tap into the ‘extra’ funding that would be available from the Federal Government because we were hosting an international event of this stature.
    • This logic came to a grinding halt the day that his highness Peter Kelley unceremoniously pulled the City’s support of that Bid. Not only was that decision an insult to the hundreds of bid participants in business community but it ended every one of those projects that had been using the strategy of waiting for the Holy Grail…. there was no plan B, so back to the drawing board we go…. effectively pushing each of those projects a year or two further down the road or in some cases off the road all together.

The Current Reality

After ten (10) years of public involvement it angers me that here we are seven (7) months before the next Municipal Election and the City & Province are still stonewalling the public as to their plans for this facility.

  • How can anyone be expected to believe that the huge amount of heavy earth moving that is currently being done on the proposed site is in preparation….without a plan!!! Talk about throwing money away ! If you believe that I’ve got some swamp land in Florida that you can buy for $1,000.00

From my perspective in this situation the ‘City’ lacks leadership and any firm vision & direction that would come as part of a strong Mayor & Council. There has been a deliberate effort to pacify the community by using the HRM’s version of Public Consultation and much like what has been happening with the School Review Process and lets be clear …. this attempt has failed.

By ignoring the the input of community based organizations like Build It Right and the hundreds of voices heard at the many public meetings the ‘City‘ is setting its self up for ridicule, criticism and controversy.

The attitude of ‘Concerned Citizens’ has changed over the years. The hundreds of people from this community who have taken the time out of their busy lives to be involved in the process, to make their concerns known, ultimately need to know that their voice was heard and taken into consideration.

Short of that, the process is flawed, the project will become a lightning rod for all the complaints that will be rightly aired.

The Missing Link

In all of the years that this situation has dragged through the painfully slow process, the missing component has been the political will of our elected representatives. The counselors for this area have resisted any objective input from the public and for the most part have avoided any involvement, despite repeated invitations. Not once have I seen, heard or read of Mayor Kelley having attended a meeting on this matter, nor has his opinion ever been expressed publicly although comments from staff as to the lack of Political Will starting at the top have made it clear what position Mr Kelly has taken.

If Halifax wants to continue to grow and keep its youth, to keep some of the new graduates from our universities and have the young geniuses of the (RIM) technology world make this their home its time to face reality.

  • Its time to invest in our youth by giving them a chance to grow to their potential with a ‘Center of Excellence’
  • Its time to invest in a positive and healthy community by providing a community / recreation canter that promotes an active and involved lifestyle for all ages.
  • Its time to invest in our communities by putting the services where they are convenient and stop using the logic that oh well you can do that over there … on the other side of the city … 45 minutes each way [by car & 2 hrs by bus … during peak hours]
  • Its time for strong, aggressive leadership that chases all potential stakeholders and doesn’t stop till they get the best for Halifax. If Port Hawksbury can raise the funds…. you know the rest of that comment!
  • Its time to make the changes in all of the processes to effective allow public participation & to speed up those processes thereby allowing Halifax to grow into the great city that it could be.

In Closing

Halifax is a great city & Clayton Park is a fabulous area in which to live.

    To me the fix for this situation comes down to a change in attitude and a new approach. The key objective of any project undertaken by the Halifax Regional Municipal should be;

    • by using effective community consultation the project meets the needs of the community,

    • all the participants can be proud of their involvement, proud of the facility and proud of Halifax.

      In reality it is a team approach with bottom up concept development combined with conciliation and facilitation, add some creative problem solving along with a consistently positive attitude by all involved. And that’s an approach will make the difference. I’ve been known to say on more than one occasion “give me the right attitude and anything is possible”.

      Couple that approach & attitude with a strong leadership team that is willing to be involved in the community, to be transparent in its methods, accountable to the voters, and willing to promote Halifax as a great place to live at every opportunity and through every method and most importantly be ready & willing to fight for every ounce of funding that we are due.

      No matter what Moncton says Halifax is the regional center and should start acting accordingly, on all levels. Invest in the infrastructure, the facilities and the people …. the rest will be here or come here.

      Unfortunately it appears that the Mayor and Counsellors have decided to go into the upcoming election with a [potentially] flawed proposed facility hoping to gain community support for their version of what is needed.

      I wouldn’t want to be knocking on doors this fall with any of them…. its not going to be nice.

      Tagged with: , ,
      Posted in Human Interest, Political Issues

      The remote worked!!!! For a while…

      The article below is a follow up on my post of Mar. 08/08 that detailed the proposed surgery to relieve the sever chronic pain of drug induced diabetic neuropathy suffered by my sister Corinne. For reference purposes I’ve started with a recap in the form of the opening paragraph from the original post and as usual you can click on the title link to see the full post.

      Will the new remote control work on the TV?

      Posted by Les Muise on March 8, 2008

      cooltext78187361Twelve years ago my sister Corinne [Harland] developed NeuroSarcoidosis which is an autoimmune system dysfunction that causes the atrification of the lymph nodes in the body. In Corinne’s situation it was the lymph nodes in & around the brain stem & her spinal / nerve system. As a result she is now legally blind [unable to drive] has difficulty walking, has to deal with a major loss of memory, & has suffered the usual complications of being on massive steroids for an extended period of time; she is a drug induced diabetic, has had liver & kidney problems and lives with the sever chronic pain of diabetic neuropathy {pain in the extremities, feet & ankles}, the steroids [Pregnazone at as high as 100mg/day – 12x max recommended dose] have caused her bones to become brittle and for her to gain massive amounts of weight.


      I figure the easiest way to bring you up to date on Corinne is to send you a copy of my Day Book Notes:

      Surgery Progress Report 7:59pm Monday, Feb 18

      • Corinne’s surgery started at 6.00am this morning & went till after 1.00 pm (7+ hr).
      • Apparently they had trouble attaining the pain blocking into her feet and had to make a decision on should they insert the computer control unit but in the end they continued with the surgery and will try again tomorrow to ‘tweak’ the pain blocking ability tomorrow.
      • For now Corinne is resting in Recovery…. since 1.30 pm waiting for a bed in the neuro ward to become available.
        Dr Mendez is due to talk to Richard & Grammer at 8.30pm if there is anything new after that I’ll pass it on.

      Corinne’s recovery progress….12:45am Thursday, Feb 28

      A week after her surgery ….. I’m almost afraid to say this BUT the difference is unbelievable …. Prior to last Monday you could see the pain in Corinne’s eyes , face and hear it in her voice..7.5hr of surgery and $$$$$ of computer gear in her gut and she is a different person… gradually regaining control of her life.

      The computer system and the remote control allow her to turn up the white noise when needed and then turn it down when not needed. The relief from the overwhelming pain is amazing to see….. she has more energy, her cognitive clarity is greatly improved and her mobility is better than its been in years.

      Is she better…. NO!

      The Neuroscarcoid which is the core issue is just as bad But this is a huge improvement in her quality of life & the reduction in her use of pain killing drugs (7 different drugs taken daily) will allow the neuro guys to fine tune their approach as to how to attack the Neuroscarcoid.

      Corinne has been home since last Wednesday and as of today has returned to visiting St WalMart & St Sobey’s on a daily basis & once the stitches are out (Friday) she should start back at Curves with in a week or so… Again WOW!!!!

      In some cases…..11:56am Sunday, Mar 2/08

      Last night Corinne’s incision (in her side, where they tucked the computer) opened along the scar and started weeping. She was readmitted to the QEII early this morning and will be back in surgery to have that incision cleaned, drained & restitched to close. Hopefully the surgery will be soon & ‘Quick’ …. I’ll let you all know asap but I’ve no idea what kind of timing we’re looking at….

      Through this whole situation, going back thirteen years or better Corinne has always been the exception to the rule …. so much so that her Pharmacist has started referring FIRST to the section in the description of the affects of her ‘new’ drugs that starts with ‘In some cases…..’ No matter what the positive effects that the drug may offer to the average Joe …. chances are that Corinne will react negatively or at least have a reaction that puts her in the 2% of users group. A complicated lady she is! I’ll let you know as things develop….

      Corinne’s Sunday Update 8:05pm Sunday, Mar 2/08

      Corinne is staying in the Hospital till She’s had surgery. They are trying to knock down the infection with high dosages of antibiotic by intervenes ….

      She is to see Dr Mendez asap tomorrow & surgery will be as soon as there is an opening either Monday or Tuesday.
      Even if they operate on Monday … I don’t see her home till Wednesday or Thursday.
      I’ll send info as I know what’s going on..

      Corinne Update 9:30am Monday, Mar 3/08

      Decision this morning is to keep Corinne on the high dose antibiotic till Wednesday / Thursday & clean everything out that way rather than ‘risk’ another surgery at this point. Any changes & I’ll pass them on…..

      Corinne Update 9:14am Tuesday Mar 4/08

      As of Last evening…. The plan is to keep her in the Hospital on High Dose Antibiotics till at least Wednesday & then back to surgery to remove the $168,000.00 computer and the wire that runs through her body to the leads that tie the system to her Spine & nerves.

      The computer and wire would have to be resterilized before it can be reinserted & they feel Corinne would need 3 – 4 months before the infection is gone completely.

      She is still on 65mg of Pregnazone / day (12 years at as high as 100 mg/day when Manufacture says Max daily is 7mg/day) so any infection grows at an increased rate & the condition (Scarcoid) generates nodules that themselves are infected so the risk of going through the whole process to end up the same is high.

      There is a chance they may be able to jury rig a connection through her skin to allow her to continue to get the benefit of the pain control.

      My concern is and always was....

      Another surgery to take out the system & a third down the road means 2 more major surgeries, Corinne has proven to be a challenge for the anaesthesiologist to the point she now carries a medalert card that details the problems & what drugs to stay away from.

      The stress level that her body faces is huge & our family history says the chance of heart failure during surgery is high.

      The last week is the first time in the past 12 years that Corinne has experienced any reduction in the incredible amount of pain that she faces daily …. she takes 7 different drugs to deal with the pain and the effect of the Hugh amounts of Morphine that are required… the system was successful in relieving the pain without requiring the mind numbing amounts of drugs.

      How can anyone face going from a few days of relative freedom from pain to facing the fact that instantly she could be back to spending most of her day unable to move or function because the pain is so bad you want to cry & the drugs your taking make you groggy & you fall asleep standing up….

      Not an easy situation to face… but she cant avoid it… I’ll update when things change!

      TUESDAY MORNING MARCH 4/08 My complicated sister….

      As of this morning Dr. Prudy & Mendez (God’s 1 & 2) plan to take out the infected computer system tomorrow & if they can save the wire they will install a new system on the other side of her gut.

      They also plan on installing a permanent IV shunt so she can stay on the high dose antibiotics.

      The Province of Nova Scotia is so lucky to have these two Doctors and their technology available… all this is ‘new’ application of a ‘new’ technology that has been developed right here at Dalhousie & the QEII through the Brain Repair Center. Tomorrow will tell how things will be……

      10.30 pm March 4/08 The night before the pain came back.

      After all visitors had gone home and the Hospital slowed down for the night, Corinne decided to go for a walk on her last night of freedom. She left her room, cane in hand and strolled around the halls of the QEII for almost two hours, by her self just walking around because she could and might not be able to tomorrow.

      Understand that over the past decade Corinne’s mobility has steadily reduced to the point that just prior to her fires surgery she could not have covered one third of that distance in the same time and she would have ended in a pool of sweat and shivers from forcing herself to take that next step.

      One of the issues faced by any one who suffers from severe chronic pain is that over time your neurological / motor control reacts to the pain by shutting down. With the drug induced diabetic neuropathy suffered by my sister Corinne her brain is constantly getting the message that her feet are on fire and every step telegraphs that message over & over & over at a level of severity that would astonish the rest of us but she keeps moving.

      The Morphine takes the edge off the pain for a while but as the end of the time line nears the pain becomes unbearable. Round & round we go and the effect on her cognitive clarity is noticeable.

      There is nothing wrong with her feet to cause that pain but there is no way to convince Corinne’s brain or the rest of her nervous system. Over time the brains response is to shut down the nerve / muscle motor control. The effect is that [just before the first operation] when Corinne stood at the bottom of a set of stairs she could not not clime up those stairs without grabbing the railing and pulling herself up each and every step.

      The night before the pain returned Corinne roamed the halls with relative ease, testing her feet by trying things that would have previously had her crying in agony but not that night … she went back to her room and to bed tired but not in pain.

      That would end within 12 hours….

      12:50pm Mar 5th

      Surgery is now planned to start at 1:30pm +/- and it will take 2 – 4 hours so it will be supper time but I’ll pass any news along asap…

      6:40pm Mar 5th

      Corinne is out of surgery…. they removed all the contaminated equipment and cleaned out the crap of the infection and sewed her back up.

      There will be a 3 – 6 month break, till she has healed enough and the infection is gone before they will try again.
      The plan is to try again, the system worked but the staff infection was too risky to allow the system to stay. Without removing the equipment there would be no way to get rid of the staff infection, the contaminated equipment would keep restarting the infection.

      Corinne will wake up in the morning in pain….

      March 6/08 The Pain is Back

      I was in to see Corinne in the Step Down Unit on 7.3 at the QEII Health center this morning and it is clear that my sister is going to have a rough tile recovering from this ordeal. As soon as the anaesthetic wore off enough for her to wake up the pain came rushing back … with a vengeance. With in that short break of ten days the memory of how severe that agony was had faded in her memory. The violence with which it returned was evident in her face in her eyes, in her voice and her will.

      12:16pm Mar 9th 08

      The reality of how draining this as been on Corinne is hitting home today but hopefully a couple of days of R&R and she’ll start rebounding.

      I don’t know how she keeps as positive as she is … the pain & the disappointment of loosing the only relief that she’s had in years is so overwhelming that I don’t know if I could handle the situation if it were me…

      March 14/08

      A week after the second surgery [removal of the computer] and Corinne is home, with VON coming twice per day to administer the two IVs of high dose antibiotics for the next two weeks. She is drained physically, emotionally, medically, and in as much or more pain than she has ever endured. Her mobility is back to where it was before the original procedure… its going to be a long slow three months till the surgery is attempted again.

      The reality is that the system worked and the optimism is that given a clean bill of health and a reassessment the next attempt will be successful and she will return to the freedom of controlled pain as long as …naw I’m not even going to think about those risks … not now.

      I’ll let you know…

      Posted in Human Interest, Medical News
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