Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not very relaxing so far

Coping is one way to describe how things are going up here in the far north. Last night, I would’ve described myself as depressed and in despair, but a friend is coming up with her kid, and hopefully we can share the workload with her. (Mr.Cotta is doing a LOT of cooking, have to give him credit, it’s just not much of a vacation for him either that way.)

At minimum, she can help us watch over Mac, who is becoming the master of disaster up here. We’ve already been to the hospital twice, once to repair a massive cut he had acquired on his back, and the other time to deal with the consequences of a deerfly or blackfly bite, we weren’t sure which. The square inch of skin he sheared off was glued on to his back and sealed with a gigantic waterproof dressing, and the allergic reaction to the bite is healing with Benadryl and Claritin being used to prevent another one. The bite was freaky because his forehead swelled up with a welt 5 inches across, 3 inches high, and 1 inch deep. It has since slowly drained down through his sinuses etc, swelling the space between his eyes, blackening them both, and enlarging his nose and cheekbones along the way. My poor baby looked so bruised and sad it was heartbreaking.

It’s a thirty km roundtrip by car to the nearest town with a hospital, and really, it’s more like an ER with a helipad to get patients to bigger hospitals. They have lots of shiny fab equipment thanks to the government, but very few staff. Most have been lured away by U.S. hospitals recruiting teams promising big bucks apparently. So God forbid anything bad happens, we’re kind of screwed. By next week we’ll be back in the big city, but what the heck do the locals do? I feel awful for them. Of course, there are very very few locals up here.

To give you some perspective, I can’t make links, but we are about 50 km south of Algonquin Park, and about 3 hours drive north of my big city. If you looked at a map of Ontario, that little town I mentioned? Doesn’t even show up at all. Maybe 5,000 people spread over thousands of square kms.

And this is the populated area of rural Ontario. There is an entire riding north of Lake Superior (Google Kenora, Ontario to see the centre of it) larger than the country of France, seriously…and only 90,000 people in all of it. (Artblog, what is the population of France right now? Heck of a lot more than that I assume.) Groceries have to be flown in, nevermind Doctors, so yes, health care access can be a challenge in our country and there is a reason for it.

I am so lonely up here, I’m raving away at you all with useless trivia aren’t I? Sorry…

This is a very weird way to write a post, I find. I am typing this on word and then pasting and copying it onto blogger, to save time on dial up. (I know some of you do it this way all the time, but I find myself most creative when I just open up the post window and type. Just me maybe?)

Seriously, how the heck did the internet every get started if dial up was the maximum speed possible? Jesus H. Christ people, it’s like going back to the world of DOS!

Myself, I always liked to create everything on a computer, or wherever I felt comfortable, really, whatever floats your boat. The one thing I do believe is necessary is having options, like knowing how to spell in case the spell checker software breaks, or only allows American spelling, and not Canadian spellings. (Yes, there is a difference.) Like it’s good to know things, just in case the technology temporarily fails, but really, in this day and age, why the hell shouldn’t I have access to whatever technology I need?

This cottage has electrical power access and phone lines, but not high speed DSL? Silly. The province could put WIFI signal receivers on top of every hydro pole along every rural road, and make it free for residents or travelers. It would increase access to medical care using video or pictures sent by email between patients and personnel, increase access to distance education, boost the local economy by letting people work from home etc, but hey why do something sensible? Instead they seem to being waiting for the private sector to take over. Not exactly a plan so far, IMO. To expensive for phone companies and cable, they only care about the big cities, dickheads.

I’ve often wondered why so few bloggers seem to be in rural areas. Well, between my inability to click through bloglines on dial up, (yes, nightmare, please let me know if someone has a crisis so I can visit their site), and my terror as I raced down a road trying to get my kid to a hospital, yep, I get it. I can’t even imagine living out here and dealing with infertility or trying to do a job that required me to be online with any frequency.

‘Scuse me, I have to go lock up the garbage against bears now. No I’m not kidding, BEARS people. We even have to call ahead before we go to the dump at the end of the week, so the guys with shotguns can meet us and protect us while we throw it out.

Always an adventure with me, eh?


  1. I can't believe the poor little guy had that bad of a reaction to a fly bite! I hope he is feeling better!

  2. Good grief! That bite sounds horrible and to have it on his face?!

    I would love to have an adventure with you in real life. As long as the wine can be kept safe from the bears, life is good.

  3. Lordy! Just one of those adventures with Mac would've had me scurrying back to civilization. Add to that the tech withdrawal? You're a much stronger woman than I am, AC. But then, I knew that ;-)

  4. Oh, poor Mac! Poor you! I hope the rest of your time there passes swiftly and without injury!

  5. See at the beginning of the internet all we had was text - remember usenet? Even the early web was pretty basic. And we didn't know anything better. I remember when 28.8 seemed really speedy...and the day before aol joined itself to the internet. Aah, halcyon days. Sorry to hear your break is anything but.

  6. Man, you are roughing it!!! Dial up! Ack! I remember the 28.8 seeming speedy days. I don't think I could ever go back to that.

    Hope your little guy is feeling better.

  7. Goodness. What a "vacation." My parents have a cabin in the US "Northwoods" and it's not nearly so, uh, disconnected or remote. The hospital is 40 minutes away, but it's a fully function trauma center. My mom complained about it incessantly, and now my sister and her family stay in a hotel in town and visit the lake during the day.

    Well, I hope you'll treat yourself to a few nice spa days when you get time to get everyone packed off to school.

  8. Any chance you could end your so-called vacation early? Because this sounds like no fun at all. But I'm kind of a cosmic wimpout about these things.

  9. First let me say I hope your little guy is feeling all better soon. I can't believe a bug bite did all that. You just never know.

    And second BEARS!! They really have to shoot at bears so you can dump your trash. I have to say I don't believe I don't want to visit there. Having to run from bears is just not my thing.

    I do hope that you get some enjoyment out of this little vacation.

  10. I hope the little one heals quickly. No, it doesn't sound like fun right now. Maybe it is one of those trips, that you can laugh about after the fact?

    But, I must admit I laughed outloud at the prospect of having guards with shot guns because of the bears. I mean, obviously you would need to do that. The visual!

  11. Your next vacation needs to be on a Caribbean island with waiters delivering drinks, wifi at the pool, and on-site child care.

  12. Next vacation needs to be with me, sans children and husbands, at an all inclusive resort. We can dream, right?

  13. Mac's reaction sounds awful--hope he is feeling better soon. Hope you get to enjoy a little of your vacation, besides the garbage drop off, that is. Yikes! Shotguns and all.