Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bombarded with Mortality

I'm in Red Deer right now visiting my sister. Well, that's not entirely true - I'm sitting in the basement writing in my blog while my sister, my mom and my girlfriend partake in an orgy of scrapbooking. When I go upstairs all I see is a flurry of cutting, taping, stamping and god only knows what else.

As some of you may already be aware my mom ended up in a hospital in Mexico while attending my cousin's wedding. My mom, dad and sister went down there and shortly after arriving mom was not feeling well but they wrote it off as her having a cold or something else benign. After a few more days they realized that it was not something minor and off to the hospital she went. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, which, from what I read online, is when your heart is congested and your body is not getting the supply of blood that it requires. Your lungs begin to not function properly and accumulate fluid. This is what happened to my mom, she basically couldn't breath.

Fortunately my family is very conservative and took travel insurance and after a battle with the insurance company my sister managed to secure payment for hospital services rendered and for a medical escort for my mom back to Canada. It took a few days to arrange but a nurse flew out from Toronto with a supply of oxygen and then my mom was given a first class ride home escorted by the nurse and the oxygen supply. I guess that's one way to get into first class.

She was met in Edmonton by an ambulance and taken to the Royal Alexander hospital for observation. She spent three or four days in emergency before she finally got a bed. At least our health care is free though eh? Fuck Klein and fuck PC's and fuck our failing health care system. She arrived Wednesday and was released on the following Wednesday with the diagnoses of "a combination of factors resulting in atrial fibulation", which I translate to "we don't know what happened but we are doctors so it is required for us to appear to look smart so we are going to give you a vague non-conclusive answer. Go team!"

She's fine now, which is why I don't mind joking a little about it but to be honest it scared the crap out of me. When they told me why she was in the hospital the analogy they used was, "It's what grandpa had." "When he died?" "Yah."

While this was going on a friend of mine in Grande Prairie died of a massive heart attack. He was an older gentleman, I'm guessing 60'ish but I'm not really sure. He was a poker acquaintance of mine and as I mentioned in my original blog post I basically started my poker odyssey in the Grande Prairie game so he was influential in my development as a player as well as being an all around great guy. I never knew his real name, he was known simply as Guppy and he was known and liked by everyone. His poker game was fundamentally horrible while artistically beautiful. Watching him play helped me shed my weak tight mind set and opened my mind to the possibility of other styles of play that may be winning. Even today I am over dogmatic in my approach to poker, but when I think of Guppy my views soften slightly. But, more than poker, Guppy was a great guy with great stories. He was everything in excess, including personality and I enjoyed every minute of time I spent at the tables with him. RIP Guppy, you will be missed.

I've played a little poker during the past few weeks since my last blog, but I don't really feel like writing about it. Maybe later.


Jim Roy said...

I'm glad your mom is doing better.

Oddly enough, Guppy was also a force in my poker career. He's also the only man I've ever known about, and I tell this to pretty much anybody who listens, who was both a Christian missionary and a whorin' pimp. RIP Guppy.

buck said...

Thanks man.

Yah, Gup was one of those guys... impossible to know him and not be influenced by him in some way.