A snowy and cold winter wonderland won’t leave us alone. I’m looking forward to spring and summer. February and March 2022!

 I made valentines cards for the teams from Camrose Association For Community Living! My mom did my fingernails Valentine’s Day themed.

For Valentine’s Day there was a Valentine’s Day dance at Centra Cam and we watched Marry Me on demand on Valentine’s Day evening. I made Valentine’s Day poster at Centra Cam about the love languages.

For Theresa’s birthday presents we went to the Beauty and the Beast play on the 1st weekend in February which was awesome. We watched the actual movie before we saw the play while playing Candy Land it was my Christmas present from Craig! I helped my staff clean my fishbowl.

For Theresa’s birthday we went out with Maryann, for lunch and then we had DQ ice cream cake for dessert! Theresa got flowers from her sister and brother and sister-in-law and balloons from Kat.   She had a great day, she even got to go swimming with Maryann in the evening on her birthday!

The last weekend in February we spring cleaned out my room and donated items. We drove them to the donation bin with Centra Cam!

In March we started doing my favourite Job the School presentations on google meet.  They are going really well except for the computer issues. My favourite part is answering the questions from the students and getting feedback from the students and teachers.

My mom and our girlfriends went to Fox n Fable on a Saturday afternoon.

My Mom and I made brownies on Sunday afternoon, we ate them with ice cream and chocolate sauce. My mom gave me a facial.

 We played name that Irish tune on one Friday night with Rose club!

We played St. Patrick’s Day bingo on a Friday evening with Rose Club and I got four corners.

On St. Patrick’s Day we had a school presentation, and I went home for green blueberry pancakes with sausage.

We had Rose Club Radio on Saturday night, Theresa and I had a great time listening to music and funny sayings on the radio.

 We celebrated our brother Joel and Ashley’s birthday party on Sunday night with Skyway Chinese food and we had caramel cheesecake for dessert. Joel’s birthday is March 19 and Ashley’s birthday is March 28.  Happy birthday Ashley and Joel!   After they left, we watched Chasing Happiness with the Jonas brothers and a few weeks ago we watched Black Shelton Country Voice. 

 I wasn’t able to get to my parent’s house during the week because they were getting ready for new cupboards and appliances in the kitchen and they took some walls out.

We are excited about Grandpa Ray coming in April! He’s a super good helper with the Cupboards and we appreciate it! I think we might be having Easter with him!  

On Friday evening we had Rose Club Craft night. We did water colour paint flowers and birds. It was Super duper fun evening.

I hope you had a good February and March. I hope you enjoyed my blog see you next time. ~ Kelsey

Taylor and his experience with Covid

I met Taylor through my brother Joel and his group of friends! My Mom said that I should interview him and this experience with Covid! He lives in Edmonton as an OT so it was hard to get a picture of us!  Taylor is nice person and was very friendly to me and everyone that he knows! I hope you enjoy reading this blog and his experience with covid and his experience as a physiotherapist.

Kelsey: How did you know that you had Covid?

Taylor: I first suspected that I had Covid when I was feeling unwell in September, I later became more worried when I noticed that my sense of taste was dulled. I soon had my suspicions confirmed by the results of a PCR test the next day.

Kelsey: What were your symptoms and how long did they last?

Taylor:  I found that my symptoms were similar to a really bad cold, additionally I had significant fatigue and a loss of taste and smell. Most of my symptoms gradually improved over 10 days but some have continued to linger, I still have some issues with strenuous exercise.

Kelsey: Are you vaccinated?

Taylor:  I’m happy to say that I am; I was double vaxxed when I caught Covid and have since received my third dose.

Kelsey: What’s your reply to people who say vaccinations don’t work because you can still get Covid?

Taylor:  Great question Kelsey, I’ve had a few conversations on this topic. I like to compare vaccinations to wearing your seatbelt: it may not completely prevent an injury in a car accident, but it can certainly reduce the severity of the incident. I’m grateful to have been vaccinated when I got sick as my experience could have been much worse. I’d encourage anyone with vaccination questions to ask a trusted healthcare worker about their concerns.

Kelsey: Do you know how you caught Covid? Where were you working at the time?

Taylor:  I’m pretty confident that I caught Covid at work as I tend to be around some very sick individuals. It’s hard to ever be certain of exposures as rates were quite high at the time, but I was working in an ICU environment where Covid was very prevalent.

Kelsey: What is your current job?

Taylor:  I’m currently working as a Physiotherapist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital; this provides me opportunities to work with some incredible colleagues and help a diverse group of people.

Kelsey: What is your education?

Taylor:  I completed a Masters of Science in Physiotherapy from the University of Alberta, and previously received a Bachelor’s of Science at Augustana Campus.

Kelsey: What are your hobbies?

Taylor:  In my spare time I still like to shoot some hoops, play a little music, and get together with friends (in whatever creative form restrictions permit). I’ve enjoyed finding new outdoor activities last summer and I hope to be thrown off my bike less next year.

Kelsey: Where did you grow up?

Taylor:  I grew up in Camrose AB, a rural community southeast of Edmonton.

My Friend Kirsten and her experience with COVID

My friend Kirsten and I met in high school. Kirsten was in grade 12 and I was in grade 10. We had a great group of friends that Kirsten and I would visit at lunch time every day! For my 17-birthday party we got to decorate cupcakes and got to go bowling! When Kirsten said that she got Covid, I was worried about her and her husband Adam.

Kelsey: What’s was your symptoms and how did you feel like when you had COVID?

Kirsten: My husband’s symptoms started the Monday night, and he had a headache and scratchy throat. The next day he was nauseated, vomiting and had a bad cough. My symptoms started Thursday evening/Friday morning with a cough, fever, nasal congestion. We are both triple vaccinated and thankful to be! He works in a long-term care as a geriatric social worker and his work has been so careful to protect their residents as many of them would likely have severe outcomes from Covid. And myself I’m an RN who has a regular position in the ER and am currently training and working temporarily in the OR (operating room). I was also reassigned to work in ICU for a few months this fall to assist them when the delta variant of Covid was overwhelming the ICU. 

Kelsey: Were you scared when you found out it was covid? Your husband had it before you, how did you know if you got it as well? How long did you have covid? What were your thoughts about your experience with covid?

Kirsten: We were a bit scared and sad and frustrated to get Covid as we have tried to be so careful and protect ourselves and those around us. We had also just finally that Saturday booked our honeymoon trip we’ve had to postpone twice already to go to Mexico from January 25 to February 1st but we booked Saturday and he got sick on Monday, so we had to postpone again which made me very sad! The last two years have been very challenging and overwhelming being in healthcare (as well they have been hard for everyone though!) and we’ve very much isolated ourselves from everyone due to our high exposure risk to try to protect those around us. Our friends were great and checked in on us and offered to bring us groceries while we isolated, my husband’s one co-worker brought us some groceries. Our friend’s daughter (our niece) video called me every day to ask if aunty was feeling okay and to check on me. Our family checked on us frequently and offered to bring us things as well. We were just grateful we didn’t get anyone else sick or expose anyone as you can be contagious for a couple days before showing symptoms.

Kelsey: What’s was your childhood like?

Kirsten: My childhood was amazing! I have the best family and was so fortunate growing up to see my parents and how much they love one another and love us. We had a great education and a great supportive home life. We played lots of sports, had great times camping and on family vacations. I know not everyone has been so fortunate and I am forever grateful. I am still very close with my Mom and talk to her every day and miss my dad who passed away in 2017 every day as well.

Kelsey: What school did you go to, how did you know that you wanted to be a RN?

Kirsten: My brother and I are close and I am fortunate to be very close to his wonderful fiancé as well now and consider her my sister! I went to Jack Stuart, Charlie Killam and CCHS. My mom is an RN and retired in February 2013, and often encouraged me to try something else or study something else in school as shift work is quite challenging and she knows working in healthcare can be very challenging. I originally thought I wanted to be an OT (occupational therapist) which is a masters degree and you need a bachelors degree to get into. So my mom then suggested I take my Bachelor of Science in nursing as then there’s also a job waiting at the end if I decided not to pursue my masters right away. I then fell in love with nursing! I graduated from MacEwan University with my BSc in Nursing in 2016. I worked in Camrose from 2015-2018 and then moved to Edmonton in Feb 2018 to try new opportunities and to be closer to Adam (and now we’re married so I’d say it was a great move!)

Kelsey: Did you get the vaccine?

Kirsten: We both felt very fortunate to get our vaccines! I believe in the science behind the vaccines and can attest that my time in the hospital and in the ICU has proven that the unvaccinated have had far worse symptoms and outcomes than those who are vaccinated (both those who are perfectly healthy otherwise and those with comorbidities!) I cried tears of relief when I got my first dose January 6th, 2021. I feel it prevented me from getting sick prior to my recent experience of having the Omnicron variant of Covid and also prevented me from having more severe symptoms. My work hasn’t been greatly impacted by the vaccine besides shortening how long I had to isolate once becoming sick. Very few coworkers that I’m aware of have left from the mandate to get the vaccine and I think we are very fortunate we are vaccinated.

Kelsey: How’s work, what’s are the rules at work?

Kirsten: Work is hard! Covid rules are often changing and evolving so lots of new policies to read and try to keep up with. We do a “fit for work” every day before our shift starts where we answer screening questions to ensure we aren’t coming to work sick. If you are sick you stay home, and the rules changed just before I got Covid where if you are fully vaccinated and your symptoms are improving you can return to work 5 days after showing symptoms. We are expected to do continuous masking and wear eye protection at all times, and if we have our mask off to eat or drink it has to be in a designated area and be 6 feet apart from everyone. We wear N95 masks (special fit, higher protection than regular masks) for all close patient contact now whereas previously they only wanted us to do it for high risk activities like intubation, extubation, doing CPR or other aerosolizing procedures. Another health related issue we could talk about sometime is organ donation or transplants! My dad had an autoimmune disorder and needed a liver transplant, and he was a big advocate and now our family is continuing to honour him that way!

Kelsey: What’s do you say to people who don’t get vaccinated?

Kirsten: I can’t make the choice for people, but I felt completely safe trusting the science behind the vaccine and felt much safer and more protected having my vaccines. The sickest people I’ve seen have been unvaccinated and many have expressed regret for not getting vaccinated, especially those I saw while in ICU.

Here is a website if you need information regarding COVID 19

https://www.cdc.gov/?fbclid=IwAR1roHIUyyLnF17kcZ5R0fMKcyjl2nldH75kcs1wYi9vY1jh7rs0qwUsaps

Thank you Kirsten for sharing your Covid story with us. I am really happy you and Adam are okay!