Photo Blog`s Topic for the week of 2009.10.19

Oct 19, 2009   //   by Richard   //   Photography  //  Comments Off on Photo Blog`s Topic for the week of 2009.10.19

For the past two months I have been posting a photo a day on my photo blog and briefly blogging about the photo. Last week I did something different on my photo blog, I devoted the entire week of photos to one topic, specifically the 27 June 2009 Junior Equestrian Jumping Competition held here in the Cayman Islands. Similarly for this coming week, I will be “photo blogging” about one topic… the photos will be from Haydee and Eric’s lovely Cayman Islands wedding in November 2008.

Enjoy and have a great week,


Part IV – The Surgery

Oct 5, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part IV – The Surgery

After over two weeks of walking around with a broken collarbone, the moment of truth arrived. We arrived at the hospital around 11:30 and I was promptly admitted by a nurse who took all my readings, confirmed my information and placed a “hospital band” on my arm. She also advised that unfortunately all the beds were occupied, so I was free to wander as long as I was back before 13:00.

So my wife and I explored the hospital. Shortly before 13:00 the surgeon came to talk to us. He advised that everything was ready to go; they were just waiting for the previous surgery to conclude. While talking to the surgeon, he received a call advising that the OR was available.

We proceeded to the admittance office where a bed was being wheeled in just for me. A quick change into the ‘oh show me your butt’ hospital gown, a kiss from Brigitte and off I was to my long awaited surgery.

I was delivered to the holding area outside of the surgery room where the nurse verified again all of the details including which collarbone I broke. The Surgeon and the Anesthesiologist stopped by to answer any last minute questions and mark my right arm to ensure everyone saw which one would be operated on.

A few minutes later I was in the operating room being hooked up to the monitoring machines and given oxygen. The next thing I remember was Dr. Vivek calling my name. It was over and went very well. Dr. Sanders updated my wife and although he could not use Plan A, Plan B was just as successful. Plan A and Plan B you say? Plan A was to attach the main collarbone back to the small piece of collarbone from the AC joint. Unfortunately, when he did that, the small piece of collarbone lifted from the AC joint and was also cracked into four pieces…not good. It essentially meant that I tore the ligaments in the AC joint. Plan B was to attach the main collarbone to the right shoulder blade and attach the little piece of collar bone to the main collarbone to allow it to heal.

So, as you can see below, I have a bit of a gap between the main collarbone and the right shoulder blade. The plate has effectively bridged the collarbone.

X-Ray of Richard's Repaired Collarbone

With a successful surgery, I was given a prescription of Percocet / Oxycodone and Cephalexin and sent home.

Next time in Part V – The Recovery

Part III – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – Preparing for Surgery

Sep 12, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part III – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – Preparing for Surgery

In Part II I left off having decided to wait two week until the arrival of Dr. David Sanders, a Canadian trauma orthopedic surgeon. The two weeks passed surprisingly quickly, especially considering that I actually stopped taking my pain medication a few days after the accident. “Mind over matter” as I would say to my wife. I actually didn’t really need the pain medication as I slept most of the time and didn’t move much. The body is amazing how it takes care of itself and does not allow you to overdo it for too long.

On July 13 we met with Dr Sanders. We found him very helpful, and he provided us with all of the pros and cons of surgery versus waiting for the collarbone to heal itself. Yes, believe it or not, there was an option of waiting three to four months to see if the collarbone would set itself. As long as I didn’t mind a collarbone sticking up an inch or so next to my shoulder. The main risk with the surgery was infection. However, no one could remember a case of infection from a surgery that was done on the Island. They have had a few cases, but these occurred with individuals who had their surgery done off Island. One of the downsides to waiting was that if the collarbone did not heal, the other side of my collarbone (attached to the AC joint) would have become ineffective as the body would have started to dissolve it.

Having weighed the options, we decided to go ahead with the surgery and I was advised to arrive the next day at the hospital around 11:30 as my surgery was scheduled for approximately 13:00. I was then introduced to Dr. Vivek, the anesthesiologist – a very nice gentleman whom you immediately feel comfortable with and know he has everything under control. This was especially evident the day we met him as his receptionist was off sick and he was managing the whole office ?. After filling out some forms and discussing my history, Dr. Vivek walked my wife and I though the procedure and answered our questions.

Since I was never a patient at the Cayman Islands Hospital it was strongly suggested that I register after meeting with Dr. Vivek. The Cayman Islands Hospital is a 24 hour full service, 124 bed, non-profit Government Hospital in George Town. From their website: “It offers accident and emergency services; a wide range of surgical services; a Critical Care Unit, physiotherapy; a pharmacy; a central sterilization unit; and laboratory services, including a state-of-the-art forensic unit – along with many other facilities a person would expect in a modern health care setting.” Registration was very easy and we were in and out of the hospital in about thirty minutes.

I was now exhausted and heading home knowing that the surgery was less than 24 hours away and that the surgery team was very experienced and knowledgeable, and that my collarbone repair could not have been in better hands.

Next time in Part IV – The Surgery.

Part II – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – The Orthopedic Surgeons

Sep 6, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part II – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – The Orthopedic Surgeons

As noted in Part I, as a Canadian who always had universal health care, all of our friends and family wanted to know what it was like living in a country where you had private insurance. This multi-part article discusses my experience with the Cayman Islands Health care services after I broke my collarbone in June 2009.

I left off Part I departing the private hospital with my arm in a sling, my collarbone broken and full of pain medication in my system (and pocket) waiting for Monday to see if I could see the Orthopedic specialists. I cannot say I remember much of the weekend, I am told that I slept a lot 🙂

Monday rolled around and my wife was able to arrange an appointment with the Cayman Orthopedic Group. No waiting, the appointment was for Monday! The Group is actually a number of Canadian Orthopedic surgeons, with varying specialties, that rotate throughout the year on one to two week “visits”. Thinking about it, it sure is a really nice gig if you can get it. The surgeon flies down for two weeks, brings his family who has a great vacation, they all stay in the company condo and he makes some money while enjoying the beautiful Caribbean weather with his family.

The surgeon I saw on Monday specialized in reconstructive surgery (i.e. hip replacements). I was impressed by his honesty. He said he could do the surgery but strongly recommended that I wait for two weeks until the next surgeon arrives. It so happens that the next surgeon arriving was Dr. David Sanders from London Ontario who is an orthopedic trauma surgeon for London, Ontario, Canada performing primary and reconstructive surgery for all complex fractures of the pelvis and extremities. It does not take much convincing to wait when a surgeon tells you that you “smashed” the collarbone and that it will be a “bun fight” to get it back together and he recommends you see another surgeon.

Although I was convinced, I had others that suggested I fly to the US or Canada to have it fixed. It appears that this is quite common practice. An interesting part is that my private insurance would have covered 100% of my surgery if I left the Island, but covered only 80% if I stayed. That is one issue that I have never followed up on. Nevertheless, I had decided to stay on the Island and wait for a few reasons. First, I could not imagine flying with a broken collarbone that was floating around and was painful when I walked never mind flying. Second, I felt very comfortable with the Doctors and the health care services on the Island.

We booked the surgery for July 14 and the Orthopedic group began obtaining the necessary approvals from the insurance company. I am told that the local insurance company uses a firm in the United States to review and confirm that the surgery is required. In my case, one look at the X-ray showed it was necessary.

Next time in Part III – Preparing for Surgery.

Kind regards,

Can’t change descriptions in Flickr

Sep 3, 2009   //   by Richard   //   Photography  //  Comments Off on Can’t change descriptions in Flickr

A completely different topic today (still photography related mind you). For quite a long time I have not been able to change the descriptions on my Flickr photos. Normally you can click on the description box below your photo and describe away.

Tonight I decided I would do some research and try to figure out what the issue was. I found a number of posts that said it was related to a Greasemonkey script called Flickr Rich Text. The problem was that I did not have that particular script. Although, I do have a number of scripts, including a Check Play Script that was previously located at that I have just recently finished modifying for the Flickr Foto Competition Group, but I digress. So, I turned off Greasemonkey but I still could not edit my descriptions.

Long story short, it turns out to be a Firefox add-on called Better Flickr 0.3 which uses the Greasemonkey Rich Text script. I found this out here.

Hopefully this will help someone one day and save them a bit of time.

Have a great evening,