Friday, December 5, 2008

Ain't No Nuv..

Had a great, long visit with Ricky today. He was talking a mile-a-minute, and in good spirits.
He has been moved to room 325, where he is able to finally get a whole night's sleep, because he has the room all to himself. No more snoring or cooing aliens. (Don't ask)

Passed along a card (with generous contribution) from the Children's division. Ricky was extremely appreciative of the gift, and said to pass along a thank you to all involved, although he will be able to personally thank those of you who plan to attend the Winter Ball tomorrow night.
Which brings me to my next point..

As I am unable to attend, Ricky is without chaperone. First off, if anyone is planning on being a designated driver, and would like to volunteer to chauffeur Mr.Blair, please post here, and contact him at GF Strong. (Or if you have it, he can be reached at his old cell phone number, which I am hesitant to post here on the world wide web) If he can not arrange a ride, he will probably cab, although he may require assistance in/out of it. He is allowed out until midnight,
at which point he will turn into a pumpkin and/or mice. No more than 2 beers (he may try to convince you otherwise).

-A big thank you to all of the people who have thus far contributed to the Ricky fund. That bursting envelope is going to be a life saver in the new year. Keep it comin'!
-I will be out of town from Dec 19th until the New Year. I will need you guys to be my eyes and ears for that period of time.
-Somebody please hurl playful insults at Ricky from time to time for me at the ball, so he doesn't miss me too much.

Over and out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Double Dinner Debacle

The Jerkface Army invaded GF Strong at 1700 hours this eve.
(Roll Call: Rob, Ian, Jason and myself)

Ricky looked the best he has since this whole fiasco began, some 6 weeks ago.
When we arrived, he wheeled down the hall top speed to greet us. He had just finished dinner.
Right on our heels, his friend Brook (a chef, and all-around solid dude) made his daily visit, with Ricky's 2nd dinner in hand.
At least we know his appetite has returned to normal.
(Normal is a word I don't think I've ever associated with Ricky before..)

His short-term memory issues did not rear their head during our visit.
Ricky was ranting and raving about the staff of GF Strong.
No raving, but there was some ranting about VGH.

He was concerned about his financial situation.
His sick leave runs out in late December, and there will most likely be a gap between that and any sort of disability compensation.
(Very) rough guesstimate of when he will be mobile enough to function normally (twice in one post!) is anywhere from Spring-Summer.

I was hoping it would eventually be a surprise, but I wanted to put his mind at ease, so I told him that there were a few Ricky funds in circulation at VPL, on Level 4, and told him about the amazing fundraising abilities of the Bike Brigade.
He was so overwhelmed and moved he began to tear up a little.

After we made fun of him for being a crybaby, we assured him that all he had to do for his part, was to focus on getting back to 100% health, and to let us worry about the less important stuff.

Between the bikers and the rest of his co-workers we have raised quite a bit. There is still the TEAM RICKY haircut/bake sale/garage sale/fundraiser on the horizon next year.
If anyone else wants to contribute to our Jerkface fund, post a comment below, and we will arrange something.

Also, for those that have not had a chance to see him, your excuses have run out.
He's coming to you.
He has gotten the OK to attend the VPL Winter Ball..

That's all for now, kids.

Your pal and mine,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ricky Blair Fundraiser Postponed

Just spoke to Charles. Due to issues with the venue, and co-ordinating schedules with all of the people orchestrating this event, Nov.30th no longer works. After that, there is no one weekend for the rest of the year that works for all parties involved.

The idea was raised to do this in the new year on Ricky's birthday (Feb 1). This will also give Charles a chance to promote this more on his end.

Charles mentioned that the people with donations for the garage sale portion can still contact him to arrange dropping it off.

More details about Fundraiser Redux will come closer to the date.


The fundraiser this Sunday for Ricky has been postponed.
Details to come on this page and the Facebook group.
(As soon as I know them!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UPDATED: Movin' On Up..

Ricky is in Room 329 at GF Strong
4255 Laurel Street
(604) 734-1313‎

Here is a link to GF Strong FAQ
(directions, visiting hours, things to consider when visiting, blah, blah, etc)


I just heard Ricky has already moved to GF Strong (see post below for address).

If anyone knows any details (about this or anything else that takes place during your visits) please post them in the comments section.

I, unfortunately, can't be there every day. Any help in keeping this as current as possible is appreciated.

I will update this post as soon as I confirm this. Keep your eyes peeled.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Month 1: Done

Jason (aka Big Jerkface), Rob (aka Jerkface #8) & Myself (Vice-Jerkface, acting as Jerkface President in Ricky's absence) saw Ricky yesterday. It was probably the best visit yet, in terms of how much progress he has made.  

His hip has been replaced, and his knee was also operated on. He was in excruciating pain last week, but he says it's much better. He is still sore, but not in agony. The amount of meds he had to take daily has been (roughly) halved. He is moving around (indoors) on a walker, and only uses the wheelchair when going outside. He even seems to have gotten a little color back. He is no longer 'burning hot and itchy', as that was, apparently, a reaction to an anti-seizure med he is no longer taking.  He even seems altogether more coherent (for Ricky). He is aware of his memory issues, and seemed to retain more than all of my previous visits. 

Ricky has made a nemesis. There is a nurse in his ward whom he has dubbed 'Nurse Ratched'.
The good news is, he will not have to deal with her tyranny for long, because..

He is apparently due to move to a new facility that will concentrate more on the physical rehab sometime next week. 

GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
4255 Laurel Street
(604) 734-1313

(Check the blog next week for an update on that, especially on days you plan to visit)

The VPL Bike Brigade is planning to do a 'Ricky Blair Bikeride' to try to raise funds for him.
Details are on the Facebook 'Team Ricky' page under events (bottom right)
or (for those that are not on Facebook) at this link:

Contact Kay Cahill for any further details.

For Ricky's Co-workers:
Level 4 had taken up a collection to get Ricky cable for a month, and stave off the boredom.
He has cable paid through the weekend, and now that he is moving, we will wait until the move to get it.
If you would like to donate to the 'Don't-Make-Ricky-Watch-Paint-Dry' fund, you can leave money with Myself, Maria or Anne Olsen.

One last thing:
Now that he's not critical, we can't think he's completely fine, and stop visiting him. He's doing his part, we have to do ours, so he does not get too bored/depressed/discouraged.

..I think that's it.
Peace out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

State of Ricky Address

As I spend more time with Ricky, the specifics of the damage done are becoming more apparent to me. Last night Rob & I spent a few hours with him, and I watched him basically reset. His head is like a sieve, and new memories are fleeting. (Although he somehow knows an insane amount of current hockey stats) Because of this, he is kind of constantly having to inquire about what happened to him, what is going on with his apartment, etc. This, as you can imagine, is very frustrating for him. I've noticed he is quicker to become agitated when discussing these things. I've had to tell him various times that his family came to see him, and he always seems taken aback, because in his mind, he has not seen them in years. He also seemed to feel he was going to be up and out of there a lot sooner than he actually is. He is trying to make a lot of big decisions from a muddled state of mind. Part of this, I'm sure, is because he has very little control over a great deal of the current situation. What few things he feels he can control, he's going to hold onto for dear life.

Because of his sense of panic, I think he is causing some other people to get concerned for him and these matters, some of those people are taking this out in accusatory ways, and there is a lot of finger pointing and mistrust and general confusion going on right now. I think this is a matter of too many cooks being in the kitchen.

This has to stop. Although everyone is coming from a place of caring about Ricky and his well-being, it will not help him one bit if we are not all on the same page. Criticizing the people who have thus far stepped up the most for Ricky, and made solid committments to him is not at all productive.

The first thing we have to understand is that Ricky may get fired up about things that have been dealt with and not remember.

The second thing is, I have been assured that no one other than Ricky or his family can access his bank accounts, give away his apartment, or take advantage of him in any way. Nor does anyone want to. Rest assured, the right people are aware of all of these issues. That said, if you are really concerned about something, you can message Charles or myself.

Some people have taken issue with 'not being kept up to date'. It would be a full time job to personally message every person as to his status every single day. That is why the blog is here,
and if anything major does happen, good or bad, I will post it here.

All Ricky needs you guys to do at the moment is continue supporting him, sending out your love and good will, and keep the visits coming. Those are his one shining light in a dark time for him.

Well, the visits and the Whoppers...

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Heard Through The Grapevine (a/k/a Jessica)

Ricky has a surgery Tuesday, Nov. 4 on his hip.
(Not sure what time)

It appears he will remain in the hospital for the next 3 months, and there will be 2 or 3 surgeries that will take place during this time, including reconstructive surgery on his face (nose, eye socket), as well as his knee. He seems to be having trouble retaining short-term memories, (such as details of the accident)although this comes and goes.

(any/all of this could change, as Ricky's healing factor is as unpredictable and zany as he is)

Sidebar: I saw him on Saturday, and he was in good spirits, even though he was wearing the Buffalo Sabres Jersey with the logo that looks like Barney Rubble's haircut.
He seems to be alternating, one good day, one bad day. Non-visiting hours are rough for him,
as he can't go anywhere by himself, and is therefore trying to avoid going the route of Jack Nicholson in 'The Shining'.
He is overwhelmed with the amount of people that care about him, and all the gifts/cards he received.
(Keep 'em coming. He's in there for a while.)

That's all for now. As you were..

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ricky's New Room

Ricky is now on the 6th floor, in Room 6660, Jim Pattison Pavillion. The suggested visiting times as of my last visit were
10 AM - 6 PM (7 days a week).

As you all know, Ricky is a restless soul, and a nomad. Being pent up, by himself for large periods of time is very hard for him. The best gift you can give him is your company.

That said, he won't turn down any loot, so you can now bring him things to help combat the boredom. He has a portable DVD player, so people can lend him movies. If you want to go the plant route, I would suggest something that doesn't require a lot of care, as his mobility is still fairly minimal. (maybe a cactus?)

Other things that he likes:
-sports (his hockey team is the Buffalo Sabres),
-toys (the weirder, the better)
-Jason (from Friday the 13th), Predator (from Predator)
and Boba Fett (from Star Wars)
-Burger King Whoppers

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Ricky "Buffalo" Blair Fundraiser

Charles has set this up on Facebook for Ricky. Here is the info posted there.

Sunday, November 30, 2008
11:00am - 6:00pm
1259 Granville Street

Contact Info
Phone: 6042187484

"Team Ricky it is time to unite. When Ricky gets out of the hospital he will not only need our love and attention, he will also need money. There will be all sorts of therapy and personal things that Ricky will need. The Ricky "Buffalo" Blair Fundraiser will be three events in one: First will be the cut-a-thon. Hairdressers from Stratosphere Hair Salon, JuJu Salon & Spa and Blanche MacDonald will be cutting hair by donation. (There will be a $20 minimum for cuts, another $30 minimum for color and $10 if you just want to have your hair styled). There will be 12 chairs going at all times.Secondly we will be having a bake sale run by Joshua Zuckermann and Julian Bafaro. We will need volunteers to bake and to sell.Thirdly there will be a garage sale run out of Stratosphere Hair Salon. We will also need volunteers and donations for this one as well.Our financial goal for this event is $4000. Of course more money will be needed, but this will be a good start.If you can volunteer, bake or donate please contact us at All donations can be dropped of at Stratosphere Hair Salon. Please call Charles @ 604.218.7484 first though.We are all excited here at Team Ricky and look forward to a great event...PS Any donations can be made out to Ricky Blair and sent to Stratosphere Hair Salon 1259 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M5"

(the link below requires you to log-in, so you need to have a facebook account)

You can also post to the comments on this blog if you plan to attend or volunteer your services.

There is also this Facebook group for Ricky (also run by Charles), where you can post/view photos or messages to our pal:

TEAM RICKY (Honorary Sabres)

(you do not have to log-in to view this link, although you do if you want to join the group and post anything there)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update 7

Charles has given the go-ahead!

'Visit Ricky at VGH's NICU unit, 5A (Yes 5th floor) in the Jimmy Pattison Pavilion. Use the phone in the waiting room to the right to ask to enter. They may be performing some kind of procedure. Come one come all. Ricky is awake and ready for guests..'

In order to avoid all of us showing up at once, you can use the 'add comment' area below to broadcast the day and time you are planning to visit. It is probably best if we go in small groups.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update 6: The update-iest of them all

Kevin & I went to see Ricky this evening.

His breathing tube was removed, although he was still wearing an oxygen mask. Heart rate, blood pressure, and the amount of oxygen his lungs are receiving are all good, though he still has a mean cough.

He has some cuts and scrapes, and bruising and swelling around his right eye, over where the cheekbone will have to be repaired when he gets his strength back up. He is going to have a pretty tough-looking scar on his head, just above the hairline. There is a long line of staples, and a smaller area near that with a handful of stitches.

Apparently, today was the best he's done so far. He was conscious for large parts of the day. His eyes widened when he saw me, then went squinty, as if suspicious, and I'm fairly certain he said "Jerkface".

Other than that, he was responding to most things we said, and his eyes went wide at the mention of hot nurses. The combination of the mask/cough/grogginess makes him a little difficult to understand, but that's not that different from pre-accident Ricky.

Those of us that know Ricky, know he can be his own worst enemy. Apparently, Friday he pulled his own breathing tube out, a feat he attempted to repeat a few times today. He kept trying to get up and was attempting to convince us to help him escape. Once we mentioned the hot nurses again, he settled down a little.

He is still very weak, and not ready for visitors. Kevin & I will continue checking on him. If his progress jumps day-to-day at the rate it has been, he will be moved from ICU to neuro-ward, where we can arrange a schedule, so everyone can see him.

There is still a long road ahead of Ricky, but I think we can all breathe a little easier. It appears the worst has passed. He has a lot of fight still in him, and his strength through all this has been astounding. A lesser man may not have survived what he has.
(Don't tell him I said that though, okay?)

Update 5

This just in:
Our height-challenged friend still has pneumonia & a fever, and various tubes attached to him.
(Breathing and intravenous)
However, he is responding to the nurses, and 'every hour there is a change in his face'.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update 4 (Updated)

I just learned they postponed his surgery Sunday (not sure why).

Received an update from Charles:
"He was up with his eyes open responding with a thumbs up to questions this morning."
(At least we know our little nomadic friend can still hitchhike)

Charles is going to see him tonight after work.
Should have more details then..

UPDATE: For those that did not read Charles' comment below,
the surgery was postponed due to the fact that he contracted pneumonia.
They are treating it with antibiotics, and he is responding well.
When the pneumonia passes, they will again consider surgery. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Update 3

Some good news!

He is out of coma, motor skills intact. 
No head pressure worries, or spine/neck worries.
The surgery is merely cosmetic (no danger of losing his sight, etc).

All that said, he still has a long way to go.
As soon as we can visit, I will let you all know.

Update 2

We managed to locate Ricky's family, and they have authorized a surgery tonight.
It is a 2-4 hour procedure, that involves a plate being put under his eye.
(to 'save the eye in the structure of the skull')

Ricky's family will be here on Sunday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update 1

Hi everyone - Ricky was involved in a very serious accident Wednesday night and is in the ICU at Vancouver General Hospital. He was hit by a car while riding his scooter. He was in a coma and breathing through a ventilator, however, we just got an update from a very good friend of his, Charles, that he is off the ventilator now but has not regained consciousness. At this point his known injuries are cuts, bruises and a hip that was knocked out of joint. It is expected that he will have head injuries but the extent will not be known until he regains consciousness. The hospital has asked that no one visits or phones for now.

We will keep you up-to-date on any more information as we receive it.