Friday, November 27, 2009
I think spending the holidays with friends is something everyone should try now and again. Family is wonderful, but friends for dinner is so completely different. Last night we had an incredible Thanksgiving with our friends Marc and Carol (and Carol's family). Brined turkey, sausage stuffing, three kinds of cranberry sauce, everything done expertly! By the time we got to desserts, I was stuffed! Thank you all. It was a spectacular way to enjoy the holiday.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Yesterday my dad, my brother Martin and Hazy made a whirlwind tour of NY. It was so great to see them all! I only wish it could have been a longer visit. After a fun dinner at the Glenwood Pines, we headed to Lansing to watch Aurora at hockey practice. She was so cool.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Talk about porcelaineous skin!
Yeah, I seldom have images of myself... but enough about me has changed that it was time to show my face. Nancy gave me a wicked-cool haircut this friday. I love it!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I know no one wants to hear the bad shit. I try to remain positive everyday, but nights like this make me feel like I am losing my mind. If I could cut off my left arm, just to stop this incessant nerve pain, I would do it. It is absolutely mind-crushing.
Just took round two of heavy meds, hoping for a pharmacological solution to this pain and frustration. I hate taking any medications. But I also need sleep. I think a dose of valerian earlier in the night might help. I worry about adding more to this already potent mix of meds though.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
There's no mistaking one therapy for another. This is the real deal. They are slowly but surely rebuilding my busted body and replacing it with one who just might be able to dance!
Today we dealt with the right shoulder's bursitis, the left shoulder's over stressed muscles, my ongoing pain in my feet, calves and shins, and my abdominal pain from the surgery. Yeah, we hit all that fun in nearly 2 hours of PT.
Somehow though, I wish I could go back tomorrow for more. My ankles and feet feel better after a brutal day on balance boards and wobbly squishy balls. My arms move better after being twisted and leveraged out of their painful locked up state. Best of all, coordination is growing by leaps and bounds. Proprioception is the big word of the week. Can't wait for next week!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Instead, I figured it was a good time to share some of my favorite images from my first non-family portrait shoot. My plan is to do more portraiture over the next year. I have a long way to go, but I am starting to have a vision for what I want. In this case, I needed to come up with high school senior pictures for a beautiful young lady. Very specific requirements. Here are the results:
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Since I can't make pots for a few more months (need to wait for this deep wound to heal)...here are a few of the pots I made before I went in for surgery. More coming later in the week as we start packing pots to ship orders that were placed back in the summertime. That's right... orders are almost finished. Anyone waiting on anything blue or cranberry have a couple more weeks to wait since we need to mix more glaze and then glaze like mad. Should be at least one firing's worth, maybe two.
Friday, November 13, 2009
This is verbatim from Seneca White Deer Inc.This is a fascinating story, and day after day, folks stop along the fenceline just to see these white deer. They arent tame but they are less afraid of people. Pretty amazing!
WHITE DEER HISTORY
How It Began
In 1941, 24 miles of security fencing enclosed the area now known as the Conservation Area (CA) of the former Seneca Army Depot. Captured within the fence line of the CA were several whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) of the normal brown coloration. Within a few years, however, something unique happened. White pigmented deer began populating the brown deer herd within the CA. The U. S. Army, sensing something unique was taking place, gave the white deer protection while they managed the brown deer through hunting. This was necessary to keep the population within the carrying capacity of the habitat of the CA.
How did the white deer coloration manifest itself within the CA?
It appears one or more of the brown whitetails originally confined with the CA, carried the recessive gene for white coloration. Over time and with protection from the military, this normally recessive gene continued to manifest itself. Today, the CA is home to the world’s largest and only herd of white deer, nearly 200 individuals strong. Such a density of white deer can be found no where else in the world!
White deer have brown eyes unlike albino deer that are pink eyed. It is also not uncommon to see brown does with white fawns or white does with brown fawns. The color combinations of white and brown deer range from gray to brown as well as white spotting along with pure white.
How are they protected now?
To protect the entire deer herd, the maintenance of the 24 miles of fence must be maintained. Within the fenced area of the CA, the white and brown deer can be properly managed through hunting to keep the herd healthy. If the fence line degrades, and the deer escape, especially the white deer, they are heavily sought as trophies and will perish quickly.
How you can help protect them in the future?With your help, this unique natural resource, the white deer of the former Seneca Army Depot, can be preserved for generations to enjoy and marvel. To help in this endeavor, check out on how you can assist
COPYRIGHT © 2002-2009 Seneca White Deer Inc.
Thanks to Seneca White Deer Inc. for posting this great information.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Would I like to go on a photo excursion to take pictures of the white deer, says he. A field trip thinks I. OH BOY! A chance to get outta the house and not a chore, not a doctor's appointment, not to the hospital! YOU BETCHA!
Three thirty rolled around and we were off to the east side of Seneca Lake, to the old Seneca Army Depot, where they have snow white deer. The light was falling and the air had a nice crisp snap to it.
We were able to get pretty close, oftentimes within 10 feet. Fall light is fleeting and by 5pm, it was too dark to shoot more. Coming home I was so excited and tired. Jazzed to be out doing something fun, and tired from getting in and out of the SUV, sore from trying to walk and stand on the uneven roadside ditch grass. But most of all, I was thrilled to have friends who are willing to go out of their way to come and visit, take me places and keep me from going stir-crazy while I recuperate!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have found over the past few days that walking out on the road has gotten easier and I can go incrementally further. There is always pain; due mostly to lack of muscle tone and flexibility. It's as though I have the physique of an infant trapped in a 200# body. Really hard on the joints!
Aurora is watching Dune tonight. Things she noticed: the Fremen soldiers using the "weirding module" look much like I did with my trach tube in place. The guild navigators had tubes running from the back of their heads to their nose which apparently much like the O2 monitor that I wore in the ICU. That O2 monitor left a groove in my forehead. Aurora and Nancy said that grants me entry into the Dent Head Club. Now we all have dents!
When Dr. Wang and I locked eyes yesterday she took a double-take and then looked like she might cry. My heart sank, knowing that she had no idea what I had been through. For the better part of twenty minutes we talked about the ordeal. Nancy had to do most of the talking because I totally lost it. I find it incredibly difficult to talk about what was done to me in order to keep me alive.
I had been worried about going to acupuncture because usually when she works on me, I am on my side and she fills my lower back and shoulders with needles. Yesterday though she kept me laying on my back. Apparently my "life force" was severely depleted by the month and a half long sedation. Yeah... I would have to agree. I have no stamina, no strength, and everything hurts all the time.
During acupuncture though, my body floated. No pain, no sensation. I wish sleep brought such relief. I am sleeping like shit. I might get 3 hours uninterrupted. Then I either am in too much pain to fall asleep or I have to go to the bathroom, or I simply cant get comfortable. Any one position too long just aches.
Sorry to bitch and moan.
The good news is that our friends Carol and Gordon loaned us their battleship of a recliner... this MONSTER Barcalounger. Finally I was able to get comfortable downstairs! This means we can get rid of the loaner from the rental place in town.
And it means I can nap without having to climb stairs to our bedroom.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
It does seem like some of this increase in pain is due to opiate reduction. My Fentanyl patch is a lot smaller this changeover. Another 5 days and then I am off the patches.
The great news is that I get to go to acupuncture tomorrow morning! I am a little nervous because I cant lay on my stomach, and getting onto my side takes a lot of effort... but we'll figure something out. For now, I am just excited to know I can get help to stem the waves of pain my back is going through.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It is scary and disturbing to think that all the time in the coma has had such an effect on my body. Being horizontal for over 6 weeks wreaks havoc on your organs, which are designed to be vertical most of the time.
On top of my heart trouble fears, I also had a wickedly brutal two days of PT. Today we went outside again. This time walking on uneven ground using trekking poles to steady me. I didnt really think about how exhausted I was, but when I got to my OT session I nearly passed out. To recover, I sat down in the recliner in my room. Two minutes later I zonked out. I had to be rolled to back to my room because I was so unsteady. Scary.
Now, I am ready to sleep and get ready for my departure tomorrow. I cant believe it is finally time for me to leave the hospital! I will have my own bed to sleep in tomorrow night. I still have about 1/10th my original strength, so even simple things like walking to the bathroom exhaust me. But at least now I can move that far.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Then they would move me to a reclining chair with the premise that being upright would help circulation and help get me over my pneumonia (which it did). For the first week, being upright made me cry. It was all I could do to sit up. I couldn't even hold myself upright. I would start to lean within about 4 minutes. Some days the PT nurse would do range of motion exercises and I couldnt even add any input. By the end of the second week, about the time I could finally talk via this device attached to my trach tube, I was ready to speak my mind.
Instead I found myself so grateful to be able to communicate, to be able to tell Nancy how much I loved her, to be able to talk to Aurora to let her know I was ok and that she was loved... with all of that foremost in my mind, I couldnt really complain.
Which brings me to my thought for the evening: there is a transition from being helpless to being able to begin to help yourself. For me, I knew I was making that transition when I was able to help encourage others on the rehab ward. So what does it mean to help yourself? What does it really mean to be helpless? How does one ask for help? I am lousy at asking for help. Yet as soon as I was unable to physically ask for help, it came out of the woodwork.
I cant begin to thank everyone who has helped Nancy, Aurora and I. Without a doubt, we couldn't have done it without help. I would not have made it back from that coma without all the help we received. Saying thank you sounds so small compared to how I feel. I am so thrilled to be alive... to be back... to know I have more life to live.
Many friends have asked what it was like in the coma. I am going to try to write about it. I will probably try to put it into a small book form rather than the blog. If you have a desire to read it when it's finished, let me know. I can tell you it wont all make sense and the imagery is both personal and surreal.
For now though, I need to catch up on some sleep before another day of PT tomorrow.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I would love to find solutions to this ongoing sensation. Some part of me is thinking it could be tied to any one of the numerous meds I am taking... anti-clotting meds, zoloft (still havent gotten anything definitive about zoloft), various pain meds like fentenol (sp?), vicodin, blood thinner, blood pressure meds,... all of which have likely side effects. The question is whether that is the root cause. My suspicion is that this anxiety is pharmaceutical rather than psychological stems from the timing. 8-9pm, regardless of lighting, sounds, or visual stimuli make me think it isnt just night falling. Gotta be something more.