tired eyes

May. 20th, 2002 06:35 am
magid: (Default)
The combined effects of not enough sleep and a long time in a cat-environment are not pretty the next day....

busy week

May. 15th, 2002 06:40 pm
magid: (Default)
So much going on, it's been hard to keep up.

half a week )
magid: (Default)
The previous post turns out not to be the last hand one, after all.

I saw the doctor yesterday. He took some fluoroscope pix again, and I can see where the break was pretty clearly (though for some reason there's a 3 week lag between the bone knitting and it showing up). Still, I've gotten back a range of motion that apparently surprises the doctor. I'm about 8 weeks past the pinning, which is, according to him, the time with the most recovery. And the most of the rest s/b in the next 8 weeks (*sigh* possibly 8 more weeks of hand exercises.). So I see him next month to evaluate progress.

But the biggest part of this visit for me was: I can now ride my bike! Hooray! No more need to eye enviously even all those jerks riding without helmets, without signalling, etc. And just when I was feeling I would turn permanently into a slug, too. I am so out of shape :-(. I wonder how long it'll take to get back to speed, as it were...)

Of course, I should get my bike tuned up, but with Shavuot tomorrow night, I don't have time for extra errands this week..
magid: (Default)
I went to physical therapy this afternoon, got to toss a ball around, push myself off a wall, stuff like that to work on hand coordination (didn't have much hand-eye coordination before, so why now...?) and hand strength.
And after I did some more stuff with the blue silly putty, the therapist told me I'm pretty much close to done. Already?! She measured my finger when in a fist, and the base knuckle has 5 more degrees of rotation than last Friday.
I see the doctor tomorrow, and she's written a note that I should be at 1x/week for therapy, and that for another 2 weeks...

I don't quite feel ready; it still feels like there s/b something more I can do, 'cause it definitely doesn't feel "back" totally to me... (though it did feel strong enough that using it climbing down the rocks at the Arboretum yesterday was doable; one-handed, definitely couldn't've done that.
magid: (Default)
(Now I should put two more lines
to make a haiku.)

Yet another physical therapy session this afternoon. I was a bit concerned - I seem to have done more than I should've yesterday - my finger was tired. Even so, everyone was impressed with how much of a fist I can make... the new stretch-the-finger splint I was to have gotten has been nixed :-). Instead, I got a new piece of equipment, plastic and rubberbands, that makes me think I should be shooting staples out of it. This is for building up strength. And when she saw how much I'd done with the green silly putty, she got out the blue stuff, for only some of the exercises, though - this stuff is hard. She said she only expects to give this color "to construction workers" - time to go out and get some muscle shirts... The doctor came by and looked at what I could do, then said I was getting to the end. I was surprised - last I'd heard it was still "early days!" I think there's still a ways to go, but perhaps it's stuff I'll mostly be doing on my own. (If only he tells me I can bike....)
(End of the handy stuff.)

I had an artichoke before therapy. I realized that what I so like about it is not quite its flavor, but that it causes a kind of tingle in my mouth that nothing else does, almost as if it were just the beginning of numbness. My favorite thistle...

[Driving home, there was a truck that had "New England Home Exercises" on it.... I'd like to get my living room some stretches, please, so I can fit some more people in it. And if the floors had more strength training in their routine, perhaps I could put in some more bookshelves.... :-)]

misc

May. 9th, 2002 02:58 pm
magid: (Default)
A cow orker said something about a "big honking book," and all I could think about was a manual for geese, which really would have to be relatively small for geese to be able to use them... ("Honking for Dummies"?)

Artichokes are not designed to be breakfast food: though they taste lovely, they take too long to eat and are not filling enough (guess how I figured this out?).

Talking earlier with a (different) cow orker about LASIK eye surgery. My mom has intermittently suggested I get this done. I'm still not sure. Part of it is not knowing what the long term prospects are (OK, and the idea of someone messing with my eyes is scary).
Some of my reluctance is bizarre psychological stuff: I keep finding myself unsure I want to give up the blurry world that is mine when I don't have correction. Seems stupid, but I wonder if I could fall asleep if the world were still un-fuzzy. It's a declaration in the morning when I put on my glasses that I'm ready to face the day. I find it interesting to be able to see the world with (literally) 2 different perspectives: I see things differently, and it reminds me how many different ways there are to see the same things.
(I've always thought a great exhibit at a science museum would give people the chance to see the world not only near- and far-sighted (different levels) and astigmatized (I am so sure that's not the right word.), but also with different kinds of color blindness, and how different animals see (think of fly eyes...))

Note to self: at a certain point, the curry powder does not change the food's color any more. This does not mean that adding more will not make it spicier...

Bird sighting: there are cardinals outside my window (not the kind with the red beanies, the kind that are red all over (no, not the newspaper! (can you tell I've gotten silly this afternoon?)(this squadron of embedded parens tries to emerge from the bedding, and fails completely. Perhaps tomorrow ...)))


)

Sunday, etc

May. 6th, 2002 11:10 am
magid: (Default)
Sunday turned out to be as overbooked as Saturday, though with less exercise.
What did I do? )

Hooray!

May. 3rd, 2002 07:24 pm
magid: (Default)
Highly productive afternoon: not only have I cooked (or am cooking... down to the wire today) tons of food, I had a session with the physical therapist (got to make a bracelet), and got my car inspected! I actually drove, and it felt fine :-) (driving freedom! less imposition on people! now if I can only start biking...)

Noticed for the first time a street sign that says "Slow Blind Hill". Hmmmm.

On "All Things Considered" tonight (their 31st bday), they had Poetry Boot Camp, which was very funny. It included:
(barked out, sergeant-style) "Describe Kipling!"
"I can't say, sir, I've never kippled."
"Then give me 10 Emily Dickinsons!"
etc.
magid: (Default)
Well, no musical.

But things went pretty well at the hospital today. First, the doctor's appointment. Of course, he was running late (I could've taken the later bus after all). When I finally got in to see him (his assistant got my name right today, btw), he was really pleased with my progress: I actually got a "Wow!" out of him when he saw how much of a fist I could make, and the rest of the flexibility stuff (In fact, he told me I'm not the only one who can say "whoo-hoo!"). He checks in with the physical therapists, so I won't see him in person again for 3 weeks.

When asked, he said I could drive my car again, starting Monday (6 weeks after getting the pins), though I could drive around an empty parking lot over the weekend to see how it feels (where would I find one of those in Cambridge?). The second downside to driving myself to work (after the all-important lack of sociable company, of course!) would be less time for doing exercises...

I dashed home, assembled flat breads (I'd made the dough before the doctor appt.), put a za'atar one and a rosemary-and-sea-salt one in the oven on time bake, then back to the hospital for a therapy appointment. No whirlpools this time, wet or dry. Instead, she put a band around my bent finger, and I dipped in paraffin (look, the amazing candle-finger!) a bunch of times, then they wrapped it up to keep it warm as long as possible. After that, I got fitted for 2 finger splints that I'm to wear for some minutes a day that will encourage the 2 affected fingers to be more straight. Some exercises, then another ultrasound session. It's amazing how much difference 5 minutes of ultrasound makes. The scar is noticeably less indented :-).

And to end the session, she tested my hand strength, since I'm to start strength training. On both hands she measured my grip with the whole hand, how much force I could exert with just the thumb, the index and middle fingers together, and just the index finger (3 measurements each time, taking the average). My left hand has currently about 25% to 30% the strength of the right, which she thinks is relatively good. And now I have yellow Silly Putty-like stuff, and 4 different exercises to do with it, in addition to all the other flexibility exercises.... (Interestingly, they have other colors that have more resistance. I get to work my way up the rainbow, I suppose.)

And I just dropped the flat breads off at the therapy department. They came out well, so I hope people like them.

Mood: more accomplished than I'd thought
magid: (Default)
i opened a new bag of yeast friday morning. i love doing this, feeling the hard block of vacuum-sealed yeast turn into a mushy bag of little things with a sort of snerk sound. (useful information: i buy 1-lb bags of yeast, which usually last about a year, so this is not a frequent sort of snerkiness....)

in physical therapy yesterday afternoon, not only did i get the dry whirlpool, but also ultrasound. the therapist put some turquoise blue goo (almost the color of blue cotton candy, but more translucent) on the back of my hand, then rubbed a sort of wand over the area. the wand was attached to the device that made the soundwaves, and also had a timer attached. it felt a bit odd, in a slightly unpleasant sort of way, but bearable for however many minutes it was. and the scars do look a lot better now, too. she showed me how to massage them to get the tissue more flexible, less stuck to things internally that they shouldn't be stuck to, and i'm to do that before starting on the usual rounds of stretches. and just because i was curious, she got out the goniometer (protractor thingie) and measured my index finger. so, since last monday, the knuckle at the palm of the hand has gotten 5 more degrees of rotation, and the other 2 joints have gotten 25 more degrees. whoo-hoo! (plus, today i was able to hook my bra behind my back. strides indeed!) on the other hand, though (as it were), when i tried to put my hand flat on the table, then raise the index finger, i couldn't. it just doesn't go that way right now. yet, i mean. so much to work on. some days i just wish i could wake up and have it fixed already...

i didn't figure out the timing properly for what i was cooking, and almost forgot about dessert, but in the end shabbat dinner did happen :-), the first time in ages having people over for shabbat.
the menu:
challah (first braided one i'd made in weeks),
wine,
stuffed grape leaves (thanks to trader joe's)(almost typed graph leaves... i'm sure people would've had fun with that!),
za'atar for dipping,
chicken (marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with fresh rosemary and garlic, then roasted),
rice with chickpeas and pine nuts,
roasted potatoes and carrots (not on the original menu, but i had room in the oven, and i love roasted veggies.... (they're gone now... yum.)),
a green salad with a lovely dressing made by teddywolf, also used on the sliced cuke i had for him.
also sauteed onion, summer squash, and zukes, with fresh oregano and capers.
and for dessert, angel food cake topped with watermelon and honeydew balls that had been spritzed with fresh lime juice (the melon's now gone, too).
oh, and many options for tea.

i think the guests had a good time :-), including talking to the birds. discussion ranged from bicycling to theater to food (surprise!), and beyond.

today was quieter, eating leftovers, reading, talking to the birds, working on my hand, napping. over to wolf's for a while, ended up playing chez geek. and on the walk over i saw a very pretty flowering dogwood tree, which was red, rather than the usual pink.

oh, and for some reason i was disproportionately entertained when a friend told me her 3-year-old was finally convinced to work on toilet-training when he was promised "big boy" underwear... with blues clues on them!
no clue as to why this struck me as so funny
magid: (Default)
i wasn't allowed to give blood yesterday :-(, apparently b/c i still had a scab on my hand. would they have cared if it had been on my knee?

i finally renewed a prescription, which i should've done last week (by phone, sent through the mail). i hope the refill gets here before i run out.

i went shopping last night. groceries galore, including a decent quantity of veggies. not only the regular supermarket, but the kosher market too, which singularly lacked interesting cheeses, though i did pick up some feta... i'd been wanting some in salad. and 2 jam splurges, which may make it to bitty's pb fest: rose hip and quince (both were relatively cheap, with known sorts of ingredients. anyone pro/con these flavors?)

small hand accomplishments: zipped a zipper. schlepped groceries. opened containers.
every day it feels like there are some things reclaimed, even if the actual range of motion increase is slowing from the fast rate of the last week. i can handle more weight (i no longer have to get pans out of the oven one-handed! not a simple task.), too.
a friend reminded me to avoid getting sun on the back of the hand to help avoid scarring, so this morning when i massaged my hand (to help get the rest of the swelling down) i used sunblock. it smells of sum mer to me, a contrast to this misty morning.

bread dough is rising. i should've made it last night, baked it on time bake this morning, but i was just too tired. the visiting birds were interested, though i fear i was saying something rude, as they esca lated their comments...
i didn't think i had enough time to start the chicken marinating, but it turned out i was wrong. ah, well.

there are so many violets out now. every year i think i'll try to make candied violets, and inevitably they come out whe n i'm in the throes of passover. this year it's after passover, but my mobility is still somewhat limited. anyone know of a safe place to pick violets? anyone want to experiment with crystallizing violets?

i brought the container of nutella that had bee n h anging around my house for far too long in to work yesterday. yum, nutella on bread. hmm... if hazelnut and peanut go together, nutella and pb sandwiches...

meatloaf and a leftover dumpling for breakfast. yum. (i finally got the dumplings i'd been craving for at least a month... should've gotten more...)
and hamburgers, salad, other dumplings for dinner last night. major meat consumption...

really, i have done/thought stuff that doesn't have to do with food. really, i have. for instance, uh, er, well, maybe not..
magid: (Default)
90+ degrees yesterday, ugh. that's just too hot for april. actually, too hot for anytime, but especially too hot for april. why do so many people seem so pleased when it gets that hot?

at least it cooled down later in the day, making it nicer outside tha n the still overwarm inside. i went out to a playground, climbed on the jungle gym, swung on the swings. both of these are much easier with 2 hands... (i couldn't get very high on the swings one-handed :-( ). and i scored some pots for plants on the walk home (trash pickup is this morning), which didn't get me out of my mood, but helped a little.

did anyone else wake up for the thunderstorm? there was a long roll of thunder around 2:40 am, enough to wake me up and remind me i'd left the skylight open.... jump out of bed, get the close-the-skylight tool, close it before the downpour. there was some spectacular lightning, too, bright even with my eyes closed... followed a fraction of a second later with a huge boom of thunder.
things are definitely cooler :-)

i took buses to work today, walking to harvard, then taking the 71 to the 59 to the end of the street i work on. it took about one and a half hours, including walking, but at least i had plenty of time to do hand exercises.... oh, and i found out that they now have bus to bus transfers, so the trip cost half of what i'd expected (75 cents).

mood: virtuous public transportation consumer.
Ø
(is anyone else having difficulties with odd characters showing up in their entries (um, that would be things-that-are-related-to-but-aren't-letters, not that man in purple with a chicken on his head over there in the corner....)? i've tried deleting the null set above, but nothing works. does this have something to do with now having other alphabets available?)
magid: (Default)
so the therapist said i could use my hand and finger as much as was comfortable. you can't tell that this entry was typed two handed!

(not so smoothly or anything- i'm still moving the index finger down by moving the rest of the hand. and i won't do it for long entries, yet. but it's progress.)
(i suppose this means i'll be in good enough shape in 2 weeks to do the final edit i'm slated for...)
magid: (Default)
i got to have 20 minutes with my hand in the dry whirlpool. sounds like an oxymoron to me, but i put my hand into a closed rectangular prism with lots of husks of some sort in it that were being warmed and pushed against my hand. i was to work on making a fist (and read junky magazines).

after that, i learned how to massage my hand to help the swelling go down (easier if i had 2 other hands, but i'll make do), right before starting my stretches.

some more kid toys, taking plastic nuts off plastic bolts, also putting in more little metal cylinders. these were larger in diameter than the last ones, but went farther into their slots, so were harder to take out.

also some moving from one position to another, to get the tendons used to gliding.

much of this was accompanied by talk of food (big surprise, right?). i really should bring them something, some flatbreads, perhaps.

and i was told to start using my hand more, start walking with the arm down (which feels almost odd, now), etc.

home briefly, then back to the appt with the physician's assistant. this is the one who put on the splint so horribly painfully, and i remain unimpressed with her.

she calls me "donna," which is not my name. what's the chart for, after all?

then there are questions about the date of my accident, pinning, unpinning etc. hello? has she looked at my chart at all? i mean, she's been there for most of my visits, seen me, even.

then she wants to see my hand, take measurements of motion. i say something about comparing them to the measurements taken last week by the physical therapist. oh, did they take measurements? that file doesn't come over for a while, she'll look at it then.

she used a metal protractor in ways that made me trust the other measurements (when they were taken) as more accurate.

and i know it's petty, but she took off the bandaids (not a dressing, with lots of gauze, etc, just 2 bandaids! :) put on about an hour before in therapy, saying she'll put more on later, and doesn't.

thank goodness the doctor is back from vacation next week! (and i may begin strength training then, too. something to look forward to, esp since my left forearm is skinnier than my right.)
magid: (Default)
yesterday morning i made herbed matza brei for brunch. why have i not thought of this before? (there are 4 aheets of matza left. i can definitely use those up without difficulty.)

over to queue's for an origami bash, and i managed to fold a decent number of pieces, considering.

[somehow, i start to think a plethora of hand posts is already boring for most, by now. i keep finding new small things every day i can do that i couldn't manage before, and being pleased. but i can well imagine this is less than thrilling reading for people who are not me.
i wonder if this is akin to how babies/toddlers feel about their accomplishments, working hard on walking (or whatever), finally getting it right, but still needing lots of practice, finally being able to walk w/o conscious effort. (though perhaps less verbal about their accomplishments... perhaps this is a good thing...)]

a walk to a nearby park i'd not been to before. why do some people feel the need to put graffitti on monuments? i don't understand it in general, but over something else seems worse. and there was tons of broken glass. maybe breaking things is fun (i can remember times i would've enjoyed it), but not in such an irresponsible manner...

the cool part was when the ladybug landed on my hand, and stayed to visit for a while. it was fascinating to watch him, the leg motions, the circling, etc. why do i assume it was a him? 'cause when i commented on how long it had stayed, hrafn sayed something about it being a male that didn't want to ask directions. and immediately it launched (in a huff?).

dinner was nice, thanks to cthulhia and queue being thoughtful about food: i had hummus & veggies in pita, almost the felafel everyone else had (i still want the recipe, queue! oh, and the veggie biriyani smelled awesome, even if it did turn out rather spicier than planned...)

happy patriot's day.

tonight is also yom hazikaron, israeli memorial day. it is much more a "memorial day" than what i'm used to in the states. there's 3 min of silence, when the air raid sirens go off, and pretty much everything stops. cars stop in the street. so do pedestrians. people stand where they are, in shops, wherever, and think of those who were lost. it's incredibly moving, seeing everything quiet with one purpose. many people go to the military cemeteries, visiting the graves of someone they've lost... i've never seen cemeteries so jam-packed with people. i wish it didn't have to be....

and then tomorrow night is yom ha'atzmaut, israeli independence day. the mood changes utterly, with fireworks, picnics, etc.

i hope both days can be without further violence.

hand

Apr. 14th, 2002 10:31 am
magid: (Default)
the therapist had said i should change the dressing today, something i'd avoided doing before, partly because i wasn't sure i could do a decent job one-handed, and partly because the gauze had been sticking.

this morning, the gauze was again sticking, but some lukewarm water solved that. first time with my hand unwrapped at home in ages. i kinda don't want to put something on it, it's so nice having it out. (yes, there are 2 little scabs. no, it's not any more squikful than others, unless it makes you think of how they happened.). i took the chance to put calendula oil on; it helped a lot with other skin recovery (it's supposed to help skin heal with no/less scarring).

hand stuff

Apr. 12th, 2002 04:12 pm
magid: (Default)
therapy today.
bathe hand, new dressing, movements.
much progress. hooray!


the therapist was pretty impressed with how much motion i've gotten back into my wrist. the rest of the movement axes are good, too, but her jaw almost dropped when she asked to see the wrist. the doctor came by at one point, was less impressed - after all, i hadn't injured my wrist.

after another bath (the hand emerges from the lizard claw!), i put a bunch of little, narrow metal cylinders (a couple of millimeters in diameter) into a board, then took them out again, using a tweezers for some of them, which was harder.

i'm supposed to change the dressing myself this sunday... hope i do it ok.

oh, and next week i'll be getting ultrasound! (no, not THAT kind of ultrasound!) apparently it's also used to stimulate soft tissue somehow, so i'll be having it on the back of my hand, to loosen things up some.
magid: (Default)
a cow orker just pointed out a fox right outside my window (!), the same one who spotted the groundhog and the skunk earlier... he claims not to be working much.... (must be an epidemic)

yesterday someone at work announced her retirement, and there is much shuffling of roles in the wake of this. now it looks like i'll be put on projects that are not with the person i can't stand to work for :-)

yesterday's physical therapy started with a bath. i got to put my hand in lightly warm water doing my stretches as the water jets helped me. 1st water in over a month on my hand, and it felt wonderful! the therapist was pleased w/ the progress i'd made, too.

dinner with cthulhia and queue, before going to zzbottom's. it struck me as funny to be in a room where all but 1 person had an lj, and talking about the social aspects thereof (the word of the day seems to be thereof.), when we all could've been having a Real Life [TM].

i was highly entertained by the video of zzbottom and awfief on local communinty television - the host was incredibly bad, to say the least.

and coming home with tigerbright on the T we went through stops i don't think i'd been through before (also nice to have time to chat.).

oh, and the organic spelt bread from tj's is pretty good, if a bit sweet for bread.

pt

Apr. 8th, 2002 04:37 pm
magid: (Default)
just had my first official appointment with the physical therapist. (previously, i'd gotten splints made, and some preliminary exercises.)

the totally cool part for me, the math geek, was how she measured range of motion in both hands (for comparison purposes), using 2 clear pieces of plastc grommetted to a clear circular plastic protractor. i may have been her first patient who was so interested in this... there was also a cool tool for measuring the circumference of fingers at different points (precision to the nearest eight of an inch). lots of notation, a whole page of numbers giving a description of where i am (left hand) and where i'm trying to be (right hand).

she also asked about pain, and was surprised when i said there wasn't any. i think i have different perceptions of pain, somehow. she kept persisting, and i finally agreed that when i was trying very hard to make a fist, maybe a 1 on a 0 to 10 range. really, things are stiff. very stiff, but not very painful.

she asked for the things that were most frustrating me not being able to do them. somehow i couldn't seem to remember much besides chopping veggies and driving until later in the appt.

now i have 5 new exercises to do 4x/day, things to work on the axes of motion i have trouble with. so i try to make a fist, to lay my hand flat on a table, to bend my hand forward from the wrist, and bend the fingers forward from the bottom joint. oh, an put my hand as flat as possible, then pull the fingers as close as possible, then spread them as far apart as possible.

i don't have to wear the splint! she recommends it when i'm out, or traveling, or sleeping, but it's more of a reminder (to me and others) to be careful around it. so, no new splint with red and yellow velcro...

maybe i should make a small sculpture with the 2 splints, the pins, and the bottles the prescriptions came in, enhanced with some gauze or something, put in one of my x-rays if i can get it, call it "healing"...
nah, not quite my style.
magid: (Default)
the pins are out!

this morning, the doctor checked how the fingers were doing, took the dressing off, took some x-rays with the fluoroscope, then pulled the pins. he used a forceps, and pheromone was right - no anesthesia, painkilling, whatever. a few moments of pain, but not bad. i didn't watch, though, figuring that would squick me more. this way i could just focus on the real pain.

anyway. not too much bleeding, and a bit later some more fluoroscope pix, a hand w/o dark straight lines of pins. i can see where the break is/was - apparently there's a month lull before the bone would show up as completely healed. but the finger moves (as much as it does) as a unit. now it's up to me to do the therapy, get range of motion back. the doctor asked me to bend as much as i could, and seemed relatively pleased with the results. i see him in 2 weeks (he's off to chicago for his wife's professional conference next week), and he wants lots of progress...

i still need to keep the dressing on my hand covered when i shower. next week hopefully the dressing will be able to come off, let me start applying prodigious quantities of cream to the lizard skin on the back of my hand, and shower without it being a production (and just last week i was excited by the thought of showering at all...)

another 5 days of antibiotics, just to be on the safe side, make sure nothing happens while the open wounds heal. another trip to the pharmacy. i'm lucky to have health insurance...

side note: i have the pins. they're wrapped in gauze, in a plastic glove. for some reason i was surprised at how long they are, around 3 inches or so, sharp at one end (big surprise), curved into a right angle at the other. anyone have ideas for what to use them for, other than just ditching them?

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