Saturday, January 03, 2015

Contemplating contributing to this world again....

But what to write?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bikram Yoga

I'm trying a two week membership to Bikram Yoga. In case you don't know, a Bikram yoga class consists of two sets of 26 moves done at 105F. A class lasts ninety minutes. I like regular yoga, but have a hard time fitting it in my workout schedule because I don't necessarily find it to be a workout. It's stretching and I feel great after, but my heart rate is not too high and I'm not sweating. The 105 degrees takes care of that. I can feel my heart pounding for at least some of the moves and am sweating balls the entire time. I still don't know where I stand on it though. I feel like I'm not getting enough of a stretch with Bikram, but that is probably because at 105 degrees, my muscles are already warm and pretty pliable. I wish they worked in some different moves too. But it is always the same 26 moves. And my biggest gripe: the yoga room is carpeted. It's like a big old nastiness incubator. It was difficult not walking out the first class because I was so disgusted by the thought of the carpet. On the plus side, when I swam recently, I did notice that my breathing was easier. And I have lost a pound or two, but this may also be credited to a slight change in my lunch routine. I don't know yet if there are other benefits. A friend of S's did it for two years as an alternative to surgery for a torn ACL. He said it made a big difference. And in my three classes, I have been able to increase the bend in my knee. I think I'll have to try it a little bit longer to see. If you've tried it, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Scot's Have Talent!

Man! I have never seen anyone own a song like Susan Boyle when she performed on Britian's Got Talent. If you haven't had a chance to see her performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables check it out here on Youtube. When you learn more about her background and her promise to her dying mother (ensue violins), you really understand that the song means something to her and she has an attachment to those lyrics. She FEELS that song. The emotion, I think, is key to any great performance. The pipes don't hurt either in Susan's case, but man, did she own that song.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Radio Lab

I recently moved away from the city to OC-land. However, I am still "working" in the city and so spend many of my days commuting via public transportation. As many have told me, I've been given the "gift of time". I [more aptly, I think] consider it a curse, since I can't really do experiments or go for a jog on the train. It's a staggering loss of two hours. But I have discovered a gem of a radio show that helps me pass time, keeps me amused and entertained, and teaches me a little something too. It's WNYC's RadioLab program. I love it so much, I listen to it even when I'm not on the train. Sometimes I jog with it playing. I would start with the "Yellow Fluff and Other Curious Encounters" show, but they're all really very good. I do recommend that you listen to the full episodes though (about one hour) and not the short, in between-seasons podcasts they put out. Those just leave you wanting more and they're not produced to be as complete a story as the full episodes. If you do get a chance to listen to them, let me know what you think.

P.S. I have also read about four books (including one that was almost 1000 pages), caught up on my lab notebook, heard many new albums and napped on the train. So maybe it is the gift of time, just not the kind of time I would have preferred.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ACL Update?

So that ACL reconstruction diary lasted a full three days. That's pretty impressive. A lot of things have happened with my recovery since then, but I don't know if I want to talk about them at this point. To all of you who have come here for your own knee questions and concerns, let me please refer you to two great forums that helped me out quite a bit:

Knee Guru

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ACL Day 2 (March 30, 2008)

I'm anxious about the amount of Vicodin I'm taking, and decide I want to start weaning myself off of it. I take a reduced dose at 2 am. At 6 am, I get up to throw up. This happens again for the next few hours. If I even lift my head, I immediately vomit. I haven't eaten anything for hours. I don't drink anything since that induces vomit as well. I start throwing up bright yellow bile. This continues until about 1 pm. At this point, I seriously think I am done for. I don't think I have ever felt this sick in my life. I am praying every conscious moment I have. S calls the hospital. And tries to page the surgeon. The doctor on call takes two hours to get back to us. He tells us to stop taking the Vicodin and to try to slowly get some liquid into me. And if I'm still unable to hold down liquid after a few hours, get to the hospital. He also says to switch to Tylenol for pain relief. I know my family and some friends want to visit. S tells them it is not a good day. One comes to help, but there is not much to be done for me. They help S though. He is able to shower and they get lunch for him. I am exhausted. I have no food or liquid in my body. I drink a sip of Gatorade every hour or so. I nibble on an edge of a cracker after a couple of hours with the Gatorade. My stomach is very sore from throwing up. I mostly sleep. At the end of the day, I'm able to have a cup of soup. But I'm effectively off of Vicodin. And I have a very disgusting taste in my mouth for the stuff.

ACL Day 1 (March 29, 2008)

I wake up a few hours after getting home. It's past midnight. Friend is on the couch asleep and S is not home. I ask her where he went. She tells me he went to go fill the prescription for my pain killers (love is constantly reaffirmed). He gets home two hours later because apparently the only 24 hour pharmacy on the Westside is out of Vicodin (surprise, surprise). I promptly fall asleep after taking the Vicodin. When I get up, it's morning and I feel alright. No throbbing pain in the leg. I even call some family and friends and let them know I'm doing well. I send out texts and email. Laugh a little. This knee surgery thing isn't as bad as people paint it. I make sure I take the drugs on time. I eat a little here and there. Watch some TV. Go to sleep early.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

ACL Reconstruction

So I recently tore my ACL (and MCL) skiing and I elected to have ACL reconstruction surgery because my knee was still wobbly after a couple of months of physical therapy and I wanted to be able to return to a normal level of activities: biking, running, skiing, etc. The surgery was last Friday, March 28, Day 0. So much has happened, I wanted to write about it.

DAY 0 (March 28, 2008)
The day of the surgery. An hour before the surgery, I started freaking out. The depth of what is about to happen hit me. I was so focused on post-op recovery before this, that I never really thought about the surgery itself. And the thought of it is barbaric. Basically: they slice some of my patellar tendon, drill holes into my bones and sew and nail in the tendon. The anesthesiologists come by before surgery and explain how they'll be putting me under general anesthesia AND using nerve blocks to kill sensation in my leg. They explain to me that when they are inserting the block, my leg will start twitching and hitting the table (this is normal). Well, what they didn't tell me is my ass would start twitching. Violently. But after they insert the first block and turn me over to the do the second one, I was already passed out. My humiliation was short-lived.

My next memory is of waking up in the post-op recovery room being hounded by a nurse telling me that my doctor thinks I'm well enough to be discharged that day. I tell her my pain level and she shoves what I can only assume is an elephant tranquilizer in my mouth because I instantly pass out. Before I know it, I am being awaken by three nurses surrounding me, asking if I'm ready to be discharged. I can barely lift my eyelid and have no idea where my husband is. Turns out, they never notified him. So since I don't give them the all clear to discharge me, they finally decide to get him. He sees me and decides pretty quickly I'm in no shape to go home yet. But now they hound him instead. At some point, they decide I can't be there any more. S gets me up. I can't take the hospital gown off (can't lift my arms) so they tell me to keep the gown. S and a friend pull my clothes on over the gown. They ask for a wheelchair. The wheelchair the nurses bring don't have a leg extender (?). Keep in mind, I just had knee surgery. I can't move my leg. At all. When this is mentioned to them, they reply with "Well that's what we have". S and friend are in awe at this point. I am so angry, I am suddenly wide awake. The nurses start fighting and arguing amongst themselves about who will have to go fetch a wheelchair. S interrupts and tells them, he will get it if they let him know where. This prompts them to move and get it. Ok. Proper wheelchair got. Sumit asks where the crutches are (note: we weren't just assuming that we would be given crutches, the surgeon had assured us that the hospital provided them after surgery). They just look at us. And tell us they weren't told that I would need crutches and they won't give them to us. After knee surgery. At this point, we realize we need to leave at any cost. I have a set of crutches at home that I can use (from the original injury). As I'm being wheeled out, I realize my ivy needle is still in my arm (4 hours post-surgery) but I don't have the energy to voice this to anyone (I'm back to mostly catatonic at this point) so I grunt and raise my arm as high as I can. They are all shocked and quickly remove the needle as they're wheeling me out.

I get home and into my apartment as quickly as I can. I remember S and friend telling me to slow down on the crutches and take a break, but if I am still even a little bit, I almost throw up. So I get to the couch as quickly as I can and pass out.