Archive for January, 2012

Wish me luck!

Surgery is first thing tomorrow! Not sure when I will post again but hopefully soon! I have had a few people tell me it only takes a few days before you are at least halfway functional again. And one said she has a picture of herself answering email the same night! (Ashley, you’re crazy!) I hope that will be me too! Wish me luck!

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Building a school in Kenya

The second inspiring story I just heard…

My former boss said that after I spoke so enthusiastically about Honduras she suddenly felt inspired to go to Kenya to build a school! Here are a few photos she sent to us. Great work, Paula!

The children gather in front of their new school.

Community leaders inspect the school toilets. Look at that smile! Oh, the things we take for granted!

The elders bless the new classroom before learning begins

Class is in session.

Questions? Look how eager they are to learn!

A song for the guests.

If you ever find an opportunity in your life to do anything like this I highly recommend being wild and spontaneous and just going for it. It will have a profound impact on your life, your perception of the world, and most importantly on the people you are able to help.

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The woman on the ship

I heard two amazing and inspiring stories this week. First…

afghan_children_poorMy cousin Andrea is on a Semester at Sea. She met an elderly woman who had saved money for five years to make the trip with her husband and deliver crafts to underprivileged children around the world. She asked Andrea to deliver a few items in Brazil. But Andrea asked why she doesn’t delivering them herself? She replied that her husband had died a few months ago and she was living off his pension. She couldn’t afford to make the whole trip and would not get to see the children in person.

Andrea was so upset by this story she talked to the Dean of Students and purchased the trips into the cities for the woman so that she will now be able to deliver the gifts in person. Not only that but they started a fund raiser for other lifelong learners on their ship to allow them to visit more cities around the world as well. What an impact such a small gesture will make on the lives of that woman and the others on the trip as well as the children that get to meet her! So proud of you Andrea!

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Results are in…

armAs it turns out, according to my MRI, I am hurt. I have about a 70% tear in a tendon that runs across the front of my shoulder, a few bone spurs, and possibly (but hopefully not) a minor rotator cuff tear. I don’t consider it bad news. Bad news would have been the doctor telling me I am NOT hurt. Umm, then what… In this case they know what is wrong and can fix it so it won’t hurt anymore. Great! Sign me up!

I’m not waiting. Surgery is scheduled for Monday. Like I said earlier, I’d rather just jump off the cliff than stand on the edge staring down at the water. The surgery is pretty minor, not very invasive and recovery time will depend on what else they find wrong in there. Anywhere from 2-6 months. This dumb shoulder has been giving me trouble off and on for 5 or 6 years so a few months is nothing if it stops hurting at the end. If anything, congratulations are in order. Smile

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30 Days of Biggest Loser

biggest_loserBeing hurt is making me bored out of my mind in the diet and exercise department. I decided I need something different to keep my attention longer than a couple days. My sister mentioned she is checking out this jump start book put out by the Biggest Loser. It spells out 30 days of meals and exercises. She’s lost 9 pounds so far. Well, what the hell. 9 pounds is about all I’d need. I’ll consider it a 30 day experiment. The diet has slight differences from Paleo but when you just had double pepperoni pizza and girl scout cookies they don’t seem too bad. And exercise-wise, any movement I can do that doesn’t hurt will be welcome at this point.

So, I started it this morning. First workout was 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill followed by stretching. Since that isn’t nearly enough to break a sweat I put my knee in a brace and set the incline as high as it goes. Kind of a test to see how bad it hurts afterward. I am icing it now. So far so good.

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Got my MRI and I think I see the problem…

I had my MRI yesterday. It wasn’t too bad. They needle around in your shoulder joint for awhile and shove you in a cadaver drawer for 20 minutes. When it was over I got a CD of the images and I think I see the problem…

2012.01.23 Shoulders

There appears to be paper clip in there. That’ll have to come out. The next one is even worse! My shoulder is sticking out of my neck! (No wonder overhead squats are so hard).

2012.01.23 Shoulders from side

Below, on the left, is the contents of my purse. I see a set of keys, a pocket knife, a rubber band, and a Junior Mint. And I guess, a glow worm? (This one, not this one). The image on the right is, of course, an octopus.

2012.01.23 Shoulders 2 - Purse  2012.01.23 Shoulders 4

I am pretty sure the rest of the images are just plans for a new golf course.

2012.01.23 Shoulders 3

Of course, I will need to confirm all these findings with the doctor on Wednesday and decide what to do next.

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The most interesting game of the day

2012.01.22 Dylans come backWe watched football yesterday but the most interesting game of the day was my 12 year old nephew Dylan’s basketball game. He’d be the first to tell you they played terrible. They failed to score in 10:00 despite what seemed like a hundred attempts. The refs made it even worse by  calling fouls on every drive yet allowing the other team to practically break into tap dancing without calling travelling. Over… and over…driving the crowd crazy.

With the score Blue 35 to White 23 and only four minutes to go it seemed pretty much over. I told Todd he could leave early to pick up drinks on the way home for the football games. When suddenly out of nowhere the whistle blew and the ref signaled travelling! The crowd erupted just relieved they finally noticed!

White ball. White takes it down. Scores and draws a foul. Free throw goes in. 9 points behind.

Blue takes it down. Whistle blows. Travelling called again! Crowd goes crazy!

White takes it down. Swish! A 3-pointer! 6 points behind. 2 minutes to go.

Blue takes it down. There is a shuffle for the ball. Whistle blows. A foul? NO! A 3rd call for travelling! YES!

White takes it down. Ball goes out of bounds but gets touched by Blue. White ball.

White throws it in from the side. The ball goes up but the whistle blows… SWISH! Yet another 3-pointer but it DOESN’T COUNT! AAAA!!! The whistle blew the ball dead because the clock didn’t start! Do over! UGH!!!!

43 seconds to go. White re-throws the ball in. SWISH! Are you kidding me? The FOURTH 3-pointer in a row?! In less than a few minutes?! Score is tied!

Blue takes it down and misses. White takes it down and Dylan is fouled. Dylan at the foul line with less than 16 seconds to go. Score is tied. Dribble. Dribble. He shoots.

He scores! White is fouled again and makes another free throw. Blue launches the ball in the last few seconds (and yikes it almost goes in) but NO! The victory goes to…. WHITE!

They played awful and whadoyaknow? Pulled a Tebow right at the end!  Hahaha. Great job, Dylan!

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My X-rays

The cause of the knee pain is pretty obvious. My knees look pretty healthy which is great news. But the last X-ray shows that my kneecap is off track. The tighter my quad and IT band get the more it pulls off center. Easy solution. Stretch, roll out, and strengthen the muscles that pull it back in place. Good as new in 2-4 months.


The shoulder is a different story. The doctor pointed out a bone spur. It was obvious at the time but I don’t see it anymore. I’ll have to ask again. I have an appointment for arthrogram MRI on Monday. They inject dye into it to see if anything is torn. Don’t know anything for sure but my new doctor is suspecting I may have both the bone spur and a labral tear. The MRI is on Monday and the follow up will be a few days later. (Sigh).


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The little things

Yesterday was one of those days. The X-rays of my knee and shoulder are not great and I was told not to bother going to physical therapy for awhile. (More on that tomorrow). For most of the day I had very fine and elusive eyelash poking me in the eye. And my quad would not stop twitching! Grrr. I broke all my tests at work and almost lost a file containing a year’s worth of information I have accumulated to get my job done.


At the end of the day I was on my fourth hour of dealing with one issue and really feeling sorry for myself when in walks Todd with dinner and a bouquet of flowers. Within a half hour, I got the eyelash out, my leg stopped twitching and I fixed my tests. Support from people who care about you and a little positive thinking works like magic. Thanks, Todd, for turning a crappy day into one worth remembering. Smile

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Cooking class with a crazy lady

I took a cooking class last night. Soups and stews. Chef Deb was hilarious and it was not totally intentional. Ever see people with ADHD say and do everything that pops in their head? She said she gets distracted so easily her kids call it SOD – shiny object disorder. Hahaha. (I can relate). She reminds me of Dori from Finding Nemo. Adorable and completely nuts! Her thoughts “get to California by way of Alaska” but her story is cool…


When she was a kid she never wanted to be a princess or a dancer or a movie star. From 6 years old she always wanted to be a chef. Her plan in college was to get a degree in Organizational Management and then go to culinary school. After graduation she was accepted into a fancy school in New York the same week she found out she was pregnant. So she could not go. Years later her mother passed away. In her will left a chunk of money to her saying ‘take this and become a chef’. So she went for it. Awesome.

Anyway, the soup recipes are unbelievable. Each one can be adjusted to be as healthy as I want them and all are delicious. I would not, however, recommend eating six soups in one night on a regular basis. I’m still full!

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