Monday, January 30, 2006

My Superman

I've been treating Superman this week. Well, a patient who may as well BE Superman for all the progress he's made with all the significant stuff that's happened to him.

He's a fairly young guy, in his 40s I think, and he's a Tree Person. I'm not sure what the official job title is. Basically he runs his own business and trims trees, or cuts them down etc. He's a pretty super strong guy., Very active and enjoys working out and hiking and cycling and doing crazy adventurous kind of stuff. Well, a tree fell on him. I'm not exactly sure how it happened, I'm not even sure he's exactly sure how it happened. All I know is the tree came down, somehow flipped him so he fell off his truck and then landed on his leg crushing his knee.

He literally CRUSHED his knee. Bone, arteries, joint... everything except the nerve. Which is lucky because an artery is a lot easier to put back together than a nerve, and with better results. So he needed surgery, obviously. He's got a huge external fixator in his leg. Basically instead of the screws and plates and pins being inside the leg to hold the bone together inside, they're screwed into the bones and then fixated OUTSIDE the leg for increased stability. They also needed to do what's called a fem-pop bypass. Basically what they do is bypass the arteries in the knee where the femoral and popliteal arteries meet. They graft on a harvested or artificial blood vessel to bypass the blockage, or in his case crushed and non-functioning area of artery so that blood flow can be maintained. So he's got a lot going on in his leg. It's locked straight with metal bars on the outside holding it together and he can't move it on his own for muscle weakness and also pain. So he needs a lot of help to get up. But really just for his leg He's made leaps and bounds in the ability to move everything else around the leg with just us moving and holding his leg for him. And the amount of pain I'm sure he's in.... I'd be screaming and yelling and crying and crazy and definitely NOT moving at all, but he's getting up and walking with me with a walker twice a day.

He's completely amazing. Strong, mobile, motivated, all those things. Unfortunately he can't go to rehab because his insurance doesn't cover it. So I've been training him and his wife to move around by themselves safely. His wife needed to learn how to move his leg, how to help him stand and sit, how to guard him while walking etc. It's actually a pretty involved process. He's supposed to have gone home today. I'm not working today so I don't know for sure if he went, but that was the plan.

I'm still amazed he was able to become mobile enough to get home. He's up and moving, walking, (well hopping really) getting around in a wheelchair and a walker and he's just completely amazing me every treatment. He's really going to bounce back from this without a huge problem. He's already leaps and bounds ahead of almost anyone else who this may have happened to. He is though understandably frustrated at the fact that he can't do a whole lot for himself, or do a whole lot at all. But he understands that this just takes time and given time and a couple of more surgeries and some intense Physical Therapy which I'm sure he will continue to be a model patient to the Nth degree, he's going to be back to normal.

Like I said, he's Superman. I just can't say it enough, I'm so proud of him and his motivation and all he's accomplished in a week, and I'm actually sorry to see him go home. I'm happy for him that he's getting out of the hospital, but at the same time, he was great to work with. Always pleasant and nice and willing, no matter what I asked of him. And I miss being able to follow through with a patient like I was able to in rehab. Ah well, I made him promise to come back and visit me and let me know how he's doing.

And that's my patient of the week. My multi-trauma, crushed leg Superman. It was a good week working with him. :) And definately more fun and interesting than Bilateral Total Knee Replacements. I hate those. They're SO hard to work with. But that's another story for another time.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Oh Yeah, I almost forgot to tell you...

I FOUND A DRESS!!!!! WHOOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!! I haven't officially ordered it yet, but I really think this is it. I'm SO GLAD I don't have to keep dress shopping and the sprinkles on the icing on the cake is that the store is walking distance from my apartment!!!!!

It was such a last minute thing, we had made two appointments at two different stores and the first store had a selection of like 10 dresses total, all heinous, so we had a space of like 5 hours before the next appointment. So I called a local bridal store in Stamford to see if I could come in last minute and they said come on in and so we did and I FOUND IT! It totally was meant to be. teee heeee!

The funny thing is, I never thought I'd go there because they didn't have any dresses from any of the designers I liked. But I figured we had time, it's right here, and let's go and see, we might be surprised. And the dress is actually one I'd seen in a magazine and thought it was nice but never thought I'd get it. It had some of the things I wanted but some things I didn't think I'd like, PLUS it was strapless. But we tried it on because the company is REALLY flexible about adding things to their dresses. And this dress was REALLY amenable to adding sleeves even though it's completely strapless, all because of the locations of the beading. Apparantly the company makes alterations and adds sleeves and changes things around to personalize it for customers all the time and from what they told me @ the bridal store, the dresses come out looking really good because the manufacturer does it, not a seamstress later on. They had little "sleeve additions" for me to put on with the dress so I could see the effect and it looked perfect.

I wasn't 100% sure @ first because it really didn't have some of the thinggs I wanted in a dress, but the longer I had it on the longer I liked it and the better I felt in it. And seeing the sleeves made a huge difference too. It made it A LOT easier to imagine. I didn't order it right away because I wanted to sleep on it, plus we had another appointment later in the day. (Which turned out to be totally NOT worth it) SO I'll call them later this week and order it.

So that's that. I have a truly elegant dress that made my Mom and Sister tear and exclaim over, and even now, the more I look at pictures of it the more I like it. I even printed out a picture from the computer, took out my paints and painted in some sleeves with white paint. And it really looks great. SO YAY!!!!

I'm not going to post it here because I don't want Rob to see it, but I wanted to update y'all on my dress progress and celebrate that I'm done shopping!!! WHOOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!

Only In New York (Though I THINK it happened in Buffalo)

I guess Buffalo still counts as New York.... but this is something I REALLY thought a NYC driver would do.

Someone printed this out @ work and I went searching for the photos again because it was too good NOT to post.

Both cars driven by New Yorkers, one more in a hurry than the next one.
I wonder whose EZ-PASS paid the toll?!?!?!?!?!



Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Biggest Loser

Ahhhhh reality television. The latest craze in prime time couch potatoism. I'm actually not a HUGE fan of reality TV. I never got into Survivor, or The Bachelor, or The Apprentice. I never liked the ruthless competition and the elimination and well, I found it all kind of boring and pointless. I found a couple of shows interesting that I do watch though. I watch my daytime reality show Starting Over. I really find it interesting to really peer into these womens lives and to see how they truly learn to change their lives for the better. And so many times I find myself thinking about things they talk about and I find out something about myself. I've gotten hooked. :)

Until recently, that had been the extent of my reality TV watching. Until I came across The Biggest Loser. A group of overweight, morbidly obese people coming together, forming teams and competeing to see who can lose the most weight. And on the way they work with trainers who teach them about exercise and its benefits and how to exercise healthily. And they also learn about making healthy eating choices, resisting temptation, and perservering when the going gets tough and all you want is a piece of chocolate cake. They learn healthy ways of dealing with that, and healthy ways not to deprive themselves of the chocolate every so often without going overboard. And it doesn't hurt that there's a large sum of $$$ for the winner. But in a sense they all come out as winners. Yeah there's an element of competition and strategy to the game with eliminating players and so forth, but the changes I saw almost all the cast members go through was completely amazing. They truly learned how to lose weight and keep it off and live healthy, active lives. A good few of the cast lost 47-49% of their body weight! The transformation was absolutely amazing to watch. Really truly phenomenal and inspiring. And once again, I enjoyed the show for the things I learned about myself when I watched it. Plus it was a fun and enjoyable kind of show. :)

ANYWAYS, why am I BLOGging about all this reality stuff. It could be just a topic to BLOG about. And I've had the topic stored in the back of my mind to BLOG about when I was at a loss for BLOGging material. This entry though has another purpose.

The hospital is having a "Biggest Loser" competition. It's a 12 week competition. You have to pay $17 to participate and the $$$ all goes into a pot. The team who loses the greatest percentage of body weight wins half the pot and the one person who loses the greatest percentage of body weight gets the other half. A pretty cool incentive I think! As far as I knew there were 2 teams that formed, and a third sort of formed today. I'm getting to that. The telemetry floor staff signed up as the team called the Tele-Tubbies. VERY cute. I loved the name. One of the medicine floors signed up as a team, the Med-Eaters. Cute, but not as cute as tele-tubbies. Some of the therapy staff WAS going to sign up with the telemetry team. But then word got out in the department and people got excited and now we're trying to form our own team last minute... The "No Flab Rehab" team. GREAT name! :) The few who signed up with the telemetry floor switched over to our team except for one. So it's the rehab staff against her. She apparantly had already weighed in and paid up etc. and didn't want to change because of that and also because "There are some big people down there! And it'll be easier to lose a greater percentage to win when you have bigger people!" So we traitored her and covered her desk with candy and brownies. :)

We may not be able to fully participate because we're signing up so last minute, but we decided that even if we can't participate in the hospital wide program we'll do it for ourselves. There aren't a lot of overweight people in our department, we're a pretty active bunch. But there are a few of us who could stand to lose a few pounds, and we figure whether we win or not it's great incentive to lose weight and be healthier. Like the cleverly thought of title, its a good thing to be a loser. :) And fun too. :)

My personal goal is to drop ~30-40 pounds of fat and gain ~10-15 pounts of muscle, so a net loss of ~ 30-35 pounds. I have nine months to lose 30 pounds! One I don't want to be at the weight I am anymore, two I want to be more active, and three I want my wedding gown (whenever it is that I actually find it) to look GOOD! And I've been sluggish in my activity motivation so I figure this'll be a good way to jumpstart myself so I can start earlier rather than later and not stress myself out over it.

And so, if you haven't ever watched The Biggest Loser, look for it next season. It's a fun show. And don't forget to watch me too! I'll keep y'all updated because I'm gonna hopefully be a BIG loser myself!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Wedding Dresses

I've been looking for the last couple of weekends for a wedding dress. I've only been to 2 stores and already I'm completely frustrated! I just want to get this done with! It's such a frustrating process..... which dress, which cut, which beading, which skirt, which train, which everything in the world. All made even more complicated by the fact that I want/need to have a dress WITH SLEEVES! And if you know anything about wedding dress shopping, you'll know that sleeves are practically non-existant. 98% of dresses are strapless. Another 1.5% have spaghetti straps or tank topish sleeves or cap sleeves; all not appropriate. The last .5% have a sort of sleeve. And most of those are either too sheer, don't cover the shoulder, or exist in a store in Utah only. PLUS I'd prefer a long sleeve to a short sleeve. I think the short sleeves give the dress a "t-shirt" look. And hi-ho! Even the "modest" made dresses are all short sleeved!

I REALLY don't want to have to schlepp into Manhattan if I don't have to. I don't want to have to schlepp into the city and then all the way downtown for fittings and all that, plus it's usually more expensive when you get it in the city.

So I've been to a couple of local places and I know things can be done to alter dresses, but at the same time it's so hard to imagine what they'll look like, or how it'll turn out, or if the alteration will take away from the look of the dress... I'm just frustrated at the process. I wish I could find a dress I didn't have to alter except just for sizing. PLUS there was a REALLY RUDE saleswoman this weekend who shooed my Mom out of the dressing room and then told me that she was too picky. ARRRRGH! I wanted to strangle her, I felt she was being rude and pushy the entire time I was there. She said I was picky too, and when you're picky you have a harder time. Ummmmmmmmm this is MY wedding dress, and shouldn't it be just the way I want it?

I know BASICALLY what I want. The cut, the skirt line and width, the train, the amount of detailing... But it doesn't seem to exist. Except for this one dress I saw online, it has everything I'm looking for, including long sleeves. But no one carrys it. They carry the designer that makes the dress but not that dress because no one else in the world wants sleeves and they wouldn't be able to sell it and why carry a dress that won't sell? I can't order it without purchasing it and I don't want to purchase a gown I haven't tried on...

I KNOW that this all takes awhile, but I hate shopping to begin with, and by the end of a couple of hours in a Bridal Store I'm tired and cranky. I want a mostly modest dress. I don't want strapless or low cut or slinky, I want the sleeves to have some semblance of solidity instead of sheerness. I feel like a dress like that would just be the complete opposite of the type of wedding I want to have. PLUS we're going to be in our Synagogue so I REALLY want to feel comfortable and appropriate and still special all at the same time. I just wish things were simpler. Why does every little bit of planning a wedding have to be so complex? Right now I'm just feeling really frustrated with the entire process. Isn't all of this supposed to be fun and exciting and amazing and a once in a lifetime special thing that you do????

So, one again I'm asking the BLOG reading universe for advice. Does anyone have any ideas as to where I can more easily find a dress with sleeves???

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Today was an ordinary day, nothing too special. I got to have a student for the day. There's a PT student in the department now and his CI needed to orient an outpatient to inpatient stuff so I got her student. That was fun. I like having students around. I thought that was exciting enough for the day. But I got home and had supper and called my first bridal shop to go looking for a dress.... (ok so SOME out of the ordiary things happened today, but not as cool as this one) Then I sat down to relax with my computer (actually Rob's but who's counting) and I started my usual BLOG reading, catching up on the past couple of days events on friends and random peoples BLOGs I read. And YAY! YAY!!!!!

I got some great news! (As Evi would say, it made me SQUEE!!!) YAY for Adam and Laurie! WHOOOO HOOO and YIPEEEE, I'm so happy for them!!!!!!!!

I'll let Adam tell you the good news, but YAY! I'm SO EXCITED! I love it when things like this happen. You think you have a semi-ordinary day and then you get happy news from a friend and it makes your day "squee-full." That's always fun. SO YAY for Adam and Laurie, and Mazel Tov and WHOOOOO HOOOO!!!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bert And Ernie Sing-A-Long

When I was a kid I LOVED this tape. A Sesame Street Sing-A-Long tape, with Bert in the bathtub and Ernie and the rest of the Sesame Street gang interupting coming into the bathroom and having a sing-a-long. It was so much fun! And a great mix of Sesame Street songs and general kiddie songs. I LOVED it, and I played it over and over. I still loved it as I got older, I listened to it all through high school and even college. Until it disappeared that is...

I for the life of me can't figure out where it is. I've looked everywhere, with my tapes in my apartment, with my parents tapes... I can't find it. And I miss it! I've tried to find it on the WWW to buy, but it's not made anymore and REALLY hard to find. I just can't find it anywhere. I-Tunes doesn't have it, Amazon doesn't have it, E-Bay doesn't have it... I've looked EVERYWHERE.

So I'm sending out a plea. Does ANYONE have a copy of this record/tape??? If you do, can I have a copy??!?!?!?!?!?! Can I purchase a copy!?! I PROMISE to love you forever and ever and ever. And you will be my Sesame Street Hero. So PLEASE, if you know where I can find this childhood treasure, I would LOVE a copy!!! THANK YOU!!!

Oh yeah, and while I'm on the subject of Sesame Street, I seem to remember and episode where they all counted Big Bird's feathers. Does anyone know how many feathers Big Bird had/has??? I know the costume has ~4000, but I remember the characters all counting and coming up with a specific number. I can't find that info anywhere either. Any help would again, be MUCH appreciated.


Saturday, January 07, 2006


My watercolors class has not been offered in the evenings for a couple of semesters now. My old teacher George has started teaching again after his CVA, but not at night. And they haven't scheduled a watercolors class @ night to replace the one he taught. I'm not sure exactly why, but that's what's happened. And I can't take a daytime class obviously. I've done some painting on my own of course, but I've still wanted to take classes. My teacher Teresa (who took over for George when he was out) was offering a pastels class last semester and I wanted to continue studying with her so I took that class instead.

I didn't like it as much as watercolors but it was fun in its own right. There were some things that were a lot easier... Pastels are a lot easier to control and A LOT more forgiving than watercolors. And they can be really bold and abstractify even a simple landscape. But they're REALLY MESSY! And the fixative spray to keep it from smudging all over everything when you're done is STINKY! Besides that I like the idea of painting rather than drawing. I can't totally explain it, but there's something about holding a brush rather than a pastel. It's a different feeling. It's more relaxing for me, I feel different and I feel like I get more of a release. Plus I like that watercolors aren't forgiving. It's great therapy for me. I can't be a perfectionist. And I like the way they look. I find it easier to achieve a softer look. I do need to work on that, I tend to paint heavily, but that's ok too.

While I like watercolors a bit betterer, I did enjoy the class. Pastels ARE fun in they're own right. And I did learn a lot about different kinds of techniques. And I got to see a different side of my teacher and meet different students with expertise in different mediums. I really learned a lot. And I got to do something a little different, which actually helped my watercolor techniques. And they're great mediums to mix with each other as well. I'd like to try some of that.

I'm actually taking two art classes this next semester. A watercolor techniques class in color and perspective and the pastels class again. Teresa said I could come and work in either medium if I wanted to, and she said she would show me about mixing the two as she often does. I'm excited about it. AND, on a different note, Rob and I are taking ballroom dancing and swing dancing lessons through the Stamford Adult Ed classes. So I'll have nights out 3 nights a week and that'll be a nice way to get through the rest of the winter. I always get stir crazy mid-winter, ESPECIALLY since I've been living in CT away from a lot of friends. I've really loved taking all these classes and get out and meet new peoples. :)

So, back to my original point... I finally came across the photos I took of my pastel paintings ages ago and in the spirit of continual posting of my work, here they are. Well some of them anyways. :) Enjoy!

This one is from a photo Rob took while in Greece. I liked the sea (It's so BLUE!) and how it contrasted with the buildings and the landscape. It took a lot of blending to get it all right. My fingers were pretty dirty. That's when I started using hospital gloves while using pastels. It made it easier not to mix things that shouldn't have been mixed and kept my hands cleaner @ the same time.

This one I love. I felt like doing something seasonal, and I loved the way it blended and reflected into the water. It's just something very simple. It's one of my favorites.

I've done this one in watercolors multiple times. It was so different to do with pastels. (This was actually my first pastel painting. I figured I'd start with a scene I was familiar with.) The different media made it look much "rougher" and "bolder." Using the rougher side of the paper added to that. It gave the picture a grainer and kind of abstract look.

This one was fun. I was cold that day, and I found a nice warm sunny spring scene to draw.
And the butterfly was fun too. :)

This one I completely love. I modeled it after a piece of Chagall's mosaic mural in Chicago, The Four Seasons. I had taken a close up picture of these two charactures and I thought it would make a nice watercolor the way it blended. I haven't tried it in watercolor yet, but it made a beautiful pastel piece. Very bold, and yet very smooth and soft at the same time. This one I had to work in layers using a workable fixative spray so that all the underlying background layers didn't smudge into the more detailed top layers. It took a long time to do, but I love it. And the man reminds me of Rob with his red hair. :)

So come February I'll have more classes to take and technique to learn. I'm looking forward to the technique class though I'm sure it'll frustrate the heck out of me. Hopefully though I'll work through it and really learn some control with the water. And I'm looking forward to mixing media. And I'm REALLY looking forward to ballroom dancing. (We need to learn for our wedding) And in the meanwhile I'm looking forward to designing our wedding invitation.... :)

And on that happy note... NITE NITE! Sweet Dreams!!!!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

A CARE-ing Registry

We did it. Finally. We registered. SO MANY PEOPLE have asked us Where!? When!? We want to buy you an engagement gift!!!! What? Not yet? Still? When??? So, we finally gave in. We're registered. We weren't initially going to do it so soon but we figured if people were wanting to buy us gifts so badly we may as well get things that we want/like/will use. Otherwise we'd probably end up with 12 bread boards, 8 fondue pots, and 27 crystal picture frames or something like that.

So we went last weekend and got it over with. We didn't put in everything we'll probably need because a lot of things such as bed/bath/table linens are seasonal. But we got dishes and silverware and some serving pieces and of course baking stuff. That's my FAVORITE part btw, I CAN'T WAIT until I get all the new baking stuff and the HUGE mixer that's under my parents dining room table and when I have the room and I can bake and bake and bake... TEE HEE!! I'm so excited!

I LOVE the dishes we picked out too. We got 2 sets, one each for meat and dairy. One set is glass because glass is amazingly versitile when it comes to kashrut because it's non-porous. So we can use it for pretty much almost anything and interchange it as needed. And that's one less set we need for Passover. I like that. Glass dishes are hard to come by and when you do, they're pretty plain. But we managed to find a set that's pretty basic, but at the same time interesting and fun. We had to get mismatched bowls because the set didn't have matching bowls, but what can ya do...

And I truly LOVE LOVE LOVE our dairy dishes. They are so beautiful and simple and timeless, I can't wait to start setting my table with them. The set is called "Flora." The dishes have flowers on them but not a pattern of small flowers. One big flower. Or two growing together. Or 1, 2, or 3 in various stages of opening. They are SO beautiful. There are different sets that all mix and match. There's a daisy and a rose and a poppy and a cornflower, and a sunflower. So we got 2 place settings of each flower, except for the poppy and the sunflower. The sunflower only came in the dinner plate, but we liked it so much that we susbstituted out the poppy dinner plate for the sunflower and got the rest of the poppy set by itself. I'm so excited to mix and match them and make a pretty floral and fun dairy dinner table. :)

So now we have most of our stuff set and it'll be nice when we eventually get a house to have nice new and matching things to put in it and use instead of the mish-mosh of hand-me-downs we're using now. I',m looking forward to having a matched set of plates, a matched set of silverware, nice serving pieces, matched bedding, etc, etc, etc. I'm excited about the prospect of one day setting up a home with beautiful things tht I'm going to enjoy using and sharing with others. When I have more space I can't wait to have more people over more often. I can live without it, but Rob is excited about having a dairy AND meat kitchen. Ours now is just too small to have 2 sets of everything.

SO... now that I've gone on and on about my excitement over home-making and dishware, you'll probably want to know where to look for these things if you were one of the many people who have previously asked aboot the registry. We are registered at Fortunoff, Crate and Barrell, and Williams-Sonoma. So you can go to those stores or to their websites to do your thing if you so desire.

IF however, you decide to order a gift online, Rob and I ask that you PLEASE do it through the registry search at For every gift bought through this website, will make a donation to the charity of our choice. Rob and I have decided on CARE-USA.

CARE is an organization that works with impoverished communities in more than 70 countries around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty. They not only aid the poverty but also look at the big picture and confront the underlying causes. They have a broad range of programs based on empowerment, equity and sustainability. They work in some of the poorest communities in the world aiding them in self help, economic, educational, and health care opportunities. They also provide emergency aid for those communites struck by disaster and help them to rebuild. It's a worthy organization with a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator, and they put over 90% of their monetary donations towards their relief projects.

And so that's that. Rob and I have tried to make the difficult task of registering a little easier by chosing to participate in helping a program that does so much good around the world. For me anyway, it makes me feel better that in the huge whirl of all the wedding extravaganza STUFF, that some semblance of deeper meaning and good can come out of it all. I am SO excited to know that Rob and I will be spending our lives together. And I'm SO excited to celebrate that with our families and community. But we also want to recognize our priviledge to live the lives we lead, and we want to incorporate a piece of Tikun Olam (Healing the World) and Tzedakah into the celebrations. This is one way we can start to do that even before the actual celebrations.

So for all of you who have been asking, there you go. And thank you so much for your generosity and thoughts at this special time in our lives. And thank you for helping us to extend that generosity further into the world.