August 2007 Archives

try, try again

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We've booked a cruise from New York City to Florida and the Bahamas, March 1-8. Norwegian Cruise Lines again, on their newest (just out of the docks) ship the Gem. Gerald and I will have a mini-suite with balcony, Erin and the boys will have a cabin with a nice window. They are much nicer rooms than what we would have had on the Alaska cruise, because we booked that one so late.

I feel better now that we have a concrete plan for a replacement vacation--the self-pity kind of caught up with me this week, and the reality of being back home and trying to deal with office politics, cluttered bedrooms, looming course prep, and miserably muggy weather. And I suspect that a cruise to a warm climate in early March will be a welcome respite from the Rochester winter.

Now I need to turn my attention towards course prep, since it's two weeks 'til the start of classes. I'm teaching two sections of my favorite course (the freshman intro to multimedia and the internet), which means it won't be a huge hassle to prep, but there's still time and energy that has to go into that process. And it's harder because my MacBook Pro went in for minor repairs (including that pesky wifi problem) and a hard drive upgrade, so I'm using a Windows machine that doesn't have all my application settings (like ftp passwords).

I did manage to get my office cleaned up on Friday, so Monday I'll go in and try to make forward progress on my myriad projects--course prep, symposium planning, grant report, long-overdue posts for Terra Nova, etc etc.

Tonight and tomorrow, however, still count as vacation. So I'm going to bed.

update on lane

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Lane saw the pediatric orthopaedist today, and the news is encouraging. The left arm looks good, and they replaced the cast with a waterproof one so that he doesn't have to worry about keeping it dry. That will help a lot with bathing and showering. The right arm is still stable, which is encouraging. He'll have to keep the splinted full-arm cast for at least 2.5 more weeks, but after that if it's still stable and there doesn't seem to be a bend (not sure what she meant by that) they'll switch that one to a waterproof forearm cast, as well. In the meantime, I've ordered a waterproof cast cover so he should be able to start bathing and showering this weekend.

No additional restrictions on his activities (other than not participating in gym or sports)--he can continue to try to figure out strategies for typing, dressing himself, etc.

We discovered last night when he called me complaining about a rash that he seems to have an allergy to codeine. :( So they're taking him off the Tylenol with codeine, which is probably a good idea at this point, and switching him to just a combo of acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

The Dragon Naturally Speaking software arrived yesterday, and Lane's started puzzling out how to get it to work with his favorite programs. It's a challenge, but he seems to be making progress. (In a few hours he went from "It won't work with my AIM or Second Life software" to "I can get it to work about half the time.")

My mother returns to Rochester from Mexico today, and will be able to help Erin out with the necessary care and feeding. And we'll be back late Sunday night.

In the meantime, the suggestions here have been great...many thanks to those of you who offered up such creative and useful ideas for coping strategies!

things we're grateful for this week

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  • It was only his wrists, not his head or his spine
  • We have great health insurance
  • Gerald had the foresight to buy trip insurance for the cruise
  • Microsoft is generously covering the change fees for us to fly home Sunday
  • We have amazing friends and neighbors
  • Erin is the best sister/daughter ever, with the patience of a saint

coping mechanisms for two broken wrists?

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So, it's starting to sink in for Lane just how helpless the two casts are going to make him, and that's really tough for him. Any practical suggestions from my readership as to how to help him be as self-sufficient as possible, even with one incapacitated arm and one that has a cast from below the elbow beyond the wrist?

disaster

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Well, the cruise may be is off.

Lane fell off his bike today and broke both of his arms wrists. I hate that I'm 2500 miles away from him right now. Erin's with him at the hospital, and will take great care of him, but I want to be there.

It's not clear if he'll really be able to travel this week, or if he'd even want to go on the cruise with two broken arms. The good news is that we have travel insurance for the trip, so we can cancel and get a full refund if it looks like traveling is a bad idea. I don't have many details at the moment, but will update when I have more information.

--

We don't know a lot more just yet. The right arm break is apparently pretty bad, and they're not yet sure if it will set properly. If not, the trip is definitely off, as they'll need to do surgery. Even if it's iffy, the trip is off, since they'll need to check it soon and possibly reset, so being gone for ten days will be hugely problematic. Only if it turns out being a clean set will we get the okay to travel. They have to sedate him to set the arms and put on the casts, so until that's done, and the follow-up x-rays are complete, we won't know much more. Friends and neighbors are already stopping by the hospital to make sure Erin's holding up okay, too. I'm grateful for both the trip insurance and the health insurance, not to mention our wonderful family and friends. But I wish I were there.

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Spoke to the orthopedic resident after they set his arms. The left wrist fracture was stable, but the right was is not. As a result, they want to check in a week--if it hasn't stabilized they may need to do surgery at that point. So, no cruise. Thank goodness Gerald got the trip insurance! Microsoft will change our flights so that we can fly home this weekend to be with him. The whale watching tour company refunded our deposit. And we'll rebook and take a different cruise over the winter when he's fully recovered. It sucks, but it could have been much, much worse.

summer's end approaches

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I can't believe how fast this summer has gone. It's slipped through my fingers, leaving me feeling a bit at a loss. I had hoped to have accomplished more...certainly to have written more. But for some reason, this summer I've found myself not at my most articulate. Words haven't come easily...and thus the relative lack of blogging.

Last week I had occasion to go back through some of my older posts, looking for something I wanted to send to a colleague, and I was disheartened by how much more interesting my writing used to be, compared to what I've generated recently.

I think the biggest problem this summer has been the limited amount of interaction I've had with others at MSR. With Lili away for the past month, I've spent too much time sitting by myself in my office, writing code (which, I must admit, has been fun--it's been a while since I've actually built something, even if it's just an internal site for tracking all the information associated with the social computing symposium) and dealing with email. The real work of putting on a good event is inviting the right mix of people--it's like holding a dinner party, but exponentially harder. So that's taken up more time than I really had intended.

There are a lot of things bubbling around in my head, though--having to do with two main themes. The first is the kind of semi-synchronous presence that tools like Twitter and Facebook have made so prevalent. The other is the extent to which work and play are (or could be, or should be) intertwingled.

In a week, I'll be aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, en route to Alaska. I'll be cut off from email and Internet and phone calls...and I can hardly wait. I'm hoping that the break with communication technology, combined with the grandeur of the Alaskan landscape, will help me focus my mind a bit, and knock loose whatever it is that's gumming up the works in my head.

After that, it's back to Rochester--we arrive home on August 27th, whereupon I'll be immediately caught up in start-of-year meetings (ack) and course prep. I'm teaching a course I love this fall--two sections of the introduction to multimedia and the web course--so prep won't be onerous and neither will teaching.

So there won't be much blogging 'til then...and after that, my hope is that quality and quantity of writing output will increase significantly.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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