little miss messy hair
better like umbrellas

Archive for the 'talk' Category

pictures by sop

Monday, April 26th, 2010

destination alchemy
destination alchemy

i am not someone of words. yet i love words, marvel in their many meanings and variety, dissecting sentences for their ‘real’ meanings inferred out of ambiguous and tenuous words, but i use them clumsily myself resulting in nagging thoughts that i may have been misunderstood as i dissect my own ramblings at a later time – especially if i have used many words, spoken for ‘too long’ or about ‘too much’.


Not being able to crawl around on the ground, floor, wall, etc. with my camera has been a bit silencing. I can make sketches – sort of; i am out of practice – but the view is often a panorama of my foot, which looks like it should be painted green and appearing in a disney animation (although i would forbid any part of my self from appearing in anything disney).

Luckily, SOP understands when I say ‘look at that [random thing] there’, and likely quickly sees the unusual aspect of that particular [cloud formation, color gradient on a petal, cheeky squirrel, stealthy cat] that drew my eye, so the daily walks are as interesting as always, if somewhat shorter at the moment.

both needing help

DOG and SOP have been great at putting up with me over the past month. DOG has been quite protective, causing my 5-year-old neighbor to give him the super-hero moniker of ‘Protective DOGE*!’ which she says is a great super-hero name for him because it rhymes with Doge**. Quite right.

In other news, i have been reading a lot – which actually represents more healing on the post-suicide front, an amazing 7(!?) years later. So much sitting is a challenge for me, though. I’m at the point where the major trauma healing seems to be over and, as I cannot yet be very active, I am having difficulty sleeping. But the stitches were removed last Friday and I have just started to be able to put some weight on the injured leg. The doctor expects me to just be using one crutch by the end of this week and just the boot by the beginning of next. That seems very rapid after the month it has taken me to get here, but I am working hard toward that goal (foot flexes, weighting with each step) and am really excited to see it coming. My calf and thigh look quite shapeless and small at the moment. They are going to be getting quite a workout soon.

* Pronounced doughj
** Also pronounced doughj, and how we address the DOG when not like ‘doughjee’, ‘buddy’, ‘my friend’, or ‘superfreak’

Bald schreibe ich wieder auf Deutsch…

musings on broken ankles

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

me: you know what has struck me since i broke my fibula?
sop: that you’re not super-human?

Besides not being super-human, i have been struck by a couple of things. The first is the extent of the inaccessibility of our campus. I always thought our area was pretty bad, plotting out wheelchair paths for students in my head, but i realized the other day that it is even worse than i thought. The campus goes uphill, and must be terraced by its own nature. The building in which i work is on the southern end of the main campus, with plenty of buildings east and west of us. However, to get to any of the buildings to the west, you will have to go a good ways to the north before being able to go back downhill and to the south. However, the building directly west of us has a bridge to go into its 2nd floor and an elevator that goes down to the first. My belief has been that this would be the way to go if you were in a wheelchair, rather than go around the library from our building. To get to the bookstore, for example, you should go to this building directly west of us and use the elevator, then go over to the bookstore. The route around the library extends the length of this trip by about a fifth of a mile. Not far, but when you only have 15 minutes between classes, it can definitely make a difference.

I learned this week, however, that none of the doors on the second floor of said building have automatic openers. I, being on crutches, can manage, but someone in a wheelchair? A further annoyance was that the redid the library recently and re-terraced the southern side of it – with only stairs. I was shocked at the time, and am even more shocked now that i realize the ‘short-cut’ i thought was there doesn’t really exist. And all it needs is one retro-fitted door.

The second thing that has struck me is the variety of people’s attitudes toward injury. Reading needled and comments people have been making to her made me wonder about this even more. Seriously, when i told one person that my doctor said it would be 3 – 4 months before i could run again this person said, “oh, no, it will be at least a year” and went on to tell me of all the pain and problems i would have based off her experience – with a completely shattered talus. Not to downplay the fact that it will be work, but these are two separate injuries. I’ve also had people tell me that my ankle will always be weak, because they hurt their ankle and now it is weak. But i have no tendon damage, so really, it should not be any weaker once it has healed. Again, different injuries. Many people seem to love worst-case-scenarios. Of course, most of these people I find otherwise fabulous, so I can’t linger on this one attribute anyway.

I also feel pretty lucky that i did not have many doom-sayers after Rich’s death. Perhaps because no one knew really what to say at all. Death and grieving are difficult subjects and suicide even more difficult, of course. It probably helped that it was not an observable injury. Random strangers did not approach me to say how I would never be the same, although in that case is was certainly true – if not always in a tragic way. Despite our culture’s love of the idea of there being only one ‘soul mate’ for each of us, we tend not to tell someone who has just lost their partner that they ‘will never be happy again’. Thank goodness.

how does a broken ankle make your butt hurt?

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Ah, more whining. well, a little. The surgical pain seems to be over. I have stopped waking up from pain, at least. Today will be my first attempt at a pain-killer-free day. I think it should be do-able, since yesterday i only took about a 16th of what i was at first – when i was waking up from pain and just holding on until the 4 hours had passed so i could take another pain killer. That alone is progress. Hoping i can sleep through the night without any help as well.

The big annoyance is, of course, sitting lying around. Lying, not sitting because sitting tends to still get too much blood to my ankle. My foot is so swollen that i keep thinking i have something between my toes, but it is just that my toes are feeling their neighbors and they are not used to it.

Dogie is lying around the house with me, extremely annoyed that we are not going outside. He sighs dramatically and looks at the door, occasionally emphasizing his annoyance by scooting toward the door as well. He knows, as i do, that it is gorgeous outside and that the hyacinth and tulips are blooming and we still have some summer bulbs to plant.

The thing is, it is not just a matter of getting myself down the steps (completely possible) and set up in a chair with my leg propped up. The real difficulty comes in trying to get back inside later on. The fact of the matter is, and he acknowledges it when we are ready to go in, he needs help going up the stairs himself. I know from the weeks between breakage and surgery that it is possible to do this – i just position myself on my knees so that my foot doesn’t touch the ground and push him up – but it is still tricky at best.

In any case, SOP cannot help me get Dogie up or down any stairs today. He is busy helping some friends rework the space they are leasing for a community acupuncture clinic. Community Acupuncture clinics are attempting to bring acupuncture to more people, by making it more affordable and open – less a ’boutique’ service as it can be in the States. And our friend, who just got his degree in Chinese Medicine, has decided that seems like the right route and mentality for him. They are all busy being useful, and i am reading books and watching anime and whining about my puffy toes.

Don’t tell anyone, but i may go outside this afternoon anyway. I think i may have concocted a plan to make it totally feasible, and only moderately awkward or sketchy.

typing under anesthesia

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

just got home from surgery. wow. that was fun. i still taste the anesthesia ,yum. this will be short, the drugs should kick in soon.

I will write more on the sweater when i can put my head above my foot. I am actually almost done – even though i pretty well knit it twice.

Good to see you again!

welcome 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010

We said good-bye to 2009 with a blue moon ski and a few glasses of Glühwein, as pictured ever-so-poorly below

Wir haben uns von 2009 verabschiedet mit einem Schilauf bei Vollmond (Ein Blue Moon ist der zweiter Vollmond eines Monats)und ein paar Gläßchen Glühweins wie unten geschildert.

Die Schuld liegt bei dem Glühwein
ski into 2010
blame it on the glogg

It’s not that 2009 was an awful year. We fought big development, and won. We created sculptures. Dogie was not attacked by a pit pull in 2009 and we were able to enjoy the yard we planted in 2008. But still, it was taxing, and I am looking forward to this bright new decade.

Ehrlich gesagt, war 2009 nicht so schlimm. Wir haben den Großbauunternehmer gekämpft und gesiegt. Wir haben Kunst gemacht. In 2009 wurde Dogie nicht angegriffen und wir durften unserem Garten, den wir in 2008 gepflanzt haben, genießen. Aber trotzdem was er ermüdend und ich freue mich auf das nagelneue Jahrzehnt.

2010 begann mit einem Spaziergang mit Dogie im Park
2010 dogie
2010 started with a walk in the park with the d-o-g

Nur wir und die Enten…
park ducks
Just us and the ducks…

Nachmittags gingen wir auf einen Spaziergang für uns, bei einem Lieblingsort
the hill
In the afternoon we took a walk for us, at one of our favorite places.

und haben die Einsamkeit genossen
the hill
and enjoyed the solitude

i hope you have a 2010 full of friends, laughter and a bit of solitude

ich hoffe euer 2010 wird mit Freunde, Freude and ein bißchen Einsamkeit gefüllt