Life in Czeltistan

Thanks, Douglas Adams

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

You just helped me win a $25 Think Geek gift certificate on Twitter! Yay! (And thanks to BB, who was the person to finally get me to create a Twitter account.)


Thursday, February 19th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 6 Comments

I am two pounds and one exoskeleton lighter this afternoon, and things are looking bright.

They took two x-rays: one side shot with the elbow bent (like such) and one straight on with the inside of my elbow facing up (like this). The side shot looked fabulous. You can hardly even see the fracture. This is great news. The straight on shot looks better than it did two weeks ago, but the bone is still a bit off-center. (Picture about half of the gap in the x-ray linked above.) This isn’t the best news, but it’s not necessarily bad, either. The bone is shifted to the side where it may not impact the elbow’s range of motion.

The soft tissue bits are still a little sore. I’m not sure yet how much of that is from the injury and how much is from two weeks locked in the same position. The swelling is nearly completely gone, though, and the bruising is less than half of what it was when the cast went on (and the bruises were just starting to show at that point). So I take that all as a very good sign.

I’m slated for PT twice a week for the next three weeks. Then on March 12, I go back in to see the doc and we discuss my progress in PT. (In his words, “We see if there’s anything you can’t do or if you find that your elbow gets stuck in certain positions.” Stuck? Stuck??? WTF, stuck? That’s not cool. No stuck, please.)

Before I left the appointment, he had me see if I could move the arm around a little. I can and, in fact, have more movement than he expected. Then he asked me if I could do a little side-to-side movement with my hands in a fist, thumbs facing up. Judging by his “oh, wow. You really can. Hey, you may not need surgery at all. You may do just fine on your own,” I was able to do that movement better than he expected. If he’s right about not needing surgery, then that’s twice now he’s managed to fix me up well enough to beat the odds. I’m so hoping he’s right.

Meantime, I’m enjoying being able to properly wash my hands again (those of you who know how obsessive I am about hand washing know this was killing me), scratch that one little spot on my upper right arm I couldn’t reach for the past three weeks, and fit my left arm back into the sleeves of ALL my clothing again. It’s also entirely possible I may get up a few minutes earlier tomorrow just to spend a little more time savoring a proper shower. Ahhh.

Thanks, all, for the good wishes the last few weeks. It’s much appreciated.

Wish me luck

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 8 Comments

My doc appointment is at 1:15 Thursday. I’m hoping Cute Doctor* will have nothing but good news for me. (“Wow. Not only do you not need surgery, but your bone has completely healed AND coated itself with adamantium!”) (Ok, maybe not hoping for news THAT good.)

It’s not that I fear surgery (in fact, if it comes to that, I’d kind of like to watch). It’s that I fear the frakking $4000 deductible my insurance has. At that cost, I’m tempted to take my chances with a superglue injection instead, only that isn’t one of the choices my doctor offers.

So if you get a chance, send all your “Anne should use that $4000 on a car or several fabulous vacations, not her elbow” vibes my way.

I’ll post back here Thursday afternoon or evening with an update.

(*Since some of you have asked… everyone, meet Cute Doctor.)


Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

Figured out how to tie shoes with this stupid cast on this morning. I can do it with all the speed of a small child who’s just learning, and the knot isn’t as tight as I’d like, but if it means I no longer have to wear the same two pairs of shoes (especially since neither is good in winter), I’m fine with it.

Still can’t open jars, though. Stupid torque.

As an FYI

Monday, February 9th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

While my arm heals, I’m reduced to typing with one hand. Hunt and peck may be old hat to some of you, but I’ve been touch-typing for well over 20 years now, so this is a HUGE handicap for me. (Don’t even get me started on what a pain in the ass being one-handed is for phone calls.)

Between emails (work and personal), IMs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., I get a ton (or, as I like to say, a metric assload) of correspondence every day, not to mention all the other non-correspondence things I need to do on the computer. At the rate I am able to type right now, it is impossible for me to respond to it all. Please don’t feel slighted if I’m unable to give you a response or if my responses are very, very short and impersonal. It’s the only way I can get through it all. (And trust me, even only doing that, by the end of the day, my arm and shoulder are killing me.)

Right now, the goal is for most correspondence to reach the largest possible number of people who need that information. If you want news updates, you’re going to have to be content with checking the blog and checking Twitter (which I don’t update more than a few times a day. I’m mostly using it to keep track of others). Chatty IMs are pretty much right out these days, especially since there’s nothing “instant” about my replies.

Sorry if I’m sounding cranky. I’ve reached that point in my recovery where frustration is setting in. Lots of frustration.


Thursday, February 5th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

As part of our work party tonight we had a “$10 and under” wine contest. The bottle of Malbec I brought in won the medium reds contest. My prize: a bottle of 2003 Travaglini Gattinara.


Cute Doctor is not nearly as cute when he’s delivering bad news

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 11 Comments

So I had my appointment with my orthopaedic surgeon today. (Yes, I have an orthopaedic surgeon. Doesn’t everyone? No? Just me?)

First, the good news. The bone is broken in a kind of horseshoe shape, not straight across.

The end.

Now the bad news. The bone on top is broken (which I knew), the tendons on the bottom are pretty tweaked (which I suspected from all the swelling and bruising). This is what the call in medical terms a “bad combo.” (Ok, maybe that’s not a medical term.) He gave me three options:

Option 1: Cast it now for two weeks to help the tendons heal up a bit and the immobilize the bone. Good for the tendons, but the bone isn’t necessarily thrilled with this option. Still, if all goes as well as possible, everything heals up the way it should, I spend some more time in a sling after the cast is off and then do physical therapy. If all doesn’t go so well, they do surgery to repair/replace the broken off end of the bone. (Note: This option will actually sound good later.)

Option 2: Surgery now to put pins in the bone.

Option 3: Surgery now to replace the broken tip of the bone with a metal replacement doohickey (that one is also not a medical term).

Since options 2 and 3 involve a 100% chance surgery and of making airport security screenings even more of a pain in the ass (and who knew that was possible?), I went with option 1.

So now I wait, try to figure out how to do things with even less mobility, and send vibes to my little nanobots to do the best repair job possible. I’m rockin’ another black exoskeleton while I do that. Pain in the ass for getting dressed and showering, but I can knock people’s teeth out with almost no effort if I need to. Don’t get a lot of call for that, but it’s good to be prepared.

So that’s all the updates on this that I have for probably the next two weeks. Thanks to everyone for offers of help (and drinking). I’m ok on my own so far and this hasn’t really affected my day-to-day mobility, but I’ll holler if I need you. And since so many people keep asking: No, I’m not in pain. The swollen parts are tender, but I’m fine. Thank you for your concern, but please stop asking. I have a very high pain tolerance, so I’m pretty rarely in pain that needs asking after. If I am, you won’t need to ask. It’ll be really obvious. :) (Sorry. Just getting tired of answering the same questions day after day.)

Anyhoo… go, nanobots! Mama needs a metal-free arm. (Which reminds me, where’s my damn resurrection ship? This Cylon thing is supposed to have perks.)

Oh, and I’ll have a few more pix to post tonight — casting process, evil sidewalk shots so y’all can see how treacherous it is.

Another sign exercise and I are not friends

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 8 Comments

Broken elbow

Since it was s nice and warm out today, I figured I’d take a walk over to the bookstore. Everything was going fine until I got to the corner around from the store. I was moving at a pretty good clip. I forgot about the slab of concrete that sits an inch or two higher than its neighbors. Or at least I forgot about it until I clipped it.

Trying not to land directly on my face, I put my arms out. Tried — and managed — to avoid breaking my wrists. Felt something click oddly in my elbow. Thought I’d dislocated something. No, wait. I still have some range of motion. Not dislocated.

Sat and shook it off. Went to the bookstore. Thought better of it in the next 10 minutes when I kept breaking into a sweat. Fine, concrete. You win. Walked two blocks to the hospital and found the ER.

Found out I’ve got myself a nice radial head fracture. Hooray! Way to go, Czelt!

So I’m in a sling. I have to see my (very, very good-looking) orthopaedic guy this week. (Oh, darn.) At the moment, though, I have almost no pain. Thankfully, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and it’s workin’ its magic.

So patience is going to be a virtue for you all over the next month. Typing — my preferred mode of communication — is going to be slow. I’m not even remotely a good one-handed typist.

Speaking of which, enough for now. I’m going back to watching the Superbowl. Skipping the Puppy Bowl in favor of a trip to Walgreens for vicodin. Don’t need it now, but I don’t want to find out the hard way that it’d be nice at 2am.

Oh, also: my brother and I are of the opinion that the saddest part of the story is that I didn’t actually get to look around the bookstore. No new books. :(

Note to self:

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

You park outside. The night before the temps drop below zero, don’t park in the heated underground parking lot when you stop at the grocery.

Got out to the car this morning to find all the windows frosted up on the inside. Where the scraper doesn’t work. And the defroster takes ages. *grumble*

Reminded me of being in an old VW Bug.

Not dead yet.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Really. I’m just a very, very lazy blogger. I’ve got stuff for you. I just haven’t had the time to post it. (And in the downtime I have had in the last two weeks, I have had little enthusiasm to post. Must have more downtime, says brain.)

Soon. I promise.


Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 5 Comments

I pulled out of the lot at work tonight and got behind a UPS truck. It dislodged the world’s largest fenderburg. I couldn’t swerve out of its way (well, not without hitting the oncoming car), so I drove over it.

CLUNK! Felt that on the undercarriage.

About halfway home, I noticed the car was a little louder than usual. As in “brand new hole in the muffler” louder.

Thanks, UPS truck.


Saturday, December 1st, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 8 Comments

Stopped in the store on my way home last night to grab a few cans of cat food. Cost was $1.46. Cashier accidentally rang in that I gave her exact change, instead of the $2 I gave her. She stared at the register for a bit and looked confused. Then she wandered away.

I looked down the counter and saw her using a calculator to figure out what she owed me.

Even worse: She came back to the register, then apparently forgot what the change total should be and had to go back over to the calculator for a second look.

Good thing I didn’t give her $2.01. Could have been there all night.

The more years you play, the less you drink.

Thursday, November 29th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

Ms. Dynagirl and I were IMing about sadness over cancelled shows we like. I seem to be a curse for well-written shows. If I like them and they’re not a cop show, they aren’t going to make it too long. Or at least history would suggest that. And as many of you know, I am not a big fan of sitcoms. They make my brain hurt. (Admittedly, some of them are ok. But most of them are written for people who think fart jokes are the height of comedy.) Dynagirl has a suggestion for me, though:

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

I have to go rest up for a day of stuffing myself full of food, followed by a day of soundly ignoring the malls. You all have a lovely Thanksgiving (or a Happy Thursday for you non-Americans).

The rest of the NOLA photos

Sunday, November 18th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Ok. Everything’s finally posted.

You’ll find the remainder of the shots from in the city beginning here and the shots from the train journey home begin here.

We spent our last morning in town walking around the Warehouse District and the riverfront. We popped into the Quarter to get one last coffee at Cafe du Monde and a muffaletta for lunch. Then it was over to the Amtrak terminal and time to head home.

Overall impressions of New Orleans: I highly recommend a visit. Don’t fear what you’re hearing about the crime. Use your head when you’re there — take cabs at night, walk in well-lit areas where other people are, don’t walk around drunk with your wallet hanging half out of your pocket, etc. — and you should be fine. The attractions you want to see are up and running for the most part, and you’ll find there’s almost never a wait to get in, get a table, find a seat in the pub, or what have you. The locals are some of the friendliest people I’ve met and they sure are glad to have people come visit again (especially if you’re planning to be a visitor and not a tourist). Unless you’re going during Mardi Gras or the Jazz Festival, you’ll find rates for accommodation to be really quite reasonable, especially considering how conveniently located most of the hotels and B&Bs are. So go. You’ll have fun. Just expect to come home a couple of pounds heavier from eating all that wonderful food.

New Orleans, Day 4

Sunday, November 18th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

Finally got around to uploading photos from day 4 in New Orleans. They’re in the same set as the earlier ones and start here.

We walked up to check out St. Louis Cemetery #1, the oldest cemetery in the city. After that, we walked back through the Quarter toward Faubourg Marigny to check out an art fair. Along the way, we stumbled upon the Madame John’s Legacy museum. First we had the cemetery to ourselves (yes, we know this is a bad idea. Don’t worry — there was a cop doing walk-throughs), then the museum. Sunday morning in New Orleans means you get the city to yourself, unless you’re right near the Superdome. We finished the rest of the day prowling the stores, picking up a few last souvenirs and getting more coffee at Cafe du Monde.

Then it was time to take care of all the cocktail miscellany we hadn’t gotten to yet: a stop at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone (because one cannot pass up the opportunity to have a drink at a revolving bar), Pimm’s Cup at Napoleon House, hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s, some proper absinthe (not the craptastic Czech stuff we’ve had before) and a Sazerac. One would think that would be enough, but we managed to sneak some other cocktails into the mix, several of them courtesy of some very friendly Las Vegas Fire Dept. members we met in one of the bars. (Big cheery wave to their captain — who couldn’t join them because “she’s a girl and this is a guys’ trip” — but who I spoke with on the phone, as she’s also in the Emerald Society and the boys thought she & I should talk.)

We finished the night out at our favorite New Orleans bar, Pravda. (Still my favorite, despite the fact they just made me link to a MySpace page). It’s a brilliant little spot. Great staff (which, both times we were in, was the owner, Michelle) and regulars. Excellent cocktail knowledge and plenty of non-alcoholic options for those who don’t feel like imbibing. Great music. Fantastic patio. That’s where we finished our night. There was still a bit to do in the morning, and we had to be on our train at 1:45 the next afternoon.

I’ve only got a few more photos left from the city and the train journey home. I’ll try to get those posted Sunday or Monday. Then I can stop boring you with stories of my travels and get back to the business of just finding weirdness on the intertubes for your enjoyment.

NOLA Day 3

Monday, November 12th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Photos are now posted for Day 3 of our trip.

We took a little walk around Faubourg Marigny, which is the neighborhood next to the French Quarter. (Pronunciation tip: “Marigny” like “marinate,” but ending in “e”) Then we went out to Audubon Park and the Audubon Zoo for Cajun Swamp Fest at the Zoo. (Milwaukeeans, it’s NOLA’s version of Zoo ala Carte.) After that, we made our way back downtown via a couple stops along Magazine Street. Went out for a bite to eat and stumbled across our favorite bar in New Orleans, Pravda. But more on that later. It’s late and I’m tired.

Enjoy the new pix.

More NOLA photos

Saturday, November 10th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

I finally posted New Orleans pix from Day 2 we were in town (aka: The day we took 40 zillion photos). The entire set can be found here. Day two starts with this one.

Day 2 started with a bit of a hangover from Day 1 (too many Abita Ambers for the Czelt and Miz Christyl). We took the streetcar to the end of the French Quarter and then wandered our way back through the Quarter. Then we hopped on the Steamboat Natchez for a little trip down the Mississippi River. Highly recommended. Interesting to see the city and nearby surroundings from the river, and the ship’s crew provides narration for what you’re seeing as you travel.

After that, we dropped stuff off back at the hotel and went out to eat. Found a place called Hipstix, which turned out to be a good choice. We both left very full and very happy. Yum. Finished the evening at a wine place called W.I.N.O., which was fun.

Huh. Doesn’t sound like that should equal almost 100 photos, and yet it did. Don’t worry — I calmed down photographically for the next few days.

More coming later. Don’t want to overwhelm anyone.

More photos posted

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 4 Comments

I’ve got New Orleans photos posted from day one of our trip.

We got into town mid-afternoon and checked into our hotel. Then we walked down Decatur St. to Aunt Sally’s Pralines (*drool*) and then stopped in Cafe du Monde for some tasty coffee and beignets. After that, we walked the riverfront down to the ferry going to Algiers Point. We found a pub there that had trivia, met the bar cat, met some locals and their dog, had too many beers and were part of the world’s worst pub trivia team (with the aforementioned locals and dog). It was a great night, though we paid for it a bit in the morning. That’s ok. It was all worth it.

I’ve got a hockey game Thursday night, so I doubt I’ll be able to post more photos until the weekend. These will have to keep you entertained until then.

We’re back

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 6 Comments

And we left New Orleans reasonably intact.

Too tired to blog. Trying to convince myself to post some photos. (So many photos to sort through.) I’m hoping to get to some of it Wednesday evening. Guess you’ll need to be patient until then.

Update: I’ve posted a few pix from the train journey down to New Orleans. I’ll try to get more images posted in the next few days.