Sunday, August 30, 2009

A defining fault, the vice of our era?

Dawn Eden signs off

In order to concentrate on her studies, Dawn Eden has published her last blog post. In explaining her need to concentrate on her studies and her weakness (even vice) in not being about to just "quickly" check her email, etc. she writes this, confessing a sin to which so many of us fall prey:

But the truth is that I allow myself to be distracted by whatever comes to mind while I am at the computer, to the point where it becomes a self-medication for loneliness and boredom. And why do I become lonely and bored? Because I waste so much time on the Internet, of course.

And here she points us to the good doctor's treatment of this sin with these words:

St. Thomas Aquinas had a word for this vice that causes one to fail to moderate one's quest for knowledge: curiositas. With all the years of my life that I have spent in online curiositas, I have precious little wisdom to show for it.

And this link:

Aquinas on Curiosity

However, if you want to keep up with Dawn and find out if she may be speaking in your area, you may do so here:

I'm taking Dawn's wisdom in this matter and scaling back my own participation in and reading/scanning of certain blogs, etc. I hope this will result in more substantive and frequent posts on this blog and a substantial chunk of my book being written before the end of the year.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm baaack!

Just another quick note to say thanks again for all the prayers and encouragement. I'm back at work and feeling remarkably well for the most part. The wound care continues and the healing is going very well - I expect to be rid of my little healing machine-friend before I board my flight for Boston on September 30 for a girls weekend in Boston and out on Cape Cod.


Friday, August 14, 2009

A Chick Flick?

I took my mother to see Julie and Julia today. It was a delightful movie that some will dismiss as merely a "Chick Flick". While it definitely targets a female audience, there are moments worth savoring by both sexes.

The story holds no genuine surprises or twists, it is simply a nice, gentle, enjoyable way to spend a summer afternoon. The film follows Julia Child during the post-war years, before her husband retired from Foreign Service (State Departments) postings abroad and they moved to Massachusetts. At the same time it interweaves with Julia's story, the story of Julie Powell. Julie is a young married woman who is down on herself for her failure to publish her novel and picks up the project of cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about it as a writing project. Her adventures in this cooking endeavour, in a tiny NYC apartment are fun -- and the "lobster" scene is even better than the clip of it seen in the ads for the movie. The switches between Julie and Julia are occasionally a bit rough, but generally well-timed.

The true delight of the movie, however, is Meryl Streep as Julia Child - a delicious pleasure. I left the theatre wanting to buy the book she wrote about her years in France. And Stanley Tucci as Julia's husband, Paul, is no mere straight man to Streep's powerful Julia. Together, they make an onscreen couple who seem so comfortable with each other, exactly as a husband and wife should be. The best line of the movie is one that brings some contemporary issues into stark relief and points up the differences between Julia and Julie. Julia Child always knew, I believe, what a blessing her husband was to her. And, if the movie is true in this respect, knew how things properly go between a man and a woman. At a dinner party in their Paris apartment she turns to him at one point and says, quite simply, "What would I have done if you hadn't fallen in love with me?"

And that's really it, isn't it?

Not a great movie, nevertheless, a delightful afternoon diversion.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

With profound thanks!

Just another update:

I saw the doc today and he said everything looks very good. The wound is showing signs of healing well, and there is no evidence of infection. This will still be a long process, but we're off to a good start.

I am on track to return to work at the end of the month and today he also released me to drive again (freedom!).

I am most humbly grateful for all the prayers and support. I wouldn't feel this well today and wouldn't be healing well if it weren't for that. Thank you all very, very much!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

It hasn't been real fun around here

Since a few of you have posted gentle nudges, I thought I'd better post an update - mostly because I could use some prayer. For those of you who are squeamish, I've gone into a bit of detail below and you can skip to the last paragraph. You only need to know that I've had surgery and have now developed a rather discouraging complication.

On July 15, I went into the hospital for what should have been an easy little laparoscopic hysterectomy. Two hours in surgery, a night in the hospital and back to work in a month. Ha! The trouble is, I had a couple of complications which made that nice little procedure impossible and had to have a traditional abdominal incision to complete the operation. Ultrasounds are great, but they don't always show everything well. So, two hours turned into 5 1/2. But the good news is, I seem to have tolerated the extra stress well. Thanks to better living through chemistry and something known as a PCA pump (Patient controlled analgesia) which let me deliver a dose of one of our better drugs when I needed it for pain, but not more often than every fifteen minutes, I had remarkably little pain those first couple of days. It took me a while to get all that anesthesia out of my system and didn't really feel fully awake for almost 24 hours, but by the second morning after surgery I was off the PCA pump and taking oral pain meds. By the time I went home on the Saturday, I only needed motrin.

So far so good. I went for a couple of very short walks the first week home and after two weeks, I was allowed to drive so I went to lunch with a couple of girlfriends. Unfortunately, over the next few days I developed two complications. One was very unusual given my situation, an intestinal bug that usually only strikes those on heavy-duty IV antibiotics for a week or two. I, being the unique woman I am, managed to come down with it after only one IV antibiotic dose during surgery. Thankfully, the condition is easily treated with another antibiotic. Go figure that one!

The second complication is just one of those things that happens when you open up someones abdomen. I developed what is called a "seroma", which is a pocket of fluid collecting above the incision. It's more tedious and annoying and a bit painful than it is a serious or critical condition. Unfortunately, this means my surgeon had to re-open part of my incision to drain the fluid. Now, the really unfortunate thing about that is they don't re-close the incision with stitches. It is packed with saline-moistened gauze with a dressing over that. And to make matters even more tedious, discouraging and yuck-making, this has to be changed twice a day. The process is more nerve-wracking than it is painful and will take around a month for the wound to heal.

So, that's where I've been. Please, if you would, pray for me because I am really discouraged right now. I was so excited about how well I had tolerated the surgery and recovery and now, well, I think I'd rather have the surgery all over again rather than go through this healing process. Please also pray for my mother, as she has to do the evening dressing change. She was a champ tonight, but I think it's rather hard on her.