Saturday, February 27, 2010


I honestly thought I would be feeling much better than I do. I have been doing Physical Therapy for a month and a half, and while a lot of the pain has subsided, it's still there. I still get up in the morning and have to adjust to the pressure on the Achilles. I can walk normally, and I was fitted with orthotics which seem to have straightened out my gait. But geez....seriously. I would love to think about running again. It just seems soo far off, especially with the two feet of snow on the ground.

Anyway, enough of my whining.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Must Have Been a Monday...

Not since the classic "Boom Goes the Dynamite" has there been such a wonderful display f ineptitude in the ranks of the sports reporting world...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gait Analysis

My friend George encouraged me to post the video of my gait analysis. For you, George:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Physical Therapy

Therapy has been a long, slow slog. I haven't been getting better as fast as I hoped (it's never that quick) or as well as the doctor had hoped. In fact, I went back to see Dr. Z. this weekend she was surprised I wasn't progressing a little quicker. I explained that they had me move laterally in PT and it proved to be overdoing it, the lateral movement re-inflaming the bursitis. Ice helped, but she wasn't sure there wasn't other things at work, so she ordered an x-ray.

On the x-ray, my Achilles showed to be thicker than average, which may be putting excess stress/pressure on the bursa sac. Also, there is some calcification starting there as well, probably due to being OLD and also a history of athletic endeavor. Swell. She also recommended I continue with PT and also get a gait analysis.

So, off to gait analysis at Drayer Physical Therapy I went. I met with Kris, the PT there who took videos of me walking. The command is to "walk naturally" which is funny because how else would you walk, except that now someone is videotaping you walk, which makes you walk unnaturally because walking naturally is what you do when no one is looking. It's all so complicated. It turns out that I am VERY flatfooted, which is causing a roll inward of my foot to push off properly, and this is putting pretty intense pressure on my Achilles. The Rx is to get orthotics, inserts that will close the gap between my foot and the ground to create a more natural and efficient footstrike. I am just glad he didn't recommend those big, ugly Herman Munster shoes.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Adrift by Steven Callahan

What would you do if you were sailing the South Atlantic and your boat went down in a storm? Would you be able to keep your wits about you for the time you were able to free your life raft? Board your now sinking boat to grab supplies? How quickly could you act? What would you do when you realized the nearest land, your best chance of survival, was more than two-and-a-half months away.

Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea is the true story of Steven Callahan, an experienced sailor and sailboat builder who faces exactly this situation. This book is a classic of seafaring and survival, an epic tale of one man's struggle against the sea, against his mind, against the innumerable obstacles a situation like this presents. It is a story of resourcefulness, courage, resilience, and borderline madness.

Callahan gains many insights into himself on the journey, not the least of which is his relationship with the nature that surrounds him, including the doradoes ("my doggies") who come to torture him by bumping him in his sleep yet sustain him, the harrowing ramming of sharks, and the triggerfish (the butlers) who come along at just the right times to provide another meal. There are storms which threaten to capsize him yet bring much-needed water. A sun which bakes him through but never completely dries anything.

Further, he is constantly tinkering with the raft to keep it afloat, messing with the water still to make sure it keeps producing the meager supply that keeps him (barely) alive. Some of this description gets a little far into the minutiae, and I wish his publisher had read these sections with a more critical eye (to be fair, Callahan also offers drawings of his fixes, which puts them into perspective). However, his ingenuity and resourcefulness are something to behold.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I read a lot of books about survival and the courage it takes to face what seem like indomitable odds. There are other books in the survival genre I liked more, but this book certainly belongs alongside those other favorites. Adrift will appeal to sailors and non-sailors alike, transcending its subject matter to talk about the endurance of a man, about our drive to live. Callahan tells his story with such humanity and sometimes humorous insight it's impossible not to laugh. He can then turn it just as quickly as the weather, making you shift in your seat and pull your toes in for safety. Adrift makes for a brisk read, but it will stay with you for a long time.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


So I am at the orthodontist (signing my life savings over to them, bunch of bloodthirsty leeches) with Li'l Fish when this lady starts talking with her friend about how much she hates their family dentist. She's going on and on about it, in a fairly loud voice, then closes with: "And then he's giving me a hard time because [son] his teeth are rotting from the Gatorade he drinks. But, he really LIKES his sports drinks. Stupid Dentist."

Um. Yeah. It's the dentist who's stupid.