KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rita's Damage

My sister Becky sent a follow-up e-mail today:

With all the news lately about Hurricane Katrina, we shouldn't forget that Houston, Texas, has had its share of devastating weather also.

This photo illustrates the damage caused to a home when Hurricane Rita passed through the Houston area a few days ago. It really makes you cherish what you have and reminds you not to take life for granted!

Warning: The photo is quite graphic and may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

One Down, Many More to Go

Woohoo! U.S. House Majority Tom DeLay has been indicted for conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme.

In my dreams, he takes Bush, Cheney, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Frist, and Karl Rove down with him. Hey—a woman can dream, can't she?

Amen, Bishop!

From the BBC, here's exciting news for GLBT rights activists:

Bishop defends transsexual curate

The Bishop of Hereford has defended the decision to ordain a transsexual woman as a priest.

Assistant curate Sarah Jones, 44, from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, spent the first 29 years of her life living as a man.

Evangelical group Evangelical Alliance said there was no "Christian acknowledgement" of gender realignment.

But the Right Reverend Anthony Priddis said Ms Jones—being ordained on Saturday [September 24]—was "made and loved by God".

Ms Jones was a "superb candidate" who had the gender realignment surgery "many years ago—long before she explored the possibility of being ordained", Bishop Priddis said.

The issue of gender dysphoria was "understood a lot more clearly in this 21st Century as we understand lots of things more clearly", he said.

"Gender realignment surgery helps address that issue and it's about bringing mind and body into wholeness.

"I see this as something restorative and healing.

"What's important is that she's a person made by God, loved by God and given gifts by God who feels that she's called to be a priest and that's a call that's been checked out by the church rigorously."

'Perpetuating illusion'

But Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, said the Bible made it "absolutely clear that God created human beings as male and female".

"Therefore there is absolutely no Christian acknowledgement of the 21st Century human idea that it's possible somehow for a person to take charge of their own destiny and to decide what their own sexuality is," he added.

"Someone who does that ... is therefore actually perpetuating an illusion or masquerading and any Christian is clearly not going to be supportive of someone who purports to be what they're not."

Bishop Priddis said the condition of gender dysphoria was recognised in the NHS [National Health Service] and in law.

"Those who suffer from it need help in order to be able to move to that wholeness which we, as Christians, want for everyone."

Would that more religious leaders had the courage of Bishop Priddis.

My Sister's Rita Horror Story

Now I know what my sister Becky's exodus from League City in advance of Hurricane Rita was like. She e-mailed me:

What a nightmare.

After 10 hours [of driving], Brooke [her daughter by her second husband, Shawn] and I peed in the car in a small food storage container, me while driving. Brooke said, "Good thing we're Girl Scouts!"

Sorry for not answering your texts—I couldn't spare the battery ... no car charger. Had never needed one before—have a regular charger at work and at home. Was afraid to use phone, as we were down to "two bars" and I had to conserve in case I had to call for help.

Fed Brooke canned ravioli (egads!) on flashcards! I chose the 0 × number [multiplication] ones 'cause of course she knows all of those. I'd tap one out on a flashcard, she'd eat it like a dog would, hand it back, & I'd give her another. Once that flashcard got weak, I got another 0 × or 1 × flashcard.

I begged a drink for Brooke while driving down the freeway. Steven [Becky's current husband] had drinks; I had food. [They were each driving a car.] Never figured on becoming separated. A total stranger gave me a bottled iced tea (it was hot from sitting in the sun in their car)—handed it out the window as we drove 2 mph.

Shawn and I slept side-by-side in our respective cars in a title company's parking lot in The Woodlands, frankly afraid of being carjacked, as there were crazy people everywhere that night ... all out of food, water, and groceries. All stores were closed. I mean it.

Steven had Sam [his and Becky's dog] with him, drinks with him, but no food. He, too, slept in his car—just in a different parking lot.

By the way, when I say slept, I don't really mean slept. I mean dozed, only to jerk awake and look around wildly, making sure no one was trying to get us.

More stories, but I am sure everyone has them. I am glad to be home and safe. I have a job to go home to and a home to live in. Life's great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Time for a (Beer) Belly Laugh

This ad for an Australian beer cracked me up. I hope it brings you at least a smile.

Hurricane Rita's Lessons

My brother Wally e-mailed me just now:

Boat is safe. Got the valve stem changed this morning, put the wheel back on, pulled it [back] by 11:30 a.m.

He'd started his exodus from La Porte towing his Oldsmoboat behind his 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. I'd misunderstood and thought at first that he'd decided to leave it at home so as not to strain the Cutlass's engine, but that wasn't the case. While he was towing it through WallyHouston's "beautiful crime-ridden southwest quadrant," a valve stem blew on one of the boat trailer's tires. He knew he didn't have the time to get it repaired or to tow it back home and tie it down there, so he chained the boat and trailer to a concrete-filled pole on the back side of a brand-new Walgreen's drugstore. It was very hard for him to leave that boat because the first one like it that he'd bought had been stolen; he was afraid he'd return after Rita to find that second boat had also been stolen.

Glad this ordeal is over. Also, sounds strange, but glad it happened. Nightmare though it was, (1) Yvonne & Gary proved to me that they're still my family, (2) I was really touched by the kindness of complete strangers, and (3) it showed me just how unprepared I am in the event of a hurricane. Only time and money can change that last part.

I love you, baby, and thank you for all of your prayers and kind, reassuring words via e-mail and telephone.

Thanks to everyone else for their prayers, too.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Texas: The Return Home, Part 2

And the last family member's home!

Wally just called to say that he got back home from San Antonio at about 4:00 p.m. Central time, a drive that took him 5 hours—only an hour more than it normally takes. Toward the end of his trip, the gas stations had fuel. He says he's "damn proud" of his 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon, which performed much better than a lot of the newer vehicles he saw on the road.

He says his home is fine—doesn't even look as if there were ever any bad weather in the area.

What a long, strange trip.

Part 1 Part 2

Saturday, September 24, 2005

In Texas: The Return Home

Wally wrote, this afternoon:

Now wondering when to return. . . . We may buy some gas & gas cans in addition to filling up the vehicles, and try returning tomorrow. That way we (1) try to beat the crowd and (2) have plenty of gas to make the trip without having to try to find gas.

At 7:30 p.m. Central time, Becky wrote:

Back home.

I asked if there was any damage to her home. She answered:

Nah. Little tree debris, that's it. We are blessed! Shawn's home, too. What a deal!!

Part 1 Part 2

Friday, September 23, 2005

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 13

He made it! He made it! Wally just text-messaged and then called me. He got to San Antonio a couple of hours ago and then crashed for a while.

I told him about Jordan's having fallen asleep at the wheel and bumped into Shawn's car at slow speed, and he said, "Hell, everybody did that all the time. Nobody had any sleep. I bumped one guy's pickup, and he stopped, got out, saw no damage, and said, 'Eh, don't worry about it.' "

Time to celebrate with a glass of wine!

Updated at 11:20 p.m., September 24, 2005: I thank all my readers for hanging in there with me through this ordeal. Just knowing you all cared enough to keep up with events in my brother's and sister's lives, whether you commented here on the blog, e-mailed me, or just read, kept me going. And I slept well last night and even napped today in relief! There are some truly kind people in the world, and you all number among them.

Updated at 10:37 a.m., September 28, 2005: Wally said that when he tapped the pickup, he was moving at about 1 mile per hour. His own 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon sustained a bent bracket behind its header panel (the fiberglass nose of the car), which he has since fixed.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 12

I haven't been able to raise Wally by text messaging for a few hours now. His last message to me was at 11:47 a.m. Central time:
68 miles to SNT
He meant that he was 68 miles outside of San Antonio, his planned haven during the hurricane. He'd said, in his earlier call, that he was traveling at 75 miles per hour, so I have to assume that he got there safely but that the approaching Rita was affecting cell phones.
Hang in there, dude. I love you. I'm thinking of you and Becky and her family constantly.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 11

An e-mail just in from Sandi, sister to Shawn, my sister Becky's second ex-husband:
Just got call from Shawn. They [Shawn, Becky, Steven, and Brooke (Becky's young daughter by Shawn)] are with the friend of Steven's. [Steven is my sister's current husband.] Jordan [Becky's teenage son by her first husband, J.W.] is with another friend of Steven's and has left the hotel they were in. All safe for now. To call with update after storm. As I hear anything, I will let you know.

Updated at 3:40 p.m., September 23, 2005: Jordan called at about 1:00 p.m., and we talked for a good 10 minutes. He said that at the end of their trip, he was driving behind Shawn's car and was so sleep deprived that he accidentally hit the back bumper of Shawn's car. Because traffic was moving extremely slowly, there wasn't any real damage to either car.

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 10

Wally called, sobbing with relief, to say he thinks he can make it now to San Antonio.

"The roads have cleared and we're traveling seventy-five miles an hour. We're gonna make it. My car was one of the ones that hadn't got gas from the government yet. These local people—oh my God!—these local people came out and said, 'Can we give you some gas?' Kathy, we're gonna make it. I'll call you when I get there."

Still haven't heard directly from Becky.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 9

Finally heard from Wally—a phone call instead of just a text message!

He's in Columbus, only halfway to San Antonio.

"Oh my God! It's Survival 101 here! I'm hungry, I'm hot, the car smells, and I've had maybe two hours' sleep. We've found a Walmart, and we have to go in and see if they have any food. Then I've got to convince Gary [husband to Wally's friend Yvonne; the three of them are part of a caravan] that we have to keep on going."

Then I got a call from Sandi, sister of Shawn, my sister Becky's second ex-husband. Becky, her husband Steve, her second ex-husband Shawn, and her son Jordan were each driving a car. "They didn't make it any farther than The Woodlands, just outside of Houston. They're pretty much out of gas and tired and cranky and frightened, and they think there's someone in that area that they might be able to get to. Jordan [Becky's oldest] and his girlfriend are at a hotel. His car was overheating so he turned around to head back for home, but the hotel was as far as he could get."

I didn't sleep at all last night, worrying about them all. I don't think I'll sleep tonight either, wondering if they make it through the hurricane.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 8

I stand corrected, after reading a New York Times article. Not 1.8 million but 2.5 million Texans are trying to escape Hurricane Rita's path.

Miles of Traffic as Texans Heed Order to Leave

By Ralph Blumenthal
Published: September 23, 2005

HOUSTON, Sept. 22 — Heeding days of dire warnings about Hurricane Rita, as many as 2.5 million people jammed evacuation routes on Thursday, creating colossal 100-mile-long traffic jams that left many people stranded and out of gas as the huge storm bore down on the Texas coast.

Acknowledging that "being on the highway is a deathtrap," Mayor Bill White asked for military help in rushing scarce fuel to stranded drivers.

A deathtrap. Oh, now I feel better. Now I won't panic about my siblings' fate.

Mr. White and the top official in Harris County, Judge Robert Eckels, admitted that their plans had not anticipated the volume of traffic. They maintained that they had not urged such a widespread evacuation, although only a day earlier they invoked the specter of Hurricane Katrina, and told residents that the "time for waiting was over." . . .

"The question is how many people will be gravely ill and die sitting on the side of the freeway," said State Representative Garnet Coleman, Democrat of Houston. "Dying not from the storm, but from the evacuation." . . .

Judge Eckels acknowledged under questioning that the massive congestion "was not in the plan." . . .

Mayor White deflected questions from reporters asking him to assess who was to blame for what happened Thursday, specifically the lack of gasoline where needed.

"This is not the time to look at who should have done what on the emergency," the mayor said. "This is not the time we're going to get into who should've done what."

So, Mr. Mayor, you seem to have taken a page from President Bush's script for behavior by public officials faced with responsibility. Whom shall I call to report a missing brother, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, niece, and ex-brother-in-law?

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 7

Text message from Wally at 5:36 p.m., Central time:

Still in hou, almost katy.

That's a colossal traffic jam! He left home yesterday at 8:30 p.m. Central. This map from Google will give you some idea of how little progress he's made. His hometown of La Porte (which was where he and Becky and I grew up) is off to the right, below the marker for Route 146. Katy is to the left of the marker for Interstate 10.

At this rate, he'll meet Hurricane Rita on the road, as will my sister and her family, because they have so much further to go to get to Granbury. On this Google map, you can't see Granbury, but it's north of Dallas and Fort Worth.

I am very, very frightened. God help them!

Updated at 8:30 p.m., September 22, 2005: To put this mass gridlock into perspective, you should know that the drive from La Porte to Katy normally takes about 90 minutes or so. This time, it has taken Wally more than 21 hours.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 6

It's been more than 9 hours since I last heard from my brother Wally, and even longer since I heard from my sister Becky. I don't want to use up precious cell-phone battery power for either of them by text-messaging or calling them yet. I'm betting that they're not yet anywhere near their intended final destinations. And this is why: Texas is the second-largest state (after Alaska) in land mass. Without traffic problems, it takes seemingly forever to get anywhere in the state anyway. But right now, more than 1 million people are trying to get out of the Houston area, so all of the highways look like this:

More than 1 million flee Houston

Photo by Rick Bowmer, Associated Press; from MSNBC.com

I hope I get a call or text message from both of them soon.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 5

Text message from Wally at 6:36 a.m., Central time:

Gridlock. 1 mile to I-10. I'm at half a tank [of gas] now.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 4

Just heard from Wally again. He's been on the road for 3 hours and has only just now passed the facilities of his employer . . . 15 miles away from his home. Geez. I hope he doesn't run out of gas.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 3

It's 10:57 p.m. in League City, Texas, or 11:57 p.m. my time in New York State. My sister Becky isn't ready to leave yet, but she says, via e-mail, that she's packed and ready to head out but that the traffic is horrendous and so she hasn't left for Granbury yet.

Her plan is to leave at 1 a.m. for the lakeside home of her second ex-husband's sister, Sandi, and Sandi's husband, Don. Becky will be driving a car, her third husband (Steven) will be driving another, her high school senior son Jordan (fathered by her first ex-husband, J.W.) will be driving a third car, and her second ex-husband (Shawn) will be driving a fourth car. They'll all converge on Shawn's sister's home, with Brooke, my sister's elementary-school daughter by Shawn, riding in one of the cars. Follow all of that?

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Evacuation Time in Texas, Part 2

Just heard from my brother, Wally, via his work-issued Blackberry. (He's an IT specialist who's often on call.) He's packed everything and is now (8:30 p.m. Central time for him; 9:30 p.m. Eastern time for me) going out on the road from La Porte to San Antonio in a caravan with friends, a drive that on our childhood visits to our maternal grandparents' home took a bit over 4 hours, counting bathroom stops. He's driving his 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. I hope it holds up. He told me that because of the car's age and mileage, he thought he should leave his Oldsmoboat at home rather than put a strain on the Cutlass's engine by towing it.

He's following his high school friend Yvonne and her husband, Gary, to the home of her relatives. The only being in his car with him is his dog, Rita, whom he once shared with his life partner, Jeff. Since Jeff's death nearly 2 years ago, Wally's been alone in the house that they shared, and life has been mostly about work. I for damn sure don't want him to lose his house to Hurricane Rita, because he's already lost enough. He's a sweetheart of a guy who quite often gives his friends and family members the shirt off his back.

God, please keep my brother, his dog Rita, and his house safe. And while you're at it, can you send a marryin' kind of man his way? He could use some happiness right about now. In case you've forgotten what he looks like, here he is.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

The Bush Administration in Freefall

Go here (may not work in all browsers, but it does in Internet Explorer). Enjoy!

Evacuation Time in Texas

My brother Wally, one of my favorite people, will soon flee the Houston area (the small town of La Porte) with his dog Rita (!) for further-inland San Antonio in advance of category 4 Hurricane Rita, on the advice of his employer and of Houston's mayor. Our sister Becky (for whom my daughter is named) will head out of League City to Granbury (outside the Dallas–Fort Worth area) with her husband and kids. I'm hoping for their safety—and that of all Gulf Coast residents—as Rita moves toward a predicted late-Friday/early-Saturday landfall.

Updated at 4:20 p.m., September 21, 2005: Rita is now a category 5 storm.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13

Monday, September 19, 2005

Keeping Your Child Out of the
U.S. Military Recruiter Database

From MoveOn.org:

A little-known provision in the federal [No Child Left Behind Act] is forcing public high schools all across the country to disclose the personal information of 30 million teenagers and young adults to a private marketing firm and the military. The Pentagon announced just this summer it had been collecting and using the data—including such sensitive personal information as Social Security numbers, ethnicity, GPA [grade point average], personal e-mail addresses, height, weight, and even the cell phone numbers of our kids—without their parents' permission. They had been keeping this announcement secret for more than two years—a violation of federal privacy laws and the privacy of tens of millions of young Americans.

While the law compels schools to violate the privacy of ordinary Americans, it also creates a way for families to opt out, to stop the mega-database from being used on [their children]. If you know someone between the ages of 16 and 25, spread the word: you can opt out of the database by clicking on the link below:


While government intrusion on our privacy is bad enough, the use of a corporate marketing firm for this work is even worse. The government has hired private marketing firm BeNOW, Inc. to manage the data, known as the Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Services (or JAMRS) database. BeNOW, Inc. has no statements on their web site regarding their own security or privacy policies. With increasing reports of identity theft and security breaches at private data collection firms, compiling such a vast collection of sensitive data without consent, particularly on minors, is irresponsible—even dangerous.

The JAMRS database is updated daily and distributed monthly to the four branches of the military for military recruiting purposes. Information is collected from a variety of sources, including DMV [Department of Motor Vehicles] records, SATs, and ASVAB [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] test results. Use the "opt out" tool to stop JAMRS from using your data or the data of your child, or forward the tool to other parents or students you know.

See also this and this.

Updated at 6:50 a.m., September 21, 2005, with additional links.

In the Zone at Last

I'm so excited! I can blast my classical music in my office and no one will complain!

My youngest (age 4) started preschool today, so that means that for 2.5 hours each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there are no pint-size office mates here who want to negotiate for other kinds of music or noise. Oh happiness! Once my broken arm heals, my joy will be complete.

Yes, I miss my baby, but I've been looking forward to full concentration for y-e-a-r-s now! :-))

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Delayed Reaction

Oh, shit . . . I think I'm gonna be sick. I can't look.

Today, just after lunch, a member of the orthopod's staff removed the splint from my arm. It had been in place since surgery last week, pliable enough to allow for postoperative swelling. Now it had to come off, to be replaced with the hard cast that I'll wear for another 5 weeks.

What was with me today? The removal process didn't hurt, except for one brief, bone-deep, dagger-sharp stab of pain when my arm was moved unexpectedly, so it wasn't that.

I'm not squeamish, so it wasn't that either. As a medical copyeditor, especially one who edits stacks of medical journal articles on arthroplasty (surgical repair or replacement of joints), I am always looking at photos that some might find gruesome, feeling not one bit nauseated.

Around the house, I'm Dr. Mom, diagnosing and treating everyone's aches and pain, from bodily to emotional to educational ailments, so that wasn't the problem.

I looked at my uncovered arm and had a visceral flashback, a body memory: I was back down on the uneven sidewalk in front of my bank, stupefied by pain and struggling not to whimper. Oh my God! A wrist isn't supposed to hang limply like a lifeless fish pasted onto the end of an arm. Why does it look like that?

And then I was back in the present, hearing the woman who'd removed my splint say, "Are you okay?"

This isn't my arm anymore. It doesn't do what I tell it to do. It's this alien thing that somehow wound up attached to me during a nightmare. . . . Hey, wait—nightmare? It was just a fall.

But I edit to live and live to edit. I edit, therefore I exist. And this thing betrayed me. It's not invincible. It's fragile. It stopped working. I could have lost my career because its bones snapped as easily as matchsticks, leaving the muscles unable to lift my hand.

What would I do with myself if I couldn't edit?

Oh, shit . . . I think I'm gonna be sick.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What?! You Mean We Are Our Brothers' Keepers?

"Christian" neocons are in the middle of a waking nightmare:

What?! We can't just roll merrily along in our gas-guzzling cars and trucks and ignore those ... those ... poor people? Those poor black people [or anyone of any ethnic group or economic level not our own] who have the effrontery to not wear what we wear, not drive what we drive, not be the kind of consumers we are? But it's our duty to ignore people who aren't self-satisfied, self-righteous money-making machines like we are. If we acknowledge them, help them, then how will they ever have the willpower to pull themselves up and become just like us?

Columnist Mark Morford asks:

Can you hear that? That low scraping moan, that painful scream, that compressed hissing wail like the sound of an angry alligator caught in a vice?

Why, it's the GOP, and they're screaming, "No, no it can't be, oh my God, please no, this damnable Katrina thing is just an unstoppable PR disaster for us!" ...

Who knew it would lay bare our deeply inbred agenda of social injustice and civil neglect, and our systematic abuse of the country? This storm thing is so not the thing we need right now because, oh my God look, just look! We've been so golden! We've had the run of the candy store! We have been gods among swine!

No matter who we are or what we look like or whether we're religious or not, we are all our brothers' keepers. There is no other reason to be on this planet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My New Hardware

Here's what my wrist looks like after having undergone ORIF (open reduction, internal fixation) for a distal radius fracture, comminuted, with joint involvement and volar subluxation:

Underside of arm, palm up Side view of arm I'll get to keep the stainless steel plate and screws for the rest of my life, even though eventually I won't need them. The orthopedist said it's safer to leave them in; repeat surgery to remove them carries the risk of infection and nerve damage. You can see, in the underside view at the left, why my husband says the plate reminds him of a golf putter.

Being a medical copyeditor, I am fascinated by this stuff, but I'd much prefer that I not be the patient. This was my first bone break; I hope it's my last.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Surgery's Done

I woke up for the day today at an astounding 12:30 p.m.! Surgery is tiring.

All went well in the OR yesterday. The orthopedist was very pleased with how well all the bones went back together during surgery. He says I shouldn't need additional surgery or an external fixator. My husband Ed describes the plate that the surgeon put inside my arm with screws as looking like a putter, with the business end in my wrist and the other end in my arm. I have excellent pain meds that don't make me groggy.

As good as I'm feeling, I expect I'll be working on Monday, editing onscreen with my nondominant left hand, although it'll be very slow, because I'll have to hunt and peck.

Thank you all so very much for you healing thoughts and prayers and support.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Editor's Helper

I've found a new use for an old tool. Not only does my pica ruler measure type and photos but it also slides easily down inside my cast so I can scratch my itchy arm.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bad Pain—Updated

Got a nice hard cast at the orthopedist's office on 9/1. Also did preoperative blood work and got an ECG. Surgery is scheduled for 9/9; I don't know the time yet.

Almost-4-year-old Jared, my youngest, is having major separation anxiety because I was in the ER for several hours on 8/29 and then in the orthopedist's office and ambulatory surgery (preop tests) nearly all day on 8/30. Ten-year-old Neil has been a superb, cheerful helper. Twenty-two-year-old Rebecca has been practicing her novice social worker skills on me. Ed is the world's most kind, patient husband. My in-laws have been helping with child care and errands, and church friends are bringing meals for us. But all three kids are flummoxed because their mom is "broken." I'm supposed to be the caretaker—I'm never hurt. I think even Ed's been thrown for a loop. Each family member has acted out in one way or another, but they all shaped up after I threw a rather loud fit.

I'm working hard on not feeling anxious or depressed. A huge amount of supportive e-mails, prayers, and kind thoughts from everyone is helping with that.

My workload's okay; I can edit onscreen left-handed, but it's slow. My client understands. It's a 4-week project at normal speed. (We self-employed editors don't have anyone to give us sick pay, so I must keep working. And we generally can't afford disability insurance, either.) Typing left-handed and pain are tiring, so that's why I'm not e-mailing or blogging much.

On 9/9 in the ambulatory surgery unit at Stony Brook Hospital, the orthopedist will implant a metal plate in my wrist so that the many shattered pieces can be supported while they heal. If they don't heal properly that way, I'll need an external fixator for 6 weeks to hold the bones in place.

And oh yeah . . . George Bush is as thoroughly incompetent as ever. The deaths of many and the life disruption of many more in the path of hurricane Katrina are on his blind, arrogant, rich-boy, racist head.

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