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My Review of… Rotator Cuff Surgery

18 Jan

I mentioned a few months ago that I was having rotator cuff surgery.  So my surgery was on Dec 5.  I honestly thought I’d have a lot more use of my right arm, but it was completely useless.  Thus, my complete and total absence from this blog for the last 2 months basically.  When they gave me the sling that I’d be wearing for 6 weeks, I was a bit flabergasted.  Honestly, it was not what I was expecting.  This is what mine looked like.

Keep in mind, I had to wear this when I slept, I was only allowed to take it off to shower and change. In my surgery, this was what all I had done: I had my rotator cuff repaired, my bicep tendon moved, bursitis removed and bone spurs removed.  And with all of that, I have 3 tiny scars that are just a few centimeters each and one scar that is just about an inch long.  All very tiny.  Oh, and a very handsome doctor 🙂  Lucky me.

I was trying to decide if this was worse than being on crutches (which I’ve had to deal with twice in my life).  I thought that crutches would be worse, and it a lot of ways they are, but honestly, both suck.  I was more mobile with the sling obviously, but I could do very little for myself, especially at first.  I don’t know how anyone could possibly go through this without a lot of help.  I thought I’d be left on my own more, but boy am I glad my mom knew better.  She was with me a lot, I could not have changed or showered without her for the first few weeks.  And I still have very limited mobility and have about 3 more months of PT in front of me.  They said that I should be back to normal by the beginning of summer.

You would think that with the inability to be able to do anything, I would have watched a lot of movies.  But I spent most of my time catching up on tv shows that I hadn’t watched all season.  I also spent the first week on painkillers, so that time is pretty much gone from my memory.

So for 6 weeks, no cooking, just watching my mom cook or ordering food in.  We did go to see two movies though, Thor (finally) and American Hustle.  Two very different types of movies, both good in their own way.  American Hustle deserves all of the hype that it is getting during this awards season.  I have to give it to both the ladies (Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams), they had to spend the majority of that movie without bras and still put in amazing performances.  I will say that Christian Bale is an amazing actor.  He is one of those method actors who really gets into character.  I gather when he saw pictures of the person that he would be portraying he insisted on having a comb over.  And honestly, that hair is like another character.

And oddly, I only read one book – Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.  If you’ve read Gone Girl, it’s just as dark as that with a twisty sort of ending.  She really knows how to write for some emotionally messed-up characters.  If you like darker books, you will like this.

So all in all, it was a rather dull 6 weeks.  The sling was uncomfortable more than anything else and I was super happy when it came off this week.  But I’m glad I had this taken care of now, it’s not something that’s going to get better with time, only worse.  And I spent a year with shoulder pain before I had my surgery.  This was a pain in the butt, so avoid injuring your shoulders people.

My recent book kick

29 Aug

I went on a John Green book kick recently.  I read three of his books in the last 4 weeks I think.  So here they are and one non-Green book thrown in for good measure.

First up was The Fault in our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.”

I happened to finish this on the flight out to Vegas.  Maura and Kirra can attest to the fact that I balled when I got to the end.  I mean, I was really crying, not just a small tear up.  It was really one of the best reads I’ve had in a while.

Next up I read Paper Towns

Paper Towns

“When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.”

This book takes readers all over the Orlando area, which for me was like going home.  It was neat to recognize all of the different locations as a former Central Floridian.  Yet another one that I really enjoyed.  He does a very good job of painting a picture of teen angst that is real, not just I didn’t get the jeans I wanted real.

The last John Green book that I’ll talk about was Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

“First drink
First prank
First friend
First girl
Last words

Miles “Pudge” Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.”
Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.”

There are themes that run through John Green’s books, especially the second two in my list and that is about how well do you really know someone.  Do you ever really know the real person or do you just know the person you have created in your head.  We humans tend to project a lot on other people and don’t always understand the person for real.  John Green really explores that in these second two novels.

And the last book that I’ll mention is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky (the only non John Greek book here)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.”

Since I was reading somewhat depressing coming of age books, I figured why stop at John Green books.  In this case, I saw the movie before I read the book, I usually don’t do that.  I really liked the movie though, both that and the book are set in Pittsburgh though, so that helped.  The writing in this book takes some getting used to.  The author wrote it as if Charlie himself was writing to us, so it reads like a diary entry of 15 year old boy.  Once you get used to it, it isn’t so odd.  Again, this was a great book that I’d definitely recommend reading.

So I really did like all of these, however, if you need something uplifting, DO NOT choose one of these.  They are poignant, but not happy reads.

Book’s I’ve Read Recently

23 Jun

So per my friend Lauren I need to post a few book reviews for you all.  I really need to find a book club in the south hills or start one so I have people to talk with about these books I’m reading, yet another reason that I miss Orlando!  I just finished these three books in the last few weeks, and pretty much tore through all of them quickly.  I enjoyed all of them, but I have to say I couldn’t put down The Night Circus or The Secret Keeper.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

The Night Circus

This was a bit of a long book, but it was still a quick read.  There was a lot of detail and Morgenstern really draws you in to this world.  I found myself wishing that I could attend the Night Circus, much like a 12 year old wants to go to Hogwarts.  At first I wasn’t sure what to make of the competition or Marco, the male lead of the book.  I wasn’t a huge fan of him at first, but he grew on me slowly.  Again, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. But before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

Now, fifty years later, the family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. Author Kate Morton, who “excels at creating absorbing mystery” (People), explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes have.

The Secret Keeper: A Novel

I’ve read several of Kate Morton’s books and I really enjoy her style of story telling.  The books I’ve read of hers always take place in the UK.  Normally with two different aspects.  One being someone in the present day trying to unravel a family mystery, the other is a voice from the distant past that is a part of the mystery itself.  I’m still patting myself on the back for having figured out the ending before it happened.  But it was probably pretty obvious to anyone familiar with Morton’s writing.  I really could not put this one down, I read it in just a few days and stayed up past midnight finishing it one night.

Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Spellbinding, haunting, The Age of Miracles is a beautiful novel of catastrophe and survival, growth and change, the story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in an extraordinary time. On an ordinary Saturday, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer, gravity is affected, the birds, the tides, human behavior and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world of danger and loss, Julia faces surprising developments in herself, and her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by Hannah and other friends, the vulnerability of first love, a sense of isolation, and a rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking story of people finding ways to go on, in an ever-evolving world.

The Age of Miracles

This one was a bit frightening in a way.  It was about the earth’s rotation slowing, making our days much longer, increasing over a long time and all of the consequences that go with that.  Crop failure, gravity changes, circadian rhythms and a lot of other things that we take for granted start to make huge impacts on the lives of people.  The story is told through they eyes of a young girl, about 12 years old.  The book never explains what happened exactly, which just makes it all the more difficult to grasp.

So if you are looking for some good books to read, I’d suggest any of these!  Happy reading.

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