roasted carrots crumbled tofu stir fry huckleberry pie meatless meatballs

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archive for health

change for the better

Friday, March 25th, 2011

It’s one thing to have an injury because you went yard-saling down a back bowl. It’s another thing to have an injury because you were working on the computer for too long. Overuse, bad ergonomics, poor posture – it happens over and over again. I’ve been working on a computer since I was in high school: data entry, programming, more programming, image processing, data analysis, programming and web design, more image processing. And these days it isn’t enough to just work on the computer – it seems most of my professional and personal communications are mainly through the interwebs.

Sometimes I walk away from the computer so I can feel like a human being again. Sometimes I have to stay away because the muscles get inflamed from fine repetitive motions and lack of range of motion. This past week I was off the computer to let my body heal. I had a lot of time to think about it too. Something needed to change.

my office desk

I have a good desktop setup, but after I got home from Santa Fe the first thing we did was go out and replace my old office chair with a Herman Miller chair. Meanwhile, I was heating, icing, and exercising my back. Sitting always made things worse. I loathed that any computer time required sitting and said (on Facebook) how I wished I could mount my computer onto my treadmill. And the links came in for people who had converted their treadmills to workstations. I read about them and even emailed with a friend’s friend who built his. Jeremy and I discussed design issues and functionality driving home from his parents’ house a couple of days ago. I’m the engineer. I planned it all out.

24 hours later… the exercise room is also an office

The point is not to run a 6 minute mile while cranking out emails to your clients. No, no, no. That’s an even BETTER recipe for hurting yourself. I have always been a firm believer that if you are truly exercising hard – then you can’t be reading a book or typing a letter. However, I can easily walk a mellow pace of 1-2 miles an hour and do a lot of the things I used to do while sitting on my hind quarters: emails, phone calls, scheduling, writing, reading, research, tweeting. Image processing still remains something I’m leaving on my desktop in the main office.

phone, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers (for the tunes, yo)

**Jump for more butter**

for barbara

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Recipe: cucumber shrimp rolls

My dearest Barbara,

We’ve never met. But we are friends. I checked Google Maps and they say you are a 13,804-mile trip from my house in Colorado. But you really aren’t so far from me.

Did you know that while my house sits at 8500 feet above sea-level and you live on the waterfront, I still look up to you?

In Google’s directions to your place, I have three segments of kayaking several thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean. And every stroke would be worth it.

spring clover in california

**Jump for more butter**

what it means to me

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Lately I’ve felt as if I want to punch my surgeon. No, not Dr. McHottie, but my regular surgeon. I have all sorts of issues right now because of lymphedema in my left arm since my surgeon removed all of the lymph nodes in my arm pit. One of the nodes had cancer. When you first get a diagnosis and they tell you, “this needs to be removed” you just think, “yeah, do it.” You don’t think much about the potential side-effects down the road because you just want there to be a down the road. Of course, I don’t blame my surgeon for any of this – I’m quite grateful to him for my life, really. And he’s a good guy. It’s just that I have a desire to punch something that I can’t strike out at.

My past year has really brought home to me the relativity of our experiences. When Mom complained about having a head cold to me over the phone in the midst of my chemo treatment, I just pursed my lips and kept my mouth shut. I got a ton of emails from “friends” who didn’t really keep in touch with me asking, “So are you all better now?” It doesn’t quite work that way. I have scars and burns and tattoos on my body. The smell of certain liquid soaps brings me back to the sick feeling of my treatments. When I began to correspond with dear Barbara about her cancer, she mentioned a numbness in her feet that she still has three years after her chemo. I have that same problem with my feet, and it has only been 5 months.

**Jump for more butter**