Thursday, May 6, 2010

In a New York Moment

Unfortunately, I slept in a bit this morning, which meant I had to hail a cab to work this morning to arrive in time for my 8am conference call.  But, it made for a momentous commute!

Sitting in the back of the cab, I was lazily looking out the window as it pulled to a stop at 72nd St. and Park Ave.  I saw a man dressed in khakis, a button-down shirt, bucket cap, and dark horn-rimmed glasses.  Hmm, that guy kinda looks like Woody Allen.  And, how funny?!  He's holding hands with a younger Asian woman.

Only when I opened my eyes a bit and took a closer look did I realize that it was indeed Woody Allen taking a morning stroll with his estranged wife Soon-Yi.  It is by far the most quintessential NY moment I have had since living here!

Monday, May 3, 2010

For the Love of Mass Transit

Oh the weather outside was sticky, so I really couldn't be picky. . .
The bus was nowhere in sight, so I thought I'd risk a ride . . .
Risk a ride, risk a ride, risk a ride!

What began as a reluctant choice, turned out to be an unanticipated achievement!  When the sticky downpour prevented me from finding a cab this morning and the bus was nowhere in sight, I was left with no other choice but to take the subway today.

But, I did it!  I was able to tackle all those pesky stairs and make it to my destination safe and sound (without anyone stepping on my toes)!  Finally, after four long months, I can safely ride the subway with all the other perfectly healthy, if harried, New Yorkers!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Bombing in Times Square?

Another day, another bomb scare! Saturday night, Times Square was evacuated due to a suspicious vehicle parked on 45th St at the corner of Broadway--in other words, right in front of my office building!

Luckily Duane, the handbag seller that sits outside our building, saw the vehicle smoking from the corner and notified police, who acted quickly enough to contain the scene before it exploded.  Yeah, it looks like I will still have to go to work on Monday morning.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Sighting in Times Square

While out in Times Square today to grab a 6" from Subway for lunch, I spotted not one, but two, out of work actors.  Dan Lauria and Erik Estrada were both drawing an audience.  As I was walking past our favorite CHiPs cop, I overhead a tourist shout into her cell phone:  "You're not gonna believe who I just saw!  Oh my God, I just walked by Erik Estrada; oh my God!  No, I am not shitting you, it was totally him!"  . . . Classy!

After living here two years, I've truly developed an intense love/hate relationship with tourists.  I just love it when I can laugh at their silly expressions upon their first trip to the Big Apple, just like the non-descript cigarette smoking, fanny-pack wearing Mid-Westerner I overhead today or how they're willing to pay double the menu price for the Tour of Italy at Olive Garden because they're terrified of venturing any farther south than 34th Street for a decent Zagat-rated eatery.  But, I also hate it when they're blocking the route in and out of my office building with their uncanny lack of ability to get enough pictures of the 360 degreed barrage of neon signage surrounding them.  (The ones I really pity though are those that forget their digital camera at home and have to rely on taking their plethora of photos on a $20 disposable camera without a limitless number of exposures; ouch!)  I mean, really, how many poses does one need of their spouse wearing an I [heart] NYC t-shirt in front of the Bubba Gump's restaurant on 7th Ave?  Get out of my way already!  I am late for work!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Brat Packin' the Streets of NYC

While sitting in a towncar on 8th Avenue today, I spotted 80's brat pack icon Andrew McCarthy crossing the street incognito under a beat up leather jacket and sunglasses.  He's aged, but he's still hot. . . . no fooling!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is It March or May?

So, during my convelescence period of the past 10 weeks, I've had, you could say, not a lot to do around here!  I've invested in and since become addicted to 9 different TV series (and counting) and I've read 4 different novels already . . . instead of being out enjoying this beautiful city I call home by enhancing my cultural senses at museums, staying physically conditioned with long walks in Central Park, or eating decadent desserts at the local Italian eatery, I have been trapped in this little studio of mine dreaming of what I will do in the warmer months of summer . . . (thus the reason for no new and interesting posts--no new and interesting news!)

When visiting with my family this weekend, I asked what our plans were for 4th of July. . . my brother just looked me and said, "Geeze, I had to stop and think for a minute:  is it March or May?"  OK, I get it; everyone is a bit busier than I am and they haven't even started thinking about their summer vacations yet.  But, really, that's all I can think about!  I've got to have something to look forward to in order for me to really remain sane through this long and arduous process.

Luckily, my sister-in-law piped up at that moment and announced to me that they're going to Italy and that I am coming with them!  Apparently, she's been planning a two week cruise along the Mediterranean coast.  But, just as she was getting all bubbly telling me about the details of every port of call (including two days in Monte Carlo--yeah, Monte Carlo), my brother shook his head and whispered to me, "No, we're not. . . we're going to Tahoe like we do every year."   Yeah, this little argument went back and forth for about an hour with me right in the middle. . . you can imagine my frustration (just tell me where we're going and when we're leaving; I can start planning the rest).

Either trip sounds divine to me . . . I just have to figure out a way to use my four weeks of vacation and soon.  Once I have an amazing vacation to look forward to, I can finally wrap up this healing process with my mind in one piece . . . (that and I think the arrival of Spring in NYC will help too.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Beautiful Bride

After a long flight that made my foot blow up to the size of a football, I made it to Cali for Rachael and Keith's wedding this weekend.  I was so happy to be there for their special day.  Many may claim to have played a small part in bringing these two lovebirds together, but really it was all my doing . . . (well, in a roundabout sort of way.)   After all, I am the bride's old roommate whose grandmother placed a newspaper ad for a room for rent that I answered; with whom I moved to California 10 years ago; after which I met Stacey, the groom's sister, and whom I introduced to the bride only to have them both become my best friends and to eventually have the bride fall in love with her brother.  You got all that?  (Well, ok, I would be willing to give a small amount of the credit to Rachael's grandmother for placing the newspaper ad in the first place . . .)

The day was so incredibly special for us all, the longtime friends who were finally becoming family after so many years.  I am so glad that my ailing body allowed me to make the trip and to witness this momentous occasion.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Millett!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bring The Luck of the Irish With Ya!

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by helping the kids (and adults) suffering from Muscular Dystrophy!  Pick up some green (or gold) today by purchasing an MDA shamrock.  Try Lowe's, Walgreens, Applebees, KFC, 7-Eleven, and many more retailers!  For only $1, you can help find a cure for neuro-muscular diseases just like mine and others!

Or, to add to the pot o' gold with a larger donation of $5, text "IRISH" to 20222 and receive a shamrock wallpaper for your mobile phone . . . please help me and so many others to walk normally someday!

Friday, February 26, 2010

White Drifted History In The Making . . .

It's snowing . . . it's been snowing for more than 24 hours already. . . it's going to continue snowing for 18 more hours . . . and, coupled with the other two storms we've already had in the last few weeks, it's now the most snow NYC has ever received in a single month! And, with a cast still on my foot, I think this may be the longest I have had to remain locked up in my apartment since I've lived here!

Let me out! Let me out! Let me out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty . . .

Today marked the 6 week post-op mark and I am feeling divine (well, considering the current circumstances)! My body continues to heal nicely and I am anxiously awaiting this final week before we remove the cast and I can take my first steps . . . everyone (including me) has been so consumed with the progress on my foot/ankle that I've neglected to report on the other half of my surgery--the thyroidectomy.

Well, it's gorgeous people! Gorgeously perfect! The incision is approximately 2 inches and Dr. Genden (I like to call him Michaelangelo) cut it directly along the natural crease of my neck to make it eventually fade into oblivion. It has felt a little tender to the touch over the last few weeks as it heals internally, but overall, the thyroidectomy has been an extremely easy and gentle healing process with little to no discomfort. In fact, I haven't felt better in months with more energy and the absence of that awful "swollen gland" feeling . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

That's So Raven!

While taking a quick afternoon snack break downstairs (on my scooter, that's right! Laugh all you want . . .), I passed by Ms. Raven Symone in our lobby today . . . she was cute as a button!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Details, Schmetails

I've been finding it a bit of a challenge explaining to ordinary folks what it means to live with CMT Syndrome, why I had to have such an extensive surgery on my foot, and what this virtually unknown disease is doing to my body. . . So, I was doing a little online research today and found this article about CMT Syndrome. I've known all along that what my surgeon has been telling me is the right thing to do for maximum longevity, but it was really enlightening to read an article (complete with images) that demonstrates how and why he did it. . .

We all know that I have insanely high arches, but what the surgeon explained to me is that my heel was also beginning to turn inward (just like the photo demonstrates). He turned it back out and anchored it with a bolt.

Also, we knew the peroneal ligament had completely torn and needed to be repaired, but none of the doctors I saw before the surgeon could explain why . . . the article totally explains how the ligament finally wore down and why. . .

In total, this is the list of what we did to my foot (you can click on the links in the article to get more details):

* Release of the tight plantar fascia
* Lengthening of the Achilles Tendon
* Repositioning the 1st metatarsal bone (dorsiflexing 1st metatarsal osteotomy)
* Cutting the heel bone and shifting it out (Lateralizing calcaneal osteotomy)
* Peroneal tendon debridement or repair

Very interesting! I feel so much calmer knowing that I made the right decision to have the surgery! And, soon enough, it will be on to the right foot in the hopes of a better life! ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho . . .

it's back to work, I go! After a very quick three weeks recuperating at home, I made it back to work "all by myself!" today (seriously, where's my piece of candy or Atta Boy?!). Luckily, the insurance company approved a "scooter" for me to use to get around in replacement of crutches.

It doesn't have the luxury of power steering, it doesn't stop on a dime, and it doesn't have any measurable horsepower; but, I can get a good downhill speed if the conditions are right! Nonetheless, it's a lot easier on my body and much more steady than crutches any day . . . I can actually reach my office on the 42nd floor without getting out of breath (too much).

I can only sit comfortably in my office for about 6 hours before my foot begins to throb, but it's rewarding to be part of the outside world again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They Say Time Heals All Wounds

January 12th had to be one of the longest days of my lives . . . literally. Stacey and I arrived at the hospital at NOON, well ahead of my scheduled surgeries at 3pm. I was required to fast from any food or drink before midnight the evening before . . . I swallowed my last spoonful of ice cream at about 10:50pm. And, as soon as we found our way to the surgery check-in and family waiting room, the pleasant aroma of beef and spices was wafting its way toward us--the cafeteria was directly below us. It was pure torture for those of that had had a twisted, tumbling stomach all day. . .

After checking in, Stacey was able to stay with me until about 2:30pm when they took me to the surgery holding room where they got me a warm bed and introduced me to the anesthesiologist and nurses. I remained there until they managed to locate Dr. Genden about 45 minutes later (he had disappeared for a short stint, apparently . . .). After giving me some initial gas to relax me, they wheeled me into the operating room where I professed my unbearable hunger and apparently ordered a cheeseburger and fries from the lead resident before finally releasing myself to the full power of the anesthesia.

I didn't wake again until almost 9pm when I could hear Stacey and the nurses yelling at me in the recovery room. . . they only let Stacey stay with me for about 5 minutes before shooing her to go home. Stacey left just in time . . . the "vomiting cycle" of anesthesia recovery began just minutes after her departure. They finally wheeled me to my room after 10pm . . . I kept crying for food as my stomach was doing somersaults by this point. They finally found me some saltines and jello, which took me only seconds to devour before falling back to sleep.

I tried my best to sleep, but was distracted with nurses waking me hourly to take my stats or to draw blood and a wailing roommate with a broken hip. . . my throat was sore and dry, but luckily they had given me a nerve block to numb my leg completely. The suffering was all worth it though; the surgeries were completely successful and the hospital stay was nearly pain free . . .

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rush, Rush, Rush . . . Now What?

Stacey arrived this week to help me with my surgery and hospital stay. But, we did manage to have a little fun while I was still walking. Stacey's flight arrived on time, but the shuttle company I hired to bring her into Manhattan stalled for more than an hour . . . our original plan was to try to have dinner in Times Square and then to try to get discounted rush tickets to a broadway show. The lottery drawing is held at 5:30pm and when it was nearly 5pm and she still hadn't shown up to my apartment, I was beginning to worry if we would make it?!

She finally buzzed my apartment at 5:05pm; I let her upstairs just long enough to drop off her luggage and then whisked her away in a taxi toward Times Square. Our smart and fast cab driver earned every bit of his tip, getting us to the corner of 46th and Broadway by 5:23pm. We ran to the box office and put our names in the hat just in time for the drawing. We then waited in the bitter wind and cold while they called out the names of the lucky ticket winners. They drew my name early on, securing us two seats for the front row smack dab in the middle of the stage!

We absolutely loved "In the Heights" with its latino inspired soundtrack and modern story. We also managed to find time to enjoy a delicious dinner at Virgil's BBQ, a NYC standard. The weather was absolutely unbearable with temps in the teens after the show, but we survived by bundling up with our scarves and gloves long enough to allow Stacey some Times Square photo opps.

Spending the evening out was a great respite from the worry of what was about to come . . .