Ramblings on healthcare, medical education, and life with a spinal cord injury

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A Bombshell and the Magic of Medicaid

Often times I think about how regularly I post to the blog, and wonder if I should post more often. Maybe more regular posts, but smaller in length. It would be easier to digest and easier for me to write. But then I ultimately come to the conclusion that posting every couple of days would just be too often and not provide enough fodder for quality posts. So I post once every week or two (well, it’s been once every two weeks lately) and wind up having more to say than I’d realized. This whole act of blogging is incredibly cathartic, as you might expect, and the process of organizing my thoughts to write really helps me to deal with everything.

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July 16, 2008   5 Comments

One must crawl before one may walk..

A large part of rehab so far has made me realize that recovering from a spinal cord injury is a lot like being a baby all over again. You have to rediscover your body and how it works. And sometimes how it doesn’t.  Parts wake up that you’d gotten used to being asleep, and I certainly know how a baby feels when it sits in place wiggling an appendage just because he or she can.  I do that a lot too.  I’ve felt since much earlier in rehab that regaining the ability to walk will quite possibly even more make me feel like a baby.  When my physical therapist had me get on the ground and start crawling, though, I couldn’t help but laugh.

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June 29, 2008   18 Comments

Home, sweet…. home?

As many of you know or have discerned from comments to the last major blog post, I have finally been released from Mount Sinai and am now home.  I was finally discharged on Friday, May 23rd, at the very late hour of 7pm.  Being the day before a holiday weekend, I figured there was no way the ambulette service would be anywhere near on time.  So I planned accordingly, packing my things slowly so I’d be ready for their 4pm scheduled arrival.  3:15pm rolls around, and the driver showed up.  I wasn’t ready!  He said they would send another driver back to pick me up around 4pm.  After numerous calls to dispatch to complain, and being told repeatedly, “within 30-45 minutes,” a different crew finally arrived at 7pm to pick me up.  Aye.  And being at home hasn’t been any more smooth/easy, either…

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June 10, 2008   9 Comments

Now with e-mail subscriptions!

If you look on the right-hand side just below the search box, you’ll see an input box that allows you to subscribe to blog updates via e-mail.  Since my updates tend to come a bit irregularly (I’m shooting for at least once a week, which I’ve been fairly good at keeping up), you can have an e-mail delivered right to your inbox whenever an update is available.  The subscriptions are handled via FeedBurner, a service offered by Google.  This will make it easy to keep up-to-date.  :)

To subscribe, just type your e-mail address into the subscription box and press enter on your keyboard.  A dialog will open prompting you to confirm your subscription, and you’ll be all set! I certainly won’t be selling any addresses or using them for ANYTHING other than blog updates.  Feel free to read the FeedBurner privacy policy if you have any concerns (they’re not evil either).

June 3, 2008   1 Comment

Waiting for Godot, Part 1

Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  I am waiting to leave.  My tentative departure date from Mount Sinai was supposed to be this past Tuesday, May 20th.  Well, my first discharge date was back in March, but that’s a whole other story.  But the first realistic one was this past Tuesday. It’s Thursday night and I’m still here waiting to leave, unsure whether or not I’ll be home in time for the Memorial Day weekend.  But being on the cusp of my departure has given me pause to think all about my stay here, how far I’ve come and how deeply this experience has impacted me.

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May 22, 2008   5 Comments

Poker for Paralysis

The other night I got out of the hospital, thanks to a good friend of mine, and played in a charity poker tournament.  Hosted in midtown west at a luxury auto showroom, Poker4Life is an annual event to raise money for SCI research.  Over $250,000 was raised for the Buoniconti Fund, which is the national fundraising arm of the Miami Project.

The venue was gorgeous and the event was well run and really just a ton of fun.  Plus, I can’t even express how great it felt to be more than five blocks from the hospital and out in a normal social setting for once.  I can’t wait to be out of this hospital.

May 17, 2008   3 Comments

I like to kick people

Really.  It’s probably my favorite thing to do these days.  When therapists come near me, I kick them and they just smile.  When visitors come, I kick them and they either break into tears or start excitedly shouting.  Then they ask me to kick them again.  You see, I’m not being mean – I’m showing them for the first time that one of my legs has started to wake up.

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May 11, 2008   12 Comments

My left big toe

I can move it.

May 7, 2008   8 Comments

My Inspiration

Many people who know me also know that I have wanted to be a surgeon, or at least some type of physician, since I was a child.  I can’t say what first attracted me to it other than sheer fascination and curiosity, but I can say with definite certainty that it has always been my goal.  As soon as I was old enough, I obtained my EMT certification and became deeply ingrained in the local ambulance corps.  Before and after then, I was volunteering in hospitals and even shadowing doctors.  Every time I entered one of these situations, I was overwhelmed with excitement.  I knew that was where I belonged for the rest of my life.  But just after I was injured, although I knew I could complete medical school, I became very scared that surgery might be out of my reach forever.

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May 3, 2008   8 Comments

So…. It’s not HO. Really. And a general status update.

After being put back on Etidronate for suspected rebound HO, and subsequently discovering my leg was actually engorged with blood, I remained on the meds just in case the recent swelling in my right leg was due to a combination of factors.  One of those factors could still have been HO.  Earlier this week, though, an x-ray was taken to see how the right hip is doing.  And much to my satisfaction, there is no calcification.  No bone forming where it shouldn’t.

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April 27, 2008   No Comments