Friday, February 26, 2010

Super Cast

Several of you have requested a picture of my full-arm super cast.  I'd like to think it's because you want to be able to fully sympathize with me, but most likely you just want a good laugh.  I hope you don't get too much of a kick out of it.  I know it looks rediculous.  I feel like an 8 year old.  I turned down the glow-in-the-dark cast and refuse to let anyone sign it because I'm trying to remain somewhat professional (if that is at all possible).  So here is the long awaited, much embarrassing picture...  This is what I looked like heading out the door for my running club (which became walking club thanks to my crippledness).  It was chilly out but only short-sleeved shirts fit over my bulging cast (my wardrobe has become pretty limited).  So I wore a vest and covered my bare left arm with a single leg warmer.  I've also become addicted to headbands because they keep my unkempt hair out of the way.  I tried to crop the mess of my room out of the picture, but you can see a hair dryer, tshirt, bags, and sheets piling up on my floor.  It's not normally like this - I'm so embarrassed!

Monday, February 22, 2010


This weekend, my good friend Sydney came to visit from Pasadina, California (right outside of LA).  Her friend Brittany came up with her and we had a fun girl's weekend.  The weather was perfect for being outside and exploring the city.  We hiked, did lots of shopping (I somehow managed not to spend a dime) and enjoyed some great food (including Por Que No, Bread and Ink, Portland City Grill and Papa Hayden's).  I love having friends come visit and showing them where I live. Now I can't wait to visit Sydney in Southern California!

hiking at Multnomah Falls

Syd and I at Portland City Grill

Broken Wrist Update
I was supposed to have my next doctor's appointment tomorrow, but I called and got it bumped up to today.  1) because the swelling had gone down and 2) because I got an eye liner cap stuck in my cast.  Yep, that's what I said.  I was trying to scratch an itch with an eye liner pencil and the cap got stuck.  It was pretty uncomfortable having a cap pressured between my cast and my skin.  The doctor put a new cast on today - a hard cast that goes up past my elbow.  Not what I was hoping for.  I'll have this on for 2 weeks and then I'll exchange it for a short cast.  I'm still hoping for a speedy recovery!

This is a picture of my arm in between casts.  Its yellow from the iodine used at the clinic and there is still some blood from the numbing shots given to me the day of the injury.  Apparently they can't rub my arm clean because it could disturb the bone placement.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So it been almost a week since I broke my wrist.  Which means I haven't been able to use my right hand for the past 6 days.  Which means I'm getting pretty good with my left hand.  Which means I just might become ambidextrous by the time this whole thing is over.  I've had to learn to do a lot of things with one hand (and my left hand at that): brush my teeth, wash my face, control the computer mouse, text message (which has caused a cramp in my left thumb), write (like a 6 year old), type (also like a 6 year old), eat (not a pretty sight), and just about everything else.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday.  He took some more xrays and said things are looking good.  The splint is holding the bones right where they need to be, so he decided to leave it as is and not put a cast on right now.  My right hand is so swollen and bruised. It looks like a dead person's hand.  (Doesn't that make you want to hold my hand?!)  The doctor said I should raise my hand over my head to help the swelling go down.  So for most of the day I'm sitting at my desk with my arm propped up on an upside down box.  People keep walking by asking if I would like to ask a question.  And my arm seems to constantly itch - probably just because I know I can't scratch it.  So right now I'm sitting here sticking a kabob skewer in my cast trying to scratch those itches.  It's heaven.

The first day and a half I thought this whole one-armed, left-handed thing was kind of a neat experiment.  But after about 36 hours, I was ready to be done with it.  I've gained a new appreciation for normally having use of both of my hands.  I guess I've given up the use of my right hand for Lent.  Easter is going to be extra joyous this year!

a sample of my ambidextrous skills

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Extreme Sports

So last week I went snowboarding for the first time and had a blast.  I loved it so much that yesterday I bought my own snowboard and boots! Today I headed up to Mount Hood Meadows with my friend Alan, who is a great snowboarder.  We've been talking about going since Thanksgiving and finally did.  Alan was so patient with me, a beginner.  I had several falls on our first run down the mountain and was much slower than him, but he always waited for me and didn't get frustrated (as far as I could tell).  On our second ride up the lift, I fell trying to get off.  They stopped the lift and I scurried out of the way (once again dragging my dignity behind me).

On the second run, I decided to take my game to the next level by pointing my snowboard more downhill instead of doing the "falling leaf" pattern.  At one point I was going pretty fast downhill, lost control and fell back.  I tried to break my fall with my wrist... and instead just broke my wrist.  I heard a crack when I landed, took off my glove and thought, "Uh oh, this is not good." My wrist was bent and deformed.  Alan had just gone around a curve so I couldn't see him and he couldn't see me, but I knew he was waiting for me just around the bend.  I tried to get back up on my snowboard, but there was no way for me to lift myself up.  So I unhooked my boots, picked up my board and walked around to where Alan was waiting.  I'm sure I looked pretty pathetic and defeated.  "Um Alan, I think I broke my wrist." He took one look and agreed that this was not good.

Alan was so great - he carried both of our snowboards down the hill, walked me to the clinic, answered the nurse's questions about the incident, and waited while they set up my examination.  Thanks, Alan!  The doctors were wonderful. They took x-rays, numbed my wrist with 3 big shots and pulled and pushed to get my bones back in place, and set it in a splint.  I was in and out within an hour.

My friend Drew and coworker Mary Lee were also on the mountain and were kind enough to check in on me before we headed out.  This was definitely not the fun, adventurous day I was expecting.  It's incredible how one instance can affect so much over the next few weeks.  Especially when it's your right wrist and hand that are immobile.  The smallest tasks - making a sandwich, brushing my teeth, putting my hair in a ponytail, writing this post - can be so difficult and take 5 times longer than usual. This is my first time to ever break a bone, so I've broken my streak of "unbrokenness".

But I'm not defeated by this one accident. As soon as that cast is off, I'm heading right back up to the mountain!  This was just my initiation.


the xray of the broken bone before it was set

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Snowboarding Adventure

Yesterday I went snowboarding for the first time ever. The last time I went skiing was when I was probably 12 years old and with my family in Santa Fe. All winter I’ve been dying to make it up to the slopes. So I took a “personal day” from work and headed up to Mount Hood with my friends Stephanie and Julian. Steph is also a beginning snowboarder (although she is a long boarding pro). So Julian taught us the ins and outs of snowboarding and pretty much babysat us on the mountain all day. Thanks Julian!

We went to the Meadows Ski Resort, which is probably the most popular skiing place around Portland. The scenery was gorgeous and it snowed most of the time we were there which made the slopes nice and powdery. I walked up to the rental counter to get my boots and the guy looked at my shoe size and automatically brought me ski boots. “I’m actually snow boarding,” I told him. “Oh, you look like a skier.” I guess next time I need to show up with a few tattoos, some piercings and baggy pants.  I guess to make me look more legit, he gave me a snowboard with zombies and skulls on it.  Pretty hard core!

So I got my gear, strapped my boots onto the board and did the awkward scoot up to the ski lift. Getting on was the easy part. Getting off is a different story. Julian coached us and gave us tips on how to get off the lift and slide down the little snow ramp. I managed to do everything wrong and fell flat off of the lift and got nearly run over by the big metal chair passing over my body. The lift manager stopped the lift, Julian scooped me out of the snow and I dragged my board (and my pride) out of the way of all of the elementary-aged snowboarding punks that slid right off of the lift with ease. Later in the day I waived to a cute little boy (about 7 years old) who skied past me at the bottom of the hill. He barely glanced at me, gave a quick wave and then looked away as if he was embarrassed to be associated with me. Maybe it was because of the snow that clung to my pants, gloves and cap from all of the tumbles I took.

Our first attempt down the green run went pretty well. There were definitely lots of wipe outs, but I was surprised at how easily Steph and I both picked up on it. I guess we were just made to board! The most difficult part was getting back up after falling. Having both feet strapped into the board made it tricky to lift yourself back up. I took several face plants and feel like I have a bruised rear end today, but every time I just got back up and tried it again. I had a tough time getting out of bed this morning. I feel like I have whip lash… or pretty much like I was flat out whipped yesterday. But I can’t wait to hit the slopes again! Make sure to tune into the Olympics later this month – you just might see Steph and me boarding down the Vancouver slopes!

Stephanie and I getting ready to hit the slopes

check out my sweet board!

Snowboarding Flashback
I've never been fond of snowboarders.  This negative connotation comes from a less-than-positive "run in" with a snowboarder when I was about eight years old.  It was on one of our family ski trips to Eagle's Nest, New Mexico when I was first learning to ski.  I had been in ski lessons all morning and was finally on my own on the slopes doing my esses back and forth down the mountain like my ski instructor had taught me.  I was minding my own business, gradually making my way through the snow when all of a sudden out of nowhere a snowboarder comes flying down the mountain right across my path.  Instead of mowing me over, he picks me up and carries me down the mountain!  He keeps saying,"I've got you. I've got you" as we bounce down the slope together.  At the bottom of the slope we come to a crash landing where he falls flat on top of me, burying my face in the snow.  I haven't had the best attitude towards snowboarders since that encounter, so I'm out to change my own perception.

Monday, February 1, 2010

1 Year Anniversary in Portland

Today is my one year Portland anniversary.  On this day one year ago, I was bused into Portland after an unexpected overnight layover in Seattle.  I can't believe I have been here a whole year.  The city still seems so new to me.  Yet I am amazed at how much I love my new home and all of its little quirks.

I've learned so much this past year.  Not only about the city but also about myself.  I've grown in ways that I didn't even know I could.  If I was to describe this past year in one word it would be this: discovery.

Within the last year I have discovered:
- not to judge a book by its cover (or people by their appearance)
- how to branch out and be persistent - even in uncomfortable situations
- what it feels like to be "the new person"
- how to reach out to other new people
- networking is everything
- how to really appreciate the beauty of nature
- I'm not naturally tan, I've just always lived in Texas
- I say certain words funny
- other people talk funny too
- how great my family and friends back in Texas really are
- not everyone loves country music
- no matter how far away you go, people won't forget you
- there really is a season called Winter
- how to cope with the dreary rain (well, I'm still working on that one)
- I'm willing to try anything once
- you never know what the future may hold