Showing posts from March, 2006

Говорите ли вы по-английски?

One thing I managed to do today was finally correct Robb's medical record at Highland Hospital, so he is no longer listed as a Russian speaker. In spite of this, we may be hosting our annual easter egg dyeing party to coincide with Russian Orthodox Easter. I'm too busy at work to host this event any earlier.

Neurosurgery appointment, revisited

Yesterday I wrote,"An appointment date was written on the paper work that accompanied his discharge from Highland Hospital, but what he learned it that this in no way indicates that they actually scheduled this appointment." We learned today that just because we have an appointment scheduled with one of the surgeons from Robb's neurosurgery team, it doesn't actually mean that a single doctor will be in the office the day of this scheduled appointment. grrrrrrr..... We saw a physicians' assistant, who wrote down our questions. We hope to get a phone call from on the the surgeons on Monday. We did get the xrays. The curvature of the spine looks very smooth and uninterrupted, and Robb's crushed vertebra is back to normal size. (In the "before" pictures, it had looked like a marshmallow that someone had stepped on.) Robb got to see images of the hardware in his back for the first time. I had drawn pictures for his, but I think he understood it a

So, what's new?

Not surprisingly, there is a direct correlation between my return to work, and a slow-down at the blog. Things are about as busy as they possibly could be at Berkeley Rep. It is hard to imagine that eight weeks have gone by since Robb's accident. I find myself thinking about time in terms of pre- and post-accident. Tomorrow, Robb goes for a follow up visit with his neurosurgery team. An appointment date was written on the paper work that accompanied his discharge from Highland Hospital, but what he learned it that this in no way indicates that they actually scheduled this appointment. Nor does the fact that there are directions for us to get particular xrays prior to this appointment mean that anyone at the neurosurgeon's office can tell us how to go about getting these xrays. I find it difficult to reply to secretaries who answer the question "How do we go about scheduling an xray?" with, "Wow. That's a good question." Thank goodness we have


I went back to work today. Robb has good enough mobility for me to feel comfortable leaving him at home alone. He has a parade of therapists tromping through, most days. And we have several neighbors in our building who work from home. Today, for example, the people came to install shower grab-bars (Robb currently showers in his brace, sitting on a shower chair), and Robb telephoned one of our neighbors to let the workmen in. At this point in his recovery, he cannot walk stairs unsupervised. One show has opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre while I've been taking care of Robb, and the carpenters are loading in the scenery for another one. Kim, who has been covering for me, and all the other painters have done wonderful work. I'm sort of sad not to have been able to paint the current set, as the designer is one of my all-time favorites. Of course, I'll be working on the part of the painting that happens once the show is installed in the theater, but that's mostly

Family Visit

We are so pleased that Robb's sister Barbara and his niece Jennie will be coming out for a visit. I looked around for photos of them, but everything I have is terribly out of date. No teenaged girl wants unapproved preteen pictures of herself broadcast on the internet, right? Instead, here's a photo Robb's parents took when they visited.

An Afternoon Stroll

Robb and I went out for another walk along the Oakland shoreline today. Although it was a very pleasant walk, I can't help thinking about how a twenty minute walk at what Robb calls "zero miles an hour" is not much, considering that we used to be such avid hikers. Here's hoping that things continue to improve, that Robb gets his strength and stamina back, and that we eventually return to a more normal lifestyle. The birds were out, although not in great numbers. How can you not love an animal called a Bufflehead? We also saw American and Eurasian Widgeons, which also have great names. Likewise Cinnamon Teals. Robb walked a little bit on the grass, but had to keep a sharp look-out for ground squirrel holes. Prior to today, he had only walked on pavement. All you East Coasters read that correctly, these guys live in holes in the ground. They're really charismatic, and have markings that make me think of pinecones. (Not so clear in this particular phot

Reading Lists

Robb spends a lot of time resting, which translates into a lot of time reading. In fact, he had been leaning on his left arm so much that his hand had become a bit numb. He now has a bed wedge, and is being more careful about body positioning while reading, so hopefully his "Reader's Elbow" will go away. For no particular reason and in no particular order, here's a list of what we've been reading. (And of course, I give the disclaimer that I'm certain to have forgotten some books.) Robb A Short History of Nearly Everything , by Bill Bryson The Devil in The White City , by Erik Larson The Two Towers , by J.R.R. Tolkien The War of the Worlds , by H.G. Wells To Say Nothing of the Dog , by Connie Willis The Call of the Wild , by Jack London Persepolis, the Story of a Childhood , by Marjane Satrapi Eightball , by Daniel Clowes ...and lots and lots of puzzles and magazines. Lisa Pride and Prejudice , by Jane Austen (re-read right after the accident as Shame

Thank You

Thank you James for your excellent box of cheer. I've already almost finished Eats Shoots and Leaves . I realize that I'm guilty of over use of dashes, but also that she's addressing British punctuation rules and that American punctuation operates slightly differently. Thank you Martha for the cool non-slip bath decals, and for Prodigal Summer . Thank you Sheila for the shopping spree at the Berkeley Bowl. Thank you to Joan and Bob for another shopping spree at Trader Joes.

Who is Caring for Whom?

Well, it happened. That cold that had been lurking around, finally caught up with me. I was doing all right when James came by with a wonderful box full of tedium-busters, but after lunch I just crashed. I knew things were going badly when I almost burst into tears because I couldn't figure out my knitting project. (Of course, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever knit.) I feel dreadful, and Robb and I are just trying to do the best we can.

Re-connecting with the community

Today, Jenna, our Rehab Without Walls social worker came by. Among other things, she is helping me find community based support for Robb. Robb also spoke to Chona, who was one of Robb's therapists at CPMC about this. We signed up for a "hike" with Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program , and I had a long talk with Lori, the woman who organizes their outings. She's blind, has epilepsy, and uses a wheelchair and has been guiding white water rafting trips for the past twenty-three years. Hard not to be impressed with a woman like that. As far as our hike goes, I think it will be a fairly low-key event. We're going to Crab Cove in Alameda, which has wheelchair accessible tidepools . Robb and I love tidepooling, and when we were last at Crab Cove, we remarked at how cool it was that this park had found a way to make this activity available to people who use wheelchairs. Given Robb's tolerances for activity at this point, we'll just play this one by ear. (


We have been stymied by the fact that nobody has been able to locate a urologist who accepts Workers' Compensation insurance. Our case managers have been working hard on this puzzle, and today Nicole offered some help. But it looks like the nurse practitioner that Robb saw today may have cracked this nut. We had gone in, primarily to address some urology issues, and when we told her about our doctor-insurance situation, she lept into action. After much calling around, and discussion, she located a doctor that they are going to refer us to, and hopefully (fingers crossed everyone) this doctor will see Robb. Otherwise, the visit with the nurse practitioner went very smoothly. In fact, it was like a party in the examining room, with Robb, the nurse practitioner, our case worker and me, all crammed in together. After that appointment, we swung by the nursing station to bring flowers to the wonderful nurses and therapists who had done so much for Robb. It was a wonderful reunion


Robb had a day without therapy sessions, so we took the opportunity to leave the house. I needed to stop by Berkeley Rep, and Robb came along for the ride. Because Robb was tired, he stayed in the car, and had curb-side visits. At the scene shop, we chatted with Kim (who is covering for me while I take care of Robb), Stephanie, Andrew and ET. At the theater, we saw Madelyn, Amanda, Ryan, Bryce, Zoltan, and Robin. Unfortunately, one of the reasons we stopped by the theater was to cancel our tickets to the opening night of Zorro in Hell . Robb is doing very well with his recovery, but doesn't have a long enough sitting tolerance to make it through a two-act play. After this stop, we took a very short, but nice, walk at Berkeley's Aquatic Park . The birds were out in force. We saw Snowy Egrets , Ruddy Ducks , Buffleheads , Pied Billed Grebes , among others. We also "planted" a letterbox , which is an odd activity that Robb and I participate in. Essentially, it

Robb Speaks

OK Did you ever see someone stumble, immediately regain their feet and announce, “I’m okay!”? Well, today, that’s me. The announcement has taken six weeks and I’ve not yet completely regained my feet but -- I’m okay. I’ll be okay. And here’s why: Lisa, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors and those of you I’ve never met but hope to. Every letter, every card, every visit, every gift, every email, and message left on this weblog; every time I hear of someone asking about me, keeping me in their thoughts or prayers -- all the support, all the love, and the boundless generosity has lifted me up in ways you cannot imagine. These past weeks should have been the most difficult of my life but I’ve made it through, my spirits intact, because of your love and kindness. Thank you. There’s a long road ahead but I know I’ll get there with some good company along the way. Postscript My friends EJ and Dave sent me a card a while back with the following quote (I think


I have been having a lot of trouble uploading pictures, so I haven't been able to share any cards. But today, some really great ones came in from the youth ministry group at St. Francis de Salles church in Robb's home town of Patchogue, New York. For those who might not be able to make out the text, this one says: "Dude (Robb), Sorry bout the accident. That is not fun at all. I really hope you recover soon. Oh yea, my name is Jack and I skate and surf. I have a dog and I'm a dude. So yea, hope your recover soon! -Jack P.S. -- The card is not very artsty cause I'm a guy. My bad." And this one says: "Dear Robb My name is Jules. I just want to let you know that you are n my prayers. I know what it is like to have someone sick or injured in a family. I have 13 brothers and sister. Seven are adopted and born with disabilities. Each day is a new day for my family. I pray for my family every night, and you will be in my prayers. Get we


Robb works almost every day with therapist from Rehab Without Walls. There is a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a social worker (who we haven't seen much, as she is on vacation). Robb concentrates on day-to-day skills with Marcella, his occupational therapist. Today, he cooked lunch and vacuumed and also worked on balance and walking the stairs. In this photo, Robb is working on improving his balance by holding objects above his head, and moving his arms around. He's in the bedroom so that in case he falls, which is unlikely, he will land in the bed. And let's enjoy a close-up view of Mister Firdusi, who is observing from the bench: Later in the afternoon, Robb worked with Doreen, the physical therapist. Robb went through a series of exercises that are for strengthening the muscles in his legs and feet. He also worked on balance. One of the exercises that Doreen wanted to work on was with Robb involved lifting small objects with his toes. Fir

Not a Walk in the Park

I fear that I've been creating an overly-rosy picture of Robb's recovery with this blog. Believe me, it isn't all cooking and taking little outings. Much of the recovery process is slow and some of it can be really demoralizing. For example, Robb still cannot feel the bottoms of his feet, or a big stripe up the back of his legs, or his butt, or his groin. He isn't wearing a catheter, but he is also not going to the bathroom normally. And, in fact the medications he is taking for all of this are causing a lot of trouble. Our insurance company has been trying to get Robb an appointment with a urologist, but they can't find one in the area who will accept our insurance. Once we finished laughing about what kind of job one might have in order to see a urologist for a work-related injury, we were really sobered by the fact that even if we have insurance, doctors can just refuse to accept it, leaving us without medical care. After a lovely Saturday of sleeping late, a

Lazy Saturday

We slept late today. I think this is the second time I've done this in five weeks. Last night, we actually formulated a plan on how we could sleep in. Other than 9am therapy sessions, the main obstacle to sleeping late is the cats. Once they decide it is breakfast time, Niobe and Mister Firdusi are relentless in their demands for food. Firdusi parks himself in the hall outside the bedroom door and hollers at the top of his whiny voice. If that doesn't inspire me to feed him, he and Niobe beat each other up. Apparently, they associate family violence with getting fed. They've been doing this for years. Robb woke up before me, and got into his brace (no small undertaking) and went into the kitchen to feed the kitties. Since he can't lean over, he created a very Robb-like device out of a measuring spoon and a wooden pasta stirrer. (The ladle's angle is all wrong, I'm told.) He fed the cats and came back to bed, and I slept through the whole thing. Heav

Low Impact Birdwatching

Since Robb has been practicing walking on uneven surfaces, I thought it might be fun for us to get out and do a little birdwatching. This afternoon, we went to Arrowhead Marsh near the Oakland Airport. This is one of those odd urban parks that is great for getting close to nature without driving for hours. Squint your eyes and ignore the industrial parks, and you'll be in awe if the biodiversity you can find in downtown Oakland. Among other things, this park is home to Burrowing Owls (we've never seen one) and California Clapper Rails (we see these about every other visit, but they are very elusive). We parked the car, and Robb walked (using his cane -- we're realizing that the walker is not very useful on uneven terrain) along the paved path. The paving is great for bicyclist, and for slow walkers like Robb, but the gulls love it, too. They drop clams and mussels from great heights to get at the food inside. It is quite amusing to watch the gulls compete for food

quiet lately...

Sorry, I haven't posted for a while. I'm just a bit tired, and haven't been able to collect my thoughts. Things are going well. Slowly, but well.


On Thursday, we're going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to pick up handicapped tags for the car. I can't quite wrap my brain around this. Sure, having these tags will make running errands with Robb a lot easier, but I'm unable to define Robb this way. To me, he's a really cute guy, who happens to walk rather slowly at the moment. But I guess they don't give you special parking tags for that at the DMV. And really, if all the prime parking spots were reserved for cute guys, it would be a horribly unfair world!


Here are some images of men wearing the "Incroyable" style of the 1790's that I mentioned a few days ago. Robb's hair really does look this way. And I'm a horrible person for not figuring out a way to get him a haircut. On the other hand, Robb's brace gives him way, way better posture than this gentleman. Thanks to Erica for the pictures!

Featured Card -- Wednesday

This is from Abby, Tim and Satchell. Abby wrote something that I thought was so funny. "Did you know that Lisa can walk briskly across a gravel parking lot, look down and instantly find a piece of gravel with an amazing fossil in it?!? She can! I've seen her do it two times! She's some kinda fossil/gravel savant!" Heh. That sums me up so well.... My Super Hero Power is Pattern Recognition. I can find four leaf clovers like nobody else, and see mistakes in stencilling, but it isn't good enough for the Justice League of America.

. . .

I just now noticed that I have been alternately writing about Robb's spinal CHORD and his spinal CORD. I do know the difference between these two words. I still haven't been able to figure out how to use the spell check on this blog. Robb may have to slow down a bit. Prior to coming home, he was eating three meals a day in bed. We now eat our meals in the dining room, and Robb has been spending a fair amount of time out of bed. This may have been hasty, and perhaps we should take a step back and not go so quickly. I have been giving a good deal of thought to something Robb's physical therapist said would be one of their goals. She said that she wanted to make sure he could get up off the floor. Now, Robb hasn't fallen (not since the accident, anyway), but because he still cannot feel the bottoms of his feet, his balance is not what it should be. So falling is a real risk. And we're such fragile creatures. Fragile, and resilient. That's how I think

The English Language... a wonderful thing. But apparently there are some people who think all the words we have aren't sufficient, and feel the need to create some more. (Bear with me here.) Since Robb has limited mobility, he can't just wander into the bathroom and wash his hands very easily. So we're buying a lot of "wipes." Robb was pondering the following text: "Longs (no apostrophe) premoistened washcloths are manufactured using a unique fabric that's been "hydroentangled" (their use of quotation marks and bold text) to create a cloth-like wipe that's super strong, yet soft and gentle." Moistened. Wetted. Dampened. Soaked. Saturated. These are all fine words. But -- really -- hydroentangled? Do we actually need to add this word to our language?


Three weeks ago, Robb brushed his teeth while standing at a sink for the first time. At that time, his "standing tolerance" was about three minutes. Now he is able to stand for over forty five minutes. He went down the the shops on Lakeshore Avenue, and walked using his cane (under supervision of Marcella, his occupational therapist.) He says that there still isn't enough time to cross the street. We're working toward finding ways for Robb to be independant and unsupervised. Building strength and balance and figuring out ways of arranging our apartment so that he can do things for himself are all part of this. Right now, Robb is working with Doreen, his physical therapist. I need to go cook dinner.

Thank You...

...Martha and Neil for the beautiful sheets. The colors are perfect. Robb was remarking how great it is to have a sister with such a great aesthetic sensibility. Thanks for everything else that you two have done, particularly for letting me vent over the phone. ...Michael for the comic books. We are both getting a lot of enjoyment out of them. Now, where do we get the issues that wrap up the stories? ...Dave and Jennie for the hilarious Cat-apult and the delicious chocolates. You guys crack us up! ...Gina for the beautiful "welcome home" roses. You're so kind. How was your drive? ...Lisa and Mike for the grocery money. You are so thoughtful to help us out with this. ...Everyone at UC Berkeley for the basket of treats. Do you want to come over and help us eat them? and to everyone else who has sent kind wishes to us for Robb's recovery. Here's Today's Featured Card From F.P. Fiona! Another lovely hand carved image. This was a Valentine

Retail Therapy

We finally bought our new mattress. If you haven't purchased a mattress lately, all I can say is "Yuck! Buying a mattress is every bit as unpleasant as purchasing a used car." I actually walked out of one mattress store because the sales person wouldn't give me the price of any of the merchandise, he insisted on following me around and saying things like, "this one will run you about blah-blah-blah dollars." I looked him in the face and told him that if he couldn't provide me with actual prices, I had no intention of shopping in his store. Today, Robb and I went out to buy our mattress and to do a little shopping. We made short trips, and Robb used a shopping cart as if it were his walker. Robb has become very good at finding places to sit down in stores. But we probably over-did it, again. I'm looking forward to getting a handicapped parking tag, so that I don't have to leave Robb by the front door and then go hunting for a parking sp

Leave Us a Message...

I think that some people have been having problems leaving us messages through the blog. I believe that all you have to do is click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the current posting (this word should be green), and that will take you to another page where you can write us a note. If you click on the picture of the envelope, that sends me an email message, but it doesn't post to the blog. You'll be asked to "choose an identity." You can sign in as anonymous. But please sign your message so we know who you are. In case you can't tell, we're getting a bad case of Cabin Fever. Ashley was going to visit this morning, but we were having a bad morning, and weren't fit for company. We're a bit lonely, and that's not good for either of us. If you want to call, our numbers are: 510-663-751xx home 510-299-32xx lisa mobile 510-299-32xx robb mobile Of course, we can't always come to the phone. Sorry. (The images on the littl

Featured Card

I thought I would share some of the cards that people have been sending us. This card is from Laura, who I "met" online as part of a printmaking/letterboxing group. She sent this card in response to all my postings about hospital food, and particularly the Infamous Butter Pats. I love Julia Child . What a character, and inspiration this woman was! I was a huge fan of her show with Jacques Pepin. That woman was a hoot! And she loved her butter!

Another Day at Home

We are all so happy to have Robb at home. But it isn't easy. Robb said to me tonight that he is just waking up to how long this recovery is likely to take. I was having a sad morning, combined with a bit of cabin fever. Since Robb can't lift anything, and walking is so difficult, I have a lot of things to do for him. So, it was nice to get out and about Today, Marcella from Rehab Without Walls came over for another session of occupational therapy. We went to Trader Joes, and Robb realized that he could walk using the shopping cart to provide the balance that the walker normally provides. He still can't lift anything heavy, so I'll be the one carrying all the groceries up the stairs. At the moment, I park the car in front of our garage, open Robb's door, set up his walker, and then park the car. I bring in whatever is in the car, and carry it upstairs, and then I "spot" Robb as he walks up the stairs with the cane. (I'm not exactly certain what

Finding Our Pace

Yesterday, I think we tried to have a normal (pre-accident) day, and maybe that was a mistake. At the hospital, there wasn't much to do other than therapy or resting I think Robb may have tried to do too many things at home, and got overtired and rather upset at the end of the day. We talked about all of this, and decided to really slow down. They warned us about this at the hospital, but of course we had to find out for ourselves. I'm still running around, trying to find ways to make Robb's life run more smoothly. Robb took his first shower at home. I still need to figure out how to get him a haircut. He hates the way he looks right now. If he were trying to look like a 1790's "Incroyable," he would be doing a great job, hair-wise. (And darn it, I can't find a good picture of this style!) On Friday, Robb will have another session of occupational therapy. They've planned a trip to Trader Joe's. (For once, I won't be in that store d


I forgot to write that Robb's nurses and therapists at CPMC gave him a surprise going-away party. He was really touched by this. We are so indebted to everyone at CPMC for the wonderful care that Robb received.

Getting Settled...told in no particular order

Things have improved since Wednesday morning. Our insurance company put the squeeze on the medical equipment supplier, and they delivered a new walker, and a proper cane this afternoon. Robb met with Marcella, from Rehab Without Walls. She will be his occupational therapist as well as our case manager. It turns out that Robb gets about twenty hours of therapy a week. This is stunning. We were expecting five hours a week. Robb washed the breakfast dishes, and assembled the shower chair (his balance is still too tenuous to allow him to shower standing up), with Marcella looking on. That's the funny thing about occupational therapy, it is all about doing the normal things you do in life. They also worked on getting around the apartment, and on Robb's balance. Marcella filled out a lot of paperwork, as well. While Robb was working with Marcella, I ran out and got some groceries. I got all the way to the store before I realized that I didn't have my wallet. I also l

Home Slightly Chaotic Home

Well, we're home. We've got a lot of catching up to do. The medical supply company didn't deliver all the things that were ordered, so I was on the phone with the insurance company this morning. Thankfully, the insurance company has been wonderful, and are going to raise hell on our behalf. Missing from our order: A tray for Robb's walker. At the moment, Robb's "spinal precautions" do not allow him to carry anything. A new walker. The one that the insurance company paid for had obviously been used. Grass stains on the wheels, scrapes all over the place, green paint on the bars. I don't particularly care that this is used, except that someone was billed for a new walker. A single-point cane. A seat pad for his wheel chair. The grab bar for the shower. (Also, the shower adapter that was sent doesn't fit, but if I can find a wrench, I've got a better adapter that I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond. The thing I bought actually cost le

Home Sweet Home

Five weeks after the accident, Robb comes home today, to start the next phase of his recovery. I know that we'll be learning a lot during this time. I just hope that I have the grace and energy to do everything that needs to be done. Everyone keeps telling me things like "make sure you take time for yourself," but I don't really see how that is to be done.

Robb Comes Home Tuesday!

Tomorrow, Robb will come home to start the next phase of his recovery. I've got a lot of running around to do today. We think we've narrowed down the bed we want to buy. Seems so silly that it takes a major accident before we buy a real bed. I've also got to buy a mattress. Robb's occupational therapist is taking him to a mattress store, but we don't really think he's going to be able to feel much through the back brace, and I don't imagine that the mattress store would be to thrilled so have Robb go through the rigamarole of taking off his brace in the store. We also have to confirm where all of Robb's new medical gear (wheelchair, walker, shower bench, et cetera, et cetera) is going to be delivered, and when it will arrive. We've got to get some advice on picking the doctor who will be our primary physician for the rest of this case. Thanks to Derek and Isabel, who sent this great photo from Baltimore!

The Toes...

There are a few things to say on the subject of Robb's toes. For the first time today, he was able to wiggle the three outer toes on either feet. Up until now, he was not able to move these toes at all. Robb's toenails have not grown since the accident. I asked the nurses about this tonight, and they were totally perplexed. Robb has lost a good deal of weight while at the hospital, and hasn't been eating a diet as high in protein as he would at home. Is his body re-allocating resources? We're mystified. Robb's feet still feel cold all the time. So, I'm going to have to bite the bullet, and learn how to kit socks. Any thoughts, oh knitter friends of mine?

a little shake-up

I forgot to mention that we had an earthquake during the time that I was staying over at the hospital. One good jolt. I actually thought that it might have been a gust of wind. The earthquake was centered in Berkeley, and had a 2.9 magnitude. We were eleven miles from the source of the quake. (I'm experiementing with links. If you click on the word earthquake , you should be able to see the US Geological Survey's information on this quake.)


Do any of you have any good pictures of Robb for the blog? Could you email them to me? Keep the file size small, please. Ideally, the image shouldn't be larger than five inches in any direction or more than 72 pixels per inch. I would love to see if anyone else has anything interesting.

cute, or just demented?

Abby commented that we seem to have a lot of pictures of cats' tongues on this blog, and wondered about the connection to butter. This past christmas morning, we made a fancy breakfast, and gave the cats their favorite foods. Niobe got butter Linguine got steamed milk Firdusi got peas and corn, but wasn't an obliging model, so he's not included in this blog entry. And in case we haven't blurred the distinction between cute and demented quite enough, here is another photo of baby Linguine and her sister sleeping inside a tomato cage on the porch of Pinehurst Farm. And here is one more baby picture of Linguine on the farm. That's Robb and Terri, cuddling Linguine and one of her siblings in the front yard. That's just plain cute. Sorry if this is too much for y'all. I thought we might have needed a break from the discussion of things medical for a moment or two....

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

During our Home Evaluation Visit on Thursday, the therapists said that Robb was only the second patient they had ever seen who managed to get the brace on by themselves. Most patients need a nurse's help to get in and out of this brace. Putting this into perspective, the therapist who said this has been working with spinal cases at CPMC for ten years. That Robb! He's a problem-solver! A few things that I may not have mentioned..... In no particular order..... Robb is only allowed to sit up in the brace for half an hour at a time. If he sits up longer than that, he starts to have a lot of strain on his lower back. The therapists keep telling us that the human body is not designed for sitting. So, for example, if we take a car ride that lasts longer than half an hour, we have to pull over and let Robb get out of the car and stretch. Robb may be able to stop wearing his fuzzy boots. Earlier in the blog, I mis-spoke and said that the boots were for walking, as well as keep

Keeping ourselves amused

We're not big television watchers. In fact, I'm woefully ignorant of most of Pop Culture. So it was not a tragedy when Robb realized that the television in his room didn't really work. But that would never stop us from having a little fun. And for those of you who've missed the Butter Pat Gallery, here's an example of the differences between Highland Hospital and California Pacific Medical Center. Organic Butter.

Another Friday

It seems that Robb really does have a release date. Unless anything changes (and I'm not ruling that out), Robb will be coming home on Tuesday. In therapy today, Robb graduated from using the four-pronged cane, to a normal single-point cane. He says that the difference is astonishing, and that this is the first time that he has experienced normal arms-moving walking since the accident. Robb also went out on another outing for occupational therapy. He was wheeled down the big hill by CPMC (they missed the MUNI in both directions, and the weather was threatening), and then walked around on Castro. He and his therapist had lunch at a taqueria, which made Robb very happy because he has been craving black beans. It had been bright and sunny when they were outside, but as soon as they ordered lunch, the sky let loose, and it poured throughout lunch. By the time they were ready to leave, it was clear and sunny again. Small World On Thursday afternoon, Robb got another room mate