Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year ('s Eve)!!

Hopefully the skies will be clear wherever you are tonight and you'll be able to see the "Blue Moon"! Yep, it's the second full moon this month and that makes it a blue moon, from whence the saying "once in a blue moon" is derived.

A blue moon (using the Gregorian calender definition as opposed to the Farmers Almanac definition) occurs roughly every 2.5 years in any given month and occurs on NYE once every 19 years!!!

Here's some info on how the term came into common parlance:

Sky and Telescope calendrical misinterpretation

The March 1946 Sky and Telescope article "Once in a Blue Moon" by James Hugh Pruett misinterpreted the 1937 Maine Farmers' Almanac. "Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon." Widespread adoption of the definition of a "blue moon" as the second full moon in a month followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.

What the Farmer's Almanac really said was:

Farmers' Almanac blue moons

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Maine Farmers' Almanac listed blue moon dates for farmers. These correspond to the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons (normally a quarter year has three full moons).

The power of the media I guess. Anyway, Happy New Year to all my readers!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mea Culpa

Good Lord, it's been almost a week since I last posted and that's unacceptable!!

Christmas Eve was a busy day with LL and me exchanging gifts in the morning and then heading to her folks' place for dinner and more gift exchanges. Later on was midnight service at her pagan, I mean Presbyterian, church. After a hearty breakfast in Joliet, we headed 30 minutes north to Naperville and Christmas day with my parents.

Joisey Ken came in on Saturday night and though the flight threatened to be three hours late, it turned out to only be an hour late or so which was not bad considering it snowed all day. With my shoulder, we couldn't do as much as we normally might, but we did go to the Bears/Vikings game on Monday night, a 36-30 overtime thriller. We were just hoping the Bears would play a good enough game to keep it close, especially since the Vikings were 11-3 and headed for the playoffs while the Bears are already thinking about the draft next year. It was indeed a great game, probably the best Bears game to see all year. Oddly, despite the Bears being out of it and the temperature being only 15 degrees, the stadium was full and virtually nobody left early.

Here's Ken all bundled up in our seats.

Benny Baseball and Andy The Sausage King joined us at the game. It's always good to see those guys.

Ken left yesterday afternoon. I'm already looking forward to his visit next year!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Did I overdo it?

My shoulder has been really sore while sleeping and first thing in the morning. It starts to loosen up as the day goes on, but it's pretty painful in the morning. Unfortunately, I think the cause (other than only being two weeks from surgery) is that I'm not wearing my sling hardly at all during the day and maybe I was overdoing the passive motion machine with my new arm rotation.

So today I decided I would wear my sling and not move up the intensity of the machine at all. Well, I still really didn't wear the sling all that much, but I did wear it for a bit.

LL and I are going to go to midnight mass at her church on Christmas Eve and then go to my folks' place from their house in the morning. Unfortunately, my church dropped their 7:30 a.m. mass on Christmas morning, which I would have drove home for, so I won't be doing Christmas mass at my church at all. To make up for it a little and to see the church in it's Christmas glory, I went to mass tonight at 6. Unfortunately, they were having choir practice in the main church, so we had mass in the lower church, which isn't decorated or anything. It was a fine mass, but didn't have the ambiance I was looking for today. Oh well. I may go Sunday morning before Joisey Ken comes in.

Oh, did I not mention that? Yep, Joisey Ken is coming in on Sunday and we're going to the Bears/Vikings game on Monday Night. Ken's a big Vikings fan and I have Bears tickets so he flies out every year and we go to the game. This year is even more special because: 1) it's so close to Christmas, 2) he has a daughter now who's 6 months old and 3) his birthday is on Tuesday, when he'll be traveling home. I'm very happy he's coming out!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Return to the past.....again

First, can I tell you that Showtime is absolutely lousy? Direct TV set me up with 3 months free and there are about 15 channels in the package. The best thing on there has been four year old re-runs of Arrested Development. The movies are horrible!!!

The other day at Starbucks a barista asked me if I had seen Juno. Immediately I knew where she was going. Yes, there is some resemblance between me and the father in Juno, JK Simmons.

Some day I'm going to go to an autograph session of his and see if people ask him if he knows that he looks like Joe Sutton. :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Return to bed

First, a shoulder update. Friday I had my stitches out and achieved 160 degree rotation on my shoulder, which is basically straight over my head. That was the goal for the first 2 weeks, which is today actually. So I continued rehabbing at that level all weekend and today I got my new rotation program. Now instead of moving my arm up and down in front of me, the machine will take my bent arm and rotate the should up at the elbow and then rotate the hand back. So with your elbow buried in your ribs, move it away from your ribs. That's the first motion. Then rotate your hand upwards at the same time.

This weekend saw a return to sleeping in my bed!! It's no less comfortable than the chair at this point, so I made the switch.

Saturday, we used my Hawthorne day at the races package which I won or bought at a charity auction this year. Yes, despite the snow, they had live thoroughbred racing. Good fun!!

Here's the picture of the winning horse in the Sutton-Caisley Group Race, the 6th race. Yep, I go to name the race too! Then our group had our picture taken in the winners circle with the jockey. He's tiny!!! It was good fun. Dinner was included as well so it was quite the package.

Oh, and I don't think anyone in our group won money on our race!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Those were the days?

Did you know the Joe who didn't own a cell phone and refused to get one? How about the Joe that had a cell phone, but never had it on? People mostly thought I was a bit of a loon for not being reachable 24/7, but that's how I liked it. My phone was for MY use and MY convenience. It wasn't for the benefit of others. The phone plans I had were mostly a small $15 monthly fee and then pay as you go for usage.

And now I have an Iphone with a $125 a month bill, which I happily pay. How did this come about? Technology. For me, technology finally got to the point where the phone speedily allowed me to do things other than just answer and make phone calls. It allowed me to access my email and the internet as well as find the nearest Starbucks or give me directions when I'm lost. So it's not just a cell phone for me, it's a portable computer.

Just a thought I had as my phone bill came in yesterday. It'll be paid today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The shoulder is progressing nicely.....I think. Today, as scheduled, I added another 10 degrees of motion to my passive shoulder motion (basically picking it up straight in front of me) so now I'm at 140 degrees. At 180 degrees, my arm would be straight over my head, so it's pretty good progress. The point it to keep scar tissue from forming and retaining my full range of motion.

Also, I didn't take any vicodin today and took only two on Tuesday. That's good on several fronts not the least of which is that I won't drink alcohol while taking them, too much liver stress. So my pain has been control just by icing after my hour long therapy sessions.

Once I get to 160 degrees, they start me with another motion on the machine....something to work the side muscles I think. Friday I have my follow up appointment and hopefully get my stitches out. Then I'll be able to shower without getting it wrapped!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Day

My days are somewhat more interesting than you might think even though I have a bunch of rehab and icing to do on a daily basis. Well, maybe they aren't actually. Guess I'll let you make the call.

Today, which started at 7 a.m. for me, LL wrapped my shoulder before she headed out to work so I could shower. Showering and drying with one hand is an issue, but I succeeded. My clothes are still limited as I can really only get into either baggy clothes or button up shirts (which are only dress shirts for me). Then I had to get dressed (in coat, gloves and shoes) and head down to Starbucks. It was another freezing day in Chicago, but I managed. It's surprisingly difficult to get dressed and undressed, and the additional clothing required because of our lousy weather doesn't help.

After an hour on my passive motion machine and an hour of ice (while I watched an episode of Barney Miller and the movie Kite Runner), followed by some time on the computer, I headed out to lunch where I ran into Eric, who is a....what are we Eric?.....almost business associates??.....something like that, but he also reads my blog. It's just crazy to run into someone out of context like that. Here I am focused on getting to and from my lunch spot without freezing or losing feeling in my right hand, and there is someone I know.

Post lunch brought more time on the PMM followed by ice (where I watched a Nova special on Lizard Kings-Monitor Lizards) and the start of addressing my Christmas cards. One more trip outside for afternoon coffee, stamps and a refill on my vicodin and that was it: in for the rest of the day.

After a small dinner, there was another session on the PMM followed by ice all while I watched Pelham 123, the remake of the movie from the 60's or 79's with Walter Mathieu. Pretty good.

Now LL is back over and we'll watch some tv while I ice my shoulder a little more, then early to bed.

So did I have an interesting day? Well, it was fairly entertaining and productive for rehab AND I ran into Eric. So there you go!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's been almost a week

A week ago I was leaving Las Vegas and heading home for my surgery. By the way, I found out that the team we lost to in our first game (with whom we were tied up late), went on to win the tournament. Sometimes it's just a matter of how unlucky your draw is.

Anyway, my recovery is going pretty well. I'm able to sleep about 7 hours straight now and I'm taking vicodin every 5-7 hours now instead of every 3, though I'm still icing my shoulder most of the day and night.

Laura has been great in taking care of me. Everything from getting my coffee in the morning, to helping me get dry when I come out of the shower, to helping me put on my socks or tie my shoes. She's slept over on the sofa for six days now. What more could a guy ask for??

Here's a picture I took with my cell phone from the prepping room. Yes, that's a Bears Breathe-Right strip. I wore it through surgery and it stayed on through the night and next day! These are the new super strength strips. They get my approval!

Here's two pictures of your typical prescription bottle. The first one is with the cap in the childproof position. The second one I didn't know even existed. If you turn the cap upside down, it just screws on and off. Nice! I had no idea. It's really useful for me being one armed and all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Much less pain

Blogging is still short because typing is tough. Short words are favored over long and I'll be succinct.

Slept really well on the recliner last night. Soooo happy with my purchase.

Up to 80 degrees of angle on my arm extensions. 70 degrees more to go.

Much less shoulder pain today, a lot less. Very happy about that! Also very happy that LL is here to help and lift my spirits. She's great!

Winter has landed in Chicago and it's nasty.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Holy crap does my shoulder hurt

Vicodin or not, my shoulder is in pain!!! LL is laughing that I'm blogging about it. Thought you might want to know, though.

By the way, the recliner worked like charm after trying to sleep in the Bedlounger first. Looks like the recliner is it from here on out.

Thanks for all your well-wishes!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Quick post

Surgery went well and I'm home. Not much to do now but heal.

Last night, I got in from Vegas around 7:30 and have been preparing for surgery since.

The yeam went 1-2 in softball, but I hit almost .700 including two doubles while batting lead-off. nice incentive for rehab!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Collecting Chairs

Tomorrow I head to Vegas for a softball tournament this weekend. Should be fun. Today though I was scrambling around in preparation for leaving and being laid up next week after surgery.

This morning brought a new chair:

This bad boy is where I'm going to spend 6 hours a day doing rehab. Yes, SIX hours a day: 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 at night for at least the next 10 days. The machine attached to the chair lifts my arm up from 30 degrees to my goal of 150 degrees. It should help prevent scar tissue from forming. Oh, and insurance doesn't cover it. Nice. $27 a day though at a discounted rate (down from $70 a day).

And this beauty is my sling. It has a large black pad that keeps my arm an appropriate distance from my body. It's pretty cool. My arm will go into the blue sleeve with my hand at the top of this picture and my elbow at the bottom. There's even a ball attached with velcro which I'll need to squeeze as needed to keep circulation flowing.

LL and I as we left our first Christmas party of the year. It's the annual affair that a law firm we work with throws. Good stuff. Right off the bat, we ran into the husband of one of LL's best friends! Too funny. Food was great, but I can't even begin to go into all of what was available.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Winter arrives in Chicago

Tonight the temperatures are supposed to drop to the low 30's high 20's and there's a possibility of snow. The 15 day outlook shows temperatures dropping from a high in the 40's to a high in the 30's. Winter has arrived in Chicago. Ugh.

LL came over and sat in the new chair. She thinks it's super comfy too and is confident that I'll be able to sleep in it. Hopefully my Bedlounge will arrive before Tuesday though and I'll be able to use that instead. The chair is just for insurance.

One more day then Vegas!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Chair Acquired

Friday I head to Vegas for a softball tournament, return on Monday and then have surgery on Tuesday. Because of the tight schedule, I needed to resolve my potential sleeping issue quickly. If you're not familiar with rotator cuff surgery, sleeping is often a problem; a problem resolved by sleeping in a recliner or with lots of pillows propping you up in bed. The pillow solution, according to accounts on the web as well as from my doctor, doesn't always work well.

So I went onto Craigslist, as well as doing several searches for rentable recliners, and found this chair for $150. It's super comfy and I can just sell it again in 6 weeks if I want. Nice!