Thursday, March 27, 2008

On the Way to Work....

I spotted this little vehicle to the left, which was barely big enough to sport the website for Myers Motors, on the way to work this morning. Turns out it's an electrical "car" with three wheels! It's a cute little thing, isn't it? I would be concerned about safety, but for economy, it sounds hard to beat.

If you were to get one, what color would you want? I think I'd choose the teal or the dark aqua.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nose News

I went to the doctor today and finally got my nose splint off-yay! My nose is still tender and a little swollen, and keeping my glasses on for any length of time will be a bit of a challenge, but one I'm willing to work on. :) I can start exercising gently, but it's better than nothing!

I took a self-portrait this morning, so that I could remember what it was like to have the splint and tape on my face, and I took another one after I got home. It's a big change, and it's also a reminder of how I didn't bother to wear make-up (what was the point?!) or fix my hair during these nose splint days. Simplicity was key, and actually washing and drying my hair daily was ordeal enough without adding hot rollers to the mix.

In addition to returning to exercise, I'm going to reschedule my physical therapy appointments, make an appointment for a new hairstyle, and think about getting new glasses or contacts. I'm ready for a new look, though anything is an improvement over the masked nose look!

It felt a little strange to walk out of the clinic without the splint on, since I've been aware of the white stuff in my line of vision for a week and a half. I've really enjoyed being able to scratch my nose since the unveiling, and I can't wait to wash my whole face tonight for the first time in a week and a half!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Part of Why I Do It

I just noticed an article on Yahoo about the various celebs and politicians that Obama, Clinton, and McCain, can call cousin. I find this stuff interesting, how people are connected, and it's part of why I'm interested in genealogy. I started working on my family tree some seventeen (count 'em!) years ago, thinking I'd be finished with the tree by Christmas for my parents' Christmas present that year. Funny thing is I've never stopped, at least not for too long.

Last fall, when I got a new computer, I test drove a couple of genealogy programs, picked the one I liked best (RootsMagic), and started researching and entering data again. In January, I accidentally merged someone else's whole database with mine (instead of just one family), and since I'd done too much editing without backing up when I did that, I've spent the past couple of months cleaning up my family database! Yikes! It has helped me get familiar with my larger family tree again, never a bad thing, and now I have a little over 21,000 names in my database, covering both my parents' sides of the family.

I haven't found any politicians that I'm related too, but I do have a Huckabee line that I haven't researched in a few years. Who knows, maybe Mike Huckabee is a cousin! The closest thing to celebrity that I've found is that I'm related to Sarah Ann and Adelaide Yates. Wondering who they are?! They were sisters from Wilkes County, North Carolina, who married Eng and Chang Bunker, the conjoined twins from Siam--the "original" Siamese Twins. The sisters are my first cousins, 6 times removed, as well as second cousins, 5 times removed.

I have a lot of double cousins in my family tree! In fact, my sister and I are also fifth and seventh cousins! :)

Service with a Smile

Since I fell and broke my nose (with accompanying facial scrapes), then had it reset and added the nose splint, I've been a little grumpy, though I've tried hard not to let it show in public. While many co-workers noticed the initial scrapes (so they knew I hadn't gotten plastic surgery after the nose splint appeared), and all have been sympathetic, it's been interesting to interact with the general public and observe how others react. A rare few customer service people have gone out of their way to give me an extra smile and say they hoped I'd feel better. Most have looked away like they're trying not to notice this big white bandage in the middle of my face! Many of those people I've exchanged money with recently (I go to the same grocery store a lot for little things--I'm not very good at shopping for a week's worth of groceries) have no idea how making eye contact and giving me a smile when they handed me the receipt would've lifted my spirits over the last couple of weeks. This particular grocery store I go to has little bells at each cash register for people to ring when the cashier gives good customer service, and I've been looking to ring that bell. Haven't yet.

I'm definitely not dependant on other people for how I feel about myself, but it's made me hyper-aware of good customer service, as well as how I react to other people, whether friends or strangers, when they have some sort of injury. A smile goes a long way!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Recent North Carolina Sunrise

One morning last week, I grabbed my camera on my way out the door for work and took these shots of a pretty sunrise. Usually, I'm at the gym for the sunrise, but since my nose is in a splint, I've been called off the exercise equipment until this coming Wednesday. Although I can't wait to start exercising again, catching this sunrise was nice!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Out and About

Today has been a busy day! George and I went to get our taxes done at H & R Block, and our appointment was delayed, so we tried a new (for us) restaurant in Cary for lunch, the Tangerine Cafe. I enjoyed the Organic Salad, and followed it with the Thai Vegetable Curry. Both were very tasty!

After our tax appointments, we drove back to Durham, and stopped by Panera Bread to read and relax before attending a surprise birthday party for our minister at ERUUF. It was a big birthday for him, so it was fun to share in the celebration. I'd had a yummy banana pecan bagel at Panera, so I wasn't tempted by the birthday cake. I did have a lot of folks ask about my nose and offer sympathy. One of the most interesting conversations I had was with a little boy and his mother. I noticed the little boy (maybe 3-4) looking at me and asking his mother something. She replied, "Well, let's go ask her." So they came over, and she said that her son wanted to know what happened to my nose. I explained it all in a matter of fact, but non-technical way, that I'd tripped and broken my nose, that it was much better, but that the doctor wanted me to keep the bandage on for a few more days to protect it while it finished healing. It turns out that the mom had sinus surgery about 10 years ago, so we commiserated about the nose packing, which was irritating at best, and a bear when the nurses pulled the stuff out last Monday. I was glad that the mom encouraged her son by modeling how to ask nicely and compassionately "what's wrong."

From the birthday celebration, we drove back to Cary, and hung out for a little while at another Panera (no bagels this time), while we waited to join George's mother, brother, and grandfather at Lucky 32. I first enjoyed Lucky 32 in Greensboro, and this was my second time to enjoy the Cary location. This time I had the mixed greens salad and black bean cakes with star pasta and green beans, all yummy! Unfortunately, I couldn't even start on the last black bean cake, as I'd eaten so much all day.

Tomorrow, I'm treating George for Easter brunch/lunch (though I haven't told him where yet--it's a surprise!), and then it's back on track with the diet!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

10 on Tuesday: 10 Things I'd Take a Tourist to See in My Hometown

Although I live in Morrisville now, I'm still in Durham County, and I spend most of my days working in Durham, so I'll compile this list for Durham:

1) A Durham Bulls game
2) Duke Chapel
3) A Duke basketball game in Cameron
4) Nasher Museum of Art
5) Locopops
6) Sarah P. Duke Gardens
7) Eno River State Park
8) Magnolia Grill
9) North Carolina Museum of Life and Science
10) 9th Street

What would you include on your list of things to show a tourist in Durham, or wherever you live? Have I left something especially good off?

Monday, March 17, 2008


Today I went back to the Duke Clinic and got the packing taken out of my nose. What a relief to be able to breathe through my nose again-wow! I decided to take the rest of the day off from work and rest. It's been a long weekend, between the extended headache and mouth breathing. Solid sleep had been short lived at best.

I'm planning to be back at work tomorrow, even with the nose splint, which is a cute look! :o)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Broken Nose News

I had my appointment yesterday afternoon, and no suprisingly, it was all about the nose. (So I didn't get to talk with him about a post-weight-loss tummy tuck or anything like that!) I'm going under general anesthesia at Duke Hospital tomorrow to have my nose reset, packed, and splinted. I was able to have my pre-op appointment by phone this morning, and I'll call this afternoon for my operating room appointment. Fun, fun!

UPDATE: My surgical appointment is at 9 tomorrow morning, not too early, not too late. This little bear needs to be there at 7 AM to check in, but considering I can't wear makeup or anything, that shouldn't be a problem. George is going to take me, and Tina's going to meet us at the hospital so relieve George so he can go to work. I'm feeling better already.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another Appointment

I had another physical therapy appointment this morning at Duke Sports Medicine for my strained muscle. It's getting better, thank goodness. I got some more stretches to try between now and my next appointment on Friday.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a plastic surgeon about my broken nose. Since it's at Duke South, I'll be able to walk to the appointment, which helps a lot. I googled the doctor I'll be seeing, and found this interesting (to me) Q&A about him:

Q. Where did you go to med school? Undergraduate school?
A. University of Berlin and Munich, Germany

Q. How long have you been a Duke physician?
A. Since 2000 with a 1.5 year break to complete PhD thesis at the University of Heidelberg, Germany

Q. Where did you work prior to coming to Duke?
A. Attending Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon, University of Heidelberg Germany

Q. Have you received any awards or honors? Do you sit on any boards or journals? If so, please list them along with a brief description.
A. Reviewer for Plast Reconstr Surg since 2001
Invited Visiting Professor:The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (Canada), Topic: “Noma – Reconstructive Opportunities” June 2001
Two-time participant in the Biomedical Sciences Exchange Program (DAAD sponsored) between Germany and the USA
Third place residents competition: Erdmann D., Zamboni W.A., Hussmann J., Bergman B.A., Cooper M.D., Smoot E.C., Russell R.C.: Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment improves the outcome of Streptococcal myositis in mice. Annual Scientific Meeting Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, June 1995, Palm Beach, Florida
Best poster award: Sundin B.M., Erdmann D., Moquin K.J., Young H., Georgiade G.S.: Vascular delay in unipedicled TRAM flap reconstruction of the breast: a review of 76 consecutive cases. 70th Annual Scientific Meeting American Society of Plastic Surgeons, November 2001, Orlando, Florida
Best paper award European Federation Societies Hand Therapy, Colditz J.C., Erdmann D., Levin L.S.: Lumbrical tightness: testing and stretching.Congress EFSHT, May 2002, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Best paper award American Society Hand Therapists, Colditz J.C., Erdmann D., Levin L.S.: Clinical implications of differential testing and stretching of the interosseous versus the lumbrical muscles of the hand.Annual meeting ASHT, September 2002, Ottawa, Canada
Best video award American Society Surgery Hand, Heitmann C., Erdmann D., Germann G., Levin L.S.: Intrinsic flaps of the hand: anatomical study, clinical applications.ASSH Annual meeting, October 2002, Phoenix, Arizona
Best scientific paper award World Society Reconstructive Microsurgery, Heitmann C., Khan R., Erdmann D., Levin L.S., Klitzman B.: Sutureless anastomosis of a vein graft using magnets.Kongress World Society Reconstructive Microsurgery, June 2003, Heidelberg

Q. What led you into the practice of aesthetic surgery (or the field in general)?
A. Basic and fundamental techniques of Plastic Surgery are applied in Aesthetic Surgery

Q. What are your areas of specialty and how have things changed since you entered the field?
A. All aspects of aesthetic surgery including liposuction and post-bariatric surgery (gastric bypass procedures); and general reconstructive surgery including microsurgery.

Q. Are you involved with any clinical trials or research studies? If so what are you examining?
A. ‘Engineering’ of new bone tissue (animal studies); outcome after repair of decubitus ulcers (pressure sores); bone grafts for spinal fusion, and others

Q. What is the focus of your current research?
A. Clinical outcome studies; ‘engineering' of bone tissue

Q. How will your research contribute to the field of medicine?
A. Improvement of current operative techniques and postoperative treatment; replacement of lost bone due to operative resection (e.g. after tumor removal) or trauma

Q. What are some things you’ve discovered during the course of your research?
A. Expression of ‘growth factors’ in tissue, many other

Q. In a couple sentences please describe what you love about your work.
A. The two most important things for me in life are (1) make other human beings happy and (2) be happy with yourself. My profession certainly helps me to achieve both every day.

Q. Do you have any special stories to tell about your experience as a physician?
A. I participated in several Interplast missions to third world countries providing plastic surgery to children and adults with severe congenital or acquired deformities of the face, trunk and extremities. I enjoy the happiness and gratefulness of the patients and I feel very lucky to live where I live and to be in an environment like Duke.

Q. What do you think sets Duke Aesthetic Center apart from other Aesthetic practices in the area?
A. One of the rare Academic Aesthetic Centers in the country, higher safety, profound training of surgeons

Q. Do you have any personal hobbies or interests that you would be willing to share?
A. I like sports like working-out, soccer, swimming, tennis; I like to spend time with my family and children; history and arts

OK, it's me again. I'm intrigued by the fact that one of his specialties is post-bariatric surgeries, since I've lost a lot of weight and will be losing more.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Broken Nose!

Last evening I tripped up and my face met up with a concrete sidewalk, scraping up my face and breaking my nose! Ouch! The tumble also hurt my right knee. George got me to Urgent Care, where they checked me out and cleaned up my face. The nose appears to be the only broken bone, thank goodness. I have a couple of prescriptions to start taking today (the pharmacy was closed by the time we got out of the doctor's office). Monday I'll make an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor for a couple weeks down the road to see what needs to be done about my nose, if anything. This morning it's swollen and skinned up, but I can still tell it's crooked. Pretty! :-P

Meanwhile, George's new nephew, Evan Asher, was born yesterday--great news!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Heard on NPR: Harriet the Spy

This morning I listened to a delightful NPR podcast, the "Story of the Day" from yesterday, about Harriet the Spy, a very cute book written by Louise Fitzhugh and published in 1964. If you have a few minutes to listen, check it the podcast here.

When I read the book as a kid in the '70s, I remember thinking Harriet was cool (partly because I wanted to be a writer too), gutsy, confident, and real. I wished I had a friend like Harriet.

I never saw the 1996 Nickelodeon movie--did you?

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Visit to Earth Fare

Yesterday I visited Earth Fare, which bills itself as a "healthy supermarket." There's a store in nearby Brier Creek, so I was eager to see how it compared to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, which I've been to recently. I found a few goodies at Earth Fare, including some Westbrae Natural Stoneground Mustard with no salt added (woohoo!) and some Eden's Organic Beans (with no salt added) in cans, and a book called The Runner's Yoga Book, which I'm going to order online. But all in all, I found Earth Fare's prices to be more expensive (especially compared to Trader Joe's), and the staff not as friendly as at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.