Thursday, October 26, 2006

My knee surgery was confirmed for December 18th at 8:30 in the morning. That is balls early, but, as someone pointed out, it makes the not eating or drinking part really easy. This means that I should be 100% good to go sometime between May and June, provided that no complications arise.

Sadly, I am pretty sure that my tattoo idea is not going to work out. The second artist I e-mailed has yet to e-mail me back and at this point, I don't know that there is enough time for me to find another artist and get the tattoo done before my surgery. This is somewhat upsetting because I had been getting more and more excited about this as the process progressed.

I have been doing a lot of low level climbing but I think I am hurting my knee. I am very reluctant to stop however because I think I would go insane if I didn't have something to do with my energy. I can already feel that I'm weaker and it is very obvious to me that I am climbing several levels below my peak.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Chris O'Donnell e-mailed me back today saying that he was unable to do my tattoo because he is booked until late next year. He did suggest that I contact another artist in the shop, so I went ahead and sent Mike Rubendall essentially the same e-mail I sent to Chris. I feel a bit silly, but when I got the negative e-mail I suddently felt a bit uneasy about the whole idea. I think I had built up the scenario to include Chris so that when I found out it wouldn't the whole thing suddenly felt a bit off. I looked at a lot of Mark's work and he seems very capable so hopefully my aprehension will pass.

Laura and I went to see High Fidelity the musical tonight. I really didn't like it. High Fidelity (the movie) holds a very special place in my heart and since the musical was not like the movie I really couldn't get into it. The whole thing was bright and exciting, even when the topics were love lost and death. I also couldn't stand it when simple dialouge had to be turned into a song. I realize that these are exactly what musicals are, but I had a really difficult time trying to not think of the movie every three seconds.

I spent no time this weekend, and really no time last week either, doing work. My literature review is non-existant and I have two large midterms coming up, in addition to the general load of problem sets and reading that I have. I know that all of the math (even the stat) work will get done in a timely manner, and I know that I will spend ample time studying for my chaos exam. I am a lot less confident in the quality of work and the time spent on anything that is due for my research methods class. My complete lack of interest in that class coupled with my diminished personal drive for a high GPA add up to me aiming for a gentleman C and a big fuck you to SED for making me was several thousand dollars in student loans for something that will never be of any use to me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I went to see my doctor (Dr. Foster) yesterday morning. He confirmed everything that I already knew, namely that my ACL was totally ruptured and that I would need reconstructive surgery. He did have some good news for me though. My meniscus was intact and my range of motion and strength were good. He asked me to try and do some strengthening work before surgery and to make sure that my range of motion stayed full so that I maintain my good state right up until surgery. CJ and I have agreeded to try and have me do some rehab about three times a week for now and see where that takes me.

The day that I want to have surgery is Monday, December 18th. However, I found out yesterday that I have one final on Monday and two finals on Wednesday of that week. I spoke with two of the professors and they were more than willing to move their finals for me, and I hope to speak to the third one today. Failing that, Dr. Foster has agreeded to do the surgery that Friday (the 22nd), but I would rather the extra few days of rehab.

I have been doing a lot of research regarding my tattoo idea. I spent a lot of time looking at other tattoos of koi trying to get an idea of what I wanted. I have some general concepts that I want to be sure are there (and some that I want to make sure aren't). I want the koi to look like it is swimming up my leg, as opposed to just existing there. I also want to make sure that the koi doesn't look like a cartoon. Many of the images I looked at had a cartoonish feel to them and I am really not interested in having a cartoon fish on my leg. While I do like the look of the water that many tattoos have, I don't think that I want a lot of it. I want the focus of the tattoo to be the fish, not the copious amounts of cool looking water around it. I also want some maple leaves to be incorporated into the picture. I have yet to decide if I want color or black and gray, but I am leaning towards color.

As for the structure of the tattoo, I have two different ideas. One is to have one large koi on my calf swimming up my leg. I like this idea because the single koi clearly represents me, but I am not sure about this because one koi would be huge and would dominate at least one full side of my leg. My other idea is to have three smaller koi swimming together up my leg. I feel that since the koi are smaller there will be less space on my leg taken up by the tattoo and it won't look so dominating. I am currently leaning towards the second idea.

I am having some difficulty locating an artist in Boston who speicalizes in Japanese work. Most likely I will have to go somewhere else to get it done, probably New York. This doesn't really bother me except that I don't know how I would communicate my ideas to the artist ahead of time so that he has time to make the sketch. I will probably have to e-mail some people and see what they say they can do for me.

Yesterday a freshman girl at BU was struck by a car and died. She was crossing Memorial Drive (she was living in the Hyatt) at night when the car hit her; she died yesterday morning. It feels really weird to think about people my age dying. I hope her family and friends are doing alright.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On Sept. 10th, I tore my left ACL playing ultimate. This is the second ACL I've torn (the right one went during the summer of 2004) and it means another 2 monthes of non-activity followed by 5 to 8 monthes of intensive physical therapy and rehab. Initially I was very angry, both at myself and at ultimate, because I thought I was done with this nonsense. But after a day of being pissed off and depressed I decided to focus on getting myself back into shape as quickly as possible. I've been working with CJ and Jen at PT trying to maintain my range of motion, and I meet with Dr. Foster on Wednesday to talk about when surgery will be. I've also been trying to stay busy to keep my mind off of it.

The last time I tore my ACL and before I had the reconstruction, I got a tattoo to help me through the ordeal. It was the numbers 4:59 and it represents a mile run in under 5 minutes. This was significant to me because as a runner, I use that as a benchmark to know when I am in shape. It also reminded me that during my long monthes of rehab that I was working for a larger goal (partially that of running again, but mostly just the ability to be active again). The tattoo was a huge motivator for me every day when I saw it, and it worked. I rehabed myself back into shape (despite a second surgery postponing my time table) and eventually ran a 4:53 mile on the indoor track at BU.

While this tattoo still has quite a bit of significance to me every day, I feel as though it is strongly associated with my first ACL surgery. The message it conveys to me still applies, but for whatever reason I don't feel that it connects to this new surgery. To that end, I have started planning a second tattoo for this second foray into knee reconstruction. I have been thinking about getting a koi fish on my right calf. The following was taken from a blog about a koi tattoo and describes the symbolism that surrounds koi:

"The Japanese consider it the most spirited of fish, so full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running streams and cascades. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals. The carp is an appropriate symbol to encourage the overcoming of life's difficulties leading to consequent success."

I feel as though the koi is a perfect representation of me; I will be fighting my way through intense and painful physical therapy to eventually reach my goal of being active again. I hope that having a koi tattooed on my body will remind me to have the strength and determination to go to physical therapy every day and work hard to bring my knee back to being functional.

Just like I did last time, I plan to surround myself with images of the tattoo (or at least images of my idea for the tattoo) before I get it done. I realize that I like tattoos quite a bit and I don't want to make the mistake of getting something that I would regret. I also need to start researching artists to make sure I don't get a shitty tattoo.