Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zen Master

I am the zen master.
I don't really have a choice in the matter, but since I am a big believer in cognitive therapy, I have to be.

Ok, hang with me... this one takes a little to get through...

For the uninitiated, it kinda goes like this...
You have some control over that little voice in your head and the way you allow yourself to think about things has a definite impact on your well being.

People call it perspective, or "the glass is half..." There are many ways of expressing it. But the end product is the same. If you walk around "reminding yourself" that "everything sucks!", then it will. If however, you do the opposite, it has the opposite effect.

My flight home from Christchurch today was diverted. We wound up getting bussed up from an other town because the Queenstown airport was snowed in. This is not unheard of, but having snow all the way to the valley floor is uncommon.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that having all kinds of fresh powder on the mountains doesn't hurt a bit. Knowing that I screwed myself up on the one bad day in an otherwise epic season is a bit stingy as well. However, dwelling on this is a very bad idea.

Once I start down that road, I get to make a scorecard of "how it could have been". This is not a mentally healthy process. This is the way of the half empty glass. Though it is a very tempting road, it clouds your vision of what you do have.

So I'm sitting in the bus, looking out the window when someone mentions the epic snow we're getting today. For a moment, pain. Then, I think... "no". "Look out the window you idiot." Before me is the amazing snow capped beauty of the Southern Alps. It is truly stunning. People travel half way around the world to see this. I'm in a bus full of them. And I live here!

I can choose to wallow in misery. Or I can appreciate what I do have and focus on how to enjoy it. It is a conscious decision and it does actually matter (that's the cognitive therapy bit if ya care).

My day instantly got brighter.
And not a surface brighter, I truly felt better.
Nothing had changed but the direction I allowed my thoughts to wander in. It's a deliberate mental action and it does work. It's not 100%, but it helps.

Ah, the stuff that goes through my head before I fall asleep ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Not a lot of time at the moment... so I'll fill in the details later.
Saw my Orthopedic surgeon today.
Good stuff. Amazed I got to be seen so soon.

Gotta run.


I'm scheduled in for an MRI today!!!!!
Surgery possibly tomorrow morning!
Someone's getting a big box of chocolates!!!!

I don't have a ton of time to write this up, so it might come in spurts, we'll see. I gotta make sure I've got all my ducks in a row first.

I call down to my Doctor's nurse to get a new referral slip for the Ortho in Christchurch... she let's me know that... WOOPS!... he's a back specialist! OH NOES!

Can I tell you how much my heart sunk!

She then says she's going to do some calling and will get back to me.
I hang up and start banging away on my list of ortho numbers in CRCH.
I'm getting Early/Mid July quotes, so not all horrible.... then...

I get one nurse that sees that I'm booked in for tomorrow with the back specialist. She informs me that, as I know, I'm not likely to get a better appointment... prob mid July at best... and I should keep my appointment. He does do knee work, he's just a back specialist.

Ok, better than nothing right?
At least I'll get the consultation out of the way and hopefully the MRI at least scheduled.

My local nurse calls back.
Holy crap!.... she's already got me scheduled in for an MRI. Says I should just jump in a cab at the airport and boogie over cuz it's at 3:30.
She's also got me slated up with the surgeon!!!!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

One at a time

So that's step one.
I'm just so happy to be in the pipeline right now.
It's not all roses yet, but I am feeling better about things.

What I'm expecting is that I'll get up to Christchurch and have a visit with the doc. Probably get an MRI, or maybe just get booked for an MRI, but hopefully actually get one. Then, after that confirms what is extremely obvious, that my ACL is completely detached... then I'll get booked in for surgery. No clue what the timetable for that one will be. Hopefully not too long. And if it is long, hopefully there will be someone/anyone in NZ that'll be able to do it sooner.

See, the need the MRI I'm sure not only to confirm things, but also to have a good idea of how to proceed. I know from the doc here that this is surgery time. So confirmation is just a formality. So I'll get there and "get in line" (make an appointment) for surgery.

Till then, it's just "killing time".
On the upside, I get to see my friends up in Christchurch. :)


Holy crap, I get to be seen on Wed!

Ok, so here's the long story.
The doc on Saturday wrote me up a referral for a guy in Dunedin (close-ish city) and said I'd get an appointment in the mail over the next couple days. If I didn't hear something in a few weeks, I should enquire.

Yeah... no.
Don't think so.

Of course I was on the phone at 9am today. You better believe I'm not sitting around waiting a few weeks for an appointment in the mail... what is this? The 1930s?

Well I'm glad I called.
Cuz the first available appointment is in... OCTOBER!

I gotta tell ya... My heart sunk a bit.
It didn't get better when they told me that all of the orthos in Dunedin would be booked up like that as well.

I called up a mate of mine that's a nurse and asked him what he'd do.
He said to phone around Christchurch... an other city that's just a bit further away.

That worked out a bit better.
I was hearing things more like "August" and even "Mid July" :)
But when I heard "How about Wednesday?"... I did have to pause for a second and ask "this Wednesday??".

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Well that was pretty stupid.
After not skiing for something like 15 years, I jump back into the deep end on someone else's skis.. and without adjusting the bindings. Moron.

So how'd it happen?
Was out skiing with a mate. It was really really icy, but things were going well. I'd been out on the Greens for a while and things were going well. We headed up to the peak and started carving up the blues.

Down one of the harder blues (black?), I fell over. I don't exactly remember much of going down... classic "It's all a blur"... but I do recall the moment when I thought "shit.. this is where the bindings let go"... and then they didn't. That didn't feel good.

When I stopped sliding, I felt good that I'd been smart enough to wear a helmet. My knee was feeling painful, but not a sharp pain. I laid there for a bit and the pain subsided.

When I got up, it wasn't feeling bad, so I tried to turn down the hill and ski easy and slow, but fell right over. I unclipped and tried to walk down, but my knee had no strength and I feel right over.

My friend called ski patrol and they carted me down.

One interesting bit of the story...
All the emergency people that attended to me... women. Heck, even my friends that I was skiing with ;) Even the people that carted me down the hill. Well... there was one guy... he drove the snowmobile that drug us the last bit to the emergency shack.

Nope, no pain.
That's apparently how these ones go.
When I got down to the medical center in town for x-rays, the doc there said I'd totally broken off my ACL... "It's gone" she said, kinda to herself and kinda to me. I thought she was joking for a second.

So next up I get scheduled for surgery.
It's Sunday here, so that's not happening till at least tomorrow. It's likely going to be a bit slower process as well cuz I'll prob have to have an MRI first, then schedule the surgery la la la.

But the sooner I get into the pipeline the better.
"Normal" recovery is something like six weeks. I'm a tad skeptical since I took the damn thing completely off. We'll see.

Oh, as some have been asking... yes, this is covered by the government insurance program.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


It's 4am and I actually feel like I've slept in?
Hahaha, jetlag can be so much... fun?

Ah, so good to be back though :)
I'm staying at Abi's so there's no stuff to move since he was holding on to what little gear I had over here. Sorry, no great "moving" stories.

I thought all this "white dirt" would take a bit of getting used to, but man.. what growing up in the stuff does to you eh? What do they say... "like riding a bike". Oh how nice it is that it's up there in the mountains but not down here! Living in slush I think was my most hated aspect of winter. And true to form, so far it's in the 40s. Very tolerable.

Flying over the skifield yesterday made me a bit itchy to get out the skis :) Hahaha, much fun having a season pass for work. Oh darn, will have to use that.

The truck's batteries were a bit dead. A little inspection though revealed low water levels. So that's #1 on the list today. Gotta have wheels ;)

It was a bit sad, as it always is, leaving everyone back in the States. But man oh man, it is good to be back. Even with the cold. I'm back in my "happy place".