The recovery paradox: Movement causes pain; Moving reduces pain

recovering from surgery (c) Willow-Townsend ProductionsWe heard it from the surgeon. We heard it from the recovery-room nurse. We hear it every time we visit the physical therapist. Move! It hurts, but the pain will disappear faster. Think that will convince a 16-year-old boy snuggled cozy in the big leather recliner or his comfy bed? Yeah, not so much. So my role of father once again morphs to coach, trainer and – I have to say it – nag. Continue reading

Home from spine surgery. ‘Wonder-parent’ powers activate

Family Guy characters dressed as Wonder Twins (c) Fox Broadcasting Company Shape of “Mommy Medic.” Form of “Daddy Doctor.”

Forgive the mangling of the popular power-up phrase from the Wonder Twins, a pair of cartoon characters from the “Super Friends,” but it seemed apt. As did the “Family Guy” image to the left. I think they help me illustrate the big paradigm shift from worrying parent at the hospital to active caregiver here at home. You don’t have to be a super hero to do it, but man it sure feels like it sometimes. Continue reading

Spine surgery is a marathon not a sprint

recovery from spine surgery @ Willow-Townsend ProductionsWe’re finally on the other side of major surgery for my son, and the good news from the doctor is he’s doing fine and the procedure went well. The headline of this post is inspired by this image. Mother and son, exhausted after 30 hours at the hospital (and counting). Both look as if they have run a marathon and they have in different ways, but we’re nowhere near the finish line. Continue reading

My son needs surgery not ‘sit-up-straight’ reminders

x-ray © Willow-Townsend ProductionsI can’t guess at the number of times I barked at my son, “Sit up straight!” I did it at least twice every time we sat down for dinner. And every time, he pushed himself up to the back of his chair to gain my approval. Those dinner-time reminders would start to haunt me in the early summer when we learned the reason behind it all. Continue reading

Alumni donation begging out of control?

wsu-picI’m proud to be a Washington State University alumni! But. When you’re having students call about making donations to the alumni organization please empower them to leave the script when appropriate. As I told the sweet sophomore woman studying communications who called me last night, I am between jobs right now, and no, I can’t donate $200 to the school. Maybe next time. She offered consolations about my job situation. Then she continued to sell… Continue reading

Late night sweeps piece fills next day’s news hole

11promoI was watching the Five O’clock News with my teenaged son and in the middle of a commercial break a super-nifty pre-produced promo runs proclaiming a “must watch story” new tonight at 11pm. I was shocked to hear from my son’s mouth, “Cool story, but we can just wait and watch it tomorrow at 5.” Either he’s clearly tainted by my influence, or the jig is up news managers, the audience KNOWS! Either way it’s scary!

Where are all the Christmas trees?

Christmas tree in Great NEck (c) Willow-Townsend ProductionsThere have been more than a few times that I’ve felt like I was living in a foreign country. One of the more recent was when it was time to find a Christmas tree for my family. The past two years in Manhattan a Christmas tree lot appeared literally at our apartment’s door step. Years prior to that in Seattle, the Christmas tree lots were found on nearly every street corner. This year I kept expecting to see one in the parking lot of the local grocer. Inside, you could find wreaths, poinsettias and garlands. But week after week nothing. Perhaps down the road at the hardware store? Or the gas station? Nope. Continue reading