Thursday, January 31, 2008

Today marks the 2-year anniversary....

**** Addended 2/27/08 ****
Related to what I note below, I saw my physiatrist on 2/5/08 and he started me on a med named Aricept to improve my cognition. It is typically prescribed to Alzheimer patients. To date, I've experienced no poor side effects. I feel as though there has been a fog lifted! He is waiting for me to confirm that I have experienced good results then he plans to administer Aricept in conjunction with another med. I look forward to commence this new med.

**** Addended 2/5/08 ****
Well, the bittersweet day passed. I went out to a celebration dinner with Lynn, Kate, and my M.I.L., Alyce, and it was very nice. Earlier in the day I, coincidentally, had an appointment with my physiatrist who paid me a remarkable comment (hence I will remark); he said "In my 15 years in practice you have made the fastest progress I have seen. Your motivation is unmatched." A STRONG STATEMENT, if I might say so.

**** Posted 1/31/08 ****
Well, it’s arrived.
Today is the 2 year anniversary of the auto-accident that nearly claimed my life, leaving me with a TBI and a "life interrupted". I want to verbalize so many thoughts that I have in my head, so expect to see this posting grow.
ENJOY LIFE!!! Smile ( ;^)

If you're wondering what are the daily activities of a man who 2 years ago suffered a "bad TBI" (then you probably don't have much to think about), I'll attempt to summarize the activities that make up my days. I'm probably not the average TBI survivor, so what I'm doing at the 2-year point may not be "typical".

I spend probably 3 or 4 partial-days at the gym/swimming pool trying to regain the fluidity of my strokes (and practicing one of my few exercise/activities that I'm still physically capable of). Simply the activities of preparing the equipment/toiletries and changing/showering are truly exhausting, in themselves.

Since it's wintertime in the NorthEast, I spend a bit of time collecting starter wood (and, if necessary, sawing or pruning) and tending our wood stove fire. But if it weren't winter, there'd be the lawn to cut, rake, and clean-up.

I've begun an on-line course at MCC (the local Community College) and soon after I'm enrolled in an in-class course. This coursework (and upkeep of my BLOG) exercise my reading/writing skills and thus I continually update my computer skills.

I actively keep the household financial matters in order and I keep-up with house maintenance.

I'm also scheduled to attend a driver reaction-time evaluation to resume automobile driving on my own. I remind you that I still have a valid drivers license (as scary as it seems). Regardless, I want to feel confident that I'm taking every precaution seriously.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mille Grazie, Silas, per il nostro Documentario

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Silas Hagerty for all the efforts he volunteered to produce the documentary. I, also, want to thank Silas for his gift to me; a website, Silas and I got to know each other quite well throughout the production of the documentary. He is very dedicated, generous, hard-working and talented individual. I can be sure of this: whatever Silas puts his mind to will be successful. I will be an honored guest of (Silas’ “gift-economy” endeavor) in NYC on 2/20/08 for a film unveiling with ~50 guests and I’ll have a chance to meet the audience and address them.
Also, in Boston, in March, the film has been invited to enter a film festival, where it will compete. Lynn, Silas, and I will attend. Here's wishing you well, Silas!
My calendar is filling up!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I will return to my stated Mission, which I have violated.

The Mision stated at the top of my BLOG is:.....

"This BLOG will keep folks current with news about my latest progress, thereby eliminating the need to send mass emails. You can come and go as you please."

I have been in violation of this mission. I have sent too many "mass emails", especially lately. I am Sorry. Please forgive me. I promise to concentrate on adhering to my stated mission.

I now have a Website

My friend, Silas Hagerty (the gifted, young man who directed the often-mentioned documentary about me) presented me with this gift and it's initial contents will automatically direct visitors here, to my BLOG.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly : A movie review

Yesterday (1-10-08) I saw a fabulous cinema “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”.
I cannot express how strongly I was moved by this film. I was accompanied by the strongest person whom I know, Lynn, my wife. You MUST see it!! I cried uncontrollably (which I am physically incapable of). I enclose, here, a review copied from the local newspaper, The Hartford Courant.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

In 1995 at the age of 43, Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye, he blinked out his memoir and eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he had only visited in his mind.

The cinematography in this film was exceptional. Coming from someone who understands what it must feel like to be JD (yet the comparison stops there), one truly felt as though one had exchanged bodies, via the filming technique. In my humble opinion, one could truly sense the frustration of having lost the ability to communicate, while, in his mind, he knew very well what it should feel like to be a participant. One must truly be amazed by the determination and patience of JD and, in part, of his wife and of his speech therapist.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Stella, Our New Puppy!!

Breeder's photo of Stella before we purhased her (11/19/07).

Kate holding Stella (12/18/07).

Stella (Means star, in Italiano. She’s bilingual!!!!) has arrived!! We received Stella on December 18, at just 9 weeks of age. I’m completely unbiased, but she is BELLA!

We opted to wait until 8 weeks before accepting her from the breeder, to allow her to remain with her breeder to attend Puppy Pre-school (and graduate with a REAL diploma). Stella's birthday is 10-14-07. Now, she recognizes her name (only if spoken in Italiano) and the magic words “make Potty” (shush!!!). To say it mildly, we are in LOVE!

Kate, in her car, with Stella (12/18/07).

The following was found in Wikipedia to formally introduce readers to the type of dog we have purchased/acquired. As you will read below, Stella is a pure Cockapoo. Both her parents were Cockapoos!!


The appearance of Cockapoos may vary
Alternative names
Cockapoo, Cockerpoo, Spoodle (AU)
Country of origin
United States

Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
A Cockapoo (also called a Spoodle or Cockerpoo) is a hybrid dog, bred by crossing an American Cocker Spaniel (or English Cocker Spaniel) and a Poodle (in most cases the Miniature Poodle or Toy Poodle), or by breeding Cockapoo to Cockapoo.

Cockapoos have been known in the United States since around the 1940s. They have continued to increase in popularity, and many Cockapoos are now the result of breeding Cockapoo to Cockapoo rather than of a direct cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Cockapoos have also become very popular in other countries. In Australia and Sweden, they are usually called Spoodles, and can be the result of mating either the American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle, or of breeding successive generations of Spoodles.

Both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels can suffer from luxating patellas (loose knees) and progressive retinal atrophy, and dogs should be tested for these problems before breeding. Like many floppy-eared breeds, Cockapoos can be subject to ear infections, and it's important to keep their ears clean and dry. As with a lot of smaller dogs they tend to be quite long-lived, and it's not unusual for Cockapoos to live to 15 years of age or more.

Strictly speaking, the Cockapoo cannot be described as a purebred because it does not 'breed true'. In breeders' terms, 'breeding true' means that the pups of two mated specimens will have more consistently predictable characteristics, and will resemble both their parents, rather than exhibiting the varying characteristics of the dog breeds in their ancestries.
Breeders usually try to retain the smaller build of the American Cocker Spaniel, while retaining the wavy quality of the Poodle's coat. Like Poodles, they will usually need regular grooming, as well as clipping every couple of months.
There are currently three Cockapoo clubs in America that are working towards developing the Cockapoo by breeding successive generations, and establishing the Cockapoo as a recognized breed.