Monthly Archives: September 2010

A new eye -Step 1 and 2

Mik is well on his way to fooling everyone!

Step 1- take impression of the eye
The Ocularist took the impression a few weeks ago. It took three tries for Mik to be relaxed enough not to squeeze out all the goop. Basically, the Ocularist places a small plunger looking item under the eyelids. The handle is hollow so that a polymer can be injected down under the plunger end. Provided the patient doesn’t squint and squeeze out the polymer, it only takes one minute for the polymer to set. The Ocularist pulls out the impression then can make a topographical model of his eyeball.

Step 2- The Conformer
The Ocularist makes a clear acrylic Conformer to fit the model from the impression making it a custom fit. We learn how to put it in and take it out. Mik gradually increases the time he wears it, similar to getting accustomed to wearing contact lenses.

Mik was squeamish as the Ocularist put the conformer in but once it was in place, he exclaimed that he could not feel it at all. This made it much easier for me to learn and practice on him. It’s a little awkward because it is hard to accept that such a large piece goes under the eyelid. It took me about 10 tries to get it out and 4 tries to get it back in.

I was a little disappointed to see that it didn’t open his eye much. That was, afterall, a major part of why we were doing this. The Ocularist explained that the final version would be thicker and open the eye more. It is a gradual change they make as the wearer gets accustomed to the shell. I must admit that I was concerned on how much would be seen when he had the clear shell in. I can handle it but I’m not sure how the kids at school will feel.

In two weeks, we go get the hand painted matching shell. Mik can’t wait.

Picture 1. Mik without shell
Picture 2. Using the suction cup to remove the shell.


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Filed under Eye Injury

Treadmill Season

It’s off to the races.. no scratch that. It’s off to the treadmill. The daylight portion of the day is now less than the dark portion of the day. Thus, I retreat to my treadmill. I am half looking forward to it and half dreading it.

Half Forward
I toughened up my skin enough that bare footin’ it on the TM isn’t a problem this year. I haven’t had a hot spot yet.

I can do all my runs bare which means my VFFs will get a little break and maybe last me another year.

I can’t look at the display board on the TM without pushing myself. I go a little faster, a little further, a little higher incline. I look forward to challenging myself on every TM run.

I can dock the iPod so that I don’t have to carry anything. I can turn up the tunes real loud because I don’t have to listen for approaching vehicles.

Half Dreading
This year I got into the enjoyment of running for the sake of running and stopped worrying about time, distance, speed, or training. The TM is putting all that right back in front of my face every second of the run.

Last year, I nearly got motion sickness from staring at the wall during a seven mile run. I’ve turned the TM around but still the view sucks.

I keep the TM out in the garage where it is stinky and dusty. I have to drag out and clean up the TM for every run.

In the very cold months, I’ll have to wait for it to warm up before I get on it. That’s precious running time.

You don’t realize how nice it is to feel air passing your face until it’s gone. Cooling fans are good but they aren’t that good.

Don’t worry, Roads, I promise to visit on weekends ( and just weather days) I might even bring you a treat or piece of candy.

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Filed under Barefoot, running, Vibram Five Fingers


This broken glass scares the hell out of me. The eye injury didn’t happen to me but watching someone get injured in a freak accident tends to alter your reactions to things. I broke this flask in the lab.

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Filed under Eye Injury

Don’t read the fine print

I’m part of a special club(whatever)

I received this in my inbox the other day.

Ruuuuuc! Lions 2010

Bet Lauvaus ir jau 0-2
Ludzu visi atsutiet Jusu 2010 gada pareggojumus!

Uz prieksu!

I don’t know what this says. I could ask my husband to translate but It’ll be more fun to speculate.

1. Two male lions at the zoo were caught singing “you’ve lost that loving feeling” ala Top Gun style

2. 2010 Ginsu knives on sale at the Latvian market place.

3.The Lions football team still generates enough interest for a group of men to talk about them.

I answered back with three wins. I have no idea what I’m talking about so why would I bother finding out what they actually said.

Day 65- Slept in today. My eating is terrible but in an opposite way. Sure, the scale will respond but it isn’t right either. Nearly half way through my last chance for the year and not doing a good job of making it real. Ran 7 miles or so this week.

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Filed under Michigan, personality flaws, running, Weight loss

Lady Bird

Austin may not be my kind if town but I can’t help but be awed and impressed with the bodies of the women here. Tuesday morning, I ran along the trail that goes around Lady Bird Lake. A group of women from the University of Texas were also out for their morning run. I could not keep my eyes off their abdomens. I have never seen a female six pack in real life before. It was incredible. All the women in that group were strong and toned. (It actually feels like an understatement to describe them that way) I guess, before that moment, I thought fitness of that caliber was just a myth.

I was a little envious but mostly just impressed. In my own college years, I collected layers of fat everywhere. Not only were these college women skinny, they looked fit to complete an Iron Man. Even the waitress at lunch today possessed a sculpted body such that would make Michelangelo ogle her. Smooth skin laying taught over long, lean muscles. My hat is off to these women who really know how to live healthy.

For all the runners I passed on Lady Bird trail, only one wore VFFs. A bright red pair. Much nicer than mine.

…I wonder what the college girls thought of me…

“Did you see that slow lady wearing the weird shoes?”
“yeah, did you get high off the alcohol vapor cloud she was running in?”

I was slow due to the hangover and my 30 layers of fat.

The catch phrase in Austin is “Keep Austin Weird”. I was amused when I first saw it on a souvenir T-shirt but I didn’t grasp the meaning. After being here for two days, I think weird is the appropriate way to describe Austin. I can’t come up with another word to describe it nor am I able to explain it to you.

The weirdness of Austin overtook me last night as I mangled up my hand riding the mechanical bull. It’s not serious enough to warrant a picture. It’s bruised, swollen, and hurts to bend my fingers. I made it for 3 minutes since the operator let me right myself a few times after a near fall.

Yes, I was drunk. I was being weird.

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Filed under running, travel, Vibram Five Fingers

Scenes Of A Profile

She took a good, long look at his profile. They were encroaching upon 40 but he hadn’t changed much. Sure, there were shifts in his appearance like how he had his hair cut and dressed more maturely, but his profile was indistinguishable from his early years. It was like being in a time warp that allowed her to stand simultaneously in the past and the present. Memories of the laughter, the challenges, and the quiet moments paraded through her mind.

They stood there talking to friends while she considered these scenes of him. He laughed. It was a laugh that was purely his own. The sound was quick and unabashed.

She spied it then. The change, just at the corner of his eyes, she could see crinkles. It didn’t deter from his looks. It didn’t make him look past his prime. To her, it enhanced his profile by adding caliber and tones to the familiar terrain. While looking different, it felt as familiar as frequently read book. This intense feeling of familiarity verified that her heart had connected the person he had been to the person he was now.

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Filed under fiction, wonderland

Metro Trek -Pros and Cons list

For two years now, I have been dreaming about doing the Metro Tek race in Kalamazoo, MI. Its described as an adventure race offering the best wilderness and urban combo. Bike, trek, orienteering, ropes, paddle, and surprise elements. There is no course to learn and it takes nearly 10 hours to finish it. I know it is about 50 miles of biking, running, and canoeing.

Signups end next week. It is time to take the heat or get out of the kitchen. It appears that my teammate and I can not make up our minds as to whether we should do it or not.

So here’s a list of PROS and CONS for the Metro Trek:

1. My 21 speed mountain bike has only two functional speeds. I’ve never had it serviced in the 12 years I’ve owned it. Besides, I suspect even Walmart carries higher quality bikes than what I have.

2. I don’t own biking clothes. 35 +/- miles of biking in one day is gonna hurt. A lot.

3. I can’t run in regular shoes and VFFs aren’t that fun to bike in. Not 35 some miles, that is.

4. As I explained above, I have a bike that is primarily for recreational use. If I get a flat tire, I just wait until my husband has time to fix it. They want me to carry a spare tire and a CO2 cartridge. Wouldn’t a bottle of oxygen be better? I mean, I’m sure I’m going to be pretty close to fainting from pain by then.

5. I had never heard of orienteering before this race. Neither one of us owns a compass and I’ve never read a topographical map. I’m afraid I might actually get lost in the woods. (what if I pass out from hypothermia and they see that my shorts have a gigantic hole!)(oops, see #8)

6. You need a backpack to carry race and emergency related items. The only backpacks I have in my house were formerly owned by my kids. Can you see me on a serious adventure race with Batman on my back? Maybe a Jedi backpack would be better so that I have the force with me?

7. They recommend protective (sunglasses) eye wear. I did actually buy a pair of sunglasses this summer. They are the highly fashionable bug-eyed look that all the hot ladies are wearing. I’m sure they’ll go well with my VFFs and Batman backpack.

8. I do own a pair of running shorts. But, they have a gigantic hole in the crotch that gets caught on the seat whenever I get on my bike. (Indecent exposure is not an issue since the shorts have inner panties)

9. There’s a scouting hike that I should attend as the Pack Leader and mother of two great boys. (I don’t want to be the Pack Leader, mind you, I just am. For now, I hope)

10. The cost. You have to love a sport that as you get further into it, it actually costs you less money. With barefoot running, I don’t even need to spend money on shoes! (and I’m STILL wearing those runner shorts with the disappearing crotch).

The fees for this adventure race are several times more than I usually pay for a race. It’s justified considering they supply the canoe and the life jacket. But, I also live out of state so it will cost me gas money to get to the race. If I even considered improving some of the state of affairs mentioned above, you’re talking cha-Ching for some local stores.

Let’s not forget that a trip to Kalamazoo is not complete without a trip to Bell’s Eccentric Cafe for a Best Brown Ale or Oarsman Ale. Or, perhaps, I’d take my goddaughter out for ice cream at Plainwell Ice Cream.

Yeah, my budget for the rest of the year with an ocular prosthesis on the horizon really can’t handle that kind of impact.

1. I really want to do it.

After making that list I realize that it is 10 to 1 indicating that instead of being an adventure seeker, I’m just a poser with kids and sunglasses. (wearing shorts with holes)

Maybe next year? Yeah right!

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Filed under cycling, Michigan, personality flaws, running, travel, Vibram Five Fingers