Sunday, August 31, 2008

Maryland 14, Delaware 7

Yesterday's game was a little too close for my liking but a win is a win and Maryland gets their first victory of the season 14-7 over Delaware.

The good:
Da'Rel Scott rushing for 197 yards, the most ever by a Maryland Running Back in a season opener.

Darrius Heywood-Bey caught 4 passes for 70 yards including a 36 yard reception in the first quarter. He also had a 12 yard rush for a touchdown.

Running Back Davin Meggett had 7 rushes for 53 yards and 1 touchdown. Maryland has a nice one-two punch at Running Back.

The Offensive Line and Secondary.

The bad:
QB Jordan Steffy struggled.

Kicker Obi Egekeze, a reliable kicker last year, missed three field goals (48, 44, 41). Granted none of these were gimmes, but if he makes a pair of these, the game is not a nailbiter at the end.

The ugly:
Fans booing Steffy throughout the game. I'm a Chris Turner fan and want him in there too but take it easy on the kid and at least give him a chance. Steffy left the game in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury and Turner replaced him.

Terrible clock management at the end of the first half resulted in a missed field goal. Maryland had time and enough time outs to get closer.

The thing about season openers is there is no preseason games to get the kinks out like the NFL. These guys have been practicing for a month and yesterday they finally got out there and played. Now the coaching staff has some game film to analyze and adjustments can be made.

The question to be asked now is: Who starts at QB, Jordan Steffy or Chris Turner?

Next up: Away against Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM

Washington Post article here

Terrapins Insider

Friday, August 22, 2008

Good Doctor's Visit

Good news out of the doctor's office today. He liked my blood sugar readings, average blood sugar reading for August is 117, blood pressure is normal and there is a good chance I will come off one of the two BP meds I am on when I follow up again in October. Thanks to diet and exercise I've officially lost 12 pounds according to their scale.

I will keep the cardio activity going, I'm averaging 30-45 minutes a day. I use the rec. center near our house a couple times a week and when I'm there I ride the stationary bike for 20 minutes and use the elliptical trainer for another 20 minutes. I have a treadmill in our basement that I use and with my iPod and Orioles game on the TV, I really enjoy the workout. Soon I will incorporate weights in my routine, not to bulk up but to flatten things out and to build muscle. I need to talk to someone at the rec. center about it before I get into it though as you just can't pick up some weights and start lifting.

I will have an A1C test done during my follow up visit in October. My last reading was 7.4 back in April. Ideally it should be 6.0

To summarize things, I really don't miss the soda and sweets that I have given up. I don't even miss french fries. Occasionally I treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie. I can walk past the candy display at the supermarket check out and not pick up a couple Milky Ways. I don't really miss ice cream either.

In closing, I feel a hell of a lot better walking out of that doctor's office today than I did five weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tiger Woods 2009 Video Game

Found this on You Tube and I thought it was pretty funny. Eventually Tiger will pull this off to win a Masters or U.S. Open, LOL! I'm a big time Tiger junkie and he's been out of action two months. Like all golf fans, I really miss watching him compete and hope he recovers fully from his knee surgery. I'm still in awe at what he accomplished at this year's U.S. Open.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation at Emerald Isle, NC

We had a fun vacation at Emerald Isle, NC. We drove down Friday and went to see Weena's brother Joseph, his wife and son in Jacksonville, NC before we checked into our house Saturday. On Sunday Weena's brother and family came over to the house and spent the afternoon with us.

The next four pictures are scenes from my early morning walk on Sunday and Monday. I would walk a mile and a half from our house, then turn around and come back.

I decided to go the other way on Tuesday and thought the pier was a mile and a half from our house. It was 2.25 miles. I was beat after the 4.5 miles walked but loved the view from the pier.

Here's Benjamin enjoying his time on the beach.

Occasionally a Marine helecopter would fly by. Camp Lejeune is nearby.

Future U.S. Open champion

Put me down for a two Daddy!

Listening to Bob Dylan before bed. I'm serious!

View from our upstairs deck.

Across the street.

Thursday night after dinner.

Mom joined us on Tuesday afternoon and that night we drove to Morehead City and met my Uncle David and Aunt Sharon for dinner. They drove down from their house to see us. Wednesday was the only bad day we had where it rained so Uncle David and Sharon came over and we just relaxed, read and watched the Olympics while Benjamin entertained us. We had a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant very close to the house. By then it had stopped raining. We said goodbye to Uncle David and Sharon and we enjoyed their visit.

Mom was supposed to head back on Thursday but we convinced her to stay an extra day and we were able to hang out on the beach. Benjamin really loved building things and we were able to build a couple sand castles as well as a couple stadiums.

Mom headed home Friday after breakfast and we hope she had a nice time seeing us. This is one of the reasons why we like to rent a house, there's plenty of room for family and friends to drop by and visit.

Speaking of family visits, Joseph and his family came back on Friday and had dinner. We steamed some crabs and just enjoyed the time together. Sadly, they had to go home Friday night and we had to pack. We headed home early Saturday morning. For me it is always sad when vacation ends.

During the vacation I thought I managed my diabetes well. I did my best to watch what I ate when we went out and I got my exercise by walking on the beach early in the AM. I managed to use the Emerald Isle fitness center on Wednesday as it was raining and I was unable to walk. The last night I went nuts on the steamed crabs as these were delicious.

We loved our beach house and we plan to rent this same place next year. Benjamin saw a lot of neat things, including porpoises and a family of deer close to our house. There are things we had hoped to do but we weren't able to get to them so we'll keep these on our list for next year. I don't know what else to add except we love the area a lot and will have many more great times there in the future.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jim's Story

A story that has really hit home with me occurred back in the Fall of 2006. I was working for a CPA firm in Bethesda MD and getting up early to beat traffic from Northern VA. My friend and co-worker Jim did the same thing and the first one in usually made the coffee. Over time, we became friends and he was one of the first to congratulate me after Benjamin was born. The night Benjamin turned one year old, Jim was involved in a serious car accident on his way home from work. His sister Laura has written his story and I will post it later in this article.

A little about Jim...He was a senior manager in the firm's tax department who was always willing to take on additional responsibilities from his colleagues in both the tax and the audit departments. He was able to take care of things without letting anything fall through the cracks. Jim was very committed to mentoring his staff and this is very important in a CPA firm. He devoted the time necessary to supervise and oversee their work. Jim was a tireless worker who showed efficiency and was very reliable.

Here is Jim's story:

Jim had a serious car accident on his way home from a 11 hour work day as CPA. On a twisty, back-road short-cut and only minutes short of his home where his wife and children waited, he missed a turn and went straight into a tree. Instead his wife was greeted at her door by a police officer with grim news. Thankfully no one else was involved. But tragically, Jim was discovered to have traumatic brain injury in the days that followed, and remained in a coma for several weeks.

As he emerged from his coma, six weeks later and into the third month, Jim slowly showed signs of awareness, smiled sometimes to greet some of his family and even lifted his hand in purposeful "hello's" and gave "high five's" to children. There were many instances of clear cognitive ability throughout these months since the accident, spelling words with his eyes and a spelling board, picking out the correct keys on a keyboard to spell things, and reading short stories and answering reading comprehension questions with 100% accuracy.

In the Spring of 2008, after some second opinions with new neurologists and a try at a different hospital, Jim was given a boost by having a baclofen pump implanted in his waist, which drips baclofen into his spine at a slow but continuous pace. This medicine is used with people who have muscle spasm or "tone" issues to relax the muscles. Just the right amount can make otherwise rigid arms and legs loose enough to cooperate with the patient's intention to function. The level of improvement for Jim has been subtle, but at the same time tremendous! He has been able to participate more in Physical Therapy and as a result the PT staff at his current nursing home have become quite enthused this past few months with seeing his willingness to "work" and clear cognitive awareness.

Jim's parents are now his guardians and have worked for all these gains. He has clearly answered questions in the affirmative about wanting to continue recovery and "be there" for his children, no matter if he is disabled. That is the goal.

Brain injury is a mysterious condition. While the person suffering from this may continue to look "out of it" - in large part because of the "palsy" stiffness on their face - the attentive visitor will see the eager but subtle reactions to questions asked or sometimes a "blue streak" of accurate head shakes either "yes" or "no." The up and down of good responses versus slow days or weeks are part of the territory of brain injury. Patience is required by all involved!

Our family has attended support meetings for brain injury. We've met people who have been where Jim is, and their caregivers. The two prongs of this support have been: One: Don't give up! No matter what, Jim hears, sees and feels emotions about all that is said about him and hope extended or not extended to him. Two: Many, many brain injured folks given time to recover, even if it is sometimes years, ARE able to do a little more or a lot, especially if they are encouraged and challenged with gentle tones of love and decent PT.

Jim is on this track! Jim is having a recovery. It is slow, it is sometimes still very sad to realize all that has been lost. But Jim is very much alive and the doctors all say he likely will live 20+ years. He is actually very healthy in his body, and has gained weight, to the point of a nutritionist being concerned that he should lose weight!

Join us in our hope for Jim and keep praying for success and joy in Jim's life. Amen

I think about Jim a lot and his accident was one reason I made the change to work closer to home. I pray for his recovery daily. This is why I've included Laura's blog He's Our Brother under my Favorite Reads section.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Part II, Sometimes I Wonder...

....Is this really my kid?

Last night at Mass we were in our usual place in the parents/cry room when the collection basket came. Benjamin is the one who drops our envelopes in the basket and calls this "Money Man" time. Tonight he handled his duties well with both collections, then he remembered he had four quarters in his pocket that Weena had given him earlier in the day for his piggy bank.

So he pulled the quarters out and was playing with them when he asked me "Daddy, can I give money to the Money Man?"

I told him sure thing but the Money Man just left. I said if he wanted to he could put something in the poor box. He said "Ok Daddy, let's go now". So we went to where the poor box was located in the lobby and I showed Benjamin how to put money in the slot. He asked me where does the money go? I told him it went to less fortunate people who need money for food and clothes.

He takes a quarter and drops it in the slot, smiles and says "Ok Daddy, let's go."

I was speechless, proud and just shaking my head in amazement when we went back to our seats. I told Weena what he did and she smiled and says maybe he's going to be a Priest.

Benjamin turns three in October.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Will Someone Here PLEASE Eat That Cookie!

The one left over sitting in the kitchen from the client meeting that I have walked past three times now. Please!

Since I've changed my diet and am monitoring my blood sugar I've pretty much given up all sweets but the cravings still come. Right now my last nine blood sugar readings have averaged 125.5 and this week I got just two readings in the 200's. I know I need to get it lower but I consider this very good after a couple weeks.

Weight is down eight pounds now and I'm starting to feel pretty good thanks to the steady exercise. Last night I went to the Nationals game and passed on some of my favorite concessions like ice cream and lemonade, opting for just a grilled hot dog less most of the bun and bottled water.

I'm learning a lot from the American Diabetes Association web site and my father, who also has diabetes, has been very helpful and supportive.

Now someone here at work please eat that damn cookie before I throw it against the wall!