Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cyborg-Emmo Update

So, it's been almost a week since I got my cyborg parts programmed. (This is going to be super-detailed for those who care to hear the details, but the short version is: "Things remain promising, but still uncertain...") Anyway, the day after my last post, I went on the walk outlined below with my mom:The total distance was about a mile round-trip, with a stop at the post office, a lunch destination of Kabab & Tandoor (a Hyderabadi Indian restaurant in my neighborhood at which I very much enjoy the lunch buffet), a stop on the way home at the library (for a great used book sale we stumbled upon), then home. My ankles held up quite well on the walk, with the only intense pain coming when we had to climb a flight of stairs and walk up a big ramp to enter the library. Even then, my cyborg parts seemed to help me recover much faster than usual from that pain. (Usually, once the pain starts, it's hours before it starts to subside, so this was good.) The trip was a really promising test, and left me quite optimistic. When dinner time rolled around, I needed to pick up a couple ingredients, so I decided to walk to the nearby grocery. (I'm not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds ever during the 6 weeks following surgery, but croissants, arugula, horseradish root, baked chips, and a lemon came in at 4.5 pounds, so I was safe...) This is a much shorter route:but the walk caused me all kinds of problems. My cyborg parts probably weren't turned up high enough (I had wisely turned them up before our lunchtime walk, but forgot this time). I was in quite a bit of pain already by the time I hit the parking lot, but again the stimulator seemed to at least help with recovery, even as I was walking around the store. This struck me more as a user error than a failure of my cyborg parts, so I wasn't too upset. In case you were wondering, here is the kick-ass sandwich we made for dinner (using my groceries with leftover mustard-rubbed pork tenderloin that I had roasted a couple nights before, as well as some caramelized onions from the freezer and a homemade fresh horseradish sauce):
Mmmm... I'm not going to lie to you: That was delicious. We didn't do much walking the next couple days, largely because my back didn't fare nearly as well as my ankles on that first long walk, but I got a lot of (seemingly random) pain again on Thursday morning, and the stimulator had trouble masking it. This was fairly disheartening, and made me start to wonder if maybe my cyborg parts can help make my usual almost-no-walking-ever lifestyle less painful, but maybe can't handle me walking all over tarnation. (Obviously that's less exciting, but I would still consider it a "win.") I suspect at this point that I'm in need of reprogramming. The guy who programs me said that this is to be expected as the wires move a bit while the swelling subsides and scar tissue forms. Thus, the jury is still out, but things continue to look promising. It will probably be several weeks before we find the best program after everything has settled into place and figure out what the real result of all this is going to be, and I'll have to try not to get frustrated with the roller coaster of relative effectiveness in the meantime. This is where therapeutic bunnies come in handy. I'll post more bunny pictures later, but here's Rico when I caught him leaping in the air mid-binky.
Who could ever be cranky living with such cuteness?

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