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HH Pout
Posted on Tuesday 28 June 2011 at 1:40 pm

Ankle and computer update

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I know I owe y'all a report of my Neil Gaiman trip and I promise to get to that before I start teaching next week and get really swamped. Its just to give a full report on the trip, I need more time and energy than I've had the past couple of days. For now, suffice it to say that Neil Gaiman is an awesome and very sweet man, which probably isn't a surprise.

This post is to give quick updates on the other two things going on in my world, my ankle and my laptops.

The ankle was getting better. During the first week aft er the injury, the swelling went down considerably and I could put a little weight on it without screaming in pain but I wasn't really getting any mobility back in it. During week two, there was almost no progress. I could put more weight on it, in fact I can now kind of shamble around it in a zombie-like fashion for short distances. I still can't keep weight on it for long but the bigger problem is I still can't really move it. I have a few degrees of motion, but I can't get it to 90 degrees with my leg or any smaller of an angle, which makes actual walking impossible. It is still really swollen and discolored as well. I've just been going to the student health center on campus since I have to with the school's insurance plan. During the summer, things are so slow with most students gone that they only have one doctor in each week and it is a different doctor each week, which doesn't make for great continuity of care. I've been in three times and seen three different doctors. the one I saw yesterday decided it was time to send me to an orthopedic/sports medicine specialist. I saw him today and he said my injury is weird because basically my symptoms don't match any specific injury types (e.g. break, torn ligaments, tendon damage) so he doesn't know what box to put my injury in and how to treat it. He did another round of x-rays and said I do actually have a break not just a sprain but the break is a chipped bone not a traditional fracture so that doesn't really explain the mobility issues. He gave me a walking boot that I'm supposed to slowly switch to rather than the crutches to get me up and moving and putting weight on it and he referred me to a physical therapist to see about getting some flexibility and mobility back in my ankle. The boot is certainly better than the crutches for moving around the house, but it pushes against the swelling and makes that hurt some and if I walk too much, it causes the whole ankle to hurt and makes me very tired because it's heave. I have the PT appointment next week and am supposed to go back to today's doctor the week after. If there's no improvement after those two weeks, he'll do an MRI and see what that tells him. Of course, my mom had to have surgery over a bone chip in her ankle so she's worried about that, but my break is nowhere near as bad as her's was. All I know for sure is I start teaching again next week and it looks like I'll be doing it in a giant boot, perhaps with crutches on the side. Finding time to write lectures around all these doctor appointments is going to be fun.

I sort of currently have three laptops and only one of them works right now. Going newest to oldest, the laptop on which I am currently typing is my brand new one that arrived Saturday. It is awesome! It is supper fast and huge (17 inch) with a backlit keyboard and all kinds of snazzy extras. I've just about got it configured the way I want it and foresee a happy future with it. My mom got the top of the line four year warranty and said basically this had better get me through my dissertation. I've named it Artoo, largely due to the fact that my previous laptop was Threepio (see below) and this is my second Dell so the D2 part of R2-D2 seemed to fit.

The previous laptop is Threepio. Threepio is having hard drive issues and is off being repaired under warranty. Hopefully he will be back soon with a new hard drive, but we'll see. Threepio was so named because my laptop before him was SNL-II (see below) and my dad suggested naming Threepio SNL-III but Threepio wasn't a SNL laptop so I kept the idea of the third laptop and jumped to Threepio. Once I get Threepio back, he will become my largely stay on campus computer, either in my office int he history department building or in my locker at the library.

SNL-II is the real problem child. The original SNL had a busted hinge when it was still under warranty. The hinge couldn't be repaired so they gave me a new laptop for free, thus SNL-II. SNL stands for Shiny New Laptop because that was all I kept thinking for the first few days I had the original SNL. Anyway, SNL-II now has a busted hinge in the same way but much worse than SNL had. Apparently this was a problem for those computers because they would overheat and melt parts. The hinge is broken in such a way the opening or closing the lid is difficult and causes the casing to split from the screen so you can see inside and pieces break off. SNL-II's other problem is that he is crazily slow due to too little RAM. Since the cracked case made moving SNL-II a problem but the computer still worked, I came up with a plan. I decided to wipe Windows off SNL-II, install Linux since it is lightest and faster and would help with the slowness issues, install Boxee or something similar, hook SNL_II up to my TV and turn it into a permanent mini entertainment unit for streaming video, etc to the TV. Unfortunately when I tried to install Linux, it wiped Windows but then got stuck and failed to complete the install. I tried running the diagnostics on the hard drive and it got part way through and then froze. Finally the computer turned itself off and when I tried to touch it, it nearly burned me so I think it turned off due to overheating. Since Linux wouldn't install and the diagnostics test wouldn't complete, I think there is something wrong with that hard drive, but it hadn't had any problems before. So I'm not sure what to do with SNL-II now. My folks think they might have an old laptop I can have to play around with as a media center and they are suggesting I take out the hard drive and the RAM (to destroy and possibly to use in another machine respectively) and turn in the laptop to a recycling center. That's probably what I'll end up doing, but its not really a priority given that I don't get off the couch much and have to rely on others to go anywhere outside the house.

So there you have it. Before I messed up my ankle, my plan for this week had been to finalize my syllabus and handouts for their paper assignments then start writing lectures. So far none of that has happened because I've been tired, lazy, or playing with the new computer's settings rather than getting work done on it. I'll definitely be able to finish the syllabus and handouts, probably tomorrow, but I'm not sure about starting on lectures. For that I kind of need the library and books, which the ankle complicates nicely. We'll see, I guess.
Feeling: Sore
Exploring: Couch with foot up

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