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ACL Diary: Patellar? Hamstring?

“Go With Your Gut” The first thing we learned is that shredded ACL ligaments cannot be repaired. They may, however, be reconstructed. It wasn’t until we saw the MRI images and our surgeon pointed out the barely visible frayed remains of Willow’s ACL, that we truly understood. Options for ACL reconstruction surgery presented to us were: • Patellar Tendon • Hamstring Tendon • Allograft (Donor Tissue) Given Willow’s desire to return to competitive soccer, Dr. Tucker ruled out allograft, indicating it was not the strongest option. He then explained the patellar and hamstring tendon techniques, citing both as ...

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ACL Diary: Making Choices

"Someone, Please Tell Me What To Do!" One of the complications of living in the United States, and I’ve often made this observation when facing a big decision, is that there’s far too much choice. I may have first had this feeling when doing something as trivial as walking down the cereal aisle at the grocery store. Looking at an overwhelming wall of some 500 choices of commercial brands alone—and who knows how many generic—more often than not, I still end up choosing the tried-and-true yellow box of Cheerios. There aren’t as many orthopedic surgeons in Tucson as ...

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ACL Diary: The Immediate Aftermath

A Hundred Phone Calls Willow and I sat for about an hour in the Urgent Care waiting room on the Saturday afternoon she went down, and our dear friend, Mike Smith—my sometimes second (soccer) husband—brought Willow a burger and a chocolate shake. It turns out that it was the most food she’d eat for the next several weeks. The minute she started taking painkillers, she booted her food and lost her appetite. Urgent Care can only do so much, especially on a Saturday when doctors aren’t on staff. A kind nurse named “Jim-bo” saw to her x-rays and put it in ...

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ACL Diary: And So Begins the Rehab

Thursday, April 28, 2011 From the moment my daughter went down on the soccer field, my guts told me what we’d be facing. But there wasn’t any way to truly prepare for the emotions her ACL injury would invoke. It has been just shy of a full lunar cycle since the incident—26 days—only one week out of surgery, and already I feel like a seasoned veteran of the course that is the treatment of an ACL injury. Since 220,000 female athletes under the age of 21 face this specific injury each year, and I have personally now witnessed too many of ...

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ACL Diary: Real Soccer Moms

“Soccer moms drive minivans . . . but this girl drives a Bentley.” —Peggy Tanous from the Real Housewives of Orange County, BRAVO TV. Peggy Tanous, you can kiss my sweet, round soccer ball-shaped ass. What I mean to say is good for you and your new role as a “Bravolebrity” on BRAVO TV’s Real Housewives of Orange County. I hope you have a lot of fun, make a lot of new friends and have many opportunities to support your darling little daughters. But please, do us ALL a favor—particularly the REAL soccer moms who might tune in to ...

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Top Amazon Reviewer Gives 5-Stars to Irish Twins

Tea Break in Ohr October 28, 2010 This review is from: Irish Twins (Paperback) Between sips of fragrant tea, misty memories drift past Anne, the central character of this afterlife story. Struck down without the benefit of a warning while water-skiing, 80 year old Anne is reunited with her "Irish Twin" sister Molly in Ohr, a transitional place where a cup of tea and a warm welcome await the recently departed. From this unique perspective, we see Anne's life unfold as she revisits meeting Michael, the man who will be her husband for 54 years, for better and worse, and with ...

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Praise the Lord, said the Parrot

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout This is one of those books that might not grab you in the first fifty pages. You may be tempted to cast it aside and dive into another book on your long reading list, as was the case with more than one reader in my book group. Please don’t do that. It’s VERY much worth reading. This is a collection of short stories, all set in a small town in Maine.  And it truly has a small town feel. There are a variety of characters, each in different places in their lives, and they ...

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Wings: For Mike. Happy Anniversary

"Wings" Written in 1993. Published in the book, The Things I Wish I'd Said He’s breaking out. Like a butterfly emerging from a thirty-year-old chrysalis, his legs kick and his wings form. He is finally growing up. And soon, if he makes it through this struggle, he will fly with a new self-confidence, a new stamina. I watch him. I observe with a hardhat and powerful pair of binoculars. I carry a shield. I carry a book. I listen to the deep breathing that comes with challenging work, to the heavy sighs, the cries, and even the laughter. I ...

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I had a lovely life . . . and I did my best.

By Linda Bulger It's not remarkable for a novel to start with the death of an 80-year-old woman. If she dies while water-skiing, as Anne Shields does in Irish Twins, the reader's attention is engaged. And if the story then turns to a transitional afterlife where Anne is guided to an assessment of her life and the tasks still undone, you know you're reading a truly original novel. Anne's guide in the afterlife is her Irish Twin, Molly. Together they observe the events of Anne's life as she catered to the needs of her five children and her husband, ...

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Unique plot! Heart-warming, believable characters! Enchanted writing! I love, love, love this book!

REVIEW OF IRISH TWINS By: Betty Dravis This is one of the best books I've read in ages. I liked everything about it; from the gripping opening to the journey through Anne Shields's life—and afterlife—to the shocking ending, I was enthralled. Of lesser importance, but an additional pleasure: the cover is also original and extremely eye-catching. Irish Twins begins with a mother of five dying at the age of eighty while water skiing, of all things! Her husband Michael tries to save her, but she's destined to pass on to a Heavenly realm called Ohr where she is greeted by her Irish ...

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