Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Really warm

(This is the Douglas Island bridge. I realized that of all the pictures I post here, very few of them are actually of Juneau as a city. So I'm adding this to my "urban" series.)

It hit 50 degrees today. It may not be the first time we've climbed out of the 40-degree range this year, but it definitely seemed to be the most sustained and noticeable duration of warm weather yet. My neighbors were out in droves - laughing, jogging, riding their bikes. I was having a generally bad day. Early doctor's visit. Left my jacket there, with my camera inside the pocket. May or may not get that back. Reality-check call to my health insurance company. Bad run on a treadmill. Tight deadlines at work. Had to run a bunch of errands with my car. Every time I climbed inside, the sticky heat of the interior stoked my grump. The most beautiful day of the year, and I was stewing in my own bad mood. Well, that and a cloud of stagnant moisture that is finally evaporating after a winter of ice buildup. I opened the window because I thought the cool, salty breeze and sunlight would make me feel better. But it doesn't really work that way, does it? Bad moods definitely want to go and hang for a while in the dark.

Not that it was that bad. Everyone has bad days. Everyone. All the time. They're good for the soul, in the long term. I think some of my mood today stemmed from a doctor-scheduled appointment to get an MRI tomorrow. This can only be a bad thing, and here's why: If they find nothing, then I'm no better off than I am now, except for I'll never know what's wrong with me. I could just be a massive hypochondriac. And how do you recover from that? But if they find something, then that will confirm another fear of mine - well, two fears - fear of surgery and fear of the implication of wasting two whole months and then losing an entire summer. How will I forgive my lazy self? And if their findings are inconclusive, which is the most likely scenario, then not only have I wasted two whole months, and who knows how many hundreds of dollars, but I'll likely have to go on believing I'm a hypochondriac until I can plunk down a few thou for a specialist in Seattle. Wow. Getting old is fun.

So no, I'm not real excited to get an MRI. I can't make myself believe that anything that can come out of it will be good news. Why get it at all? Because life never changes through inaction.


  1. Check out my blog, Jill. Had the same experience with the MRI that you're fearing. But I'm gonna take it someplace else for a second viewing and then I have to make the surgery decision. I'm reading and lamenting with you. Anytime you want to "gripe", I'll listen. Shoot me a note at wanna tell ya something!

  2. Hi..its thrilling to read your stories from sub -continent India...where we used live in tropical conditions..Great,...

  3. congratulation for your blog.
    I am Massimo I live in Italy, I am an architecht. My personal website is If you want to see some photo about Italy the link is

    See you soon

  4. Jill-

    It was Enstien who said doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result is insane...

    doctors and tests can be a real pita but keep on keeping on....

  5. Beautiful pictures - looks awfully cold though! I'm writing to you from tropical Darwin Australia.

  6. Congrats on being named a blog of note.

    I damaged my knee several years ago and postponed the MRI for 10 months. When I finally got it it lead to a scoping and my scoped knee feels better 6 years out than the one that wasn't done. Good luck, it's not so bad and if you're hurt it should help you get better.

  7. I gotta say, I visited alaska two summers ago, and can't wait to come back and vacation again. It's a breath of fresh air reading your posts and seeing what the great white north has in store!

  8. Hi, I would like you to know that I frequent your blog and it has been added to my "short" blogroll because I can't get enough. My husband and I would love to visit Alaska someday and this just adds to the excitement! Thanks

  9. Time, it takes time. Unfortunatly, when you're in a bad mood time stretches; when you're injured that stretch feels permanent. It isn't. You will heal and if that healing is imperfect you'll adapt. That's one of things we humans are best at: adapting.

    A summer lost would suck, but there's a lifetime of summers ahead. Right now it seems like you feel you're in a sprint to heal. Maybe you're in an endurance race, the finish line is long way away, but it is there. Slowing your cadence, riding within your abilities, persevering, you know how to do this. You've been here before just in a different form.

    Look, I know this is almost worthless, the reassurance of some old fart of an internet stranger, but it will get better, I promise.

  10. If they scope it, you'll be back in a matter of a couple weeks; if they do reconstruction, you'll be back in a couple of months at top notch - after a few weeks you could do some slow, flat riding. I've had both procedures done, and the MRI will tell you what you need. And like others have said, it is better once it is done. You will be back for sure. And for something philosophical -- "Only you can make a bad day better or a good worse." -- Me

  11. I love your photographs, they are awesome. I have always wanted to go to Alaska... hopefully I will be able to do that one summer.

  12. "stoke my grump" i may have to steal that from you, great quote!

  13. Fabulous blog!

    Keep up the great work!

    God bless,
    Bill Corrigan
    Long Island, NY

  14. Fun fact: Alaska was once part of Russia, and was the setting of the 90s TV show 'Northern Exposure', and temperatures there are typically very low, which is why they wore coats on 'Northern Exposure'!

  15. This blog is pretty amazing. Definitely the best one I've come by since I got an account. Keep on keepin' on.


  16. Except "Northern Exposure" was actually filmed in Oregon! They fooled us all! ;-) Great show though...

    Good luck w/ the MRI, Jill. When I finally got mine a couple months ago, it was a mixed bag. Upside - nothing to serious. Just a lot of fluid build-up which was keeping my kneecap off-kilter, so had to go on some anti-inflammatories. It was confirmed that the VMO had atrophied somewhat, so had to get some PT. I also discovered that I have a shallow femoral groove (just a genetic abnormality), so I'll have remain diligent about keeping the muscles around my knee strong to avoid this in the future. As long as I keep doing my regular exercise routines though, I'll be fine. Downside - if I had done it sooner I could have lost less inactivity time.

    Like you said, getting older sucks sometimes...

  17. Hi Jill,
    The uncertainty must be killing you. Try to remember your current situation is only temporary. It's all bound to change some time, just a matter of letting time take it's course. Difficult I know.
    A few years back I picked up some tropical disease that ate out my long thoracic nerve fiber. It totally changed my life and caused me a lot of pain. The muscles in my shoulders atrophied and they couldn't be worked because there was no nerve to tell them what to do. :(
    Back then I did Chi Kung and it really helped me deal with the frustration although it couldn't cure my problem it helped me feel like I was doing something practical to improve my situation.
    I gradually regained the use of my right arm, but it will never what it was. Accepting that it would take time was crucial to my overall health, mental and physical. I had to get over thinking that this must be fixed now. That did not come easy.
    I've had a good time checking out Juneau on Google earth and trying to match up your photos. Those mountains really jump off the page when I scroll over them. It looks like an awesome place.

  18. Jill--GREAT blog!!! My parents took me away from civilization the summer before my 9th grade year (1984) Juneau. I was grief-stricken. What was I to do during the 14 months of winter, and would I have to take a dog sled to school, and more importantly--did they have cable up there????

    I have since moved away (migrated to Knoxville, TN to pursue a MA in forensic anthropology--a degree which I am proud of, but am not using in the least) and have proudly kept my Alaska license plate (the old, ugly orangey-yellow one; the only design available at the time) on the front of my car.

    I still consider Alaska my home state (though I firmly believe "home" is where you happen to be at the time), and proudly answer honestly (and seriously) the variety of questions I'm asked (such as, "where did you get that license plate?")when people find out that I'm from Alaska.

    I'll be checking your blog often; good luck on the MRI, and know that you have 3 people in South Carolina sending you good thoughts (well...maybe 2 people sending good thoughts. Our 10-month-old has learned to growl, so he'll probably be growling you well-wishes.)!!!!


    (Oh, just for trivia--my husband and I were married on the Taku glacier, and apparently the people who printed our wedding announcement in the Knoxville paper thought this had to be a mistake and corrected it to "AT Taku glacier.")

  19. I've really enjoyed your photos... thanks.

  20. Hey Jill, your writing and photo's are amazing as always. Congrats on your blog being recognized, you deserve it. The whole deal with your knee really sucks, I don't know what to hope for from the MRI for you, but good luck. I look forward to seeing you guys in a few weeks.

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