Thursday, March 30, 2006

Update from Guatemala

from Mike in Guatemala - Mar 29.06

this is the best i can do from a spanish keyboard :)

wow, we have only been here 2 full days and there is already soo much to talk about. yesterday morning we woke up to a veiw that most of us could hardly imagine. from the 10th floor of our hotel we could see 3 volcanos and the most incrediable green lushish mountains. lets say that climate does not seem to be a part of the ´suffering´of a missions trip. lol, the weather is amazing!

still yesterday morning a few people from compassion guatemala came and did a welcome to guatemala presentation. altough interesting, most of the group seemed much more interested in getting out to the project.

in the afternoon we had the first taste of the week to come. when we arrived at the project there were only about 20 children there, but within 20 mins there were for sure 100+ children. i was so very proud of our group yesterday, almost immeaditely after we got there all of our youth were mixing with and connecting with the children. we play soccer, we tried to talk to each other, we laugh together & Amy had 10 girls running around holding her hands chasing people down to tickle them. after a few hours of soccer we popped our ball, but this hardly slowed things down as Jon gave a piggy-back ride to 1 child and then 30 children wanted piggy-back rides from all of us which were a blast to give.

the children had put together this whole welcome canada program including a big sign in the front of the church.
in the evening our youth shared how they couldn{t believe how much fun they had playing with the children! it was simply an awesome first day, i was soo proud of everybody.

today began our work project at the church. for the next 3 days we are going to be spending the mornings painting the church. though our equipment is challenging to work with at times, we made significantly more progress then the people had expected us to. a bunch of children from the project came and volunteered to work alongside us as we painted. most of the time they made a huge mess and there was paint everywhere, but it was a blast having them there. the hot guatemalain sun helped dry the paint quickly as well as give me and a very red nose. because of this i told the 'youth' to where sunscreen tomorrow.

in the afternoon we had our first chance to do some home visits. we split into 4 groups that each went and visited 2 or 3 homes. shevon, larissa, amy, jessica, steph and myself had the amazing experience of meeting our sponsor children. my group also went and visited Bill & Maggie{s sponsor child. tonight as we spent time debreifing the youth shared for an hour until i had to cut them off (we have limited time in our group room) about the many things they saw, learned and experienced. many of the youth shared how praying with the people, and seeing how grateful the people were caused them to cry, and how the pictures i showed them in november just simply did not do justice to seeing firsthand. larissa shared with the group how she just didn{´t know how she was going to explain to people back home the things that she had seen, and i think many felt the same way.

for all the mom{s out there, we are drinking lots of water, nobody had got hurt more then scratches and sun burn, and everybody is healthy except for Ryan{s cold he still has from last week.

i am personally very proud of our group so far, many have made a variety of small sacrificies, and all of them are working very hard. praise God for the absolutely amazing first two days we have had, there have been so many 'God moments.' please pray for thursday and friday as both days our morning are spent painting (pray that we have strenght and energy) and in the afternoons we will be joining the children as they come to the project (thursday) and going on more home visits (friday). please pray that all of our youth will get a chance to see their sponsor child. please pray that our spanish songs and puppet plays will go well. pray that ryan gets better, and those with sun burn will be able to sleep. tomorrow we are hoping to hand out all the gifts we have brought for the children, pray that that goes well. lastly, many in our group had a blast playing soccer on tuesday with the kids, but since we popped our ball we need a new one. please pray that we can find a soccer ball for sale as today we couldn{t find one.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Learn to Talk Good(er)

For the record, this is NOT my secret to speaking intelligently. But it amuses me greatly, Mostly because it sounds like one or two people I know. (Not any of you, of course…)

Pick one word from Section A, one from Section B, and one from Section C – string ‘em together and you’ll be guaranteed to impress your boss!

overarching, strategic, special, specific, core, long term, defined, technology-based, formal, exceptional, value-based, executive, immediate, interactive

visionary, support, customer-oriented, stretch, planning, marketing, service, process, fundamental, sales, budget, operating, discretionary, tracking

objectives, alternatives, expectations, mechanisms, assessment, update, model, product, centralization, incentive, initiatives, feedback, infrastructure, proposition

You are very welcome.


Rather unceremoniously borrowed from:
‘After all, what’s a news article but a formalized update process?’
(Eileen Kinsella)
Wall Street Journal - August 1, 1996

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So Proud

Totally proud of the siblings today...

Jessica arrived safely in Guatemala City last night and they spent today touring Compassion's Guatemala headquarters and visiting some of the kids they'll be working with this week. I can hardly wait for more updates!

And Aaron's short film 'Tips for Modern Living' was nominated for the Extreme Design Film Festival tonight - my parents and I (and a whole schwack of Aaron's friends) attended. Alas, he did not win. But he gets 10 points for NOT making a short film about post-adolescent angst. Seriously, kids... How dramatic can your life truly be? YOU LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS IN THE SUBURBS.

Relax. There is no conspiracy.


Big Adventures

Okay, big adventure last night... Kris and I went on a field trip to Home Depot and then managed to repair my stupid toilet. I could make it sound super-complicated so that you're all very impressed that we accomplished this feat - but it was actually pretty easy. For the record, I helped, so we don't have to count this as a damsel-in-distress kind of situations.

And speaking of big adventures... Jessica and her team made it to Minneapolis safely yesterday, so we're all assuming they're now safe and settled in Guatemala City. They'll be working with Compassion International while they're out there... And possibly meeting Sofia, the five-year-old I sponsor from that project. I'm totally jealous, but so excited that these kids will have the opportunity to experience life outside of the bubble they've grown up in.

I'll share details as they become available!


Monday, March 27, 2006

I Like Explosions

I hate to link to the Winnipeg Sun, but the Free Press is all subscriber-only... Grr. Anyway.

Question of the Day:
How difficult can it possibly be to blow something up? I mean, SERIOUSLY. Strap a bunch of dynamite to the places that are holding the building up, then watch 'er blow. Actually, very unintelligent people blow things up accidentally all the time.

The old arena deserved a much more spectacular ending. We should have overcompensated, made sure to leave a crater visible from outer space. A sinkhole so big, the stadium and maybe even Polo Park would have slid down into the bottom... That would have been AWESOME. Legendary. Something for us to tell our grandkids about.

Leave it to Manitobans to be too cheap to buy enough dynamite to get the job done.


I Always Suspected...

You Are 26% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
How Evil Are You?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

In the Air

When I was in high school, I engaged in a massive debate with Scott and Ryan over whether or not I could in fact smell snow. I believe that it's possible - you can just feel it in the air.

Kind of like spring... You can feel the change coming.

This experience of change is definitely testing me. I'm a planner. I think it comes from the same part of me that loves spring cleaning. The utterly charming 'control freak' part of my personality (right, Kris?). And not knowing who I'll be living with in one month's time... That's not a Lindsay-approved level of planning you're seeing there.

Lots of roommate leads so far. And even more 'well, maybe... we'll see' answers. So if you know anyone who's looking for a place to live... :)


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Letters & Numbers

So I was thinking about professional accreditations today (that's another story for another time), specifically in the areas of accounting - y'know, the CGA, CMA, CFA. Lots of letters for a bunch of numbers people, if you ask me.

Anyway, I digress. My point is this: thinking about 'financial people,' I've dated two now (three, if you count the fact that I recycled one of them). Damn, you're right. I recycled both of them. But we'll count the recycles as .5 each and call it three. And both - um, I mean ALL - were total disasters. And for the same reasons.

Now, at what point do I swear off all men in the financial/accounting industry? Once bitten, twice shy didn't really work for me. Apparently, I just come back for more.

Can you judge a man by his profession? And - more concerningly - do people judge me based on mine? People in 'creative' professions don't exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to relationships.

Which brings us to the old theory of X and Y, apples and oranges. Do opposites attract (as my history of recycling might suggest)? Or are we simply to different to survive?

And shouldn't writers get numerical designations to put after our names on our fancy little business cards?


Spring Cleaning

Something you may not know about me: I love spring cleaning. Seriously love it. I adore the feeling of having my entire life in order. There's something powerful about the absence of a junk drawer that makes you feel you can take over the world.

I've been whittling away at my cleaning this week, in anticipation of having strangers come and peek in all my closets (my apartment lease is almost up). It's kind of a forced spring cleaning.

Which led me to my next thought. Why spring cleaning? Doesn't it make more sense to do fall cleaning, just before you are forced to spend your entire existence indoors for months on end (at least if you live in Manitoba)? I've been looking at my own filth for months now - no wonder there's such a relationship between winter and depression.

Anyway. Hoping to make some more progress tonight. I move (yes, again) in just over a month and I'm trying not to get my hopes up yet... Mostly because I still need roommates. But I am so in love with the place I found :)


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Update (yawn)

That yawn in the title was not meant to imply that this update will be boring. Rather, I am suggesting that I am tired while writing this little post.

I'm tired. I'm definitely experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms post-surgery, and it's so discouraging. I've fought against this - and won already - so it seems completely unfair that I've taken a step back again. I'm exhausted. I'm having trouble sleeping. I'm aching and hurting all over. I'm having trouble concentrating. It's like a time warp back about three or four months.

I'm sure it's just temporary and that I'll be back to my healthy, obnoxious self soon. But for now... I at least need enough energy to get my apartment into inspection-by-potential-future-tenants shape.

Not that it's not ALWAYS spic and span, mom :)


Sunday, March 12, 2006


Argh. Bruising. Half of my face has taken on this replusive faint yellow-ish colour. I hope to God my make-up will work its magic in the morning. The good news is that the swelling is down today. But I know that I'm a long way from looking normal (whatever that is).

It's funny how when you're sensitive about something, the entire universe seems to work together to pick at the scab. I turned on the TV today and saw the music video for 'Yellow' - an old Coldplay song that I loved until that moment. Later, I turned on the radio and that Maroon 5 song about 'the girl with a broken smile' came on. Being the quick thinker that I am (and fearing that a Puffy song might be next), I just popped in a Madonna CD. Because nothing cheers me up like a Madonna CD.

Except maybe George Clooney with a marriage proposal. But I digress...


Trying to relax

I'm at home for the weekend, letting my mom take care of me. Apparently, I've also unwittingly signed up for a weekend of my dad trying to make me laugh (despite - or more likely because of - the fact that it hurts me so much to even smile).

Planning to go back to work tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. When people see me for the first time, they stop and gasp and stare - even though my swelling's gone down so much by now that I could be modelling cosmetics.

Anyway, spending the weekend watching movies, trying to eat, and enjoying these new painkillers.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Sigh of relief

Ah. Painkillers that work. And aren't making me insane.

This morning/early afternoon was rough - I don't know if it was a reaction to the meds, some post-surgery trauma, or what, but I was seriously ill earlier today. I couldn't keep food (or meds) down, I was fainting... Not fun at all.

Feeling so much better tonight. I actually feel a little bit hopeful that I might actually return to normal someday. Stopped by the office this afternoon to pick up some stuff to work on if I feel better this weekend, and the boys did a pretty good job of laughing at my face. In some strange way, it was actually exactly what I needed.

This is not a big deal. This is not permanent. I will look human again soon. For now... I'm going to go have some more of the amazing sugar-free chocolate ice cream my mom found for me this week. Amazing. With some tiny chopped-up banana pieces that I can suck through my teeth, it tastes almost exactly like the chocolate banana pie at Baked Expectations... Mmm... I can almost forget that I currently resemble Frankenstein's monster.


A guide to pain management

Lindsay. Needs. More. Drugs. I got ahold of my surgeon's office this morning, and they're calling in a prescription for some new painkillers - ones that hopefully won't make me itch. I'm working on finding someone to pick them up for me, and QUICKLY because I'm only taking one T3 at a time right now so that I don't scratch all my skin off. And one T3 is a joke. It doesn't come close to dealing with the pain.

Argh. Trying to think happy thoughts. I actually got desperate enough to haul out the cassette I used to hand out at the classes I taught for The Arthritis Society - pain management through guided imagery techniques. I didn't feel calm and painfree as I took an afternoon stroll through the countryside in the warm, gentle sun... In fact, I felt like smashing the bloody stereo into tiny, tiny pieces. And then using those pieces to inflict some sort of jaw injury on the lady from the cassette. Then let's hear her talk about being calm and painfree.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

The power of positive thinking (and other lies your therapist told you)

Of all the annoying things to have a reaction to... Codeine. Sweet nectar of the surgical gods, how you mock me!

Blech. I'm all itchy and miserable. And I'm sitting here trying to find the silver lining... Positive thinking, Lindsay!

Here's what I've come up with so far (feel free to help me out here):
  1. At least I'm not starving. There are kids in Africa who'd be happy to half-slurp, half-dribble mushy liquified food.
  2. At least the other side of my face isn't swollen.
  3. At least I didn't miss Maury makeovers on tv this morning. (Mostly kidding about that one... I fell asleep on the couch, and that's what was on when I woke up. I giggled at it for a while before I fell asleep again.)
  4. Maybe if I scratch off the entire first layer of my skin, the scale will show that I've lost 5 pounds.
  5. Oh, forget it. I'm going to give myself another ten minutes to feel sorry for myself. And I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. Then I'm going to bed. And I'll be happy in the morning.


PS - Swelling update. Starting to suspect that maybe I was born with the cells of a teeny, tiny twin sister implanted inside my jaw bone. And when they opened it up yesterday, she breathed in her first taste of oxygen and her air-starved bones soaked up as much as they could and began to grow rapidly, making up for lost time... By next week, she'll be copying my haircut and we'll be fighting over my favourite black boots.


Finally figured out who I look like, post-surgery...


The morning-after checklist

With six of these pesky little jaw surgeries behind me, I've gotten pretty good at coping. My mom and I pretty much have Surgery Day down to a fine art. Number Seven was no exception.

The next morning is always the scariest time for me. Before I even open my eyes, I start running through my mental checklist. Still alive? Yep, kind of. Can I move my limbs? Check. Can I move those limbs far enough to reach my drugs on the nightstand? Good. Can I open my mouth far enough to jam those pills between my teeth? Nope. But I'm able to wedge a finger in between, quickly slip the pills inside, and swallow. Back to sleep.

Later, I actually climbed out of bed and sat down in front of my computer. I was reading through some of yesterday's email when the sun coming through the window behind me shifted to precisely the right angle to cast a shadow of my face onto the screen. Scary. Scary. Scary. Even in this vague reflection, I can see that my head doesn't look like the shape my head's supposed to be.

I'm more swollen than yesterday. And y'all saw the pics from yesterday. I'm not letting anyone see me in this state, so you'll have to let your imaginations do the work.

My mind races and I briefly contemplate suicide (who will ever want to be with a girl who's both mute and grotesque?! as long as I was just mute and attractive, I was fine - it had crossed my mind that I might have even stumbled on the magic combination... :)

Ah, this too shall pass. It's actually all getting kind of funny. (That might be the drugs.)



Wednesday, March 08, 2006

In case anyone thought I was being a drama queen...

The most frightening part of this pic?
I don't know how to use PhotoShop.
 Posted by Picasa

Disney called. They want their cartoon man back.

I look like half a man. I keep on trying to figure out the positive in that (you know, the glass half full), but I've got nothing. I've never had jaw surgery done on only one side of my face before, and so I've never had lopsided swelling like this. It's crazy. One side of my face looks like Lindsay and the other side... well... kind of a Disney caricature of a man with a strong, lumberjack jaw. Now that's sexy.

The surgery seems to have gone well. When they opened me up, they discovered the problem: the wire they put in on one side hadn't infused into the jaw bone. Unfortunately, they realized it was far deeper in than they'd hoped, and so my surgical team made the call midway through to put me under general anesthetic (instead of IV sedation, like we'd planned). All this really means is that my recovery time was groggier because of the additional meds, and my throat is sore because I needed a breathing tube. Oh, and the additional swelling you already heard about :)

Tomorrow will be the test to see if I bruised or not. Ugh. Pray that I didn't.

Other than that... I'm home. I'm kind of ridiculously drugged. But I'm okay.