Celebrating his birthday in pain

x-ray (C) Willow-Townsend Productions Today is my son’s 17th birthday. It’s hard to be too joyful right now as he is still painfully recovering from surgery to correct his spine. See that image to the left? That’s him before and after. The “after” was taken six weeks ago, about 72 hours following the operation. We all hoped that by now he’d be back in school. He is, kinda, but not really. Continue reading

The recovery paradox: Movement causes pain; Moving reduces pain

recovering from surgery (c) Willow-Townsend ProductionsWe heard it from the surgeon. We heard it from the recovery-room nurse. We hear it every time we visit the physical therapist. Move! It hurts, but the pain will disappear faster. Think that will convince a 16-year-old boy snuggled cozy in the big leather recliner or his comfy bed? Yeah, not so much. So my role of father once again morphs to coach, trainer and – I have to say it – nag. Continue reading

Phone screen warnings in a job hunt

Allan Townsend on the phone (C) Willow-Townsend ProductionsI recently finished a phone interview for a local news website company that services a few major markets. The position is for a senior-level social media manager. It’s definitely in my wheel-house and I was glad to get the chance to explore it even though my pre-interview research turned up some concerns. But within moments of the call my initial concerns turned to outright worry. Continue reading

Home from spine surgery. ‘Wonder-parent’ powers activate

Family Guy characters dressed as Wonder Twins (c) Fox Broadcasting Company Shape of “Mommy Medic.” Form of “Daddy Doctor.”

Forgive the mangling of the popular power-up phrase from the Wonder Twins, a pair of cartoon characters from the “Super Friends,” but it seemed apt. As did the “Family Guy” image to the left. I think they help me illustrate the big paradigm shift from worrying parent at the hospital to active caregiver here at home. You don’t have to be a super hero to do it, but man it sure feels like it sometimes. Continue reading

Spine surgery is a marathon not a sprint

recovery from spine surgery @ Willow-Townsend ProductionsWe’re finally on the other side of major surgery for my son, and the good news from the doctor is he’s doing fine and the procedure went well. The headline of this post is inspired by this image. Mother and son, exhausted after 30 hours at the hospital (and counting). Both look as if they have run a marathon and they have in different ways, but we’re nowhere near the finish line. Continue reading