You tell 'em, sister.
Um, I also am keen on some at a local market, small green olives soaked in cumin laced brine.
Love 'em, osso. Bring some of those, too.
I found some exquisite oil-cured black ones in southern France, marinated in herbes de Provence. Anybody interested?
Who is going to donate their bra for the slingshot? Anyone who doesn't need it?
Well, that wouldn't be me.
Dammit, where is Lola when we need her?
We'll just add six lola bras, or more if needed for the participants, wimmins only. (hoping she is not offended by the presumption.. I think she would only quibble about which ones, wanting us to select the lace ones from, what is that island?)
Dear Osso, I just stumbled upon this thread. Sorry to learn of this so late. Not that there's anything I could have done had I known earlier. But it's good to know stuff, even when the stuff you know isn't that good.
I've read through everything in one shot--from the symptom and fear, to the lovely drive, to the weird hotel, to the test, the return home, to the discussion with the doctor, to using underwear as slingshots. I'm glad and relieved the news is good.
I was thinking of you, Osso, as I enjoyed a wonderful marinara sauce, over penne, with a couple of glasses of chianti and a great baget dipped in an olive oil, garlic and chili combo. Simple but heavenly. Helped me forget about my PC difficulties.
Hi, JL, I am happy to hear about such a lovely meal. I meant to post here that I finally started the Driving 101 thread, it's in the travel forum - I'll come back with a link.
Here it is - Driving 101
Osso, now that you've given up on seducing Gus, can you tell us what's the latest on your eyes?
Osso and everyone, I thought you might find this article of interest.
Computer Therapy May Restore Sight to Stroke Victims
By John Dorschner - Knight Ridder Newspapers
MIAMI - After suffering a stroke six years ago, Emilio Martinez's vision in his left eye was severely limited. He could no longer read or drive.
Now, thanks to a revolutionary device made by NovaVision, a Boca Raton (Fla.) firm, the 74-year-old Kendall man says, "My field of vision has gotten much better and I can read a newspaper now."
The device is essentially software in a special computer that flashes dots on a computer screen. Scientists aren't sure how it works - or how well it works - but they're fascinated by the possibilities.
"We thought in the past that after early childhood the brain was hard-wired and once it was injured, that was it," says Jose G. Romano, a neurologist at the University of Miami, the first place in the United States to offer the Vision Restoration Therapy.
"But now we know that the brain is really quite plastic and can modify itself."
The device doesn't work miracles. The blind don't learn to see, but it appears to help some stroke victims regain some of their field of vision.
That has huge implications, because there are about 1.5 million stroke victims suffering from vision problems in the United States alone, and each year brings another 90,000 patients who might be able to gain better vision through the therapy.
RETRAINING THE BRAIN
The device is one of the first proofs of what scientists call neuroplasticity, the concept of an injured brain retraining itself, and it could have far reaching implications beyond its present uses, starting with persons with other kinds of vision problems.
NovaVision's leaders are not hesitant in emphasizing its potential.
"Everyone recognizes we've just uncovered the tip of the iceberg as it relates to neuroplasticity," says NovaVision Chief Executive Navroze Mehta. "Learning how these neuro-pathways work is huge."
The device is essentially a special computer loaded with NovaVision software and a brace to hold the head still as the eyes look at the monitor.
The software is calibrated for each individual, who looks at flashing dots that appear on the edge of his vision.
The concept is that, with half-hour, twice-daily sessions over six months or so in the patient's home, the brain learns to expand its field of vision.
The software is periodically recalculated during the therapy.
American researchers are reluctant to make too many claims. Both Romano and Byron Lam, an ophthalmologist at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, says it's "too early" to tell whether the device can make a significant difference.
"But the data from Germany," where the device has been tested on about 500 patients, "is really quite solid," Romano says.
Lam called the device "something worth trying." He says the German studies indicate that stroke victims might be able to expand their field of vision by up to 20 degrees. "That helps, of course. It may help you to read and certain important tasks, but maybe not to drive."
Bascom will start offering the therapy to patients next month. One challenge, Lam says, is to decide what patients might be helped, since the German study showed that some are not helped at all.
"One problem is that it's not currently covered by insurance companies," Lam says. "And this is a costly treatment - $6,000 for six months."
Martinez says, "I was lucky enough to have the money to pay for this myself. I know most people cannot afford it."
He has been using the device for three or four months.
"I do feel that it's helping me. I have great faith it will restore my vision." Though he can now read, he hasn't resumed driving.
"I also enjoy hunting, but that is something I can't do yet ... I have a lot of faith."
BEGUN IN GERMANY
The treatment is the brainchild of Berhard Sabel, a German scientist who has spent his life studying neuroplasticity, both at U.S. universities and in Germany.
He published one major paper - co-signed by researchers from Princeton and Germany - in Nature Medicine in 1998.
In 2000, Sabel started NovaVision in Germany with a state loan.
Two years later, he teamed up with Mehta, a veteran executive with biotech and medical device startups. Mehta set up NovaVision's global headquarters in Boca Raton, because that's where he lives. The privately held firm now employs about 15 there.
Under Mehta's guidance, the VRT device has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but such approval in the device field focuses on safety and not on efficacy, which NovaVision is now seeking to prove to American physicians.
(Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondent Angel Doval contributed to this report.)
Everybody cross your fingers, I have to have another eye surgery tomorrow afternoon. Yacckkkk!
I've got the old cat eye thing again, for no apparent reason as the eye hadn't been dilated and nobody socked me. The vision has been okay, back to what is normal for me, but this slipping around of the lens is not a good thing.
The surgery is easy, I've had it before - should be short. I think the actual moving of the lens takes less than a minute. Then I'll be getting some new drops to close the pupil more, and that becomes permanent. (They didn't do that in the first place because, a) this is a rare type of occurrence, lens should have been attached to the capsule by now and b) the pupil being smaller restricts their ability to see what is going on in the retina later, and my retina will probably act up at some point, since I have retinitis.
Che sera, sera.
Hey, gal. You're gonna be fine. Prediction no. 25
Fingers and toes crossed! Let us know how it goes, please.
Jo--lots of good and healing thoughts coming your way.
Best wishes, osso...hurry back and tell us how it went!
<crossing fingers & toes, but not eyes>
well Jo, next time you see me I will be short, dark and Italian (at least in your eyes)