Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Sophia’s Pre-Surgery Photos

Only Sophia would take photos seconds before her surgery at Cedars-Sinai so I could post them on my blog!

Dr. Scott Karlan, the best surgeon ever, and Dr. Ellis Lai, the coolest anesthesiologist.

The doctors joking with Sophia.

Sophia making sure the doctors write down “” before the surgery, so they can see their photos on my blog. 

Dr. Karlan was kind enough to let me consult with him before the surgery, seeing that I watched “Gray’s Anatomy” the night before.

Romel, the friendly surgery nurse.

Sophia’s feet.  Former blogger Eileen from Sydney, Australia sent these homemade stickers with Sophia’s name written on each label:  “Dancing for Sophia,” “Smiling for Sophia, “Praying for Sophia,” etc.

Everyone loved Sophia and wanted to put the stickers on, including the doctors.

Dr. Karlan:  “Let’s get the show on the road.”   He has a great sense of humor.   As Sophia was being rolled into surgery, he was cracking jokes to make her smile.

Elvira, the pretty recovery nurse.

A bunch-load of cards greeted Sophia when she came back home!

Special thanks to (and apologies if I’m forgetting someone):

Stacy at Jurgen Nation
Ms. Mamma
Ms. Sizzle
Heather Anne
Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl
Jane Poe
Long Story Longer
Kanani at Easy Writer
Tracie Lyn at Red Door Studios
Non-Highlighted Heather
Irina at The Ignoble Experiment
Alexandra at Marvelous Madness
Alissa and Evan

Leah at Only Partially Insane
Maven at The Sanctum Sactorum
Mike and Karen
Anonymous from Albany

Expat Jane

Paperback Writer
Pia at Courting Destiny
Cynical Girl

Richard Heft

Orieyenta and Little Orieyenta
Better Safe Than Sorry
Michelle V.

Heather B.

… and everyone who wrote such nice things on the blog and in emails!

Sophia is resting at home and we’re waiting…


  1. I haven’t commented before simply because I don’t do well when people I care for are hurting – I retreat for some reason. I make a bad bedside helper I am afraid. Anyway, Sophia has been in my prayers, as well as you, Neil, and I know things will turn out well. God Bless you both.

  2. Prayers for healing and peace for you both.

  3. I tell you Neil – Life with Sophia is always an adventure – take good care of her!

  4. I have a much better impression of Cedars-Sinai now. Thanks to everyone for taking such good care of Sophia.

    I love those stickers. Now get some rest. Both of you.

  5. Those stickers rock and so does this photo post. Sending more healing and positive thoughts your way. Rest and heal.

  6. Hey!! I’m so glad that you have such wonderful doctors and that things seem to be a-ok. I’m sending you happy thoughts from the opposite coast.

  7. what a good-looking bunch of doctors and nurses! and now sophia’s in your capable hands, so best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  8. Wishing Sophia a speedy recovery! : )

  9. Go, Sophia! Rest up and heal. My fingers are crossed for you.

  10. Gosh, I was hoping for pictures of doctors shagging in the linen closet and flirting in the on-call room. No Dr. McDreamy? No Dr. McSteamy?

    I’ll just have to do a little dance for Sophia here in Belgium and Bring Sexy Back.

  11. So glad to hear Sophia is home, and through the surgery. Kudos to you both for keeping such a positive outlook and caring so wonderfully for each other!!

  12. What a great thing to do for a friend, I’m so impressed. Best of luck to Sophia.

  13. The pictures are fabulous, Neil. Am so glad the surgery went well.

    There is so much in your words: “we are waiting.”

    I am waiting with you.

  14. Get well soon Sophia & way to keep your sense of humor! (((hugs to both of you)))

  15. those are great pics!!!
    way to go to the staff at the hospital for helping lift her spirits, guess now that she’s home you’re the doctor on call. best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

  16. How amazing! Sophia is one unstoppable PR machine for your blog Neil…

  17. So glad she is home and resting. Of course everyone loved her! Who couldn’t?

  18. I’m so glad to hear that the staff were supportive! my thoughts and prayers with you today…

  19. Are you sure we weren’t still watching Grey’s Anatomy? That surgical staff was way too good looking! Love the stickers! So happy you both are home and healing, in body and soul.

  20. Non-Highlighted Heather

    May 11, 2007 at 4:36 am


  21. I bet the surgery staff is talking about you and Sophia for years to come. Hope the results are good.

  22. Love the photos.

    Sending healing vibes to Sophia and calming vibes to Neilochka.

    Thinking of you both.

  23. Eileen the Sticker Girl

    May 11, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Maybe I should start a business. Anyone else need stickers? Email me at ascesis.eREMOVETHIS @

    More seriously I am very happy that I managed to help in some small way – Sophia is amazing to keep her sense of humour throughout – WAY TO GO SOPHIA!

    Much love!

  24. I’m glad Sophia is home with you. Sending prayers and strength your way.

  25. Hey guess what? My dad had to have emergency surgery too yesterday at Cedar Sinai! He is still there (& fortunately doing very well) and coming home hopefully today. Please give Sophia a huge hug from me – I’m saying prayers for her and thinking of you two.

  26. Wow, I’m taking a camera to the hospital next time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many smiles.

    I’ll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

  27. Hugs and best wishes Sophia!!!!

  28. Bringing the camera – Inspired! Best of the Best Sophia.

  29. Sophia is such a trooper. I’m sure not knowing is the hardest part. Hang in there. Our prayers are with you.

  30. Home is good. Candle is still lit.

    But the writers are like, wrecking Grey’s. Please.

  31. So. very. cute! Prayers and God bless! And of course, we’re waiting with you!

  32. I’m sending late but heartfelt wishes for a full recovery for Sophia. I hope she’ll be better than new.

    The two of you are so great!

  33. Hi Neil and Sophia….I’m in Ohio at a horse show….No sleep, two day drive with trailor in tow…and still my thoughts are with you guys. I’ll bring you back something from the trip for continued good luck…What I am not sure..I am pulling for you. And so is Roux (my pony)!

  34. Wishing Sohphia a speedy recovery!

  35. I hope that surgery went well and that you’re recovering peacefully. I had surgery at Cedars a few years ago and they are wonderful.

  36. Neil,

    Only on your blog and with Sophia’s participation could surgery turn into this kind of adventure!

    sending good vibes…

  37. I’m usually a lurker, but I’m coming out of hiding to let you and Sophia know that I am thinking of you both.

    What an awesome team of doctors she had. I have an immense amount of respect for people in the medical field.

    Be well…both of you…when you’re taking care of Sophia, don’t forget to care for the caregiver too 🙂

  38. I’m glad to hear that the surgery went well, and I’ll be thinking good stuff at Sophia while you wait for the results. Be kind to yourselves.

  39. Neil it is our hope that everything turns out OK and that Sophia is fine. Mike and . Hey we had the whole pictures in pre-op thing first but didn’t think to give the camera to the patient!

  40. Love the photolog! It’s great to see that she had so many caring practitioners surrounding her that day. Waiting in peace with you, JP

  41. neil, I haven’t been keeping up with the blogs for the past week so I just saw all this about sophia– just wanted to write and send excellent healthy vibes her way! thinking of you both. xxL

  42. Hope Sophia’s continuing to recover well after the surgery… and waiting impatiently for an update! : )

    Thanks for the “Crush of the Day!” That’ so sweet! : )

  43. Godspeed on the recovery Sophie.

  44. Darn! Postmodern Sass beat me to it! I was going, “Hey! A. D. Skinner gets to operate on Sophia! Awesome!” They look like a wonderful team. Hope you’re both good.

    Xo Angie

  45. I enjoyed seeing the photos – I have fond memories of the nice surgical staff at Cedars myself and I hope Sophia is recovering quickly. Thinking of you both…..

  46. How wonderful it must be to know so many people are waiting with you, praying with you, loving you both. The universe has no choice but to respond!

  47. My favorite picture is the one of Elvira. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to such a nice, sweet woman?!

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