Friday, November 13, 2009


Debra had surgery on her shoulder a few days before grandpa’s funeral. She suffered on the long drive to western NY and even more on the long drive home. She has been unable to move her arm (from the shoulder) higher than her chest since around April. Now, with the help of physical therapy, she is able to raise it above her head again. She is still in quite a bit of pain, but she is healing.

About a week after our return it was Dearth’s turn. He was playing football with his friends and for some unknown reason they do this in bare feet. After the game they were wrestling and he cut his big toe on the edge of a brick (partially buried in the ground). I had just gotten home from work and was starting dinner. I hear him walk in and he asks for some paper towels and a band aid. I took one look and told him to get in the car. It was good for four stitches. The highlight of the visit was me passing out in the ER. Blood doesn’t bother me, but watching the doctor pull the stitch through creeped me out a bit. Stack that on top of not eating for 12 hours and down I went. I only phased out for a couple of seconds. When I started to regain focus I hear Deb yelling for help. I would like to add that if you yell for help in an ER there is an immediate (and spectacular) response.

“Yes. I am ok.”
“Only my pride is hurt.”
“Why can’t I just sit here?” (motioning to the three legged stool on wheels)
“Ok. I’ll sit on the gurney. The cold wash cloth for my neck was very thoughtful.”
“Yes, I’m feeling much better now.”
“A nice cup of ice water and crackers would be lovely. Thank you.”
“Debra, sit down. I’m fine.”
“Dearth, don’t try to get up. Your toe is still sore.”

I swear, you have one human moment and everyone panics. I can only be Superman most of the time.

My company picnic was a week after the slicing of the toe. Dearth still couldn’t walk all that well so we rented a wheelchair for him. I pushed him around the zoo for the next 4 hours. It was fun, especially the bumpy areas, but I was sore the next day. They really need to make that place more level. It looks nice, but there are too many hills to be pushing my lug of a son around in a wheelchair.

Not to be out done, a few weeks later it was my turn. We were watching our friend’s three boys at their home. On the way out the door that morning the dog runs out. He was snapping at the kids, when they tried to catch him, so I stepped in. Jesse had a harness on so I feinted with my left hand and snatched the harness with my right. The plan was flawless. The execution was just a little slow. I’m not as fast as a dog and the 40 pound terrier mix gave me a life lesson. Be faster or get a better plan. My feint worked, but it ended up being a sacrifice play. He bit my left thumb. Actually, he mangled it. Three or four puncture wounds. It has been four weeks and it still isn’t fully healed. Debra thought I was going to kill him. Right in front of the kids, but I didn’t. I did slam his head into the van and then I sat him on his head until Deb could put the leash on him. Then we went to the ER. My tetanus shot was overdue so I had to get that. They will not stitch an animal bite, but the doctor did flick the skin (that was pushed down by my thumbnail) out. I didn’t punch him in the nose, but I really wanted to. “Give a guy some warning next time doc.” A nice orderly came down with a wheelchair and took me to get an x-ray. They knew nothing was broken, but they wanted to make sure there were no bone fragments from Jesse’s teeth. A nurse visited me after that and wrapped my thumb up (mummy style). It added another three inches to the length of my thumb and that gave us all a bit of entertainment for the rest of the night. Deb was going to kill me if I had given one more “thumbs up” answer, but for the boys it never got old. It was a solid two weeks before I could leave my hand lower than my chest (without pain). Now I’m wearing a band aid on it because all of the new skin is raw and painful to touch. The puncture wound next to the nail hasn’t completely healed, but it is clean and the scar shouldn’t be too bad. Jesse and I are still friends.

Have I ever mentioned how John and Wendy get me to come out of my comfort zone? It works for them because they usually do it in the form of a question. “Henry, can you help John move the Circe from Newport News over to Hampton?” This was a few weeks after my thumb was damaged and it was better, but still pretty sore. “Sure Wendy, just tell me how to get there.” I made the 40 minute drive and walked out to the dock. I saw the kayak with the dingy tied up to it. The Circe was about 50 meters out. She was too big for the docks. I untied the kayak and climbed in. This was the second time I have ever been in a kayak. My first time was in a two person kayak, so this was the first time I have ever been in one alone. I made it to the Circe (mostly dry). If you have ever paddled a kayak you’ll know what I mean. I grabbed the ladder and stood up. The kayak went one way and I hung on for dear life. I made it on deck by will power alone. There was no way I was swimming with John as a witness. I would have drowned for sure. He would have been laughing to hard to help and I had too many clothes on to swim. It was 50 degrees, windy and raining. Perfect weather if you are a duck. John did suffer a little karma payback for laughing at me. He was securing the dingy and cold water ran off of the dingy and down the back of his pants. It was a very rough 5 hour trip to Hampton, but we had a good talk and managed to stay somewhat warm. I only hit my thumb a few dozen times and I managed to thaw out after about 4 hours. It was fun.

Debra’s mother visited for a little over a week. She left the beginning of this week. We always enjoy family visits (probably because we live so far from all of them). Oops. That was out loud wasn’t it? Hopefully I’m out of my funk and I’ll get back to posting regularly again. I just didn't feel like posting after the funeral.


  1. Eww! Owwww! At everything, but especially the dog bite!

    My dog weighs 112 lbs so you have to be real sure about feinting with her :) It takes balls of steel!

    This post made me LOL :D Glad you're back. Hope you and the family can manage to steer clear of accidents now!

  2. LOL.
    Your "Out of comfort zone" and my "Daily Life" seem to look a lot alike.
    Thanks for the assist.
    Good to know that help is near if you need it.