Category Archives: accident

My dog Murphy …

20171202-IMG_6080ate my teeth.

Yep.

You read that right.

He ate my teeth.

My plastic, partial, front teeth that I was wearing until I got my permanent bridge.

HE ATE THEM WHILE I WAS IN THE SHOWER!!

I flipped out.

No, to be honest, I FLIPPED OUT!!

I am a nurse and deal with the public every day and could not imagine embracing dozens of people ever day without my front teeth.

I cried my eyes out and then I called my mom and cried my eyes out some more and had her crying her eyes out on my behalf.

I am not a vain person, but when it comes to my teeth, I find I am vain.

I found my vanity horror when I realized I would have to face the world without my front teeth.

I called in to work and prayed that my Dentist could help me.  I had no idea what she could do because my front teeth were gone.

My dog ate them.

How sad is that?

She took me in and had pity on me by letting me know that dogs eat lots of dental prosthesis because, well, because they just do.

It wasn’t Murphy’s fault.  I should have put them away before I got in the shower.

He’s a dog and he does dog things; like eat teeth.

So weird.

But my Dentist went out of her way to make sure I didn’t go to work the next day toothless.

She went above and beyond.

I have, though not yet permanent, teeth in my my mouth.

My beautiful, permanent bridge will be ready in three weeks.

Until then, I will eat soup and other soft foods while still trying to get enough protein to continue doing Crossfit four days a week.

I thank Jesus for making a bad situation better and will continue to thank Him for taking me through things I didn’t think I could handle.

When someone says to me “you couldn’t possibly understand”, I can say, “Oh, but I can”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree …

bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

Unequivocally, my favorite line of any song I have ever heard.

A bold statement, yes, I know, especially considering that I have heard thousands and thousands of songs in the decades of my life.

It doesn’t change this revelation in the least.  I first heard this song less than 72 hours ago.  It has been around for a while.  As a matter of fact, it was released eight years ago on my birthday.

I had to know more about who wrote words that surpassed any I have ever heard.  Maybe they struck a chord in me because I have a deep love and respect for trees and, on occasion, imagine myself to be one; swaying in the wind, basking in the sun, playing in the moonlight beneath a sky bursting with stars.

Being a seeker of knowledge, I went in search of answers.

The song was written by an independent singer/songwriter named John Mark McMillan.  In an interview, he says that he wrote this the day after his best friend died after sustaining injuries in a terrible car accident.  In the same interview, he tells of his friend, Stephen Coffey, a youth minister for Morning Star Ministries who said aloud the words “I would give my life today if it would shake the youth of the nation” the morning before the accident.

John Mark wrote the song the next day.  He says that the love he is singing about is not a pretty “Hollywood  hot-pink” love, but the kind of love that is willing to love even when things are difficult and messy.  He goes on to say that  “This song isn’t a celebration of weakness and anger.  It’s a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things, who would want to be a part of our lives through those things, and,despite who we are, He would want to be a part of us, our community and our family”.

I have listened to this song at least 200 times since I first heard it.  I am listening to it now.  I cannot pull myself away from what it says to me, how it makes me feel, where it takes me.

I imagine, before the anniversary of the song’s release, (on my birthday), I will listen to it several hundred more times.  I know every note, every sound, every pitch, every word and I hold them deep inside of me.

They make me want to sing; the make me want to cry.  But not tears of sadness, but ones of joy and celebration that even with all my imperfectness, I am loved and cherished by a Savior that I adore.

I have taken the blinders from my eyes, the plastic wrap from my mirrors and have embraced life with a fullness and freedom that I have never quite been able to achieve.

The freedom to love, to be loved, to seek and, in seeking, expect to find.

I will never be the same again and that may be one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given.

I’m putting a link to John Mark’s version.  I have heard several artists sing it in the last couple of days, but this version, his version, is by far my favorite.

John Mark McMillan ~ How He Loves ….

John Mark’s song-story …

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I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning …

literally.  The night was filled with dreams; vivid, bold, colorful dreams.  I woke myself up once talking but at least I wasn’t walking around outside.  That’s always a plus.

In the wee hours.

In the dark.

While I’m asleep.

I know, by the sight of my bedclothes this morning, that I did my fair share of tossing and turning … turning to the point that my head was at the foot and all four of my pillows were in the floor.

When the alarm sounded, I sat up immediately, as I always do, so as not to drift back off to sleep.  It didn’t occur to me when I wasn’t able to find my cell/alarm that there might be a problem until I stood up and planted my face squarely into the wall.

I knew then there was a problem.

The pain was intense and my first thought was of an old episode of “The Brady Bunch” in which one of the brothers threw a football and hit Marsha in the nose.  I actually remember putting my hands over my face and saying out loud “my nose”.  I said a few other things as well, but no point revisiting that because it is neither here nor there.

The last thing I need is to break my nose again.  Well, maybe not the last thing, but it’s on the list.

As far back as I can remember, I have been a very active dreamer, not in the wishful thinking sense (though I am that kind, too), but a sleep dreamer.  I nearly always remember my dreams which, depending on the dream, can be a good or bad thing.  I talk and walk and do all kinds of crazy things in my sleep.  I attempt to control my dreams by thinking of things I want to dream of before I drift off.

It doesn’t work.

If it did work, I would dream of Vincent D’Onofrio on a regular basis.  As it happens, I don’t think I have ever dreamed of him.

Bummer.

The rest of the day after my face plant pretty much followed suit.

Murphy’s Law at the top of its game.

It ended magnificently, however, with a belligerent storm full of righteous fury.  The lightning slashed, thunder cracking behind, slamming the air with sound and more than once, causing me to jump like a rabbit.

No far-off rumbling bellows for it this night.

It meant business.

It was perfect.

It was pure awesomeness.

Hoping the serenity it left behind will stay with me and allow real sleep without all the drama.

Bodie Island Light in the darknessBodieIslandLight

Papawpapawasgirls

Get out of my OR …

were the words he said.  Actually, he didn’t say them as much as angrily and red-faced screamed them, and this, might I add, is the severely cleaned up  version of his tirade.  There were many other quite colorful words he said as he pointed his scalpel at me.  A scalpel, I must say, that he hadn’t had the chance to use yet.

I was a very young, very green, very squeamish nursing student.  It wasn’t a hundred years ago, but looking back, it seems so.  I had already told my instructor that I was a bit apprehensive about rotating through the surgery suite, but she, having more faith in me than she should have, encouraged me to “give it a whirl”.  I gave it a whirl alright; right to the ground.  I had one of my biggest pump-knots ever from that experience, not to mention my wounded pride.

The victim, aka patient, was draped and swathed over their entire abdomen, with betadine.  The first incision hadn’t been made and yet, just seeing that poor soul lying there like a corpse, covered in the magenta colored antiseptic, made my head spin.  I sang in my mind, as I often did when I was nervous, Bee-Gees songs.  Something about that beautiful Barry’s falsetto  just calmed me right down.  In this particular case, however, it was ineffective.  The head Operating Room nurse (who was a very formidable character) had placed me nearby, but not close enough to get in the way.  At least that was what she thought.  Every time she looked at me with those sharp, intelligent, hard eyes, I felt like I was five years old and about to get a spanking.  I stood in the exact spot she put me and didn’t move an inch; not one single inch.  Up until , that is, the point that I passed out.

The Surgeon, one who was known for his quick temper and blatant intolerance, didn’t even glance in my direction.  I was, as far as he was concerned, little more than a gnat to be swatted away.  He was in his element an he knew it;  reveled in it … a god in his own heaven.  The fact that there was a young nursing student watching his every move just enhanced his already inflated ego and even so,  he still didn’t acknowledge my presence.  I was glad of that because I was, without a doubt, terrified.

I looked at the poor soul that was about to be cut on, saw the red hue of the betadine and felt myself getting warm.  I had never passed out before, so I didn’t recognize the warning signs.  I had no idea how much damage simply collapsing in a heap could cause.

If I had only passed out and fell without incident, I suppose he would have just left me there until he was finished; caring not if I were alive or dead and happy in his existence, either way…  but that isn’t what happened.  At the moment I realized that I was going down, I reached out.  (after all, isn’t that what people do when they realize they are falling?  reach out for something to brace themselves with?)  In this particular case, the thing I caught hold of was THE  sterile tray of items needed for the surgery at hand.  I pulled gauze, instruments and towels to the floor, thus compromising the sterility of everything that would be needed f0r the surgery.  One of the towels landed across part of my face; the instruments and gauze strewn about me.  The spell lasted only, as fainting spells often do, a few seconds.  But my, oh my, the havoc that a few seconds can have  on an already tense situation.

When I woke up (again, after only a few seconds), the surgeon was standing over me, scalpel pointed at the part of my face (namely my eyes) that weren’t covered by the previously sterile towel, screaming at me to get the #$&% out of his OR and ensuring me that if I ever came back to his operating suite, he would strangle me with his own hands and laugh while I was being buried.  Being young, green and very impressionable, I did the only thing I could think of to do; I started crying.  That pissed him off even more and I learned a whole slew of new words.  Some of them, nearly thirty years later, I still don’t know the meaning of.

Needless to say, I was banned, for all eternity, from the OR and had to spend an extra three weeks (I’m now convinced it was solely as punishment) in Pediatrics just to get enough clinical hours to get me through Nursing School.  By some miracle, I graduated, passed my boards and ended up actually making a living as a nurse.

I became less squeamish as years passed and tasks that had to be don were less daunting. Other than watching someone be hacked on, I found could tolerate many gruesome things.  As I get older, though, and I am older for that experience happened more than 25 years ago, I find myself becoming  squeamish again.  More often than not these days,  I find it’s hard not to gag at the myriad of things that people bring to “show the nurse”.  There are things I don’t need to see, things I don’t need to hear and things I wish I never knew existed.  These days, my least favorite phrase is “ears!” for God knows that the things that grow in people’s ears is as close to Hell as one can come without actually getting burned.

I am not thwarted, though, because unless I am discovered as a writer or photographer, I can retire in  another 100 years.  Wait, I’ll be dead by then and I won’t have to worry about it anymore and the fear of humiliation will be noting more than a bad memory.

We learn things as we go through life.  Things that make us stronger, more secure or simply cut us off at the knees and then kick us while we are bleeding out in front of the spectators.  I still sing Bee-Gees songs when I get nervous about something and I still wonder, at times, if this will be the moment when I hit the floor.  It is, if nothing else, an adventure in itself, but I’m finding the adventure to be less adventurous and more arduous as time passes.  But, like I said, in 100 years, I can retire.  I am counting the minutes.

Soaring

Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far; far, far away from here ~ Jenny in Forrest Gump

Those unexpected moments …

always seem to happen at the least convenient time.  I was just about to clock out at work today and meet an old friend for dinner.  We hadn’t seen each other in over a year and were going to celebrate our birthdays; mine near the end of November and hers three weeks later.

Just as I was gathering my things, I got a text from my mom telling me that my sister and cousin had been in a wreck and were at the hospital.  Needless to say, all thoughts of meeting up with old friends flew out the window.  Two distinct images came into my mind: first, her Mercedes, crumpled and broken; second, my nieces in the back seat.  As it turned out, she wasn’t driving the car but the Suburban and thankfully, prayerfully in gratitude, the girls weren’t with her.

After reaching my mom on the phone, I was able to discern that there were scans and xrays being performed and I made haste to get to the hospital.  It never changes.  That feeling of heading toward the hospital uncertain of what you’ll find when you get there.  You have details, but they are sketchy and leave way too much room for fodder.  Then there is the clerk at the desk who has to ask five times for the name of the person you are looking for so he can find them in the computer.  At long last the magic doors to the bowels of the ER are opened and I am allowed entrance.

Why should this time be any different than any other time I had been there?  The moment I walked through the doors, I was lost.  There were so many halls and numbered rooms, glass from floor to ceiling with only a curtain to stretch across to protect the inside from prying eyes.  It always makes me feel odd to walk those halls with, obviously, no clue where I am going and have people who know, obviously, that I have no clue where I’m going and yet just pass me by.

After wandering around for a bit, I found my sister in a room with the date of 1/3/2012 on the dry erase board on the wall.   She was lying flat of her back with a cervical collar snugly in place, the wires going in every direction and quite unhappy with the whole situation.  She wasn’t on a backboard and the way she kept moving about, I figured she was ok, otherwise, she would have been somewhat restrained.

More than an hour passed and she asked to go to the bathroom.  She was told she was not allowed to get up but that she could use the bedpan.  She looked at the nurse as though she had suddenly blurted out a mouthful of profanity.  No thank you was the response to the bedpan.  And time passed.  The Xrays that were supposed to have been back nearly an hour before were not.  My sister’s allowance to get out of bed hinged on the results of those Xrays.  If she could get out of bed, she could get to the bathroom.  And time passed.  Finally, my prissy sister decided that she really had no choice but to ask for a bedpan.  It seemed to be an uneventful and successful undertaking until a few moments later, when she asked me “is this bed wet?”.   I burst out laughing.  I simply could not help myself.  I’m not proud of it, but simply had no control over it.  Later, we all laughed about it because not only does my sister know she’s prissy, she’s proud of it.  I’m just glad everyone is, although sore and creaky, unharmed.  Thank God.

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Psalms 103:1 ~ Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Officially now, into the New Year …

my heart is full of dreams, hopes and fantastical wishes.  My imaginings are more vivid than they have ever been and I feel that surely, I am closer than I was before to reaching that which stirs me.  Even as these pleasing thoughts fill my head and pump through the blood in my veins, filling every cell in my body, I realize, rather disillusioned, that they didn’t reach every cell.

In the background, a chill passes across the recall in my mind and I am, momentarily taken  back to last year.  It was a hard year.  A year full of sickness, injury, tragedy, death and loss.  Not just mine, but the people I know personally; my family and friends as well as those I simply ran across on any given day. I found myself in unusual circumstances and, much of it, even with my annoying (I’m often told) optimism which goes a long way in making me who I am, was hard.

It was harder on others I know, the brokenness they had to face, the loss  –  a dad who lost a brother, an aunt who lost a husband, a daughter who lost a daddy a granddaughter who lost a grandfather; all the same man.  And a friend who lost someone beloved to them, someone inspirational.  Friends, good ones, are irreplaceable.

Multiple people, my mother included, seriously injured themselves in a fall and I, myself injured myself moderately from two separate falls.  Patients come into the office I work and they are hobbling in on canes, crutches; with black eyes and busted ribs.  I fell on the curb.  I fell down the steps.  I tripped on a rug.  I slipped in water.  I got my feet caught in a cord on the floor.  I tripped over a Basset hound.  I find it a bit incredulous that I know so many people who had falls last year.

I’m not going to dwell, though.  I just thought it worth remembering, one last time, how many things God helped me through last  year and to remind myself that He’s the same as He was.

Now, back to more pleasing imaginings.

acornsandleaves

falling without grace…

there is a wrong way and another wrong way.  Nobody (except maybe stunt people) gets up one morning and says to themselves, “today, i believe I will trip over something ridiculous and break half the bones in my body simply for the fun of it”.  I can’t think of a single normal person who hopes for such maladies.  I’m sure there are others who will be glad to see November end, but I feel that I want it very badly and am anxiously awaiting the stroke of midnight tonight.  While the date on the calendar has little to do with karma, fate, cosmos or other things that have little to do with anything and everything to do with nothing, they can certainly cause an immediate attitude adjustment.

I spend much of my time hiking and simple climbing over rocks and through crevices, sliding down hills and holding myself upright with trees because the trail I am on is too steep to stand otherwise.  I’ve had minor incidents on these rambles, bruises and sprain or two, but it took much more simple, mundane and downright boring ways for me to actually put myself out of commission with injuries.

I have gone my entire life with only two serious falls that caused great distress over breaking things.  The first happened when I was somewhere around the age of ten.  My mother had just bought me these incredibly great bracelets.  They were colorful and at least an inch wide each.  There were three of them and they were great; I could scarcely wait to show them off at school the next day.  As it happened, however, I was walking upright, as humans often do, and just fell over. Tripped over an imaginary line and fell down the patio steps. I skinned my knees and elbows pretty badly, but that was not the worst of the incident.  I broke my bracelets, all of them, and actually cried over them.  The second, which was much more serious, resulted from a slip in the shower and nearly destroyed my ankle. I remember threatening my (now late) husband that if he called the paramedics before I was dressed, it would be himself who needed immediate emergency care.  Thanks to an exceptional Orthopedic surgeon, I can’t even tell that it was ever broken (except when going through a metal detector; that still requires much explanation and often being pulled aside for questioning).

This month, however, the record has been, like my poor body, shattered.  Did I fall while climbing the treacherous trail to the white rocks?  No.  Was it while descending the winding rock steps to my favorite falls?  No.  Did I do it while standing at the edge of a 2,000 foot drop, inches from the edge, just to get the perfect photograph?  No.  Mayhaps by climbing the steep, shaded so usually slick hill to the cabin behind our property.  No, not that either.  I did it first by tripping over my niece’s Basset  Hound and, just as those broken bones and stitches were healing, secondly by tripping over an open dishwasher door.  Not only are these very boring ways to seriously injure oneself, it makes it hard for people who ask what happened to hold in their snickers.

They may as well laugh about it; I do.  The alternative is to have a continuous pity-party and make myself feel worse than I do by reminding myself that, until clearance is given from the current orthopedic surgeon, I am unable to steady my camera with it’s heavy zoom lens with my left arm.  Being the bad patient I am, when the moon was so beautiful the other night, I decided to blow off his recommendations and take some shots of the moon.  As wonderful as the  high of photographing something so magnificent was, the doc was right.  It was excruciating.  But man, oh, man, I did get some great moon and Jupiter shots!  Some pain is just plain worth it.

While my broken nose is healing, my fractured ribs are less slowly trying to  send me over the edge, the chipped kneecap doesn’t squeak quite so much, the progress with my shoulder is much slower.  The feel of that bone moving around makes me sick and when I get sick, my ribs hurt and my collarbone threatens to go on strike and stop doing its part to hold my head where it has been all my life.

I guess the moral of this story of the wrong way and the other wrong way to fall is to just not fall to begin with.  I’m convinced that if I didn’t get as much exercise as I do traipsing around the countryside, strengthening my muscles and bones, it would have been much, much worse.  As it is, three broken and one chipped bone, a busted mouth, a scar worthy of acceptance into the Klingon clan scar directly between my eyes, gashed chin and a separated shoulder joint has been an eye opening experience.  These events tell me that is safer to climb a steep, slippery trail with big rocks and little leverage than it is to walk across my own (flat) driveway or through my own (also flat) house. To cheer myself, I had planned to head to the mountains tomorrow, however, this being the height of hunting season, it would be just my luck (as the streak has already shown itself to be targeting me personally) to have a stray bullet find its way into my skull as I drove along the winding mountain roads.    For those who laugh at the escapades, don’t feel bad.  Laughter is the best way to get through difficult situations and I have no problem poking a bit of fun at myself.  Have had many laughs up to now because looking back, it was pretty funny.  It’s still quite painful, but is beginning to be more funny than painful.  The downside to that; it hurts to laugh.  I find myself impatient to get back to the difficult, dangerous climbs and trail shoots so that I will be, once again, safe and sound.

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