Category Archives: facial injury

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”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As a nurse …

and thinking as such, I think it is safe to say that every now and again, nurses wake up one morning and ask themselves why in the hell they ever decided to do this job.  It is thankless.  It is, at times, backbreaking.  It is confrontational.  It is humbling.  It is rewarding.  It is unbearable.  It is heartbreaking.  It is encouraging. It is maddening.

When I first became a nurse, we still wore hats, all whites (including hose) and really and truly believed that Doctors were a god of sorts.  Many young nurses I have come into contact with have been enamored by the “hat statement” … but then they never had one fall off into a bedpan.  There aren’t enough  bobbie pins in the world to keep a hat securely in place when you are bending over doing lord knows what to lord knows where.  I was never so glad of anything as I was when hats became a thing of the past.

I don’t want to portray the opinion that I don’t like being a nurse.  I do, for the  most part, but I feel that I have reached a place that many nurses reach after many years of seeing things, even as they change, stay the same; burnout.  I find that I have to work harder to really listen.  I roll my eyes more, wish I were somewhere else more, hope that I win the lottery more.  I think it is safe to say that I have all the signs.  I have a wanderlust that eats away at me.  I want to be so many other places than where I am.  I know that I have the freedom to just get in my car and drive; it is the courage I lack.

I don’t want to carry the responsibility.  I don’t want to bring people home with me in my mind and think about their well-being in the middle of the night.  I want to be selfish and self-centered and think of no one but myself.  I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  The problem lies in the fact that I’m not wired that way.  I don’t really know how to say “you have no importance to me”.  I can’t, in a million years, imagine telling someone that they don’t matter; even people I don’t especially like.

I give it everything I have.  I don’t believe in doing something halfway.  It’s just not what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Sand Cave

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.

whiterocks_trailshoot-150whiterocks_trailshoot-104

Birthdays …

the good, the bad and the indifferent.  Birthdays have always been a very cool thing to me, whether it is mine or someone else’s, I just feel happy.  Most of the time.  This year, my birthday came and went. There was cake and ice-cream, family, friends, co-workers; all the usual birthday suspects.  It was different, though.  This month started out with a fairly serious facial injury and mid-way through, adding insult (and injury) to injury, I fairly seriously injured my shoulder and cracked a couple of ribs.   Now it is no secret to the people who know me well that my mind, in the best of times, is a scary place to be.  During the worst of times, I walk around with a bio-hazard sign flashing above my head.

But, as I so often do, digress.  I can chalk part of it up to the end of October, that which I both long for and dread.  I have a love/hate relationship with that month and it nearly always makes me high.  November, however, is a month of coming to terms with the oncoming winter, saying goodbye to the leaves, hello to the bare sentries of winter and getting ready to be cold more often than not.  And my birthday is this month and that always makes me feel extremely special.  That was not to be this year.  With each new event, there were melancholic thoughts of days past, days that I didn’t care that much for when they were the present.  I thought much of my late husband and felt guilty, at times, that I was ready to let him be at peace and begin the process of getting on with my solitary (as that is how I like it) life.

I don’t discount the many blessings of the last year.  That would be wrong on so many levels.  The blessings have been numerous and I am thankful for each one.  Blessings sometimes get lost in the fray of life, though. I have family suffering from the loss of a loved one, dear friends that I am unable to account for and dealing with turning 45.  Any of these would be like turning a page during normal times, but when they all happen at once, well, it weighs on the mind.

Did it make my birthday less happy?  Yes.  Life has a way of doing what it wants.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy today, or tomorrow or the next day.  It doesn’t mean that I am beyond hope.  Unhappiness is a part of living and if there is anyone who has lived their entire life saying they have never experienced it, then you have seen, up close and personal, a liar.

November is nearly over and the round of Christmas parties, Band concerts, Christmas plays and a thousand other things that I will be trying hard to find a place to fit will present themselves, (at the last minute, always at the last minute), and at the same time, working diligently to keep my sanity (a fine line at best).  While it is true that I’m closer to fifty than I was only a couple of days ago, that is the furthest thing on my mind.  I am happier now than I have ever been.  Free, so to speak, with a daughter in college and myself on my own.  But there are times, as everyone knows, when it would be nice just to have someone put their arms around me, saying nothing as I cry until the tears were gone.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is not a sign of weakness, but proof of humanness; it is life.  It can be, at times discouraging, but in that moment that we find ourselves, unless we make it our mission, will not last forever.  I am already looking forward to doing it better and with more enthusiasm in the next year; whatever “it” may be.  I am a survivor and no matter what comes at me, I can depend on the Jesus to which I cling to lift me when my wings are too broken to fly on my own.  I am truly, humbly, honorable and indescribably blessed and that, I don’t want to forget.

Looking at the here and now can sometimes be overwhelming … but the here and now will be the there and then tomorrow, so don’t let it break you.  Let it get you down, cry when you need to, throw things if it suits you (my favorite thing to do in a crisis), but at the end of the day, realize that our life, our thoughts, our fears are part of what makes us who we are and without them, we wouldn’t really be anyone in particular, but like everyone else.  I like being different, even when it’s painful.  Though I have many regrets, there isn’t anything I would change because if I were to change them, my ability to relate and empathize would become obsolete.  An easy life is no challenge, but rising above the odds and making the best of the worst situations takes us to a whole new level.  It is my goal to serve my Lord and be the best that I can be for Him.   Be encouraged, my friends, for nothing lasts forever.  Nothing.

Lightning over Big Moccasin

Psalms 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart is trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will praise him.

What on Earth …

happened to your face?  I can see the question in their eyes even as they cast quick and surreptitious glances in my direction.  But they never actually ask it.  They simply stare, amazed at the disfigurement and damage on someone’s face.  The face.  The first thing, unless you’re a pervert, that one notices.  It is either the eyes, the mouth, the shape of the chin.  It is human nature to see and analyze a face in mere moments.  There is an immediate response that says good, bad, friendly, sweet, ugly, beautiful, distrustful, untrustworthy, hot, homely, dirty, weird, sneaky, seeking, loving, sad, angry, hurt, happy, joyful and a myriad of others.  There is no point in denying that I have done the same; wanted to know what had happened to cause something, some disfigurement, but was too afraid to ask.  Afraid of all manner of things; confrontation, ignominy, silence, isolation.  But no more will I be afraid to ask because in this place of disfigurement-induced  insecurity I speak of, I have recently visited.

Three days ago, I was walking from my house to my parents’ house (they weren’t there, but my sister and brother were.  My brother is my sister’s husband.  I don’t have a blood brother, but if I did, he would be just like Chris.  But I digress).  I didn’t realize as I was “gawking along” ( as Granny Minton would say), that my sister’s Bassett pups were around.  I would most definitely have paid more attention.  What happened is this; I tripped over one of the pups and,  as it befell so fast and not having adequate time to throw arms out to brace my fall, fell, face first onto the gravel driveway. (the pup, by the way, was unharmed)

I was certain, as I immediately began to feel the blood pour (and knew that if I saw it, I would faint dead away), that my nose was broken and likely some teeth were missing.  I went into the house and freaked my sister and brother out.  I was a mess and I was very afraid that I was going to be sick just thinking about it.  Funnily enough, after I rinsed with water, the nurse in me took over.  I knew when I looked at the gash between my eyes that it needed stitches, but I, being as nurses are (stubborn and self-sufficient to a fault), thought I could just throw some Steri-Strips on there and be good.  Luckily for me, I couldn’t find my stash and my sister, bless her soul, drove me to the ER.  Five stitches and close to a third of the skin on my face in a clean line from mid-forehead to chin later, I am wondering what the heck happened and know, without doubt, that God protected me from more serious injury. I know with absolute certainty that it could have been much, much worse.

A few people did ask and I was relieved to know that there were people who look at my face and wonder what happened; then ask.  It usually brought a bit of sympathy with a dash of humor.  I don’t hold it against the pup.  She was just doing what she does.  But the next time I want to know what happened to somebody, I’m going to ask them.  The worst they can do is tell me to mind my own.  I don’t want to be only a bystander.  I want to be a part of the humor, the pain, the embarrassment, the insecurity and in the midst of all that, I hope to be, on some small scale, an encouragement.