Last week or so

This last week or so I have been held up at home, unable to go many places due to the walking boot, broken foot and a lot of swelling.

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Bruising is least painful part

Not that it is a big deal, it looks like since its an on the job injury I might get paid for my downtime, although the Department of Defense doesn’t use the normal Washington State Labor and Industry Insurance, which means they use the US Department of Labor instead.

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This requires an MD to sign off on everything. The sad part about this, is this is not how medical services work. Nowadays most interactions are with Physician Assistants (PAs), Nurse Practitioner’s (NP, or ARNP in WA State) or straight up RN’s who do the hard work.

Their signatures (the non-MDs) are acceptable for anyone else evidently, except the Department of Labor. So I had to go back yesterday to the ER to have a doctor countersign the paperwork from the day of my break, and now that they countersigned I may need to go back and do more with the doctor, who never saw me or my case (and that is normal, they use the lower paid staff to do most of the work, unless its life threatening I am assuming).

In addition this week brought some highs and lows with the injury.

The high was once again seeing how lucky I am to be married to my husband. He wants to take care of me, and even when I annoy him because I am not the world’s best patient, he still shrugs it off, loves me and is willing to go out of his way. I am damn lucky to be with him and I love him more than anything.

He was willing to drive me anywhere, go anywhere for me, or just listen to me whinge about my foot. He is absolutely amazing.

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The low was realizing this was the first major injury or incident that I didn’t have my parents clucking over me and worried about me. It was a little depressing to not get the constant phone calls checking on me, worrying about me or reassuring me.

I realize I am a 46 year old man, but it was crushing to only get silence when I normally would get a hubbub of concern, and love. I realize the hubby gives more than enough, and this doesn’t take from that at all. I know part of it was my parents were fairly young (they would only be 68 and 67 this year) and it has only been a little over a year since they passed.

The hubby is my only close support network left, and honestly while I have a lot of friends to help (and who always are there if I ask), no one else is close enough at the moment that I can let in to fill that.

I anticipate there will still be scattered feelings like this that might lessen over time, but I know from talking to my parents in the last couple of years that even as they approached 70 they felt the same. No one told me this growing up, that there is no switch that clicks and makes you different. You are still that 17 year old that wants your parents affection, doesn’t want to deal with people’s bullshit and who hates being stuck in situations that you don’t like.

That has been my week (other than playing Max Payne 3).

Max_Payne_3_Cover

Not A Lucky Day Today

Today was a bit rough. I got to work, getting ready to work through a sample plan for an audit I was on. I walked over to my cubicle, turned and pivoted on my left ankle, and the next thing I knew I was smashing off my desk as I fell, barely stopping my head being smacked by holding out my left hand.

Me in the cubicle of shame. Not this day though.

I laid there for a few moments, stunned, picked myself up and planted myself in my chair. I sat there for a few moments with a burning foot. One of my coworkers named Bill came over to check on me. He joked around, ribbing me for the fall. I pulled my shoe and sock off and noticed a huge lump on my foot.

Within 15 minutes I was surrounded by two supervisors, our Resident Auditor (think a full manager of the office) and four or five auditors (a revolving mix) all checking on me. During this time it got even more swollen. Eventually it was decided one of my supervisors would drive me to the ER. The problem is, the defense contractor we work at is a huge city size campus. The building we are in is larger than a football field and there was no way I could walk anywhere.

One of the supervisors called the paramedics (the contractor has their own in house fire department and paramedics) and the paramedics were there within a few minutes. They were nice guys, supplied with top of the line equipment and began the process of taking my vitals. They were prepping me to put my ankle in a fancy new air splint design I hadn’t seen before.

As they were taking my numbers, they asked which hospital I wanted to go to. Evidently the Contractor provides free transport to medical facilities for their employees. This is when we point out that I am not a defense contractor employee, rather I am a federal employee who audits them. They immediately put away the splint and wrapped my foot in a older pillow with some ice… I am not joking when I said that, the hubby got to see the pillow when I was at the ER.

First ambulance, with a pillow wrapped around my foot.

In addition they couldn’t take me to the hospital, but they didn’t want to release me to my supervisor so she could take me. Because we weren’t “employees” they couldn’t drive, but they had some BS excuse that they couldn’t release me to someone with less medical experience. This means they called a second ambulance company (a third party) to come get me and take me to the ER.

Second non-contractor ambulance, actually going to hospital.

Fast forward an hour, I had been transferred between two ambulances and arrived at a local hospital. There they x-rayed my ankle and foot and it came back with a break. They are a little worried about the placement of the break (a Jones Break I believe) so had me set up an appointment with an orthopedic specialist on Friday. Meanwhile I am not allowed to do any weight bearing at all on my foot as they put in a temporary fiberglass cast.

Xray Time
Emergency Room Waiting
FInal situation “temporary cast”

So here I am back home, a little drugged up, with an ankle sprained and swollen and a broken foot, out of work at least for the rest of the week, blowing my saved up leave. Hopefully I won’t need surgery, I need this healed before the hubby’s surgery in November. Oh, and please excuse any meanderings on this post, I am under those pesky pain meds… because this does hurt a lot.

Ghost does not approve! Not of my injury at all!

Phoenix Surgery Trip #1

In May 2017 we went down to Phoenix Arizona for the hubby’s first portion of his bottom surgery. he did really well and I am very proud of him and who he has become. So this is many of those photos/videos that we took down there.

 

MoPOP Museum Trip (2/11/17).

On February 11, 2017 my husband Wolsey, my friend Dunk and myself went to the Museum of Pop Culture, it used to be known as the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP) (see the site at https://www.mopop.org/).

I found the trip fun overall, I love hanging with my hubby and friends. We only went and saw the Sci-Fi museum portion of the MoPop. I personally am not interested in music, so we didn’t touch that portion at all. While we were there we took pictures of some of the items. They had a Star Trek exhibit, which like the Battlestar Galactica exhibit we explored years ago, was overhyped and sort of a disappointment to me.

I think it isn’t that it doesn’t represent good things, but rather I live with someone who can make costumes by hand and almost all of the costumes they used for the shows/movies/etc were not up to the hubby’s skills. Now a point of order, they don’t have to be, because the filming won’t catch the problems. You only see the disappointing stuff in person (well and on HD now).

So here are my pictures and video:

Surgery Trip: Final Day

Well the final day of the surgery came and went. It started out hopeful, the hubby woke up feeling pretty good, the swelling was down, our hopes were up and life was good.

The pool looked beautiful, too bad it was too hot to use it this week.
It was almost 95 degrees when we left at 9:30am

 

The checkout went smooth, took a final couple of pictures and then we went to Dr. Meltzer’s for our final appointment with him and Dr. Ley. It went very well, both doctors thought the hubby was looking very good for the time in healing he had. It was about now that being up and moving for the first time in almost a week, he was feeling sort of rough.

so very tired, and sore.

Once he was given the full approval by both doctors we headed to what would be the trial for the day, our flight home. We arrived almost three hours early just in case. In that time we encountered the following issues that started by dropping the car off at Alamo. It seemed to take forever, then it was a long ass walk for the husband over to the bus, then to the terminal. Especially with his need to utilize the restroom frequently due to spasms from the surgery, and his first time walking in a week it was so rough for him, I felt really bad.

that car rental building is huge

Once we arrived at security things just went downhill from there. We got pulled over for TSA inspection. We forgot in the journey to the empty his water bottle, and of course the couple in front of us threw a fit and because of that fit, they got hauled to the side and inspected by the officers. The TSA agent behind the scanner then seemed to pick out the next three groups in retaliation, which included us and two people in wheel chairs. All of us got scanned, and thats where the TSA agent found our water bottle and we had to throw it away. It wasn’t a big deal, but we lost a nice $14 water bottle because of that dick.

There was a lot of waiting, so caffeine was in order.

We then arrived at the gate and waited almost two hours, to find out our flight got moved to a different gate. When they landed they couldn’t board because they had to wait for maintenance to refill an O2 canister for a medkit. AN HOUR LATER they announced we would be almost 90 minutes late boarding. I don’t blame the pilot/crew, they were arguing with maintenance over getting it done quick enough, but damn it sucked.

This was how we felt for that time.

Once we got on to the plane (over 90 minutes late) we settled into a super hot plane that had been sitting on the tarmac in 107 degree heat. Evidently the battery used to power the AC when the plane was powered down was missing, so there was no AC when we got on board. Poor hubby was suffering really bad, all of this, plus the exertion had hit him hard, also his pain meds had worn off.

Yes, we stared at this plane for over 90 minutes so they could figure out how to fill an O2 canister right.
Stuck in a hot plane, for another 20 minutes.
Just starting to move along the runway.

We flew back to Seattle, with W and I watching Cuthroat Island on his iPad. It was a great distraction, and nice to bond with the hubby even when everyone else was around us. We landed after having a semi-decent cold dinner.

Arriving in Seattle, how we have missed those trees.
upon takeoff we did get to see downtown Phoenix.

Once we landed, we immediately found a cab available (Lyft had too long of a wait, and I won’t give a dime to Uber). The cab took us home, but it also didn’t have AC on and we almost died in that car from heat stroke (ok, that may be hyperbole, but you will never get me to admit it).

Once we got home, we had to spend about 30 minutes with the cat, he thought we had abandoned him. He hadn’t gone without both of us for that long ever. However, he was quick to fall back in love with us. While W bonded with the cat, I went and got us some Panda Express, because dear god I am not cooking when it was almost 8pm and we were exhausted.

Someone missed us.
Didn’t take long to get better.
Then it was a journey of food.

We ended up the night in our bed for the first time in 9 days. It was glorious, although the trip itself was definitely worth it as well. Also, the hubby and the cat spent some important time together.

The hubby and cat are one.

How does Phoenix rank for LGBTQA Experience?

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I have to admit it, right now my experiences in other cities dealing with the LGBTQA thing hasn’t been super good. Philadelphia was good, Denver kind of sucked, Atlanta really sucked, so coming to Phoenix I was pretty sure it would be the same.

It wasn’t, overall it was a good experience, barring one funny negative experience that really wasn’t negative.

Our arrival in Phoenix was marked by a rare homophobic event. We were in line at Alamo Car Rental, and ahead of us we watched a couple get harassed by an Alamo agent. He was pushing the “walk away” insurance, and all the extra things. He was pushing it hard enough that it made the rest of the line nervous.

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It was our turn, as we stepped up I braced for the selling pitch. He began a long spiel of why we needed the walk away insurance, that Arizona law lets them claim for lost days if the car was damaged, etc etc. It was then my wonderful husband spoke up and asked me a question, but used the term “sweetie” for me.

The guy froze, his head went back and forth between us, and without any further mention he has me sign off the contract and we walk away without him saying a word. So while it sucked he obviously had a problem that two guys were together, it worked in our favor and the spiel stopped.

i-hate-the-word-homophobia

Our next encounter was at the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Once again most of the staff were older people, so we were prepared to get a hard time. When our tour guide Judith arrived to give the tour, my fears blossomed. She was an older, conservative appearing woman.

However, she realized fairly soon into the tour (followed by a second tour for a different subject) that the hubby and I were together. Instead of any homophobia, she just talked to us even more. She seemed overjoyed that we liked listening to the tour, and wanted to know the history. It was definitely a great experience, and Judith is a great lady.

Dr. Meltzer’s office of course is super accepting, so we don’t need to go into that, but the Greenbaum surgical center was an unknown. However we arrived there and ALL of the staff were great, accepting of me arriving at any time day or not to visit the hubby. At no point did I not feel welcomed. It was impressive.

The rest of the time there was spent mostly in the hotel room, so the only other people we really saw were the hotel staff and they didn’t blink an eye at us. I don’t know if they were ok with us, but they kept their professional cool if they did.

That means Phoenix ranks a close second behind Philadelphia in my experience in accepting LGBTQA. I am not addressing the governmental/legal standpoint of transgender people here, just my experience with individuals

Of course I am posting this Sunday, a day early from our trip ending, hopefully that won’t change in the next day.

Surgery Trip: Day 6, 7 and 8

I am posting this as a combined post for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is because all we are doing is huddling in the hotel room, hubby is sleeping a lot and we are just waiting for the healing.

I did end up going out to get him food in the 105 degree heat, yes that is how much I love him :).

So all I really have are a few pictures to share.

Friday Morning, someone is sleeping.
Panera bread, so different looking, still so tasty.
More Panera
Friday night was rough for ghost
Saturday quest for food for hubby.
the heat sucked
Saturday night is still not good for Ghost.
Sunday morning

There we go, that was the boring three days. More to come