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).

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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!

Anxiety about nothing

The last few weeks I have been scanning my parents photo albums. After my dad passed I started the project, and did several of them before my mom passed five months later. At that point I grabbed all of the photo albums I could out of their house so I could scan the remaining photos.

Fast forward almost a year and I spent the last two weeks scanning the remaining 7 albums (for a total of 13 albums plus about 220 free floating photos). The ended up with me having about 2,600 photos. With many duplicates in various conditions. Because there was so many albums I didn’t want to sort first, so I just scanned everything.

Yep, I am that old.

Currently I am now trying to determine what to do with those photos. The photos were incredibly important to my family growing up. We were homeless (as in living in a car, in a tent and even under plastic over a picnic table) for years and yet we somehow kept the photo albums (with few losses). We lost everything else we ever owned (other than maybe a couple of Christmas decorations that were important…) ya not sure why that now but it seemed logical growing up.

Yes, even here we had 5 or 6 albums that went everywhere with us.

I know I will keep a copy of all the photos put away. I will send a copy of them to each of my siblings and the one niece who wants them. But I am not sure what to do with my non-backup copy, the one that I will use.

I realize the first idea is why not keep them? After all, they all easily fit on my phone with everything else, let alone the computer. However there are a lot of photos that have no meaning to me in themselves. They are random landscapes I don’t remember (probably taken my dad in the last forty years randomly), people I never met, and places I don’t recognize. Meaning they don’t really have a place with me.

I am really trying to keep my belongings minimal, to what is important. I know logically the 2,600 photos from there, plus an additional 3,000 photos I have on my computer (and stacks and stacks of photos the hubby and I took the first 15 years of marriage that we never put into computer (before digital cameras were a thing and always put off scanning them). Besides, I don’t know or recognize much of those photos.

Yet why do I feel like I am committing some sort of atrocity by not keeping copies in my computer/phone (but they are in the backup)? It has bothered me a lot the last few days. I also realize I am probably bothered most by going through the photos and seeing my mom and dad and working through the grief still of their loss. It probably wasn’t something I was prepared for yet, but I want to make sure everything is scanned so an accident doesn’t happen and wipe out those photos.

So here I am, just sharing a pointless anxiety that has caused me to go without sleep. Even now writing about it I feel calmer, and more and more its ok to not keep pictures of random people I don’t know and have no relation to me.

 

 

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

Surgery Trip: Day 5

Day 5 was relegated to just a few things due to the hubby getting out of the surgical center.

I woke up fairly early and was tired but happy. I was excited to bring him back with me today. I wasn’t up very long before the hubby was chatting at me on iMessage. We both have been missing each other so I wanted to get into the hospital early to talk and hang with him until he checked out.

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I found the hotel pretty this morning, but I couldn’t tell you what color that is. So here is a color photo for you!

On my way to the surgical center I decided I wanted to try a local coffee shop, I asked Wolsey if he wanted some and he said no. It looked a lot like a coffee shop in Seattle. The name was Echo Coffee, and while I won’t say it “wowed” me with the coffee, it was acceptable (if not quite hot enough).

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God I am a coffee snob.

When I got to the surgical center I found the hubby gossiping to the nurse. He was telling the nurse about the incident that occurred in Philadelphia, between me and a “barista”. It wasn’t bad, but it was pretty funny.

When I was in Philadelphia for work training,  I went to this small bodega (really small) that sold coffee. I asked for a large cup of black coffee and they handed it to me. I took a sip, and before I could even think about it I had said “NOPE!” and in one motion handed it back to the cashier. It had to have been on the burner for hours.

It was a horrible burnt coffee. I feel I wasn’t being picky, it was just foul. The cashier seemed confused on why I didn’t like the coffee. Before I could say a word, one of the other people in my training in Philadelphia said without prompting, “Oh he is from Seattle” as if that was all that was needed.

The weird thing is the cashier gave me my money back, apologized and when I came in later that morning had fresh coffee. I still felt bad I had said nope and handed it back to them before I had even consciously registered it.

I met with the hubby and he was in his normal good spirits again.

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When I say good spirits, that means in his mode of “fuck you for taking a picture” look 🙂

The rest of the day consisted of me going back home, because they weren’t ready to release him, then coming back to the hospital and talking to the doc. He was less interested in talking about the hubby’s surgery and more about bicycling in Phoenix 105 degree weather. That is a good sign that the hubby is doing great.

We eventually got checked out of the surgical center, grabbed some fast food and the hubby waddled into the room and crawled in bed. I eventually ended up joining him, and for the first time in a very long 56 hours, I got to lay beside the most important person in the world.

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Yep, that is him on the left, me on the right. I am just happy to be there.

The rest of the day and evening consisted of hanging around the room. The next few days will probably not have much happen as he lays down and heals.

I am so damn happy to have him back. I don’t think I could explain enough.

Surgery Trip: Day 4

Day 4 has come and gone and it was less exciting then other days.

The morning started out bright, sunny and warm. I believe it was 79 degrees when I went to visit the hubby in the morning around 6am. I know it was pretty, and I can tell there should be color there, but unfortunately for me it is pretty grey. However, for your enjoyment the photo is color.

At 79 degrees, too damn warm at 6am.

Today was fantastic. The hubby was rested up a bit more, he was feeling pretty good and was more talkative. He still occasionally drifted off, but we spent a lot of time on and off. I ended up going over I think it was four times. I would stay for an hour or two, come back to the hotel room. I would have stayed longer but I think I was having heat issues, it is too damn hot.

He was in pretty good spirits, must still be sick 😉

I went and picked up some lunch/dinner between third and fourth visit. Wolsey had mentioned people don’t buy ice cream and go home with it when they eat out, that it melts too soon. I will be honest, I thought that was bullshit, so I went and ordered two cheeseburgers and a small shake from McDonalds. I was in an air conditioned car (that was chilly), went through drive through and went straight home. The shake was in good shape when I stopped at the hotel. I got out and walked about 40 feet to the door to inside the hotel, then another 100 feet, I  got back to the hotel room and it was completely melted. I had been proven wrong, and hubby was completely right.

Torie did feed Ghost tonight as well, she sent a picture, evidently tonight was not as good. We have five more nights to go, but he will be ok, probably just a little feral. I am grateful that Torie is doing this, he would have been so much worse in a kennel.

So damn fragile.

I collapsed in bed and napped a little. Then went back and visited him for the final time. I got back and was anxious that he wasn’t there so I did some Order of Battle let’s play (military strategy game). I then crawled in bed and was completely exhausted.

Oh, and I was awoken by HBO playing Crimson Peaks, and one of the spirits was screaming, ya that wasn’t fun.

Surgery Trip: Day 2

The first full day in Scottsdale and I woke up and wandered around outside. It was a chilly 78 degrees (sarcasm) but a beautiful sunrise.

I can’t see any different sunrise colors, just a pale yellow for me, but I figure I will leave it color for those non-colorblind people.

There are a lot of businesses around our hotel. The Lo-Lo’s I talked about yesterday, a Denny’s, a horrible Albertson’s that didn’t have anything we needed and an old school Safeway. The most unique thing I forget is in other states is the over advertisement for guns. Especially when they offer to sell you guns, and give you loans in the same place. Seems weird to be desperate enough to need to get a loan, but hey, while you are here go ahead and buy a gun. I realize this is in Seattle area as well, but not nearly as common.

Guns and loans (especially title loans) somehow not making me feel safe.

We then went to the hubby’s pre-op appointment and spoke with Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley. It was great to see them again. The Doctors both checked the hubby and everything was good to go. We then got to meet Dr. Webb, the OBGYN that will be doing the hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy. I was amused by Dr. Webb, he seems pretty laid back. Overall seeing all three doctors really reassured me.

He is so thrilled, and I am excited for him.

We didn’t do much the rest of the day. We went back to the hotel room, napped a bit and waited for the hubby to start his prep for surgery. While we were there, our friend Torie was kind enough to go feed Ghost (our cat). Here he is waiting in the hubby’s computer chair, disappointed we haven’t come home.

He is fragile, this is actually pretty brave of him.

Finally at 5pm it was time for the hubby to start his preparation for the surgery, it involved a very uncomfortable drink and a long night. Here he is looking anxious about the process,

That was it for the second day. Tomorrow he goes into surgery, and things will progress. I am both excited and terrified for him. I also love him more than anything in this universe.