Friday, October 17, 2014

What odd thoughts come to mind while I unclog a sink...

Yes it's true, my bathroom sink was and still is - clogged.  Not just a mundane, ordinary backup but a dreadful three attempt, curse-at-the-Gods-I-don't-have-the-money-for-a-plumber-pour-the-entire-contents-of-a-bottle-of-clog-dissolver-down-my-sink situation.  It's a doozy my friends.  How did this happen?  I don't know. My hair?  My husband's hair?  Someone else's?  It's a mystery yet to be determined.  So this afternoon, while the nastiness was trying to resolve itself within my cheap pipes, other odd thoughts formulated in my mind apparently to keep me from getting further grossed out from the situation at hand.

I mentioned the other day during my PodCast how I'd once broken my ankle by tripping over a sprinkler head.  This seems innocent enough until I further explained that the incident could have easily been avoided had I not been so intent on shoveling down a corn dog and soda while walking towards my car.  I was not interested in anything else but getting that hot, greasy corn dog into my mouth.  Admittedly, even though I went down hard, I was able to avoid getting hit by traffic AND did not lose my corn dog OR get a shred of grass on its mustard.  In fact, after being helped to my car, I finished it off on the way to the emergency room. Damn, I love a good corn dog.

Once I recalled this broken ankle story, the rest of my painful broken bone tales started coming to mind. Dear friends and blog readers, my poor body has had its fair share of aches and pains over the years.  Sympathy is always appreciated.

My first fracture was when I was eleven.  I was a tomboy and the "event" occurred during a camping trip with my relatives on Memorial Day weekend.  We were at a beach in Southern California and my two younger cousins and I chose to ignore the warning signs and crawled down the cliffs to the water instead of using the safer but longer route.  It would have been all good and fine; however, my two younger cousins - who happen to be sisters - decided at a most inopportune moment to have a physical confrontation. As they were reaching for each other's throats - I, being the senior member of the illegal rock climbing team, reached over to break up what seemed at the time to be their impending deaths.  They turned out fine.  I; however, fell about ten feet and wedged my right ankle between two boulders.  Oh, the anger and shame!  Why couldn't just one lifeguard carry me out of the cliffs?  NO!  It took a team of four grown men; my uncle, two volunteers, AND the handsome lifeguard who continued to scold me for climbing the cliffs to begin with.

That night, I stayed awake moaning,  "Mom, I think there's something really wrong."

"It's just a bad sprain.  Keep it elevated with an ice bag."

The next morning I was sobbing.  My ankle was black.  Yep.  It was not a sprain but a serious fracture.

The entire summer of my eleventh year, I wore a full cast from my foot to mid thigh.  I was given a walking heel so after three weeks I could step on it (gingerly).  Nope.  I was riding my bike, my skateboard and on my belly collecting guppies from the riverbed.  Neighborhood kids were accusing me of lying saying I didn't have a broken ankle.  They believed I was wearing the cast merely to show off.  Right!  Kids are so stupid.  By the time the plaster was taken off it was green with algae, covered with graffiti, picked off around the toes for easier access to foot itches and the most impressive part was the artwork underneath it.  I'd been developing leg hair that summer and the itching from this and relentless mosquito bites had been awful.  I scratched ruthlessly with pens both capped and uncapped.  My leg was a virtual reeking, hairy etch-o-sketch.  I wish I had thought to have a picture taken.  It was impressive in a very gross way.

My second break was stupid but really, aren't they all?  I was in a hurry and wasn't watching what I was doing.  I took a step down in my mom's garage and missed it.  I knew the moment I fell it was bad.  I heard that sick "pop" sound that doesn't belong when you fall.  I was alone at the time and nowhere near a phone.  It took me forty minutes to pull myself up the garage steps and into the kitchen to pull down the wall phone and dial for help.  What I remember most about this one was while waiting in the ER, another woman was getting her broken big toe set.  When the doctor asked her how she broke it she matter-of-factly said, "I was trying to kick that little son of a bitch (glaring at her young son who was then yanking down something he shouldn't from the wall).  I obviously missed."  The entire emergency room roared with laughter.  I guess there can be a little humor in the pain we inflict upon ourselves.

The next incident happened the day before William was due to join our family.  Eric and I were at Costco running some last minute errands.  I have learned since to start looking where I'm walking but alas, I did not that particular afternoon.  I found the only pothole large enough for my foot to land in, twist and take me down.  Again, I just knew. "Eric, please drive me to the pickin' emergency room, DAMMIT!"  I was confined to a wheelchair for the first three months of William's stay with us.  Again, right ankle.  Always my driving foot.

The next break wasn't my ankle but my pinkie toe on my right foot.  This happened on the first night of our family vacation in over five years.  Yep!  I slammed it on Austynn's cot in the hotel room. That made my walking around Mount Rushmore and all the great National Monuments in South Dakota and Montana a screaming hoot, literally.  This is when I began blaming most of my pain, real or imaginary, on my children.  I feel everyone should have an outlet.

And finally, two years ago I was in a big hurry.  If you're a mother of an autistic child who talks non-stop, you can probably empathize. I had had enough.  Austynn had built a "Lego Masterpiece".  He showed it to me once.  Twice.  Once more.  All of this within a span of three minutes.  Then, he wanted to discuss the mechanics behind it - the details of the colors he used.  THAT WAS IT!  I couldn't take another moment.  I walked away and he was still talking!  This is my life with a chatterbug.  I couldn't escape the rattle from upstairs so I decided to take a tray of dishes downstairs.  Apparently I was in a bigger hurry to get away from his constant drone than I realized because in my rush to get down the stairs, my foot missed a step and I slipped with the tray of dishes and landed on my right side on the tile below and worse, on my right ankle. Within moments, the swelling became so extreme that my sock needed to be removed.   I knew it was broken immediately.  What the doctors didn't realize was that it was much more severe than they could detect on the first x-ray.  It took three days of agony and several scans for them to see the three different fractures.  Because of the odd angle of the breaks, I was told to stay completely off my foot for 3 months with an additional 3 months tacked on at the end.  I needed an aide to come in several times a week to drive me to errands and help me about the house.  Lovely.

Hmmm....such odd thoughts.  I wonder if my clogged drain has finally resolved itself or worse, the chemicals used have burned a hole in those cheap plastic pipes yet?  Maybe I should go the old fashioned route and just use a plunger...ewww...no!  I know where that's been, mainly in the boy's toilet. Well, until the next thought provoking household project arises, be well my friends and watch your step!

P.S.  Never allow your spouse to video tape you while highly sedated on pain medication...