Monday, October 29, 2007

December 25, 2001

Some things change and some don't. Amanda Kay still loves to put on sunglasses and be the center of attention and she still does not wear socks or shoes unless she has to. Me, on the other hand. My hair has now moved from my head to my face!

Although he does not look too excited in this picture, that is my very cool father-in-law to my left (pay no attention to the socks!)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Challenging Myself

I consider myself a very patriotic person. I LOVE America, and I thank God for the freedoms we have here. I believe they are God-given, and reading about the history of the founding of our nation, I believe God's hand was in it. I have always thought of America as a Christian nation, and I have had "issues" those who want to make it otherwise. I have even told people I believe we, American Christians, have a responsibility to be good stewards of the blessing God has given us in this Christian nation.

I was shocked when a friend (Stephen, you probably know who you are) suggested that Jesus might not hold this same view. I used some of the above arguments with him. And then I read The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey and I was again challenged. Yancey pointed out Jesus never put up "us/them" barriers (a gross over-simplification of what he said, but it's what really hit me). And in my frequent visits to and discussions at Rant and Reason (the Humanist blog), sometimes I find it difficult to maintain some of the "Christian nation" assertions and not put up an "us/them" wall.

So I saw this book, The Myth of a Christian Nation, on sale at Mardel the other day. Here's what I read on the back of the book:

When the kingdom of God is manifested, it will wear the face of Jesus Christ. And that, says author Gregory Boyd, has never been true of any earthly government or power. Through close examination of Scripture and lessons drawn from history, Dr. Boyd argues that evangelical Christians who align themselves too closely with political causes or declare that they want to bring America "back to God" are actually doing harm - both to the body of Christ and society in general.

Boyd shows how Jesus taught us to seek a "power-under" kingdom, where greatness is measured by sacrifice and service. There are no sides or enemies because we are meant to embrace and accept everyone. In The Myth of a Christian nation, Dr. Boyd challenges readers to return to the true love of Calvary and the message of the cross - setting the "power over" politics of worldly government aside.

Wow. These thoughts raise a lot of questions in my mind, but I find it interesting that God seems to keep bringing me back to this issue. So I'm letting myself be challenged and reading the book. I'm pretty sure the book is going to raise more questions for me, but I'm kinda excited because I feel I have begun a journey.

Don't I Wish

I love motorcycles. I got my first motorcycle when I was 16. It was actually my Mom's bike, and it was an automatic at that! It was a little better than a hyped up moped! After Brooke and I got married, I got a Kawasaki 500 (I don't remember the model). It was a shaft-driven bike and I was happy with it. About the time we found out Brooke was pregnant, it was also time to have some work done on the bike. Selling the bike and using the money for the new baby seemed like a better idea than spending money to work on the bike, so I sold it. I've kept my motorcycle license current just in day.

Well, this is not the day and no, this is not my bike. A number of guys rode their bikes to the men's retreat last week and they were kind enough to let me take them for a spin. This is my friend Randy's Katana. Quite a nice bike. Made me realize how much I miss having a motorcycle of my own.

Say Cheese!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Discernible Difference

This is a new phrase I came up with today. It describes too much of what I did today.

My ToDo list was already depressing. There was no way I was going to get it all done, not to mention that the even length of my list did not begin to represent the time that was needed to complete a couple big projects I have to do.

You've heard of the tyranny of the urgent? You get stuck doing the "urgent" things instead of the "important" things. Supposedly we have a choice. Sometimes it's poor choices on my part, but most of the time, I don't have a choice. The number one item on my job description is "Help everyone else get their job done". Rewarding, but frustrating at times.

Case in point. Today. Checking off quite a few things on the unbelievably long ToDo list when 4pm comes around. One hour left to get stuff done. Go to restroom and leaky "fixture" is having problems again. It's been having problems and the boss mentioned it to me last week. I've tried to fix it before to no avail, but it's there, it's's urgent! Thirty minutes later I have loosened and taken apart everything I can find to loosen and taken apart. I put it back together. No discernible difference.

Now it's 4:30 PM. The secretary is gone for the day and I have had "reinstall secretary's print driver" on my ToDo list for 3-4 weeks now. Her computer will not print in color, so I have to reinstall the print driver. Since she's gone and it's "urgent", I head into her office and do what needs to be done. Get it done and print, telling the copier I want color. It comes out in black and white. discernible difference.

Tomorrow, when I update my ToDo list, these two items will still be there although I dedicated an hour to them today. So in regards to these two items, even my ToDo list will have no discernible difference.

My #1 Love/Hate Relationship

Short version: My Sprint cell phone bill arrived, and I knew it was too much. It took me about 30 minutes to get online, log into, access my bill, find where I was wrongly charged and print the pages I would need for my phone call to Sprint.

My phone call lasted for 47 minutes. During this time, I was told that I added Vision service to two lines (not true), that I had Sprint TV on my phone (my phone is not capable of this) and I could not get credit for their $55 mistake. I argued politely and asked for a supervisor. I never got the supervisor, but my issues were supposedly fixed and I was issued at $55 credit, but it would not take effect until my next billing cycle. In other words, Sprint said, "We over charged you $55 which we will reimburse you next month. If you do not go ahead and pay the extra $55 this month, you will be charge a late fee for not paying all of your bill."

Happy to have my refund by not happy that I had wasted all of this time and that my refund was not immediate, I emailed Sprint. Here is the dialog.

Question: I would like a call from a supervisor at the wireless number listed below. I was over-charged on my bill by $54.99. It took me 30 minutes of going through my bill to find where I was over-charged and then another47 minutes on the phone to get the issue resolved. The customer service rep. was very polite and did fix the problems, including issuing me a credit
for the amount I was wrongly charged. I appreciate this help, but I am still frustrated that I was charged for services I never requested nor authorized. It not only wasted an hour and a half of my time, but I still have to pay the $54.99 this month because the credits will not be applied until my next bill. I would like to know why these problems happened and how I can be assured this will not happen again. Thank you. {Note to blog reader: I had to enter my Sprint cell phone number, my name, address and email address in the form when I sent this email.}

Sprint Reply #1
Dear Rob Hurt,

Thank you for contacting Sprint. I will be glad to assist you.

Sprint is committed to protecting customer privacy and security. Therefore, in order to provide account information, we need you to confirm the following:

a. The Account holder PCS Phone Number
b. The Account Holder email address of record
c. The Account Holder Mailing Address

Please reply to this email with the requested information and we will be happy to provide you the requested information.

Thank you for contacting us, and we look forward to serving you.

Tyler V.
Business E-Care
"Where our customers come first!"

My Reply #1
a. (I gave them my cell number, again)
b. (I gave them my email address again)
c. (I gave them my address again)

I had to fill out all of this information when I sent the original email you are responding to here, but I appreciate your initiating follow-up.

Sprint Reply #2
Dear Rob Hurt,

Thank you for providing me the details.

Rob, I would like to suggest you to write back to this email with the page number of your invoice, on which the charges are incorrect so that I can assist you in the best possible way.

We value your business and always look forward to the opportunity to provide you excellent service now and in the future. Thank you and have a great day!

Albert J.
Business E-Care
"Where our customers come first!"

My Reply #2
This is why I asked for a CALL from a supervisor. Two emails from two different people. I was hoping there was a PERSON would be willing to speak with me instead of a DEPARTMENT. If somebody had simply called, as I had asked, it would not take 5 emails back and forth to get to my issue.

I already called, a representative credited back what I was wrongfully charged. I asked to speak to a supervisor when I was on the phone and was told one was not available. So I emailed and asked for a supervisor to call.

Rob Hurt

Sprint Reply #3
Dear Rob Hurt,

Thank you for your reply.

Rob, I understand that it has been really inconveniencing for you due to all these. Let me inform you that if you write back to this email with the invoice period so that I can resolve the issue in the single interaction. However, if you do not wish to resolve the issue with email interaction, I can arrange the callback for you.

Thank you for contacting Sprint, we were happy to assist you. Please feel free to write back if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

Albert J.
Business E-Care
"Where our customers come first!"

Geesh! How many times do I have to ask for the call back?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Welcome Home Daddy

I didn't get in from our church men's retreat until 11pm or so last night, but this is what was waiting for me on the table when I walked in. It doesn't get much better than this!

I've Got My Eye on You

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Archive Photo

This is another one of my favorite archive photos. This one was dated January 4, 2001. Amanda is wearing PaPa D's boots.

From the Archives

I was uploading pictures to my Flickr account tonight and ran across this picture. The picture info says it was taken December 15, 2000. It's good to see that at a young age my daughter enjoyed sharing in one of my favorite pastimes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cast Day

We went to see Dr. Quatro today to let her remove Amanda's splint, remove her stitches and put her in a cast.

This is the first time we've seen Amanda's incision. Dr. Quatro left the tape on under the new cast. She did one little snip on the stitches, and just as Amanda was beginning to cry she pulled one string and they all came out (under the tape).

Next, Dr. Quatro put a giant "sock" on Amanda's arm in preparation for the cast. What is not shown next is where Dr. Quatro and the nurse had to help Amanda increase the angle in the bend of her elbow before putting on the cast. Amanda's elbow has stiffened up from not being used, so there was a bit of yelling and crying, but she was a big girl and got through it.

Amanda chose a lime green cast. Dr. Quatro said today's x-rays showed Amanda's elbow has set well and everything looks good. The cast will be on for two weeks, then we go back, take the cast off and begin using the elbow again.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Called "Ridiculous"

ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."

"We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was," Dr Gray said.

"It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."

Read the rest of "Gore Gets a Cold Shoulder" from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

From Rush's Ebay auction:

When "Dingy Harry" Reid and the U.S. Senate turned away from the business of the nation to instead smear a private citizen, forty-one of them sent a letter demanding the "repudiation" of their inaccurate interpretation of Rush Limbaugh's comments about Jesse Al-Zaid (a.k.a. Jesse MacBeth) and other "phony soldiers" who falsify their service. This letter was delivered to Mark Mays of Clear Channel Communications, Rush Limbaugh's syndication partner, and widely quoted in the Drive-By Media.

Up for auction is the original letter signed by 41 Democrat senators. This historic document may well represent the first time in the history of America that this large a group of U.S. senators attempted to demonize a private citizen by lying about his views. As such, it is a priceless memento of the folly of Harry Reid and his 40 senatorial co-signers.

The entire proceeds of this auction.. the entire high bid... will be donated to The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation, a registered charity which provides financial assistance to the children of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers. Rush Limbaugh serves on the Board of this organization and has been active on its behalf. All costs of this auction will be paid by the seller... every dollar of your winning bid will go to this charity, which has to date distributed over $29 million.

Rush first publicly displayed this letter on the night of October 11th during a speech in Philadelphia, having a security operative carry it on stage, with the letter itself safely encased in a Halliburton Attache case handcuffed to the agent's right wrist. Included in this auction is that same Halliburton briefcase, as well as a personal letter from Rush Limbaugh, thanking the winning bidder for his donation. The special handcuffs may not be distributed outside of law enforcement and security officers, and thus are not included in this auction.

As winning bidder, you get:
- The original and infamous "Harry Reid Smear" letter, signed by 41 Democrat senators
- The Halliburton briefcase in which this letter is secured 24 hours a day
- A personal letter of thanks from the Man Who Runs America, Rush Limbaugh
- A photograph of Rush displaying the letter on stage in Philadelphia on October 11th

Current bid is $44,000+ If you have followed this attack, you know it has been ludicrous from the beginning. To be honest, I am furious that I am paying Senators to carry out this kind of non-government, non-work!

Anyway, Rush says he is turning lemons into lemonade, and I think this is great! You just gotta love it when you can 'stick it to 'em' when people are acting as ignorant as these Senators.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Visit to Rant and Reason

If you follow this blog, you know that I like to visit the blog of the American Humanist Association, Rant and Reason. I love the new name they have given their is so fitting.

I think I originally went there because I like to debate, but I believe God is changing my heart. My honest desire now is to two-fold:
1) try to understand how non-Christians view Christians and the world, and
2) to show these people who, for the most part, have considered their lives of non-belief in much more detail than most Christians I know have considered their faith, that Christianity is reasonable (I question their arguments and explain the Christian world view when I can) and compassionate (they hear from a lot of "Christian" people who tell them God hates them and they are going to hell...or some similar variation).

And I have noticed that as the tone of my comments to their blog postings have changed, the bloggers have been more open to discussion with me. Jesus talked to a lot of people who did not believe in Him. Although they did not yet believe, they wanted to hang out with Him and talk. That's kinda what I'm trying to do non-believers and talk with them about their world in their terms. I'm certainly not very natural at it yet, but I'm working on it. And I hope what I'm learning online I will be able to apply with people in the real world (even less 'natural' for me!).

And so I'd like to close with a copy/paste to my comment and the blogger's response to their posting Ousting Nuns for Clergy Settlement. Obviously my comment and her response will make more sense if you read the posting linked to here.

If I understand your post correctly, I share your moral outrage. But your closing comment was a bit disappointing, when you throw in “if this is representative of the values that the religious right says we atheists can’t have without God, well then thank goodness we don’t.” Who, in the ‘religious right’ is touting this particular case as an example of ‘morality’? I would fall into the group you categorize as the religious right, and I, too, am outraged at the cover up and the lack of severe consequences for those who committed AND covered up these crimes against children.

If there is someone in particular in the religious right that you know of who is defending this as ‘moral’, then say who it is so we can denounce it as wrong. If not, please don’t put words in our mouths and then attack us as if we said it ourselves.

On a side note, the more I have read (I did read “I Sold My Soul on Ebay” thanks to the review here) and conversed with atheists here and other places online, I have changed my opinion about atheists and morals. I have met a number of atheists who I have to say have definite moral/ethical standards, and sadly to me, a number of them have higher standards that many Christians. Obviously, it is the standard by which we establish or measure those values that we still disagree about.

You’re right Rob it was a cheap shot and I apologize. I was very angry when I was writing but that’s no excuse. I’m sure the majority of people of all creeds or no creed we’re outraged by that particular action. Thank you for calling me on it.

I’m glad you got to read “I Sold My Soul on Ebay” and that you either enjoyed it or it had an impact on you. I’ve read some of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Paul Tillich been moved by there writings and even some of your comments here. I know that I’m never right when I over generalize. I’m glad we keep moving the discussion along.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Surgery - Live Blog

A new trend I have been picking up on is "Live Blogging". I did not have a live Internet connection this morning as Amanda went into surgery, but I 'blogged' on my Pocket PC so I could post it this evening.

Good morning. The dogs are the only ones happy to be awake at this time of day. Our goal is to leave for North Richland Hills by 6:30am to allow for traffic and arrive there by 7:30am.

Picture of Mommy and Amanda before we headed out.

Mrs. Debi in driveway. Going to follow us to the hospital and stay with us to pray and offer moral support.

Arrived early. Traffic not as bad as expected.

Paperwork filled out. Watching Disney Channel. Took a picture with Mrs. Debi and with Daddy.

Back to pre-op. Amanda got the official hospital gown and we had to wait. Amanda was very brave. A few tears and a few fears here and there, but she was a brave little girl. Amanda played games on the Pocket PC to pass the time and to keep her mind off what lay ahead.

Dr. Quatro paid us a visit to let us know she was finished with her previous surgery and would soon be ready for Amanda. She explained that we should prepare for Amanda to be in surgery somewhere between and hour and an hour-and-a-half. Look at the brave girl smile!

Nurse brought the 'giggle juice' to help Amanda relax. Another nurse, one who would be helping with the procedure also stopped by to say hello, check some notes, meet Amanda and assure here that they were going to take real good care of her. Everybody there was EXCELLENT with children. Just a little crying

They took Amanda back for surgery. She teared up a little bit but was being brave. Mommy was trying to be brave, but she teared up more than just a little bit as Amanda disappeared around the corner.

In the waiting room with Mrs. Debi and Mrs. Pat from church. We prayed, waited, called our parents and waited some more.

A nurse came out and called for us. We are in a separate waiting room now. Nurse said Dr. Quatro would be in to discuss how the surgery went and then we could see Amanda in recovery soon.

Dr. Quatro came in and said all went well and explained what all she did. After Amanda was asleep, she moved her arm all around trying to reduce the elbow (get it back in socket). It would not go. She then made an incision and checked the socket for debris that was keeping the elbow from going back in socket. Nothing was there, but the tissue around the joint had obviously moved into the vacancy previously (and rightly) occupied by her elbow! Once this tissue was gently moved back, the elbow went back into place easily. Dr. Quatro said she then worked the elbow 'quite hard' to see if it was going to pop out of place again and was pleased that it stayed as it should Amanda's arm was moved all around. Amanda was closed up, stitched up and put in a sling.

We were allowed to go to recovery and see Amanda. Mrs. Debi and Mrs. Pat came with us. Wow, this was not fun. Amanda was crying and in distress. The nurse explained that Amanda had kicked and removed the IV from her foot before all of the 'coming out' medicine had been administered. She then explained that the very 'giggle juice' that made her so happy before surgery would make Amanda very emotional, and probably angry, coming out of the anesthesia. Since there was no IV, it was either let it work it's way out of her system or stick her again (which nobody wanted to do). For quite a while Amanda did not respond to our presence in the room. The first couple times she looked at us it was almost scary. Due to the drugs, she did not really recognize us and she looked...well, she just looked mean. I cannot describe the way her eyes looked other than to say it was definitely drug induced, and if I ever see a grown up holding a weapon in their hands with that same look in their eyes...I expect that to be the last thing I ever see! Mommy cried and loved on Amanda as only Mommies can. Eventually she could recognize and speak to us (telling us how badly her arm hurt).

Going home. They sat Amanda up, got her in a wheel chair and we headed to the car. Mrs. Debi drive the car around while Mrs. Pat and Mrs. Barbara helped carry all of our stuff (clothes, pillow, backpack, new stuffed animals and a barf bowl) to the car. Thankfully the barf bowl was not needed on the way home and Amanda drifted off to sleep.

12:00 noon
We got Amanda home and situated on the couch in my office. Her arm hurt, so we just prayed and let her rest. All of the sudden she started whimpering and we wondered what caused her to hurt so badly all of the sudden. Then we found out...we found out why she whimpered suddenly and why they sent the barf bowl home! After a bit of clean up, we opened up the hide-away bed and got Amanda set up on that.

Both Amanda and Mommy were sleeping so Daddy went to work.

Mommy and Daddy ate dinner prepared by Mrs. Debi and Amanda had a Popsicle and some ice cream. Daddy and Boo came into the office to support and encourage Amanda (see picture).

Amanda went to bed. Thank you Jesus the day has gotten better! Amanda made it through the afternoon with no pain medicine, although we did give her some at bed time to help her sleep. It seems we are getting a little more accurate reading on the 'Amanda pain scale' now, too. Daddy felt really bad about telling Amanda to 'suck it up' (not in those exact terms) last week when we thought she had a sprain but her elbow was really dislocated, but Amanda also learned the lesson about being a hypochrondiac and saying every pain was excruciating. She is sleeping now and we are all feeing much better.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

That Explains A Lot

We went to see the pediatric orthopedist today...Dr. Quatro (pictured right), about Amanda's elbow. She examined Amanda and took a ton of x-rays. She concurred that Amanda's elbow was indeed out of socket. Due to the fact that it came out of socket a second time, she said she thought there might be some cartilage or a bone fragment in the socket that kept it from going back into place properly. This would account for its tendency to pop out of socket so easily the second time. She wanted to line up surgery for Wednesday with the game plan being: put Amanda out with anesthesia at the outpatient clinic, try to reduce the elbow (put it back in place), try to pop it back out of place (to see if it was too easy), cut into the elbow if necessary, clean out the joint and reduce the elbow. Treatment would include a split or a hard cast.

Dr. Quatro mentioned she would really like to see the x-rays of the previous dislocation and the x-rays the hospital looked at the second time, but she could not read the CD the x-rays were on. The x-ray CDs came from the hospital. When we saw the first orthopedist, he just popped the CD into his computer and the CD loaded a program to view the x-rays. Since they gave us the x-ray CDs to take to Dr. Quatro, I popped them into my laptop last night and looked at them. Pretty cool! That is also where I got the x-ray for yesterday's post.

I told Dr. Quatro I had gotten the CD to open on my laptop, so she invited me to try it on hers. The CD did not auto-open, but I was able to open it by going to My Computer, right-click on the CD, select Explore and then double-click the program that is on the CD. It opened and she could view the CD.

Dr. Quatro said she could not tell anything from the initial x-ray (elbow x-rays are read more easily when the elbow is bent at a 90 degree angle, but when it is dislocated, that cannot happen). Almost as soon as she saw the x-ray of Amanda's elbow after it had been reduced and put in a splint the first time, she said, "Oh yeah, there's the problem. That never reset correctly. There is something in there."

That statement made me feel better. First of all, the doctor's "educated guess" that she had shared with us earlier based on her experience and having never seen the x-ray was proven correct (she was a good doctor). Secondly, I felt better knowing that the doctor had an idea what to expect and game plan to fix the problem. The x-ray also explained a lot as to why Amanda's elbow popped out of joint so easily (it was not my fault for taking her for a bike ride!) and it gave us a little more assurance that is should not be a problem in the future.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Drama Continues

If you didn't know, this is what the x-ray of a dislocated elbow looks like. This is the x-ray from Amanda's first trip to the hospital. Obviously the doctors could tell it was dislocated, so they told us it was, and they fixed it. That was August 23rd.

Then there was the bike wreck on October 1st. Another trip to the ER, and apparently the x-ray was not as clear this time. The doctor said it was just a sprain, wrapped Amanda's elbow and sent us home.

And there was quite a bit of pain. Unfortunately for Amanda, she is a bit of a hypochondriac, so we did not realize how bad her elbow may have been hurting. Until today that is. We went to see the orthopedist, and he was surprised Amanda could not move her elbow yet. He looked at the x-ray from the hospital and said he could not tell anything from that. He took some more x-rays and determined that Amanda's elbow had indeed popped out of joint again...and it has been out of joint for a week now!

So the drama continues. Tomorrow we go see a pediatric orthopedist and probably schedule Amanda for an operating room on Wednesday. They will knock her out and see if her arm will relax enough to be put back into joint. If not, they will go immediately into surgery to fix it. Of course Amanda is afraid of surgery and Daddy is panicking over skyrocketing medical bills on top of seeing his little girl cry.

Waffles for Breakfast

AISD schools were closed for Columbus Day, so I took the day off so Amanda would not have to hang out a church all day. Amanda woke up around 9:00am and knew what she wanted as soon as her feet hit the floor. "Can we have waffles for breakfast, Daddy?". By the time I got to the kitchen to start making the waffle mix, Amanda had her little yellow chair pulled out as a stool and had her apron on. Amanda fixed the mix and I did the cooking.

And here is Amanda enjoying the fruit of her labor.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Friday, October 05, 2007

Daddy's New Medicine

Wednesday morning at 5:00am I was very tired. Brooke and I had both been up with Amanda much of the night Tuesday night, Brooke had been up with her for a couple hours earlier Wednesday night, and then Amanda came to wake me up at 5:00am crying with elbow pain. I brought her back down to the couch in my office, prayed for her and explained that I could not give her any medicine yet. She had already asked for it 3 times.

We had been giving her Ibuprofen rather than the Hydrocodone that she got a prescription for at the hospital because it seemed to be helping more, but we were getting concerned that she was taking it every four hours for almost 2 days. Besides that, as she asked for her medicine a fourth time, I realized the medicine had become a "miracle cure" for her. Five minutes after taking the medicine, Amanda would say she was feeling better. Ibuprofen does not work that quickly.

I'm not sure if it was sleep deprivation or divine revelation, but I told Amanda, "I cannot give you any more of your regular medicine, but let me see if I can find something else. I left her on the couch and went to the kitchen. I found her little medicine cup, grabbed some of Brooke's Fuze vitamin fruit drink, poured it into the cup then tried to figure out some way to make it taste like medicine. The refrigerator door was open and the Pepto Bismol was right there, so I grabbed it and put just a drop or two in the mix. I stirred it up and presented it to Amanda as pain relieving medicine. I say this in all honesty...her pain subsided within 2 minutes and within 10 minutes she was asleep again!

After the second use, Amanda became a bit suspicious (the lack of a medicine bottle and the distinct Pepto taste), but it worked twice and that was enough to get us through the rough spots. We are down to medicine once in the morning and once at night, so 'Daddy's new medicine' did the trick.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's Like Groundhog Day or Something

Deja vu? You are wondering "What happened?" and I'm wondering "How did that happen?"

You may recall that on Thursday, August 23rd Amanda fell off a skateboard and dislocated her elbow. You can read about it now if you did not already know, but we went to the ER, had it set and then went home. After it was set, there was not much pain. Three weeks later, we saw a specialist who took the splint off, said another six weeks of no limited activity (no monkey bars, skateboards, biking, etc) and we were good to go.

So on Monday, with a week to go on the forbidden activities, I asked Amanda if she would like to go for a bike ride. After all, I reasoned, we've never had a big bike crash.

By this time, anybody reading this post knows what happened. We had been riding a little over 5 miles and were on our way home when Amanda decided to race. I saw the sharp turn coming up in the sidewalk and was about to caution "slow down"...but it was too late. She wiped out and skidded along the sidewalk. I knew she was gonna be scratched up, but my first thought was "at least her elbow will be OK."

As soon as the bike stopped, Amanda jumped up and yelled something that hit me right in the gut, hard..."Daddy, my elbow." I ran over to her and told her it would be OK. I then asked her to move the elbow and she said she couldn't. She cried and held it like she did before. And the flood began..."how are we going to get home?" "why did I suggest bike riding?" "how are we going to pay for another visit to the ER?" (and then again) "why did I suggest bike riding?". Guilt, panic and fear. So I (very UNcalmly) called Brooke and said, "Get in the car and come pick us up by the new library. Amanda crashed on her bike and popped her elbow out of joint again."

When Brooke arrived, I was so worked up I could not get the bikes broken down enough to fit into the car. Amanda was crying, Brooke was upset and I was just freaking out. I don't usually freak out, but I was not handing it all very well.

We came home, dropped off the bikes, let Amanda change clothes (all dirty from wreck) and headed to the ER. We noticed that the elbow did not seem quite as bad as last time, but she was crying and in lots of pain. The wait at the ER was longer this time, and that was VERY hard. They took an x-ray (again, we noticed the pain in moving the arm for this did not seem as bad as last time) and then waited some more. I bet I paced 5 miles waiting for them to come give her something for the pain.

The ER doctor came to see us (same one from last time) and told us the good news that her elbow was sprained and not broken or dislocated. They put her in another splint and sling and sent us home with a prescription for Hydrocodone and orders to make another appointment with the specialist.

Guess what...after getting put into a splint, sprains are MUCH more painful than dislocations. After Amanda's dislocated elbow was set, she needed some Ibuprofen that night and once or twice the next day, but she was good to go. Not so this time. We were up all hours of the night Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. Amanda did not go to school Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last night, Thursday, Amanda was able to sleep through the night on the couch in my office. She is sleeping there now as I write this, and we are hoping to have another full night of sleep again tonight. Each day gets better. Thankfully.

Why, oh why, did I suggest bike riding?