Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Most kids have a few bumps and bruises on the way from baby to toddler to teen. A sprained ankle here, a bug bite or two there.

Andy is not like most kids.

Ever since he was born, nearly 21 years ago, Andy has had a devil-may-care attitude about safety. When he was little, if we went somewhere near a pond, pool or body of water, he'd try and jump in it ... never mind he couldn't swim at the time. If there was a play structure to be climbed or a fence to be scaled, Andy was right there. And also unlike most kids, he had a tolerance for pain that's really remarkable. 

Like the time in grade school when he was at the park with friends. Gone just a few minutes, they all came running back to the house, with one little girl telling us "Andy fell off the bars and his arm doesn't look right." When Andy came into view, he was white as a ghost, but not making a peep. Diagnosis: Broken elbow. Six weeks in a cast and sling was to follow.

Then there was the time he was at junior high bike camp with our church group. This particular year was Eastern Oregon year. At the end of the camp, a friend brought him to the beach, where we were already at with Kate for a swim meet. Poor kid was red from head to toe, with nasty blotches all over his body. Diagnosis: Poison oak. He had told his teenage counselor, who told him to go ask an adult. That must have seemed like too much drama, so Andy went back to bed and started scratching. Got so bad he had to be on antibiotics.

Also in middle school, there was the time he was visiting the Oregon coast with Lisa and her extended family. Lisa's brother let Andy climb up on some barnacle-covered rocks in the waves. Sure enough, whoosh came a big wave and down fell Andy — peeling off a dinner-plate sized piece of skin from his leg and thigh. Diagnosis: Enough degloved skin to require stitches, antibiotics and very nearly a skin graft. No tears, though, even though it hurt like hell — especially the cleaning. 

With a nurse in the family, our kids have lived by the adage that if there are tears and fussing, there had darn well better be blood. As with all things, Andy likes to take that mantra to the extreme.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fasten your seat belts, it's another anniversary!

Another year, another wedding anniversary. 22 wild-and-crazy fun-filled years with the Mrs. 

As I look back and reminisce, my mind wanders back to our honeymoon to Disneyworld. Ah, memories.

The plane trip from here to Chicago was uneventful. The trip from Chicago to Orlando, however, was anything but. Lisa and I were two of maybe 10 non-Asian, English-speaking passengers. Seems a Japanese Amway group had booked the other 190 seats. I knew we were in trouble when I saw the flight attendants rolling their eyes. Before we even left the gate, tray tables were down, bags were in the aisles, it was crazy. And they either didn't understand the instructions the flight attendants were giving, or they didn't care. After a short delay, we took off. Not more than 3 minutes in the air, the seat in front of me reclined as far as it would go. For the next four hours on a sold-out flight, I had a tiny Japanese man practically in my lap. Preparing to land, the flight attendants had to tell everyone — not once or twice, but dozens of times — to fold up their tray tables and sit upright. Having enough at this point, Lisa took matters into her own hands — literally — reaching over the seat and thwopping the man on his head to get him to sit up. Straight-forward and direct, that's why I love her!

Once in our hotel, we had a fun day-and-a-half in the parks. Then just after lunch, returning to our hotel via monorail, I suddenly felt lousy ... really, really lousy. Thought maybe a nap would do the trick, but no such luck. Spiked a temp, felt horrible. After a day of this, Lisa called for the in-house doctor. Turns out I had pneumonia — which apparently is very common with honeymooners, as they tend to be run-down from the wedding, then thrown into a hot and humid environment. Wheat Thins, apple juice and antibiotics every 4 hours. It's good to have a nurse on hand! Lisa said she knew it must be serious since we could literally see the Magic Kingdom outside our room and I was too out of it to go. Finally felt better just in time to enjoy our last two of ten days in Florida. 

Here's to the next 22 wonderful and wonder-filled years. And may I never be on a Japanese Amway chartered plane again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"H" is for Hilarity, Part Deux

In our last edition, we introduced you to the wacky and eclectic cast of characters who can be found in the hospital on any given day.

In the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Take the other night. A quiet Wednesday evening. Our gals on Labor & Delivery get a call from the E.R. telling them they have a pregnant woman, age 60, who needs to be seen. And, um, her water has broken.

Age 60, you ask? Call Ripley's Believe It Or Not and grab the ultrasound. So the charge nurse went down to investigate. Have you met our new friend, Crazy? She's having Jesus' twins. That's right — twins. And the water that's broken? She's peed on herself, naturally.

Another night in paradise and there's no room at the inn. 

Don't judge a book ...

As the talented Susan Boyle taught us the day she belted out "I Dreamed A Dream" and became a worldwide sensation, you can't judge a book by its cover.

Case in point: Lisa's visit to the credit union drive up this morning. 

On short outings like this, we often take Essie, our chihuahua. She likes to hunker down behind your head as you drive. If any sort of drive-up is involved, she knows that if she makes her presence known to the people behind the window, she might get a treat.

Today, as Lisa waited at the drive-up, a scary looking guy pulled up in the car next to her. Tattoos everywhere. Multiple piercings. The kind of bad-ass dude you picture riding a Harley or starting a knife fight in prison. So imagine Lisa's surprise when he rolled his window down, leaned over and said, about Essie, "She is just precious!" "Yes she is," Lisa replied. They exchanged pleasantries until the pneumatic tube — and Essie's dog treat — made its way back to the car.

Axe-murderer? Rogue undercover cop? He certainly had the look. But anyone who likes chihuahuas enough to chat it up at the drive-up can't be all bad.