I Should Have Had My Head Examined

There are times I am such an idiot. Now before anyone jumps on that first sentence let me assure you that Trina has already begun marking my idiotic days on the calendar and so far she has more days marked than an entire baseball season and she is only up to June. Trina and I have this understanding that from mid-February through October I am pretty much worthless and unavailable due to baseball season (Trina continues to argue that I am pretty much worthless all the time but from November through February I am at least available). Whenever something needs to be done around the house during that time she just notes it in her notebook and once baseball season is over she gets out the book and I work on stuff until baseball season starts which by the way is only 77 days, 1 hour, and 18 minutes until the first Spring Training game. Some of the stuff on the list isn’t bad and not real time sensitive although the kids are starting to complain that they have not had running water in their bathroom since the Houston Astros series in mid-May of last season. Somewhere in the garage are my tools so I began cleaning things out to get to them. One thing led to another and soon I had the garage completely tore apart to the point that not even a bicycle would fit inside. After what seemed like every waking hour for the past month I was finally able to get the garage back in order and find my toolbox.


About the time I found my tools it was time to decorate the house for the holidays. That of course meant tearing back through the garage to find the Christmas decorations [Note to Self: put labels on outside of boxes and store similar things in similar places]. I was in the midst of moving the Christmas decorations into the house and moving the non-Christmas decorations out of the house. Trina has a series of fake greenery that normally sits on a shelf above our pantry. During the holidays that greenery is replaced by similarly fake poinsettias (trust me life is much better if Trina sticks to fake plants instead of causing fauna to suffer needlessly). I had the non-Christmas greenery and was carrying it into the garage. I still had a pile of boxes that I had flattened after we eliminated some of the junk in the garage and these now flat boxes were lying on the floor. I happened to step on one of these boxes and it slid like a polar ice cap. Me, the greenery, and the box all flew in the air for a moment then began to prove Sir Isaac Newton’s law of gravity. The box landed peacefully on the ground. I happened to find a bucket that contained a set of hot dog skewers that my uncle made for us years ago. When we were cleaning the garage I found these with the pointed end standing up and thought, “wow that seems a little dangerous” so I flipped them so the metal points were in the bottom of the container and the wooden broom handle end was sticking up. I hit these with the force of a Randy Johnson fastball bending the metal shafts while the handles bent and ultimately cracked a couple of ribs. I then landed on the peaceful box and the greenery landed on me. Did I mention that the greenery was attached to a 2×6 piece of wood that is 9 feet long? That realization hit me kind of hard when it landed on my now semi-mobile ribs.

I’ve never stopped to think about what a turtle feels like when you flip it over on the back of its shell but I now have a very good appreciation of how helpless that little guy feels. I laid there unable to move and barely able to breathe. Fortunately Trina happened into the garage and I only laid there for about half an hour. I have to admit I was not thinking exactly clearly but I could have sworn she was hacking up the greenery with a machete (she denies this of course). She somehow extradited me from the jungle floor and got me into a car. We then went on a field trip to the local emergency medical facility. I seemed to remember field trips being much more fun when I was in elementary school. This one definitely lacked in the fun factor.

I find it very interesting that those in the admission office of an emergency room believe that it is possible for someone with an indentation of a hot dog skewer would be capable of a) remembering a 9-digit social security number, b) retrieving a piece of plastic that contains an insurance policy number, and c) the mental capacity to fill out a three-part form on the benefits of medical record privacy. Luckily I brought Trina along to translate. After only a 2 hour delay I was finally able to see someone who had more medical training than myself. I say that only in the loosest of terms since their comments belayed their expertise. “boy, you’re sure lucky you turned those hot dog sticks around” doesn’t necessarily scream out vast medical knowledge.

I’ve had a few broken bones in my day. I’ve had leg casts for an ankle injury and my left wrist was in a cast after an unfortunate baseball accident involving a high throw and a first-baseman but I have never had broken ribs before. I started imagining having a cast that wrapped around my midsection and wondered if it came in Sedona Red. Both Trina and the “doctor” explained that I don’t really get a cast. In fact there doesn’t appear to be much of anything they can do while a rib heals. Well what fun is that? I am pretty sure no one is going to want to sign my stomach without a cast on it. So I was now depressed and in a lot of pain. The “doctor” couldn’t do much for the first problem but he had a bottle of pills for the second.

I am now practicing what is called “pain management”. Basically what that means is every time I whine about how much it hurts to breathe Trina stuffs a white pill down my throat and within 30-45 minutes I quit caring. Boy, these pain pills could have come in handy during the National League Championship Series when the Diamondbacks got swept by the Rockies.


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