Lovenox bruises – Day 2

Let me preface this by asking that you pardon my white, hairy belly. The bruise on the right is from yesterday’s Lovenox injection. The one on the left is from this morning. I think the first one bruised so badly because I had a bit of a hard time sticking a needle into my belly, so the needle went in, my breathing increased so the needle came out a little and then back in. So I’m thinking I stuck the fatty tissue two or three more times than necessary, hence the influx of blood sent to the area.

I’m hoping to either have 1) minimized the bruising by day 10 or 2) have a really cool purple belt by the end of next week.

Lovenox bruises

1st Lovenox injection

Elise and I went to the pharmacist to pick up my prescriptions this afternoon. I was hoping there was some alternative, but the pharmacist concurred with the doctor and told me that I had to inject the Lovenox into the fatty tissue in my stomach. And if I didn’t, I could run the risk of dying from pulmonary embolism. Awesome!

We came home with a bag-o-syringes and some Vicodin. We ate leftovers for lunch and then I decided, I might as well get it over with now. So with a alcohol wipe behind my ear and syringe in my mouth, I hobbled on my crutches to the bathroom. I washed my hands while fighting off reluctance. I then thought about how my dad might have handled this situation. He wouldn’t have thought anything of it. I’m a much more of a wuss than my dad was. So I said to myself, “The hell with it… let’s get it done. I’m going to have to do this nine more times so might as well get used to doing it quickly.”

So I pulled the cap of the syringe, pinched a piece of flesh and jabbed the needle in. It was a weird experience, but wasn’t bad at all. I looked at myself in the mirror and was about to congratulate myself when I noticed the alcohol wipe packet behind my ear. I forgot to sterilize my stomach before giving myself the injection. Now I’m praying that I don’t get a staph infection.

This whole broken ankle thing has turned into a huge pain in the ass.

Broken ankle update

We just got back from Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center. I broke my Medial Melleolus on my left ankle. The doctor said surgery isn’t necessary so long as the bone doesn’t shift, which is highly unlikely unless it’s subjected to and kind of brunt trauma.

In the meantime, the doc gave me a prescription for Vicodin and Lovenox. Lovenox is an anticoagulant that’s to prevent my blood from clotting and killing me. Unfortunately I have to take the Lovenox as an injection because we’re flying back to Austin on Saturday and an oral dose wouldn’t take effect in time. Yay! Breaking my ankle was painful. The pain and swelling has been painful. And now I have to give myself a shot in the stomach for the next 10 days.

Josh's cast

Loveland Blues

Elise, Maly and I flew into Denver Colorado on Saturday afternoon to meet up with Steve and Joanne and Elise’s uncle Norbert (Uncle Nob). Nob was kind enough to leave his Tahoe at the airport for us so we could drive it to his house in Lakewood while he was still at work. The girls’ and my flight was a little late and Steve and Joanne’s flight was a little early in from Des Moines, so we all arrived at the airport within half an hour of each other.

Steve and I took a van to the parking lot to pick up Nob’s truck and install Maly’s car seat. We drove back to the airport, picked up the girls and then drove the 45 miles to Lakewood. When we got to Nob’s house, he was fast at work in the kitchen, cooking a roast, mashed potatoes and green beans. We had a great dinner and sat around the kitchen table and chatted. At some point, Nob asked if we wanted to see the grand tour of the house. We went to his bedroom, which he had recently added as well as his new living room. When we walked down the three steps into the living room, I saw an unopened Nintendo Wii sitting on the coffee table with a card propped up against it. I looked at the box curiously for a moment, and then I caught Joanne’s eye. Then I saw Joanne look at Elise and smile. Elise was looking around the living room, I guess waiting on Nob to start in on the details of the room. We all looked at Elise and giggled. She was totally clueless and soon seemed to be the brunt of some joke. She kept asking what we were laughing at. She finally saw the Wii and her card.

The Wii was Elise’s birthday present from her parents. Steve and Joanne then told us the hassle it was to obtain a Wii. I knew they were hard to come across and was very impressed that Joanne was able to score one.

Needless to say, we were up late taking turns playing the Wii.

Sunday was a slow, relaxed day. Nob played golf with some of his friends. Elise and her parents went to church and to the grocery store. Maly and I stayed back at Nob’s house and played and ate lunch. Later that evening Elise and I made chicken fajitas for everyone and then Nob, Elise and I went to the local ski rental spot to pick up our skis and boots.

Monday morning came early. Elise, Nob and I woke up at 6:30 and were out of the house by 8. We drove an hour west, into the mountains for our first day of skiing at Loveland. If you know me, you know I don’t like cold weather. And it was COLD. Luckily Marc and Cyndi loaned us their ski gear so we were well equipped. Since it was a Monday and Spring Break hasn’t started yet, we pretty much had the mountain to ourselves.

Nob went skiing while Elise and I took ski lessons. Elise was considered a Level 2 skier since she’s skied many times before. This was your humble narrators first time on the slopes, so I was deemed a Level 1. Since there was virtually no one the slopes, Elise and I both had private lessons. Bert, my instructor, was very impressed with how quickly I picked up how to snow ski. I think I can attribute that to good balance from years of Tae Kwon Do and water skiing. So after half an hour of flat land instructions, we were on the lift and at the top of the bunny slope. I’ll admit it: I fell. A lot. And I quickly realized that falling really sucks. It’s not so much the falling part as it is the having to get back up. So I quickly became an expert and falling and getting back up. And my muscles are still reminding me of this mastering.

Up the lift, down the slope; practicing my turning, stopping, falling and getting back up again. My instructor again praised me for picking up the sport quickly and said he thought I’d do great on the slopes alone. So at 12:30 I was given a slap on the back and left to my own devices and newly acquired knowledge of the sport of snow skiing.

I skied back to the lodge and met Elise and Nob for lunch. After lunch we bundled up and put on our skis. If memory serves me correctly, I had Elise go down the bunny slope with me a couple times, just so I could show her how wicked awesome I’d become and because if I were to fall and have to shriek like a little girl, I’d rather it be in the company of someone who knows me best.

Shortly after that, I found myself on a lift with Nob and Elise that was actually traveling up the side of the mountain. And this lift was going far up the mountain. Like, really far up the mountain. My wicked awesomeness quickly began diminishing as we were approaching 11,000 feet.

Being the trooper that I am, I followed as Elise and Nob exited the lift. Although not as gracefully. Elise and Nob both skied of the lift. I sort of waited a second too long and found myself having to jump 4 feet and land not-so-gracefully, while hitting Elise in the head with my ski pole. So we had a quick laugh and then quickly began making our descent down a green slope. Then we made a turn onto a blue slope called Switchback, which left me with my face down in the snow more often then not, and also very discouraged. We made another turn back onto a green called Boomerang which eventually brought us back down to the base of the mountain.

We made a few more runs, I stuck to the greens. Given my overall general good health, I thought that the greens were pretty difficult. Elise’s instructor as well as mine concurred that some of Loveland’s blues are considered ‘easier’ blacks compared to other mountains. So if that puts anything into perspective for those of you who have ever sno skied. Nob, an avid snow skier, admitted that these greens were difficult.

Anyway, after a few more runs, we called it a day. I was extra tired because of all of the energy I had to exert to pick myself back up each time I fell. We called it a day, loaded up and headed back to the house. We stopped in Georgetown on the way home to get some caramel cappuccinos and then to Target in Lakewood for some sour cherry juice (supposed to help with fatigued muscles) and finally to the liquor store for some much needed scotch (also for fatigued muscles).

We got back to the house and unloaded our gear. Steve fried chicken and we had a good, hearty dinner after a long day of skiing. I was bushed and headed for bead at 10 p.m. Everyone else quickly followed suit.

Elise, Nob and I again rose early on Tuesday. We were all mostly rejuvenated after having had a full night’s rest. We drove the hour west out to Loveland again. This time we hit the Loveland Basin. We had three great runs down Turtle Creek and Home Run. Each run was approximately three miles and allowed to get my legs working the way that I thought they should.

We broke for an hour and had lunch in the lodge. We then decided to take the #1 lift and take a run down Cat Walk and Mambo. I was finally getting really comfortable and was having a really good time. Which meant I wasn’t falling down nearly as much and was really honing my turns. We decided to take that lift again for a couple more runs. This time Elise and Nob branched off and took a quick run down a blue called Waterfall. We reconvened on Mambo and raced down the mountain. Nob barreled down, Elise was gracefully using the whole slope do descend quickly. I was trying to keep up with Elise…

I got a little over confident and found myself in a spot that was pretty packed and I was ascending faster than I was comfortable with. I turned hard to the right and I over compensated. It was my hardest wipe out in my many over the course of the past day and a half. I heard the snap and I yelled as my face landed in the snow. I winced in pain and knew something wasn’t right. I sat myself up as quickly as I could and as painful as it was, I removed my left ski. I think my right ski was already off from the fall. I quickly jabbed them into the snow behind me in an ‘X’ formation. Elise turned uphill and saw that I was hurt. She took off her skis and started the trek uphill to me. The snow patrol quickly skied up and radioed for a snow mobile to pick me up.

I was taken to the infirmary where my ankle was iced and they medic made a make-shift splint out of cardboard, bubble wrap and tape. The offered to have an ambulance take me to the ER, but I opted to just ride back to Lakewood with Nob and Elise.

An hour and a half at the local emergency care clinic to find that I’d broken my ankle.

So as I write this I have a temporary cast that has my left leg immobilized. I have a 9 a.m. orthopedic appointment tomorrow to see if we can just set the break with a cast, or find out that I’ll need surgery.

But I’ve found many silver linings: I can get in tons of practice playing tennis on the Wii, we can park in handicap parking spots everywhere we go and most importantly, even before Elise asked the question, I had already decided that I will snow ski again.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month 22

Dear Maly,

You turned 22-months-old this past week. I had recently realized that I’d fallen behind on writing my letter to you this month. For a fleeting moment I thought to myself, “Man, I don’t have the time or energy to write it right now.” And no sooner had that thought crossed my mind when the father in me kicked in. In another fleeting moment I was reminded of how lucky and blessed I have to have the priviledge to write this letter to you every month. While your mom was pregnant with you, I’d been told by friends and family that I would never again imagine life without my child in it.

And that is so very true. When people told me that, we didn’t know what you were. We didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl. We didn’t know if there might be complications during the pregnancy, delivery or after your were born. There were so many “what ifs”. And here you are, going on 2-years-old and it seems like just last week I was walking you around the house as a teeny-tiny baby in my arms and accidentally whacked the side of your head against the back of the bar stool.

Now onto this month’s milestones…

I’m not really sure yet if this is normal for a child of your age, but you now know the alphabet. Well, you know all of the letters. We’re still working on the actual alphabet song and learning the order in which the letters occur, but you know every single letter. We started out many months ago with just the vowels during bath time. At some point you seemed to be getting bored with vowels, so we started learning more and more letters each night. Now whenever you printed words, you like to point out and say the letters in the words.

I’m very proud of you for this. I think it’s fantastic how quickly you picked up on all of your letters. If you’re anything like your mom, I envision you being quite the linguist.

Another milestone is that you’re not quite as enthusiastic about Nemo as you were last month. Albeit for the vast majority of the month we were pretty inundated with requests to watch Nemo, but those requests have started to subside. And surprisingly, your mom and I never really got sick of that movie.

Your motor skills have been continuing to improve. I’d say you’ve got running down pretty well now. I actually have to run after you if I need to catch you whereas in the past I could just take a few quick steps and catch up with you. You’ve also begun to grasp the concept and effort in playing catch. Your reflexes aren’t quite there yet, but your effort and enthusiasm are admirable; two qualities that I hope you continue to maintain as you get older.

You’re very observant and like to point things out and explain them to us. You’re on the verge of putting together 3-4 word sentences. You say things like, “Daddy blue shirt” and “Bye bye, see ya”.

Your evolving vocabulary has also left me laughing to nearly the point of tears. Most of these moments have been during our time at night when I give you a bath, brush your teeth, put your pajamas on you and get your ready for bed. Recently I was chasing your from the bathroom to Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom after I’d given you a bath. As we were breaching the threshold, I said, “Okay, Maly, let’s put on a diaper.” You threw yourself to the ground and rolled over onto your back. I reached into your diaper drawer and then grabbed your feet and pulled them up so your butt was off the carpet so I could slide your diaper underneath you. It was at that point that my lifting of your feet must have squeezed your guts with enough thrust to send a rocket fart blaring from your butt. My eyebrows immediately lifted with surprise and amusement before I sent myself into laughter. Before you joined me in my laughter, you pointed out, “Ohhhhh, Maly FART!!!” To which I had to lie down beside you to laugh.

On another recent ocassion I was changing your diaper. We were having our usual conversation about wind wind wind the bobbin, the colors of all of the beads you own, that time that Nemo and Dori ran into the angler fish when they were looking for the scuba mask when, out of nowhere, you threw your legs apart and into the air, pointed to your groinal area and proudly proclaimed, “Maly GINA!!!” It was at that moment that I had to cease any and all attempt to laugh and maintain my parental composure and, with a smirk, I responded with, “yes, that is Maly’s vagina.” That was the first time I had to acknowledge the correct anatomical name for that area. I sadly suppose gone are the days of my referencing that area as the cooter and the pooter.

I love watching you grow and learn. I love coming home from work and seeing the look on your face when we first see each other. Even though your attention span is still so small and I don’t think you understand the concept of my being away for the majority of the day, it’s that one little moment when you look at me and I see that excitement in your eye. It’s that look of love and trust that makes it all worth while. It’s the look in your eye and that cute grin that makes me so very proud of you and, even more, proud of what your mom and I have among us.

Thank you for all of those fleeting moments.

I love you, Sugar.



The Spacionwagon

I bought Elise a new (to us) crossover on Friday. It’s one of those crossovers that looks like, what I’ve coined as, a “spacionwagon”. It’s the vehicle that if I were in the marketing meeting when they were brainstorming on design names, I would have gleefully chimed in with, “spacionwagon!”, and Paula, the intern, would have said, “how about ‘crossover?’ And I would have then given Paula the evil eye and would no longer say hello to her in the breakroom.

The Spacionwagon is the stationwagon of the future — you know, like from outer space. I always laughed at them and their bubbly form in the past. And now we’re proud owners of one. I do have to admit, however, it’s a pretty sweet ride and I’m sure Elise and Maly will enjoy it.

I had the luxury of driving Elise’s newly purchased vehicle home from the dealer on Friday night. I reveled in the style and handling. I was alone on the road with Elise and Maly miles behind me in our soon-to-be sold SUV.

In one of many quiet moments, I remembered something my Dad once said. It was at some point in the late 80’s when Dad commented on the then-influx of minivans. He said, “The more of those things they make, the more they look like suppositories.”

Not your next American Idol

Well it looks like we’re going to be plunking down some coin this week on a new (to us) used vehicle. Elise went to the credit union yesterday and got pre-approved for an auto loan. She drove to Waco this afternoon to check out a model that she likes. She’s pretty much sold on buying this particular crossover, but still wanted to test drive a few more.

So tonight she left shortly after dinner to go to the local Carmax dealer to test drive other vehicles in an effort to persuade herself that she needs to shop even more. Maly immediately picked up on the fact that Mommy was going bye bye. She flipped out as Elise left through the front door. Luckily she was easily distracted by me with a game of chase and then a bath.

We did our usually nighttime ritual. Upon reading a couple books together and while she stood by the bookshelf, Maly asked, “Mommy book?” To which I responded, “Mommy went bye bye, but she’ll be back.”

And then I had to see THAT FACE again. She puckered her bottom lip and her eyebrows fell as did her little heart. The only thing I could muster was, “Awww, Sugar, Mommy will be back. She’s coming back.”

Maly ran to me, threw her arms around me, put her head on my should and cried. It was a heartbreaking moment.

After the sobbing stopped, I told her we were going to rock-rock and then go night-night. With her head still on my shoulders, we stood up and I turned of the light. We sat in the rocking chair and rocked. I attempted to recreate the Mommy-Maly nighttime ritual by singing to my daughter.

I couldn’t think of anything to sing other than this:

Hush little Maly, don’t say a word,
Daddy’s going to buy you a mocking bird.
And if that mocking bird don’t sing,
Daddy’s going to buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring don’t shine,
Daddy’s going to buy you something with even more bling.
And if that more bling ain’t blingin’ enough,
Daddy’s going to buy you a truck built Ford tough.
And if that truck ain’t built Ford tough,
Daddy’s going to buy you a…

And she then pulled her right hand from its spot on the back of my neck and put it right on my mouth, in a very deliberate motion to quiet my song, all while her head still rested on my shoulder.

I thought for a second that maybe it was just her wanting to change the position of her hand, so I restarted my song.

She immediately put her hand over my mouth again. Without having to say it verbally, she pretty much said, “Dad, shut up. You sing terribly.”

It’s looking like we’re going to leave the singing up to Mommy.

Good day

Today I sent in my Health History Questionnaire as I was informed that I could be a potential bone marrow donor for a man who has Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Six years ago I decided to submit a blood sample during one of my countless blood donor sessions to be part of the National Marrow Donor Program. The Scott & White Center for Cancer Prevention & Care contacted me to inform me that I could be a potential match. I hate to think of someone sick in the hospital, just waiting on a match.

On a more positive note, I have a new buddy in Prague. He found after watching a documentary on Texas and the name Janíček was mentioned. He and I have since exchanged a few emails and I’m really excited to have a pen pal in the mother land!