Tuesday, January 13, 2009

100 Things

I copied this from Cynthia's Blog - while I am sitting here bored in a wheelchair there is not a whole lot happening in my life besides waiting - waiting to see the doctors, waiting for physical therapy, waiting for my surgery to be scheduled. So while I am waiting I went through the list and highlighted the things I've done by changing the font color - the things I've done are in purple.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar or escargot
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Been to a foreign country

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Beautiful Place for a Mishap...

We spent a good part of our new year vacation here - in a winter wonderland that would make even the most die-hard winter hater (that would be me) forgive the coldness and the bitter low light and wind of winter to appreciate how beautiful it really can be.

When you're on a snowmobile high in the mountains deep in the forest along the border of a pristine Yellowstone Park, where it's just you and maybe some ravens flying overhead, it's absolutely stunningly beautiful.

So things were going great right up until the moment when I tried to make it up a large snow bank across the highway late Saturday afternoon. I say tried, because I didn't quite make it. And when I didn't make it my instinct, to stick out my leg to balance the machine as it was flipping over sideways, was the wrong instinct. I jammed my leg against the road, hyper-extending it as I went over and felt every ounce of breath in my body leave. I had to lay there for a while and contemplate how to catch my breath and to really try to ascertain whether or not I was okay - if I had broken anything or not. I decided that I must not have broken anything because it didn't hurt that much...just felt...weird. But when I tried to get up it felt like my bone in the upper part of my leg was fine, and the lower part of my leg was fine - but the part that connects them, around the knee area, that was definitely not fine - that felt like jello. And even when I couldn't do it the first time, I tried again, and that time I completely fell over backwards into the snow again, the impact breaking my glasses clean in half. So I'm on the side of the highway near the Montana/Idaho border wondering what in the heck I'm going to do. Soon there were good samaritans all over the road, stopping to see if I was okay. 911 was called, sherrif's deputies showed up a short time later, and a nice lady in a big green suburban gave me a sleeping bag to sit on and a thermos of hot chocolate. 20 minutes later the ambulance showed.

If it hadn't been such a scary moment I would have taken time to laugh at the situation. 3 ambulance people, all of whom are 'volunteer' which is code for 'retired and bored'. Maxine is the driver and she's about 80 years old. Maxine is a dead ringer for Virginia Fish, if you're familiar with Virginia Fish. Bobbie is in charge. She's only 70. Jane is along for the ride. Jane is 65. Jane is wearing a large crocheted stocking cap in blue and white. I'm pretty sure she knitted it herself. It has one of those large comical balls of yard hanging off her head like one of Santa's elves. Getting me in the ambulance is a major ordeal. The truck and the gurney is old. It's rickety and rinky-dink. It takes 3 sherrifs and the 3 ladies to figure it out, while almost dropping me twice because they can't make the gurney actually snap into place. It was like being on a scary carnival ride. Once I get in the ambulance I get to ride 90 miles with these ladies while Jane spends the entire time shoving oxygen on my face while asking me questions, if I try to answer them through the oxygen mask she tells me she can't understand, if I move to oxygen mask to answer her, she chastises me for removing the oxygen and shoves it back on my face.

Overheard in the ambulance on the way to the ER in Rexburg (the closest ER):

Jane (to me): Good thing you biffed it right there on the highway, we sure as hell would have hated to take the sled into the back country to haul you out! That just about kills us!

Jane (to noone in particular): Lord I am too damn fat for this coat!

Bobbie: Jane, don't forget you need to get on that CPR certification

Jane: I just did that last year sometime!

Bobbie: I know, but they've changed the requirements.

Jane: Well hell, what kind of new-fangled stuff are they going to expect us to learn now?!

Jane (to no one really): I am too damn fat to get back up in front, once I get back here in the back I am just stuck.

Jane (to Bobbie): What are we suppose to be checkin' on her? Her blood pressure or what?

Then I listed to 80 miles of Jane explaining to me her retirement from human services, how she ended up at the end of the world in Island Park Idaho, how her volunteer service with this ENT unit drives her husband nuts ("What the hell does he expect me to do? Sit around and wait on him all day? I didn't work all those years so that I could sit around a remote cabin fetching him his beer!"), her grandkids in Utah (who are teenagers and no longer care much whether she visits them or not), how the mormons made her pay double tuition for her ENT class at BYU Idaho because she's not mormon, how there are some good mormons including her neighbor Margaret, how God has called her to be an ENT and ever since she started listening to him things have been going really well, how her husband thinks she's a nutjob for talking things over with God all the time (But good Lord, I am up there at that cabin alone with him all day, who else am I suppose to talk to? at least God is a good LISTENER, which is more than I can say for that husband!)....

After an exhausting 45 minute drive that goes on like this, the ladies try to pull me out the back of the ambulance at the ER. Maxine the driver goes down flat on her butt on the incline while trying to pull me out and I am hanging out the door of the ambulance on the gurney like I'm getting ready to luge down the ER driveway. My dad who is there waiting for the ambulance has to help Maxine up - he asks her if she is okay and she replies with some disgust in her voice "I'm FINE, I'm a TOUGH OLD BIRD!".

So...no MRI in Rexburg. I had to come home without knowing exactly what I've messed up in there. Today, finally, I'll be able to see the doctor here in Phoenix.

But if you're going to have a mishap - it's a beautiful place to have one.


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