Last Wednesday – February 23rd – Joe called me from Texarkana, Arkansas on his way to Houston, Texas to deliver. He was in a lot of pain and had trouble breathing. He could not take a full deep breath because it hurt so bad. I tried to persuade him to get medical attention immediately but n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o, he was not about to stop since he was so close to delivering and he was on his way home.
Last Thursday the pain was getting worse and he still would not stop to get checked out. He was not sleeping well at night because it hurt so bad to breathe. He delivered, finally, just after noon and was on his way home. He had plans of stopping at a rest area to take a nap at some point before he got all the way home, even through my protests. He made it as far as Ennis, Texas – just south of Dallas – and stopped for the night at a hotel.
Last Friday morning he called to let me know he was on the way about 8:30 in the morning. I called our doctor to see if we could get him in that afternoon and they scheduled it for 2 p.m. Later Joe called to let me know the appointment had been put back to 3 p.m. Someone he had talked with in the previous few days had told him it sounded like he had Pleurisy, which is a swelling of the lining of the lungs due to either pneumonia or tuberculosis. He had been up in Michigan in 12 degree weather with snow. He had spent quite a bit of time fighting with the trailer to get it hooked up in the ice and snow so I figured he had a bout of walking pneumonia or something like that but not tuberculosis.
Our doctor took a blood and urine test to see if he had infection indicators with a rising of his white blood cell counts in the blood and whatever shows up in urine. Nothing. He was not ill and did not have an infection. Our doctor then had Joe stand up and turn his back to the doctor. Pushing, poking, prodding all the while asking “Does this hurt?” with Joe’s responses being “No” to most of the goings on. That is until the doctor found the spot that did, in fact, hurt.
Our doctor is not only in Family Medicine he is also a Doctor of Osteopathy. He lead Joe into a different room and had him lie down on a flat table. Also in the room were diagnostic machines for monitoring heart rates and other such things. Joe thought he had been having a heart attack and expressed his anxiety to the doctor about this. No, he had not.
As soon as Joe laid down he complained of severe pain. Our doctor said Joe was having “Mechanical” issues and not anything else. What ensued had me laughing I thought I would have to excuse myself and find a bathroom lest I pee myself.
Joe is a huge man. Stands over 6′ 2″ tall and weighs a little over 300 pounds. Our doctor stands about 5′ 8″ and might weigh 180 pounds. Both men are of the same age range. The comical part was after he had Joe lie on his right side, bend his knees and put his right hand on his left shoulder while his left hand was on his right shoulder.
Our doctor worked his left arm beneath Joe’s shoulders and wrapped his right arm around Joe’s chest and linked his fingers behind Joe’s back. There was a lot of grunting and groaning going on by the both of them as our Doctor tried to twist Joe a bit. Joe cried out once in pain then said he heard his back pop. Then Joe was told to lie on his back while our doctor went to the head of the bed. Joe was instructed to lace his fingers together behind his head and hang on tightly. Our doctor then wrapped his arms around Joe’s chest once again and began lifting. More grunting and moaning ensued from both of these guys along with some yelps from Joe and exclamations of his back popping. Then Joe’s head was twisted around until more popping was heard.
After all of this twisting and popping Joe found immediate relief from his pain and he was finally able to breathe. Joe had dislocated a rib while he was up in Michigan trying to get hooked up in the ice and snow. Our doctor told Joe that he was not to go back out to work for five days. It is a good thing because Joe has needed the rest, but it is going to mean a kind of bad thing for me. I’ll have to be pretty creative in keeping Joe focused on something other than traipsing all across Oklahoma for the next few days on errands.
For Curtis’ birthday present I had purchased a tear drop shaped pendent to make it look like a drop of water coming out of the copper pipe. Getting Joe focused in helping me complete this project was my main goal.
While I held the pendent, as Joe instructed, he taped on four pieces of string on the tear drop to aid in suspension of it. Once the strings were attached then I had to hold the copper piece as still as I could with not a lot of wriggling so he could tape the strings to the piece and get the pendent lined up properly.
Once all the strings were taped on the copper piece and Joe felt that the pendent was in the right place then we could move on to the part getting the tear drop actually attached.
Some 5 Minute Epoxy was what was going to to be used in this process.
The epoxy is going to take a while to set and Joe has one of his fancy clamps to hold the copper piece in place so I’m not stuck there holding it as it dries.
I’m so thrilled with the way this has turned out. Even better than what I had imagined it to be.
Our son, Curtis, as I’ve said is a Mechanical Engineer. He has helped to get many school and civic buildings built in the Salina, Kansas area. His job is to route all the plumbing in a building. In schools it is to get all the bathroom plumbing worked out for fresh water to come in and have the waste water taken out. Kitchens to have plumbing for fresh water for cooking and the dishwasher, then have the waste water piped out. His job is also for planning the gutter systems around the outside of the building and having the run off taken away from the foundation and directed into the city systems of rain and snow melt while the inside plumbing waste is directed to the sewage lines of the city. Another of his jobs is to create the heating and cooling of these buildings and the placement of the furnace and subsequent air ducts.
The next challenge on this creation is to get a stream of “water” coming from the outside piece. We had purchased some clear plastic tubing for this but the tubing has quite a curve in it. Makes it look like there is a stiff wind blowing the water at an angle. We are working on that today. This project will be completed some time, soon hopefully.
Yesterday we went across town and purchased a 9′ piece of 3/4″ acrylic tubing of which we only needed about 7″ for the “water” effect. Joe cut a piece of it off yesterday and it was not long enough. This morning he cut another piece and now I’ve got him using Glossy Accents to create the water effect.
I’ve had to get a bit cross with Joe a time or two recently so I can get my paperwork done on the scheduled days. His being in “lock down” with his rib healing and not being able to traipse all around the world while he’s home. Trying to keep him home and not allowing him to do much strenuous work is about to make me go bonkers. We have an understanding right now and he has been pretty good on his word to let me do my paperwork. I’m nearly finished with November. Bank statements to reconcile remains to be done before I can begin to tackle December and have this mess done.
So, I have been juggling getting my birthday present stuff created, keep Joe from harming himself further by restraining his penchant for activity, corralling the outside errands to keep the running around to a minimum, spending time doing the paperwork, getting Joe fed, and watching the recorded television shows to get them deleted. Seems as though I’ve been doing a lot of stuff recently but I think it is more a dog chasing its tail…..lots of movement going on but nothing else is happening.