complaints, disasters, dogs

See you next fall…

Many years ago, when I worked at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, I had a friend who worked on the Rhine River cruise ride. He was a big, strapping guy who sweated profusely and carried his lunches in Igloo coolers. I knew this guy, not just because we worked in the “German” part of Busch Gardens, but also because we were both from Gloucester, Virginia. He was the eldest of a large Irish Catholic family. I think he had eleven brothers and sisters, but I can’t say for sure. ETA: A mutual friend says that Shawn is the eldest of fourteen.

Anyway, this guy, name of Shawn, used to get a huge kick out of me. One time I asked him why he was so amused by my comings and goings. He said it was because I was always hurting myself somehow. And because I could swear a blue streak that would make a sailor blush.

This morning, I’m not so proud to admit that I did both of those things. The sad thing is, this morning’s injuries come almost exactly a week after my last significant injury… significance being a relative thing. I’m not talking about broken bones or even sprains. I’m talking about scraped knees and sore muscles from breaking sudden falls.

Last week’s accident happened when I was about to walk the dogs. It was cloudy and a little rainy. I was preparing to walk the dogs when I decided to check the mailbox. Noyzi has been getting a lot braver lately, so he followed me outside. Suddenly, I had a flashback to about a year ago, when the beagle we tried to adopt escaped the pet taxi driver who had brought him to us. He panicked and took off, as we watched helplessly. Hours later, he ended up getting killed on the Autobahn, which is very close to our house. Watching our would-be family member run to his death was devastating. We had been so looking forward to having him, only to see him take off running before we even got to pet him.

Noyzi runs like a locomotive. I don’t think he wants to run away. He seems to enjoy being a pet. He has his own big bed, doesn’t have to fight over food, and loves to take walks. He also seems to like me a lot, although he’s still afraid of Bill. Still, I knew that if he got spooked, as he occasionally does sometimes, I might be shit out of luck in getting him back. He is really fast! I panicked a bit when he came outside. I made a grab for his collar, but missed. I fell down, having lost my balance, and made another grab for him, which I missed. He quickly hit the deck, peeing submissively in the process. I tore off part of a thumbnail and badly scraped my right knee. I also got a big bruise.

It hurt. Falling down is not as painless when you’re middle aged. I literally saw stars and felt nauseous after I fell. Like, I might have been in danger of fainting from the sharp pain. I yelled a bit, because I was pissed off, humiliated, and hurt.

Healing takes longer, too. That knee is already pretty badly scarred from other spills, including one that happened during the summer of 1991, when I was working at Busch Gardens. That was by far the worst knee scrape I’ve ever had. I had just finished work and was taking my till to the cash control office when I slipped on the pebbly walkway. Because it was dark outside and had just rained, I didn’t realize how badly I was hurt until I went into cash control and handed over the till. I looked down and saw blood streaming from my knee. I asked the teller if she had any paper towels. She got a load of my knee and called the first aid office, who carted me off to the first aid station and patched me up. It took weeks for the wound to heal and I still have a deep scar.

So all last week, my knee has itched, bled, stung, and throbbed. My right thumbnail hurt like a motherfucker, since I broke the nail at the quick. As of today, it doesn’t hurt anymore, since the nail has grown. I’d say that injury, at least, is about recovered. But then I renewed my clutzy woes this morning.

Arran woke up at about 4:30am. He wanted his breakfast, since I didn’t have much of a dinner last night and he got few scraps. I got up, let him and Noyzi out, and fed them. Then I went back upstairs, but noticed that Arran hadn’t followed me. I know this trick. Arran will often stay behind and stealth pee if I don’t watch him. Not wanting to clean up an unnecessary mess, I went back downstairs to get Arran. Somehow, I tripped on a shoe. I remember feeling horrified as my ankle wobbled and I went down on my nice rug.

Mrs. Fletcher and I have something in common.

“FUCK!” I screamed. For the second time in a week, Arran was looking at me with a mixture of concern and fear. The expression on his face was like, “oh dear… she’s fallen and can’t get up!”

Yes, I literally screamed and wailed, in part because I was hurting, but also because I’m angry and frustrated. Because now, not only did I reopen the wound on my right knee and undo a week’s healing, but I also now have a scraped left knee and my left big toe is fucked up. This time the scrape is on the top part of the knee. It’s more of a rug burn, so I don’t think the flesh wound will take as long to recover. However, I also have a big bruise on top of the knee, and walking hurts. Add in the normal pain and stiffness I experience just for being old and fat, and you have someone whose Monday has gotten off completely wrong!

The kicker is, I’m supposed to drive somewhere today. It’s literally been months since I last drove anywhere. Like, it’s been so long, I don’t remember when I was last behind the wheel. It might have been in 2019, it was so long ago. And I have to drive the Volvo, because my car’s tires are low on air and even if I wanted to drive on low tires, I’d need to move Bill’s car anyway. Bill has been trying to find a working air pump at a gas station, but for some reason, the Wiesbaden area is low on functioning air pumps. We’ll probably end up ordering one.

Fortunately, the Volvo practically drives itself, and I only need to go about two or three kilometers. But the reason I have to drive is because I need to drop off a sample of Arran’s shit at the vet’s office. That just seems like a perfect Monday morning chore, doesn’t it? I still need to collect one sample before I go, too… and I’m not sure I can manage our usual walk today. My left knee really hurts. But the sun is out, and the dogs need the exercise. I need it too, but maybe only after I put on knee pads and elbow guards. Shawn would be so proud to see that nothing has changed since the 1990s, except now I’m older, heavier, and even more profane.

I haven’t even had an alcoholic drink since Saturday afternoon, so I can’t even blame this on being drunk. At least I finally finished binge watching Growing Pains.

You’d think I played rugby.
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3 thoughts on “See you next fall…

  1. Your pictured wounds look painful. i have a bit of a phobia regarding fingernail or toenail wounds. Dealing with children’s nails in either the ER or in clinic is among my duties. The first several times of even looking at an injured nail or — even worse — a nail bed minus its nail, made me ill. I nearly passed out with one child’s index fingernail, and a nurse practitioner had to take over. I’m almost better with compound fractures though as I’m not an orthopedist, I only clean, immobilize, order tetanus shots, and otherwise stabilize compound fractures. I’m better with mutilated nails than I used to be, though if I can legitimately make the excuse that the procedure is “beneath” my scope, I’ll hand the procedure off to a nurse (and i’m not especially bad about considering myself to be above anything that’s unpleasant; I even help with the clean-up of barfy kids, which most pediatricians won’t do).

    My parents’ got Cardinal Gibbons’ DNA results back from embark vet. His results say he’s roughly 22% Australian cattle dog (also sometimes called blue heeler), 19% American pit bull, 18% chihuahua, 10% cocker spaniel, 9% border collie, 7% dachshund, 4% Boston terrier, and the rest supermutt, with his likely dominant supermutt breeds being bull terrier, pekingese, and collie. We’re all a bit skeptical, but who knows? Maybe it’s accurate. Two different people have told my dad they had dogs who looked like him who were whippet mixes (whippet/chihuahua in one case and whippet/labrador in the other), and the vet thought whippet or greyhound was most likely. In the area in which he was found, pit bulls are pervasive, as are little yippy chihuahua mixes; hence, it wouldn’t be unusual for a street dog to have pit bull, chihuahua, or dachshund. My dad took the dog along with him on a hike into the Sierra Nevada foothills, though, and he was terrified of cattle they encountered. He wouldn’t have been a particularly successful cow herder. He doesn’t look ANYTHING like an Australian cattle dog, either.

    Because my parents apparently have money to throw around on such silly pursuits, my mom says she is going to do the DNA thing with another company and actually send the photo with it this time to see if the dog’s apparent phenotype somehow influences the results.

    We’re in a hotel for the next two days because my parents are being tented for termites. (If it weren’t for COVID, we’d probably stay with relatives, but it seems rude even to ask for such a thing now.)The dog is at a relative’s house, so I haven’t met him yet.

    I made the mistake of reading about an unsolved murder of a Presbyterian pastor’s thirty-one-year-old wife in a San Joaquin Valley town not far from where my mom lived in 1973 (https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/cold-case-spotlight/no-arrests-46-years-after-sarah-lou-gammons-brutal-california-n960501,), which gave me such an extreme case of the willies that I checked the hotel room window, which wasn’t properly secured. I couldn’t maneuver the deadbolt bar into position, so I woke my brother up in his room next door and made him come in and brute-force the deadbolt into place.

    I hope you’re not too sore from your accidents. Dealing with that sort of thing really sucks. Even if it’s not a fracture or even sprain, the discomfort can be significant, as you know, and the open wounds add insult to injury. (I know you’ve not overly fond of medical care, but a tetanus shot might not be a bad idea, and the medical personnel at least wouldn’t have to probe around for veins.)

  2. The thumbnail wasn’t that bad. I lost part of the top, rather than the whole thing. My left knee is a bit more swollen now, and hurts. I took some Advil and a short nap. It might hurt more tomorrow, after everything has had a chance to get really stiff.

    I might end up ordering an Embark test for the dogs. The one we had done here at the vet wasn’t useful because it was intended for breeders. It just shows DNA, not breeds.

    As for medical care, I might be more willing if Bill were here and I had already gotten vaccinated.

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