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Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Overly-typical August Weekend

Tomorrow’s episode of FAR Future begins, “In the long hot days of August, Murphy’s star is in the ascendent and nothing works right.” Even though it hasn’t been hot, it hasn’t exactly been the best of times. Not that everything is w0rNg: many days were perfect riding weather, Mrs. Fetched bought me an iPhone (!!! still trying to figure out that one), and we’ve been getting lots of goodies out of the garden. Even the disasters have not been all they could have been: Daughter Dearest’s tip-over saw all three involved walk away; Mrs. Fetched’s mom went into the hospital earlier in the week for a possible heart attack that turned out to be a bacterial problem… and there was today’s excitement.

But I cannot let this go by: we got Daughter Dearest off to college yesterday. We spent the morning getting her signed in and unpacked, ate the lunch they provided us all, then had a half-hour gathering that ended with a “if you’re not a student, you have to leave now. Say your good-byes.” Mrs. Fetched, despite threatening to cry all week when this moment arrived, held up very well. I had to generate a tear or two in her stead. But only one or two. I’m really happy for her, getting to start Book II of her life. Like many people my age, I’d love to have the 40-odd (and I do mean odd) years of experience and the 18-year-old body to do it all over again in.

Of course, the texts and phone calls weren’t long delayed. DD forgot a couple of minor things, stuff you can live without if you’re a guy, but… so I figured we’d make a list, toss them in the car, and buzz over to drop them off.

Coming home from church, we topped the hill just before FAR Manor and there was a pack of emergency vehicles just a little farther down, in fact at the top of the dirt road we used to live on. “Go up there,” Mrs. Fetched said. “I want to make sure it’s not any of us.”

I didn’t recognize any of the cars, but saw a woman lying on the pavement… not good. The EMT crouched in front of her blocked her face, but when I saw my nephew Brand X running toward us with his mom’s purse in one hand and her cellphone in the other, Mrs. Fetched said “Oh $#!+.” Yup: her brother’s wife Jam.

Brand X calmed down and gave us a quick run-down of what had happened: they were riding horses, and Jam’s horse had a neurotic episode when it stepped off the grass and onto the pavement, reared up, and Jam hit the pavement butt-first. The EMTs figured her pelvis was broken, and the shrieks when they put her on the stretcher suggested they were right. They figured she’d be a lot more comfortable riding to Atlanta in a helicopter (the nearby hospitals are not set up to handle trauma), and Bill Elliott’s airstrip is the nearest pickup point… so we followed the ambulance there and waited for the chopper. The local EMT told us where they were taking her — Atlanta Medical Center, “the old Georgia Baptist,” and gave us a map. They got her aloft, and we ran back to the manor for a quick lunch and a little strategic planning. Mrs. Fetched isn’t comfortable driving in city traffic, so I got to take Brand X down to the hospital to see his mom while she made the DDDelivery.

The map was good, and we arrived in good order (not much traffic Sunday afternoon) after I gassed up my Civic (spending $20 of the remaining $30 of my gas budget, but there are things you have to do because they’re the Right Thing, and thus want to do them). They told us where Jam was (still the ER ward) and pointed us in the right direction. She was there, in major pain (even with as much Demerol as they thought prudent to give her) but she did her best to reassure Brand X. He was holding up his end pretty well, fielding phone calls from various relatives until her battery gave out. We had yet to call Mr. Sunshine, so we used my phone for that and other numbers I had. They finally took her off the hard-board (which led to more shrieking, of course), but after they did that and changed her cervical collar, she was less uncomfortable.

The only good news in the situation came from the MRI scan — her pelvis wasn’t broken after all, thank God. The doc figures there’s a lot of bruised “soft tissue,” maybe some organs and maybe her spine as well. They’re hanging onto her for a while, and were getting ready to move her into ICU when Brand X and I packed it in and headed back.

So that was my weekend. Not as bad as Jam’s. Brand X is staying with us for a couple of days, and I need to get up early to get him off to school.


  1. Far too much excitement in such a short time. Glad to hear that she has no broken bones to deal with.

  2. Yeah, me too. She's in enough pain already. I can only hope she heals rapidly & can get back on her feet. They moved her to ICU… maybe so they can fill her up with happy juice & keep an eye on her vitals.

  3. Well that's number three of the set of tragedies right? So NO MORE EXCITEMENT while I'm gone. Too much stuff in so little time... Haha... so much for working with the horses. =(

    ~~Love DD

  4. DD, yesterday was tragedy #1. Your grandmother didn't have a heart attack, and she was feeling good enough to get out & "help me" pick beans Saturday afternoon, so that's only 1/2 a tragedy (although your mom looked ready to commit multiple tragedies when she heard about the bean picking). Your tip-over doesn't count: like I said, everyone walked away & there's one less SUV in the world, so that one's an overall positive. :-P

    But yeah, too much stuff, not enough time. I can't agree more!

  5. Wow!! Glad to hear that she will be okay, but sounds like she has a long road to haul.

    So how do you like the i-Phone LOL.

  6. Hey Solar. We took her kids down to see her last night. She's getting a little more comfortable, although it still hurts like hell for her to be moved much. It doesn't help that she's allergic to just about all narcotic-based pain killers… maybe I need to bring her some moonshine or something.

    As for the iPhone, I like it just fine. I got my camera, I got my phone, a couple of games, and I got my music — and I only have to carry one thing. I need to graft this thing to my body somehow… it would kill me to lose it. If I could attach a keyboard to it, it would do 80% of what I need/want from a computer.

  7. Maybe it's a good thing she is allergic to the meds, those things can be horribly addictive.

    Does the iPhone have a GPS? and did you get the 3G ? I was thinking of getting one but I don't want to switch to AT&T.

  8. Solar, I wondered about that too… how long does it take to get addicted? I think I'd be asking for whiskey; it would still hurt but I wouldn't care.

    Yeah, the iPhone is the 3G. It has something called "assisted GPS," which means it gets an approximate location based on known wifi hotspots and the cell tower it's talking to while it's waiting for the GPS to kick in. You see a blue circle on the map that covers the territory you *could* be in, then when the GPS gets its fix it shrinks down.

    AT&T isn't too bad here. Mrs. Fetched and DD had Verizon for a while, but AT&T has caught up with their coverage while Verizon's voice mail has deteriorated… I can leave her a VM & she might not get it until the next day. Plus Verizon cripples their phones — you can't even get a picture off your phone without going through their network & paying a bunch of extra $$$.

    My biggest beef so far is fairly trivial: it doesn't (seemingly by design) sync the to-do list from iCal on my computer. Seems like too obvious of a thing to miss.


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