Monday, July 9, 2007

"I have a good excuse this time."

(Brother) Doug calls me today.  "I know I missed M's birthday.  Sorry about that, but this time I have a good excuse." 

Doug tends to downplay things.  He's not one to overdramatize and get all shook up over things.  Nope.  He spent more time living with Dad than I did.  (I lived more with our mother; he lived more with our father).  One time when I was in college and Doug in high school, he called me, "Robin, when there's smoke, does that mean there's fire?"  Dad had fallen asleep on the couch (which at that point in time, meant likely drunk).  Seems a lit cigarette had fallen, and the couch was smoking which Doug had tried to put out.  He didn't wake my father (who had since gone upstairs, I *think*??)  He didn't call the fire department, which would take care of the potential smoke and fire question, but of course would also bring about notice and drama and people into his / Dad's life.  We are not ones to seek out attention.  Nope, Doug called me, who he knew would stay calm and focus on the issue, AND, understand.  We talked about it, and somehow Doug got the couch out back (less notice from the neighbors), and doused with the hose until there was NO smoke left.   Blackened and soaked I suspect.  Home intact. 

In a crisis, both Doug and I can focus on what is important, and get it done.

I knew it wasn't a bull excuse Doug had.  "So, what happened?"  Last week, Doug was on a construction site.  If I'm getting this correctly, some box he was working with of approximately 1,000 pounds fell down on his knee, scrapping the heck out of his leg (it fell along down his leg, I think?), and crushed the rest of his leg, and damaged/crushed the nerve that runs down the leg to the foot.  I get these details later, as he's been bored at home for a few days now, thankfully using his laptop and his phone to stay on top of the work that he can.   He originally tells me simply that he broke his leg, "So, tell M I'm sorry, but I was actually in the hospital."  As in, admitted for 3 days. 

While waiting for the ambulance, Doug called his business partner, asking if that guy would follow through with the afternoon appointment.  (Business Partner then asked why, and then told Doug that Doug should have FIRST said that he was waiting for the ambulance, and then any appointment details.)  Doug also asked his one full-time employee to hire someone who could do some work.  The guy likely was the one who called the ambulance in the first place, and now asked Doug some questions regarding who to hire.  Doug gave some guidelines only, cuz, well, he hurt a LOT. 

Doug was taken by ambulance out of the woods, to a nearby elementary school, where he was medivac'd (taken by helicopter) to one of Maryland's shock trauma centers.  They were very concerned about him losing his foot, so skipped the hospital that was 10 minutes away from the construction site.  The board and braces hurt the heck out of him.  "My first helicopter ride and I couldn't look out the window."  Then again, it'd likely have made him nauseous as he was in such pain.  There at the shock trauma center, they tore off his pants as if there wasn't a moment to lose, and .....   then..... waited...... 6...... hours.......  .  Then maybe having surgery so not allowed anything to eat or drink and I *think* he said still nothing but the most basic of pain reliever so in horrid pain.  Just before midnight, he was brought in about 5 things to drink, which he debated on as his surgery was now the following morning.  IV's had his internal fluids going, just his mouth was dry, and he did NOT want to jeopardize delaying the surgery..

The surgeon gave his business card to Doug, "Please call me as I'm who you will meet with for your followup appointments."   Doug was prepped to go into surgery wearing only a hospital gown.  "So, where did he think you were going to put this card?"   The surgeon was concerned about the potential for infection due to the damage all along Doug's leg, and they decided to just go ahead with the surgery NOW, anyway. 

Doug couldn't have called me THEN, or the night before?  I'd have been with him on Independence Day, or at least briefly, after he'd gotten out of surgery.  "I got to see about 12 fireworks from the window, which went until about 1 in the morning."  He drove himself home 3 days later, with his good right leg. 

Doug's in a full, straight cast now, left ankle to left hip.  He's allowed 2 pain pills every 6 hours, which he didn't realize.  He says that taking just one makes him hallucinate, so he avoids even that until he needs to sleep or something.  He does not wish to risk any chance of addiction to them, and figures the pain's not as bad as that first day.   He has used an occasional beer to help out.  If he is lying flat on his back, his leg and foot completely straight, it feels to him as if his leg is bent, and his foot flat on the couch.  He'll be in that for at least 6 weeks, and was told he will likely need to be re-taught how to walk.

His foot is saved.  His business just enough off the ground where this isn't going to do it in.  Still.  Sometimes, Doug, share the crisis.  You know I can deal.



  1. wow, he is very lucky to have his leg and/or foot still. I can't beleive he didn't call you from the hosptial. men are such a pain like that, or brothers at least.
    Glad he is okay now.

  2. onecrabn3lilfishJuly 9, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Dear lord he just had to wait to tell you right?  Glad he seems that he will heal and get better.  And thankfully it wasn't worse or it fell on his head!  :-/


  3. seraphoflove9001July 10, 2007 at 3:43 AM

    Oh my! Very thankful that he's alright and didn't lose his foot or his leg! I will keep him in my prayers.

  4. Crush injuries are really nasty stuff.  Happy to hear he is doing well.  ~ Mike

  5. Sheesh,brothers,huh?

    You know I'm sending up prayers!!

  6. I m sorry for your (and your brother's lose and pain) hardship and anguish.
    If you give me his email address, I wil be glad to encourage him, if you want.  Hey, I know all about pain and agony.

    Tom Schuckman                                                                                                                  
    Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 1968-70                 
    "Iron Sharpens Iron" -- Proverbs 27:17
    "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the TRUTH ? ---Galatians 4:16

  7. Sorry your brother got so hurt!  Glad to hear that he is okay and getting better!  I can't imagine the pain he must have been in. LOL at the dr's business card!!! Take care, Caroline

  8. Telling him to "share" something like that is like telling any guy to ask for directions. Unless you're in the car with him, it won't happen. But I'm glad he's fine.


  9. He is more valiant I think that insensitive to other's feelings about not being told.  Maybe stoic is a better word.  Crushing injuries are so bad usually and I am very greatful that it missed his head.  It would have killed him.  Talk about a heightened ability to minimize things.  WOW!  Nearly got killed and acted like it was no big deal.  He's an incredible person.  If you write us his info, I bet loads of people would write and cheer  him up.


  10. I'd like to have you around if I was having a crisis. I think that there is much to be said for being able to "focus on what is important, and get it done." I hope that your brother continues to mend well and I will definitely add Doug to my prayers.--Sheria

  11. Owwch! I am such a whimp my leg hurts just reading about what Doug had to endure. So it is now.... um... (doing the math... give me time...) ALMOST two months later. How is brother Doug doing? The couch story is amazing... another reason why I could never smoke, I'd most likely drop a butt in a chair or sofa and POOF! My love has lived in two apartments complexes that had fires due to someone falling asleep with a lit cig that ended up in furniture. Glad Doug had the insight to call you and get a second opinion.

    Later gater.