Don’t Bonk Your Head

Get a cup of tea and a comfortable chair because this will be the ultimate catching up post for January 2013. I hope I can get back to more regular posting schedule for Feb.  There’s so much to share I really don’t know where to start.. but here goes:

A Whopper of a Headache

JIM_0582

If you recall, I last left you sharing that our new activity for BW and I was ice skating lessons. And although we were off to a rocky start we were getting the hang of it until a few weeks ago now where BW fell on the ice, and first fell on her back but then bonked her head on the way down. Ouch, right?

BW got up, practiced her, um, french, shook off the fall and then we continued our lesson. After the lesson we went out for breakfast at our favorite breakfast spot and BW went and got her hair done as we were to go to a wedding later that night. We went to the wedding, where I impressed all the young ladies* with my spectacular dancing skills, but BW fought them off and took me home. Save for the fall on the ice, a very nice Saturday. Or so we thought.

* by impressed, I mean they were laughing so hard they could barely stand up. Also, I bought a new suit. For those that are in the market for a new suit – 3 buttons and pleats are now out . Who knew?

Then, 4am arrived. And I am greeted by most favorite thing in the world. A rude awakening by BW. First I feel the whap! of her slapping me and then she says she has a headache. I get her some tylenol and hope I can get to sleep again before I get walloped again but to no avail. BW’s head still hurts. I offer to take her to emergency. She agrees.  We toss on our most attractive fleece we can find and venture out in the world where we learn that 4am is a pretty good time to go to the emergency room, if you don’t like lineups. ]

The triage is the usual, DOB, blood pressure, temperature etc and then because BW is complaining that both her head and her neck hurt they toss a neck brace on her until they can be sure. Folks, BW was not pleased with the neck brace. Ever see a cat (or dog) go to the vet and they get one of those funnel thingies around their neck to prevent them from licking their wounds? Poor BW, that’s what she looked like. I would  love to have a photo of BW in a neck brace to put on the internet but I had other concerns and also I kind of  like living indoors.

The cat scans are done, the MRI’s taken and BW gets sent home with the diagnosis of whiplash. I call my mother in law at 6am to update her with the news, take BW home and put her back to bed. The Doc says that this is all muscular and will take a bit of time but she’s all good. I pickup a few prescriptions to help ease the pain.

I tell BW her skating career is over. She did not take this news well. I don’t get much of say around these parts but every once and a while I get a shot and seeing as how I became the caregiver (more on that  in a moment) I get say what’s what.

Like Hell It’s Whiplash

Sunday am, we come home from the emergency room. and I toss BW back in bed. BW does not move all day, and more importantly sleeps all day. Well, she bonked her head pretty good so it’s to be expected I supposed. But then Monday comes along, and then Tuesday and still no real change. BW sleeps all the time. She maybe would wake up looking for a cup of tea and more meds, but all I did was bring her down to the couch during the day, and then put her back to bed in the evening. They gave her a painkiller which seemed to work OK, or at least it helped but goodness me did this make her loopy. She had no idea where she was or what was going on and at one point she even forgot my name. Scary stuff.

So after talking with her folks and family,  if there was zero improvement by Tuesday I would get her to her family doctor and see what the hell was going on. This was no whiplash.  I called her doctor, and got the secretary to get an appointment later in the day. The doctor was booked, but the nurse practitioner was there and that would be good enough. The appointment was at one, and of course seeing that BW was the last to drive the car there was no gas in it whatsoever. (it’s like she’s afraid of the gas station) so I hop in the car to buzz up to the corner station for a fill.

The car has other ideas.  It won’t start. We had electrical problems with it earlier this fall and had a new battery installed but it all does not matter now because this thing will not start. Great. I have a wife in a coma-like condition, a car that’s dead. I’m in the middle of the suburbs and her doctor is so close to the Canadian border you can see the Canadian flags from the window. So, I do what everybody else does in a situation like this: I call a neighbour.

I also call the mechanic and explain our situation. One of the benefits of having a local neighbourhood mechanic as your mechanic of choice is that they’re real people. I explained that BW was sick and I needed a car real quick, and he sent two guys over to pick it up and get it looked at. We think it’s a relay for the fan that was sticking but more on that in a minute. He switched the

Thankfully our neighbour was available and after talking to her she agreed to get us to the Dr’s on time. She pulled up to pick us up and BW could not have looked any worse if she tried. She was groggy, and in pain and I think it was days since any shower happened. (hey, she was sick) and when our neighbour C saw the sad state that BW was in, she was happy to help. We get to the Doctor’s office and the nurse practitioner pretty much takes one look at her and offers up a diagnosis: Post Concussion Syndrome. 

So much for whiplash. The laymans explanation is that BW screwed up her brain pretty bad. All the electrics up there are wonky. We get wheeled directly form the Doctors office to the hospital next door where we are admitted into the emergency department of this different hospital where more x-rays and scans are taken and the diagnosis is confirmed: Post Concussion Syndrome it is.  BW is fine, but her brain is a little wonky and we get sent home with being told that she should be fine but we should make an appointment with a neurosurgeon just to be sure. Scary stuff indeed.

I call our neighbour C who gladly comes to the hospital and picks us up and we get BW back on the couch where she’s still asleep and still in pain. While at the hospital they did give her some meds to ease the headache and she perked right up and looked like almost a different person when she went in there, but after a few hours the drugs wore off and BW was back to where she was before: In pain and asleep a lot. Speaking of drugs, the painkillers they gave her for the whiplash made her really really loopy and considering that she didn’t even know my name I got worried. Heck, I would sneak up close to her to be sure she was still breathing, she slept so much. Tuesday am, I decided until we get to see a doctor  there’s no more loopy painkillers – she will need to talk to the doctor and she can’t do that on these drugs I thought.  Besides,  I clean bathrooms well, I am not  a Doctor or do I play one  on TV. In the meantime, BW can take ibuprofen.

Well, let me tell you, BW was not very happy at all with my choice of medications  and she made sure everybody in the hospital  knew that I stopped giving her the meds. (she only missed one dose, BTW. I just skipped the am dose) and she complained and complained and complained to anybody that would listen. Oh well, at least she was complaining and that’s a good thing.

Do you ever see somebody and think, wow, they look an awful lot like somebody I know? This was the case with us at hospital number 2. The male nurse was a spitting image of my Dad. (Hi Dad!) This guy had the pony tail, the jokes, everything. It was scary how much  they looked alike.

Wednesday rolls around and I have another problem: No car and no groceries. You see, we usually shop early in the week  – usually Mondays but with BW being on the couch not moving for days and the car in the shop, grocery shopping became a secondary issue, but man can not live on animal crackers alone (I tried) so I had to call a co-worker of BW’s and ask if she could take me to the hospital to pick up the CD of her cat scan for her neurosurgeon appointment on Friday, take me grocery shopping and also: BW would like a frosty (of all things) from Wendy’s and could we stop there too? M was a lifesaver.

Thursday rolls around and by this time I have spoken to my mother in law far too many times than a new husband should have to in a week and it’s decided that the visit that was to supposed to happen that weekend would be cancelled or postponed. BW is in no shape for guests. But, things are looking up a bit by then and BW is starting to tell me what to do again and this is a good sign. Her bouts of bossiness are short lived though and more often than naught she’s on the couch still with her eyes closed. But things are on the mend if ever so slightly.  She still has a headache and can barely stand but in one of her remission periods she does what every sick person does the moment she’s better: BW showers and then checks facebook.

TGIF

To end off the week, we have an appointment at the neurosurgeon. We were lucky to only have a wait of a few days as there was a cancellation. BW is well, better a bit, but far far from herself by this time. We have to impose on our friend, M, again to drive across town to pick us up, and then schlep us to the neuro office which is halfway across town, wait for us and then drive us back. Oh, also she had to drop BW off back home so she could go to bed and then drive me back to the drugstore to pick up more prescriptions. M, if you’re reading this we can’t be more thankful. The diagnosis is still the same as Post Concussion Syndrome but BW gets some new prescriptions and gets her toes tickled  and a balance test. Doc says she will be fine but not sure how long all this will take – it could be weeks or even months before BW is back in full swing.

When we get home, I walk over to the mechanic’s where I pick up our repaired car: the problem he thinks was a stuck relay for the heater fan so he replaced it, and the total cost for the repair was twenty dollars. See? It told you he was a great mechanic.

A Job Offer

With all of this stuff going on with BW it would only make sense that I would complicate things and make things a bit more crazy around here by going and getting a job. I got the call on Thursday, and went in Saturday to get officially offered the job. Folks, yours truly is now an automotive car salesperson for Lia Honda in Williamsville, NY.  For reasons I don’t really know, I thought my next career should be car sales. Why? Because the hours are weird, you work a lot and you can make a lot of money. Seeing as how my current income source is drying up faster than you can shake a stick at I needed to do something so a few Saturdays ago now I had interview number 1. The next Monday I had interview number 2, and the Friday was Interview number 3.   A week for them to check my references, etc and I got offered the job on the Saturday, and I am to start the Monday.  It’s a new adventure indeed, and now that I have got a week or so under my belt I am realizing it’s a lot of fun. I havent’ been let loose on the general public yet, but I’ve become really good at shuttling new cars to and fro and I’ve completed a weeks worth of Honda training and am now on Week 2. I’m having a blast so far, and the best part is that BW is so proud of me. 🙂  I told her I would get a job in the new year, and 7 days later I had my first interview and 2 weeks later I started on Day 1. I really lucked out with both the make of the car, but also the dealership too. This is a top notch dealer where customer satisfaction trumps all. If you’re in the market for a Honda, new or used – you know who to call.  

Sunday

I really hadn’t planned on this being a chronological diary of events, but it looks like this is the way things are going to work.  Sunday rolls around, and BW presents me with another ailment: Remember how on Thursday she showered and surfed facebook? Well, it seems she got water in her ear (the neuro doc noted it when were there Friday) and by Sunday BW is in extreme pain. No problem right? We just need to take her to the local clinic so they can clean out the stuff in her ear.  This would go a lot smoother if the car would start. Here we are, a week to the day since this fun started and I have a sick(er) wife, and still no car will start.

So, once again I call our neighbour C, who by now (like every other friend we have) is probably sick to death of me calling to ask favors, and I ask for a ride to the clinic. C decides it would be much easier to just loan me her car to take BW to the clinic and we do that. Folks, this is the first easy thing we do this week. We get in, they fix BW’s ear with what looks to be a glorified squirt bottle and I have the car returned in under an hour.

Now, about the car: It won’t start. I have a new job starting in the morning. I can’t be late or bail on my first day. So I call my friend Gord in Canada and he comes to have a look at the car, because that’s what good friends do. He shows up and we get it boosted and it seems to work, but still . I need a car I can be sure will start and so far this thing has let me down, so I get a ride to the airport and rent a car.  We had to get  a car at the airport because, being that it’s Sunday , all the rental offices are closed but one.  A bit inconvenient, but it works, and I have a reliable car to get me to work. It’s a good thing too because day 1 at the new job was super cold with temperatures of 5 degrees F. Not good weather for cars that may or not start.

The bad news is that BW actually went backwards a bit when it came to recovery. I think she started to do too much too fast and her little head couldn’t keep up. When my friends showed up to help me with  the car they said that she wasn’t the BW we all know and love. BW was  still pretty loopy a week later.

New Job, New Car

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We had been planning on a new set of wheels later this spring, but with all the excitement of the week before we realized we need one reliable car to get us around. If  somebody has to drive somebody to work because the ten year old car is acting up, we now have a game plan. So the very first thing I did when I got to my new job first thing Monday morning was to start to arrange the purchase of a 2013 Honda CR-V. They didn’t take me seriously at first and but after explaining our adventures and it’s costing us $50 a day to get me there, they realized I really did need to buy a car ASAP. By this time, BW was on the mend (Monday was much better than Sunday) so I picked the color and had them call BW for the financing/money cause, well, she’s in charge. I just work here. 🙂

We knew we wanted a small SUV and the Honda is a great brand and is a good size for our stuff and the dog can go in the back where dogs are supposed to go and not on the back seats where they fuzz up the seat beyond recognition and use by any human that wants to leave the car not looking like a furball.

One thing that’s kind of funny is that neither of us test drove the car. I was shown the car, and offered a test drive but all I did was peek inside to confirm the interior color and count the speakers in it and I was good. BW didn’t see it until she picked it up. We opted for Polished Metal with Gray Interior. It’s got AWD, a moonroof, and whole bunch of features: bluetooth, etc. We picked up the car on Friday, only to get a call Sat am that they forgot the registration for the car at the dealer so we ended up buzzing around town in the old car on the weekend while the new one sat in the garage.

I’d love to tell you how the car drives but  I don’t know. I’ve driven other CR-V’s around at the new place of employment, but I’ve never been inside the honda that’s in our garage. This is BW’s car. I get the ten year old wonder where you get to play ‘will it start?” roulette every morning. Apparently, it’s a nice car. 🙂

On the job front, the first week is all online training and while not as bad as it was explained it was, this week of training I am on now is much more hands on, and more involved. There’s still lots to learn and I’ve got many many mistake to make but I come home every night with a great story and a smile, which is much better than money, actually. (BW might disagree)

Monday worked out OK in the end and thanks to the rental car I managed to get to work on time,  and J, D, and  Z came to visit BW while I was on the first day of the job and it worked out great as they were able to check up on her and also feed her lasagna. They had called a few days prior and I told them I was feeding BW frozen pizza and apparently this was unacceptable. When the family cook gets sick, you get frozen pizza and tea.

To summarize, we’ve had a doozy of a past few weeks, and there’s a few takeaways from this too:

  1. Healthy = Happy. Forget car worries, money worries, you have to give the dog a bath – whatever. It all comes second to health. We’re lucky to have each other. Being sick and alone is the worst.

  2. We could not have survived this past few weeks without the help and support of friends and family. I’ve never said ‘thank you’ more than in the past few weeks. You know who you are.

  3. Our skating career is over. We’re sticking to more comfortable sports from now on, like couch surfing. The fall from the couch is much softer, and safer too.

Lastly, and just quickie:  Now that our skating career is over – we have picked up a new hobby: baking. I make awesome banana bread. 🙂

JIM_0578

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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