Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Motorcycles, Trauma and Hospitals.

I went and saw a friend on the Sunday.  I was happy to see him, because I haven't seen him in ages, but I was not pleased about the circumstances at all.  His alias is MC and he was involved in a hideously serious motorcycle accident about a month or so ago.

MC was driving straight through an intersection during an amber light and unfortunately for him, so was a turning car.  I guess it is going to be difficult to decide who was at fault because they were both somewhere they probably shouldn't have been during an amber light.  (Note to self, amber for all intents and purposes means STOP if at all possible!)  MC was thrown 30 metres from the collision into a wall.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could say, oh and MC got up, dusted himself off and continued on his merry way?  But of course, this was not the case... two broken legs, tib and fib of both, a broken rib and a completely destroyed left arm.  We are talking a broken humerus and radius with a pretty darn severe brachial plexus injury.  The brachial plexus injury in MC's case means that he landed funny (obviously not haha funny!) against the wall, probably with his arm behind him, so that the tendons and nerves were majorly damaged.  The result is that he has no feeling or movement from about half way down his bicep.  Nerves were taken from his leg and groin and replaced in his arm, but as us MS suffers know, nerves take a really long time to heal and his hand is not yet working.  Thus the doctors have given him a two year time frame for his arm to come good, otherwise it will be amputated...

I think about those two years and I think about all the pain, commitment and hard work that MC will need to put in to get his arm and hand working and wouldn't it be totally devastating after all of that to then to have it chopped off.  He seems fine about this scenario, but perhaps this is a little bravado for his audience.  But I am sure (and I hope) that he uses knowing that the next two years will be filled with pain, commitment and hard work as motivators so that they are not in vain.  Good luck buddy.

Eventually, he will also need to have a full knee reconstruction as well.  Life for my friend will be a little, no, a lot uncomfortable for the next few years at least.  It gets me to thinking about why such horrible things happen to people or why people, like me, get terrible diseases?  Is it because we are bad people - no, I doubt it; otherwise every stinking paedophile would die a slow, painful, torturous death before their time.  Is it because of karma... hmmm, well if it is then many of us have done something hugely wrong and again every stinking paedophile would die a slow, painful, torturous death before their time.  Is it to teach us a lesson?  Um, er then lots of us must be slow learners because those lessons involve considerable pain.  Do things happen for a reason?  Or is everything abstract, random and accidental?  Sometimes I don't know what I believe in…

Oh I failed to mention that MC during the nerve replacement op (I think, not sure how many he has had) nearly died on the table.  Oh the post traumatic stress…

MC is currently staying in a rehabilitation hospital.  The hospital was like a rabbit warren, it was incredibly unwelcoming and walking through the empty corridors on a Sunday afternoon I felt spooked.  I also assumed MC would be in a private room - too many visits to maternity wards obviously, so I was shocked to walk into a room filled to the brim by MC and three other trauma unfortunates.  I understand now that a room full of blokes in similar situations could be a good morale raising activity but I think it's more likely due to a lack of space and outdated facilities.  It was really quite depressing, but it would have been a whole lot more depressing, for MC anyway, stuck in a bed 24-7 all by yourself.

So we had a nice chat.  I didn’t cry about the magnitude of damage done to MC's body.  And I came home and banned both my children from even considering a motorbike as a form of transport. I told my husband in no uncertain terms that I don’t care how experienced a motorbike rider he thinks he is, that he is never ever ever getting another bike.  Ever!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Humphrey , The Toy Poodle Who Never Looks Happy in Photos!

So here I am again.  I haven't been able to blog as regularly as I would like to because I am back studying again.  I'm doing Honours in Psychology (or 4th year) really part time.  Usually part time is two units a semester and you would finish 4th year in two years, but I am doing just one unit a semester... until I have to do my thesis which I have to complete in a year like everyone else, so in theory I should have 4th year finished in three years.  Anyways I am doing a statistics unit and it's not very easy, so it's taking up much of my headspace and time.  I'm procrastinating right now... I should be reading about MANOVA, but I think I have conditioned myself to fall asleep whenever I start to read the textbook... thus I think reading at 1.30 in the afternoon when I'm feeling drowsy is not the best bet!

I keep good company when I'm doing uni homework.  My faithful dog, Humphrey usually hugs my feet while I'm still and is my shadow when I'm on the move.  Mostly he's a good companion - he doesn't whinge, chat back or not eat the food I give him.  But he's not great at giving tight hugs, helping me with stats or making dinner.  Humphrey is an 11 month old toy poodle.  The best thing about him is that he doesn't drop hair at all, which is great because he's an inside dog.  Everyone, and I mean everyone who meets him comments on his colour, either that it is not a usual poodle colour or that he is beautiful or some mix of both.  He's a hard colour to define, kind of a light red/brown.  He is a very happy and playful dog - he's great with the kids and an awesome playmate - he keeps them busy when I'm busy.  He is just the right size too - Sabin has had him in a headlock before and he can jump up and not knock them over.  Right now I can think of three irritating things associated with him... his squeaky bark and high pitch squeal when he thinks he's missing out on something, the fact that I get out of bed at 5.30am to walk him and he never ever looks happy in photographs.

He is actually quite hard to photograph because he just is never still for long enough.  So maybe he is happy but you can't tell because his face is always blurred.  Other people, such as my husband and an anonymous commenter to this blog have pointed out that perhaps he looks unhappy because of his feminine hair cut, ie your typical poodle "do"... pom poms on his legs and fluff on his head.  After all he is a poodle, so Humphrey should expect to have his hair cut appropriately.

I'll let you in a on a little secret... I get Humphrey's haircut in a poodle do because I love to watch my husband's reaction.  He is horrified that we have a poodle that looks like a poodle.  I know - what did he expect... we bought a POODLE!!  When we purchased Humphrey last year he was a tiny ball of fluff, so maybe Ryan thought we bought a poodle that didn't look like a poodle - crazy I know.

The anonymous commenter thought that Humphrey looked like a girl with his pom poms... but check out his latest crew cut, he still looks like a girl.  He has super long eyelashes, which the groomer trims when Humphrey goes in for his regular appointment.  So I think all Humphrey can do is man up, use a deeper bark and wee on way more trees.

I had planned on giving him a mohawk, but the groomer decided that he is still too wriggly for anything that requires a straight shave.  I have to tell you, Lexy the groomer was very upset that she had to give Humphrey a crew cut, because Humphrey’s hair just goes perfectly into a head pom pom (technical term, anybody??).  She point blank refused to trim off his dunny brush tail.  His crew cut  actually matches my husband’s current haircut - a number 2 all over.  Ryan looks like a crim with such short hair and a goatee.  Humphrey looks quite cute and at least I can see his eyes now.

So here is a picture of Humphrey and Ryan - same hairstyle!  Who's most handsome?

I think I know who'll be more annoyed at this comparison!

Poor Humphrey, I think he is just destined to look like a girl and take unhappy looking photographs!