Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bubble Bouncing Mania and Other Tales

Time once again for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge. This week the prompts are:
1.) Your trip to the ER...spill it.
(inspired by Stephanie from This Blessed Life).

2.) "Why are American's obsessed with weight? Why are we always fighting or complaining about what is natural for our bodies?"
(inspired by Jenn from Jenny Says What?)

3.) Describe one of your 'God Moments'.
(inspired by Jordan from Wide Open Spaces).

4.) List ten things you would say to ten different people in your life...if you had the hutzpah.
(inspired by Cassandra from Cassagram)

5.) Why is your kid in time out?
(inspired by Sera from Laughing Through The Chaos)
Without further ado, I give you the minimalist answers for this week.

#1 - Given I have only been to the ER a couple of times and there is only one of those trips where I would not be disclosing someone else's medical problem, my choice is easy. Thus, you get the case of broken arm. Or if you like odd titles, the case of Bubble Bouncer Mania.

I was in fifth grade and playing on the school basketball team against one of our arch-rival grade schools. (Even chubby kids get recruited to play basketball when they are taller that everyone else. {*grin*}) It was a hotly contested game with the lead changing hands multiple times. Late in the third quarter I went to block a shot by the other teams center and when all was said and done there were about five of us on the floor. I got up and the referee was shouting "Stop! Stop the game! That player has a broken arm!" So of course I looked around to see who was hurt and noticed that everyone was staring at me and turning green and pale. That was the first hint I had that it might be me the referee was talking about. The blood and the bit of bone sticking out of my arm made it clear it was indeed me. About then it started to hurt.

The school nurse and the principal splinted it loosely in old Life magazines and took me to sit in the office while they called mom to come get me. (This was in the days before the automatic ambulance calls and other over-reactions of modern society.) Mom arrived shortly and we set out on the journey to the hospital a few miles away. By now I was in definite pain. I mean the absolute, get sick to the stomach, gut wrenching kind of pain. So I am sitting in the passenger seat, holding my magazine cradled arm in my lap. And then we came to the railroad tracks. I swear that every track we crossed was like having giant spikes driven up my arm. We arrived at the hospital and shuffled into the ER. Like every hospital known to man, they had to take X-rays first before they could proceed. And then, finally, the nurse gave me a shot of pain killer preparatory to putting me under to fix my arm. No shot has even felt as good to get. Within a few minutes I was out cold, waking up many hours later in the hospital with my arm in a half-cast and immobilized, packed in ice. The end diagnosis was compound fracture of both bones in my right forearm.

The irony in this story is that I played football through college and even rugby after college and never once broke a major bone (fingers don't count). But playing grade school basketball is the one time I broke a bone and I did it spectacularly well. My arm is still crooked some 40++ years later and I still have the little scar where the bone poked out of the skin. And I still remember the thankfulness I felt as the nurse gave me that shot that stopped the pain.

#2 - I suspect that there are some who are obsessed and there are some who are not. I belive that those who are obsessed come from two points of influence.

I have strong belief that those who are truly obsessed are those most susceptible to TV and the media and the images projected and emphasized there. TV and the movies can subtly skew our beliefs of what is normal and what is desirable. The continuous bombardment by images emphasizing certain physical traits makes the tolerance and acceptance of those that don't meet those ideals even harder. When you have an arbiter of taste and preference that the average American is exposed to for 6 hours a day or more, cultural norms go by the wayside.

With that said, I suspect that the other side of the issue is that we are amidst the first of the generations facing the easy availability of excess calories. At the turn of the last century, the working farm male often burned more than 8000 calories per day. Today there are few occupations where an adult male burns more than 2000 calories per day. In that same period, food has moved from reap and prepare your own to mass preparation with salt and fat loading, boosting the available calories by huge amounts. We (human beings) have not adapted to those rapid changes. For the last 40,000 years or more, it was a huge survival advantage if your body stored fat during times of plenty to cover the times of famine and want. There is a reason that stone age fertility images are of what we would today consider obese women. It meant that they were able to store enough during times of plenty that they could successfully birth and nurture offspring during times of want. That same genetic adaptation in this time of more uniform and abundant supply leads to obesity and the associated diseases.

So my conclusion is that the current obsession is due to a) susceptibility to media and b) uncertainty due to changing external conditions which undermines listening to the body.

#3 - One can have many God moments on the journey through life, but the one that sticks with me the most was shortly after the birth of the Son. (Some background: L and I had been married for 14 years and had given up on having kids when we found out we were going to have the Son. Because of our age, we had undergone aminocentrisis, even though we had already decided that he would have to have a defect that was fatal and painful before we would do anything. We figured this was the one miracle we were going to get and weren't going to give it up.)

The Son was born healthy, but shortly thereafter was failing to thrive and in fact had fallen deathly ill. We went to the pediatrician early in the week and when we came in later in the week, the pediatrician wanted to know if we wanted to take the Son to Denver to Children's Hospital (some 130 miles away) ourselves or by ambulance. L immediately set off and I followed and spent several days there. I vividly remember pacing up and down the halls of Children's Hospital, The Son in one hand and the other hand pushing the IV pole and monitors connected to the Son. I remember going through the classic conversation with God. You know the one - where you ask God if he can't take you and let the Son live. L stayed in the Son's room and I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House.I can remember heading back to the room and calling the grandparents to update them and then just collapsing on the bed. And I can remember waking up and feeling that somehow this day was different. And heading back over to see L and the Son and finding that the Son was improving and should get well now. That was a God moment.

#4 - I don't know that I have anything to add here. I have never been noted for lacking chutzpah (note the corrected spelling - {*grin*}). I generally say what I think without much regard for the consequences. I've noted before that I am a curmudgeon. That was not hyperbole on my part. I once told the Chairman/CEO of the company I was working for that he "had the brains of a kumquat" during a meeting when he was insistent on following an illogically boneheaded path. (Interestingly, I wasn't fired immediately either.)

#5 - He's not. Given the Son is old enough to vote and other such signs of adulthood, I doubt that trying to send him to the corner for a timeout will help much. At this point, you hope he has learned enough to make the right decisions on his own. All we can do is watch and hope and pray and cheer.


  1. I love your stories and thoughts. It's always so interesting to hear what you have to say!

    Can we add blogging into the blame category for weight?

    PS. Fingers DO count as broken bones, they do!

  2. Beautiful story about your God moment. You're right that we need to get back to those major calorie burning jobs. I say this as I sit at a laptop and eat a brownie :)

  3. I've never broken a bone so would have to say that fingers count. Ouch!

    I agree about the weight. I am the first generation to live off the farm and to start eating city food. That is when my weight troubles started. My farm genes are not made for city food. I've gone back to organic homegrown food with no drugged up foods for me. I'm losing weight and I feel better. Plus, I workout over 10 hours a week which is still less exercise then I got feeding the animals (rabbits, dogs, pigs, goat, cats) growing up. Perhaps I could be the case study for your theory. :-)

  4. yikes! my stomach churned at the thought of your broken arm! and the story about your son was so tender, how beautiful that everything turned out so well!!

  5. I am so happy about your son! what a great story.

    Sorry about the rock picture- promise to not throw any at you.

  6. As always Dan, I love the post! My two favorites were your God moment, which is truly beautiful and I am so glad you had it because it means you have the Son! Second, thank you so much for spelling chutzpah correctly, I did too:}

    Sorry about the arm, man that had to hurt!

  7. I plan to steal your "brains of a kumquat" saying. Figured it's only fair if I let you know!!

    Hallie :)

  8. I agree, our sedentary lifestyle, and the convenience of fat- and preservative-laden food is to blame for our weight troubles.

    And believing what the media says contributes to young women wanting to be stick-thin clothes hangers like the fashion models.

  9. I love to read all of your stories. Sorry about the arm; glad your son was okay

  10. Ouch! I've never broken anything (knock on wood) except for a knuckle. I can't imagine the pain...

    Love your GOD moment.

  11. I loved reading your experiences. I too was getting a little pale just thinking about your arm.

  12. Had to come and tell you why I said everything anonymously.

    I have two rules on my blog and only two rules. I will NEVER humiliate anyone and I will never discuss my sex life. My kids read it and I am NOT paying for their trherapy!!

    If I had said to whom I was directing those comments to, I would have had a shit load of crap to deal with. Don't have the energy or the time!!

    Anonymous it is!!

    Hallie :)

  13. Ouch, reading about your broken bone made me re-live traumatic childhood injuries...and made my stomach churn.

    really enjoyed reading your blog

    Over from Mama Kats


  14. I so enjoyed your many things to thank the Lord for, especially when He smiles on us...and does it quickly. It's when they get bigger that those smiles you just have to have faith in...and sometimes you have to wait, and hope, and pray!

  15. Loved your answers this week, especailly the one about external conditions undermining us listening to our bodies. It is so true. Thanks for stating is so well.

    Glad your son got better. Nothing is as scary as your child being really sick.

  16. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. This week made me think you were even greater than I already did : ) And you know how great I think you are, right? : )

    So funny about your son. I can't see him taking a time out well at this stage : )

    LOVE your God moment!

    And while I was reading about your arm I was wincing in pain! OUCH!


You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin