Man of Steel Update

Many of you have asked how the man of steel’s recovery from May’s ruptured disk and June’s back surgery is progressing. Obviously, an update is in order, so here goes.

The man of steel:

  • Is back to work full time.
  • Can now ride in a car for an hour before needing to get out and stretch.
  • Puts on his shoes and socks in half the time and half the huffing, puffing, and groaning required before the surgery.
  • Mows the lawn again.
  • Received an okay from the neuro-surgeon to begin a running program under the guidance of his physical therapists.
  • Goes to physical therapy 2 – 3 times a week to build strength, gain flexibility, and work on the above mentioned running program.
  • Willingly dons what the physical therapists call “tutu shorts” so he can run on their anti-gravity treadmill.

Having a hard time picturing the man of steel running on a treadmill in tutu shorts? Then take a look at this YouTube video for a better idea.

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Pretty cool, huh?

Much as I love the idea of Hiram running in tutu shorts in the comfort of our own home, it’s not gonna happen any time soon. Anti-gravity treadmills cost beaucoup bucks, which we don’t have. So I’ll have to come up with a different photo to adorn this year’s Christmas letter.

Which should make the man of steel sleep easier at night, don’t you think?

 

Top Ten Lessons Learned in a Drought Year

This summer’s drought has people talking about the weather. So today’s post enters the conversation with the top ten lessons learned during the drought of 2012.

10.  You know how people say dry heat isn’t as oppressive as humid heat? That’s a lie.

9.    If the person who mows your lawn (aka: The Man of Steel) needs back surgery, try to schedule it during a dry summer.

8.     Bugs do just fine during drought years.

7.     So do weeds.

6.     Outdoor weddings are much less stressful during a drought. Unless the dry heat gets to people. Or bugs get under the bride’s skirt. And no one minds decorating with weeds instead of flowers.

5.     People don’t complain nearly so much when a wedding’s rained out during a dry summer.

4.     Mom and I have plenty to talk about during my weekly visits. She talks about being pregnant during the drought of ’56. I talk about being pregnant in the drought of ’88. We both talk about my daughter-in-law being pregnant during this drought. Since Mom forgets our conversations between visits, we never run out of things to talk about. Until the drought ends. Or the grand baby arrives. Whichever comes first.

3.    Droughts are easier to weather when you’re not pregnant.

2.    Women who are pregnant during a drought should be nominated for sainthood.

1.    Droughts destroy our very human illusion of control and remind us of our dependence upon the grace of God.

Three Care Giving Thoughts for Thursday

For the past couple of weeks, my life has revolved around caring for friends and family – Hiram’s surgery June 12, a Camp Dorothy overnight last weekend, and taking some kids swimming so their pregnant mama could get some rest. Such circumstances rarely shine a light on my finest hour, but the situations did result in three care giving thoughts for Thursday:

1.   I’m pretty sure the doctor prescribed a 5 pound lifting limit for a certain male patient who had back surgery to keep him from lifting more than 10 pounds.

2.    Taking imaginative children to the swimming pool isn’t about going swimming. It’s about prowling in the water like a tiger cooling off on a hot jungle day, hopping in the water like a frog in a pond, and swimming underwater like a tadpole. But after 2 1/2 hours of prowling, hopping, and swimming, the tiger, frog, tadpole, children, and adult weren’t pretend tuckered out. They were honest-to-goodness, for real tuckered out.

3.   I usually take Mom for her annual mammogram, but since it was the same day as Hiram’s surgery, my brother took her instead. She had a haircut the same morning, so during our Camp Dorothy overnight last weekend, I asked her, “Did you survive your big squish and snip morning okay?”

She shook her head and smiled. “It wasn’t squish and snip. It was press and tress.”

Yup, Mom’s still got her sense of humor!

Have you had any memorable care giving moments lately? If so, leave a comment.

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Hospitals at 6 AM

Hiram’s surgery was at 7:30 this morning, but he had to be at the hospital at 6:00. With our early arrival, I quickly discovered 10 good reasons to avoid the hospital at such an early hour. Here goes!

10.   The parking valets look like they’re either about to fall asleep from boredom or like they just woke up. In either case, should they be driving other people’s cars?

9.     One trades a stunning sunrise for the glare of florescent lights. What a way to greet the dawn!

8.    Television programming isn’t good enough to distract a patient worried about going under the knife in a few minutes.

7.    Laymen can’t be sure if the docs and nurses are wearing scrubs or PJs.

6.    Most people aren’t yet on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, so it’s hard to find virtual thumbs up encouragement.

5.    I’m not yet at my best for extreme hospital sports like hallway wheelchair races and the scalpel toss.

4.    Walking the hospital hallways for exercise on a gorgeous June morning just doesn’t cut it.

3.    The snack bar isn’t open yet.

2.    Worse yet, the coffee shop (and it’s a good one) isn’t open yet either.

1.    Who wants to be anywhere at 6:00 in the morning, especially in a hospital?

Now it’s your turn. Why do you avoid hospitals at 6:00 AM?

HELP is a Four Letter Word

Less than 24 hours until the resident man of steel goes under the knife for back surgery, and I’m not sure which one of us is looking forward to it the most.

Okay, the above statement is false.

Hiram is looking forward to it most, especially in the night when he’s trying to find a comfortable sleeping position, and I’m sawing logs, oblivious to his discomfort. But my anticipation of the surgery which will relieve his pain and speed his recovery is a close second to his.

Why am I so eager for this to be over?

Because men, even those in excruciating back pain and unable to putter around the house or lawn, consider H-E-L-P to be a four letter word. Of course, in a surface level, numeric sense, they’re right. But a man’s deep aversion to asking for H-E-L-P goes far below the surface. In the past few weeks, when we’ve been obliged to ask others for H-E-L-P, I’ve come to believe this male trait is hard-wired. And God agrees with me.

How do I know this?

Because, and I quote Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Notice, God doesn’t say, “Hey, Adam, looks like that’s more than one guy can handle. Want a little H-E-L-P?”

And why doesn’t he ask that?

Because them’s fightin’ words for Adam, and God knows it. He knows Adam will refuse H-E-L-P when offered. He also knows Adam won’t ask for H-E-L-P when he needs it. So God, knowing Adam did need H-E-L-P, put him to sleep and made Eve indispensable before Adam woke up and had time to object.

And what kind of helper did God make?

Not someone strong enough to do all the heavy lifting, but someone who recognized when a task was more than she and Adam could handle and would ask for H-E-L-P. Yes, it’s true that she looked for H-E-L-P in the wrong place once and caused all sorts of problems. But this post is about men’s defective hard-wiring, not women’s. Though if some guy wants to tackle that subject in a future blog post, I’m more than willing to accept the H-E-L-P.

Any takers?