Crass leg cast stories

September 22, 2010

Tiffany, my wife, thinks my blog might have become too crass. She points to two consecutive posts that use the word “dump.” I counter that, of late, I’m writing about desperate times and desperate measures. I’m confined to my bed 90+% of my waking hours. A dump* is a break from this routine and, thusly, a positive answer to my ongoing question to myself, “What was interesting enough about my day to write about?”

When I’m all healed, I will go back to writing about taking poetically beautiful walks in the warm orange sunshine while staring longingly into the panoramic blue sky and Illinois corn fields. Till then, I’ll write about the accidental dribbles that escape the not-quite-wide-enough mouth of the pee jug**.

All that was a build up to the following story, which will surpass Merely Crass and fall into the domain of Supremely Gross. Skip three paragraphs down if you have a low threshold for the disgusting or are currently eating a large, extra-saucy bowl of spaghetti bolognese.

Here goes: My mom told me she used to work reception for an orthopaedist in the plaster cast days. A patient came in, complaining of discomfort and a mysterious, overwhelming odor. The nurses took him into an exam room and cut a window in his cast to check things out. The smell got exponentially worse as the nurses discovered a treasure trove of maggots. Crawling in and around his open wound. Feasting on the mangled flesh.

The moral? It could always be worse. Don’t bitch about having to spend a month in bed, having food brought to you while you watch ’80s SNL clips on YouTube.

…and we’re back.

Yesterday, I visited the ortho doc who performed my surgery. My splint was removed, and it was my first chance to see the swollen, bruised mess of stitched-up incisions on both sides of my left ankle. I should have taken a picture to share, but, you know, I don’t like to get gross in my blog. The doctor proclaimed everything was looking “pretty damn good,” which is complex medical lingo I don’t completely understand but sounds promising.

I spent most of the visit bonding with the nurse, who removed my stitches, taped me up and put on an actual leg cast. It’s amazing how much easier it is to converse with strangers when you have a wife and kids as catalyst for ice-breaking. These types of talks used to go, THEM: You married?  ME: No, I sleep until four everyday.  THEM: Got any kids?  ME: No, kids suck. I go out drinking all night, every night.  THEM: <evil eye>

This fiberglass cast is the exact same type of cast I had when I was nine and fractured a metatarsel in my right foot. Kids, when your mom and dad tell you not to ride your bike without your shoes on — listen! It wasn’t so bad, though. My healing metatarsel and I stayed inside and played computer games during gym class while the rest of the kids were outside running cross-country.

That might have been the exact moment when I reached the “Fit or Fat?” fork in the road and permanently went down the wrong path. Looking back, I think the fork in question was stabbed into a giant breaded pork chop smothered in brown gravy.

Having a cast on again reminds me of a bad dream I had 23 years ago, while I was on the mend. In the dream, school was in session. We had just started taking a very important standardized test on one of those “fill in the bubbles” sheets scored electronically. My leg was itching like crazy, consuming all my attention. I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed my sharpened #2 pencil and jammed the eraser end down into the cast, scratching up, down and all around like crazy. It felt amazing.

Then I reached down a little too far and lost my pencil in the depths of the cast. I freaked out. It was the only pencil I had. How was I going to get the pencil out? How could I finish the test? I couldn’t get anyone’s attention. The other kids were consumed with their tests, and my teacher was at her desk, reading a book while her Sony Walkman headphones blared. Strains of Cutting Crew’s “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” wafted through the classroom as I waved my arms wildly and screamed at the top of my lungs.

Wow, what a relief as I woke up, realized it was only a dream and ran off to the living room to enjoy a large bowl of Fruity Pebbles and an episode of “Heathcliff” I’d already seen a dozen times.

I made most of that up, incidentally, but I do remember scratching my leg with an upside-down pencil and being worried that it would fall into the cast. So that flight of fancy was at least loosely inspired by a true story.

Oh, my wife also said this blog is not staying true to its premise — namely, that it’s here to chronicle days spent taking care of my kids. With this entry, she’s absolutely right. I don’t even mention Sarah and Silas until the very last sentence.

 —

* = Three consecutive posts

** = Five consecutive posts, I believe

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6 Responses to “Crass leg cast stories”

  1. Kate Hayes Says:

    I laughed harder at this post than any so far. This is bad for me, Andrew. I’m spending too much time reading your blog, and not enough time writing mine!

    That “Fit or Fat” line kills me. I think every time I think of it tomorrow, I will giggle.

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      Kate, thanks again for your feedback and support. You’ve commented on every post so far except one. You should probably go sneak back to that post and crank out a quick couple sentences. Then you don’t lose your eligibility for whatever equivalent of a “Perfect Attendance Award” I end up handing out, oh, probably never.

      I think when I was young my mom had a book called “Fit or Fat” written by some lady whose name started with a C. Obviously, it didn’t have a very big impact on me, lol rotflmao, etc.

  2. Josh Says:

    Andrew, I’ve been following your blog since you shared in on Facebook. Your wife may have a point about the crassness, but I am reveling in your posts. I think they’re great so far.

    BTW – Yesterday I came across an old GCS “Good Report” featuring your final (I think) column. The topic was the week at ORUEF competitions. Classic.

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      The crassness will subside, as soon as I’m mobile again. It will rear up here and there as I see fit, but it will not be a staple. I can make you that campaign trail promise.

      I still have some of those Good Reports in a file folder somewhere in my basement. I need to dig those up and keep them handy for when I’m putting together my Presidential Library.

  3. Leon B. Says:

    Hilarious. And your blog is hardly crass. It’s funny ass story telling. If you want crass, find some of my old blog posts or look up Alexyss Tylor videos on YouTube explaining “Vagina Power”, LOL

    • dadsdaytime Says:

      Glad you can stomach the occasional maggot-feasting-on-open-wound story with an uplifting(?) moral. Normally, I wouldn’t dream of checking out your YouTube suggestion, but my wife’s a hundred miles away right now and I’m missing the “power.” This can be considered scholarly research, right?


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