Sunday - August 17, 2003
Are you sitting down? I sure hope you are. A week ago yesterday (Saturday - August 9) Norm, Case, and Bob went on a bike ride. They rode the trail from Baxter to Bondurant (21 miles one way). They decided to have lunch at the park on the north side of Bondurant so Norm packed a light lunch. They had breakfast in town and drove to Baxter. Close to noon Case called me and got our answering machine - he called back a little bit later. It wasn't very long after his last call I heard the messages he left. He wanted to talk to me but he didn't say why. I knew something was wrong - I just had the feeling. I called him back and that is when I found out that Norm had an accident. Case told me that he either had a broken ankle or it was twisted bad. He told me that the ambulance was taking him to the Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
I called my friend, Karyol, to see if she would go with me to Des Moines - I really didn't want to go alone. I just had this sick feeling in my stomach that I would be coming home without Norm. The second call I made to the hospital ER finally told me that he had arrived just a couple minutes before. I talked to the his ER nurse and found out that it was broke quite badly. She explained the process of getting into the ER and back to the room he was in and then she said, "Drive carefully - don't speed."
We didn't have any trouble getting into ER and back to Norm's room. By the time we got there they had "knocked" him out for a bit so they could temperarily fix his leg and ankle. He was just coming out of the antesetic when Karyol and I walked into the room. The nurse explained to me that the ankle broke and was shoved up in front of the shin bone and the doctor had pulled it back down where it should be and turned the foot in the correct direction it was suppose to be pointing. Before the doctor touched Norm's knee it had been pointing up towards the ceiling like it was suppose to but his toes were pointing off to the side and starting to head towards the floor. They couldn't do surgery since Norm had just eaten so the surgery would be on Sunday.
When the doctor came in and was explaining what he had done and what would be done in surgery Norm made a comment and the doctor turned and looked at him and told him they had to shoot his bike to put it out of it's missery. I said, "Don't tell him that - he will have a heart attack!" We all laughed at that but you should have seen Norm's eyes when the doctor said what he had said. Karyol and I just burst out laughing. The nurse even snickered I think.
Case and Bob came in the room to see how Norm was doing and Bob was surprised to see me so calm. It seems he thought I would be bouncing off the walls in hysterics. I told him that wouldn't do me any good and it wasn't that bad. You see he hasn't known us very long to know that I am great in a crisis UNTIL I have everything taken care of and then I loose it. I explained to him that this was not the first time that Norm had been hurt and bad. You see it was just 29 years and 2 days before that Norm was in an explosion and ended up in the burn unit of the University of Iowa Hospitals. He had been burnt over 75% of his body (first, second, third degree burns). So this time was bad but NOT that bad.
They finally moved Norm up to "his" room on the fifth floor and shortly afterwards Karyol and I left for home. He was resting and I wanted him to rest as much as he could and let the pain medication do it job. I told him (and the nurse) I would see him the next day but if he wanted to talk to me he was to have the nurse call me no matter what time it was. And I asked Karyol on the way home if she would go back down with me the next day again. I really appreciate that Karyol was with me - I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't been able to go with me - it was her weekend off.
I was just about a mile out of Albion when the surgeon called me on my cell phone to tell me how surgery had gone. When I asked him how long Norm would be off work as I would need to tell the company where he works the doctor said 2-3 months. He also told me that Norm would be off that foot completely for at least 6 weeks. No pressure of any kind was to be put on that ankle. The doctor was pleased with how the surgery had gone and told me that he thought Norm would be able to come home on Tuesday - but he would have to demonstrate that he could "motate" on crutches. I knew that then that Norm would be coming home on Tuesday - he doesn't like lying around.
Bob stopped in to visit Norm on his way to take his family to the State Fair in Des Moines. When we left to come home late Sunday afternoon I told Norm that I would get things situated at home and make some calls and then I would come down in the afternoon. Later Sunday night I called to check to see how he was doing and to see if his spirits were still in the dumps - which they were. Norm told me that Case had called him earlier on his way down to Des Moines with his son to go to the wrestling matches. Beth called me later and I told her that she needed to call her Dad and see if she could raise his spirits. She called me back and said she thought maybe she had done some good.
Norm was to have therapy in the morning and afternoon so instead of sitting in his room waiting for him to get back I could get a bunch of stuff done here getting ready for him to come home and get things in motion since he would be off work that long. It worked out great since Karyol had to go back to work on Monday and would be off at 2:15 in the afternoon. It was close to 1:00 by the time I got most of what I wanted to do done so I decided to wait until Karyol got off work and ask her to go down to the hospital with me again. I had some running to do in town before I could leave anyway and we had talked about this on the way home the night before. I called and left a message on her machine and took off for town.
When I got home on Monday evening I made a list of who I still had to get ahold of the next day before going down and getting Norm. The nurse told me that Norm was scheduled for therapy in the morning and afternoon again so any time after that he could be discharged.
Tuesday was a strange day for me. I was able to get most of the calls completed that I needed to do then I spent a little time with Moca. He had been acting different from Saturday night on when Norm didn't come home. He knew that something was wrong - he stuck to me like glue when Chris wasn't home. Anyway, when I left the house I figured I would fill the gas tank when I got to town before leaving for the hospital. I had to go that way since I was going to stop and get the handicap sticker for the car for Norm so I would just get gas in town instead of here at home. Well, I was about 8 miles out of Marshalltown when I remembered that I drove right past the driver's license dept. where you get the handicap stickers. I kept going - we could get it the next day.
Norm didn't get out of the hospital until after 4:00 - rush hour traffic in Des Moines - I hate it. We had to go through Marshalltown and stop at the pharmacy to get two prescriptions filled before going home so we decided to have supper in town, too. I didn't think we would have to come back to town until the weekend. Well, either both of us or just me were back in town every day except today! I have work that was put on hold that I have to get to work on tomorrow so I thought I had better get an entry written now.
Norm isn't going to be in any shape to go to the N4C Convention in Fergus Falls, MN that we had planned to attend the first part of September but we will be ready to leave for Chicago when Beth calls to let us know that she is on the way to the hospital and then when our first GrandBaby is born we will get on the road headed that way. By that time Beth will be in base housing and she told us the other day that there are about 6 steps to go up to the bedrooms and bath and another set of 6 steps that will go down to where her computer will be if Dad wants to play games on it. Hopefully by the end of September when the grandbaby is due Norm will be getting around better so the steps won't be a problem.
He goes back next week to the doctor to have x-rays done to see how it is healing. And then they will change the splint to a cast - he will be able to choose the color he wants the cast to be. I am hoping he will go with neon yellow. :O) No matter what color Norm chooses to go with when we get home I am going to add some color of my own - glow-in-dark paint!! That way I can find him during the night when he gets out of bed. :O) But do me a favor - don't tell him because I don't want him to know until I get it done. You see, I plan to paint the glow-in-the-dark paint on while he is napping. :O)
Well, I need to finish this and get ready to head to bed - tomorrow is going to be a long work day. If I can "come up for air" between jobs I will let you know how we are doing here. I have started to tell people when they call and ask how Norm is doing I say, "He's still alive." :O)
I love you, Mom! Love you bunches, Beth! Moca says "Woof" to Zulu, Beth. :O)