Tag Archives: accident

Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination

I’ve spent most of my adult life troubleshooting.  It’s a process of elimination.  You hold all variables constant, and you change one to see if it has an impact.  If it doesn’t, you restore it to its original state, and change another.  You keep doing that until you find the problem.

Since Then

Elizabethe commented that I really haven’t been my same self since the accident.  That’s understandable.  PTSD is, as the T stands for, a traumatic disease.    I say disease because it is a mental illness brought on by a life threatening event.

Since then I had a nasty flu that took weeks to recover from.  Let me correct that… I’m still recovering.  A couple of months after getting the flu I got a septic infection.  The antibiotics cleared up a lot of symptoms, but a few of them came back.

I’ve never experienced fatigue as I have lately.  It used to be I could trim the grass, hedge the bushes and mow the lawn only to feel some muscle stiffness the next day.  Saturday’s experience doing those three tasks nearly killed me.

Convinced Me

Elizabethe convinced me to see the doctor.  The doctor asked lots of questions, listened to my breathing and my heart, and told me the course of action.  It’s a process of troubleshooting, not unlike troubleshooting a computer or network system.

First, they are going to test my blood and urine for a bunch of stuff.  She said it could be an infection (again), electrolyte imbalance, hormonal, blood sugar, etc.  Her first line of troubleshooting is to see if anything appears in the blood or urine.

If nothing appears in the lab tests, the second tier will be to adjust my medications one at a time to see what happens.  She listed off a couple of my medications that could cause fatigue.   One she said could be eliminated.  The others, substituted or an adjustment in dosage could help.

After that, there are other tests.  She suggested sleep apnea.  Something tells me it’s not sleep apnea.  I think it is more “chemical” or “biological”.  She also wants me to see an E.N.T. specialist.  I haven’t been to one for years.  In 1974-1975 I practically lived at my E.N.T.’s office, but that’s another story.

Worse Case Scenarios

Some worse case scenarios were rattled off…  Kidney failure (I’m doubting that since urination seems normal), liver failure (another one I doubt), thyroid problems, Parkinson’s being the ones she mentioned.  Ones I found searching symptoms on the Internet were leukemia, Lupus and Sjogren’s (this latter matching all the symptoms).  It’s all a process of elimination until something conclusive rears its head.

In the Meantime

In the meantime, I have to manage my energy and time carefully.  My voice is a good indicator.  I need to remember to back off when my voice starts going out.  And, I need to accept that my effectiveness can end anywhere during the day.  (Today, it cut out around noon.  That’s when I started to lose my voice.  Losing my voice is coupled with the extreme fatigue I’ve been feeling.)

One thing I won’t be eliminating is prayer.



It’s good to be flexible when you work in the temple.  Tonight was no exception.  The first half of the evening I was moved around from place to place.  That’s okay with me.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.

One guest completed the work for his mom and his dad.  I asked about having them sealed and he said they have an appointment to meet up with his brother in Utah and do the sealings there.

How cool is that!

Sad News

We got some sad news tonight that one of our friends was in a very serious car accident and in critical condition.  We added her name to the prayer rolls at the temple.

Disappointing News

I read where someone commented that a member of the First Presidency is “out of touch” with “modern morality” because he is a “bigot”.  It’s disappointing because this person is “out of touch” with “God’s laws of morality” and are showing their insecurity and hatred.

It’s all kind of crazy thinking on their behalf, and here’s why…

God defines morality — not society.  If society did we’d still be dancing around a golden calf, getting drunk and having sex with anything that moves.  But, at a time when that was going on, God gave 10 commandments to his prophet, Moses, and commanded that such practices stop.

The law of chastity is quite clear — Sex is between a legally and lawfully wedded man and woman.  Anything else God has declared as a sin.



Ever since my accident physical activities have had a bad aftereffect.  While I accomplished a lot of things done yesterday, I’m paying the price today.  Perhaps I’m pushing things too much.

Perhaps it’s all part of getting old, but it is probably because I’m pushing too much.  The doctor said for each day you’re down it takes 1 week to recover.  Doing that math it will take 3 years.  I’ve got another year to go.

I’m not Kidding

I’m not kidding when I say I had to walk a distance to school.  When we lived in Idaho (1st through 4th grades), we had no bus service for school.  The only kids who rode a bus lived a LONG ways away from the school.  (Look up the distance from Moscow, ID, to Potlatch, ID.  The kids from Potlatch got bus service.  We did not.)

We didn’t have snow days.  In fact, I cannot recall one single time that school was cancelled.  None.  Zip.  It just never happened, and our weather was far more severe than it is here in Palmyra.

During a recent discussion I commented that the school district here has TOO many buses.  The person I was talking to said, “If they didn’t have buses, some of those children wouldn’t go to school.”

I think we have grown up taking formal education for granted.  My maternal grandfather left school in 6th grade to go to work.  He broke horses, owned a butcher shop with his brother, owned a small grocery store, and then worked for Union Pacific and earned a pension for his long service with the railroad.

Grandpa was one of the smartest, kindest and wisest men I ever knew.  His lack of a formal education wasn’t an issue.


Because his parents taught him well, he wasn’t lacking because the government didn’t educate him.  That brings me to this point…

Since when is it the government’s job to educate our children, haul them to and from school, feed and clothe them?


Another Shot

Another Shot

I got another shot of cortisone today.  This time in my shoulder.   After the accident my shoulder hurt.  Of course, in the ER they took x-rays of a lot of stuff, but didn’t say anything about anything being broken in my shoulder.

A few days after the accident, I had bruising on my right arm — an indication that someone pulled me by that arm as there were 4 large finger-sized bruises on one side, and a big thumb-sized bruise on the other.  And, that shoulder was hurting, but because I was in bed I didn’t think anything of it.

Then, when I was up and about using crutches, the shoulder started hurting again.  And, again, I didn’t think much about it.

About 9 months after the accident, I was going about my daily routine and my should just started to hurt.   I kept putting off doing something about it until I saw the doctor for something totally unrelated and he suggested I come back to get x-rays.

So, today they took x-rays and explained why my shoulder is hurting and gave me a shot of cortisone.  It seems the tendon got stretched when my arm was pulled on because of an impingement and it is acting up this late because other medications have been masking the injury to my shoulder.

The body is a complicated machine.

Networking and Doctors

Networking and Doctors

It is a day of networking and doctors appointments.  It all started with my local networking meeting.  I’ve been away from the networking meeting for a couple of weeks and it was good to be back.

I went directly from there to see the orthopedic surgeon.  I told them about the bad pain I’ve been having in my hip, and they said for each day I was down expect a week for full recovery.  I was down for months.  It looks like it will be years before I achieve a full recovery then.

The rest of the entire day was spent copying files and trying to catch up on work.  I cannot believe how far behind I got in the last few weeks.  Pageant, followed by school, followed by our trip to Utah means I have about 3 weeks of catching up to do.

Elizabethe is working today.  She texted me to say tomorrow will be her last day.  It will be nice to have her home again even though we can use the extra income.

I worked on stuff until about 9:30pm.  At that point, I was so tired I had to quit.

Now, here’s something weird.  It’s been months since the accident.  Right after the accident my right shoulder hurt, and a couple days later, I had bruises where a hand had grabbed my bicep (I believe to lift me up and get me out of traffic.)  The pain went away after about a week.  Today, it is back with vengeance.  My right shoulder hurts so much I can hardly lift my arm.

Belief System

Belief System

I had an interesting discussion about my belief system and how the accident has affected it.  By belief system, we’re not talking about my faith in God or my religious beliefs.  We’re talking about how it has changed the way I view the world around me and the people in it.

It was a very interesting and educational discussion.  Given a traumatic event, I was asked to describe the “belief” behind it and the “consequence”.  He called it A-B-C:  Actuating event – Belief – Consequences.  Fictitious  example:  Jane ridicules you in front of your friends (A).  Jane is a mean, vindictive and spiteful person (B).  You avoid going anywhere Jane may be because you don’t like being embarrassed (C).

Now I’m tasked in coming up with some accident related  A-B-Cs.  It’s not as easy as it seems.

I can see this exercise being valuable in many circumstances.  It can flow either way – positive or negative actuating events.

It has been a week since surgery, and by dinner time I was drained of all energy.    I’m sure it will take a while to get my stamina back, and probably longer before the pain goes away.  I see the surgeon tomorrow for the first post-operative visit.

The weather is wet and on and off drizzle or down pour.  It actually feels colder because of the dampness.  We went from temperatures in the teens to temperatures in the 40s, and the 40s actually feel colder.  I once had a doctor with a search-and-rescue team tell a group of scout leaders that more people die from hypothermia in 40 degree weather than in freezing weather because they misjudge how cold you can get in a wet, 40 degree environment. Brrrrr.

Five Months

Five Months

It has been five months since my accident.  I thank God regularly that I’m still alive.

At the time I decided I was going to take a walk down to the Grandin Building I did not realize today was the five month anniversary of my accident.  I stood in the driveway facing the garage debating on whether to drive or walk.

Part of me was saying, “You could really use the exercise,” while another part was saying, “Yeah, but you can do what you’ve been doing.  You can go to the basement, get on your stationary bike, and ride.  It’s a lot safer because you can’t get hit by a car.”

Anxiety was building.  Walk or drive.  Safe or sorry.

A terrible thought dashed through my head.  I saw myself walking through the same intersection, but this time heading east, and getting stuck by a car breaking my left leg.  My stomach turned somersaults as I wrestled with the decision.

I decided I can’t be a coward my entire life and so I began my walk.  As I got to the intersection of Main and Church, I pressed the button.  I looked ahead and the red hand was displayed.  I then looked at the traffic.  It was somewhat busy.  The white walk man appeared, but a car was coming.  I stepped back about 5 feet, but about then, I lost the walk sign.

Pressing the button again, I watched as the cars passed.  This time, when I got a walk light, there were no cars in sight.

“Yeah, there were no cars in sight that night,” I reminded myself as with trepidation I started across the street.

The street seemed smaller to me.  As I passed the spot where a bumper of a car made contact with my right leg, I thought how big the street seemed that night.  It seemed like it was a long distance from where my body laid and where the curb was.  Yet today it seemed smaller and distances shorter.

I made it through the intersection and drew a deep breath.  The next intersection was bad, but not nearly as traumatizing as the intersection.

I took a walk behind my building to check out some repairs that are needed.    When I finished there, I went to cross at Fayette Street.  There is no stop light there.  I froze.

“I have the right-of-way,” the logic side of my brain said.

“Who cares,” said the fear side of my brain, “your body means nothing to those big cars if they decide they have the right-of-way.”

I literally waited until I couldn’t see any moving cars in any direction.  As I started across, a truck rounded the corner a block away heading my direction.  I raised my hand as if to say, “Stop.”

“What are you thinking Brent,” I asked myself, “He’s so far away you’ll be across the street before he would even need to brake.”

Such is the mind of a scared injured soul.

On the way back, something happened.  I’d call it an answer to prayer.  I passed across Church Street and didn’t even realize what I had done.  When I got home I thought about what had just happened.

While a part of me is thinking, “You fool, you could have been hit again because you weren’t paying attention.”

While another part of me is saying, “God managed to protect and distract you so you wouldn’t be a nervous wreck while walking across the street.”

I like to think it is the latter.

I’m going to do it again tomorrow (weather permitting).  The more I can face my anxieties, the more I can convince myself the world is a safe place.

Day 10

Day 10

It is day 10 since the accident.  While I’m still feeling the aches and pains, they are not as constant as they have been.  I’m feeling an increase in upper-body strength since I have to lift my body using the crutches.  Right after the accident, it was really hard to stand up.  Now, I grab those crutches and pull myself right up while keeping that right leg off the floor.  Pretty impressive.

By the end of the day, however, I could hardly do anything my arms were so tired.  About the only times I left the couch were to use the bathroom and that was about it.  So much for that upper-body strength.

Poor Elizabethe.  Not only does she have her normal tasks, but she has stuff that I would normally do.

For a diversion, I watched a couple of Bob Newhart clips on YouTube.  These are quite funny.  Just search for him on YouTube.  The one I liked the most was titled, “Stop It”.  Another really funny one was Bob Newhart Defusing a Bomb.   What a funny guy.

Another thing I accomplished today was downloading all of my bank statements and credit card stuff for my insurance company.  Although I can get on my laptop and do stuff there, I cannot take portraits or do weddings because (1) I can’t hold a camera while using crutches, and (2) I need to rest frequently and keep my leg elevated so it doesn’t get swollen.

By about 7:30pm today, I was pretty exhausted.  To think I have about 5-7 more weeks of this… well, I shouldn’t think about that.  It will only drive me crazy.


Church After the Accident

Church After the Accident

Church after the accident was something I was anxious about.  I decided I should go and hope my body is able to keep up with the pace.

Many people came up at church.  Those who knew the details offered their sympathy.  Those who did not wanted to hear the story.  Everyone was very supportive and sympathetic.

Jim Hale was there, and I could tell he was guarding his arm.  You could tell his arm is in pain.  He said he would be seeing his regular doctor during the week.

The biggest problem with sitting for 3 hours is the pews and chairs are not very comfortable for someone with limited mobility.  My butt endured the sitting and it was nice having gone to church.

On the way home, Ron drove through the Palmyra Cemetery and asked me to point out graves like Pliny Sexton, E.B. Grandin and John Gilbert.  Bob Ingold met us there and Ron pointed out some graves to him like Bishop Baldalf and the Beavers’ graves.

Last night was the worst night since the accident.  I think the emotional/mental trauma caught up and I had a night of nightmares and physical pain.  It is the first time I’ve ever woke from a deep sleep having an anxiety attack.  I can’t remember what the nightmare was about, but it really had me upset when I woke up.

How do insurance companies put a value on pain and suffering?  It’s one of those things where money doesn’t fix physical damage to the body, nor does it compensate for nightmares, anxiety, and other emotional pains as the result of an accident.  I guess it can be seen as a way to alleviate other anxieties by helping the victim feel comfortable that they won’t have to worry about future medical bills?  I’m not sure, but I’m writing this stuff down.

I have bruises on my right arm as if someone pulled me out from under the car.  I don’t recall how I got out of the way of the car, but I have a thumb-sized bruise on my bicep as if some unseen being rescued me from being ran over.

More Snow Falling

Tuesday’s I normally work from my home office and Elizabethe drives herself to work.  Well, with this bad weather, Elizabethe spun-out and got broadsided by another car.  Fortunately, the damage was minimal and nobody was injured.   Not the way to start a day.  It’s too bad when the weather is like this we can’t just say, “You know what… today is an indoor day.”

Studio on December 7th, 2010

I think we have had more snow than total in the previous 3 winters – 2007-8, 2008-9 and last year, 2009-10.  I mean, you add up all of the snow in any one of those seasons, and it probably won’t come close to this storm.  I haven’t checked yet, but I’m guessing some records are being set.

Icicles on the Green House