As much as this is a sports blog (yayyyy Datsyuk finally awoke from his coma and scored me some fantasy points), it’s also a personal blog. Today is personal stuff, so if you’re looking for sports, time to re-direct, homie.
A few months ago, my brother Jeff broke his femur. You may think that for a guy already in a wheelchair, that’s not a huge crisis, but he still has to transfer in and out of bed, the shower, vehicles and a million other places. It’s a big deal for more reasons than we need to get into.
The brace he had on to steady the leg left his ankle with some sores, so he’s been going shoeless Joe Jackson.
When Jeff goes to get groceries, he rips over in his powerchair, because imagine trying to wheel yourself carrying bags of food. Not cool. This Sunday, Jeff had taken the powerchair to the store, then was stopping in at his neighborhood pub to meet my cousin, and probably to meet a pint of Okanagan Spring’s 1516.
With patchy sensation (mostly none) in his legs, he didn’t feel when his foot slipped off the footrest and onto the ground – he was heading up a cement ramp in that powerchair, and sheared four of his toes to the bone – and then some. An ambulance ride and the grossest picture you’ve ever seen later (thanks for that one, bro), Mom and Jeff went home to monitor the toes.
As poorly circulated ground beef is bound to do, it started to look bad. Mom immediately took him back to the hospital the second they noticed a negative change, where the surgeon said he’d have to amputate three toes before the infection spread, like ASAP. Jeff has had a ton of surgeries (somewhere in the mid 30′s), but this was a new one to all of us. Aesthetically, he was bummed, but it wasn’t going to change his lifestyle any.
For long surgeries (I’ll try not to get tooo into the details here), they put a catheter in. After the surgery, it was blood that came out. Jeff started seizing. And you need to understand – Jeff is no invalid. He can sit there and BS and go fishing and play sledge hockey and call me a toolbag, whatever – this was a complete shock. Then he stopped breathing. They called Code Blue and rushed him to the ICU. Then, miraculously, he started breathing again.
And then it happened again.
I’m tearing up writing this. My Mom had to sit there and watch and try to get as much help in the room as possible.
And we all just waited (Dad was here visiting Brianna and I). He stabilized, so they told her, and Mom sent us to bed, a continent away.
By the time my Mom went to bed and got a few hours sleep herself, we were all up and waiting on more news. I drove to my fiance’s work because I was such a wreck I literally didn’t know what to do. I was walking in… and he called me.
I cried man… boy did I cry.
“Dude…I’m fine dude”. And then he re-assured me with lies “my foot looks good” (his foot looks like the crusher-claw of a lobster) “I feel good” (he only lost about a small human’s worth of blood) and “we’ll have a blast when I’m there in a month” (he’s having no fun, because I’m beating him within a foot of his life… that inch stuff isn’t as funny any more). And here we are.
Here’s the stupid picture of his dumb life-size face that he sent me.
(Clearly there was some psychological damage – apparently, upon being given a second chance at life, “The Freshmaker” has the power to induce happiness. Wires got crossed somewhere)
When I asked if I could write this story today, he text back “no problem, let the seven-toe jokes begin”.
And how’s this for a two-toed kick-in-the-ass: while the surgery was going on, and Mom ran to the OR to see what was happening… someone stole Jeff’s bag. Laptop, wallet, everything. Is there anything lower than seeing an unguarded laptop at a hospital and taking it? Eff forgiveness, if that person is by some crazy odds reading this, I hope you die an awful death on your way to hell.
So. On the heels of all that… how’s your day going today?
Jeff is on the mend – texting me jokes all morning – and alls well that ends well. And hey, Jeff – three toes less means you’re closer to that weight-loss goal you set, right? Congratulations!
And if you reeeeallllly want sports, here’s the link to USA Today’s Power Rankings. (Though from the looks of the player picks, my opinions were not shared. Pronger is having the best season in the league as a d-man? Is he really?)