Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Importance of Horticultural Nomenclature

I was in the examining room of Dr S, my most excellent osteopath, where he was going over the X-ray and lab reports from my hospital stay. First he asked me about my broken arm, then ribs, nose, rest of face and mouth.

Then: "How's your bush?

"My WHAT?" I was sure I had misheard.

"Your bush. How's your bush?"

I couldn't believe my ears. I'd never heard anything remotely vulgar from Dr S, a soft-spoken teddy bear whose receptionist wife was seated just steps outside the door. Besides, even if he was being crude, I was uninjured below the waist, so he had no reason to inquire about my nether regions.

"YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MY BUSH IS DOING?" I was fairly spluttering.


"Yeah, you know--that little plant I brought you in the hospital."

I must have looked stunned. He added, "I didn't mean that bush!"

"Well, I was sort of wondering..." I said. "Anyway, it's a topiary ivy, not a bush!"

"OK, whatever," he said. "But wasn't it cute?"

We laughed so hard I thought I'd split my upper lip again.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's Alive!

That "it" would be me, of course. For a few days, I looked a lot more like an it than a she (though I quickly learned to look in the mirror as seldom as possible). Actually, what I most looked like was an actor in a horror movie that won an Oscar for best makeup. I had no idea that one could get eye bags that puff out a half-inch. Live and learn...

For the record, I fell off a horse named Gomez while trotting without stirrups. I'd done such an exercise many times before, though never on Gomez, whom I was riding for only the 2nd time. Guess I should have spoken French (hey, it worked for Morticia); instead I lost my balance and pitched off to the right, smashing my body onto the hard ground and the side of my face against a metal-pipe fencepost. [Edit: He threw me. Hard. I couldn't have gotten such extensive injuries otherwise.] I remember starting to fall and thinking, Oh s**t! I'm going to hit that metal fence! And then the next thing I knew I was hearing loud helicopter sounds (Wow! Just like in "Apocalypse Now"!) but couldn't see anything because my eyes were bloodied shut. (Regional trivia: in Colorado, it's called "Flight for Life," not "Med-Evac"; and rubbernecking drivers by traffic accidents are called "curiosity stoppers.") Fortunately for me, also taking riding lessons at the same time were a physician and an emergency room nurse, so I was expertly attended to from the minute I hit the ground.

I was in the MTU ("multiple trauma unit" but to me it was Empty you!) at Swedish Medical Center for a week--the longest I'd ever been in a hospital. I have quite an impressive set of injuries, if I do say so myself: concussion (and that was with my wearing a strong, well-padded helmet); broken right humerus, 2 floating ribs, nose, right eyebrow, maxillary sinuses, hard palate; loosened top front tooth that will probably need root canal; rearranged bite that may require braces (Sigh...I'd already done braces in my mid-20s!)

My G.P. commented the other day, "Well, you're going to have quite the social life getting all this taken care of!" Indeed, but it's no comparison to the one I'm giving up for the next 2 months: BookExpo in DC next week (SOB!), biz trip to NY and Book Promotion 101 workshop in LA in June.

Still, things could have been So Much Worse. I'm extremely grateful and happy to be alive, relatively well and unlikely to need any major surgery. Plus, my nose, which always tilted to the right (and which I had indeed broken when I fell in March), now lines up more plumb in the center of my face. Call it a benefit of Impromptu Equestrian Rhinoplasty.

Fun multi-culti hospital event:
On May 5, with each meal tray I received a little red card in the shape of a sombrero that read, "Happy Cinco de Mayo from your Swedish volunteers!" Sure made my blenderized eggs and Jell-o go down easier.

Most important of all:
My most heartfelt thanks for all the messages of concern and healing wishes. They mean the world to me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

She Lived With Her Boots Off

Here's an update on Bella:

She's made great progress during the week, but has a long way to go. Still don't know if she'll have surgery -- there's a possibility it won't be necessary. And she comes home tomorrow night. Expected recovery time is 8-10 weeks. Despite the breaks, bruises and a concussion, she is in good spirits most of the time, has sharp thinking (except sometimes from pain meds) and her sense of humor.

She's been at Swedish Medical Center, and we've been very pleased with the staff there. This is true: on one shift yesterday her nurse's name was Madonna and the tech's name wasBritney (not sure of spelling). No sign of Guy Ritchie or Kevin Federline, however.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What do Bella and Madonna have in Common?

This is Bella's "Darling Husband" writing (and I can't express how much I love being referred to that way!)...

Bella suffered a fall (but she doesn't suffer fools) while horse-riding yesterday. She'll be fine, but has several broken bones and bruises. She's in hospital, is cogent and dictating "to-do" items, one of which was to post this message. Surgery is still a question mark, so I don't know how long she'll be in -- probably several days to a week, and then plenty of time at home.

What do Bella and Madonna have in common? Did you think I was referring to Madonna's spill last year from a horse, resulting in broken bones? No, it's that they're both beautiful and look younger than their years.