Archive for the 'Scott' Category

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

I sent the following to a friend a couple days after Scott got home from a five-week mission trip.

“Scott got back from India – after short stops in Hong Kong (to see Jessica, Matthias, and Eli) and California (to see Josiah) – at about midnight Saturday, August 24. In the 68 hours since then, he has:
 ~ attended a church service
 ~ attended an informal dinner for missionary friends who were in town from Niger, West Africa
 ~ played basketball for an hour at 6:00 AM at the RecPlex
 ~ mowed and weed-eated our rather large yard
 ~ hosted those same missionary friends for dinner here
 ~ got a haircut in Forsyth
 ~ helped Andrew buy a car in Willard
 ~ helped Andrew get said car licensed in Springfield
 ~ sold the “needs a new engine” car Andrew had been driving before we learned why it had been overheating
 ~ worked extensively on refinancing one of our vacation rental homes
 ~ and played tennis for two hours”
In reviewing that list, the thing that strikes me is that while Scott doesn’t usually buy one car and sell another one all in the same day, the rest of it is just normal life. Still a bit crazy to me (though we’re only pushing 32 years), but overall… fairly normal.  = )



New title

A few weeks ago, Andrew auditioned with a ministry called Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC).  It’s a Christian talent agency that holds brief auditions in various cities around the country, calls back those that they believe have potential, and (for a fee – don’t even ask!) spends six to twelve months providing them with extensive training in their area of gifting and interest.  Then all those well-equipped, called-of-God-to-the-mission-field-of-entertainment folks are invited to attend a week-long talent search event in Orlando, to which dozens of “scouts” from all over the US are invited to come to see, meet, and possibly hire the latest and greatest in Christian acting, modeling, dancing, singing, and/or comedic ability.

We didn’t know much of anything about the organization beforehand, but the audition process involved spending a long afternoon in Springfield, during which we were initially treated to about two hours of very interesting and inspirational information about AMTC – its history, its ministry, its mission, and some of its unique successes – followed by the actual auditions of the 100 or so folks who thought they might have potential in the entertainment business.

Andrew’s AMTC audition was about three minutes long.  The judge asked him a few questions, which he answered.  Then he did his 30-second prepared monologue/acting bit (a condensed version of the lemon drop scene from To Kill A Mockingbird), spent 10 seconds walking partway across the room, “striking a pose” and walking back toward the judge, and sang a capella a 30-second piece of a Matthew West song, Hello, My Name Is.  The judge then asked him to sing a bit more of another song (which he did, unrehearsed and quite well, if I do say so myself), thanked him, talked with us about what would happen if he were called back, and dismissed us.

Out in the hall, we waited around for Donna R., his drama teacher who, after spending several hours earlier in the week coaching Andrew for his audition, had decided only that morning to audition as well, and who had ridden with us.  Her audition had been a bit later in the afternoon than Andrew’s (we watched it and it was also GREAT!), and when all was said and done and were were standing around talking to some of the staff before heading out, one of the judges suddenly saw Scott standing there looking dashing in his jeans, black shirt, and salt-and-pepper goatee, and said to him – completely seriously – “Where were YOU?!  Why didn’t YOU audition to model?!?  You’ve got the look!!!”

So now we are all teasing Scott that if he’s not busy enough being a Christian, a husband, a father, a pastoral assistant, a missionary, a software designer, an ministerial administrator, and a vacation rental home business owner/manager, maybe he should be a model in his spare time!

Life preserver

I got one tossed to me tonight.

When I worked through my first-of-the-month financials on Tuesday, I had an undefined but yucky-feeling sensation (which later became a firm realization) that I had made a mistake in record-keeping and check-writing for one of our accounts.  Or maybe I had made more than one mistake.  I didn’t know what the mistakes were, and I couldn’t even figure out how to figure it out, much less how to correct it.

I dreaded asking Scott to help me.  For one thing, I am pretty stubborn and I don’t like to ask for help in general. For another thing, I was pretty sure that his “help” would reveal just how inept I really am at bookkeeping-ish tasks, and I do not like to feel stupid.  However, the situation was pretty serious and affected other people, so I humbled myself and asked him to see what he could do.

An HOUR later (including a phone call to our resident account/bookkeeper friend), he had solved the mystery and made all the necessary corrections!  I was so thankful, humbled, and impressed!  He really bailed me out of a tough spot, and bonus:  he didn’t make me feel dumb – even though in this case I was.

Is #4 a keeper?

We don’t know yet, but we did both sleep in the same room in the same bed last night!

Mattress #1 was the “plush” one we tried at the store that was, for Scott, better than the “firm” one; firm being too firm for his hip.  Mattress #1 was delivered, and we slept on it for a week or so.  It was soft, but tolerable for me, but after a week, Scott said it was too soft and hammocky for him.

Mattress #2 (the firm one) was delivered.  It was heavenly for me, but after one agonizing night on it, Scott declared it completely intolerable and retreated to Josiah’s room.

We then studied our options and decided that our next step would be to try putting two long twins side-by-side on the king frame.  Mine would be firm and his would be plush.  Yes, I know that that would put him back on the same type of mattress that he said was too soft and hammocky, but that is his choice.

We had to wait ten days for the twins to be delivered, and during that time, he slept in the Llama’s stall; not fun for anyone.  We were LIVING for Tuesday, February 12, when the twins would be delivered and we could once again share a bedroom.

On Monday afternoon, Debbie from Denver Mattress called to say that there was a problem.  It seems that they had the long twin firm at their warehouse in Springfield, but the long twin plush (which was being manufactured at the factory in Denver) had not come in on the truck that day and wouldn’t be in to Springfield until either Thursday or Friday.  Not only would our twins not make their much-anticipated Tuesday delivery, because Furniture Row only delivers to our area on Tuesdays and Thursdays, NEXT Tuesday would be earliest time we could expect them.  Sigh.  Another week in two rooms.  Ugh.

But Scott called Debbie and agreed to try some other plushish mattress that was in stock, so my long twin firm and his long twin plush alternate could be delivered Tuesday!

Now, the delivery guys always call the night before and leave a message saying in which two-hour time frame they will be delivering.   Even though Scott would be working from home, our Tuesday was slated to be rather hairy:

11:55-12:30  Patty gone to take Andrew to choir and drama

3:00 – 4:30  Patty gone to pick up Andrew from choir and drama and take him to piano

3:30 – 5:20  Scott gone for chiro stuff

5:15 – 5:50  Patty gone to take Andrew to play practice

6:45 – 8:15  Patty gone to Bible study

8:15 – ??? (ended up being 10:55)  Patty gone to pick up Andrew from play practice

If you analyze that schedule carefully, you will note that someone could be home to receive two mattresses during all business hours EXCEPT 3:30 – 4:30 PM.  Sure enough, Furniture Row Delivery left a message Monday night to say that our delivery window would be 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday.  Lovely.

Scott called them and left messages Monday night and Tuesday morning to say that no one would be here from 3:30 to 4:30 PM.  Eventually, we ended our game of phone tag and the guy us he would re-arrange his deliveries in Branson and Galena to do ours last, arriving at our house some time after 4:30 PM.  This was good.

On our way home from piano lesson at 4:10 PM, he called to say he was in our driveway.  I resisted the strong temptation to ask if he realized that 4:10 was decidedly not “sometime after 4:30,” and instead told him I could be there in five minutes and would he wait.  Yes, he would.  Whew!

So they brought them in and took the other out, and the guy is by now so familiar with our house that he told his partner (a different partner this time) details about how to successfully negotiate the king mattress through our low, seven-foot ceilings, two chandeliers, and pictures on the wall.  I thanked him and told him I hoped not to see him again any time soon.

We slept on our respective twins last night.  Mine was great.  Scott said his was okay, even though it’s not the actual plush we initially agreed to.  He’s going to give it a week or so and see how it goes. I guess if this one ends up not being plush enough – or being too plush – we can always get the delivery guys to come back again, maybe even at a time when we’re home.


Doggone It!

Announced by Andrew’s young friend, Pierce, in a breathless and upset tone, as the two boys burst into our living room on  Saturday afternoon:  “Mack hurt Andrew’s dad a lot and my dad’s fixing him now.  It’s looks really bad, but I didn’t see any bone.”

Hmmm.   Coming from a seven or eight-year-old kid, you’ve got to wonder.  The dog probably scratched Scott, and Pierce’s dad, who happens to be an EMT, is probably putting a Band-Aid on it.  However, when Pierce continued to tell me the details, I decided should probably call Scott and see what was up.

I called and got his voice mail.

The boys had run back outside, so I figured maybe I should drive over to their house (just a couple doors down) and see if Scott needed me to do anything.  The Honda was in the driveway, but the Honda keys were gone.  Rats.  Okay, so I’d walk over there.  Just as I headed out the door, Scott called.

“Are you okay?”

(slowly, as if he were a bit light-headed)  “Yes, I’m okay.”

“The boys said the dog bit you.  Do you need me to come and get you?”

(again, slowly, not his usual speaking voice)  “Yes, that would be good.”

“Do you have the Honda keys?”

“Uh. . . yes, I have them right here.”

“Well, I can’t come get you without the keys. I’ll run down and get them and then drive the Honda over to get you.”

“No, Michael said he’d bring me, but we have to go to the E.R. to get stitches.”

“Okay, as soon as Michael brings you home, I’ll take you.”

I quickly changed clothes, grabbed a few things, and met Michael at the door.   Michael was very, very apologetic, and offered to take Scott to the E.R. or to follow us there.  I told him we’d be fine, and off we went.

There were spots of blood on Scott’s jeans, and blood seeping through a long gauze bandage that Michael (or maybe his wife) had wrapped around Scott’s upper arm.  I asked if they’d cleaned the wound, and he said no, that they had just wrapped it up and said it would definitely have to be stitched.  He was talking better now, and his color was good.  I was glad of that, because Scott has a history of fainting at the sight of blood, especially his own.

On the way, he told me what had happened.  He had gone to their house to invite them to a home group we’d be hosting the following night.  Michael’s family has two dogs, a large dumb brown female named Molly and a Great Dane named Mack.  Mack is quite enormous and quite dumb.  He used to run loose all over the place digging up the neighbors flowers and tomatoes and stuff, so months ago, Michael installed an underground electric fence and put him on a shock collar.

Now, Jessica runs and prays on Coffee Road every morning, and Mack is a real nuisance to her.  He tries to chase her, and he’s especially obnoxious if he’s off his shock collar.  She either carries a big stick (like a brookstick) to beat him off, or she carries rocks, which she has to throw at him to persuade him to leave her alone.

So, when Scott went into their yard Saturday afternoon, both dogs were out, and he called to Pierce to “call his dogs off.”  Pierce called to them, and they followed him up onto the porch.  They were almost into the house and Scott was following them toward the porch, when Mack turned around and attacked Scott.

He’s so big that he didn’t even have to jump.  He started biting at Scott’s chest and then grabbed his arm, biting down hard and slinging the arm back and forth like a piece of meat.  Scott was trying to beat him off and finally got free.  Michael heard the commotion and came out to help Scott into the house, at which point Scott was just about to faint.   Seeing Scott’s condition, Michael called 911, and they were just about to dispatch an ambulance when Scott pinked up a bit.

Being an EMT, Michael was thankfully not unnerved by the extent of the injury, which was pretty severe.  He and his wife wrapped it up and Michael drove Scott to our house, along with many apologies and assurances that Mack would be put down.

Dreading the probable wait at the E.R., we opted for Urgent Care (also located at Skaggs Hospital), where we were immediately given an “Animal Bite Report” form to fill out.  Before I had even completed the form, a nurse came and got Scott.  It was the quickest we had ever been served at Urgent Care.

Vitals were taken and Scott was seated in a throne-like chair in the treatment room.  He had a very pleasant nurse named Noemi, who was a native of Puerto Rico and had arrived in Branson some 11 years ago via New York.

Dr. Max Goodwin, who moved here from southeast Iowa a couple years ago, came in and introduced himself.  He’s the director of the clinic, so we figured Scott would get great care.

To this point, no one had actually seen the injury, and to get to it, the gauze Michael’s wife had applied would need to be cut off.  As Nurse Noemi approached with scissors, Dr. Goodwin said, “I think you’ll need to cut his shirt here, right up the middle, to get to it.”  I was stunned.  Scott would be appalled to have his favorite Cardinals T-shirt sliced.  However, it turns out that the good doctor was joking.  He’s a big Cubs fan.    = )

Once the gauze was removed and all could see what Mack had done to Scott’s arm, I was shocked and much more than slightly embarrassed.  I had never seen such an injury in my life.  It was huge.  It was shaped like a very large mouth.  It was deep.  It was raw flesh, and I could not conceive of any way it could possible be sewn back together.  (Update:  I had mentioned in an email that it was 7″ by 2″, but I am pretty sure it was actually more like 3″ wide.)

I asked the doctor if I could take a picture of the wound before he sewed it up.  He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “If you want to, I guess so.”  I wanted to.  I did.

Scott was asked to roll onto his right side to give the nurse and doctor better access to the back of his left upper arm.  Scott can’t lie on his left side right now, because his four broken ribs are all on the left, so I guess it’s a good thing Mack attacked his left arm instead of his right.  Once thus positioned, the fun began.

First, Scott got to endure a series of injections to deaden the area, and since the area was so large, it took a LOT of injections.  Next came the cleaning.  A lot of pink soapy liquid was poured repeatedly over the whole mess, and then it was all swabbed quite a bit with sterile gauze.  Watching that, I realized that if they hadn’t deadened it, he would have been in agony as they cleaned it.  It made me think of what all those Civil War soldiers went through.

Then the stitching began.  It was quite the needlework project, let me tell you.  I couldn’t see so well from where I was sitting, so after the first stitch was in, I moved around to the other side of the room where I could see Scott’s face and rub his right hand and head.

It took Dr. Goodwin a long time to sew him up.  We got to the Urgent Care at 2:45 PM, and they took him in less than five minutes.  There were maybe 15 or 20 minutes of preliminaries, and we left at 4:10 PM, so it’s fair to say the stitching took about an hour.

It was a long, dog-leg (no pun intended) shape, and partway through, the doctor asked me to go out in the hall and call a nurse in, so that she could hand him additional sutures.  I guess he had under-estimated how long the incision would end up being.  When he finished, he measured the end result:  13 cm (about 7 inches).  He had put in 13 stitches, purposely widely spaced because he said the risk of infection with dog bites was very high, and if it became infected, part of the incision might have to be re-opened.  Widely spaced sutures would make that easier to do.

Noemi slathered on some antibiotic ointment, covered it with a Telfa (non-adhering) pad, and wrapped it with Coban (that stretchy, tan, mesh-looking stuff that sticks to itself).  Dr. Goodwin brought us a prescription for generic Augmentin (antibiotic) and told us to change the dressing twice a day, washing the wound with warm soapy water, letting it air dry, for the first three days applying Neosporin, then covering it with a clean Telfa pad, and wrapping it with Coban.  We were also to find out immediately whether or not Mack had had all his immunizations, and if not, to call the police.

While the doctor was out writing the prescription, Nurse Noemi quietly handed me several Telfa pads and the rest of the roll of Coban she had used, and told me to put them in my purse.  I did, with much appreciation, and we were good to go.

At the checkout desk, we were unsure how to pay.  Normally, we’d have them run it through our insurance and then pay the balance remaining, but in this case, it would seem that the medical costs would be Michael’s responsibility.  In fact, a couple people had told us that his homeowner’s insurance should pay it.  We had Scott’s Blue Cross card with us, but we didn’t happen to be carrying any proof of Michael’s homeowner’s insurance.  For better or worse, we sent it to our insurance, and hopefully Michael will reimburse us, or his insurance will reimburse Blue Cross, or something.  (Note:  I do think that in the past 18 months, Scott has gotten his money’s worth out of his VERY expensive Blue Cross policy – the policy that he has complained about and has wanted to cancel for some time:  an ambulance ride; a dislocated hip and subsequent reduction; a serious concussion; a night in the hospital; all the follow-up appointments, X-rays, and physical therapy from that ski accident; four broken ribs; and now a severe dog bite.  I’m glad he still has the insurance!)

We headed to Walgreens to get his antibiotic prescription filled, and while waiting I learned that although Urgent Care may have access to 6″ wide Coban, mere humans cannot buy it; at least not  at Walgreens or Wal-Mart.  I did manage to find a Curad substitute for the 3″ by 8″ Telfa pads, so we bought those and the drugs and headed home.

Now it’s Tuesday, and this morning Scott went to his family physician, Dr. Salmon, for the follow-up exam that Dr. Goodwin ordered.  We are very thankful that there is no sign of infection and it’s all healing nicely.  Dr. Salmon thinks we should now apply Neosporin only to the suture holes (not to the incision itself), and he plans to take the stitches out on Friday and replace them with Steri-Strips.

Meanwhile, we have heard nothing from Michael or his wife, and they didn’t come to the home group.  We have assumed that Mack is no more, but Pierce told Andrew yesterday that, “We took Mack to Uncle Shane’s house.  He’s gonna stay there for a while and then come back here.”  I am sincerely hoping that the seven-year-old doesn’t have his story straight.

Update:  Tuesday night May 17, a friend emailed me this post from Michael’s facebook:

“He was trying to play with ***** and ***** got scared and raised his arms up jerking one of them out of mac’s hold causing a laceration. Mac is at a friends house right now playing with lots of kids. Never shown aggression. Don’t know of a Great Dane that has though……Maybe thinking of taking him to a trainer and then bringing him back…..”

What Scott said

I spent most of the afternoon gardening.  At this stage of the game, it’s mainly a matter of hauling, mixing, and dumping potting soil to fill various containers, so Scott did the hauling and dumping (nice guy that he is), and I did the mixing, largely with my hands.  I have read that true gardeners don’t use gloves, so I usually don’t, and today was no exception, with the result that as I was changing to get ready for our date tonight, I bemoaned the dirt in my nails and cuticles.

Scott heard me and said, “Well, maybe on our date we should get you a pedigree, or something.”

I told him that was probably my grandfather’s responsibility!   = )

All the zippers zip

Scott is one of those unique people whose love language is NOT gift giving and who cannot be shopped for, but who feels slighted if he has no gift to open on special days.  Rather than each of us giving him some small something that he wouldn’t really care about, we decided to pool our resources and give him one gift that, even if he didn’t care deeply about, he would at least use on a regular basis.

We five went in together and bought him a laptop bag. The man has needed a new bag for YEARS. His old one is totally falling apart, and various compartments can no longer be zipped shut because the zippers are busted.  This means that if the bag has to be put in his back seat and then tips over, stuff falls out and slides under the seats, where it sometimes remains lost for weeks at a time.

The girls window shopped for bags and then Research Consultant found a nice one online.  It has plenty of pockets and compartments (some even labeled with pictures of what should be stored within) and a feature that supposedly lets you go through airport security without removing the computer from the bag.

We told him we paid extra to make sure all the zippers zip, and he seems quite pleased with his Father’s Day gift.

Happy Birthday, Scott!

Well, I think we accomplished the goal, which was to show Scott in a big way how much he is loved and appreciated.

A number of his friends and family members sent cards with great messages, and he received several VERY special and wonderful gifts.

Having decided that shopping for Scott is a completely futile endeavor, this year I invited a number of people to email me their thoughts of encouragement, humor, and/or appreciation for Scott.  I then printed them out and put them into a booklet, which I presented to My Hero on His Big Day.  From the very first page, it was a significant Kleenex event.  He was really touched by all those words of affirmation, and even those the tears were dripping off his face, I know he was blessed.

However, all that was small potatoes compared to Jessica’s gift.  She created the most amazing video for her dad.  She knows that he really likes one of her piano pieces (I think it’s called “Sundown”).  She recorded herself playing it, and then laid video and text over the music.  Oh. My.  (BTW, she used Josiah’s wireless head phones INSIDE the piano to do the recording.  Creative lady.)

She put together an incredible collection of crazy, tender, and funny pictures and videos, some going back more than 15 years.  Superimposed over them she wrote the sweetest comments to share her love for her precious dad.  Well.  I don’t know what else to say, except that I’m honestly not sure that I have ever see Scott so deeply moved. WHAT a remarkable and treasured gift!

Side note:  It was heartening to realize that I had taken many of those pictures.  = )

So, when all was said and done, although our celebration of Scott’s #46 was a bit unconventional, I think he truly felt our love for him.  It was a very teary-eyed, very happy birthday.


For perhaps the first time in his life, Scott is now officially normal.  He saw the orthopedic doctor for his six-week follow-up, and he was told he can now do “anything normal.”  This would include walking without crutches, traveling, driving a standard (hallelujah!), and everything else “normal” people do, but no sports.

His left hip is still somewhat uncomfortable, and his left knee is still quite painful.  In addition, the knee won’t straighten out completely, and the doc indicated that this is a significant problem which must be corrected immediately.  Now that the magic six weeks have transpired, it’s time to do “gentle physical therapy on the hip and aggressive physical therapy on the knee.”  This is expected to hurt a lot. One of the therapy providers I called referred to it is “medieval torture.”  Hmmm.

Physical therapy begins tomorrow, but in the meantime, Scott is utilizing the locally available and very inexpensive option of sitting on the floor and having Josiah push down on the knee to try to get it straight.  I have not personally observed the procedure, but I can testify that it results in unique and interesting sound effects – none of which come from Josiah.

I’ve never had a normal husband before, so this will be a new experience all around.

“Not deemed medically necessary”

Some people spend lots of time doing fun things like playing football, or listening to music, or even writing in blogs, but we have entered into that newest form of recreation called, “Ante Up.”  It involves trying to get your health insurance company to cover your accident expenses at the highest possible rate.

We think that we will eventually be on a first name basis with at least 60% of the friendly customer service representatives at our local Blue Cross Blue Shield call center.  Today, Scott had the opportunity to talk with one of those fine folks about Blue Cross’ determination on one of the claims pertinent to his recent ski accident.

When his flesh experienced a severe and unplanned impact with one of the slopes at Breckenridge, his left hip was dislocated.  The ball was thrust backward out of the socket, fracturing the socket.  Scott was knocked unconscious by the fall, but once he had been stabilized and had taken a rather pricey ride (of which he has no memory) in an ambulance to the Summit County Medical Center, he came to enough to moan about the terrible pain in his hip. There were some x-rays and a number of CT scans.  Then they wheeled him into surgery to sedate him before reducing the hip (shoving the ball back into the socket).

In yesterday’s mail, we received a very nice bill from Colorado Surgical and Critical Care Associates for those services, and, as a bonus, we also received Blue Cross’ Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for those same charges.

I found it very interesting that Blue Cross approved the $132 for “Moderate Sedation >5, ” but denied the $1056 for “treatment of displaced hip,” because the latter was “not deemed medically necessary by the payer.”  So what’s with that?!? It seems like everyone agrees that reducing a hip is an extraordinarily painful procedure, and that the patient must be sedated in order to do it, but evidently actually putting the ball back into the socket is not really essential.

Now tell me, how would one be expected to get around on a dislocated hip? We shall appeal, and I’m sure Blue Cross will see it rationally, but I thought it was funny enough to laugh about.  A merry heart does good like a medicine, right?

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