Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back in the saddle

Here's a picture of some of us in Tres Reyes, Mexico, during our recent mission trip. I'm the doofus in the white tee-shirt and Cubs hat.

Sorry I've been absent for so long. When I returned last week from Mexico, I was beat. Turns out, the youngster was off school all week and the wife took some time off, too. So we kind of had a family vacation week.

It was good.

I won't bore you with the details of the mission trip, other than to say it was the best yet. We had an awesome time, got some really hard work done and spent one day at the Mexican Riviera, sitting alongside the ocean puffing on a Cuban cigar and sipping a latte.

It was good.

I did suffer a weird injury this time, one that caused a few moments of alarm. I was lifting buckets of rocks over my head and pouring them into a cement mixer (don't ask) when I felt something pop in my forearm. It didn't hurt at all, so I kept working. Truth be told, the buckets were far too heavy to be lifting over my head, and my knees were starting to buckle.

At that point, one of my friends took me by the arm and asked, "What happened to your arm?"

I looked down and gasped. The inside of my right forearm, literally from my wrist to my elbow, was hugely swollen. I had a lump the size of a tennis ball right in the middle and it was growing before my eyes. Now keep in mind we were in the jungle, an hour or two from the nearest clinic.

Luckily, one of the women with us is a registered nurse, so she came over and took a look at it.

"Oh my," she said, leading me over and making me sit down.

"What is it?" I asked, feeling the slightest twinge of alarm. I don't like it when nurses say "oh my."

"You're bleeding out," she said, feeling the arm. It now hurt like hell from the pressure. It turns out that the strain of lifting the five-gallon buckets of gravel somehow caused a blood vessel or artery to burst in my arm.

"Am I going to be OK?" I asked, only half serious and already feeling guilty about sitting down in the shade. It was only a little after 9 a.m. and we had a ton of work to do yet.

She looked at me. "I don't know."

That wasn't the answer I was looking for, of course. She wrapped it tightly and made me sit there for a while. Eventually, it stopped swelling and I went back to work.

Later, before I showered, I removed the heavy bandage. My arm was purple and green and swollen to twice its usual diameter. To make a long story short, it eventually turned into the biggest, nastiest bruise I have ever had, although it never did hurt.

To this day, nearly two weeks later, I can still see a huge yellow bruise on my arm.

Other than that, the trip was great. I'm hoping I can convince my wife to go with us next year. She's considering it, probably just so she can shut me up.

Now, I'm struggling mightily to get back into the grind of my new novel. I spent today re-reading it, since I had pretty much forgotten what the damned thing was about.

I really hope the passion comes back. I've been a bit depressed lately, mainly because I still have two partials and a full out -- not to mention a dozen queries -- and have heard nothing in the past month and a half. Grrrrrr. I really hate waiting.

Anyway, I'm back and plan on blogging more often. I'll probably keep the posts a bit shorter so I can blog more and still have valuable writing time left over.

How's it with you guys?


  1. I could make a "dumb man" joke, but it could have been something really serious. You were plain lucky, and God must have been really watching over you. As my mother reminds me, "You're not 18 anymore..." Take care, and I mean that sincerely.

  2. I have so many snarky things to say, but I'll keep them to myself today.

    Glad you're doing okay, and I'm sure you'll be back on the horse soon enough.

  3. Yeah, never a good think when a nurse says, "Oh my."

    I'm glad you're back. Now where's my damn email? Now I know you're going to be okay, and back from your trip, I'm going to haunt you like the bruise.

  4. That bleeding out thing? Happens in my brain when I'm writing. Except it hurts.

    Welcome back.

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