Saturday, September 18, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

This is the current state of my left hand.

For more perspective, here are both of my hands.

Isn't it lovely? . . . and HUGE? I seriously feel like my hand is encased in a brick. It's that heavy.

For those of my blog readers who don't know the story, here it is.

On August 1, we just returned home from the Tetons, and while getting the boys ready for their baths, I noticed a card game that had fallen onto the floor in their closet. I reached down to pick it up to put away, but hit the leg of their clothes hamper in my attempt. For a normal person, this would probably cause a jammed finger for a minute or two, but for me, I heard a "pop" and my hand instantly began to swell and throb. I made my way into the living room to ask Brian to finish baths. He asked me why, and why I was holding my left hand. I told him what happened, he told me he was sure it was broken, and that we needed to go to the Emergency Room.

So, he bathed Bradley, I finished our bed time routine with the boys. Brian's mom came over, and we went to the ER. We waited a lot, saw a nurse, waited some more, saw the doctor, were sent to get x-rays, waited a lot more, and then the doctor came in to splint my hand, tell me he was baffled, and refer me to a specialist. I should mention that we were not surprised at all by this development. I broke the same bone in another unlikely action 9 years ago, so we were aware of a problem.

The next day I called the specialist, but they couldn't get me in to see him for over a week. The Physician's Assistant was available the next day, though, so I made an appointment to see him. He looked at my x-rays, splinted my hand in a better brace, told me the fancy medical name of the tumor that was in my bone, and scheduled me to come back and see the surgeon three weeks later.

When I returned to see the surgeon, he talked to me as if we were in the middle of a conversation and just needed to iron out the details for surgery. Evidently I had a giant cell tumor in my bone (a diagnosis that is 1 in a million a year, I truly am unique) that had expanded and thinned the bone, making it easy to break. He explained that they needed to cut a window in my bone, scrape out the tumor, and then scoop out bone from my wrist to graft into my hand.

So, that brings me to yesterday. For the three weeks between first meeting with the surgeon and the actual day of surgery, I continued to wear the brace and treat my hand gently. Then yesterday, he performed the surgery, bandaged me up in my brick, and sent me home with a noodle of an arm, and some pain meds to take when feeling returned.

It was a long day, but don't ask me to remember it. I can't tell you much. They poked and prodded and drew on me. They numbed and knocked me out. The doctor told me I should wear their lovely blue caps more often, because it really made my eyes vibrant. And then in the whirlwind of instructions once I woke up, I heard a thump on the bars of my bed and felt like I dropped something, only to realize that my arm slipped. I thought it was funny to watch my arm twist and bend like Elastigirl from Incredibles, except I had no control over it. To leave the surgical center, I had to keep a firm grip on it with my other hand.

Now, however, that numbness is all gone, and I am writing this in the fog of pain medication. I hope it makes sense.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lesa the runner

OK since Lesa won't do a updated post about her running I will.  She is turning into quite the runner and having a good time at it.  It has been fun to see her getting faster, stronger and having so much fun in the process.  She has run the Ogden 1/2 marathon, Ragnar Relay, Provo 1/2 marathon, Top of Utah 1/2 marathon and just recently a local 5K run where she placed 1st for women runners.  The funny thing about that race was that it was at 8AM in the morning and she ran 6 miles earlier that morning with a friend.  She still says she isn't a runner yet but I have to disagree I at one time considered myself a runner but she has far surpassed anything I ever did.  So in my eyes she is a great runner and I am very proud of her.

FHE at the Maples

For family home evening we went to the Maples Campground.  It is near Snowbasin Ski Resort.  It is the campground I took Bradley a few months ago with the scouts.  We hiked in, started a fire and roasted hot dogs for dinner.

After dinner we had to get out of there before it got too dark.  We made it out just as it got dark but Bradley had fun with the flashlight on our hike out.  It was very nice weather just slightly cool with the first sign of leaves changing.

Fort Buenaventura

This weekend my brother and I took our kids camping.  We decided to go to Fort Buenaventura since it is close to home. 

Warming hands by the fire:

Reading books before bedtime:

Running around in the trees:

Yummy dinner:

You can see the tepees and the fort in the background:

Playing around in the tepees:

Eating lunch and playing UNO Moo:

The kids had a lot of fun even with the train noises during the night!  It was fun to let the kids all play together and have a good time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Labor Day Spiral Jetty

For Labor Day we decided to head out to the Golden Spike Historic Site.  We realized that we were close (OK 16 miles) from the Spiral Jetty.  I have wanted to see that so we headed out there.  Here is a picture and paragraph from the official website about it:

Robert Smithson's monumental earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970) is located on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Using black basalt rocks and earth from the site, the artist created a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide that stretches out counter-clockwise into the translucent red water. Spiral Jetty was acquired by Dia Art Foundation as a gift from the Estate of the artist in 1999.

Here are a few pictures we took while exploring this area:

It was amazing how much salt there really is out there.  We were walking on an area that used to be covered under water.

It is a very inhospitable place but beautiful in its own way.

Ben Lomond Peak

 In a post below about Chilly Peak I mentioned my desire to make it all the way to Ben Lomond Peak.  Well on Saturday September 4th my brother, Mike and I went for it.  We met at my house at 5:00 AM and were at the parking lot trail (See the Chilly Peak post for trail head information) at 5:30 AM.  After an hour of hiking we made it up to the top of the switchbacks.  We had a beautiful view of the sunrise:

After a short break we continued on with our hike.  The weather was perfect.  It was a little cool but as long as we kept moving it felt perfect.  We had a couple of motorcycles pass us and one really crazy runner.  Here we are 3 1/2 hours later after covering just over 8 miles and gaining over 3,600 feet:

You can see the Great Salt Lake in the distance.  It was a little hazy which was too bad for taking pictures but even with that we could still see pretty far out being at 9,712 feet according to my map.

It was very windy up on top. 

This picture is looking North West towards Willard Peak.  It is about 50 feet higher and the highest peak in this area.  You can actually drive up fairly close to Willard Peak.

We also saw some mountain goats below us.  I tried to get some pictures of them but none of them turned out very well.

We went back down below the peak and once you got about 20 feet below the peak the wind stopped completely.  We took some more time to eat an early lunch and take some more pictures.  Below is a small campground just below the peak.  it would be cool to camp here.  Since it is just below the ridge but close to the mountainside there wasn't any wind but great views.  You can see Pineview Dam in the distance.

Here is a picture at this small camping spot looking North.

We headed back down and this is a picture looking South near the trail split that can take you to North Fork Park or where we camp from, the North Ogden Divide Trail head.

Click Here for a map:

You can see where the Blue and Yellow colored trails meet there is a designation on the map for a spring.  We spent about 10 minutes looking for it.  I never found it exactly but did find a little water:

It was pretty nasty looking.  I get the feeling that if you were to take some more time and head down the trail a little farther you would be able to find some better looking water.

7 1/2 hours and 8.2 miles later we made it back to the car.  That is a great hike I am sure I will do again soon.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.  Even though you gain quite a bit of altitude it is fairly easy due to the long length of the trail.  It is mostly uphill the whole way but gradual enough that it isn't too bad.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day 2010

For Labor Day we decided it would be fun to go out to the Golden Spike Historic Site.  They do reenactments of the driving of the spike on Saturdays and holidays.

They had a lot of volunteers who were dressed up in historical clothing and reenacted the ceremony and driving of the golden spike.  The weather was great just slightly cool with a breeze. 

After the ceremony we ate lunch and decided to head out to the spiral jetty.  It was 16 miles on a very bumpy road.  When we got near the end there were a bunch of cars parked and we thought the road had ended.  We looked out towards the Great Salt Lake and couldn't see the spiral jetty but there was a long rock road heading out towards the lake.  We thought that if the road ended it must be out there so we headed out and out and out and out...


Lesa exploring ahead for us.

Salt every were

There was a lot of junk that once upon a time was under water.

After wandering around and exploring the edge of the Great Salt Lake, throwing rocks into the water and having a good time we decided to head back to the cars.  When we got back to the car we saw that the road didn't end but it continued on.  Before there were a bunch of cars parked on the road blocking it off and making it look like the road ended.  We drove down the road a little more and what do you know?  There was the spiral jetty!  We found it and it was right by the road!  We took some pictures and then headed back home.