Everything all at once!

It’s been a rough week. Let me tell you why.

I have bone spurs that occasionally flare up, and this week my right achilles tendon is getting swole and creating strange bulges all over my heel. It hurts! I was having a little pity party for myself when…

My daughter Skatje went skiing and dislocated her knee badly, breaking bits of the bone of the joint while also shredding cartilage and tendon. Her knee looks like a mottled mushy cantaloupe right now, totally upstaging my minor discomfort. But now she’s been upstaged in turn.

My grandson Knut is a big little guy, 6 years old and ready to try out for the Green Bay Packers. He was working out vigorously at a park when he fell. I’m going to put the X-ray below the fold because I cringe when I see it.

Ow. That’s his left elbow and wrist. I foresee surgery and metal pins holding his arm together in the immediate future. He’s in the hospital right now.

Then I get a phone call from my sister last night. My mother is in the hospital, too, with pulmonary edema that compromises her respiratory system and has sent her spiraling into decline. I’m dreading any more phone calls from the west coast.

That’s it for my bad news so far. I’m just telling you the situation, and I tell you in advance I don’t want your “thoughts and prayers” — fuck those prayers in particular. I want good medical support for everyone, so if you want to do something, vote for politicians who work to improve health care and education in this country.

Good news: Knut is out of surgery, all went well, he’s going to be in a cast for four weeks. Mom is also doing better, they’re going to let her go home tomorrow.


  1. rorschach says

    Sorry to hear of your family’s health woes,PZ. 6 year olds have really great capacity to remodel bone, and by 12 most of these fractures have mended really well. It does need a good pull and a push tho, but he should get away without surgery. Wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.

  2. VolcanoMan says

    Yikes. Sounds like a rough week. Especially the kid’s fractures. You don’t see wrist AND elbow fractures together too often. Fortunately, he picked a good time of life to break bones – they knit together real nice for (healthy) little kids. The wrist should be able to heal well without surgery. But that’s a pretty gnarly elbow fracture (I’m tempted to call it supracondylar, but it’s hard to tell from the one view…still, it’s the most likely as that is the easiest part of the humerus to break, and indeed the most common fracture seen in paediatrics). That one might require an orthopaedic surgeon. Wishing him…and all of your convalescing family…the very best.

  3. raven says

    I’ve just decided not to complain about anything today.
    PZ has enough going wrong for both of us plus a few more people.

    Hope things get better soon.

  4. imback says

    My daughter Skatje went skiing and dislocated her knee badly, breaking bits of the bone of the joint while also shredding cartilage and tendon.

    A dislocated knee means major ligament damage or loss, too. I feel her pain too :(

  5. says

    Regarding PZ and his family, Ouch! Here’s hoping that all heal well.

    My complaints are minor, considering. Heavy snow brought down two trees in my back yard. One of them fell on my garage. The garage is still standing. Conditions are too bad right now for me to get out there and take a closer look.

    I heard the trees cracking during the night. Scary and loud.

  6. rietpluim says

    That’s a lot bad news. Wishing you all the best support (medical & otherwise) and a swift recovery.

  7. says

    Well you have my thoughts anyway. My son did the same. Fell out of a tree on holidays in Fiji after the first coup and broke his elbow. Most of the doctors had left to be replaced by Koreans with limited language skills. His first attempt at treating the fracture was to pull on the arm without any anaesthetic. My sons got his revenge on the second attempt. He was very lightly anaesthetised, (out for only a few minutes), when the doctor tried puling on his arm my son kicked and got him in the groin. After a bit of laughter at the doctor’s expense and a bit more gas the job was done. A day before we came home he fell again and broke the cast. To top it off my mother in law who was traveling with us had a minor heart attack and trying to get us all on a flight back after the airline cancelled our booking was an exercise in frustration. When we got home my son had his arm fixed and my mother in law went straight into hospital for a triple bypass.

  8. drivenb4u says

    Oy, hope you and kin recover soon! At least the boy will (most likely) be just fine, the young heal up faster than us olds.

  9. seversky says

    They say these things happen in threes so you should be out of the woods now,

  10. Jazzlet says

    Quadruple ouch! Glad the news on recovery for every one else is good so far and hope that goes on, as well as that your tendon settles. If I believed in god and miracles I’d pray your spurs went to affect Trump, seems only fair.

    Do kids still sign casts? I really, really wanted to break something when I was a kid (with no concept of how much it would hurt) so all my class could sign my cast. When I did eventually break something a) it was well into adulthood, and b) it was the tip of my collar bones so no cast, but I got personal experience of why it was such a stupid thing to wish for.

  11. fishy says

    I remember my older brother with his broken arm in a cast. He liked to hit things. I guess he thought he was Iron Man.

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