29 October 2007

Put that knife away!! :^O

I returned to the orthopedic doctor this morning for the results of my MRI. The results are about as positive as I could have possibly hoped for! NO SURGERY!! He noted a significant dislocation of the knee cap, some damage to the Patellar ligament, and some stretching of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, but no ruptures. He gave me some exercises to do in lieu of seeing a Physical Therapist, since my insurance won’t cover this injury. He also encouraged me to wean myself off the crutches as soon as possible, and to push the exercises as much as possible. He says I should be significantly better in about a month, and if not, I should go see him again. He said walking and eventually some mild bike riding were good exercises to do. I plan to start back wearing my knee brace for a while, mostly just to avoid any accidental setbacks, and to give my knee some extra confidence and support in the steps I take. I guess I’m still a little gun-shy of dislocating it again.

The numbness I noted earlier has progressed to occasional sharp, “hot knife” burning pains that are more annoying than painful. He associated that with probably damage to the saphenous nerve, which runs down the inside of your knee before crossing below the knee cap to continue down the front of the leg. He said it should heal on its own, though some potential long term numbness in possible.

All in all, he saw nothing that will not heal with time and exercise, and predicts a full recovery. Thank God!

24 October 2007


I just returned from my MRI. They're not that bad. I spent a half hour listening to Toby Keith. If they'd piped in white noise, I probably could have slept through it! I'll get the results on Monday.

No time for that

I did something yesterday I said I wouldn’t do. I read a blog. One I haven’t visited in a long time. I knew pretty much what was there and didn’t feel the need to read it. I don’t need to pick up a cow patty to know it stinks.

But a friend posted to it and I wanted to see what he had to say. As I suspected, the blogger spends 500 words trashing a group I’m affiliated with, then two sentences telling us how they don’t need to trash talk and criticizing us for bashing them. ***Edited to add: He's added another chapter to his missive. We're all liars, he's a saint, he's just trying to leave us alone, but we won't let him. SOS. It's a shoe in for this year's Geisel Medal, or at least the Newberry Award. Reminds me of one of those sit-coms where, depending on who is telling the story, one is an angel and the other is a devil and the truth is that both were at fault. Get a grip, dude.***

Their de facto leader has done a fair job of getting most of them to complete the split and tend to growing their own organization, ignoring the other. But a notable few just can’t “let it go,” even while they criticize others for not “letting it go.” They visit the site every day, some several times a day, fishing for responses to some new insult hurled from behind keyboard walls.
They’re puppets, unable to resist being baited, and they can’t even see it themselves, that they are doing exactly what they criticize others for doing and responding just like their baiter wants them to. They’re quick to spot troublemakers they disagree with (like this blog), but don’t mind posting their own irrational diatribes. And when anyone calls them on it, they claim their words were twisted to make them look bad. Hogwash. Wasn’t necessary. They condemn themselves far more eloquently that I could.

Why they feel it necessary to do this is a mystery to me. I’ve never once said anyone could not be a proud and fruitful member of both organizations. In fact, there are a few people who manage to do just that. But some feel that the only way to boost themselves is to trash the others. Being the leader of a two man race where the other guy is horrible isn’t much to brag about.

I’ve avoided all this for the most part, concentrating on making my own organizations better, and more importantly, simply trying to walk again. So don’t bother me with your “You suck, we rule, you’re wrong, we’re right, and anyone who disagrees is blind, stupid, or evil” ravings. I don’t have time for that. I have enough to worry about with an MRI in an hour that insurance won’t cover.

If someone wants to form an opinion of me based on someone else’s criticism, knock yourself out. If you decide to hate me, having never met, talked to, or geocached with me, it’s your loss not mine. Most people get to know me, then decide I’m a jerk.

I encourage all west Tennessee geocachers to heed the right honorable gentleblogger from Beech Bluff’s warning. Get to know people from both groups carefully. Attend their functions and visit their forums. I guarantee you will find a few things:

1. The vast majority of these people (in both orgs) are really pretty nice…in person.
2. You’ll be able to spot the few (in both orgs) that need to get a grip.
3. You’ll find that geocaching is a LOT of fun, but sniping in forums isn’t.
4. You’ll find that you can geocache and have fun without ANY local organization.

Mostly, you’ll find that some people fit in better in one org, others will prefer the other one, some will like both, and some will like neither, and that ALL FOUR of those possibilities are completely acceptable.

19 October 2007

Brief update on Gimpy

I was finally able to see the orthopedic doctor today. His name is Dr. Pollard, and (you'll never believe this) he's originally from Earle, Arkansas, about 30 miles west of Memphis! Thank God we got a doctor that speaks real english!

He xrayed the ankle again, and although the xrays look the same to me, he said it is on track to a full recovery. He put me in an aircast. This is much better than the real cast, or even a walking cast I was afraid I was going to get. He said I could begin to try putting pressure on it, 50% weight bearing this week, 100% next week. The atrophy of the quad muscle was not at all unusual, he said, and it should bounce back fine once I start exercising it again.

The knee was not so optimistic. He tested the stability (by bending it in the same direction as the dislocation) and found it to be fairly stable, but still infused (full of fluid) which makes it a little swollen. He has ordered an MRI ($$$$$$, oh my!) for next Wednesday, then a followup appointment a week from Monday.
He's concerned about a torn meniscus or possible a ruptured ACL. I'm hoping they can just drain the fluid off and it will be okay, just needing Physical Terrorism, I mean "Therapy," to heal up, but if the ACL or meniscus is torn, I'm looking at surgery, they won't heal by themselves. It's a similar injury to the one that ended New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister's season this year. Since I don't have millions of dollars of sports medicine rehabbing me, it looks like my softball career is definitely over.

On a really positive note, we received the proceeds from the sale of our house today! It's official, the house is sold!! Praise the Lord! Of course, in a way, it's a little sad, too. That was the first house we ever owned. We'd watched it being built from the dirt up, then rebuilt after the fire. But I suspect the nostalgia will die down when I DON'T have to write the next house note!!

17 October 2007

A few notes of praise

First, a brief update on the wounded limb: I am still in the temporary cast that Salem Hospital Urgent Care put on. I finally got an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for Friday morning, a full 4 weeks after the original break. Hopefully, the fracture has re-attached and is healing, but I have my doubts. I can still feel a little popping around the joint when I move it a certain way. The bruising on the calf was caused by the edge of the temporary cast. I readjusted it, and it subsided some. I really need to progress to the point where I can put some weight on this leg. The quad muscles have developed an alarming case of atrophy and need to be stretched and strengthened. The range of motion in the knee is still very limited and also needs to be rehabbed. With a walking cast, I could at least begin to get some exercise on it.

Praise the Lord, it looks like we have finally sold our house in Arlington!! A couple moving from out of state offered us full price and quick closing, subject to a few contingencies (read $$). Commissions, repairs, and closing costs (ours and theirs) just about ate all the profit out of it, but we will be able to break even, which was our bottom line goal. Mostly it means no more double house notes, thank God!! Closing is scheduled for Thursday the 18th; we signed our closing papers today. We still have a few minor repairs to have finished by then. Pray that nothing goes wrong, and for the new family moving into the area. We had good neighbors, hopefully they will be too.

We have also, we believe, finally found a church to attend up here. We have had a very difficult time finding a church home. The culture is decidedly unchurched. Back home (and I'm just guessing at percentages here), probably 75% or more at least go to church, though that counts all sorts of "churches" and a pretty casual level of commitment. Up here, it's probably the reverse: 75% or more don't go anywhere at all. The remaining 25% are scattered amongst all denominations, orthodox and otherwise. Churches, where they exist at all, are mainly small ones.

Here in Salem, there are three or four "large" churches. We did not set out specifically to find a LARGE church, but in order to have a specific ministry geared towards special needs children like our son Timothy, it generally takes a fairly large church to have enough special needs kids to warrant a special needs ministry. We tentatively contacted one or two of the larger churches. They basically said, "well, we don't know, but we'll see what we can do if you'd like to visit us."

Ask anyone who knows me, I’m a conservative Baptist. Not a legalistic Baptist, but conservative. Too many churches nowadays strike me as one of those "come as you are, leave as you came" places. You know the type: "God loves you and that's enough, don't worry about your behavior, God doesn't judge people and neither do we." True enough, God isn’t just waiting in heaven to smash people that get the least bit out of line, but He is also a loving, correcting parent, who expects His children to obey Him, for their own good as well as His glory. I'm FAR from a legalist, but I know enough to know that God does care very much about our lifestyle! The Bible is far more than a list of rules and regulations, but there are some dos and don’ts. When God says "Don't," He means "Don't." And after all, God has the right to make the rules. When you create a universe, you have the right to establish the rules by which it operates. When you make your own universe, you will have the right to rule it. I personally have not managed to create a universe myself. Heck, I can’t even finish that 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle I have in my closet!

Anyway, we were striking out in our hunt, beginning to wonder if we'd even find a church at all. Knowing that God was not caught off guard when we moved up here, but wondering if we'd done the right thing (or I was, anyway). Then the parent of a child in Timothy's and Elizabeth's school mentions to [my now-ex-wife] that his church has a special needs ministry. He'd seen a promotional video in their services just a week or two earlier. It's called Morning Star Community Church. I sent the church an email through their website asking for information. Within two hours, the Children's Director and the Special Needs director both replied saying yes, they have a place for him and would love to have us. We attended a couple of Sundays, were warmly welcomed, and the class for Tim is EXACTLY what we were looking for! Elizabeth loves the middle school program on Sunday and Thursday nights, and even William talks about wanting to go back to church during the week! I know that simply making people feel "wanted" isn't a good test of theology, but it's better than making them feel like you don't care whether they come or not.

So I did a little checking on them and found that they are a Calvary Chapel fellowship. I'd listened to Chuck Smith on Calvary Chapel's radio program many years ago when WCRV AM640 back in Memphis used to carry his program and liked him very much. But that was a long time ago, so I searched on Wikipedia and found their doctrinal beliefs. I found them to be theologically very similar to my own beliefs. Being a Southern Baptist, I'm a bit more congregationalist in my beliefs on church government, while they follow a more Episcopal style. They are perhaps a bit more charismatic than I am, but not too much so. Certainly within the pale of orthodoxy. I won’t go into the whole huge debate of Calvinism versus Arminianism here, but if you’re curious, email me.

In any event, I think these folks are more orthodox in their theology that many of the other places we are likely to end up. We certainly won't find a Bellevue Baptist Church up here. To be sure, there are small pockets of orthodoxy up here, but they are definitely the exception rather than the rule. Liberalism rules, in the big cities, at least, though the less urban areas are suprisingly conservative (although no one recognizes my Mike Huckabee bumper sticker). Who knows, maybe I can be the one to bring a little more orthodoxy to the area, I've certainly never been afraid to debate a position I feel strongly about! Hopefully, what we have found at least is a place where we can worship God, fellowship with others, make some friends, serve God with the talents and bents He has given each of us, and have our kids make some friends in a safe, nurturing environment, all without sacrificing the essential non-negotiables of our faith: That all men need a Savior, and that Savior is found nowhere other than the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, bestowed by God’s Sovereign Grace alone, through Faith alone (Acts 4:12). As long as we can meet at the foot of the cross, or better yet, at the mouth of the empty tomb, we can debate the other stuff!