March 29, 2010


Beth and the kids are spending this week in California. I drove down with them over the weekend, flew home, will spend the rest of the week in New York for a work reward trip, and return next weekend to celebrate Easter in LA.
We stayed over night in Vegas and the kids had a blast holding their new second cousin, Juliette. It amazes me how kids somehow learn in the womb that when presented with a hotel room bed it must be jumped on and when you come upon a hotel corridor you must run and scream as fast as you can.

We spent Saturday in Irvine and got to eat our favorite tacos, get some new boardshorts and t-shirts at our favorite shop, and swim with our favorite friends. We couldn't find a new suit for Lily but she managed to have fun just the same.

Only 16 more days in that cast!

I wanted to take a moment and wish Beth's Grandpa Miller good luck this week. When I left yesterday there were 10 kids (9 under 6), four pregnant ladies, and no dudes in his house. Our thoughts are with you.

March 19, 2010


in case you missed the update on the last post we are having a girl. due date July 25. oh and I wasn't even mildly disappointed. :'')0(-

Thursday marked two weeks since surgery. I didn't quite celebrate the way I did at the one week mark. How did I celebrate you ask? By strapping the Smith's Enriched White Bread* bag over my arm and taking a shower. Don't worry it wasn't my first shower that week (but it wasn't my third). The doctor and nurses really spooked me about getting it wet and causing an infection and for some reason I paid extra attention this time.

*The Smith's Enriched White Bread bag is actually a perfect arm protecting bag. Great size and very tough. However, I have been informed to NEVER buy that bread again. Apparently my family is now too good for $0.99 bread. They have to have the $1.99 bread.

As far as I can tell surgery went well. It almost didn't happen again because I was honest and told the anesthesiologist about the half a bite of yogurt I had. Without even thinking what I was doing I cleaned Lily's spoon at breakfast. The ligament was completely detached from the bone so they had to attach it back by inserting a piece of metal into the bone. Afterward I had a lot of pain in my thumb but otherwise felt OK, was even able to attack a Del Combo Burrito when we left. Beth instantly regretted asking me what I felt like eating. She thought maybe the drugs would reverse my recent aversion to all things Cafe Rio.

For the first two weeks I had a brace around the thumb and wrist and the bulky bandage you see below. Beth said it reminded her of Hellboy and his fist, which actually made it cooler.
Here's an action shot, celebrating March birthday's at Texas Roadhouse. At least 4 of the ladies in this picture are pregnant.

Tuesday I went in for my two week appointment and they eventually cut through the dried blood and removed the dressing. They started to remove the stitches and the first couple didn't bother me but the closer they moved to the tip of my thumb it got very painful. I've had my fair share of stitches removed over the last four months and this was nothing like any of those. After one particular stitch I felt myself start to lose it, breathing harder, trying not to move at all. The technician asked if I was OK and I insisted I was fine and to keep going. But could I get a glass of water? He asked if I was sure, pointing out it's easier to lay down than for him to pick me up off the ground. I played tough and just wanted him to finish. He took out one more stitch, I winced, and he looked at my face and immediately opened the door and waved the nurse in. They noted that I didn't have any blood in my face and needed to lie down. This time I agreed. The nurse said it was very normal whenever something is removed from the hand for the body to think it was no longer protected and over compensate. I don't know if that's true or if she was just trying to make me feel better about being a wimp.

Anyways I now have a hard cast covering my thumb and halfway up my arm. I went with Cougar Blue because as a face painted David Puddy once put it you "gotta support the team." And by Cougar Blue I don't mean the superior original royal but the current and shared with others navy. The actual incision looked pretty ugly but the Dr. told me not to worry that I wouldn't even recognize it in four weeks when the cast comes off. Which is two weeks earlier than I originally thought. Great news! And after much lobbying I got a water proof cast. Don't ask me why they aren't the default. I asked and didn't get a satisfactory answer.

I am getting better at using my left hand for things. Daily tasks like brushing, shaving, wiping, buttoning are the weirdest. I'm just glad I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and will soon enough be able to do things like run, ride, swim, and help change Lily's diapers.

March 8, 2010

Baby Three Poll

Hello it's me, your favorite 9 fingered blogger. Actually more like 7 fingered when it comes to typing. Gotta keep the right hand at a special angle to prevent the large brace and bandage on the thumb from hitting buttons.

I mentioned briefly that my wonderful mothering caretaking wife is expecting our third child. We actually have her 20 week appointment with ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow. I always enjoy a good poll and have therefore given you 12 hours to make your boy/girl prediction.

Here is some pertinent information to help make an educated guess:

I am a boy
Beth is a girl
We have a boy and a girl
The moon was waxing gibbous at conception
Jack wants a "boy not girrrrll"
Lily wants a "baby". Baby boy or baby girl honey? "baby!"
If it's not a boy I'll tell my daughter I was only mildly disappointed.

Seriously for what it's worth we have both found ourselves referring to it as she/her.

Update: It is a girl, due July 25th. You now have a couple hours to cheat and vote accordingly.

March 3, 2010


As I type this I have never been more broken, beat down, and pathetic. Seriously it almost sounds made up at times. As I alluded in the last post, one of the greatest cliff hangers in emmettdoggies history, the story wasn't quite over. It still isn't but at least I can now see how it is going to play out.

Let me set the stage. We were in Snowmass for the annual family ski trip and we were of course stoked out of our mind to be there. My mom and brother Michael were taking excellent care of the kids so we were free to enjoy the good times, food, company, and of course skiing. On Tuesday we were treated to one of those blue bird days you dream about. Well maybe you dream about them. My dreams usually include a couple feet of new snow and that wasn't the case but still it was very very nice and I was anxious to get out there.
See doesn't it look perfect?
In hindsight that, the anxiousness, was maybe where my problems started. I really wanted to hit the slopes at a respectable hour. I mean we are staying on the darn mountain, you walk out the door (in the background) and you are on the slope. The early start I gently pushed for didn't quite happen and when we did hit the hill I was extra motivated to attack the fresh corduroy.

The very first run we all went to the top of the mountain to ski The Edge, a favorite run that had been groomed overnight. It is a run similar to Stan's at Beaver Mountain if you are familiar. That's right it's a black diamond. But not double black because that would just be crazy. Once the group starts down I basically bomb the top to get past some skiers so I will have the run to myself. Then I start carving and my frustration over just then finally getting on the mtn turns to joy and then back to frustration. I totally picked the wrong skis for the day. I'm on the 8800s a fantastic all mountain ski but I had some brand new (to me) race skis back at the condo. I can't believe I wasn't using them and start to think about skiing all the way down the hill to get them. I fly by one then two different stopping points. Right before the steepest part there is a series of four rollers. I go over the first two with the biggest smile on my face as I go weightless. I go over the third and start to think I don't know that I've ever gone this fast on skis and should probably dial it back. Well that roller threw me a little off balance and before I could get back in control I hit the fourth roller and went seriously airborne.

I remember thinking two things, 1) this is going to hurt, and 2)it's official: can't think of time I went faster on skis. The ironic part was I wasn't even on skis at that point. The skis weren't even the closest thing to the snow. That title went to my left shoulder, with my face a close second. I landed on those two things and then landed a couple more times in various ways. Amazingly I didn't black out and was immediately grateful I was wearing a helmet. Eventually I rolled over on my stomach and found a pool of blood melting the snow from my nose. I looked up the mountain and saw Kurt come across my skis. He later said he thought I had somehow disappeared because my skis were there but I was nowhere to be found.

Luckily my equipment and legs still worked and I could ski down the hill. My nose really hurt but I was more worried about the fact I couldn't use my left arm. I was hopeful it was just a sprain and just numb at that point. I borrowed various bandannas to try and stop the blood flow and that is when I realized my right thumb too wasn't working properly. Beth skied with me the Ski Patrol shack where they helped clean up my face and lead us down to the on hill Urgent Care Clinic.

To speed up this story...we were there a couple hours while they took x-rays of my shoulder and hand, stitched up the cut under my nose, gave a tetanus shot because I had not idea when I last had one, and sent us on our way with my thumb in a brace and shoulder in sling. The x-rays were inconclusive on my shoulder and no broken bones in the hand but we were given instructions to see an orthopedic surgeon the next week. The highlight of the day was the look a guy gave us as we walked across the parking lot, me carrying the poles under my right arm, and Beth a few feet behind carrying both our skis over each shoulder. This is how I roll bro, be jealous.

I was still hoping to be able to possibly ski again that week but it became apparent over the next couple days that wouldn't happen. I thought about possibly catching a ride home but that wouldn't have worked. I needed someone to drive me around. I could have gone to my parents and hung out but that would have just been an additional burden on my mom. Hey mom, after you change Lily's diaper could you button my pants? I had four working fingers, and they weren't even the useful ones. So instead I spent my days lazily waiting for everyone to come back so we could hit the hot tub and then go to dinner. It wasn't so bad.
The McEuen clan. This picture cracks me up, you can see how swollen my face is and not just the usual winter swelling. I'm actually trying to smile.
Here we are at the end of the week and I can sort of smile again without even stressing the couple stitches under my nose.
Not the greatest photo but you can see how bruised my thumb was even two weeks later.

When we got home things finally got interesting. Over the weekend I noticed a sharp pain in my calf develop Saturday night after returning home from my cousin's wedding. By Sunday morning that pain had started to spread through my incision area and lower leg. I had an appointment to see my doctor Monday morning to get the stitches out so I figured I'd wait to see him about the obvious infection. In the middle of the night I woke up with worst case of the shivers I've ever had. I could not stop shaking. It freaked Beth out and she called the hospital even though I tried to tell her I just needed some Ibuprofen and a hoodie. The same doctor that I had an appointment with in just 4 hours was on call at the E.R. and said the infection was probably systemic at that point and I should come in. Well I did eventually stop shivering and just wanted to sleep so I convinced Beth to wait. I should also admit I much prefer a standard co-pay to the Urgent Care and E.R. fees.

Sure enough the infection was bad and spreading. To stay on top of it I had to go to the hospital everyone morning that week for I.V. antibiotics, followed by 10 days of oral antibiotics. I had a couple large band aids that I put over my incision for my own peace of mind while we were in Aspen, even though it had healed and closed up. When I took the band aids off after several days I noticed there was blood under them. Not sure when or how, maybe while in the ski boot, but there had been an opening in the incision. That and the fact that I hit the hot tub time machine every day for a week are probably to blame.
Eventually the pressure from the infection split my pretty little scar open and started to drain really yummy stuff.
Four a couple days the nurses convinced me it was easier for me to keep the I.V. set in my arm. That was a terrible idea, I much prefer being pricked each time than walking around with this under my sleeves. Try explaining to a 1 and 3 year old that they need to be careful with daddy because he has a needle and tubes coming out of his arm. Plus the smell of hospital made me ill. Needless to say the last couple days I had them take out.

I got in to see Dr. Scott Jackson a family friend and orthopedic surgeon. He recommended I see a Dr. Richards from his practice about my thumb and ordered an MRI on my shoulder. The MRI was the single most terrifying thing I've done in my life. I just about lost it when I got rolled into that thing. Is it just me or should we have already found a better way to do this? This is the exact same thing I heard my Dad talk about hating 25 years ago. Doesn't TSA have something that does this now? On a related note where is my hoverboard? Instead of freaking I just shut my eyes and didn't open them again for 40 minutes and managed OK. I even fell asleep at one point. I kept trying to think of open spaces and for some reason kept focusing on the default background from Windows XP. You know the one with the green hills and blue skies. The MRI revealed a fracture of the greater tuberosity. I guess that is where the rotator cuff meets the bone. Luckily it isn't displaced and as long as I don't displace it it should slowly heal.

Now nearly four weeks after the crash I am going into surgery tomorrow to repair my ruptured ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Also conveniently know as Skier's Thumb. We were originally scheduled to do it last week but apparently you can't have one surgery while still battling an infection in another part of the body. All the details of the procedure are a little blurry, I know metal will be placed in the thumb, and I'll have a cast or splint for a couple months. I'll learn more tomorrow and maybe pass it along...stay tuned.

Just a quick note on how lucky and blessed I am. Did you know my wife is amazing? I have been useless around the house while my shoulder started to get some life back. And she never complained, always helped me get my t-shirt off, took care of the kids, cooked, cleaned, and on and on. And instead of taking it easy she decided to potty train Jack. And did a great job, after the first day he didn't have any accidents for four days. Granted that was a costly accident at someone else's house and carpet but still. She is the best. And did I mention she is pregnant? Superwoman.

This is too long to proof read so cut me some slack.