A Travellerspoint blog

Trial Separation

trials that lead to freedom

Vanessa:

We wake up early so we don’t have to rush to my appointment.
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Then we start making breakfast in our breakfast nook, and we have to run! The GPS played some form of chicken with Joe, at first telling him to take the exit that goes 1 of 2 ways, telling him after the exit head towards Colorado Springs, do it, do it, then at the last second after he took the first exit and was moving towards the Colorado Springs exit, it changed its mind and said no! head for Fort something or other! So we had to turn around on top of us already being late. Then we were heading closer and closer to the skyscrapers, and I started checking out where I was going to hang for the day. This was to be Joe and my day apart, so after my appointment I was going to go browsing through the stores we were passing, and Joe was going to go exploring into the mountains. I know I know, I hate browsing, and I love exploring. But I’ve been changed by this wrist, and what used to be fun has become extremely exhausting and scary (you have no idea how much you rely on your hands to hike, not climb, but just hike. You know? Catch yourself when you trip, ect, ect ect.)

Anyhow, we finally make it to the Plastic Surgery Clinic at 11am (yeah, I wasn’t thrilled about it being a plastic place either), fill out their paperwork, pay the $35 co-pay, wait in the waiting room with a bunch of men waiting for their women to be done getting their Botox injections. Joe asked the receptionist where I a cool place I could spend the day at, maybe shop, and she told us about this outdoor mall about 20 blocks away, but on the same street. We read some magazines, and then I was in and I said goodbye Joe (I almost cried, not sure why).

When I sit down in the doctors room I wait, wait, wait, and then a woman walked into the room carrying a hand held circular saw! No work bench or safety equipment (doctors are so much more hardcore than shop workers). Then she just pushed the saw into my cast until it jolted… all the way through (only gauze now between the saw and my skin). Then back to the surface, all the way down to the gauze, over and over. Then, after that she had to make another long line incision starting at my thumb. I flinch this time around, I really don’t know this woman, and she is really close to my skin with a saw, for the second time now. She made fun of me! I’m thinking she might do this quite often, so it doesn’t faze her, but I betcha she has never had it done to her, otherwise I think she would understand the hesitation in trust.

Don't look at this next pic if you don't want to see my wrist with pins...
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Then she wraps my wrist in gauze and hands me my hat (literally) and jacket, and tells me that I have to walk 6 blocks to the hospital to get the x-rays! When I head out Joe is still in the waiting room reading a magazine article he was enthralled with, so he walked with me. One block right, five blocks left, hospital on the right. I make it to Radiology and say goodbye to Joe again. Then they tell me to go back downstairs to Admissions first. I pass Joe as he is plugging the plastic surgery clinic into the GPS (he couldn’t remember how to get back for the bike). Then I wait in Admissions line, follow a nurse to a room to fill out all the same paperwork I already filled out at the Plastic Surgery Clinic, pay another $35 co-pay b/c now I’m at a new facility, even though it is for the same appointment, and then I am sent over to Radiology. There I get a free mocha (they had a free machine you could make anything, so while I don’t like mochas, I really wanted some milk). Then I get my x-rays, wait for the CD, and I head back to the Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Joe:

I said my good byes and good lucks and V went in to get her pins out. I stayed longer than expected to keep V company. Eventually, I drove back up the mountain. By myself and without saddlebags Perp was so peppy. I forgot how easy it was to ride by myself. V was going to take the day to herself, so I wanted to do things that she didn’t want to do. After a shower I played Rome: Total War for an hour. Enough shitting around! I came on this trip to head into the wild and it was time! I packed light. Two T-shirts, cell phone, bandana, and camcorder. V had the camera. I put my cell phone in the knife case and secured it to the camcorder strap so it was on my shoulder (I don’t like running with stuff in my pockets).

I casually walk out of the motel parking lot. I round the bend and I take off. It was kind of like park our (free-running). I jumped over some stuff between a building and came to a fence that kept people off the highway. I quickly climbed the fence and ran across the freeway when there were no cars (I didn’t yet know that there was a walk through tunnel). I ran along a barbed wire fence that was around a small mountain with a forest growing up it. There was a hole in the fence. I thought twice about going through because it was private property. But, I decided to just be cautious. It was exciting and I was out of breath. I sat in the woods and waited till the cold feeling in my lungs left me.

V:

When I get there the doctor takes about 3 seconds looking at the x-rays and comes into the room, barley introduces himself, says he is going to take out my pins, and sits down and opens his hands for mine.

“Are my bones healed right then?”
“Of course they are, otherwise I wouldn’t be taking out your pins.”

And with that statement he assured me with his eyes that questions were not welcome. So then I tell him as he seems ready to pull the suckers out, that I’ve been known to faint giving blood, so maybe I should, but before I can finish he tells the nurse (the one that had the blade before) to lay me back. Ok… this is going to be fun. He twists back and forth on one of my pins, grinding my scabs on my skin all the way (again, literally) to my bone in a period of about 2 seconds, and then YANK! I felt a tear escape my left eye. The pain wasn’t like when I broke it, it was more the buildup pain and the idea of what just happened. The yank hurt more because of the twisting; otherwise I don’t think it would have been so bad. Then he repeated this with the other two pins, finishing up all of them in no more than 20 seconds. Then he sat me up, tears streaming down both cheeks, but my composure is ok, and tells me that I should get another x-ray in a month to see how it’s doing, and that I should have a doctor look at it (and by the way he said it, that doctor should not be him). Then the nurse hands me my things again, and tells me to go back to the hospital to get my soft cast!

Tears on cheeks, very shaken up, I walk back to the hospital to the physical therapy wing. When I get there I have to fill out even more paperwork than usual (my insurance company requires me to answer a questionnaire about my health first), and again I pay a $35 co-pay because while part of the hospital, it’s not quite part of the hospital. So what in Ohio was a single visit in one building costing $35, in Colorado it cost me over $100, so not cool. What was cool was my physical therapist. He made me a soft cast from scratch. Just some Velcro and plastic boards and padding. He cut the plastic to fit my wrist, then using boiling water, shaped it to fit me. Then he put padding around the edges, and finished it off with blue soft Velcro. Then he made me copies of the exercises I should be doing, and told me not to start strength for about a month so I get range of motion first. Then, since he knew I was camping and didn’t have many supplies, he made me a care package of gauze, Band-Aids, extra “socks” to wear under the soft cast, and my very own bottle of hydrogen peroxide. He also to me that either I or my sister (the physical therapist) could call him anytime for questions about my exercises or the sort. He was great.

Joe:

I walked slowly farther up the side of the steep mountain and quickly came to a shack. It was ramshackle and seemed to be built out of scrap remnants of an old building that had been torn down. Like looking at the fossils of an ancient creature I could put together the pieces of an old barn. The shack was dark gray and mishappen. It was put together with odd pieces and the wood was all cracked and bent and rotting. I slowly approached the shack in a low kung fu stance. My hands were ready. I peered in and could see a can, a bottle, a hatchet, but no people. I thought that there could be a killer, or a homeless person. I thought, [i]This looks bad[i/] as I stand looking ready to fight. I relax and say softly, “I’m a friend. I mean no harm.” There’s a pause. I say louder, “I’m a friend! I mean no harm!

Vanessa:

Then I left, and it was 3pm! So much for my day alone. I went to the Einstein’s Bagels just next to the hospital b/c I needed to eat something. I got a phone call just as I was getting there from the receptionist at physical therapy that my insurance (and she has never heard of this) has an exclusionary policy about wrists! I guess healing my bones is okay, but fixing the ligaments afterwords just isn’t covered. I told her to bill them anyway, and I would have my mother handle them. She warned me that the woman was really mean, and I told her… even better. So then I called my mom, and hopefully things are handled (its about 2 weeks later now and I haven’t asked, aren’t I responsible?)

Joe:

The suspense is killing Angel (Buffy quote). There's still no answer from the creepy shack. I open the door slowly. CCRREEEEKK. I poke my head in and out quickly. Nobody's home. I look around and it looks like a hunting shack. There's some tools. I look up and there's a sign directly across from the door. More like a piece of notebook paper duct-taped to the wall. It said Welcome really big with a smiley face emoticon double exclamation mark. It followed, "Please don't mess with our shack. But, if you need to bed down, or just want to chill, feel free to do so. -Owners"

I laughed out loud. I came in and looked around. There was a fire ring partially enclosed in the shack, a couple odd little pieces of furniture and a garbage bag hanging on a post. I sat down and chilled for a minute free of the wind. "This is definitely where we are sleeping tomorrow night."

Vanessa:

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So then I went to the outdoor mall and it was a bust. It took me a really long time to get there, and there was only one cool store in the whole mall. The rest were trendy and expensive (which I kinda expected, but I had hopes). There were these really cool statues though,
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And right across from them there was a guy playing the harp (coolest street musician ever!)
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And a Coyote Ugly, but the place was dead.
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Eventually found a Claire’s where I got nose rings that say Luck, Love, and something else, maybe Happiness(? I forget) in Chinese. I’ve been wearing Luck ever since. I bought a few things here and there to eat or drink, a Guinness in a pub (totally sad I didn’t see they had Strongbow on tap until I was leaving), and I ended up at the Barns and Noble and I sat and read about Native American medicines and waited for Joe, who was supposed to pick me up at 8.

Joe:

I get out of the shack and split and break a whole bunch of the scrap wood using stomps and the hatchet. When I get a big stack for the next night I look up the mountain and see the sun moving towards the horizon. I look to the top of the mountain and decide to try a summit. It's about six o'clock. Then I think maybe I'll do it tomorrow with V. What am I thinking? Van can't do this in her condition. This is my day! I'm gonna bust my ass and go for it.

All I'm wearing is two t-shirts and I'm using my bandana over my face because my nose and ears always freeze. It also warms the air I'm breathing and keeps my chest warmer from the inside. I climb. Breathing hard I move quickly straight up the mountain. I stop for a rest and do a video that V compares to the Blair Witch Project (I should've video taped my first approach of the shack. That was scary).

Now the mountain is really steep and has few trees to grab a hold. I move up in zigzags carving into the mountain. I'm still moving fast and am surprised that I'm still in good shape. I pass beautiful scenes of evergreens with baby trees grouped together like a field of flowers. These trees were a couple feet high and their leaves shone yellow and orange just like the fall colors we've seen interspersed in the evergreens.

It is getting dark approaching seven o'clock and several times I think about turning back to pick up V on time. But, I keep moving and I get my second wind and scramble even faster.

I reach the summit after climbing a mile and there is a field with a big fire pit and a dirt path for ATVs. The scenery is beautiful and the moon is almost full. I decided that since a tiger hunts alone that I would do the ancient tiger animal Chi Gong. This is a powerful strength set under full tension. Later, Vanessa accidentally deleted the video because of a misunderstanding, so I'll have to have another lone trip later.

It is now 7:10 and I decide to video tape an all-out run down the mountain so I can pick up V on time. This video really looks like the Blair Witch Project. I scramble over logs and overturned trees, down gullies, and I slip several times. Then I come to a path that goes sideways down the mountain at a twenty degree slope. The path is only a couple feet wide and the slope is very steep on both sides. I ran full speed now, dodging branches and small trees. I pop out onto a paved path that leads through a tunnel under the highway and straight into town. The wind of the cool mountain air wipes away the sweat as I ride wearing all my warm clothes plus V's.

V:

Joe picks me up on time (apparently by cutting through a sidewalk) then we road back to our hotel and watched Blood Diamond and ate awesome homemade hot turkey burgers. And, for the first time since I got my pins out, here is a comparison picture of my arms, which one was broken?

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Posted by - Rain 07:42

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Comments

This was scary to read, starting with the title. Both your separate stories had moments that were very intense. By the end, I was SO relieved that you, Joe, made it back in time and that you, Vanessa, got through the industrialized-medicine experience with arms that look reasonably alike! How ironic, Vanessa, that after having your pins wrenched out, none too gently, you made buying new nose rings part of your little holiday away from Joe.

by Sheryl S

You can barely see civilization---yeah...it is like Blair witch project! But coo. Oh and V...I threw up, thanks for the pics!

by BritterBee

Having him twist the pins and then pull them sounds horribly painful but necessary. Glad you survived Van :-). I loved the note in the shack. I definitely wouldn't have gone in there if it was me.

by buddy-JC

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