Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear Dad

Doctors' families sometimes have a sick sense of humor (pun intended). It must come from years of dinnertime conversations that include the number of stitches put into a laceration and the amount of blood that shot out before the stitches were completed and the angle at which a broken bone was sticking through the skin and the extent of a rash which blistered and oozed pus. Maybe modern doctors' kids don't get to hear about this stuff, but I grew up the daughter of an old-time country doctor. He did a little bit of everything in his practice, and we heard about it--not necessarily to whom it happened (after all, ever since the demise of party lines and the establishment of "secure connections," people have been concerned about privacy), but that it did happen. And that it was messy and gross. But no problem! I can eat meatloaf and mashed potatoes while I listen to such talk and never bat an eye.

A few evenings before we left for vacation, Jeff, with the help of a very loyal friend Daniel, butchered our sheep. Another friend, Kevin the Painter, was there--not to help with the butchering, but just to eat supper and give "advice," I suppose. :) I had not had time to finish eating before the butchering began, so after a while, I took my plate full of food and went outside to our patio to sit at the picnic table and watch the excitement. Kevin looked at me funny and said, "You're going to eat while you watch THIS???" Sure, I can handle seeing the sheep with a bullet wound in its head and blood pouring out its slit throat while I eat my caprese salad. What's wrong with that? :)

All of that to say this: if I were going to write a letter home from our vacation to my dad, this is what it would say...

Dear Dad,

I hurt my foot last night. As I was walking beside Josiah, somehow his foot and mine collided and instantly the pain in my foot was fierce. I thought it would ease up over time, but it didn't. I took two Tylenol last night and will take two more in a moment. This morning my right little toe looks sort of grayish; I think it might be broken.

What kind of treatment do you suggest? Amputation, right?

I'll tell Jeff to sharpen his pocketknife and get plenty of ice from the ice machine across the hall. Maybe housekeeping will let us have some extra towels to help stop the bleeding.

Wish you were here!


I told you doctors' families have a sick sense of humor. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Dear Davene,
The idea of ice was a good idea but not after amputation. Ice packs would be good. The best advice for a suspected broken toe is to tape the toe to the next toe but to put a little cotton between the toes to absorb perspiration. If that doesn't help, then crutches would be the next step to help you to step better.

bekahcubed said...

I love it!

My family has a great time because my dad is super squeamish, but my sister has great stories (purged of all identifying details per HIPPA) from her life as a physician assistant that we always find ourselves talking about when she's in town.

Of course, we also ate next to our cadaver when we were in anatomy together in college. (Don't tell the University officials--it was officially against the rules. But when the teacher brings donuts, what are you gonna do?)

Leah said...


Sorry, I had to be overly dramatic for an overly gruesome post! ;-)

I am squeamish, so I think my doctor dad knows better.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign off the first comment. But for those of you who are wondering, I am the "Old Country Doctor" who is about ready to retire.
Davene's Dad

Jolanthe said...

haha!! :) That's great and even got a comment from your dad. :)

Davene said...

Leah, I should have put a warning at the beginning of this post...sorry about that. :)

And Dad, I didn't call you an OLD country doctor. I said an "old-time country doctor." There's a big difference there! But regardless, I think you make 70 years old seem young. :)

Margie said...

I had to read these comments. And since I'm not reading ahead, IS your toe broken?

Davene said...


To answer your, I don't think the toe was broken; but I can't say for sure because we never got an x-ray or anything like that. Fortunately, we happened to be traveling with a doctor; and he looked at it and gave the same advice as my dad...but neither of them would say definitely whether or not it was broken. I never did tape it up, partially because I would have had to do that over and over again, after every shower or every time I went to the waterpark (the hotel where we were staying had a waterpark in it)...and that seemed like a lot of hassle for a little toe! Regardless, I had a significant amount of pain for quite a few days afterwards, and even now, it hurts some.

Who would have thought that Josiah and I bumping feet as we walked would have caused so much pain?! I have a much greater respect and appreciation for my little toes now. :)