Head Banger


After a long week of preparation and execution of a major project for my students; the weekend was a well sought attempt at relief and relaxation.

Entertainingly though, mother nature, ice, and my lack of coordination had other plans…

Disclaimer: This is a story about injury, humor, and a lot of firsts. Those with ‘squeamish’ stomachs have been advised.

For a few years now, we (myself) have complained about the lack of overall winter in the area. There hasn’t been ice, snow, or anything else that is conceived as fun. Only bleak, gray, frigid winter days. This year was set to be different with our first introduction to ‘freezing drizzle’ on Friday. As it turns out, the freezing drizzle quickly translated to black ice and allowed the entire metro area to plunge into an absolute disaster of epic proportions.

Saturday morning was our in-between period of weather; we had the freezing drizzle but the snow was a few hours away. Knowing this, at 11:00 AM I decided that I still had time to grab a cup of coffee from our local coffee shop and some salt for our icy sidewalk and driveway. I was bundled up, I stepped out the door, and I thought that I spotted ice-melt on our sidewalk. I thought that our neighbor had surprised us again (not uncommon because he is amazing). Sadly, as I took my first step down from our patio to our sidewalk I realized, too late, that the white little specks that I thought was salt…was sleet instead. Meaning, my sidewalk was straight ice.

Too late.

My feet shuffled three times, trying to gain my balance on this downward spiral of despair, and up in the air they went and my head came down right on the concrete ledge of our patio. Naturally, while laying on the sidewalk moaning, I immediately placed my right hand on the back of my head only because of the pain. Mind you, it was starting to snow and was a balmy 13 degrees when all of this took place. After trying to get my bearings, I stood up, and looked at my hand.

Bright. Red.

Blood.

My wife was at work. No one was outside in our neighborhood, and our doorway is tucked on the side of the house, so no one could see me. I grabbed my Mitscoots stocking cap, that I love dearly, and used it as a form of compression on my head with my right hand and with my left hand I grabbed my phone and dialed 911.

The first words out of my mouth was my address because as I sat down on the edge of the patio, my heart started to flutter, my breathing became weak, nausea was setting in, blood was running down my neck, back, face, everywhere, and I told the dispatcher that first responders needed to hurry because I was beginning to black out.

Selfies not to send to your wife…

Realizing that blacking out was coming, made me realize this fear of collapsing in the snow, in the winter temperatures, and not being found. I’ll confess, the concept of death crossed my mind for a split second. The taste of blood was in my mouth, I coughed, trying not to dry heave in the process, and sat on the line with the dispatcher. Ten minutes passed inside this freezing, arctic concept of my own internal hell, and I saw the local police pull up. They nearly fell walking up the driveway. An officer started talking to me, a dialogue that could demonstrate that he was originally from California with the “yeah man” and “dude” interlaced between his professional statements and questions. My hat got replaced with an actual compression cloth, and I was wrapped up in a blanket as we waited for the ambulance to come. 15 minutes after I fell the local ambulance district showed up, I thanked the police officers and apologized to them for being terrified of the police most of my life. Needless to say, in cliche fashion, my perspective was changed that day. The guys from the ambulance and fire department loaded my body onto a stretcher, slid down the driveway, and loaded me into the unit. Truly, I picked the worst day, to decide to try my fate with other people.

After being loaded into the ambulance, the gentleman talked to me about what was going on, looked at the back of my head, inserted a needle, gave my anti-nausea medication (I already get car sick easily, an injury just adds to the misery) and we started making our way to the hospital. We past, by my count, five accidents along the road trying to get into the ER unit. I was told that since there was no bleeding from my ears or nose, that brain damage was not a major concern. I also learned that not losing consciousness prevented me from needing a CT scan upon arrival at the hospital. My blood pressure was high when the first got me into the ambulance, but after another reading twenty minutes later, the comment that came from the medics mouth was…

Are you a runner? Your heart rate is incredibly low.

Shoutout to the folks I run with, with that comment I’m now one of “those people” who runs.

While in the ambulance I did decide to take a selfie; this was primarily for my entertainment of how I was going to break the news to my wife. I sent her the photo, but afterwards I decided to call her also. We have a system in place that non-emergency contact is done via text messages and phone calls are only used in emergencies. Needless to say, when I called her, her voice was a tad distraught. It escalated rather quickly when she discovered that I was in an ambulance, on route to the local hospital (I picked the hospital closest to her store). She informed me that she would be there after she got her shift covered. While she had a great front, you could still here the stress in her voice.

Once I was loaded into the hospital, they started the process of getting my shirt off (showing how much blood had ran down my chest also), and proceeded to clean the wound. I was so tired at this point. I stayed awake out of fear, but sleep and hunger were playing a pretty epic role on my body. After a head bath of room temperature water and soap, I was informed that I had a one inch gash across the back of my head, slightly to the left. The doctor came in, about the time my wife arrived, and said he would give me a localized painkiller, two stitches to pull the gap together, and finish it off with 6 or 7 staples. This is the first time I have ever seen my wife walk out of a room because she was getting sick to her stomach. What that tells me: though my wife is very strong, she does not handle her husband being hurt very well. Especially with the amount of blood that was involved.

I learned that ‘staples’ inside a hospital also equates to standard, school style staples. There is not some ‘medical staple’, it is literally a staple like you would find inside the classroom. After the two stitches were inserted (stitches, another first for me) and the staples were added (6), I was cleaned up and allowed to leave the hospital.

What I learned:

  • Police, fire, medical, etc…all those groups of people are so insanely amazing when you are in a state of panic. I was very blessed to have such kind, caring individuals around me throughout the day yesterday. The fact that an officer spoke with me about having a beer, him growing up being scared of cops, his jail time, etc…just really eased all the stress from the entire situation.
  • The whole process, from the fall to leaving the hospital, was nearly 3 hours in total duration. Thanks to my wife for actually knowing insurance information.
  • I’m sad the my hat was ruined, but I’m so, so grateful that I had my Mitscoots stocking cap to apply pressure with while waiting for medical attention.
  • Shoutout to all the first aid training I’ve had over the years; who would have thought the time I would have to use it would be on myself?
  • Insanely, truly a blessing, I made it out of this whole situation without an actual diagnosed concussion. Giving God the props for that. I woke up today without a headache, nausea, confusion, or anything else along those lines.
  • Head wounds bleed a lot; in fact I learned that medical people become more nervous if a head wound is not profusely bleeding. The amount of capillaries in the head is huge, so any wound can easily result in a blood bath; literally.
  • Unlike my original assumption; aside from the anti-nausea medicine in the ambulance, I received no medication, pain killers, etc…at the moment the only thing I have had has been two Aleve at 7:30 PM last night.

That is my scary story. It sidelined me for the weekend, I did not get my papers graded like I wanted to, and again I’m sidelined for a bit from trail running. However, all things considered, I can handle those restrictions compared to the fear that I witnessed sitting alone in the winter with a head wound.

Always grateful that God is watching over me.

-D-

O: Boiling Over


It finally happened.

I completely, stupidly, inexcusably lost my cool tonight.

I think I’ve stated before that for quite some time I’ve had to work on controlling my anger. As a youth I would lose my temper in a moments notice and would follow that by making horrible, poor choices on my reaction. Taking a toll on myself, and my faith.

Tonight feels like square one.

I said that this site would be open and honest; both positive and negative. I know lately that it seems more doom and gloom than anything else, but that’s because I can feel myself being worked over more and more these past few weeks. I’m struggling to stay faithful, to hold onto hope, and not be the stubborn Hebrew out in the desert.

My girlfriends mom heading to the hospital added some stress a while back. It would anyone; nothing like what my girlfriend experienced, but my job is to protect; there’s stress that comes with that. Additionally I got taken through the ringer by a relative of hers while I was at the hospital. I’m sure it started as good fun, but when they learned that I was divorced…it was humiliating. I felt absolutely worthless and dirty. It felt like a two year flash back and by the time it was done [my girlfriend removed me from the waiting room] I was shaking because I was so angry. No immediate reaction, but I was so angry. Angry at myself, the man who stated the harsh things, but primarily…I was just mad because the things stated had some truth to them.

The transmission went out in my company car while I was working. Causing my store list to get delayed; factor in not one, but two winter storms on top of that and I was working all the way to the end of the month. As the individual who doesn’t feel worthy of the job I have, it’s like stepping on pins as it is. Completely screwing up a month of evaluations because of the selfish time off I took starting in February…it’s humiliating and causes me for concern. I’m terrified of my boss, and I’d never want to make the company look bad. Between the car and the store list; I did some stupid damage, and I hate the sensation of disappointment. Such as, “Yep, that kid doesn’t have what it takes to be in this position.” It’s a daily fear of mine whether people believe it or not.

Sprinkle in the past three weeks at MoVal being about marriage, and how you should go about it in a Godly, Biblical way…it’s great. The entire three part sermon was amazing. Bluntly though, I walked out feeling disappointed in myself. Perhaps that’s a pride issue? I’m not sure, but the long lasting effects from a divorce, at least in this soul, has been troublesome. Talking about marriage, God, faith, and the mixture of the three in this perfect harmony of  ‘one flesh’ hurts simply because I damaged it. I didn’t follow through. I didn’t follow up with the promise my ex-wife and I made before family, friends, and God. I failed. Being reminded of that three weeks in a row; it really adds up.

Let’s go ahead and add the list of bills that continues to grow each month, the student loans that’ll take twenty years to pay back [at least], and making sure that I have enough for rent, electricity, food, gas [for meetings with my businesses when I’m not working with Subway], and that’s another stressful monster in itself.

Finally, soccer. There are things that I’ve posted in this site about being stressed that have brought about some scrutiny from people within our organization. The reality is; I’m stressed. I’m not stressed because I’m taking on too much. I’m stressed because I’m working around the clock to get things taken care of, looking good in the social media world [though some errors along those lines were made this month as well], and then trying to sleep with the notion that:

  • Some people in this world want you to fail. It’s a sad, harsh reality, but very true.
  • Some people have a hard time respecting you when you fail to lead, when you fail to follow through, and you fail to stand up for yourself.

As I said above, I’ve worked very hard these past two years, working on controlling my anger and not lashing out at anyone. I don’t believe that it is worth it. It’s a waste of energy to scream, yell, and attempt to look ‘macho’. It’s hard feeling like you’re under trial 24/7. Additionally, along the footy lines there are other things in the workings; they’re some very large projects that I’m excited about, but have taken some serious tolls. We’ve come across hurdle, after hurdle, after hurdle, and it isn’t easy [‘no one said it would be’, I know, I know] and that just piles on as well.

Also, as of two days ago; I’m sick. For the third time since December and that is a new record for me. My immune system is giving up, wearing out, and throwing in the towel. Now I’m just having to use the towel to blow my nose.

Much of this brings us to tonight. After a business meeting all day with Subway [including a CX debate with myself against my boss] I stopped in to get some coffee before heading home to crash, after I had spent a few hours talking to MC about…well…life.

First, a man who was very intoxicated came in. There are four girls working in the store, one of which was my girlfriend. So, I stayed in the store for an extra two hours. Later it was learned that he had been picked up by the city police after his two visits within the store. Uncomfortable to say the least…and stressful.

Secondly, and this is all on me. I want everyone to know that what I’m getting ready to say is 100% my fault, and no one else. There was a moment when an individual promptly parked at the front of the store, the passenger got out and went in to get some coffee. I made a rude comment about the individuals parking job [as the vehicle did ride onto the curb…for fun]. One way or another that message found its way to the driver. I know this because as I went out to get into the ‘gokart’ [name for the Mazda2 rental car] the vehicle came speeding by me sprayed me with slush, rocks, and snow and sped off into the parking lot.

I lost it.

Completely lost it.

I stormed back into the store, spoke very harshly about what had just happened and stormed out and went home [at the moment I would have rather chased the vehicle through the city].

I made a scene in the coffee shop.

I made a scene in front of my girlfriend.

I raised my voice.

My anger boiled over.

I yelled in the phone.

I yelled in the car.

I just yelled.

I’ve since apologized to my girlfriend, but it doesn’t take back the action that I’ve displayed. I don’t have an excuse, though I wish the paragraphs above could justify my need to exert such anger. Realistically though; they don’t. Life is rough, Satan is working on me hard…and tonight I failed.

The best thing I can say, and I’m getting some serious rest after this, is to those that I’ve directly and indirectly drove up the wall in recent weeks; from work, soccer, family, friends, and everyone else in between. I’m sorry.

I’m just sorry.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: 0%


FRUSTRATED!

There, I got that out of the way.

Truly feels like I’m batting an average of 0% today, even with the crazy snow.

My stores were closed today; except for one. I traversed fifty miles in the storm to get to that store; it was a nightmare getting there [store was fine]. Couldn’t believe the other stores were closed; I mean, yes, it snowed, but it wasn’t 20″+ or anything stupid like that.

Gym closed before I got there. Screwed up that workout.

Missed a phone call for work due to the gym being closed. Now I only have tomorrow to get that phone call in.

Add that in with some dialogues I’ve had today on other assorted items and I’m just frustrated.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Vegas


I guess it was only a matter of time before it happened. I was going to eventually find myself in Las Vegas.

That timing took place about twenty minutes ago. After several months of no response; the league that the Kansas City Shock is part of; the Women’s Premier Soccer League, contacted our crew and informed us of when the Annual General Meeting will be held for the 2013 season. This is a required meeting as outlined in the agreement that I signed with the league.

The meeting is held in the last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the Saturday after the NSCAA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana [for those geographically challenged: they’re on opposite sides of the US].

Initial Thought: WOW! I’m expected to a be a professional at actual meetings that include our program.

Realistic Thought: How on earth am I going to get this all figured out? Registration fee for the NSCAA is $268 [ish], and airfare for one person for a round trip from KCI to Vegas and back is around $300. Thankfully I’ll be working with my good friends in Nevada to be sure that I get the best deal. Also, I’ll be taking Darco with me, as she is the adviser that keeps me from losing my mind.

God’s brought me this far…I know He isn’t done, not even close.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Tranquil Tuesday


OK, here’s what we’re aiming for, for tomorrow:

  • Take a nice, calm run tomorrow morning [should be around 20 degrees]
  • Head to Starbucks for the day
  • Staff meeting at 8:30
  • Get my work related ‘stuff’ ready for the month
  • Read a book
  • Write in here
  • Discover my Nook
  • Take a deep breath

Even though today was a ‘day off’, I’ve been in front of this computer all day catching up on work from last month. Tomorrow we shall finally get a chance to breath, regroup, and begin to focus for insanity that is known in other places of the world merely as…January.

-D-

X: Arrogance


It’s been quiet in this lone soul as of late.

Like, spiritually quiet.

So many times in the most recent months I’ve felt this amazing, awesome connection with God. Talking, walking, and just basking in His light. Waking up at 5:00am and just being grateful. Knowing that my door isn’t going to get knocked on at 7:00am anymore [had this problem in college and afterwards]. Life wasn’t perfect, but life was good.

Interesting has quickly that can become readjusted.

As I lay here in bed these early morning hours, I found myself talking to God, and silence prevailed. Understand that not at all am I saying God has removed Himself, but that doesn’t mean that at times He doesn’t quiet down. King David nearly wrote half of the longest book in the Bible strictly about searching for God because of moments like this. As I’ve tried to search, seek, and look; it’s shameful, yet humbling to see that my own arrogance has risen to new levels over the past several days.

Yes, last week was fun and frustrating at the same time, and sleep was limited the entire time [and I get to do it again next month], but that never constitutes the excuse of thinking for even a split-second, “Look at what I’m doing.” Yesterday, at work, I knocked it out of the park. I tore through my stores, sat down with a store owner, looked at a new store, found a lost product truck, and worked analysis for eight stores. A lot of things went right, and by the end of the night I was toxic, talking about how I’m finally getting this job down, how my boss should be proud of me, and how I’m going to be successful in this life.

That’s toxic.

Currently, at 5:40 in the morning, I’m sitting here and just thinking, “I was nearly homeless, who on earth am I to state that I’m doing great things?” My life is mere rubbish without the approval of my heavenly Father. So, for about thirty minutes this morning [prior to MC calling me from work], I just talked to God. No lights, music, nothing; I just talked. I explained my selfish pride, my arrogance, short comings, and fears. There was no booming voice, there was no ‘great wind’, it was just peace. Currently, when I’m not running around for work, working with family, or rocking it at MoVal; embarrassingly I’m struggling with self-image and the unbelievable fear of being single for the rest of my life [please do not pull the “some people were designed to be single” card; yes, some were. I was not]. It has been this fear that just eats at me in my lone hours. MC knows it, she doesn’t say much, but she knows I’m terrified of it. I’ve turned down four blind-dates so far, because I desire something real. As I told God, I want to form this strong friendship, this amazing relationship, and only then would I be interested in moving things along. My entire life has revolved in rushing into relationships for the instant gratification. All of them have failed. Of course, this goes back to continuing to be patient [don’t you love how I ramble in the early morning hours] and just seeking Him and His grace. However, as history has demonstrated there is one fault when it comes to the other gender:

I hate being used. Absolutely hate it. I despise it.

There have been a few times in my life that I’ve found myself just completely sold-out to a significant other, and they seem to be understanding, wanting, and loving. They thoroughly enjoy the poetry, the kind thoughts, the dedication, but the moment a decently attractive man walks by…I’m on the curb. I was the “you’re like a brother” person, and it hurts like crazy to know that’s all you are to a person when you’ve poured so much into something.

I’m very hesitant to even contemplate the ‘dating game’. It may sound childish, but I’m terrified of being hurt again. I’m terrified of hearing sharp, edged, harmful words. Yes, I’m a guy, but believe it or not, we too can easily be damaged.

In my bedroom, on a cool, wintery morning; pleading to God that my heart hurts and my soul is lonely, but not just the physical “there is no one around” lonely, but more so a longing for Him to be around. We all know that if someone was with me, but God was not around, it would be deadly and horrific [take a look at the reasoning of this website for evidence of that], and would leave you more isolated then you began.

I don’t feel 100% today. I’m not tired, and my body is working fairly well; I just feel like I’m hungover from getting drunk on my own, selfish power. I know God loves to detox His own, and today’s adventure out into a white wilderness should assist with that, but as Christian learned several times throughout Pilgrim’s Progress our innate evilness can pull us rapidly back into what we once were. We get dirty, trapped, and stuck.

Today we’re aiming to clean my soul up from this ‘binge’ of humanity.

-D-