Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fall from Grace by Joey Spinelli

It was early one afternoon and my boy said, “Can you play with me?”  “No, I’m working, “, I said.   “No you aren’t, you are looking at Facebook” my boy pointed out. , OK, I did feel a little guilty and decided to play with him for a few minutes. 

He said, “I want to be superman and you can be the bad guy”.  I decided, “Ok, I’ll be Captain Butt Kicker.” “Whose that?”, He asked.   “That’s the bad guy that kicks you in the butt if you get to close to him”, I said.   Well that got him going and he went running through the house. He ran past the one side of the kitchen so I bolted to the other side hoping to cut him off as he was going by.  As I ran to the other side of the kitchen, I put on the brakes, pivoted on one foot and turned suddenly and then “SNAP”, I felt something in my lower right leg pop out of wherever it was supposed to be,  and it hit the back of my leg behind the skin.  I immediately lifted up my leg because the sound of that thing snapping was so horrible, but I didn’t feel anything strange.  Then, I started to lower my leg back down to the floor and that’s when the pain started rushing in.  I had torn something and it was bad.  It was so painful that I could not use that leg at all and I had to hop on one foot to the bedroom.  My stomach was getting that nauseas feeling and I was getting more worried by the second.  I could see my boy was scared.  I told him that I just got hurt and that I could not walk.  He kept apologizing, telling me he was very sorry.  I was feeling very sick now, like I wanted to throw up.  I needed to get to a hospital.  I kept telling him that it wasn’t his fault, but he was starting to cry.   I was now lying on the bed and trying to figure this out.  My boy crawled up next to me, being careful to stay away from either of my legs and was holding on to me.  He was still apologizing and I told him not to worry, I would be fine. “Please get my phone so I can let your dad know that I’m coming to the hospital where he works”, I said.  I sent a text to my partner and then hopped to my keys. I managed to get into the car.  Sitting down I was fine, I just couldn’t stand and it really hurt to even lay down.  I asked my boy to lock up the house and he set the alarm using my phone.   We headed to the hospital. 

I got to the emergency room parking lot and attempted to get out of the car and hop to the front door but it was way too far.  My boy went ahead and asked the attendant to bring me a wheel chair.  I got wheeled into the emergency room.  In what has to be the fastest emergency room visit in history, I got to the desk and they wheeled me right into a triage room.  My partner was there to meet us and I explained the whole story.  The nurse told me that I could have a blood clot so they were ordering an ultrasound.  An ultrasound??  I don’t have a blood clot, I was chasing my son around the house and I tore a muscle.  Well nobody cared about what I was saying, so it was off to the ultrasound.  It was obvious by now that I was not going to get my boy to his swim meet that night, so my partner asked a few people to cover for him and he clocked out and took my boy to the swim meet.  Having to deal with hospital tests with a 6 yr old who wants to touch every gadget he sees is more stress than I wanted to deal with anyway.

After 3 hours of paperwork, ultrasounds and a few Kit Kats, the nurse came over to me and told me that my ultrasound was negative for a blood clot.  I can only imagine how much that cost my insurance company.  They handed me a piece of paper showing that some doctor somewhere looked at my paperwork and said I might have a possible slight muscle tear and that I was free to go home. Slight muscle tear??  Slight muscle tear my ass!!   Free to go home? Are they kidding? I cant walk!!  That’s why I came here.  I turned to the nurse and said, “Hi sweetie, umm I don’t suppose you have a pair of crutches somewhere that I could borrow for a week?”  “Oh yes, sure, I can get you some crutches”, she replied.  How in the world do they think I’m going to get out of this place when I can’t walk?  They handed me a pair of crutches and I realized that they were digging into my armpits, which meant they were not set at the correct height.  I did get as far as the front door of the parking lot before I sat down on the hot Arizona pavement outside and changed the height on the crutches myself.   I was then able to get myself home.  I was about to shut the car off in the driveway, I texted my partner to pick up my pain meds from the pharmacy that the doctor had called in for me.

Once I got home, I was alone since my family was at the swim meet, so I was the only one there, along with Aly, my Schnauzer.  Aly looked like she was starved and ready for dinner but I can’t feed a dog now, I’m disabled.  “Sorry old girl, you will have to wait till your other dad gets home”, I told her.  Then I started assessing the situation.  Ok, I can’t walk, I’m starving and I missed my kids swim meet.  But hey, It’s not the end of the world.  I can grab some Chex Mix and catch up on Days of our lives, right? Wouldn’t you?  Great.   I only have one leg that works so both my hands are occupied with crutches.  I hobble around the Legos and Hot Wheels cars on the floor and make my way to the kitchen.  I grab an open bag of Chex Mix, put the bag in my teeth and with both hands I grab my crutches and head toward the couch.  This was going to be good.  I can watch a little TV, eat some snacks and maybe drift off for a bit. It wont be long now.  I am just inches from the couch.  Then, while I was stepping on the floor, my only good foot stepped right on a Lego.  I opened my mouth and yelled, M*** F***(nobody was home, right) and the bag of Chex Mix that I was holding in my mouth fell to the floor.  Aly, being able to detect food on the floor from 3 rooms away, came bolting to the living room.  She started sliding on the wood floors and bam, she ran right into one of my crutches, causing me to collapse onto the floor.    As I lay there trying to figure out how the heck I got into this mess today, I thought Ok, looking back at this moment, maybe I should have fed her as soon as I got home.  If I look back even further, Maybe I should have just kept chatting on Facebook instead of trying to be a dad to my kid today.  I mean, what in the world is a 48yr old man doing running around the house.  I haven’t worked out since, well since I became a parent.  Hello, my athletic days are behind me! I still have all that baby weight.  I must be insane.  I eventually managed to pull myself on to the couch, and take the Chex Mix away from Aly.  I just sat there on the couch. My whole life flashed before my eyes.  Well, just the parts when I was skinny, so it didn’t really take that long.  I started feeling around the couch for the TV remote.  No such luck.   All I could come up with from between the cushions were; 3 pencils, my IPOD, 2 Dum Dum wrappers and my stapler from my office.  Apparently, these are the things a 6yr old needs when he watches Daniel Tigers Neighborhood.  Not a TV Remote, but all that other crap.  So there I was, thinking this is how it’s all going to end.  I’m hungry, I am in pain, I have a possible slight muscle tear (MY ASS!!) and the only good thing that has happened to me today is that I finally found my lost stapler.  I really needed some good, positive energy right now.  The universe owes me big time.  So, I channeled all my thoughts and focused on something positive happening.  I just wanted positive thoughts in my head.  I thought about little baby birds hatching out of eggs.  I thought about the US Men’s Olympic Gymnastics team winning the gold in 2012.  I thought about Mitt Romney losing the presidential election just like I said he would.  Yeah, positive thoughts only baby!  And that’s when it happened.  The best news I could have heard all day.  The front door opened.  “Hey babe, we are home and we have your pain pills!.  Want to hear about the swim meet?  No thanks, but can you grab me some cold water from the fridge and get me those pills? 

See, you can always count on family to make you feel better after a very long day. 

"Who am I? That’s simple. I am a gay parent that’s treated like a second class citizen and I am done taking it. 

Every day I am in the battlefields, in my kid’s school, PTA meetings, swim team, birthday parties with
other parents and I am forcing people to meet me.
Every day I stand right next to them and even if it’s just in my mind, I say “ Look at me will you! I am a gay man, right in front of you. 
I have a partner of 8 years and a 6r old boy. 
My kid is in your kid’s class and will be for the next 11 years. 
I am not going away so now would be as good a time as any to accept me and everything that comes with me."
Joe also blogs at 1 regular joe