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Two Friends and ER

Its been a tough week for Ol’ Monner. I lost two friends and made two trips to the emergency room this past week.

Last Monday night I received a phone call from a friend of mine living in Anchorage. I thought it was a little strange that he would call me on a Monday night. After a couple minutes of rambling, I asked, “Maybe you better tell me what we’re talking about.” My friend told me, “Gary past away.”

I have known Gary for over fifty years. We spent our entire childhoods living one hundred yards down the street from each other. Gary was thee years older than me, so I was actually closer to his younger brother. That said, as adults Gary and I were friends. As a matter of fact, Gary was everyone’s friend. Gary worked in the construction industry. I ran into Gary every week at the Orange Depot.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think Gary used construction language. I’m pretty sure he knew it, I think he was just too happy to use it. Rest in peace, Gary.

A little more than ten years ago, Elaine’s favorite llama, (Cotton-eyed) Joe passed away. Elaine devastated asked our veterinarian, why Joe had died. The vet responded, “Joe, had TOL.” Elaine did not understand. The vet said, “Joe was Tired of Life”.

Wax (our earless llama) succumbed to TOL this past week.

When asked about the personalities of llamas, I tell people, “Llamas are like cats. Some llamas like human affection, some don’t want to be petted. (Cotton-eyed Joe loved attention. He would actually hand people his front leg to shake “hands”. I probably should explain the Cotton-eyed part. Joe had a blue eye.) Wax NEVER wanted to be petted, never.

That doesn’t mean Wax didn’t have personality. Wax just was a little eccentric. Llamas typically like to be with other animals. Wax didn’t really hang out with the other llamas. When the llamas were in the barn, Wax was outside. Wax liked to be with Mac, the yak. And Mac liked to be with Wax. Wax was the only llama Mac will allow to eat together from the same feeder. Mac has lost his best friend. The Sipes family has lost a good friend.

I guess it’s time to talk about trips to the emergency room. First, it wasn’t me getting medical help. What’s with middle school sports? Boy Twin was the one using the medical services at the emergency room.

After watching middle school wrestling, for what is my second year, I have decided that more than one of the middle school coaches in this town think they are MMA managers. I have observed illegal holds and disqualifications, resulting in hospital visits. I refuse to believe these illegal holds are not being taught.

Anyway, Boy Twin’s trips to the emergency rooms were not a result of illegal holds. After winning both his matches (by pins) Boy Twin complained of having a severe headache. It wasn’t long and he was vomiting on the side of the road.

The emergency physician checked Boy Twin for concussion and a migraine. Boy Twin has no history of migraines. The doctor suggested we consider an MRI or Cat Scan. We agreed to an MRI and the doctor left the room to organize the MRI.

After a short time, the doctor returned with the news that an MRI was not possible because the hospital had no techs on duty to perform MRIs. The Cat Scan was ruled out after we were advised that Cat Scans deliver 100 times the amount of radiation as a normal x-ray. He informed us his best guess was a migraine, anyway. Boy Twin did not recall a time in either match that he took a bump to the head. He was treated for a migraine and sent home.

The next day at school, Boy Twin was told his wrestling career was over without a signature from a doctor. Elaine called our family physician. Of course, our family physician wouldn’t release Boy Twin to wrestle without seeing him.

After reviewing the information from the hospital, our family physician insisted Boy Twin go back to the hospital. Between all the doctor visits and conferences, Boy Twin was at school being reprimanded for playing a game that the participants throw soccer balls at each others heads.

Boy Twin is on concussion protocol and will wrestle next week. Stay tuned.

Ivy will notice I said nothing about yarn, so I will say something now. ”Acrylic yarn will melt when exposed to flame.”

Our crazy lives!


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