You broke it… how?

While in the townhouse, we ended up at the Emergency Room a few more times.

Once was because a big chain pharmacy had filled my fibromyalgia prescription at triple the dosage prescribed. The bottle instructions and I both followed doctor’s orders of one pill 3 x a day.  So, instead of taking 300 mgs a day, I was taking 900 mgs.

I could barely stand or think. I signed a wedding card from Jeff and me with my name twice, Jeff’s name none and misspelled his last name as “Corte.”

The second to last time, belonged to Jeff, and was the first time we had been non-urgently directed to the patient waiting room. I’d never been there before!

When it was our turn, the attending physician rounded the corner checking a chart. He introduced himself and said, “Let’s see your foot.”

Jeff took off his sandal and sock, held up his foot and said, “I think it’s broken.”

After a quick look at Jeff’s half-purple foot and  he replied “Yep, that looks like it’s broken. We’re going to send you to x-ray to see just how broken it is..”

We both nodded, and then the doc asked the million-dollar question.

“So, how’d you break that toe?”

Jeff unpretentiously and matter-of-factly replied, “Shaving.”

“Uh, shaving?”

“Yep,” Jeff said, “it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

He then re-enacted the ordeal, demonstrating how he had raised his arm to swipe the electric hair trimmer over the top of his head, how his elbow knocked into a decorative sunflower picture, how the framed picture then fell, pointy-corner towards the floor, and land squarely (or cornerly) on his big toe.

Yep, that’s how he broke it.

I’ve often wondered how many stories about Jeff became the stuff emergency room legends are made of.  You haven’t heard all of them, yet. There’ll be more.

Despite all this, I wasn’t thinking about forever, because it was already settled.

I didn’t think about our frequent hospital-flyer status or marriage.

I never considered what would happen if we didn’t stay together.

That just wasn’t fathomable, which made being ‘us’ seem all the more right.

Until July 2000…

Quote for the Week:

2016 04 26 Truth stranger and more hilarious jakorte


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Best of:

Colonel Shick from Connecticut:

MI among the first ERs:


Don’t Be Alarmed, 2 & 3

We made it home a few hours later, which is when I learned that it’s actually pretty easy to scrape blood from the floor once it congeals.  Kinda like scooping up pudding with a spatula. Trust me, I anticipated much worse.

The walls were a different matter, which is how I learned how wonderful Magic Erasers are.

The second time it happened was a little worse, only because Jeff wasn’t awake. Neither was I. I woke up to a warm stream on my leg, thinking our Talli-cat was peeing on me. Wrong. I flipped back the covers and woke Jeff up in an alarmingly brusque but not hysterical manner. I been through this once before and sort of knew what to do.

Rather than risk clipping off Jeff’s foot hanging out of the car door again, we stuffed the duct-taped-toweled leg into a 13 gallon green drawstring garbage bag.

The intake employee who met us as we sloshed through the door, looked at us wild-eyed and asked what was in the bag.

“His leg!” I exclaimed, at the same time as Jeff answered, “My leg!”

She looked a little panicked, but managed to squeak out, “Um … is it … attached?”

“Yes.” We answered in unison.

A triage nurse came racing down the hall. Looking frantically from Jeff to me, asking, “Which one of you is the patient?”

I was thinking, “Well, duh. That would be the one who was ankle deep in blood in the garbage bag with the towel duct taped around his leg.”

Jeff just said, “Me.”

He was ushered into an exam room and I was shown the registration desk. I held out my hand to take the paperwork I needed to fill out. Frowning, it seemed they were deliberately placed on the desk in front of me. I asked for a pen. The attendant held out a pen and quickly drew it back leaving my open hand empty. That’s when I noticed I my blood-covered hands, which explained the which-one question.

“Give me the pen,” I advised. “You’re just going to have to throw it away when I am done.”

I arrived in the curtained half-room as the doctor was finishing up the stitches. Jeff was re-telling the “is-it-attached?” story. The doctor, the nurse and the couple sequestered in the other half room behind the curtain were all pretty much in the laughing kind of stitches.  The nurse offered to help me clean-up, coming back with baby wipes and paper towels. I had blood in my hair, blood on my face, neck, arms, hands, which, again, explained the which-one question.

By the third time, I was a venous accident pro. We were watching TV and I noticed a little trickle running down Jeff’s leg.  “Jeff?” I asked, pointing at the thinly flow.

“Here we go, again,” Jeff smiled at me, sheepishly.

I got the towel and the tape and by the time I came back, the flow was getting heavier, but nowhere near the fire-hydrant spray of the first time or the looks like a mass-murderer-was-here second time.

I’d estimate we were efficiently out the door in less than 5 minutes.

Of course, the flow sped up, and by the time we were just inside the emergency room sliders, Jeff’s sandals were soaked and sounding squishy.

The janitor took one look at us and the bloody foot prints we’d left on the entryway floor and said, “Figures. I just finished mopping this floor.”

We were both escorted to a bay, where the nurse took off our ingenious bandage. The pin-prick was now a hole, spurting up blood undirectionally, like random dancing waters. She grabbed some gauze and told me to hold it on his leg while applying pressure. I commented that the gauze pad wasn’t going to cut it. “It should,” she said. I lifted two fingers to let her see the seeping. “Oh,” she said, as she unreeled a large handful of roll gauze. I applied pressure.

It took the doctor about 10 minutes to get to us. There was a broken arm next door.By that time my hand was cramped. When he arrived the doctor said he thought I could stop applying pressure now. “I don’t think sooo, “I disagreed. “Yes,” he said, “It will be ok. You can let go.”

“Oooo-kay,” I replied in that dubious tone of voice you use when you know better.  A graceful arc of blood shot out and up, widely freckling his very white, white coat.

“Hold it again,” he directed, “Hold it again! You hold it. I’ll come back!””

I switched hands. Two more rounds of “I think it’s safe now” and it slowed back to a trickle.

This doctor decided it would be a good idea to cauterize the offending vein, and then added a few stitches for extra hold.

That excellent idea signaled the end of the “Don’t be Alarmed” era.

It was the last time we had to do the ER shuffle for this issue.

There were, however … others….

Quote for the Week:

2016 04 19 Every emergency plan can be improved through experience jakorte

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Candor of White:



Don’t Be Alarmed, Part 1

Other townhouse excitements included finding, losing and then re-finding Miss Fred (see note below) a washing machine and dryer set we bought for a gallon of vodka and $20.00 which caused a slight flood, and the following escapade.

Jeff was somewhat of a night-owl. Most nights, he would rise in the middle of the night for a drink of water or a snack of cold canned butter-beans (truth.) Most of the time, he would watch TV for a bit, read a chapter or two, and find his way back to bed.

One night, a little past 2:30 AM, I heard Jeff calling. “Could you please come down here? And DON’T BE ALARMED!”

Besides the actual words, the tone of voice told me something was off, and I probably should be alarmed.

I flew out of bed, down the stairs, turned at the landing, stepped onto the linoleum by the front door and took off like I was gliding onto the ice readying for a toe loop.  I got back up pretty quickly, but was confused by what I saw.

“Don’t panic,” he said. “I’m bleeding. “

Bleeding.  Jeff’s hand was slapped over a leg spot that was oozing dark red over his fingers and running onto the floor. That meant that the red wall splatters were… I felt a little faint.

“It’s happened before,” he explained, “we just need to go to the ER. Can you find something to hold on it?”

I grabbed a napkin. Less than a second later, it was saturated.

I ran for paper towels. When I returned, Jeff was nowhere to be found.

“Jeff?!” I called out. “Yeah,” he answered, “I’m in the kitchen.”

“I have paper towels,” I called, circling back around the center post to where Jeff wasn’t, either.

“Jeff?!” I called out.

After another circle and a half, I exasperatedly demanded, “Where the (h-e-double hockey sticks) are you? And for God’s sake stand still!” Yes, I swore (surprise), which made Jeff laugh, so it was easier to find him.

The wad of paper towels worked for 3 seconds. I ran back to the kitchen for a dish towel, which lasted the 30 seconds it took me to put on sneakers, and grab a jacket. So, I ran upstairs for a bath towel. By the time I came down, Jeff had retrieved a roll of silver duct tape from the closet.

In unspoken agreement I wrapped the towel around his leg and held it while he secured it with duct tape.

We ran to the car, where Jeff hesitated. “I don’t want to get blood in the car,” he said, I imagine with the same amount of concern he offered when he did not want his new jeans cut off of him.

“Get in the car!” I pointed, and he did. He sat in the passenger seat behind me, dangling his left leg out the open door. I know that sounds insane, but Herrick Hospital was about 3 blocks away, one block over, it was 3:00 AM in the morning and there wasn’t any traffic.

In order to explain what happened next, I should tell you there were numerous time when Jeff pointed out that he thought I hugged curbs too closely when I turned corners. I hadn’t ever hit anything, so I didn’t pay too much mind.

Anyway, there he was with his leg and foot hanging out the door. I turned into the hospital drive quickly, scouting ahead for a spot. Jeff made a strangled, startled, scared sound and the next thing I knew, the car’s back door was slamming and all of his body parts were inside the car.

In this case, I have to agree, I did cut the curb too close. There was an orange-painted cement post at the entrance to the ER, as a guideline, I suppose. I’m just thankful Jeff was alert enough to yank himself fully inside and shut the door. Otherwise, the door would have hit the post, the post would have refused to give and … shudder… his foot would not likely still be attached.

There was a little bit of yelling about that.

I slid into an “Emergency Drop-Off Only” space, put the car in park, and jumped out to accompany Jeff in through the double glass sliding doors.

Quote for the Week:

2016 04 12 I learned through experience red towel and duct tape jakorte

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First Aid ala Duct Tape:

In Case This Happens to You:

Can of Beans:

In Case You Missed Miss Fred:


I Wasn’t There, but …

A latter inconvenience involved me running around the pillar trying to find Jeff, while Jeff was running in the same direction trying to find me.

When I met Jeff, he was a few weeks into a new occupation and a new full-time job. His previous jobs had all been dairy farm related. Until the accident. Nannee was listening to the police scanner, although I’m not sure why she owned one or how that came about, when she heard chatter about a farming accident.

Jeff lost his footing on a silo. He fell from the top , hitting nearly every rung on the way down. He broke both is legs, opened himself up from belly to sternum and was conscious enough to ask the paramedics not to damage his new Christmas boots or jeans that he was wearing for the first time. Of course, that wasn’t possible for the jeans. They had to cut him out of them.

I don’t have all the details, but I know his mom took on care of him, and I know his immediate and large family supported him, too. I’m not sure if he thanked them profusely. He probably did, knowing Jeff, but I have profuse thanks to offer, as well.
Jeff lived for his family. He was proud of every member. He loved every single one.
Mom, Nannee, Eric, Nicole, multiple steps (10 in all), cousins, aunts, uncles, the friends he held as dear as his family, his father, his step-father and step-mother, even the ones who thought they did not deserve his love or loyalty. Even through hard times, bad times, his love was strong.

Like I said, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there for a lot of things, but the way Jeff told stories, I might as well have been.

I heard about him having his Mustang for sale, and how it was uninsured when a lady skidded up the driveway and plowed into it. I heard about the many pig roasts and the roaster borrowed from a “sort of gang” that never got returned.

I heard about the racetrack and rituals, and enjoyed Jeff’s pride in the converted school bus used. I learned he loved tiger print! Leopard print was a close second. I heard about the bus being used for a cousin’s wedding and how much he had loved that. I heard about how he was once over-drunk and feisty at the race track over something that resulted in him being stuffed into a race tire.

I heard about his buddies – good sized guys who piled into an egg-shaped, clown-car Fiesta and head down to Ohio for fun. I heard how he attended so many of his cousin’s games, that folks thought he was her father. I heard about the time he shaved his beard without telling anyone, and walked through the woods into the middle of a baseball game. I heard how everyone fell-out because Jeff without a beard.  I never saw Jeff without his beard, except for the portraits that hung at Nannee’s and some childhood photos.

I heard a lot about Poppa, and Tecumseh parades, fixing sheds, rolling gardens, and how Nannee drove through the garage. Not the garage door… the garage. I heard about the sheep having a long tail. (I think it was a sheep, correct me if I’m wrong.) I heard about family fiascos, his mom not being able to find a restroom and having to purchase new pants. I heard how when a child, he was found outside in a wheel-barrow, having sleep walked there. I heard about discovering all of his underwear had been taken on tour, sans Jeff and sans one, I believe.

I heard about the beloved Bronco 2, FHA conventions, trading card shows, and what Jeff’s dad used to feed the kids on “his weekend.” I learned that he wasn’t always close to his father, and was privileged to watch that relationship grow strong.

I heard about Whitey the dog and was driven by the house where the fire explosion was. I heard about Boomer’s and Brownie’s and was taken to both with pride. I heard about going to court to fight a ticket because a horse trailer skidded on the same spot.

I heard about and saw his grade-school class’s cook book. I only had three visits with Grandma Korte before she passed, but heard many stories and much praise for her cookies. I heard that when Grandma K slapped me on the back hard enough to make me stumble on the way out of her house after our first meeting, that it was her way of saying she liked me.

I heard about family traditions, some of which faded out, and some I was brought into.
And I always heard affection –  no matter who was talking to Jeff or who Jeff was talking to.

Quote for the Week:

2016 04 05 I guess I would say the potential of memories jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Blink of an Eye:

Do This:  Google “Farming Magazines”

Hometown Pride: