Sunday, October 28, 2012

Farewell fair weather

Holy moly I can't believe we haven't blogged for 3 weeks.  We are slackers.  It kind of has been a wild month but also I'm starting to wonder if we're actually getting used to the chaos and crazy that is Williston - so things don't strike us as "blog-worthy" as much anymore.  That's a terrible excuse and it won't happen again.  I honestly don't think too much new and exciting has happened.  I did get to go home to Utah for a week which was a quick trip and pretty busy.  Got to do a lot of fun stuff with both families which was great - only bad part was the other half of MY family was stuck working in North Dakota.  Next trip home we'll all be together, 3 &4-legged kids and all!  So excited!  And just less than 9 weeks to go :)

I took a few pictures awhile ago that I've been meaning to put on here.  

One afternoon I took some lunch (and medicine - he was a sicky) out to Tanner on one of the locates jobs he was doing.  It was a rather lovely field he was out in and I'd never really seen him and his fancy gear in action - so I snapped a few photos.  We enjoyed lunch together on the back of his work truck and it was a pleasant little 20 minute break.

I spent a lot of the lovely fall afternoons at the park with the dogs - and sometimes when the weather was just right - I pulled out my summer blanket and did a little reading.  Glory.  Oh how we are going to miss those days.  Williston was quite pleasant in the summer and fall and Tanner and I are both wondering just how miserably cold it's going to get and mostly I'm just wondering if I'll survive.  He got to experience some nice 60 mph winds last week.  I fortunately was getting the tail end of beautiful fall in Utah so I have yet to have that pleasure.  I'm sure I'll get my chances.

Tanner has been wanting me to post some pics and updates about work.  Things have really slowed down there in the last couple of months.  Maybe a lot of the summer workers have gone back home or something.  I'm not really sure why we've had such a decrease in patients.  It's nice to be able to sit down occasionally and breathe.  I seem to miss some of the "best" trauma's though.  Rather unfortunate.  Take this for example - I guess last week some guy got his foot caught in an auger and it popped it clean off just about.  Well - the x-ray looks clean.  The actual pic of his foot didn't!  I'll spare you weak-stomached folks that picture.

It doesn't really look that bad at all.  I felt pretty bummed that I missed that one. Also bummed for the guy that lost his foot but if it's gonna happen anyway - I'd like to be there.  I guess wherever he was at called a few hours later saying they had found his foot and wondered if we wanted them to bring it in.  I think it just got sent to the pathologist. 

A couple weekend's ago was actually one of the busiest I can remember.  It was NON stop action - and not just like a bunch of people with colds or sore throats - like all day legitimate emergencies and patients stacked to the brim constantly to be seen.  It was exhausting.  There was a gal who stepped off a truck accidentally while loading straw and feel on her leg and absolutely crushed her tibia and broke her fibula...

It was in so many pieces.  I don't even know how that could have happened but apparently it's one of the worst fractures you can have by way of length of recovery, complications and amount of surgeries.  That was sad.

Ok this picture might gross people out - but it was an interesting case.  A lady was outside cutting some plants up maybe - I still am unsure of what exactly the tool was and what she was "composting" - but it was some automatic slicing thing and somehow she got her hand caught in it and it just exploded the tips of her fingers.  When I took the dressings off she had a couple arterial bleeds that gushed all over my shirt and pants and stethoscope (an aside: that was the first time I ever got blood on myself - as gross as it was - I felt kind of like it was a rite of passage or initiation into ER medicine that I had finally completed).  Anyway - that's the ortho guy taking care of her.  He had to tie off the bleeding arteries - which was a difficulty and then try to piece back together as much of the skin as he could - which wasn't much.  She had some broken fingertips as well...

And with all the construction and building we have going on, we have our fair share of nail injuries.  The first pic is from awhile ago but I just never got around to posting it.  A guy somehow shot his foot with a nail gun, just missing his protective steel toe :(
Went right through the bone...

And last but not least - this genius did this without the aid of a nail gun.  Just his own two hands...brilliant:

Luckily that one didn't go through the bone and I was able to numb up his whole finger and slide the nail right out.  That was kind of a fun patient.  That was just last night even.  So - even if it has slowed down there's still a lot of good times.  For me.  Not the patients.  And I'm sure there's tons more but I can't get pics of everything and it's just not as fun to tell about it unless there's good photos to supplement with, ya know?

Stay tuned for more scenes from the ER.  I'll try to take better mental or literal notes as well about the cool and stupid stuff we see :)

That will be all for now.  Happy Halloween!  Don't do stupid things...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bob Dylan..... and Regina, eh......

This is Tanner posting, and I know I've apologized in the past, and this one is just as sincere as the last apologies, but I'm truly sorry we haven't posted lately. I contribute it to a couple of reasons. First, time seems to fly by and I don't think much time has passed since the last post and before I know it a month has gone by. Second, I keep thinking nobody in their right minds wants to hear the crazy crap we do, or see up here. Turns out I'm wrong on that last one because I'm overwhelmed by the people asking about our posts or when the next blog will be. So here it is.......

This past weekend we went to our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada. Not just any place in Canada, but Regina. I'm just going to address the elephant in the room and get all jokes out of the way now. Yes, you read that right. REGINA. No, it is not pronounced like REGEENA. Sorry. It is pronounced very similarly to a certain part of the female anatomy. What they were thinking when they named the city I'm not entirely sure, but apparently they weren't too concerned about being made fun of for all eternity.

We have been hearing a lot about Regina and how it is a bigger city with some fun things to do, but we haven't ever found a good enough reason to go there. We really haven't had many weekends together, and that was part of the problem as well.

A month or so back we went to Minot for a half marathon. Well while we were there we went to the only mall in Western North Dakota, and stopped by the Barnes and Noble. While we were in there I picked up a Bob Dylan cd that was on sale. I have a number of his cd's and really enjoy his music. For those of you that know me, I take after my Dad in a lot of things, and if he taught me one thing, it was to appreciate the "oldies" and some good ol' folk music. I think the first concert I ever went to was the Kingston Trio with him. I still listen to John Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, Lyle Lovett and Peter, Paul and Mary among others. I really despise that crap on the radio nowadays, and I guess it's safe to say, I'm a little old fashioned.

Well long story short, as we were listening to the cd on the ride home, Carissa asked if I had ever been to a Bob Dylan concert. I hadn't and to be honest, I had looked into it a few years ago, but the prices were $300 plus a ticket. I don't care how popular people are, but no concert is worth $300. That's ridiculous. Well when we got home later that night Carissa and I were sitting on the couch and she just randomly looked up his concert schedule. It just so happened he was going to be in Fargo in a couple of weeks, and then two weeks later, he was going to Regina. Regina is closer to us (about a 3 hour drive) as opposed to driving to the other end of North Dakota (about a 6 hour drive). The ticket prices were right, so we decided on Regina.

We took off from here Saturday morning as Carissa had to work late Friday night. We decided that we weren't in any hurry so we went up through a few small towns in Montana. I do some work up in these towns, and I kind of wanted to give Carissa a taste and understanding of some of the little places I go to. It was a fun little drive, nothing too exciting as it was unbelievably flat and barren.

I've posted a few pictures on my Facebook of some of the surrounding areas. It's very beautiful in it's own special way. We have both been pleasantly surprised at the beauty of it. Granted it's definitely not the Wasatch Front by any means, but it will do for now. I do think this is one of the places that might rival Utah with sunsets though. Very pretty and when the wheat fields are blowing it's just an awesome sight. But enough about that.

We got up to Regina and checked into our hotel. We stayed at a Holiday Inn. I know Carissa is going to be disappointed, but I'm not going to post a picture of the hotel room. It surprisingly enough looked EXACTLY like every other middle of the road hotel room you've ever stayed in. Bed, desk, desklamp, another lamp, tv, and a bathroom. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary, so just know you aren't missing much by not seeing the pic.

After we got checked in, we went and found some food, Mr. Sub, which is exactly like a Subway, except for the fact their migrant workers weren't from Mexico. They were from an Eastern block country somewhere. The food was about as comparable to a Subway though. After we ate, we went to the Science Center, which was kind of like a Children's Museum, so the little immature kid in me had a great time. I think I embarrassed Carissa more than anything, but we had a lot of fun. They had an IMAX theater there as well, so we caught a cool video about Tornadoes. It was pretty informative. Here are a few of the highlights......

Here we are racing our wooden blocks. Mine is the one winning, just in case anybody was wondering.

Our sweet 3D glasses for the Tornado flick.

 Carissa wearing and flapping bird wings. She had to see how fast she could "fly" I think her flaps per minute was right around 45. They had some machine/scale that calculated how big of wings one would need to be able to fly. She needed to have an 18 foot wingspan in order to fly, mine was over 19 feet.

 They obviously had a bunch of hockey info and different things you could try. This was a fun simulator to shoot at and have a goalie try and block my shots. I found it was more fun to ditch the hockey stick and just throw the pucks like a baseball. The old lady waiting in line so her 3 year old grandson could give it a try, wasn't as impressed with my skills as I was. Oh well, you can't win them all.

 Here I am running 10 meters. You had to do it from a stand still and I was impressed with my 1.41 second time. (That was my best time. Naturally, I had to try it a bunch of times)

After we left the Science Center we still had a lot of time to kill before the concert, so we went to this little park/pond and walked around for a few minutes. The cool looking building in the background is a Parliament building of some sort. It was a beautiful day and just really nice out. Carissa was kind of bummed that we didn't get to enjoy the nice weather more than we did, but I guess we will have to next time. 

 After we walked around we went and found us a nice place to eat. We had heard they had great sushi up there, and we both really like sushi, so we thought we would give it a try. I don't know as if I would call it great, but considering we were smack dab in the middle of Canada and no ocean in sight, I guess it was the best they could do. All in all, it was just fun to get out of Williston and actually go out to eat at a restaurant that isn't set on blocks, or in an enclosed car trailer (like they have in Williston).

After dinner we just went and drove around and kind of saw the surrounding area. To be honest, it was really nice to be in a city that actually had trees and felt more like a city you would like your kids ot grow up in. We have both made mention that we feel more culture shock going into different cities, than we did when I came home from my mission in Mexico, than when Carissa came home from Niger with the Peace Corps. It's weird to explain, but it just feels so nice to go into a town that isn't ran by a bunch of heathens and their jacked up trucks.

The man, The Myth, The Legend

After we drove around we went to the concert. My boss and I were joking that since we were going up to Bob Dylan and to Canada that he was going to drug test me on Monday. He was certain I would fail just from the second hand marijuana smoke alone. The funny thing is, the second we got out of the car, you could totally smell it, and there were definitely a lot of people openly smoking it in the parking lot. We both had a laugh at that. The venue was a really small arena and I honestly don't think you could have had a bad seat in the place. We had GREAT seats on the floor. The people watching as one can imagine was unbelievable (please refer to past posts about my ability to make fun of most anyone I see). We were definitely the youngest ones at the concert, and I'm also pretty certain we were the only two that have never dabbled in drugs. There were some definite winners and losers, and hippies and anything in between. It would actually probably be a pretty effective anti-drug teaching tool. Just take kids to a concert, and tell them "Don't do drugs or you'll end up like them" The concert was more than amazing. A guy by the name of Mark Knopfler opened. He used to be the lead singer of the band Dire Straights. He's now a solo artist, and we both really liked him. He played for well over an hour and a half and was great. Dylan came out and completely killed it. For those that don't know him, you should. He wrote the song "Blowin' in the Wind" "Like a Rolling Stone" "Hurricane" (about wrongfully accused prize fighter Ruben Hurricane Carter) among many other great songs. I must say that he actually still had it at 71 years old. He sounded pretty good, and he can wail on the harmonica. It was so cool to see a living legend do his thing. He is and was an unbelievably influential songwriter. SO COOL to see. After I see Jimmy Buffet and Willie Nelson, I think I will be able to die a content man. But Dylan was definitely on the bucket list.

Man I suck at this blogging thing. No, I'm not trying to be creative looking, but I can't figure out how to get these stupid pictures centered, so you get them looking like this. As you can tell, this is a Temple. (the little gold dude blowing his horn on top gives it away). It's the Regina Temple and it's smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood. Kind of like it was meant as a house lot, and the church just bought it and put a Temple there instead. Kinda felt like it was out of place. Cool little building though.


This pic is of me screwing around as we were stopped back at the US Customs while our vehicle was getting searched and we were in between the water boarding and needles under the finger nails. Man it seemed like they really give you a harder time getting into your own country than they did as we tried getting into Canada. They ask 30 questions and they all seem to be repetitive. I guess they have to make it hard for people doing it legally, because we all know they make it too easy for those who come to our country illegally. Gotta have balance somewhere right?

The weekend was a definite success and we are both so glad we were able to go. As fun as it was, it was good to come home and see our pups. They are doing well and they both make us laugh. Hope everyone is doing okay, we look forward to coming home soon.