News from Vermont #397 A Birthday To Remember….unfortunately

April 18, 2018

Hello again Maple People,
Well I did it…on March 16, my 70th birthday, I found an ice patch with my name on it. I had gone down that same way two other times this winter and been lucky. The third time, however, is not always the “charm”! There was no pressure when it happened. I was just walking on the roadway out back of our place, minding my own business and all of a sudden, gravity went into action. Instantly, the snap I felt in my right leg reminded me of breaking a fresh stalk of celery and, from that “turtle on its back” perspective, I knew that major problems were in my future.

Panicking, I slid about twenty feet off the road to avoid getting run over by an approaching ten-ton garbage truck. After hollering for help a couple times, it suddenly came to me: “cell phone…you have a cell phone right in your pocket you damned fool!” And for once, Murphy’s Law failed in this cell phone void called Vermont, it worked!…a quick call brought Nephew Jake out to help…soon followed by an ambulance ride over bumpy, frost-heaved roads to Central Vermont Hospital.

It took the hospital folks a while but they finally diagnosed this old hulk as having a ruptured right quadriceps…in plain language, one of my very most important muscle systems had torn from its lower anchorage. Ouch!, you say? But rather than terrible pain, I just remember numbness, like fifty percent of my mobility had simply gone away…Happy Birthday, Burr!
The good Dr. Christopher Merriam attended to my needs saying, yes, there was a fix and yes, it needed to be done really soon. He pulled the necessary strings for me to be admitted for surgery the very next day, Saturday, March 17. I followed the surgery protocol the whole night before with complete fasting after midnight…not even water! After a rather fitful sleep, Betsy drove me up to CVH bright and early, and I was prepped for surgery.
Being a novice at this process (having never had surgery before), I found that even a stubborn old Vermonter can’t argue with the knockout effects of modern anesthesia. By mid-morning, my confused rousing slowly evolved into a world of pain.  My recovery did require some chemical relief as well as lots of TLC which still continues three weeks later.
The remainder of this missive has to do with “old age, stubbornness, and responsibility”…Old age: Burr Morse is now willing to admit his “spring chicken” days are over. Stubbornness: Even if he has to own stock in the Yaktrax factory, he will have an endless and reliable supply of ice gripping foot appliances for the winter! And Responsibility: Please folks, as much as enterprises and municipalities try to take care of ice in their yards, streets and sidewalks, there’s always an elusive patch with your name on it…be responsible…even if it’s not your birthday!

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