Need a tetanus shot this year

The Troubles, the parents’ anniversary

tetanusAfter my bride and I moved into our new house in May 2000, I decided to clean up in the backyard. There were a bunch of branches near the very rear of the property line I began gathering.

As it turned out, some weren’t trees. Some were wood trim from a house. I discovered this when I stepped on a nail that went through my Chuck Taylor sneaker and my sock. And pain…was tremendous…

I hobbled to the front of the house since I didn’t want my bloody foot tracking through the home we just bought. Instead, I hopped up the front steps, opened the door and yelled to my wife. “I’m upstairs,” she replied. “Please come downstairs!” I said, more politely than I was feeling.

She drove me to an urgent care place on Western Avenue, about 15 minutes before it closed. After treating my wound, the doctor asked when I last had a tetanus shot. I had no idea, so I received one. In 2010, I got another. In 2020, I should continue the tradition.

A momentous year

I didn’t realize it in the moment, but the year 2000 was one of the most momentous in my life. In January and February, there were The Troubles at Trinity, which involved both the choir being suspended and the Hispanic congregation being booted out.

My wife and I spent a three-hour dinner in conversation with a church leader in February trying to rectify the situation, to no avail. There was a BS meeting in March, which solved nothing.

So I started singing at First Pres in February. I did actually joined the Trinity choir twice more as a member. A chaplain named Frank Snow, who was was quite fond of, had died and I sang in the choir for his April funeral. The next day, it snowed, coincidentally. First Pres was closed, but Trinity was open, so I sang.

March 12 was my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My sisters and I tried to plan an event at their church in Charlotte, NC, but something kept interfering with our efforts. It turned out to be my father, who was organizing the same thing. My wife, parents-in-law and I drove down. We helped Dad with arranging flowers and other decorations.

Dad had noticeably less energy than he had when he decorated Trinity for my wife and my wedding in May 1999. Of course, he died in August 2000, but that is a tale for another day.

PAIN Question

I’ve withstood root canal. I’ve broken a rib. I’ve gotten rabies shots…

My wife managed to roll up the power windows of the car on three of my fingers last Sunday; I was pulling the door closed. Yes, I used invectives that I tend not to use around The Daughter. Later, The Daughter asked me if this was the worst pain that I had ever experienced. The answer was clearly no, and in fact, I was glad that it was the middle three fingers, because I suspect that catching any one finger would have hurt worse and possibly would have suffered real damage.

I’ve definitely experienced much greater discomfort. I’ve withstood root canal. I’ve broken a rib. I’ve gotten rabies shots, which are pretty nasty because they’re big needles and they have to stay in for 10 seconds.

But probably the worst pain involved stepping on a nail, not the initial activity, which certainly hurt enough, but rather the removal of pieces of my sneaker from my foot by the doctor. That was in May 2000; just got a tetanus booster this spring.

1) What was the worst pain you’ve endured? I know for my wife it was oral surgery, which made childbirth seem like a walk in the park.
2) What activity that you do regularly causes you the most pain? Clearly for me, this is donating blood. I have done it 136 times – that’s 17 gallons – and when the nurse says, “You’ll feel a little pinch,” I know that’s a lie. It passes, but it hurts. P.S., I never look. Ever.

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