The entire state is stunned over what’s gone on in Yarnell. The loss of almost an entire crew of Western firefighting’s best and brightest leaves everyone floundering, struggling to comprehend.
Heavenly Gardens Community College has a firefighting program. Many of our students are at the college specifically because of that program, and so often some of the young people drawn there move through my classes. And one of my all-time favorites, a quiet guy who so loved the outdoors he could barely tolerate sitting inside a classroom but whose writing was superb, went off to fight fires in Wyoming. Checked the list of the deceased and didn’t see his name in it. Thank goodness.
No word today about the fire, whether it’s still consuming the town, or which parts of the town are still standing. The local papers are understandably preoccupied with the 19 deaths and all the activity around them. A British paper has printed some aerial photographs. It’s hard to correlate the mental map of Yarnell with the devastation seem from a helicopter, but if the image seen in the seventh photo in that series correlates with a Google or Mapquest version of the street map, what I think is La Maya & La Bethulia’s house looks unscathed.
Presumably it will be days or even weeks before people are allowed back in there.
Speaking of days, weeks, and profound doldrums, the Mayo finally called back with appointment dates and times for me to get still more X-rays and then meet with a rheumatologist out there. “Out there” is their Scottsdale clinic, which is halfway to Payson from my house.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect: today the excruciating pain acts like it would like to resolve itself. Pain scale is about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, down from 8 the day before yesterday and 6 yesterday. Today I can almost walk normally, and forcing myself to walk without a lurch hurts little more than the Frankenstein tromp. Apparently it’s calmed down to the point where the anti-spasmodic has a noticeable effect, which has not been the case for lo! these past two weeks. Heh…They’ve got me scheduled the middle of next month, by which time presumably no symptoms will be evident.
Cripes. What a grand medical system we have.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Young Dr. Kildare’s initial guess — pinched nerve, not muscle spasms — was probably correct, and his second, most recent guess — degenerative hip disease — is probably wrong. The pain is in the back, not in the hip. Give me a marker and I can draw a circle around it, just to the right of the tailbone. That is NOT hip pain. What we have is referred pain from a back problem.
Just as I was about to hit “Publish,” I knocked a glass over. It exploded all over the living room floor, shooting shrapnel under, over, and on top of the sofa. And half the other furniture, too. And splashing liquid all over the floor and under the sofa.
The floor needs to be cleaned. It was already covered with dog hair before Charley showed up for a four-day visit, and by the time M’hijito retrieved the retriever, the dog dunes were up to my ankles. But I’ve been putting it off because just limping up the hall hurts like the dickens — the last thing I’ve felt like doing is hauling a vacuum and a mop around.
So now I got to drag the coffee table aside and heave the eight-foot sofa across the room, scrub up water and the old dried-on coffee one of my charming clients spilled all over and under the sofa and vacuum up all that broken glass and as long as the damn vacuum cleaner was out go through the whole house and suck up pounds of dog hair.
Every push on that vacuum feels like someone is shoving a dagger into my hip. OW WOW WOWWWWW!!!! God, but it hurts!
So…now the pain level is up from 4 to 8. Again.
So much stuff I thôt I wuz gonna get done to day… Guess not!