Dear Diary


This week was rather rough.

Things in the ol’ emergency department have been busy lately. Lots of people seem to have minor problems that don’t need “emergency” care, but they have nowhere else to turn. I’ve had several patients come in just asking for medicine refills or asking to have their medications switched to something on WalMart’s $4 list. Kind of a difficult position to be in. On one hand, several people have a sentiment not to “feed the bears” because then the “bears” will keep coming back for more prescriptions. On the other hand, what are the patients supposed to do? Sometimes, I wish we could put legislators into the shoes of these patients.

Got behind in some work I needed to do because of emergency department shifts. Planned to catch up on everything yesterday. Woke up and had to drive two kids to school because they missed the bus. Then got home and the house smelled like someone hadn’t flushed the toilet. Went to check the toilets and they were clean. Then went to the basement to check the toilet. Someone had flushed. Unfortunately, the pump in the ejector pit had burned out, causing toilet contents to back up into the basement. Oh, and as a cherry on the top of this sewage sundae, someone also threw out a half-eaten apple in the bathroom garbage can. That apple had turned brown, had partially liquefied, and the non-liquefied portion had grown a white beard. I was going to post a picture, but between the smell in the basement and the looks of that apple, I damn near barfed.
Fortunately, I had a hand pump that I purchased a few months ago the last time that the ejector pump failed. I was able to pump about three gallons of sewage out of the pit and then the ever expanding smelly puddle started to recede.
Removed the old pump. Went to Home Depot to get a new pump and some PVC pipe. Got home. Damn. Forgot a plastic connector to reattach the pump to the sewer line. Drove all the way back to Home Depot for a 83 cent piece of plastic. Bought two of them just in case. Got home and got the new pump installed and working. Took most of the day to do all the cleaning and disinfecting.
So much for getting work done.
Oh, and if one more person says anything similar to “sh*t happens” and then laughs about it thinking they’re witty, they’ll be coughing up teeth … or maybe coughing up a brown bearded apple. I think I’m going to put that into a garbage can in the garage and see if it grows into a Tim Burton character.

The two youngest girls finally got to be in their stage play. They happened to be the best two performers in the show – not that I’m biased or anything. It did my heart good watching them enjoy themselves on stage … all three shows.

Oldest daughter is still having trouble with the bullies at school. In the past few weeks, not only have they gotten her last friend to turn on her, they also spread rumors about a teacher who has been helping her and now the teacher had to go to a private school board meeting to defend herself. I get frustrated watching her get depressed, but I also let her know we’re all there for her. May be filing legal papers against these miscreants.

Son goes to his first wrestling tournament tomorrow. He’s nervous because he gained 5 pounds from last year. Still, he can do 75 pull-ups and 100 pushups a night, so I think he’s ready to put some shoulders to the mat.

While decorating for Christmas, found out that the puppy doesn’t like any type of Christmas decorations. Stuffed animals are violently unstuffed. Garland vomit spots are in several areas of the house.

Found out I’m probably going to need more surgery. Running out of things to cut on in this body. Sucks getting old.

My wife and I try to go out of our way to help others. Over the past month, we both helped a family whose mother was dying from cancer. My wife went to their home and did home medical visits. I helped them fill out medical paperwork and power of attorney papers. The patient died this past week. We got a wonderful thank you note from the family. Totally unexpected, but much appreciated. Little things like that make such a big difference in our lives.

Finally, we went to our kid’s school for a Santa Workshop today. Kids go around to a bunch of tables and pick out all kinds of “low priced” gifts that they can wrap and give to their family members. Low price as in $10 for ratty stuffed animals or cheap costume jewelry. It was like an overpriced rummage sale. And it kind of ticked me off because it had a table just for gifts to “aunts and uncles” with $6 plastic screwdrivers that say “greatest uncle” and $8 ratty reminder boards that say “greatest aunt” on them. All the kids felt obligated to purchase gifts for everyone. Did get to have a lot of fun wrapping everything, though. Not one of them can keep a secret, either. My wife knew all of her gifts within about 10 minutes of our arrival home.

Gotta go, diary. Weigh-ins end at 7AM tomorrow morning, which means I’ll need to stop for an extra large coffee before we get on the road.



  1. My heart is breaking for your oldest daughter. Bullies suck. I too was bullied. I’m so thankful that I have a mostly wonderful and supportive family (even if they do drive me crazy 75% of the time :-)). As a result of the bullying, I don’t have a lot of real friends – but I’m ok with that. I have a mum, a dad, three sisters, a brother and my 10 beautiful nieces and nephews. What more do I need?! 🙂 just keep reminding your daughter that school isn’t forever. It will end. And she will be better and stronger than the bullies. I hope that things settle down and that she can find some support at school.

  2. I got bullied a fair bit in fifth and sixth grade and had one friend in sixth grade tell all of my friends lies so that I had no friends after switching to middle school in sixth grade. Fortunately, I had a horse, and I could tell my horse what was going on and I could show horses and be good at something away from school and its people, so I was able to hang on to some self-esteem through those years. I ended up making different, non-bullying, friends in seventh in eighth grade and am still in touch with most of them.

  3. Bill Alexander on

    If you fear the ejector pump might ever fail again (and what pump doesn’t have that risk) you can buy for a few dollars an alarm. There is the plug in type with a float switch that will trigger a loud buzzer, usually required when a leach field is above a septic tank, such that you need a pump and pump chamber. There is also a water alarm that is used under a water heater. Battery operated, battery is good for years, when probe gets wet it screams like a smoke detector.

  4. Ugh. The bullying is terrible. My girlfriend is on her psych rotation right now, comes home every night with new stories of kids harming themselves because of the bullying. There’s gotta be something we can do.

    A friend actually sent me this YouTube video this morning–paints a good picture of what kids are going through, but gives a bit of hope that they’re stronger than we ever were:

  5. God’s blessings to your daughter….my nephew is going thru the same situation. His parents have had to file legal proceedings. Prayers for all.

  6. My heart goes out to your daughter and she will get through this. Shame on all the people that allow this to happen when they could intervene.

    Just tonight a friend in FB had this link up in her site:

    Maybe there is something helpful in there? I see where one parent had to threaten school with legal complaint and going public. Others talk with parents. I’d rather go through the system because who knows how parents will act.

    I would not want to do anything to make it worse for daughter, but seems school should be able to do something. Consequences for offensive students?

    Different situation, but a couple of years a go and for a about a year, neighbors got together to complain to the town about another neighbor running an industrial business in our neighborhood. he had been doing it for years and finally people had enough. We were worried about our beautiful area, the environment and all kinds of things. he was breaking the law. We went to the board …even had a couple of official meetings with town lawyer present. NOTHING was done. Lip service only. Then we sent a certified letter in which they had to sign and were being held accountable for their actions or lack thereof and if subsequent damage to our properties, value, water, etc. were to occur. Got a response ..but then sent another letter and another…each 1 week apart. It was apparent that because things were now documented and signed ..they took action. It still took awhile ..but they finally shut the business down. Mind you the zoning officer and every person on the board tried to look the other way. But point is was the certified letters holding them accountable that motivated them to do their jobs.

    I am sorry to hear about the surgery. You know I understand and I hope there can be some way to avoid it. My prayers are with you all with these things.

    Talk about a bad day! What is an ejector pump? Does everyone have one and how do you know it will go bad? I thought you were gonna say that the dogs left you a surprise in the basement and that would’ve been bad enough.

    You are going through some things for sure, but you sure do have some blessings in the mix and it’s nice to hear about your kids and good things going on too. You and Mrs WC must be very proud of them all.

    And with everything going on both still took time to help another family. You both doubt were angels on earth for that family.

  7. Being bullied or picked on is just horrible. I spent a lonely four months as the new kid who all the “popular girls” hated because of a basketball game against my old school on my FIRST day at the new school. The only thing I can say is not to back down and tell her to be herself. That is the best thing. I was lonely and miserable to be sure but, I wouldn’t have any of those kids as my friend anyway. Are there any community centers that offer craft classes? Michael’s? Maybe she will meet and make new friends?
    Aw. I wish I could make some magic happen…

  8. Self-defence lessons. Graduate to martial arts.

    In the meantime, I have no moral qualms whatsoever about taking bullies down hard. Kick ’em in the nuts (despite the absence of nuts, that works with girls, too), and kick ’em when they are down.

    Remember, bullies pick easy victims. Make an example of one, and life is good.

  9. As I figured, everyone is most upset by the bullying of your daughter. I simply don’t know what I would do when my kids get to be that age and something like that happens to them. I’m not sure I could contain my rage. I sincerely hope that gets resolved satisfactorily and quickly.
    I also feel bad for you sewage nightmare. I had a giant mess recently in my bathroom of similar smell and can only imagine what it must have been like on a grander scale.
    And of course there is your surgery. That simply has to suck humongous giant donkey penis. My fingers are crossed for you there as well.

  10. Don’t bother engaging the bullies unless your plan, from the outset, is to have them removed from the school.

    Like I said on the last post, the only way to end the bully game is to quit the field. As long as that person and your daughter are still in the same space, the effect of the bullying will go on. It doesn’t even need to be actions by the bully. Heck, they don’t even need to know. But every time your daughter sees that person, she’ll remember everything.

    Get her out. Now.

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