Friday, April 18, 2008

Ladders are NOT One of the Best Things About Being Married to a Transsexual

Ladders. I'm getting to where I hate them. Oh, I still love my step ladder, and I'm mostly okay with my 6 foot ladder, but anything over that - well, let's just say I'm considering putting a lock on them. You see Ladders are NOT one of the best things about being married to a transsexual. You might ask "Why?" If you should ask that - here's why: Angela can't seem to stop falling off them. You see, hormones don't change that 'I Can Do Anything' attitude - and Especially not the 'I Can Do Anything I Put My Mind To' attitude. So, this morning we climbed into bed at 5:30 a.m. because we had been at the emergency room - AGAIN! - from 6:30 p.m. yesterday evening until 4:30 a.m. today. This was trip number 3 for the emergency room due to falls from ladders by Angela. None of those falls have been from step ladders:

The first one happened while she was still David. That fall resulted in a broken wrist. That fall was from the 6' ladder. Even though he knew better, he stepped on the top step to change a light bulb in a spotlight located near the top of a 20' ceiling (no, it was not at the very top - it was about 3/4 of the way up - on a steeply angled area). He lost his balance as he stretched to reach the socket. I was at work. He called me to come take him to the emergency room, which I did. The result: He was in a cast for 6 weeks, and he was lucky I didn't brain him one right then. I laid down the law about NOT BEING ON A LADDER WITHOUT SOMEONE BEING AROUND TO HOLD IT!! though. Obviously, it didn't stick - at least not for very long.

Our next rush to the hospital was when s/he fell off the BIG ladder that makes all sorts of contraptions and reaches some 22+ feet when it's all the way extended. She was transitioning then, dressing as Angela at home, after work, except when s/he was outside working in the yard. Sometimes s/he wore a wig when outside, but usually not. Anyway, a limb gave way when the ladder was extended about 15', and she fell. That resulted in her wrist being broken again. In fact, it was broken so badly that it required a plate to hold it together. Oh yeah, there was also a small chip in her elbow. All that healed up fine with only a not-too-obvious scar. I was home for that episode, and we got her to the emergency room immediately. I couldn't complain too much, because I was there picking up branches at the time of the fall. She was supposed to be coming down the ladder, not continuing to cut things. But, at least I'd held it for MOST of the work she was doing. (If you do this for your spouse, make sure you are not under the area being trimmed or where the chain saw is likely to land should a disaster occur: at least one death, and several serious injuries, has happened when a falling chainsaw decapitated - or otherwise injured - someone holding a ladder.

This time, No 3 for those who are counting, I was again away from home. We bought a big screen TV that is to be delivered in a couple weeks. BUT - she HAD to take down the projector to our projection TV set up - right?

"I just Had to," she said.

I mean we only had 2 weeks until the new set up was going to show up. Why should she wait til someone was home to help? You see what I mean when I say hormones DON'T change EVERYTHING! So, as you might guess, while on the fully extended ladder (22') taking down the braces for the already down projector, the ladder began to slide on the hardwood floor. Now, this would not have happened had someone (me) been home to hold it in place, of course. So, she tried to back down as ladder began to slide - she only got down 1 step before the fall began. She landed on her butt (fortunately?), without hitting anything else - bookcases, large glass coffee table, fireplace hearth or step, couch, etc. (not to mention that either she or the ladder might have also landed on one of the 3 dogs). Lucky! - again.! So, she called me. I was on my way home, but I was about 2 miles away.

"No hurry," she said, "but I could use your help."

Knowing this was code, for 'I've hurt myself.' I asked, "what happened?"

"I fell off a ladder."

"Okay, quit kidding, what happened/" I asked.

"I mean I really fell off a ladder."

"You aren't supposed to be on a ladder without someone at home with you to help, you know," I reminded her.


She was picking up, putting away, and acting like nothing had happened when I came in the family room door . It was obvious it had been a bad fall because the long ladder was stretch all the way across the family room, and it was catawampus (not laying flat, but twisted in a couple different directions). I gave her a disgusted look and asked for a once-over view of what had happened and a look see of probable injury sites. Nothing was obvious as for injuries, so we finished the pick-up and reset the furniture. Then we carried the ladder out to the shop building. While putting it up in its overhead catches, I noticed her left elbow was seriously out of whack - a large lump was rapidly growing on one side. I was sure she'd dislocated the elbow. So, off to the emergency room we went.

It's a big emergency room - supposedly the second largest in California. It's also one of the busiest. The check-in and X-ray went fast, but since she wasn't bleeding, having a heart attack, brought in by ambulance, or been shot, she was Low Priority. We saw the doctor at 4:20 a.m. No, there were no broken bones; and NO, the elbow was not dislocated. We'd iced it down on the way to the emergency room, and in Triage they had put it in a sling. So, the swelling was going down, and it wasn't hurting much since it was being well supported.

Lucky! She's very lucky - mostly that I didn't take her and drop her off and leave her there as I'd threatened to do once before - when He crushed his foot! But that's another story! No, it didn't involve a ladder.

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