Life in a Nutshell – Cramped and Ornery

When the RN at the Emercency Center pulled out a wicked looking needle and said, “Where do you want it?” I knew we were in trouble.

It’s been about two weeks in which my husband has been dealing with some strange back and leg pain localized in the…uh, *cough* gluteus maximus. He has been seeing a chiropractor for it and stretching at home to alleviate pressure of the muscles on a nerve. Two days ago, he felt really good! We thought he was on the downhill slide and finally kicked this thing.

Tonight, at 3:00AM, it was the worst it’s ever been.

During the evening, we had been stretching GW’s legs, icing, and using topical analgesics trying to offer some relief to the muscle cramping, shooting pain in his asscheek and leg. We thought it subsided, and he went to bed hoping for a good night’s sleep and a better day.

It woke him out of a dead sleep – the tightening, cramping muscles of his butt and calf. The pain was so intense, he couldn’t keep silent. I got up to fetch more ice. We stretched his leg, but nothing seemed to subside the pain. Finally, I looked at my husband and said, “It’s time to go to the ER.”

It wasn’t the first time we had gone to the ER during our almost 4 years together, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We checked in, and the RN took GW’s blood pressure – the usual routine. Then he starts with the typical questions, “What brings you in tonight? Can you rate your pain? Where is it located?” The RN glances up slyly and asks, “Is this a result of domestic abuse?” He looks at me – all mockery of condemning.

We laugh in surprise – weary chuckles, grateful for the small relief.

I don’t remember his name. I remember reading the nametag, but at 3:00AM, my memory isn’t strong.

This man was on his eighth night shift in a row and still carried on with energy, compassion, and attentiveness toward patients. As he situated us in the room to wait for the doctor, he looked down at my husband stiff as a board upon the bed, and with the deepest sympathy in his eyes said, “You are by far the single most uncomfortable-looking person I’ve seen all night. Can I get you a warm blanket?”

He made our night. Periodically checking in on us or to administer the medication, he remained witty and pleasant. By the way, there was no injected medication. The needle was there all right, complete with impish delight from our RN as he watched our faces go from pale to ghostly. But it turned out to be a liquid syringe taken orally.


GW is on the mend. Slowly but surely, the pressure on the nerve is subsiding. He’s at least able to work since walking seems to help.

We’ll never forget our time in the ER.

God bless the good people of Earth.

This has been,

Fan T. C.


What’s in a Book?

I bought a book, ladies and gents. Aye, a fine book. Perusing a dusty, little used bookstore was not as inspiring or even as exciting as I had first hoped. There were maybe 5 bookshelves sparingly stocked with other people’s words bound in various formats. But I found one. One lonely soul among the lost.

Before I share the title, I want to read to you the excerpt which made me desire this book with abundant glee, enough to dig up a whole 2 dollars so that I might purchase it from the disinterested (and vaguely “touched”) bookstore keeper.

In the display cases of commercial photographers in the (blank) market towns there is mute but graphic evidence of the terrors which marriage holds for the (blank) male. Testimony to the foreboding the (blank)man feels about matrimony is written unsparingly in the displays of wedding-party photographs. The centerpiece is always the bridegroom, trussed up for once in his life in formal attire. He stands there stiff with fright and stares wildly into the camera’s eye. Ranked beside him is the best man, who looks almost as miserable as his doomed friend. The other males in the wedding party try to conceal an expression of pity or contempt, if unmarried themselves, or a sort of gloating commiseration, if married. On the face of the bride there is often a look of bewildered triumph, as though she were still unable to believe the trembling specimen beside her has knelt with her before the parish priest. She may also be conscious of the fact the bridegroom’s mother, even though he may be a boy of forty-eight, is looking daggers because a scheming female has snatched her son away in the prime of his youth.





I have a feeling this may prove most amusing to idle away the wee hours.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin


Strange Things

I sometimes think it is more interesting to meet strangers.

Their lives are still a big, bold mystery waiting to be discovered. There’s so much new surrounding them, so much that is yet to be told. When you meet a stranger for the very first time, you can’t help leaning a little bit closer. You ask all the right questions and never receive a wrong answer.

When you meet a stranger, your heart is open to all the wonderous possibilities the person could offer. Or you could offer the person.

I sometimes think it is more interesting to meet strangers, don’t you?

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin