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Dear Diary

It’s been a long few weeks since I last wrote. I’m going to file this one under “serentipity.”

My son’s wrestling season is over. He didn’t make the cutoff to qualify for states, but he still had a great season. There was something strange that happened as he prepared for the tournaments, though. In our region, there is one kid in my son’s weight class that is an excellent wrestler. He’s strong. He’s quick. He literally throws kids around the mat. He did an illegal slam on my son a couple of years ago and ever since, my son is scared to death of him. As we got closer to declaring weights for the regional tournaments, my son decided that he wanted to diet down to the next lower weight class so that he wouldn’t have to wrestle this kid. We discussed how everyone is beatable and how we can’t run away from our fears, but he wouldn’t listen. So for the week prior to the weigh-ins, he cut back on his food, ate popcorn and vegetables, and exercised a lot. The night of weigh-ins, he had almost lost the four pounds he needed. So he skipped rope in a sweatsuit for a half hour at the weigh-in site to sweat off the last six ounces. He weighed himself on the check-in scale and he was 2 ounces under the limit. Phew. Then he ran inside to have his official weigh-in. On that scale, he was two ounces OVER the limit. He lost it. He just burst out crying. His coach demanded that he be re-weighed. Same weight. He was going to do some more exercises, but once the official weight is declared, there are no changes. His coach demanded that he be weighed on the check scale. Everyone went back outside – he was still two ounces over. Junior was heartbroken. Not only would he have to wrestle this monster kid, but he would have to do so weaker than his usual. He worried all night. Didn’t get a lot of sleep. We got to the tournament the next day and found out that the monster kid cut weight and was in the bracket below my son. Those extra two ounces kept him out of monster kid’s bracket. I kept reciting the quote from “Kung Fu Panda” – “one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” My wife kept saying that an angel must have stepped on the scale. In the end, my son wound up placing fourth in regionals and sixth in sectionals. Monster kid won the state tournament in his weight division, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

My middle daughter got sick. Initially, it looked like she had influenza, but then she started complaining of back pain. Then she had a high fever. Then she got shaking chills. We checked her urine and it was full of WBCs and bacteria. By that time, she was vomiting. We tried to give her nausea medication and antibiotics, but she kept vomiting them. So Mrs. WhiteCoat got some IM antibiotics from her office to begin treatment. We drew up one dose and were ready to give it … then Mrs. WhiteCoat asked if I smelled anything funny. No, I have a cold. She thought the medication was bad. So she drove to her office and got another vial. I smelled it this time. Had an odor of used cat litter. Called pharmacy. Nope, shouldn’t have an odor. The following morning, called manufacturer. Nope, shouldn’t have an odor. Recalled the whole lot of medication. Don’t know if there was any contaminant, but just makes me wonder what would have happened if my wife wasn’t there to catch the odor. Another angel moment. By the way, did you know that liquid morphine smells like rotten eggs? That’s the whole “sulfate” thing in morphine sulfate.

Three of my four kids are filming parts in movies. They were extras in one Hollywood movie a year or two ago, but these are student and indie films. It’s neat watching them do their thing, but it is also so frustrating watching them do the same scene over … and over … and over … and over. Spending 6 hours to catch a 3 minute scene? You movie directors and all the behind-the-scenes people (sorry I don’t know all the technical names like “gaffer”) can keep it. The experience does make me appreciate how much work goes into making a movie, though. I have to admit that seeing the final product is rewarding. But I also have a problem watching a 23 year old kid who is supposed to be playing a high-school senior putting his hand on the rear of my daughter who is 14. And for some reason, I felt uncomfortable watching a movie scene with my youngest daughter where another actor was playing a father and kissing her on the forehead while she hugged him. I wasn’t jealous, but it just felt surreal – like I was a spirit or something looking in at what my kid’s life would be like if I wasn’t around.

Today was busy.
First, I don’t think I’ve ever complained about the heat in the middle of March. It hit 81 degrees here today.
I also had multiple encounters with the legal profession today. I had to drive into the big city for a deposition as a treating physician. Much better than driving into the city to be deposed as a defendant. After reading through the medical records and listening to the questions that the attorneys asked, it became fairly obvious that both sides were either consciously ignoring issues detrimental to their cases or weren’t aware of issues detrimental to their cases. One attorney tried to get me to “defer to the diagnoses made by subsequent treating physicians” based upon injuries she sustained and for which I treated her. When I saw the patient, I specifically asked her if she injured that part of the body and she denied it. Apparently another physician who saw her several months later stated that she had sustained the injury during the accident. Um no, she didn’t. Wouldn’t I admit that the other doctor has more experience in diagnosing these injuries? No I wouldn’t. The opposing attorney started getting mad. Sorry. One of the cardinal rules of litigation is “Don’t ask a question unless you already know the answer.”
I scheduled the deposition today because there was also a hearing in the malpractice suit in which I am involved. Yes, I am keeping notes. But the kicker is that I saw an old acquaintance in the halls of the courthouse. He was talking to some other lawyers and he had gained some weight, but I recognized him by his teeth. It was The Grinch! I’m not sure if he remembered me. He did kind of watch me as I walked toward him in the hall. Can only imagine what was running through his head.

Lots of other things going on, but this entry is already getting too long. Will write more later.


  1. Was the antibiotic you were giving your daughter ceftriaxone? It smells like cat pee when it’s reconstituted. I’ve spilled it on myself several times and MAN does it stink!

  2. My son’s doing a movie, too…. It’s good to hear about your experiences. I just want it to be fun for him. It’s a three-five minute scene, and we’re scheduled for four hours on set.

  3. I’m surprised that they let your son work out in a swseat suit to cut weight at the weigh-in site. NHSCA rules prohibit this practice now (in the old days, we all used to do it). I recall in my state of Oregon a few years back a highly ranked wrestler was DQ’d at weigh in for the second day of the State qualifier for coming to the scale sweating. Usually these things have to be done before going to the site now.

  4. I was going to echo Guitar girl…Rocephin definitely smells like cat pee

  5. Interesting post WC!

    I’m sorry your daughter was ill. How blessed to have physicians as parents.

    I agree with your wife about the angels. I’m glad everything worked out for your son.

    I like that quote. Interesting to ponder.

    How exciting that they will be in movies. Now I’m curious. :)

    Good for you for holding to your convictions.

  6. It was generic ceftriaxone. I’ve never actually reconstituted it, so I have never smelled the odor. Odd that both the hospital pharmacist and the manufacturer said that there should *never* be an odor.
    I’ll have to ask my son’s coach about the weigh-in rules. He wasn’t the only one exercising at the site.

    • That’s weird. In the six years I’ve been an ED nurse, I’ve never been around ceftriaxone that *didn’t* smell like cat pee.

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