Daily Archives: February 17, 2018

Just Blame the Dog

A couple of days after Christmas, Dexter (our resident eight-month-old Frenchie) grew weary of his new toys and was whimpering and trying to get his leash of the top of his kennel. I told my future step daughter I would take him for a walk in the park that evening, but I promptly forgot, leaving the dog with an even sadder look on his face than the perpetual frown that God already blessed him with. So, wanting to continue to earn much needed points with the kid, on December 28, 2017 I strapped Dexter into his fancy harness and off to the park we went, leash in left hand, cell phone video to show the kid, rolling in the right.
This was the dog’s first trip to the park and he was pulling on the leash with enthusiastic fervor as we walked the few houses down to the park, crossing the street to the elementary school so he could get quick access to some grass, thwarting the potential for an adrenaline induced urge to poop on one of my neighbor’s lawns.

As we entered the park, we crossed the small parking lot onto the grass. Dexter, seeing the size of the grassy area, began walking faster then broke into a little gallop. I picked up the pace behind him, cell phone video still rolling, thinking to myself “oh, this is so cute. The kid’s going to love seeing that I took Dexter for a little run in the park, this is cool.” Then, as puppies do, he became distracted by the colored border line of the soccer field that we were about to run onto. This dark band of colored grass fascinated Dexter and was quickly deemed worthy of further investigation, so he slammed on the brakes and this happened:

Dexter, being the loyal and overly affectionate pup, returned to me, licked my face a couple times to make sure I was OK, then promptly took off again, still attached to my broken wrist. Needless to say, this hurt like hell, so I scrambled to my feet, stepped on the leash and got it off of my wrist, which was obviously bent where it hadn’t been previously. Thankfully my house is just down the street from the park, and my cell phone was already out so I could call for a ride to the ER. After arranging a ride to Kaiser Morse Ave., I took Dexter home and waited for my ride.

The ER waiting room was jammed with people. It was a Thursday evening, but I guess being the only Kaiser ER for 10 miles or so attributed to that. The guy at the admission window took one look at my arm, getting me a ticket to the head of the line. Once behind the door and away from the screaming child two seats over, a child that we learned wasn’t hurt or sick, but just wanted his mamma to be with him and not trying to calm him via Skype on his aunts cell phone, the nurse looked down at my oddly bent arm and said, “hey, we have a full deformation here,” and ushered me deeper into the treatment area to a row of seats for patients that need to be treated right away. The ER doctor was nice enough to bring me a Percocet as he ushered me off to x-ray. Fortunately, while the break was a bad one, the ER doctor was able to set it well enough that I did not need surgery. With that said, it took four nurses an hour of trying to locate a vein in which to start an IV for much needed pain medication, only to each of them give up and bring the doctor back in with a portable ultrasound machine to get this done. Even with three shots of Novocain type stuff to numb my wrist and morphine via IV, setting that bone was the most painful thing I have experienced in a long time. My fingers were attached to this medieval looking torture contraption with five metal webbed Chinese finger trap looking gismos, and a ten-pound weight was hung on my arm, and left there for 15 minutes. This was supposed to slowly pull the bones into position before further manipulation was required. When the doctor came back in to release my fingers from this medical iron maiden, I was relieved. This relief was short lived when the doctor, devoid of any emotion, companionate or otherwise during this whole ordeal, then grabbed my arm and said “this is going to hurt a bit” and began pulling on it with all his strength in effort to get the bottom segment of my left radius bone realigned with its detached counterpart.

If you know me personally, or read my blog before, you know that I am a relatively active guy, running being my main physical fitness outlet. The day before this happened, I logged a 6.5 mile run on the American River, which runs right behind my house. This injury threw a serious wrench in my fitness regimen, even causing me to miss the first of three races that I signed up for this year. No refunds are the norm in road racing, so I had to just suck it up, pick up my shirt and bib and sit this one out.

I made my way downtown to Fleet Feet fitness store to pick up my shirt and bib. I already paid my entrance fee, so I figured that I might as well at least get a usable running shirt out of this whole fiasco. I stepped up to the counter, gave them my name and picked up my bib. I was directed to the patio area at the back of the store to pick up my shirt. The woman behind the couther gave me my shirt, and as another runner walked up beside me to get his, one of the employees gestured toward me and told him, “don’t run next to this guy, he’ll knock you out with that thing.”
“Niiice… OK, funny man,” I told him. “Don’t worry. I’m going to sit this one out,” I grabbed my shirt and bib and promptly left the store and went home.

The Cast came off on Tuesday February 13th., and Yesterday, seven weeks to the day after this injury occurred, I suited up, drove to the American River Parkway Foundation office in at William B. Pond Recreational Area, renewed my annual Sacramento Regional Park entry pass and went for my first post injury run.

My Garmin was a little snug on my still swollen wrist, but Man, I cannot convey how good it felt to get back out there running on the river again after being down for so long. If you are a runner, then you know.


I set a reasonable goal of five miles, and achieved it.

Just blame the dog, people have told me. Well, I can’t. As much as I would like to divert responsibly of this injury and all of its related frustrations and lost productivity, my root cause analysis simply does not support that conclusion. Truth be told, if I had not been so focused on capturing the cell phone video of my walk in the park with Dexter, this never would have happened.
Chalk it up along with all of the other reported cases of people walking into light poles, fountains, and automobile traffic, as just another case of distracted cell phone use.

Besides, even if it was his fault, who could hold a grudge against this?

Oh, sweet perpetual motion I’ve missed you so. May we never part ways again…

J. Johnston