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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2013 Bow Buck and things

In the fall of 2013 I did not bow hunt that much - it was only on my sixth outing…. The main reason was because I was working on my new crossbow, fine tuning it to my liking. I also went pronghorn hunting in Wyoming that year - both good reasons in my book.

The first three nights I went hunting right north of our farmstead and I did not see one deer. I live in the country 7 miles away from the nearest town in southeast North Dakota. So I called up my friend Kevin and asked if I could hunt down on his place. He of course said, "Why haven't you been down here already?" I have hunted on his place for years and have always had good luck. They live right along the river and it is a deer's paradise.

So the first night down there I went and sat in a low tower which is accessible and sits off the ground about 5 feet. I like to sit there first to see what is moving because I can see every corner of the field. The field that year was seeded into alfalfa. That first night I saw a lot of deer and figured out where they were moving. The best part was that they were moving in my favorite spot. I have shot two bucks there in the past. Kevin calls it Clint's spot - I call it the tall pines because of the six or seven rows of pines that run about 60 yards long. On one end the deer like to funnel through from their bedding area to the feeding area. I like it because it is easy for me to get into and I can pretty much sit somewhere in that bunch of pines depending on the wind direction.

On November 1, the first day, I had quite a few deer within 40 yards but no shots. Had one big 4 x 4 within 10 yards of me but I was busted by him before he got in front of me. He was smart, he knew something wasn't right, circled around and winded me. I could not go out that Saturday and Sunday so I had to think about how I screwed up on that 4 x 4 for two days.

But on that Monday, luck was on my side and everything came together. I got into my spot around 3 PM. I actually scared out two deer while getting out of the van. Around 4 PM the does started coming out of the bedding area. There were about 10 of them when all of a sudden I heard grunting. Two little bucks started chasing around the does. There were deer running everywhere. The wind was perfect and they did not suspect me at all. I forgot to mention, I also put up an absorbing scent wick and doused it with doe in estrus made by Buck Bomb. I also put an earth dirt scent patch on my camouflage burlap that I wrap around me. Evidently that stuff works. I also hooked up my new A-Way grunt call that has a long tube so I can use it easily. So I started grunting at the little bucks. I played with them quite a while. We were grunting back and forth for at least a half-hour. But I could not get them to walk in front of me.

All of a sudden another buck came. His antlers looked like a pronghorn buck. He had bladed antlers that went straight up. I would've shot him if he came in front of me. I actually got him within 30 yards but there were some branches in the way so I did not take the shot. He circled all the way around me and came into the trees where I was sitting - but somehow he did not bust me. I also got to watch him make a scrape and a couple rubs. I had witnessed that before but never so close. It was awesome. I think he was a little twitterpated. After he got out of the trees I heard a big deep grunt. I knew it was something big. All of a sudden the two little bucks stopped their sparring and he walked right in between them. You could see their necks puff up and they sized each other up. After watching them for a little bit, they were only 15 yards away, I gave a couple soft grunts and the big guy came walking perfectly towards my scent wick. All I could see was he was four points on one side and could see a bunch of junk on the other side of his rack. I knew I was going to take the shot if he gave me the opportunity. And he did. He came in front of me about 10 yards, put his head up and was smelling the wick when I took the shot. Right after the shot I knew I hit him high but he ran about 20 yards and fell over. It took him quite a while to pass. I waited over an hour just to make sure he would not get up.

This was my first kill with my new Carbon Express Intercept crossbow. It was actually my first pass through. The arrow sliced right through him. The Slick Trick's originals did their job. He is a 7 x 5 with a lot of junk. He is a dandy.

Thanks for reading, Clint.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Switching to Muzzy

A couple years ago I wrote a story about switching broadheads. It seems like if you are a bow hunter there is always something better coming on the market. Asking someone what their favorite broadhead  is kind of like asking someone what is their favorite brand of pickup. Everyone has their favorite Chevy, Muzzy, Ford, Rage, Dodge, NAP, GMC, G5 and the list goes on and on. You'll get numerous replies that will end in heated arguments if you ask that question on any hunting forum.

Anyway if you read the story, "Switching Broadheads," I wrote before you'll see I was trying to decide from a handful of broadheads. This summer I finally purchased some Muzzy Trocar broadheads that are designed specifically for crossbows, in 100 grain. It was hard to go from my Slick Trick Standards because they flew as good as my field points. But the problem with the Slick Tricks was that they only had a 1 inch cutting diameter.

I was worried going with a bigger diameter would take away from accuracy. But after just a few shots with my new Muzzy Trocar broadheads I knew I had a winner. They flew just as true as my field points but with a cutting diameter of 1 3/16 inch.

Aim small miss small… Thanks for reading, Clint.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Pickup conversion and stuff explained

It should go without saying that this pickup is a showstopper wherever I am. People take pictures and ask questions about it just about every time I open the door. I finally got around to explaining how everything works in the pickup with the conversion. I think I covered everything. Thanks everyone who made this happen. You don't suck. The odometer just broke 10,000 and I have enjoyed every mile.

Thanks for watching, Clint.

Monday, August 20, 2018

New ramp and stuff

Over the years I have needed a ramp for one reason or the other. For these reasons I usually bring along a piece of plywood that is a little wider than my chair, it is about 50 inches long. My dad also made a folding ramp that is easier to carry and move around that serves the same purpose. But sometimes these homemade ramps just don't cut it. Sometimes the gaps, heights, bumps and crevices are just too tall or wide so I don't go places that I could if I was able bodied.

Last week when we were at the lake I knew I wanted to go on the pontoon so I brought my two portable homemade ramps. The problem was I needed to find a good sturdy dock. A dock that I trusted enough so that my heavy wheelchair wouldn't plummet to the bottom, I don't float well. I needed to find a dock that I could drive from the dock to the pontoon using one of the ramps. I also needed to be able to get onto the dock. The ones at the cabin would work but I decided to take a little walk down to the public access to see what the dock was like there. It looked sturdy and not too sketchy. So I took a chance and drove onto it. With a little help I could've gotten on the dock. So we headed back to the cabin to tell everyone that I found a place that would work.

My time limit in the chair was getting close so I decided to lie down for a couple hours before trying to get on the pontoon. When I got back in the chair I went outside and found the pontoon next to shore with an aluminum ramp connecting them. I was a little confused at first. But then I remembered that Mike had been acting a little more weird than normal when I would bring up getting on the pontoon. Evidently the day before, on the way to the lake he stopped in West Fargo and picked up this ramp for me. I was a little taken back. I have seen these ramps before put new they would be hard to transfer around without a pickup. But now that problem has been solved. I had actually had forgotten all about these ramps. But Mike knows a guy who knows the guy that owns the Role-A-Ramp company.

The ramp worked perfect from going to the shore on to the pontoon. We didn't have to worry about getting on a sturdy dock and a dock that would be the right height. They just rolled the ramp out and bridged the gap like it was nothing. Over the four days at the lake, we used the ramp quite a bit. It worked slicker than snot on glass.

Over the last couple days I have been thinking of places where this ramp will come in handy. The possibilities are endless really. I will be able to get into houses, restaurants, bars and places outdoors that I have never been able to get into, across or onto before.

The ramp is 10 feet long by 36 inches wide. With this length and width the carrying capacity is 775 pounds. The ramp can be rolled up into different sections. So the length of the ramp can be changed depending on what they need is. The total weight of the ramp is 67 pounds because it is made of lightweight aircraft aluminum. In other words, this thing is built to last and it doesn't suck.

Thanks Mike…

Thanks for reading, Clint

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Pickup's One Year Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of getting the pickup. There are around 9000 miles on it. It would have a lot more if it wasn't for the 45 days hiatus in the hospital and other medical stuff. But any who. I can't thank you all enough for what you have done for me. I have been down more back roads in Southeast North Dakota, Southwest North Dakota and Northwest South Dakota this year than I have been down in my lifetime. I have been fishing more in the last three months than I have in the last 10 years combined. Hunting season starts shortly and this pickup will take me places I haven't been or could of gone in the last 24 years. Stay tuned for pics of stuff and things. This pickup really is a life changer. Nothing about it sucks. You all rock. Thanks, Clint.

For a little history on the pickup follow the link below.
Thankful for the pickup.

The Cave Hills in Northwest South Dakota.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Night It Started

It was the middle of January 2018 when the story begins. At this time I had been dealing with some medical problems that had been going on for about a year. I could only get in the chair for medical appointments and therapy. It sucked. But during one of my appointments at the wound clinic in Fargo I told the nurse that I would be opting for surgery instead of doing what we have been doing. What we were doing wasn't working. She agreed and was going to line up the doctors for the surgeries.

At first the surgeries were scheduled for May 5. This was going to suck. That would mean four more months of not being able to do anything and that would mean I would waste at least a couple months after the surgery for recuperating. The physical therapy after the surgeries was very strict and if you wanted everything to heal correctly, which I did, you had to follow their orders. About a week later the hospital called and said they moved up the surgeries to February 5. I was a little nervous with that but told them to put me on their schedule.

I had one more appointment with the wound nurse before the surgeries were going to take place. During this appointment I asked her if I could do one last hoorah. Could I go out and tie one on? She says I don't know why not, you can't do any more damage. Even if you do they are going to fix it in surgery. That made me happy in the facial region. Because I was going to do it up right. Clint style…

January 27, 2018 was going to be the night of debauchery. I looked around Enderlin or Lisbon to see if anything was going on that night. There was nothing special. So I asked my friend Bob if anything was going on. He said there was a banquet at Fort Ransom for the rodeo. That got me intrigued. Buckle bunnies are neat. No offense. Knowing our destination was Fort, I looked up what was going on at the Kathryn bar because that would be on the way. Just my luck, they were having karaoke. I hadn't been on the karaoke tour for a while but I figured I could lube up the vocal cords with some liquid courage.

So the plan was set. Bob, Steven and I were going to hit the valley for some neat stuff. When we get together stuff and things happen. Both sides. I hadn't had a cocktail for a while so the "to go cup" was making me feel pretty good by the time we got to Kathryn. And by the way it was fuck cold that night. Around zero with a stiff breeze.

There was about 20 or so people at the bar. A good crowd for small-town North Dakota. I believe I only knew three people. But by the end of the night they all knew me… Good grief. We sat by the door, or I should say I sat by the door and they stood, for about two cocktails worth and then we made our move through the crowd. I could tell there was one woman who was giving me the eyeball. I may have given her a wink or two. After another Morgan she walked up to me. She says and I quote, "You are the sexiest person ever." I said, "I think you need a drink." She laughed and said, "I will take a bottle of Budweiser."

She pulled up a stool next to me and we started to talk. The conversation was neat. Then the inevitable question came up. She asked, "So what happened to you?" I responded with, "I fell out of a sex swing. But don't worry, she is all right." She looked at me and died laughing. It was good stuff. I knew right then that we were going to click.

So the night went on while the Morgans and Budweiser's were flowing. Then karaoke people were begging for singers. I wanted to but there was one big step from the bar down to where the karaoke was. But I had friends to let me down and up. It was quite the scene. I sang a lot. I did all of my usuals plus a couple new ones. I probably sang around dozen times at least. So this meant I was getting lifted up and down every time. So the guys in the bar were taking turns. Good stuff. There were a couple guys that probably shouldn't have lifted me but their old man strength pulled them through. After every song I would go back up to the bar and sit by Sarah. The next day I thought to myself, instead of making people lift me up and down why didn't I just stay on the bottom and have ever else come down there. Sometimes the brain doesn't work when you have Morgan fever.

One of the new songs I broke out was "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I didn't know how this would go over or how I would do, but once I started it everybody started yipping and hollering. Pretty soon there was a chick dancing on the table. That was neat. Don't remember who she was. The karaoke lady even let me sing the last song of the night. I ended the night with "Gin and Juice" by The Gourds. It went over well, probably because it was the end of the night and most people's senses were blurry.

In between songs Sarah and I would also go outside and smoke some cowboy killers. Her preferred brand. The cigerts were flowing among other things… But eventually they had to kick us out but the good times still continue.

It was so cold that when I was trying to back into the pickup wheelchair lift, my hand wasn't working. I couldn't turn my arm. I think it was frozen. Evidently we were outside too many times. Geesh. The ride home was a blur but our DD Steven did well, evidently. We shut the bar down so we probably got home around 2:30 AM. I bet if I asked the nurse if I could go out one more hoorah she didn't have that evening in mind.

We never made it to Fort… And it makes me happy in the facial region we didn't.

Thanks for reading, Clint
My sisters stopped by the next day and took this snap. Good grief.

Sheyenne Saloon Song by Clint

This one time in Kathryn
For all the world to see
Was a boy and a girl sucking face and singing karaoke.

The Morgan was great.
The Budweiser was fine.
The Marlboros were good.
The night was divine.

The shots were plenty.
We didn't leave any.

The bartenders filled our glass.
She also fell on her ass.

There was a ride on my chair.
Live your life like no one cares.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Random Fish Recipes that Don't Suck

As some of you know, I like to eat and I like to eat well. I have been fortunate enough to be raised in a family with many good cooks. I would rather eat at home than a restaurant any day. A huge plate of food three times a day doesn't suck, and I am thankful for that. A typical meal consists of some type of potato, some type of vegetable and of course some type of meat.

I like reading through recipes and watching cooking shows. I really enjoy trying new recipes and digging up old ones. If I do go to a restaurant I like going to authentic ones. Trying something new or new to me is well worth it, the chain restaurants don't do it for me.

Any who, here are a few random fish recipes and side dish recipes for your next fish fry that I have collected over the years. Some of these are recipes from family and friends and others are from the internets. So if you have some extra fillets taking up room in your freezer, try these.

Walleye Ceviche
1 lb walleye fillet
1 cup lemon and/or lime juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 large red onion
2 medium tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper

1. Slice fillets into very thin pieces
2. Marinate in the juice and salt for at least 4 hours in medium (nonreactive) bowl
3. After done marinating, strain off juice/salt mixture and place walleye in bowl
4. Finely chop all vegetables, and mix in bowl with olive oil to make salsa
5. Mix fish with salsa
6. Optional fresh cracked pepper to taste
7. Eat with corn chips or crackers.

You could do this with any fresh firm fish. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning. The lemon and lime juice will turn the color of the fish from translucent pink to opaque white. The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” the fish without using heat.  I didn't die when I ate this.

The Silver Satin Pickled Fish
Brine: ½ cup salt (Not iodized) to 1 quart water. Place fillets of fish in crock with brine for 24hrs. Cut fillets into squares approximately one inch by one inch. Cover completely. Drain brine after 24 hours. Cover with white vinegar for 12 hours. Drain off vinegar and throw away. Pack fish in jars and add raw onion slices alternating layers. Add enough pickling solution to cover fish and then cover the jars.
Pickling Solution: 4 cups white vinegar, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup silver satin wine or Barefoot, 2 raw onions, sliced fine, ¼ cup pickling spice.
Method: Dissolve sugar in white vinegar. Heat, then cool. (Do not boil) Add silver satin, onion s and pickling spice. Bring to a boil then cool.
Substitute for Silver Satin wine: Barefoot Moscato and Barefoot Riesling are both high quality products, taste the same. If you're going to drink it do so straight, warm, and out of a paper bag. Mmm.
Amount of Fish: a batch of it would be good for 6-8 pounds of pike.  I usually take out a gallon freezer bag full of fillets for one batch.  I bet that would be around 8-10 quart jars.  I use lots of onion… lots and lots.
Cleaning & cutting fish: Other important thing is to make sure the pieces of fish are cut to a size you like. I’ve made some too small people didn’t like and I’ve cut pieces too big that people didn’t like.  If you get that middle lateral line of the pike that is fat, make sure to dispose of it.  Bones will dissolve in the solution.
Added heat: pickled chili peppers and the juice for added heat. The little yellow ones are good.

Pickled fish MUST be frozen before it is pickled. The freezing process kills off any bacteria that might not be good for a person. Refrigerate for one week before eating.

Canned Pike
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs oil (optional)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
Put fish in pint jars, put ingredients on top of fish. Process at 11 lbs for 100 minutes. I prefer to debone fish and clean all 'red' meat off fillets, however bones may be left in since they will become soft under canning pressure.

Pike Chowder
2 cups diced northern pike – 1' chunk sprinkled with seafood seasoning
Melt 4 T butter
Add 1 chopped onion
3-4 diced potatoes
1 stick celery
Cook potatoes and carrots until done
Add 1 can evaporated milk
Add 1 can cream of celery soup
Add fish
Simmer 20 minutes until fish is flakey, season to taste.

Poor Man's Lobster
2 1/2 cups white wine
1 small onion
4 lemon slices
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp peppercorns
1 small bay leaf
1.5 pounds fish (3/4 inch thick)

Boil 4-5 minutes until fish turns snow white. Serve with melted butter and fresh lemon wedge

Pike Dip
1 pint boneless pike
1 (8 oz) pack of cream cheese
1 tsp of liquid smoke
2 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs soy sauce

Dash of pepper and salt
Boil or steam pike fillets with chicken stock until cooked and easily flakes apart. Flake apart fillets with fork while checking for bones. Throw everything into a mixer and let it mix at low speed for a few minutes. Or mix together with fork if you like it chunky. Serve cold with multi-grain crackers or something similar.

Pickled Eggs and Sausage
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons pickling spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
6 to 7 squirts Frank's Red Hot Sauce (optional for color or you can use beet juice)
1 tablespoon crushed garlic or powder
1 tablespoon dried onion

Hard boil 18 eggs and boil, then 3 packages Polish sausage until they float. Arrange eggs and sausage in layers, pack to top. Take shells off. Take care not to split eggs. Combine all other ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

While still hot, carefully pour brine until full. Put lid on tight shake to mix for 3 days and enjoy.

Dilled Pickled Eggs
1.5 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon dill weed 
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1 peeled garlic clove
Dozen eggs
If you want heat add jalapenos. For stronger flavor poke holes in eggs with toothpick. Pour above solution over eggs in jar.

Like to let them rest for a week. Should be good for a couple months if they last that long. Also, bring all the ingredients except the eggs to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Refrigerate immediately. Goes good with a 30 pack of Busch Light.

Dutch's Wicked Baked Beans
6 to 8 strips of bacon cut into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 medium onion (diced)
1/2 bell pepper (diced)
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers (diced) (seeding is optional)
1 - 55 ounce can Bush's baked beans
1- 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks (drained)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon dry mustard (ground)

Sauté bacon pieces in fry pan until crispy and remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Sauté onion, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper until tender.

In a large mixing bowl combine beans, pineapple, brown sugar, ketchup and dry mustard. Stir in bacon pieces and vegetables. Pour into a 12X9 or a deep 9X9 aluminum baking pan. (While mixing if things look dry, add additional ketchup 1/4 -1/2 cup at a time)

Place in a 220-250° smoker for 2 1/2 - 3 hours (make sure temperature of the baked beans reaches 160°) or place in a 350° oven and bake for 1 hour.

With the jalapeño pepper and the dry mustard these beans have the potential for some MAJOR heat. CAUTION should be exercised when feeding these beans to small children, elderly or weak of stomach patrons.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Story of the Trigger and stuff

I believe I received the rifle mount for my wheelchair in 2005 from my friend Dustin. We had talked and had looked on the Internet for different types of wheelchair rifle mounts and one day I was surprised by Dustin with this awesome gift. Now we just need to figure out how to mount it to my wheelchair, because nothing is simple. All wheelchairs are not created equal. That means nothing fits like it is supposed to. There was going to be a need for some farming ingenuity.

I could tell right away that the way the instructions wanted it mounted to my wheelchair was not going to work for me. The post where the mount attaches would be right between my knees. This would suck for getting in and out of the chair. Knowing my luck something not good would happen. So after looking at it for a while we decided to mount it on the right side of my wheelchair. This means I could actually leave it on the chair at all times not having to worry about it getting in the way when transferring in and out of the chair. I also figured out a way to rig up my fishing rod in the same rifle mount. Two birds. But that's another story.

Here is the model I have. Click here.

After the obstacle of actually getting the rifle mount mounted to my chair, we had one more problem. That was the trigger. We had many different rudimentary ideas and tried many different rudimentary things. One of the first ideas was to attach a heavy gauge wire on my right splint and I would pull back on the trigger with that. This idea did not work because I couldn't keep my arm up that long to get it into the trigger. Also once the wire hook was in the trigger, I couldn't get it back out. Not very safe. Next we tried attaching a string loop around the trigger, and then I would try to hook that loop with the heavy gauge wire attached to my splint. This also didn't work and wasn't very safe. Especially if I had a semi auto. I also bought some stuff and things off of the internets that we tried for a trigger but none worked.

One day in 2009 when Tito and I were running out of ideas for a trigger. A meeting of the minds came together randomly. I have no idea but for some reason my uncle Gary, brother-in-law Brad, great friend Don B, my dad, Tito my favorite Lawrence and myself were standing around trying to come up with a solution for the trigger. Brad or Gary mentioned having some type of lever that would trip the trigger and then my dad said we could attach it to the trigger guard and then Don B said I have an idea. Within a couple days Don B had the trigger machined out and it was ready for a test run. This is the first time I shot with that trigger. The design is so easy and simple yet it works perfectly. It only took us four years… But perfection takes time.

Since the first design of the trigger we really haven't had to change much about it. Depending on what gun it is going to get mounted on, sometimes the gap where it attaches to the trigger guard needs to be made a little bigger. With a fine file this can be done quickly. But one of the best things about this trigger mechanism is that it is pretty universal. I can switch it from my Ruger 22 to my Remington Model 2600 and then to my Weatherby shotgun with just a simple allen wrench. No adjustments need to be made. This trigger mechanism even works on my Carbon Express Intercept crossbow. This trigger mechanism has fit on every rifle I have tried it on. The only guns it does not fit on are some shotguns. The reason is because some shotgun trigger guards are rounded. For this trigger mechanism to work the trigger guard needs to be flat below the trigger.

Once we got the trigger mechanism fine-tuned, I decided to post a video to YouTube on my channel. After a while when this video was watched and shared, I learned that there was a need for this trigger on the market. A small-market but there was a need. I had a list of about 10 disabled shooters that were interested if I could make more. The problem was where I could get more made. Then someone suggested asking one of the trade schools in the state. So I looked up the machinist instructor at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, Steven Johnson. Johnson is an Associate Professor/Chair for the Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology Departments at the college. Johnson was very interested and said his spring semester class would use it for one of their class projects. Once I got the blueprints or specs to Steve, the wheels were set in motion. I received the 20 triggers the beginning of May. The next week we had them tested and they were ready to be shipped. I can't thank Johnson and his class enough for what they have done for me and my fellow disabled shooters throughout the nation. We are indebted.

Before I was going to send them out I knew I should probably cover my backside. So I got a hold of my personal lawyer Neil and he wrote up a waiver of liability form to send out to the possible recipients. They would sign this waiver and return it before I would send them a trigger. No money was exchanged or will be exchanged for these triggers. This is just something I wanted to do for my fellow shooters.

Aim small, miss small my friends…

Thanks for reading, Clint

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Getting the news

I guess I really didn't know how to feel after the accident. I really didn't know what was going on. I don't remember much for about a month after the accident. The first thing I remember is the doctor getting my family together and telling me that I will be paralyzed for the rest of my life.

When you're 15 I don't think you realize what that means. I don't think it matters how old you are when someone tells you that. That you are going to be paralyzed for the rest of your life. How could one be prepared for that? How could one be prepared for that at any age? How do you take all of that in? How do you comprehend what just happened? How do you know what is going to change in your life? How do you know what you can't do anymore? How do you know what you can do anymore?

I remember when they released me from the hospital. I remember thinking why are they releasing me? I am not fixed. I cannot walk. I cannot do the things I used to be able to do. When you go to the hospital, aren't they supposed to fix you? When you are young you do not realize how fragile life is.

The hardest thing was when I went home for the first time. That was about two and half months after my accident. I knew it was never going to be the same. That is when it finally hit me that I was going to be different from now on. That I was never going to be the same. The ride home from the hospital was painful. I was in a van. Everything was different. Everything was never going to be the same. I remember hitting a bump North of Alice and my arm fell off of the wheelchair tray. I couldn't get my arms back on the tray. I remember crying. If I couldn't do this, how was I going to do anything?

When we did get home, the house had been remodeled for a wheelchair. Instead of going in the regular door, we pulled up to the South side of the house and I got out on a ramp. This was new. This was not normal. This was scary. I remember when I got inside my aunt and uncle were there. For some reason I broke down. I don't remember much after that.

I really don't remember too much about that whole first year. Just glimpses of events. Mostly I just remember what people tell me. I think that is part of the brains the way of dealing with an event that is too big for it to handle.

Looking back at that now, I am glad that I went through it. I am glad that I remember what I do remember. It makes me realize that I have come a long ways. That life doesn't always suck. It only sucks if you let it suck.

Thanks for reading, Clint

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

45 Day All-Inclusive

Well as most of you know I have been dealing with a pressure sore that got infected for over a year. It all started in the beginning of February 2017. To read the back story click on the links.

After dealing with this so long I finally made a decision to see if surgery would be possible. I told my wound nurses that I would be opting for a flap surgery. They agreed and I talked with the plastic surgeons and the thought a flap surgery would be the best way to go. I knew doing this type of surgery there was going to be a lot of rehab but I knew at least there would be an ending to it. There would be a finish line. The way we were trying to get it to heal naturally just wasn't working and there wasn't any end in sight. I was even behaving. For the most part.

My Fargo board.

I had my flap surgery February 5, at Sanford on Broadway. My stay at Scamford wasn't too exciting. On Valentine's Day I was transferred to CHI Lisbon Hospital. I stayed at Lisbon until March 22. I was transferred via ambulance. The two guys that chauffeured me were pretty neat. I tried to get them to turn on the lights but they said they couldn't. I also wanted them to go cross-country and do some road tripping, maybe hit a bar or two but they said they had to go shortest distance as possible as they were tracked by GPS. I also wanted them to do some Snap Chat videos. But again I was shot down. No fun. I did get them to turn the radio on 104.7 the Duke and had them crank it up. I think those two guys would've been fun to drink with. Maybe I will run into them again.

The doctors wanted me to go to Vibra, a long-term nursing facility in Fargo. I suggested going to CHI Lisbon Hospital. They didn't want that. But I was adamant. I'm glad I was. It took some doing from the staff in Lisbon to get me there. They had to pull some strings and convince the doctors. I am thankful they were able to do that. Thanks. The biggest hurdle was the new super antibiotic they had me taking three times a day through IV. But the pharmacist in Lisbon was able to work her magic. I had to do that antibiotic through March 21.

Once I got to the hospital in Lisbon I really didn't know what to expect. I just knew I wanted to be there and not Vibra. I have written about Vibra before. It used to be called Triumph then the name switched to Kindred and there might have been another name but now it is known as Vibra. It is now located in the new Scamford Tower. But they still have the same staff. Anyways, it is a not fun place. You can read about it here, Vibra stories.

So my IV antibiotic was late and my nurse, Kayley aka MacGyver didn't want me to waste time in the chair sitting in my room. So she rigged up the pump so I could go for a rip. #smallthings

Back to the story, I didn't know what to expect in Lisbon but I was greeted by three nurses who took care of me the rest of the evening. They were all so attentive, caring and helpful. I knew I was going to like this place a lot better than anywhere else I have ever had to stay. I was right, my whole experience at CHI Lisbon Hospital was just perfect. Everyone at CHI was just awesome. I can't get over how well I was treated. It felt like I was royalty. Everyone was always there for me. If I had a question or a concern it was taking care of immediately. I didn't hit my call light much because I don't like to bother the staff but when I did hit my light it was responded to very quickly. I can tell you this is not the case in a lot of other hospitals. Even when the floor was full of patients the response time was unbelievably quick.

As I said above, I got to know everyone in Lisbon quite well. For the first couple weeks I had to lie flat in a special sand bed. Couldn't get out of bed. It is noisy as hell. But it helps in the healing process. I had that bed the whole time. But even lying in bed I can still get into trouble. There was tomfoolery and shenanigans abound. The message board on my room was neat as usual. There was also some other stuff and things that went on that I probably shouldn't talk about in a public forum. Looking back at it, I just giggle. I think I was only busted three times. Geesh. I should grow up.

My Lisbon board was ever-changing.

During one of their monthly staff meetings at the hospital, there were three things that were brought up. They didn't mention any names or room numbers but a little birdie told me all of the concerns had to do with what was going on in my room. Neat. Sorry if I got anyone in trouble. But it was worth it. I bet room 103 has never seen the stuff it did while I was there.

In between all the hijinks, I was actually healing quite well. It didn't take long and I started getting the chair for fifteen minutes, three times a day when the incisions from the surgery were healed. Physical therapy did this twice a day and the nursing staff did it later in the evening. The next day fifteen minutes was added and that continued until I was in the chair for two hours at a time, three times a day. The physical therapy staff at the hospital, Mobility Plus are excellent. They're all awesome to work with. Thanks.

Going for a rip after hours.

There are only so many things you can do to kill time in a hospital. But every time I was in the chair I roamed the halls and harassed the staff. It was good times. When I was in the chair I didn't spend any time in my room. I had seen those four walls enough. So I would make the rounds three times a day going back and forth, back and forth. I got some of the staff in trouble because we would talk in the halls while they should've been working. In fact my first day at the hospital I got one particular staff member in trouble because she was sitting in my room for over an hour. We were discussing stuff and things that we had done in the past. She was busted by the head honcho. Good stuff.

It wasn't me. Honest.

While I was in the hospital I had a ton of visitors. There was only one day when there was no one there visiting. That was my second to last day I was there. I can't thank you all enough for all of the visits. It really does help the time go by. My whole stay seemed to go by quick. And I thank you for that. Along with all of the visits came a lot of homemade food. In fact at one point one of the nurses told me that the patient fridge was full of my stuff. I also believe this homemade food helped me heal quicker. I was eating like a king. I usually only ate food from the hospital for breakfast. It's not that the food at the hospital was all that terrible it's just that I was not going to turn down homemade food.

I cannot thank you all enough, everyone from the office staff, doctors, management, nursing staff, physical therapy, cooking staff and maintenance crew who all went out of their way to make me feel at home. I didn't know most of you before I came to Lisbon but I got to know a lot of you by the time I left. You will always have a special place in my heart.

If I ever need to go to a long-term facility again I know where I will suggest. Without your help I would have never been home this soon. We are lucky to have this type of facility in our rural communities.

Thanks everyone for their well wishes, cards, food, support and visits. You all don't suck.

Thanks for reading, Clint.