February 12, 2018

Dan Update

Here is the update on Dan I promised. If you didn't catch my earlier post about his accident, you can read about that here.

How's he doing? Considering that he nearly sawed off his finger, I can say he's doing fairly well. Comparing that to full healing and function (or even semi-function), however, I can say that he has a long way to go. The finger that was only nicked by the saw is healing nicely. The swelling is down, the tip is scabbed over, and the fingernail is gone, but it is very, very sensitive. The sawed finger is better, but the wounds are still open and it is quite mangled looking. We see improvement, but it is much, much slower than he would like.

Pain comes and goes, but he finds that naproxin controls it. The hydrocodone they prescribed makes him nauseated, and he says that offsets any pain relief, so he sticks with the over-the-counter pain killer as needed.

When will he be able to go back to work? My guess is not for several months. Most of you know he is a truck driver, which entails more than simply holding a steering wheel. That he could do, but it's things like securing loads, raising and lowering the trailer bed, carrying heavy objects, opening and closing container doors, i. e. anything that requires two hands he can't do.

Having only one hand to use also limits what he can do at home. That means all projects (like the barn) are indefinitely on hold. That's frustrating for him, because he is an active, self-motivated, outdoor person. But now he can't do much and his normal routine is gone.

The bills from the two ERs haven't come in yet, so I have nothing to report on that front. Several people have suggested that we either set up a GoFundMe account or a tip jar, for anyone willing and able to help financially. Once I have an idea of what it's going to cost I may do that. It feels strange to ask for help, but somehow communities helping one another seems more natural than relying on some government agency. Some of you have already helped us out and words can't express how grateful we are for that. Also I had someone inquire about Dan's Etsy shop, to buy one of his woodburnings to help out. He closed the Etsy but still sells from his pyrography blog, here.

Dan's company said he'd be welcome back when he's able to work again, but few trucking companies offer sick pay so there won't be an income until he can go back to work. To continue paying our bills he looked into getting temporary disability. Since he is 62, they told him it would be faster and less complicated to apply for his social security retirement benefits, which he did. Hopefully that will begin in March or April. That will be about 2/3 of what he currently makes at his part-time driving job, but it will at least pay the mortgage, utilities, car insurance, phone and internet, etc. We have simplified our needs over the years so between what we produce ourselves and the little bit of writing income I get every month, we should be able to eat nutritiously and buy toothpaste and toilet paper!

The livestock pretty much pay for themselves. Every year I sell enough registered Kinder kids to cover whatever feed, hay, and other supplies we need to purchase. We grow as much as we can and then buy whatever we need to make up for what we can't grow. So in a sense, our animals are self-supporting and our eggs, dairy, and meat are "free."

So that's where we stand at the moment. Your prayers have made a tangible difference and we continue to welcome them.

Dan Update © Feb 2018 by Leigh at


Goatldi said...

Good mixed with could be better. Sounds like progress Leigh. I am so glad that Dan can get by with OTC pain relief. I am right behind him on the nausea wagon and totally understand what he says.

I am so glad that you are moving in a forward planning motion. As far as his frustration as to what he cannot do anymore sounds pretty normal to me. I think those of us who are creatures of habit (or feel we can control things) have a more difficult time with changes that we didn't make or ask for. Especially when others are depending on us. Dan is most blessed to have a patient woman by his side.

Thank you for the information packed update. Yes that is what communities are for. What is sad is I truly feel that is what the original plan was for with such things as unemployment (did he look into that?) and welfare were for. Then people started thinking that it was a way of life instead of a temporary situation.

Take care of yourself and keep us up to speed. You both will continue to be in my prayers.

Judy said...

Leigh - I'm going to throw this out there as food for thought.

When Hubby had his toe removed along with most of the meat from the top of his foot. I made a concoction; it was 1/3 lavender essential oil, 1/3 tea tree essential oil, 1/3 Topical Vitamin E oil. When I changed the dressings on the wound and after I flushed it with sterile saline solution. I took a dropper full of this concoction and drizzled it over the wound letting the excess run off. Then I repacked the wound and dressed it. It sped up the healing, keep the edges of the wound soft and pink, plus kept the wound from making a lot of debris/scab material.

How do I know this? Because the doctor ask me to stop, so we did. In a month's time the edges of the wound became hard, white and stopped healing. Then he had to go in and suffer having the debris removed from the open wound. As soon as I started using my concoction again, the wound took off healing again. The edges turned back pink and soft plus the wound stop throwing off so much debris.

We used the concoction until the wound completely healed. The doctor was very pleased by how well his foot healed up and how small the scar was in comparison to the original wound. It took a long time for Hubby's foot to completely heal, so I hope Dan doesn't get too impatient.

Once again, this is just food for thought.

Tina T-P said...

It's been a while since I've been out reading blogs - mostly on Instagram now - but like to check and see how my old "friends" are doing - So sorry to hear about Dan's accident - I hope that he will heal quickly and very glad to hear that he's able to get on Social Security - that will help a LOT. Take care - Tina

Michelle said...

Thanks for the update. Like any profession, there is much more than meets the eye; I won't wonder any more why Dan can't go back to work for so long. More prayers!

M.K. said...

Thank you so much for the update. I'm wondering if Dan will have any physical therapy, or if it's needed? Adam found the most challenging thing, to get the "bend" back in each of the joints, and that took a lot of work both at PT and at home. I hope Dan heals quickly. It's interesting -- the self-sustaining way of life you've chosen is now a big help, with him injured! You've made strides at having a life that provides for you! Just having preserved food on the shelves is a big help. May God give you peace of heart and trust in Him, as you go forward.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

I'm the same way with pain meds. When I was in the hospital for 14 days, and the unhooked me from all meds, I got one big whopping headache. I stuck with over the counter meds and hot herbal teas. When I got bit the the spider, I wasn't allowed to exercise either. I couldn't even walk to the barn to feed the chickens. I pray for quick healing, and health restored and a for your finances. I completely understand. I think we are up down to the last $5,000 to pay off. It's terrible of what they charge anymore. Hugs and prayers.

Woolly Bits said...

I would really consider setting up this community funding account - it isn't begging for help, it's normal for people to help out each other! or at least it should be... if every blog reader here only puts in a fiver, that'll be a help for you that you won't have to fight for! I think that's what "crowd funding" is for - giving a small amount that doesn't hurt the giver, but might help a lot at the receiving end.
good luck with the healing process - and finding the patience to wait for it for Dan!

Leigh said...

Goatldi, support from a patient partner is imperative for healing like this I think. Every time we change the dressing the temptation to become discouraged and despair is strong, but attitude is so important in the healing process! I'm very thankful for our online community. Most of our neighbors think we're odd ducks, so knowing others care so much cheers Dan tremendously. I also believe this is the way it's "supposed to be," but our society is so brain washed into thinking it's the gov's job to take care of everything and everybody that I doubt we will ever go back to a better standard of living.

No, we didn't look into unemployment, because technically he's still employed, just on an unpaid leave of absence.

Judy, excellent testimony on healing. We actually are using something on the wound, a product I recently bought called Dy's Liquid Bandage. It's actually a veterinary product but contains golden seal, bee pollen, yarrow, aloe vera oil, vitamin E, tea tree oil, propolis, and honey in an olive oil and beeswax base. He gets discouraged but I see improvement! Thank you for your information and experience!

Tina, good to hear from you! I don't get around to visit blogs much these days myself. Yes, the SS will help a lot and at least keep us afloat. Very thankful about that.

Michelle, that's so true! Thank you so much for your prayers!

M.K., working toward a self-sustaining lifestyle was partly for this very reason, because we've never made enough money to invest in something like a 401k. So we've worked toward simplifying our needs and meeting more of those needs ourselves.

Dan is having some trouble with stiffness in the fingers that weren't injured! So he exercises and massages those and it helps. Right now he's just thankful to still have his finger, so any function he can regain will be better than having lost it.

Kristina, wow, you sustained a spider bite? Dan did once too! That was a horrible experience. Yes, "health" care is way overpriced, but I don't see any way that will ever change. Even politicians seem to have given up on that. Once upon a time they worked on policies to try and curb the "rising cost of health care," now they just argue over who's going to pay for it.

Bettina, Dan and I have helped others that way and always felt an immense satisfaction in being able to contribute whatever way we could. Like you say, the community model is so much better and definitely more efficient. Even when I had insurance I had to fight to get them to pay out. Usually it ended with them keeping my money and me having to pay for it myself anyway.

Ed said...

It is great to hear that some healing is occurring and I'm sure it will continue. One of these days, maybe years down the road, you can all have a good laugh at it.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Thank you for the update. My heart goes out to yous and a prayer was sent up. Things like that can happen to anyone of us and is a reminder we should all try to simplify. I know I would be very discouraged but it is good if you can keep trying to be positive. I am glad that you have a community of followers to help. Keep your chin up. Nancy

Judy said...

Leigh - all good stuff in the liquid bandage. I know Dan is frustrated that he is not healing at the rate he would like. If he is anything like Hubby, he is also mad at himself about getting hurt in the first place. Lots of hugs and prayers for both of you!

Henny Penny said...

I can't read this without grimacing at the pain that injury must have caused, and is still causing. Oh, I hope his fingers heal soon. I looked at his blog. The woodburning art work is absolutely beautiful. I appreciate Goatldi's comment and your reply! Hoping and praying for you both.

9658 Textiles said...

I would love to donate to my favorite 5-acre blog! even wikapedia has crowdfunding. my girl, we get to read your adventures all the time for free. you should let us help.

Carolyn RH said...

I know the time and effort that must go into all your posts and I have enjoyed them and learned much from them. I would be happy to contribute to a fund for you and Dan. Your readers may be spread far and wide but there is still a neighborly feel to your blog. You are both in my prayers.

tpals said...

Glad you are keeping on top of things and not despairing. I think you're right about not qualifying for unemployment; one of the questions asked here is if you are able to work.

Knowing your animals pay for themselves, I'm even happier you've had a strong start to the kidding year.

jewlz said...

So good to read that some aspects of the situation are improving! My prayers continue. I well know that an unexpected change and uncertainties bring stress. Still, I feel confident that you'll somehow be blessed in this situation.

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Wow, poor Dan, I know how difficult it can be for an active man to have to take a back seat due to an injury, I hope he's keeping his spirits up. A go fund me page would help relieve some of the anxiety over bills, for sure - too bad they don't offer sick pay on his job, that's a shame. Praying for a full and quick recovery!

M.E. Masterson said...

Leigh and Dan,

You are so right, we are a community of people who care for one another. I had to learn the lesson of letting others help me in times that I truly needed it. Humbling myself was difficult because of my pride, honestly. I could do it myself but sometimes we need help even when we don't even realize it!
This blogging world has opened my eyes to how many folks out there want to help one another. It truly is amazing!
Prayers for you both are still in my circle.

Mike Yukon said...

Hang in there, Dan! It could have been much worse, at least you have an income stream now so the stress of finances is lessened.
I'll bet the injured hand is finding all kinds of things to bump into, isn't it!

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Dan. As others have said, please consider setting up some kind of opportunity for people to donate. I would love to help. I've gotten so much pleasure from reading your blog over the years, that I won't consider it so much a gift, as payment for "services rendered". :-) Also, as you know, I'm within easy driving distance of you, so if you need any help, send me an e-mail. I work during the week, but weekends are flexible.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) I'm glad to hear a rather positive update. I think asking for some help/donations is hard at first, but you are right. People love you and your blog and want to help if they can, so why not try it? I know that hospital bills in the States can be astronomical. Our healthcare sucks here but at least it's covered in an emergency. I hope Dan continues to improve and I hope you're taking care of yourself too! xx

Mrs Shoes said...

Mr Shoes is also one of those guys - he says he's going out to throw hay or something, and disappears for hours on end. It's a shorter list to ask him what he HASN'T been up to...
However frustrating, when the dr says rest & heal, it's better to do as told.
Several years ago, I had had surgery on my right wrist & hand (dominant) so was useless for near a month; at the same time, Mr Shoes had been ripping out old rusty barbed wire & replacing it with new smooth on the far side of the property. He had some scratches on his left arm... the next day his arm was sore. Within a few days he had a full blown case of cellulitis all through his arm - it was like he had one HULK arm! It was PAIN. Full. Our hospital didn't have a bed to admit him, and he refused to go to the city because I'd be on my own & not able to drive our stick shift... (always worried about ME! He is one in a million, God Bless Him). He was back & forth to the hospital 15 minutes away for iv anti-biotic treatments 3X a day - each bag took almost 2 hours to drip into him. Sometimes the staff was too busy to get to him right away - one time he was gone 6 hours & I finally had to call about him. The cellulitis took over 3 months to heal & stop hurting & the swelling to go down enough to raise his arm above his head even.

Mr Shoes had to learn how to take NAPS (which he now enjoys in the evening after dinner before night chores to this day, miracle!), and do puzzle books, and putter on the computer, and watch sports on tv, and visit over the phone, and countless other ways (such as observing how I might go about MY daily chores more efficiently, thank you) to fill the time he is usually working on something. It wasn't EASY, because our generation was taught that, if we were not being PRODUCTIVE then we were being LAZY. It is the mentality that had us going to work sick, over-giving of ourselves, and pushing past reasonable limitations.
Sometimes you have to slow down so that you can keep going in the long run, and we all deserve the same care & compassion that we give so freely to others - that was his (& my) big take-away from that awful experience.
Dan & you are in our prayers.

Sandy Livesay said...

Thank you for providing an update on Dan's injury to his fingers. My husband and I will keep you both in our prayers. Please let your friends in the blogging community know how we can help both you and Dan.

Leigh said...

Ed, thanks! I look forward to the day when this doesn't seem so serious!

Nancy, thanks! Our online community is the biggest thing that's keeping Dan's spirits up.

Judy, hearing your personal experience was a big help. It confirmed we're on the right track and that it will take time. Both concerns considering the situation. Prayers appreciated!

Henny Penny, thank you!

9658 Textiles, you've just blessed me! Thank you!

Carolyn, yes a lot of thought and time, but I have a deep conviction to help others so consequently this has always felt like a ministry. And I've loved making friends this way! Thank you!

Tpals, yes, unemployment didn't seem to quite fit. As far as I know, it's hard to get unless one is let go. And yes, all those little goats are a blessing! It's especially nice to know they will be wanted and find good home plus help feed the others.

Jewlz, we have to keep those small improvements at the forefront of our thinking! And I have to say that just not getting discouraged is a blessing!

Debbie, thank you for that. From all the positive feedback I've gotten I feel better about doing something like that.

Mary, what a great testimony; it really hits home. And you're right about the blogging community, full of wonderfully encouraging folks. :)

Mike, Dan got a chuckle from your comment. Thanks! It is a relief to know we will have some support soon. Takes away a lot of the temptation to worry.

Jean, the things that are available for sale are priced. I actually lost a lot of photos of his recent work when my computer died a couple months ago. I need to reshoot those, but somehow the day gets by me before I get to that. One of the things he's doing again is woodburning. Thankfully it wasn't his dominant hand that was injured!

Cecilia, that is so kind of you! We've known each other since my cat blogging days and I have to tell you that I'm replying right now on the Dell Inspiron 700m. It's outlasted two desktops! It's a blessing to have friends both far and near!

Rain, yes, more positive than negative! At least that's always my goal. I don't think anybody's healthcare system is what it should be. I've heard about some of the long waits Canadians have been experiencing (Britain too). Somehow we just don't seem to get our moneys worth.

Mrs. Shoes, what a story! That's the kind of sacrifice that strengthens a partnership on so many levels. Very special!

Sandy, thank you! Dan and I both treasure your prayers.

Goatldi said...

I agree with your response. And think your standards of living are fine. As is your standard of living. Hang in , happy of heart and press on.<3

Mark said...

Hi, Leigh. Thank you for the update. Still praying daily for the both of you.

The quiet frustration of watching, daily, all the things you planned and want to be doing go undone is a hard thing. I'd love to offer some bit of advice or clever way for dealing with it. I don't have any. Certainly nothing you haven't heard before or already know. Maybe, for people who understand the simple joy in a job well done, there isn't any. All can offer is "I'm so sorry. I understand how hard that is. Don't lose heart, even a little hope and a little joy found deep within will help you heal. As the days march on and your healing progresses you're a little closer to getting back in the saddle."

Erika keller said...

Sorry to hear about Dan's injury. Please do not accept the bill for services from the ED. Call the billing department. Most hospitals will reduce the bill based on your income and work out a payment plan. Good luck.