Friday, February 05, 2010

A tale of three phones.

Last week the husbeast bought himself a new phone. He was quite excited because it was the first time he was ever able to get one without worrying over security restrictions; while in the Navy, he wasn't allowed to have a phone with a camera, or much other stuff. So he's been playing with his new toy (a Blackberry with still camera AND video, GPS, internet, and who knows what else). Inevitably the subject has come up about the last time he got a cell phone.

It was while we were living in Hawaii, and he was attached to the SEAL team. He was there to do industrial inspections, but their need for industrial inspection was small, and he became their jack of all trades. If you needed someone to drive a forklift, rig a crane, work on a marine diesel, he was usually the guy to do it. It was fine with him. He loved that job; he hates being bored and loves variety, and everyone appreciated that he volunteered to do all kinds of things, so it was like the job was tailor-made to fit him. I'm sure if I asked him, he'd say that was his favorite job of all time, ever.

Well. He went out and got himself a flip phone that was as high-tech as he could get, with all the security restrictions. Since he worked an industrial job, he took out insurance on the phone when he bought it, considering it sensible.

It was.

Within two days, I got a phone call from him. He told me he was calling from a new, new cell phone, because he'd just dropped his old new cell phone into the bilge of a boat he'd been working on. Bilges are full of pretty much every disgusting thing imaginable; dank water, oil and diesel fuel, human waste, dirt, gunk, drowned bugs, and in the larger ships, even dead rats. I'm not sure he ever recovered the old new phone; if I were him I'd have left it in there rather than fish for it, or gods forbid, reach in after it.

The insurance paid for it, and we didn't think much of it.

A couple weeks later, he came home muttering, and showed me his new new cell phone. It had been on his hip and got struck by a swinging shackle at the end of a crane cable. Smashed it into pieces and broke the view screen.

Off to the store to get new new phone #2. The insurance paid again.

A few weeks after that, the husbeast came home, positively ranting, and threw his phone down on the kitchen counter. It had been ripped apart at the hinge and was in two separate pieces. He says he doesn't remember this part. I will never forget the dismembered cell phone. All the heavy industry he worked with hadn't killed this phone. No. He'd been walking past his desk, bumped up against it, and ripped the flip off the phone clipped to his belt.

Off to the store again. This time the insurance company terminated his policy (three dead cell phones in five or six weeks). I don't remember if we had to pay for the last replacement phone. I really don't want to.

So this time, when he got his new cell phone, he got one that didn't flip. And he immediately ordered a protective case for it (from Otterbox, who also made my shock-resistant and waterproof to really deep iPod cases). We'll see how long this one lasts. At least the insurance policy will replace it once or twice.

Mostly I'm sharing this tale for laughs, and so that people understand if he busts up this Blackberry and I write some long, ranting blog post about it. He DOES have insurance on this new one. For the good it does us.

Keep your fingers crossed.


Hand stuff ahead: As always there will not be a test later if you wanna skip it.

Yesterday I went to the occupational therapist for hand evaluation. I went to the same place that taught me to use my TENS unit, and I'm very happy with the staff there. Nice, friendly, helpful, all that good stuff. (If anyone needs physical or occupational therapy in the Pittsburgh area, let me know, I'll hook you up.) The occupational therapist spent an hour and fifteen minutes with me, basically giving me the appointment after mine, since the person was a no-show. As soon as he was finished with me, he was heading to his kid's school for a school play; he could have booted me out after half an hour with NO repercussions but chose to stay and work with me instead. It was the most thorough hand exam I've ever had. Can't say enough good things about the whole office.

The news was so-so. My hand is deteriorating, but very slowly, and is still well within 'normal' ranges, though with significant differences from my 'good' hand. (Among other things, a twenty-five degree loss of range of motion; if I hadn't started out with a crazy-good range of motion to begin with, I'd be in trouble; most people would have serious problems after a twenty-five degree loss.) I'm losing bone mass. And a new one, the tendons are going screwy on me, pulling the muscles and bones in new ways as I try to compensate for lost motion and strength.

There's no magic exercise to make it all better. You'd think after all this time I'd learn that, but I'm still disappointed. They DO want to do strength training, but I need the okay from my new pain specialist first. So, things are moving and I'm doing what I can.

The fun bit? Apparently I have a freak ability, to get my thumb to lay completely flat across the palm of my hand. I can do it with both hands, so it's not injury-related. The OT said it was the first time he'd ever seen it, with decades of experience behind him. So I got home, and I was telling the husbeast about it, and he immediately turned to the Goober and said "Hey, Goob. Can you do that?" and gestured to my hand.

The Goober looked, said "What, this?" and immediately laid her thumbs flat across the palms of her hands, just like I was doing.

The husbeast and I looked at each other and laughed and laughed. At least I have company in my weirdness.


AnneMarie in PA said...

Uh, is there something I'm missing in the "lay flat across the palm" thing? Can you post a picture? Because if I read what you've got correctly, I can do that too, no prob. But then my husband and daughter are freaked out by how I can do the "monkey Knucks" thing (whoo, whoo) with my knuckles (first metacarple joint) actually bent backwards at about, oh, 15 degrees off of 180.

Roxie said...

Yup, I need a photo, too. And I got perfectly normal knuckles.

Loved the tale of the three cell phones. Get him to teach the Goober some of those mechanical jack-of-all trades skills. Somehow, I don't see her growing up to be a secretary, and knowing how to rig a crane will be useful when she takes over the world.

Louiz said...

I've known people with double jointed thumbs who could do "weird stuff" with their thumbs. I on the other hand think nothing of placing the back of my hand flat between my shoulder blades, which I've been told is equally weird.

Hope the phone lasts.

Emily said...

Well, if nothing else, the Husbeast is probably having loads of fun with that Blackberry! My son gets into this technological stuff in a way that leaves me breathless; he has an i-phone and he cannot stop playing with it.

I need to see hand pics, too.

WikiBobo said...

Yeah, what they all said. Pictures.

And I can put the back of my left hand between the blades, but not the right. Working on it -- yoga should help.

Maybe all this flexibility is a sign of creative talent??

Celestial Siryn said...

I can do the back of my hand flat between my shoulder blades too, and never knew that you weren't supposed to..

I can lay one of my thumbs flat against my hand, but not the other (must be all the knitting - improves flexibility)

Amy Lane said...

Ah, good genetics... can't buy that sort of thing...(OKay-- the phone thing is cracking me up, ONLY because I've had an iPod stolen/lost in every concievable location.)

Donna Lee said...

But can you roll your tongue.......

I'm sorry to hear about the deterioration. To be told that there's nothing you can do about it is sucky.

Galad said...

I love my Blackberry and it seems to be fairly sturdy. Hope all goes well.

Glad you found someone that was really interested in taking some time with you. Sorry to hear that they can't do more.

Liz said...

Photos would be cool; I have a couple of double-jointed things in my hands but I probably need a pic to work out what you're describing...

Sorry about the deterioration; and glad you've found at least one medical professional who's prepared to take the time to investigate things properly.

Anonymous said...

what does the Goob think of your clever/weird ability?

I look forward to some random way in which the Husbeast has destroyed his blackberry! I'm sure you don't!

nolongerbabynuke said...

*considers* A nuke attached to a SEAL team sounds like the beginning of a bad joke...

Julie said...

No, no. The husbeast was never a nuke. He was an NDT inspector. He made the nukes run for the nukes. :)

Ellen said...

Sorry to hear about the bad hand. I think that's something that lurks in the back of all knitters' minds. I also swim a lot and I get sore wrists and ankles from the flexing there so, yes, I'm immediately thinking about this a lot more.

As for the hand thing, I jumped ahead and checked out the photo. I think I either have fat hands or you have slender ones. Enjoy!