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And Justice for Some

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you already know that while my husband and I were enjoying ourselves at his niece’s wedding in August, we decided to take a romantic, moonlit walk together… where my husband fell into a 10′ bunker while we were in sight of a well-lit party tent and snapped his radius. Not only did he break off the head of the bone, the bone was in multiple pieces, and had to be realigned and held in place with the help of surgery and three 3″ pins. I was very lucky he didn’t break his neck, and still count my blessings about that.

Since he is a Doctor of Oriental medicine, he has managed to shock the orthopedic surgeon who put his wrist back together with his accelerated healing–his cast came off a full 4-6 weeks ahead of the date the surgeon originally outlined for us. And we were lucky enough that insurance from my job had finally kicked in 8/1, so the accident was covered (albeit with a massive deductible to meet, first). We thought that since we were guests to a place regularly rented for these types of events (where they add to their risk by serving alcohol), that maybe their owner or liability insurance would help cover some of the ridiculous medical bills that have started rolling in.

Silly, naive people we are, we approached Whistling Straits directly, since it seemed a straightforward proposition: We were your guests, you didn’t post signs or otherwise indicate the imminent danger lurking 30 feet from the venue, and one of us was injured because of that negligence. We were duly deposed. And waited. Two months later, their investigator sent us a letter denying any responsibility… because that area wasn’t lit.


Whistling Straits bunkers--very close to "the barn"In talking about this with a colleague, who turns out to have parents who volunteer for the PGA, he said they had received notification advising them to arrive in cleats because of the rugged terrain. Even the surgeon said my husband was not the first to have seriously injured himself at that venue. However, neither of us golfs–or is even remotely interested in golf… so how were we to have known of this man-trap reputation. If you look at the picture, you’ll even see they build their grandstands OVER the bunker into which my husband tumbled, to keep PGA visitors out of harm’s way–and that those bunkers are immediately adjacent to the buildings they rent out for things like… oh… say… A Wedding!

Having been backed into a legalistic corner we hadn’t anticipated by the investigator’s letter, we decided to talk to a lawyer highly recommended by one of my husband’s patients (who is, herself an assistant DA, so should know what she’s talking about…). He did some legwork for us, and this week came back with more disheartening news: The case is prima facie great. BUT… It would be against the Kohler Corporation, which has an entire legal division at its disposal, so could squash our single lawyer with paperwork and motions and whatever other legal mumbo-jumbo they decided to throw at us. So he couldn’t take on a case that was likely to end up with a much higher time investment than his small business could afford.

Which leaves me… pissed. If we were a corporation with nearly unlimited resources, this would have been resolved with a small chat between colleagues. Since we’re nobodies with mortgages, student loans, and all the other things the 99% are burdened with, we have to be OK with the fact that a corporation can decide at its whim that it wouldn’t want to set a precedent about covering an injury incurred on their property through their decision not to warn first-time visitors of the hazards close by. I have no idea what to do about this other than share a rant with the general Internet population… with the hashtag my brother-in-law suggested: #justiceforjingo.

What do you think? Is this unreasonable?

Expect the Unexpected

busted wrist It’s been almost exactly a week now since an eventful family celebration culminated in tragedy: My husband snapped his radius at the Whispering Straits PGA golf course as we took a breather from his niece’s wedding celebration.

It’s one of those experiences that’s scary while it’s happening and silly in the retelling: He was walking about 10 feet in front of me, as I picked my way through shadowed lawn in high heels. We were aiming for a graveled path that shone in the light of the full moon, when Joe walked into some taller grass that ended up concealing a bunker. He completely disappeared from sight, and the next thing I hear is shouted curses. I tried to light his way back up with the light of my cell phone, but couldn’t tell where or why he had disappeared, so didn’t trust myself to get any closer. When he finally scrambled out of the hazard, the first words out of his mouth were “I broke my wrist. Let’s get home to take care of it.”

Of course, he’s a doctor of Oriental Medicine, so I knew he had liniments that would help… but figured it would be a better idea to have an orthopedic doctor look at it and fix it. As a delaying tactic, I told him I’d get some ice from the event staff. They took the decision out of our hands by calling their first responder and an ambulance.

As it turned out, the Sheboygan Aurora hospital they took him to proudly proclaimed that they had just completed their third year as a top-100 hospital. And, unusually enough, had FIVE orthopedic surgeons on staff, so would be able to operate first thing in the morning. For the several shots of painkiller they gave him, though, Joe still spent the night in such unbearable pain he really didn’t get much sleep.

Meantime, I had had to drive my mother-in-law and brother-in-law home, and get home to take care of our doggies. I spent a lot of the night thereafter on the phone with Joe to try to distract him from the pain, and then drove back up to be with him once he was out of surgery–which, according to the surgeon was very straightforward, and just involved re-placing the bone in its correct alignment, and inserting two screws that could be accessed externally. They then wrapped the whole thing in a splint, and told us to schedule a follow-up visit in two weeks to get the screws out and put the arm in a cast.

We finally got home about 3:30 in the afternoon, after the nurses had confirmed that he could undertake a specific series of bodily functions and discharged us to go looking for a pharmacy where we could pick up a supply of Vicodin to get him through the initial pain of healing the trauma.

All of this has meant we’ve both been operating on a pretty serious sleep deficit all week–and Joe spent half the week in a drugged haze… still in pain. Luckily for us, we have other options, and I bless the Chinese herbal formulas that allowed him to stop taking narcotics on Wednesday. A week into the adventure, and he’s able to find comfortable positions for his arm on a regular and reliable basis, and we actually took a short walk together this afternoon.

So my reading time has been pretty strictly curtailed this week–and will likely remain at a lower level for a few weeks as I spend my free time making sure Joe’s needs are met while he’s down an arm… Though I suspect a little escapism will be necessary as time goes on.


Kicking Things Off

I’ve avoided this for several years now, but am finally giving in to my love of the written word to begin blogging in my own right. I know most people don’t have the time to add yet another source of information to their already overloaded plates, so I plan on keeping this short and to-the-point.

I’m actually starting this because of my experience with National Novel Writing Month: I’ve had story ideas floating around in my brain for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never thought of them as such until I read an interview with Stephenie Meyer in which she said that the seminal scene that started that whole series was based on a dream she had. All of a sudden it clicked: I dream vividly! I can do that!

Actually getting to 50,000 words in one month, though… that is a challenge. It takes commitment and perseverance. I’m still not sure I have enough of what it takes–though I’m feeling confident after a 5,000+-word day–but I’m hopeful that in a few days I’ll get to post the winner’s badge here. In a related recommendation: I was able to achieve today’s word total in part because of the useful service available at I have the iPhone app installed (yeah, I spent the $3), so have written alternately on my desktop computer, my laptop, and my phone, as the mood has hit me to change venues.

Until then, wish me luck.


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