Blog: Glenn

By Joe Kerry

June 18, 2008

Off to the hospital...

Time Glenn was admitted to the ER--this is AM

Glenn, shortly before asking, "Are you really going to take this picture?"

Glenn's elbow was the size of a softball and I tried to capture it with this photo

No, the grimace isn't because of the pain. Glenn always makes that face when he tries to sit up.

True Love... Tania tying Glenn's shoes as they prepare to go home.

Time Glenn was discharged from the ER

What began as a late night work session ended with a trip to the emergency room. I was at Glenn’s home with the game plan of hammering out some research related projects. We (Glenn, Tania and I) were headed down to the basement. Less then two stairs into our descent Glenn lost his footing (yes, it was a lack of coordination, not malicious intent which caused his fall) and slid down what must have been 12 steps to the basement floor.

It was painful just watching him slide down the stairs. It was like a scene from the Matrix—you see it happening and time just seems to slow down. He just seemed to bounce from stair to stair as he headed down. The floor broke his fall and Glenn just laid there face up, eyes open—and grimacing. Tania rushed down and was asking how he felt, what hurt and what she could do. The other people in the room also closed around and were trying to be help.

After realizing that it was a painful but “could have been much worse” type of fall I thought about going upstairs and getting my camera but decided that would be bad form so I stayed put and took mental notes.

Glenn laid on the floor for about 20-30 minutes. Tania got a frozen bag of peas & carrots and placed them under his elbow which now was the size of a baseball and slid an ice pack under his back.

There was a lot of talk about calling an ambulance but Glenn said he didn’t need to go to a hospital and just needed a few more minutes to “shake it off.” I couldn’t believe that as he was on the floor he was talking about doing his radio and tv show the following day. He said it was very important to him. He also talked about a speaking engagement he had Thursday night—and how it was necessary that he be there. I stood there and thought he’ll be laid up in bed for at least a week.

Tania and I helped him to his feet—now Glenn had to walk up the same stairs he just came down. That took some time.

Glenn laid back down upstairs. Tania thought it was a good idea to go to a hospital, Glenn was still resisting that idea—I guess his last hospital stay was still too recent in his mind. We settled on middle ground—we called a doctor friend, Dr. Temple—and agreed to go with his advice. Well, about 1 minute into the conversation he was talking about blood in the urine, fractured bids, bone splinters floating around possibly lacerating the liver and kidneys, nerve damage and a general litany of horrors which eventually convinced Glenn to go to the emergency room.

As Glenn would say, the hospital was fantastic. I have never seen a hospital run so efficiently or professionally. People that worked there were actually smiling and didn’t appear ‘put out’ that we were there. I thought, wow—this is an amazing place—this is how health care should be run. Glenn commented several times about the personal and professional nature of the nurses, doctors and staff.

Not one to let a potential creative moment slip by, on the drive over the hospital Glenn told us he wanted to tell the intake nurse that he was pushed down the stairs by his wife’s boyfriend. Tania said he was ‘sick’ and I quickly added my concurrence as soon as I realized that I was the ‘boyfriend’ in his scenario. We convinced him that such a story would lead to a telephone call to the police and possibly the front page of ‘Drudge’—so he opted to go with the much, much better—I was pushed, but I don’t know who pushed me story—much better decision which only took 30 minutes of explaining to convince them it was a joke and that the local police should not be called.

Then, something I have never seen before happened: the doctor, at one point, was actually waiting I the room for Glenn to get back from the x-ray lab!!! Think about that—have you ever been in an emergency room where you didn’t have to wait for the attending doctor? I haven’t. But here was the doctor, telling Tania about some of the tests Glenn was going to have and then just waited for a few moments until Glenn was wheeled back into the room. Incredible. That’s the way health care should be administered. I know Glenn thanked them personally but I know he would also want to thank them publicly—so thank you Dr. Henry, Physician Assistant Sarah and RN Denise.

Glenn was still in lots of pain so they administered some heavy duty drugs. I thought he’d be out like a light. This was about 2:30 in the morning and I was sitting in a chair in the room trying to catch up on sleep. Tania was reading “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyers (my guess is that Glenn convinced her to read it after he read it on tour). But Glenn wasn’t tired. While he was laying on the bed, under the influence of prescription strength pain killers he wanted to review some notes with me on the upcoming special edition of Fusion Magazine. I actually thought he was joking—but we wasn’t. So at 3am I fired up the laptop and started to review some notes with him. He asked me to call Liz, the editor of Fusion at 3 am to let her know some of his thoughts and to apologize for the fact that he didn’t get back to her earlier in the night—I told him Liz would understand—but he wanted me to call her—fortunately I didn’t have her cell or home number with me so I just sent an email.

I would have taken more pictures but in an era of litigation hospital staff aren’t too keen on photographs of their patients—this was especially true after Glenn let them know that I was an attorney—took about awkward silence. But the photos I took are posted.

When we arrived back at Glenn’s home he still wanted to do his radio and tv shows. He still wanted to keep his speaking engagement on—but Adam rightfully convinced him that it would be best if he got some rest and stayed off the stairs.


 

 

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

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