Last Thursday was a beautiful sunny day in Kalamazoo until… Coming the 100 miles from Ann Arbor, I dropped Kathy at River Street Flowerland (1) where’s she’d buy her own Nessie and learn how to stuff it with foliage.  She’d become enamored with the topiaries she saw in Bronson Park the previous week and the chance for a private lesson accounted for the quick trip back.  I wandered the 20 minutes over to NW Kalamazoo Township to have lunch at Old Goat Tavern with VHS classmates Rollo and Tom.  The trip back through twisty streets found Rollo’s description accurate until I hit Market, home of the many rows of greenhouses that make up Kalamazoo’s bedding plant industry.  Signage was meager and I’d forgotten which one was Kathy’s.   I pulled into the intersection of Market and River hoping my Jeep would lead me there.  Instead, I heard and felt the impact before I ever saw the responsible truck.  The result wasn’t pretty.

Except for being a little dazed with a bit of a backache, I was fine.  Kathy was less than a half block away from the accident.  She heard the crash, then walked out to see others doing the same to take a gander, saw the mangled car and recognized it as ours.  She came running over and was expecting the worst, relieved that I popped out even before the firemen got there.  They got me on a stretcher into the ambulance while Kathy gathered up contents of the car.  She joined me, sitting up front, as we pulled out to Bronson.  She quickly had ‘em going with her NASA schtick.  Wadda girl.  The afternoon in their ER was mostly boring.  I emerged with diagnoses of a fractured vertebra (T9, 3 from the bottom of the thoracic spine) as well as recognition of a spinal condition called D.I.S.H. (“diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis”(2,3)) – very common, especially in the elderly – in which the ligaments attaching vertebrae turn to bone and allow much less motion.  Immobile bone loses density, so the vertebrae can become osteoporotic.  The CT found I had 2 other partially compressed vertebrae.  So, I guess I know where that 2 ½ height loss came from (used to be 6’8”, recently measured as 6’5 ½”).  The condition is painless and there’s nothing much to do for it other than to tend to those things that preserve and promote bone density.  Nothing life-changing here.  I’ve had 2 Motrin (one in the ER), 2 beers @ Bell’s, and part of nice bottle of vino (Poggio del Moro Rosso Toscany) to quiet things down.  I slept well and Kathy and I got up early Friday morning and walked around the mall and Bronson Park with no problem.  Just have to be a little cautious when I change positions. 

Mainly, I get concerned that I’ll be about $60K poorer when this is all through.   We’d just sunk close to $10K into our beloved ’11 Patriot, hoping that replacing tires and its rusted-out frame would give us a few more years of service while we save up for that 4-door Jeep Wrangler soft-top we’ve been eying.  With inflation like it is we’ll save money if we get it sooner rather than later, plus we’ll still be able to get one with an internal combustion engine.

But overall, the feeling is not as expected.  I actually feel kinda elated.

As Churchill wrote: “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” (4)

And as Prine sang (5).

It could have been worse.


  1. River Street Flowerland.  https://riverstreetflowerland.com/workshop/
  2. Mayo Clinic.  Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH).  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diffuse-idiopathic-skeletal-hyperostosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371661
  3. Luo TD, Varacallo M.  Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis.  StatPearls (Internet).  5/1/22.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538204/
  4. Churchill WS. The Story of the Malakand Field Force.  London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1901
  5. Prine J.  The Accident (Things Could be Worse).  YouTube 8/18/14. Track 9 on Sweet Revenge (Atlantic), released   10/1/73.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd9RTTGq1eY 

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “ouch!

  1. Glad you are ok 😀, sorry 😣 about your beloved Jeep.

    When are you getting the new Jeep?

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Glad that you came out okay. That’s all that matters at the end of the day. Take care. I am eyeing a 2 door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Maybe one of these days!

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. But I’ve got DISH! Of course, you’d eye the Rubicon. Top of the line. ~$75K for 4dr, I’d think you’d probably get cash back if you traded in of those Kraut machines you currently drive. But it wouldn’t be a swap, as you’re talking 2 door, a true plaything and fun machine (I have an ’06 Sport, which I bought with my ACR Clinical Scholar Educator’s Award money. Didn’t put it on the progress report). I don’t think there’s an EV version..


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