Friday, December 12, 2008


Does anybody change their wiper blades when the sun is shining?

Does anybody change the smoke alarm battery before it beeps?
Does anybody change their brake pads before that squeak starts?
Does anybody change their diets before the symptoms occur?
There is a famous scripture that goes something like " Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance!"
I have passed so many kidney stones that Dr. Friedman, my urologist, has labeled me the #1 producer in the United States. He said there was a chain smoking, coffee drinking, milk guzzler from Arkansas that was #1, but now it is me.
A brief history of my journey:
My first experience was in 1988, Tyler was a baby and he and I were living by ourselves. I was 25 years old and had heard of kidney stones, but thought only old people got them.
For those of you who have had them or are close to someone who has, you know it starts as a pain in the lower back. You are sure you have pulled a muscle somehow.
 That is how it started with me. 
As I lay in the hall that night in the fetal position with sweat running down my face, I knew I had not just pulled a muscle. Something else was amiss.
I made it through the night on Advil and prayers and hustled to the doctor that morning. After some testing, Dr Kilpatrick came in to tell me I had a kidney stone. I was so relieved, I thought I had something real bad. Little did I know, that I did. 
I said " Great Dr. Kilpatrick. What happens now?"
He said "Excuse me?"
I'm like " Make it go away!"
He smiles and says " You don't know what happens now, do you?"
I'll never forget the "Chart!"
He shows me the journey of that little stone.
"It starts here, in the kidney " he says, pointing to the chart.
That was your back pain. "The kidney has such a small opening as it leaves towards the bladder, that it goes into spasms as the stone tries to enter the ureter tube."
" The pain subsides after it passes into the bladder' he remarks
"I remember that!" I say "It quit hurting at about 4:00 am."
"Exactly" he says
He moves the pointer along the "Chart!"
"Now, the stone can't stay there it has to move along" he chimes
"The next sensation will be the pain moving around to the front." he notes
"Check!" I blurt "I'm hurting something fierce!"
It felt like someone had kicked me square in the crotch!
" The journey is almost over" he says "but it doesn't get any easier"
" You are going to get a burning sensation and it will feel like you have to pee so bad."
"Yea! Yea!" I yelp "I have that right now" " Can I go?"
"Sure" he says " I'll be right here"
Two minutes later I'm back with a pained, bewildered look on my face.
"Not much came out, did it?" he asks
I shake my sweat soaked head no.
"Burned like hot lava, didn't it?"
Up and down goes my head.
"Have to go again, don't you?"
"Yes" I moan
"What next Doc.?" I plead
"I'm dying here!"
He picks up the pointer and I will never ever forget the realization that came over me as he touched the "Chart!"
"Your bladder wants that stone out. Your bladder is filling up and the sensation to go to the bathroom is going to get very intense, but it will come out." he notes
He looks at me and says "You know how that's going to happen now, don't you?"
I look at the "Chart!" and whimper "Yes!"
He goes to a drawer and gets something out and turns to me and hands me a little cup with a strainer in the bottom.
"What's this for?" I ask
"When that time comes, and it's coming soon" "I want you to capture it so that we can see what's going on in your body."
I remember thinking this cup is not big enough, that thing has to be big as a baseball.
But I take my cup and head home to wait for my water to break.
After no less than 20 trips to the bathroom to drizzle hot coffee into the toilet bowl, the blessed moment finally arrives.
 The 21st trip was no different than the previous 20 until the blood came. You feel every millimeter of that last stretch of travel. I will leave it at that.
 In pained anticipation and as my knees buckled, I gave birth and I swear I heard Angels Sing!
The relief is instantaneous, I was truly in heaven. I forgot my mission though and hurriedly look in my cup. Nothing is there. Where did it go? I frantically look, in the bowl, on the floor, back in my cup. What is that? I notice some small grain of sand in the bottom of my cup." No way is that it", I lament.
I run it under water and stare at it some more. That can't be it, there has to be some mistake.
I call Dr. Kilpatrick. From the phone he says, "Yea, probably smaller than a grain of sand. The normal size is like 1-2 millimeters."
Wow, I was so disappointed. That much pain, that much effort. I felt like there should have been so much more. Something I could save, something I could show others, but a grain of sand. I turned and flushed it down the toilet.
That was then.........................
21 years later....................
I have become a professional kidney stone passer.
 A professional? You say?
How is that possible?
Well I graduated from a regular Doctor and I now see a renowned urologist. Dr. Friedman
I have passed over 20 kidney stones of varying sizes and shapes. 
A few years ago I was in the beginning stages of a "stone", but it would not move on it's way. I was in so much pain one night that I found myself in the back yard laying by the dog and speaking in tongues.
What was going on? I knew how to do this. Why was this different?
Well come to find out I had the mother of all stones. They scanned me that next day and determined that I had a 9 millimeter stone. That is the size of a child's school house marble.
Dr. Friedman then speaks the words that will make me a professional.
He says " You can't pass a stone larger than 2-3 millimeters because the opening into the ureter is not big enough to allow passage."
Oh silly man.
I take him for his word.
 They bust up the large stone by putting me out and blasting it with sound waves. That part was easy, but you still have to pass all the little ones, but they're small so it wasn't bad.
About 6 months ago I'm having the tell-tell signs of a stone and I have gotten so good at this stone-passing-thing that I can guess the size. This is a big one!
I make it through the journey and during it I can tell it's large. 
When the moment arrives and I give birth. I scream from one knee for Kelli "Come in here!" I yell.
I plunge my hand into the bloody water in the bowl, I don't care how gross that sounds because there before my eyes was the mother-of-all-stones. I hold it up for Kelli and she cannot believe it. I am so proud! Now we're talking! That's a stone!
It measured almost 4 millimeters.
I put it in a baggy and I call Dr, Friedman's office. I tell him of my delivery and he says "No way!" "That's impossible!"
I tell him I'm bringing it in.
He is truly amazed and says that is a record.
"There will never be one bigger" he jokes
I tell him I think I could do better and he tells me if I could make one bigger he would buy it.
Here comes the professional part
The night before last with all the planets in line. A full moon in the sky and trumpets blaring. I lay the egg-of-all-eggs
As you can see from the graphic below, that baby is over 6 millimeters. Bam!
I passed the small one on the left, but I think it was just a small moon orbiting the larger planet. The small one is the normal size of a passable kidney stone.
I lived through it and I have a Dr's appointment with Dr. Friedman on Tuesday. He swears I'm lying.
So back to the first part of my post. I have quit swearing off diet pepsi. I won't stay off it anyway. As soon as I start feeling better I'm right back on the sauce. 
Besides, I'm in training. I'm a professional kidney stone maker.
Waiting for some up and coming pepsi drinking wanna be to take my crown.
See ya, I have to go have a diet pepsi

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Truly Blessed

In spite of  cutting my hand to pieces I am truly blessed.

I'm not quite sure what my Father in Heaven is trying to teach me, but I hope I get it soon. 
This will be a quick one, it is really hard to type with one hand and the other one hurting real bad.
As for that hurt hand; it seems to be getting better. I ended up having to have surgery to repair the tendon on the top of my index finger (that's the pointer finger), and part of it was infected with all the metal shavings that were in the wound
But I am going to be fine. All the fingers work and it's healing quite nicely.
I am so happy to have Tyler home from his mission. I could not have been more proud during Tyler's homecoming report. He did such a nice job even though no other speakers showed up.
 The Bishop told Tyler he had to take up the entire meeting and he did just that. He has such a strong testimony of the church and his stories of life in Australia were hilarious. My only complaint was that he didn't go 10 minutes longer. Sure enough he saved just enough time for the Bishop to feel compelled to call Bro. Huntsman (that would be me) to come up and bear his testimony. So with a throbbing hand and blood seeping through the bandage I blubbered through how truly blessed I am and how happy we are to have Tyler home.
 As you can tell from the photos, he brings so much joy and love into our home. Since Tyler has been home we have spent more time at our kitchen table laughing and playing games than we did in the previous two years while he was gone.
Even Amy has joined us a few times. Which is probably the greatest blessing of all.
Yes I am truly blessed and in case you're reading this, 'Dear Lord', I promise I am paying attention.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not to Gross Anyone Out, But Dang I'm Having Bad Days

I am not complaining, well maybe a little.

After Kelli sent me the email about "Faking it 'til you make it" I have really been trying hard to stay positive, keep a smile on my face and to look at that "glass" as being half full. I have been doing all these things, I swear.
But Dang!
It's a Saturday, I don't want to go to work anyway, but I have things I have to do. Then to add to it, I want to get home to help Kelli with getting the house ready for the Open House after Tyler's Homecoming Report on Sunday.
I'm in the middle of theming an Indian Restaurant and we were doing some specialty framing. One of my guys was going to cut a metal stud that we had installed. You do this with a grinder that has a very thin cut-off wheel made for cutting metal. He didn't have a pair of safety glasses so I told him that I would cut it since my prescription glasses are also safety glasses.
I get almost the entire piece cut except for a few inches. To cut the last little bit I reached out with my left hand to hold  the piece to keep it from falling. Right as I grabbed the stud the cut-off wheel disintegrates. It exploded into hundreds of razor sharp pieces right into my left hand.
I instantly knew it was bad, very bad. I dropped the grinder and grabbed my left hand the blood was going everywhere. My friend grabbed a rag and I wrapped my hand, but knew it was serious. There was already a pool of blood at my feet and my shirt and pants were covered. He said "Are we headed to the hospital?" I stepped outside and moved the rag. "Oh yea, we're going to the hospital!"
There was a Quick Care right around the corner, so we headed there with the blood running down my elbow.
We walk in to the Quick Care and the nurse comes out to meet me. I move the rag and she says " Oh no, we can't help you here." 
What? It's a quick care and I need care quick! "You're going to need too many stitches." 
Is there a stitch quota at a quick care? I said I would pay extra for more stitches. She said "Get to an Emergency Room, now!"
So I did.
I get to Mountain View ER and go to the desk and sign in.
I stood there for 20 minutes and let the blood run down my elbows. I had a 20 inch pool of blood at my feet before I got helped.
Once back in the ER things went smoother. Great nurse, great doctor and quick service.
After a tetanus shot in the bum we took the blood soaked rag off for a peak.
Oh boy!
It was not a very clean cut, to say the least. The pour doctor had to try and piece it all back together and some of those pieces were gone.
He said my hand modeling career was over.
He quit counting at 25 stitches, but went through three packs of line for stitches. He guessed later that he probably put in 75 or so.
He said it was a miracle that I didn't cut any of the tendons and that I had no nerve damage.
So see how easy it is to look at the blessings.
But seriously things could have been so much worse.
First it could have been my worker. Second it could have been my face. Third it could have cut my fingers off. And fourth it could have got me in the neck or chest, which could have been life threatening. So I am blessed, if not a little tested.
I am trying very hard to see what my Father in Heaven is trying to show me. There has to be some challenge that I am needing to overcome.
Not quite sure what it is, but I'm trying to be objective and stay positive.
Pretty sore hand tonight, but I will be fine. Besides my boy gets to give his Mission Report tomorrow and it doesn't get any cooler than that.
No pity party for me.
I'm truly blessed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Beautiful Wife

Not a day goes by that I don't think of how lucky I am to be married to my wife.

We were at the movie the other night and a couple was in line to buy tickets. The girl was beautiful and the guy, not so much. I thought how weird that was until I thought that he is probably looking at me and wondering the same thing.
 It made it even worse because we were there with Holly Wattles, so here was this dorky old bald guy with two beautiful women. It's good to be me.
It's not just that my wife is prettier than me, she's nicer than me. she's smarter than me, and she is most definitely a better person than me. Man did I trade up. Enough about my wonderful wife.
Ok, it's been a while since I told a good story so here goes.
This one is one of my favorites because to this day I still can't believe that it happened.
It was a bright Saturday morning about 23 years ago. I had been married a few years, but Tyler was not born yet. I was living in East Las Vegas and had been invited to golf in Henderson so I was headed out about 6:00am. I stopped for gas at a 7/11 in Pitman, for those of you who grew up in Henderson, you know where that is. There was not a soul at the store when I pulled up to the pump, so I started the gas and headed into the store for a doughnut and a chocolate milk (I weighed about 150 lbs soaking wet) you could eat anything. So while I was in the store I noticed a small motor home had pulled in behind my jeep at the gas pump, even though there were no cars on the other side of the pumps. "Must not be in much of a hurry," I thought, so I dink around in the store for a while and head out to finish pumping my gas.
 Here's where it gets weird.
 While standing at the back of my jeep I glance into the front window of the little motor home and notice this little old man behind the wheel and what looked to be a young teenager in the passenger seat. "How nice" I think to myself, I turn to finish and I hear someone say something over my shoulder and I turn and the old guy is saying something, but I can't hear him. I just smile and continue pumping.
 This time the old guy leans out his window and says "Did you hear me!" I say "Excuse me" and he yells "Get your @#%!!! out of the way!" I'm stunned and I mumble something stupid like "Oh yea, well you shut up!" Thinking that that would handle things you can imagine my surprise when the passenger door flies open and the teenager pours out. Now picture this, he is about 6'-3" and 130 lbs, he looks like plastic man. I can't figure out what he's going to do when he runs right up to me and shoves me back into my jeep. He screams right in my face "Nobody talks to my Grandpa that way!" 
 I instinctively push him back and he falls down in front of the motor home. I'm freaking out, but turn expecting the old man to be locking his door and as I turn I get punched straight in the eye by Grandpa, as hard as I've ever been hit. My mind is spinning, I flail out with my left hand and catch gramps in the side of his neck and watch in horror as he collapses like he was a puppet and someone cut all the strings.
 What the heck????
 Before I can process that information, plastic man has jumped on my back and I swear his arm went three complete revolutions around my neck and his legs were crossed twice in front of me. I didn't even notice he was there, I was staring down at the old man who was just laying there not even twitching. What had I done? Is he dead?
 My right eye is swelling closed and I remember that I have junior on my back. I unwind him from me and casting him to the side, still staring at his grandpa. He runs to him and yells up at me "What have you done!"
 What???? My mind is going a million miles an hour. I turn and look across the parking lot in time to see this huge black guy walking towards me. "Oh man!" I say out loud. He is going to think I beat up this old man and he is going to kill me!
 He walks up to me and takes the pump out of my hand, which was dripping gas all over and hangs it up. He turns to me and says "That old dude is crazy!""You better get!"
 I am not thinking too clearly and nod as I get in my jeep, start it up and drive off.
I only get a half a mile or so down Boulder Hwy and I'm shaking so bad that I have to pull over. 
I get to the side of the road and I don't know what to do. Go back? Take off? I don't know what to do. I do know that I can't see out of my right eye. It is swollen closed. I get scared and I drive off and never look back.
What the heck had just happened ? Did I kill him? Am I a fugitive? Were they setting me up? Was it caught on tape?
I never ever knew, but it still to this day freaks me out and I have become a very speedy gas pumper.
It will just be my luck for that old man to be your Grandpa
See Ya

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy to see his sisters

I was going through my pictures from Australia and I found this video of when we landed in Vegas after getting Tyler home. It was my favorite. Here we are with our "fresh from his mission" missionary and you're in Las Vegas and you have to go by some of the signage that is in the that  airport. Check out the one that is in front of Tyler half way down the escalator. Bet you don't go past one of those in the Salt Lake airport. Another funny thing is my mom is holding her sign upside down. And I love the look on Mady's face when she's hugging Tyler and she sets off the alarm at the base of the escalator. They sure were happy to see him.It was also great when him and Amy got together, she might not admit it, but she really missed him.

It's great having us all back together.
I love my family

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tyler's Home!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! I don't know about other families that have had sons on missions, but that seemed like those two years went by pretty fast. I thought it was going to be like watching a pot boil.

Never-the-less he's home and our family could not be happier. we missed him immensely.
We were so close to not being able to go to Australia and get him, in fact two days before we were supposed  to leave I just about pulled the plug. Work was very pressing and things were just not falling into place. I was really struggling with being gone, but we decided to go and just let the chips fall where they may.
We could not have made a better decision.
We were excited to go, but the excitement was based more on going to Australia and getting Tyler. What we failed to realize was that we were going to arrive and be dropped right in the middle of an active mission. It was a life changing experience for me and Kelli.
We were picked up on Sunday by two neatly dressed Missionaries and the Mission President's wife. We bore our testimonies in a ward that Tyler had  served in and we had dinner that night at the mission home. The Mission Presidents family could not have been nicer and had so many great things to say about Tyler, beings that he had  served in the office while he was sick.
We met an American lady who was investigating the Church and while we were there and through our friendship, she made the decision to get baptized. How cool was that?
We finally get to see Tyler and we get to participate in the mission dinner that they have when missionaries our going home. It was so special to be there and to hear their testimonies. When Tyler bore his testimony I have never been more proud as a parent. He had grown up so much. It was awesome!
The remaining days were spent visiting the homes of the families that Tyler has spent time in. Some were homes where Tyler had baptized members and others were homes where members had hosted Tyler and his companions. That too was a very special time and listening to the stories and love that they had for Tyler was incredible.
The whole trip was more than Kelli or I could have ever imagined. It was humbling to see and feel the effects of the Holy Ghost and to see it in action. We were overcome with the love that we felt from people we had just met and for the incredible work that those missionaries put into what they are doing.
It was so exciting to travel with Tyler on the way home and to feel the anticipation building for the time that he would meet his sisters.
 It was a fabulous feeling to have our family all back together and see the girls with their brother.
I can't wait for the coming days as we all get re-acquainted and listen to Tyler's many stories.
Ok, one funny story from Australia.
Tyler told us his entire mission about the "birds". Now Tyler is deathly afraid of birds and he has told us about these black and white birds there that actually attack you. These birds are called "magpies". Tyler is such a "fraidy cat" that we never gave to much credence to his fabulous stories. Until.......
My first day in Australia my body clock was all whacked out so I was up before the sun and decided to go for a walk to see the sights and to watch the sun rise. All was well until it started to get light and then the birds started to make such a racket. At first it was kind of neat, there were birds in all the trees and there were so many colors I couldn't believe it, but then it got so loud it started to freak me out a little. So I turned to head back and I noticed at the base of this tree that was right by the sidewalk these black and white birds (the dreaded magpies). Now I am assuming that as I approach they will fly. That is what birds do right ? Not these birds, as I got to them they just kind of milled around my feet and begin to squawk. I think this was the signal to attack, because from the limbs above swooped the birds and then once I started screaming, up flew the birds that were around my feet. I take off running while waiving my arms above my head. This is hard to do, but made much more difficult with yours eyes closed, I did not want my eyes pecked out. I ran right into another tree! I hobble back to the hotel, up to my floor and into my room. Kelli says "Where did you go and why are you all dirty?"
"Bbbirds!" I mutter. I have more respect for Tyler and an apology or two. Those birds are crazy and there everywhere.
I'm just glad he's home and he's safe from the birds

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Of all the places to eat in Australia!

We spent our first full day with Tyler and we were starved. We were wanting something good from Australia and all Tyler wanted was American food. So we ended up in "Captain Americas" and I have to admit the food was pretty stinkin good.
We have been having a blast, the people that we have met and the scenery that we have seen have been more than we could have expected.
We are going to meet some of the families that Tyler spent time with tomorrow.
We will send more photos and stories.


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