Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bad Days.

I was over visiting  Flier389  at his blog the other day and he was telling a story about having a bad day (check it out for a good laugh) and it got me to thinking about a bad day I had 30 years ago. It was not funny at the time but looking back now it is somewhat funny.

It was 1982, I was young and working on a survey crew in a Florida swamp, We were doing a survey for drainage, it was late afternoon and we had spent most of the day, waste deep in the swamp wading around getting elevation shots. I was with one other crew member, we had walked up on a little high spot and I was blazing a tree with a machete so we could see by it with the instrument. My blade glanced off the tree and hit with full force to the side of my knee-cap. The blade cut about half way under my knee-cap almost taking it off. The gash was about 8" long and about 3" deep. Surprisingly enough it did not hurt very bad (come to find out I had massive nerve damage)  we were about half a mile from the road and the other crewman wanted to try and carry me out. I knew that would be almost impossible due to the swamp and terrain so I told him to go out and have the truck at the road and I could get out myself. He reluctantly did so and I commenced to half crawl and half drag myself out of the swamp all the while using both hands to keep pressure on the wound. I remember crawling through the mud and water and over logs and I did make it out. When I arrived at the road the truck was waiting and I was whisked away to the closest hospital. The crew chief checked me in to the emergency room and went back to the office to report what happened, (this was before cell phones) I hobbled over and sat down on one of the only vacant chairs. I sat there, head down still holding pressure on my wound. When I looked up I noticed all the other patients, all around me, were men and they were handcuffed to the chairs,  there had been a riot at the local Prison Farm. Shortly thereafter a couple of guards came in to load them all up to go back to the 'P farm' They were un-cuffing them and herding them back on the bus and I was having to explain I was not with them.
I don't know how long I waited to see a doctor but my wound was very dirty and contaminated and I would have to have surgery to clean it out.
Meanwhile on the other side of town my wife was waiting for me to come home for supper. It was after 6:00 PM and already dark as it was winter and the days are short. My wife had not been contacted yet (some kind of mix up at work) she had driven around the corner to a friends home to see if I was there, of course I was not. She drove back home and as she walked in the phone rang, it was one of my supervisors calling  to update my wife, you see he thought she had already been told about the accident, but she had not so all he said was "I just want to let you know your husband is going into surgery now" She was a little upset to say the least. She drove to the hospital at break-neck speed only to see me being wheeled into surgery.
I had to spend a few days in the hospital but was eventually released to go home. When I arrived home I was ready to take a shower because I had not had a proper bath since the swamp incident. My leg was in a splint to keep it straight as to not damage the knee any more. I was told to wear a plastic bag over it to shower. I stripped down and got the water in the shower to the right temp. The bath room of our home was very small. I went to swing my injured leg up and over the side of the bathtub (because I could not bend it) as I did I lost my balance, I grabbed the sink to try and catch my fall. It was one of the old style sinks which attached to the wall with no cabinet underneath, it did not hold me but rather came crashing to the floor with me on top......also it ripped the hot and cold water lines loose and water was gushing everywhere. The shutoff valves were broken away also so there was no way to shut the water off except the meter in the front yard. So here I was crawling in the front yard in a bath robe, plastic bag over my injured leg, crescent wrench in  one hand and digging the dirt out of the meter box with the other hand. I got the water shut off and to be quite honest I don't remember the details of fixing the sink, I know I did.....by myself but I think I was so mad I refused to remember any more.
It is still amazing to me the situations we get ourselves into, I guess you live and learn.

16 comments:

  1. It would be real hard to beat this one...good golly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am amazed sometimes at the things we live through.

      Delete
  2. Damn, Bubba. That's enough to make a grown man cry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either cry or get mad. I still bear the scars.

      Delete
  3. I've had my share of scrapes & close calls, but nothing to compare with yours. What Stephen said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem a little bizarre. I still have very little feeling in that knee.

      Delete
  4. Yea a grown man crying because he is laughing so hard. I'm sorry Duke, I can see you outside, that's why I am laughing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's OK, It makes a good story now, it did not at the time.

      Delete
  5. And you waited until now to tell us this story...that is indeed a bad day, but funny as heck to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I know it did not all happen in one day but it was one event, still it goes to show when you think things can't get worse you are sadly mistaken.

      Delete
  6. I am thankful Duke that there are people like you who brave life's miseries and turn them into Lemonade. Seriously this made me cringe and made me feel better at the same time. Is that wrong? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  7. mmasse, You're good, we are all a sum of our past. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The only way I could top that is by telling about the time I got killed. Gary Griffin

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gary, It is true sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Duke - holy crap! that sure sounds awful but it also makes for a really funny story. ouch - sorry my friend. so sorry. but i am actually still chuckling. i feel bad for it though.

    your friend,
    kymber

    (p.s. - tell us more stories like these. i love the stories!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kymber, If I had too many stories like this I would be dead. I have had a knack of getting into predicaments over the years.

      Delete