My Big Dumb Accident Report :o)
Well, No Woodworking for Me! Bummer! In fact, I’ve been away from the forum for a couple of months, except for a few short replies in the last couple of weeks.
I had a little accident, not a WW, auto or work accident. A quick bad decision led to a fall with an unbelievable outcome. The Thursday before Thanksgiving I worked, I had Friday off and I played in the shop that night. I had the remainder of my soda in one hand and water for bed in the other. I turned off the downstairs light and started up the stairs. No lights from above, the upstairs door was closed, really dark. About 5 or 6 steps up I lost my balance, missed the banister, couldn’t get my feet under me and fell backwards against the front door. I hit the door low and really hard with my back. I knew I was hurt bad and within a couple of minutes I lost a lung. I have never been in that much pain. My son was asleep and heard me fall and he woke my wife. I left the house strapped to a backboard and in a neck brace.
I gotta do a short version of the outcome because details can go on forever. I spent 17 of the next 21 days in the hospital. The local ER found 3 broken ribs and a collapsed right lung. They drugged me up, put in an emergency chest tube (while I was awake, ouch!) and called for the trauma center helicopter. I spent 4 days in the trauma step down unit then released and sent home. I returned 4 days later with a recollapsing lung because 3 fist sized globs formed outside the lung. Surgery the next day with scopes, probes and vacuums proved to be a failure a week later (I was Not the 9 out of 10). Full crack the chest surgery was next to manually clean the infections off the outside of the lung. 5 days later I went home.
Something like 40+ X-rays, 5 Cat Scans, 50+ blood tests, multi-IV’s, 4 chest tubes, 2 bladder caths, 1000 pills, am I having Fun Yet!
It took me 12 to 14 days after getting home before I even walked out to the shop just to look around. I did that many times. Missed 10 weeks of work, return this week, I’m beat.
I gotta end on a few lighter notes:
Boy am I glad I put satellite TV in the master bedroom last spring.
My hospital room overlooked the heli pads: “Been there, Done that, Where’s my T shirt!”
My health insurance company has gotta be POed.
Think of the old TV show “Hill Street Blues”: “Let’s be careful out there!”
My goodness, I'm glad you're finally patched up. How scary that whole thing must have been. Sounds like, with that infection, things could have definitely "headed south" to the point of no return. With that many X-rays, do you glow in the dark yet?
Again, much welcome back. Take care in the shop!
forestgirl Another proud member of the "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-)
Shish! Just your basic freak accident! Hope you heal up fine and quickly, bet you miss the shop. Thanks for the reminder to be careful, you just talked me right out of that ladder contraption I was getting ready to try.
I'm sorry that you have joined the Knots Purple Heart Brigade. (I have a lifetime membership in the Brigade. Right now I'm trying to heal up two broken legs. Hmmm. I've never ridden in the rescue helicopter though...) You're very lucky someone heard you and knew what to do. Unlike little Timmy I don't have a dog that knows how to dial 911.
I'm very happy to hear that you're healing up well and are now able to get around a bit. That is the most important thing.
Hang in there. Keep your spirits up and concentrate on getting completely mended.
At the risk if incurring God's wrath... JESUS! Thank goodness you're OK. Didn't your Mom tell you that pop before bed will give you a tummy ache. They mean it. Did they tell you how long it may take to recover, or at least get as good as it's ging to get?
In the meantime, do you read? Lots of good stuff out there. Just an idea.
Best of luck in a speedy mend. Just remember to listen carefully to your body and don't push it. Exercise by cleaning the shop, it needs to be done and at least it's shop time.
Wishing you a speedy and full recovery, Roy. Am sending flash-light Fed-Ex! :>)
Proud member of the : "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>)
Hi Roy and welcome back to the board. Here's my wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Please remember, when you're ready to go back to the shop TAKE IT SLOW!!! Do not push your luck by trying to catch up on all the shop time you've missed. Use your time to plan your next project, to read all those articles that you put aside to read 'later on', and, most important of all, spend some extra time with your son and let him know how thankful you are that he is a light sleeper.
SawdustSteve Long Island, NY (E of NYC)
Gee, oughta build an escalater for ya..Take care of it all, got laptop?
Go Stab yourself Ya Putz! Ya think I Parked here?
Roy, Thank goodness this was not one of these stories where you sliced part of your body off or got it caught in a shaper. I just get squeamish just reading about those and have to stop reading.
But I'm real glad you are mending up alright, as said take it slow and get fully recovered. Night lights are great, I just took the one out of our stair way mid landing to put in the other end of the house for the wife tonight, she got sick all of a sudden and that will give her the way if she need up quick in the night. And yes the light will go back on the stairway in the morning since we are having company come tomorrow to spend the night.
And by all means Hug you boy and tell him what a great dead he did for you as well as the family.
Take care of your self!! Marsh
Terrible luck, Roy and I really hope you heal up all right. Perhaps I should say nothing, but I feel maybe I should comment on why this happened and how to avoid a repeat. The important clue is "soda in one hand and water in the other." This tells me you were probably sober. It is very dangerous to negotiate stairs in the dark when in that condition. When I come in from the shop, I have usually consumed about 8 oz of Old Overholt, in addition to the 1/2 bottle of red wine at dinner. This means that by the time I hit the stairs, I have to crawl up on hands and knees if I hope to make it to the bedroom. Hence, even if I miss a grip, the worst result is a 7" fall and maybe a bloody nose or a bruised knuckle. Since I also take a glass of water to bed, I carry the water in one hand and set it down on the next step up before crawling to the next higher step. This program has worked for me so far. There are 16 steps in our house up to the 2nd floor, so I call this the Sixteen Step Program, and I believe it is an effective tool in battling the evils of sobriety, and the injuries arising therefrom.
Wow Roy! You got me beat on freak accidents by a mile! I had a small moth fly up into my middle ear once where he fluttered around for a few hours till the guy in the ER could extract him, was like being inside a drumset....but nothing like what happend to you. Here's to ya....and many more years of (safe) woodworking. Hey, does anyone know if there's a patron saint for woodworkers?
Yeah...sounds right to me. St. Joe the worker.
My uncle had a moth fly into his middle ear too. Thought he was the only one!
I can sympathize. Back in university I had to have a chest tube for a spontaneous pneumothorax. Not a very pleasant experience. Over the last year I have had two partial discectomies on my lower back. Also not very fun especially with a couple of unfinished projects mocking me in the shop. But my ability to play the guitar while lying on my back improved a lot and I play a pretty good PS2 golf now. It's only in the last couple of weeks that I have started to be able to even think about light work in the shop. I'm glad to hear that you are improving.
Thanks to all for the kind words and well wishes. It feels good. I guess thats why they call them accidents. I would never in my life thought something like this was possable.
Recover time has been estimated in the 3 to 4 months time frame. Thats for the pain and major discomfort. The doctors tell me the numbness will take about a year. I was able to return to work after 10 plus weeks because I sit at a computer all day doing cad drawings and designing databases. I work for a major aerospace company as a NASA contractor. If I was in a labor related job there is no way I would be able to return to normal duties. Flying a desk and computer is different. Huffing wood and leaning over a table saw or other tools will be out of the picture till April. I have done a little cleaning, organizing and adjusting in the shop. Returning to cooking and doing a little laundry has been a challenge over the last 3 or 4 weeks. First couple of weeks out of the hospital staying awake for more than a few hours was a challenge.
Alan, 2 broken legs, ouch, that hurts just thinking about it. Take care my man. The good news is your online so your not bored.
Forestgirl, not glowing yet, but I was hoping to be able to pick up FM radio.
Steve, I bought one of the 4 ft wide ladder stablizers several years ago. I will never again climb an extebsion ladder without it.
Rob, I confess, I did have some Jim Beam that night, not crawling though.
Several mentioned reading, I cracked a bunch of Fine Woodworking mags and others. Never learned so much so fast.
A few weeks ago I would never have been vertical at this hour of the night. It would have been bed and TV.
And this reply was written on meds!
as you said major bummer.
However, by now you should have read so much about WW that you can teach us all a thing or three.
best wishes for your recovery, I tore all the ligaments in my left knee almost 2-1/2 years ago, had it reconstructed and then didn't look after myself. I got on it too early and skimped on the physio and exercise. Big mistake, the knee's only now approaching 90% strength.
Take it slow, rest when you need to and above all don't let you ambition get in front of your physical strength and stamina
You hit the nail right on the head, just as some others have said. I keep telling myself not to be stupid and rush returning to the shop. Even working 3 full days at a desk job this week was pushing it. I have to rest the weekend so I can make it though 5 days next week.
I gotta keep it all in perspective. We had 5 to 6 inches of snow a couple of weeks ago, my son and daughter did all the shoveling.
I was out in the shop wishing and drooling earlier today. Just had to carry that fresh empty coffee can out there and dream of the future. Warmer weather would help get a little tinkering and playing time.
Shop is always a place to have a cup of coffee.
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