It's been a little while since I posted.
I was injured back on April 4th this year and things are slowly getting back together, to the point that I am considered as fixed as I'm gonna get.
On the afternoon of the 4th of April, I was going to do my first AC start-ups for the spring/summer season. I had 5 units in various businesses to start up at this location. I set my extension ladder up against the fixed/permanent building ladder, like I have done so many times over the last 17 years at this site. I tied my ladder to the fixed ladder, donned my tool pouch and my rope, which had the filters I was to replace attached and on the ground. I had transferred to the fixed ladder and was nearing the top and the fixed ladder broke away from the building.
I kinda remember seeing the ladder come away, but the next thing I remember is forcing myself awake on the pavement in a pool of blood. I suspect I had been out for 5 or 10 minutes. When I rolled over onto my back I realized the only reason I didn't have a 250lb ladder land on me was because my extension ladder, tie-off intact, caught it and the bottom of the fixed ladder was caught under the building overhang. I figure I fell from the 15' (at my feet) mark.
I knew something was wrong with me, but I had priorities. Sitting on my tailgate, I tried to call my wife but remembered after a minute or so she had gone to work for the afternoon. So, I assessed my situation. There was no-way I was going to leave that fixed ladder teetering on top my extension ladder; this was the back end of a plaza and many young kids use it as a pathway home from school. It was a very unsafe situation. So I pulled my 8' step ladder off my truck to see if I could do anything, climbed it and decided there was too much weight on my extension ladder to do anything from there. I put my 8' away, tied my rope to the bottom of my extension ladder and my truck's bumper and pulled it out, with the fixed ladder crashing down to the pavement.
I picked up my ladder and locked it away on my truck and moved the fixed ladder and left it on the pavement beside the building. Put everything else away and drove about 4-5 miles home. Backed in the driveway and parked. I got into our laundry room at the back of our garage, sat down and kicked off my shoes. I called to my son's girlfriend and told her she better call my wife. She showed 20 minutes later and I told her to help me put my shoes on to go to the hospital. She said "uh-uh" and called an ambulance. Minutes later I was being hauled away bound and tied to a back-board and neck-brace. Talk about uncomfortable.
After numerous CT scans, etc. at the local hospital, it was decided that they couldn't deal with my injures and they bound me up again and shipped me off to a teaching hospital in Toronto. Tests ran all night and the morphine was just sailing into my IV. After a while they parked me in the ICU and watched and tested... and watched and tested some more... and came to the conclusion that they didn't want to do anything!
Ignoring, literally, the cuts and abrasions to my arm and head, they said I did not have a concussion. Good news, right? BUT, I did have a fractured T12/L1 vertebrae, and a hemo-something/fractured pelvis.
So they put me in a back brace, called a Jewitt Brace, and shipped me home after 5 days and made me wear it until August 1st. The pelvis was a quicker heal all by itself.
They decided not to do any surgery and let it all heal on it's own with the help of physiotherapy. The neurosurgeon said my vertebrae repaired itself between 11 and 15 degrees and said any more than that and it would probably have meant screws in my back... and probably a year long lay-up.
It seems that it may have worked out for the better. I have been working limited jobs and time since August 7th and am tentatively restarting full-time by the end of this month, hopefully.
For those of you who don't know what I do, I am a service/maintenance tech who works for myself, by myself.
I have come to a conclusion: Afternoon TV sucks and I would never want to be permanently stuck with it, but 4-5 hours of extensive physio 4 or 5 times a week make you grow muscles you never ever knew you had! She says I am actually doing athletic physio now. Nice. This job does entail a lot, you know.
Five months ago I could barely move. Now I'm ready to restart work. I'm not perfect, I did a job today that took a huge chunk out of me and left me in pain, but I suspect that work is the next stage of physio that I need.
Financially, thank God I took out several insurances years ago just for such an occasion.
They tell me I'm lucky to be alive. It all just came across as to simplistic to be any threat to my mortality, but I guess that's the way life is. One minute you're alive and functional, the next you're not.
Check your ladders. Seriously.