Time To Tell You A Story, Part 1.
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.
Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2¢.
A higher power is on your side. I don't have to tell ya how truly lucky you are. Good to here your back in the saddle once again. I too am self employed and often wonder who would be around in a time of need. Quite often my significant other says she would be the last to know. And who would they know to call ? The older I get, the more I dislike climbing ladders. Wish there was a easier way. Take care, go slow, and God Bless.
Self healed L-2 here and no issues ( knock on wood ). Sounds like everything is going your way but easy does it . Jam up bro.
Glad you have come through it, G. Best wishes to you for a continued recovery.
About the insurance...does it continue through light duty , or until you work full-time? Been thinking about it lately. A fellow here is out for months, and it is sobering.
It's great to be alive and pumping oxygen!
Glad to see you are alive and well. I think it's time you found another tech to team up with for emergency help/calls/time off/etc.
You are truly one tough bastard, G. Keep fighting, but take it easy and don't over do it.
Next time that happens, don't worry about cleaning up your stuff and making the area safe. Call 911 right away and let them deal with it
Thanks to you all.
Yes, the insurance continued through part-time work. They were pretty good, albeit I needed Dr. signatures.
Will I ever be 100%? Dunno. Working on about 75 to 85% right now I guess. Physio is a godsend!
I'm a bit slow at getting back here because of all the stuff I'm doing right now. Between work and canning, it's hectic around here.
Thanks again for the words!
Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2¢.
Take the whole thing as a learning experance, life is to short enjoy it while you can.
Im sure you look at things differently now.
Glad to hear your on the mend.