One Year Update: The Chief Almost Kills Himself


Today officially marks one year since my near-fatal accident here at the house. Some of you might remember: I slipped on a wet spot on the linoleum floor the atrium in my parents’ home while carrying a gallon glass jug of iced tea. My feet literally went out from under me. Being airborne for a split second allowed my entire body to rotate 180 degrees and land face down on the floor; two shards of glass from the shattered jug piercing my right arm. After a three-day stay at Hotel Parkland, I returned home with multiple stitches, no feeling in my right hand and an overwhelming desire to bathe for two or three hours. I was still pissed that I wasted half a jug of that herbal tea because I didn’t watch where the hell I was going. It’s amazing how a simple misstep can be so life-changing.

I had surgery last September 13 – a Friday, to be certain – and I’m just now starting to regain function and feeling in the right ring and little fingers. The hand surgeon had told me it would probably take up to a year to regain full functionality and sensation – if that happens at all. At the rate I’m going, I figure I might get up to 75% by this September. It’s a good thing I can do a lot with my left hand. I always knew being bi-manual would come in…well, handy some day.

I note that my accident was near-fatal because of the severity of the wound in my upper right arm and the amount of blood loss. If my father hadn’t wrapped a towel tightly around it, just beneath the elbow, I could have bled to death. The only other thing I had going for me was that the glass cut a vein and not an artery. If it had cut an artery – well, let’s just say I’d have to change the name of my blog to “Chief Writing Spirit.” That would give a whole new meaning to the term “ghost writing.”

I’m fortunate, though, very fortunate. I managed to survive and live to see my 50th birthday last November. I still have great parents and a great dog, plus a good collection of close friends. I consider military veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and realize I don’t have much to complain about. Why does it take such catastrophic events to make people realize how good they actually have it? I don’t know. I guess we need to get shaken up like that – sometimes shaken up badly, in a bloody painful way – to understand life can be good most of the time.

So, as I mark this unwanted first anniversary of stupid accident and a difficult recovery, I continue writing and enjoying the people I love the most. But, damnit, I’m still pissed off about wasting that perfectly good herbal tea!


Filed under Essays

16 responses to “One Year Update: The Chief Almost Kills Himself

  1. Isn’t it strange the things we think about under these circumstances? I am glad your recovery is progressing!

  2. Glad you’re back on the mend. Those freak accidents are the ones you never see coming.

  3. Sometimes, we should call them “surprise” accidents instead. I can get freaky on occasion – especially if I’m wearing my leather jockstrap – but I’m not too keen on surprises.

  4. Al

    Wow, you were very lucky. I am glad you are still here to write and we didn’t need a Ouija board to read what you share. I hope regain more than 75% by September

  5. My comment yesterday never made it. I never knew because I went thru a period of no blogging. And never read back. How could you keep supporting your followers while repairing your body? Do keep hope for a full recovery! SOON.

    • I was as determined to maintain my blog as I am my writing career. If I disappeared from the blogosphere, some may miss me, but everyone would just go on with their own lives. I noticed you were absent for quite a while, Bettye. But, I figured you were either engaged in a heavy art project or had some personal matters. Regardless, I’m glad you’re still around and thanks again for staying in touch.

  6. Reblogged this on LE ARTISTE BOOTS and commented:
    We need to keep our friends in our thoughts.

  7. Oh, that’s horrible. How scary, and yes, how fortunate it wasn’t an artery. I’m glad you’re making a recovery, though I’m sure the slowness of the improvement is frustrating. It really is true that our lives can change on a dime (or a wet spot on the linoleum as the case may be…). Best make the most of every moment.

  8. So sorry to hear about this, but happy that you’re on the road to complete recovery! You’re funny…worrying about the loss of the tea!

    • I’m doing alright. My right hand may be permanently damaged, but I’ll just have to deal with it. At least I can still write, pet my dog and prepare a mixed drink! Oh, and carry a jug of tea, too – carefully.

  9. Oh…also, I know what you mean about people taking their lives for granted (and other people for that matter). I have gotten much better (the older I get) at not worrying too much and not replaying the past in my head…but living in the now.

    • Isn’t it amazing, when you make it past 40, you start to “get it” and the priorities of your life change? Family and friends become more important, and the simple pleasures become more treasured.

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