Tag Archives: freak accidents

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