Saturday, November 13, 2010

DROPPING OUT & A STORY

I'll start off with the story.

Jess at Cankles and Carrots tried to slice her fingers off tonight and it reminded me of a very significant experience in my life and an even more horrific experience for my husband. By the way, Jess, I am sorry about your fingers. That did have to have hurt.

So, I was 16 years old and in a new relationship with the guy I had met at my first job. Every day that I worked I was giddy to get there so I could see him. He worked a couple (maybe a few) jobs at the time and he was notoriously late for this particular job because his shift at his other job ended at 5 and his shift at the work we shared started at 5. So, I wasn't surprised when he wasn't there when I arrived.

I worked with another clown who was constantly harassing me (in a stupid/funny way) about my relationship and why I would want someone so much older than me blah blah blah. Well, this particular night he came up to me and I was expecting the regular go around. Instead he says, "You know your boyfriend isn't coming to work tonight." I scoffed and was like, "Shut up, yeah right, go away." But he insisted, "No he really isn't coming tonight. He had an accident and he's in the hospital." I didn't believe him. He was always joking and lying and saying stupid stuff.

I kept watching the door to the restaurant open and close and open and close and every time I would involuntarily hold my breath, waiting for his tall thin frame to stride through the door. He never came. That was when my manager pulled me aside and told me that he had indeed been in an accident but no one knew exactly what had happened because no one was family and the hospital he was at wouldn't give out information.

Now, as I look back on that day I can remember nothing of what I did. I am sure I went to school. I am sure I went home for a short time and then I went to work. But nothing significant stands out except the utter helplessness of not knowing what had happened and knowing without a doubt that I would not be seeing him.

Now looking back I can only imagine the horrific day it was for him. While I - 16 and blissfully ignorant and completely oblivious - pranced around school, complained about teachers and went home to grumble about getting ready for work, my husband was having the most nightmarish day of his life.

Apparently his day started without work. A rare day off. But one of his jobs at a paper cutting factory allowed overtime hours and paid cash every day that an employee worked (sounds real reputable huh?) So, he had debated with himself whether he should work or not. He didn't have anything better to do but it was his day off and those were rare. He didn't have any cash on him and he said he had wanted to bring me roses that evening when he saw me at work so he decided to go into the paper cutting factory to get a little extra pocket cash. 



He went into work and began. He said he arranged the paper the way he was supposed to but situated his fingers differently because the particular paper he was cutting was thick. The blade was set to come down at a certain time but not before he hit a button saying that it was loaded properly.

No one told him that the machine he was working on was malfunctioning. No one told him not to use it. So when he set the paper and the blade came down he didn't really understand what had happened until he pulled his hands away and his index middle and ring finger of his right hand were just geysers of blood.

He described it to me as if someone were spraying the blood from within his hands and he could feel the spray with each pump of his heart. He went into shock. He had completely severed three of the fingers from his right hand and had 'scraped' quite a bit of finger off of his left index.

The clincher? His boss didn't call 911. His boss did not put his fingers in ice. His boss handed him a towel to soak up the blood and offered him $5000 not to sue him. The boss then loaded him into his car and drove him to the closest hospital hitting every red light.

The double clincher? The doctors told my husband that if they reattached his fingers he would probably have no use of them. He said he didn't care. He wanted his fingers. They said okay. 1 month later when he went to have the bandages removed for the first time, expecting to see his entire hand revealed beneath the gauze, he was horrified to see that not only had they not reattached his fingers but the surgeries they had performed on him while in the hospital had taken even more of the fingers(stumps) that were left.

And the icing on this fucktastic experience for him? His boss got a warning for not having workers comp insurance, a smack on the hand and go back about your business. While my husband is now forever without fingers. Did he get a settlement? Of course he did. Was it a well deserved 7 digit settlement. Nope. It was 6 digit settlement where 49% went to his rip-off attorney giving him a lump some of a 5 digit settlement. For losing three fingers.

I will never forget seeing him in the hospital in Los Angeles. He was so yellow and small in the hospital bed. Our mutual friend had taken me the 45 minute drive to see him and she walked into the room and told him she had a surprise for him. He said 'My Kristy?' (That was what he called me) and she said yes. I will never forget the transformation of utter despair to complete elation that I saw on his face when he saw me. I will never forget feeding him his broth because he couldn't barely move from the anesthetics they were pumping into him. I don't remember leaving him that night but I remember not wanting to. Not ever wanting to leave him.

To this day his fingers (what are left of them) still hurt in the cold. He works with his hands and he hits them, bumps them, scrapes them, cuts them and has even impaled his fingers on a couple occasions. His index is the smallest. Barely a bump of skin where his finger used to be. It was the one that had to be surgically amputated the most from the infections. His middle finger was cut just under the bottom knuckle and his ring fingers just above the bottom knuckle - all at an angle. His palm curves inward, a chronic mild cup because of how his tendons were stretched during surgeries. It still makes me very sad to look at it - not because it bothers me or because I don't like the way it looks but because it reminds me of the pain someone I love(d) so much went through. I can barely stand to think about it.  

Anyway, sorry for the downer story. On the bright side his lack of fingers hasn't impeded him in any way including work or anything else. In fact he is known as one of the best and the fastest at what he does. He has awards and plaques and has been employee of the month more often then I know because of his speed. His lack of fingers inhibits him not a bit.

___________________________________________

As for dropping out. I'm dropping out of the challenges I've joined and the promises I've made. The goals and rewards I have set are going bye bye. I am revamping. Rejuvenating. Something is not working so something has to change. I'm gonna do a little soul searching. I know what I have to do physically, now I just need to get the rest of me in tune with that.

The definition of insanity per Albert Einstein is doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results.

So - new things are coming. Really - they are already in the works and I have been thinking about them long and hard. I am not ready to come out and say what they are yet. Still working out kinks and such but soon I will say.

I'm still gonna be blogging and chuggin along on this journey so please don't go anywhere. I'm in this for the long haul - no matter how long that haul might be and I hope you'll accompany me on my journey - even through the dark and scary and the bumpy ugly times. Thanks in advance.

Another Zumba video that inspires me - I wanna dance like (and look like?) the instructor.




XO Kristen

7 comments :

  1. Your poor honey. How terrifying!

    As for the challenges, you gotta be in tune with your body and do whatyou know is right for you. Keep on trying!

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  2. I wanna move like the Zumba instructor, wow! I am so uncoordinated, can never keep up with those dance-type workouts..pout...

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  3. Thanks for the video, it looks like a ton of fun.

    I'm glad that your hubby's loss of his fingers hasn't slowed him down. Many people would grab an excuse like that and never accomplish anything because of it. In a way, it explains some of his behaviors, and I'm sure you already know that.

    Do what will work for you. Just don't ever give up.

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  4. So, does this mean you're looking into WLS/banding?

    Anyway, I'm glad your husband's accident didn't set him back and I hope you'll see be back on top of your health journey. Happy Sunday, girl!

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  5. Oh, that was a horrible experience! The best part was how he lite up to see you. I am guessing that still happens. Revamp and restrategize, but come back to this journey. Michele

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  6. Life can be so hard at times. I'm glad your hubby and you have moved on and are able to coop with what life has now.
    You have to do what is best for you. Just remember to keep your goals in mind and do your very best.
    I'll be here, I'm not going anywhere's. Keep up the great work. You are an awesome woman. Take care and God Bless!!

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  7. I'm catching up with blogs, and I find another reason to be thankful... Hugs to you and your hubby, and thanks for sharing your story!

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