Not so long ago in a vehicle not all that far away life took a most interesting turn. I was involved in the MOST spectacular car crash in automotive history…
OK, maybe referring to my accident as a spectacle is excessive, if not a figment of my over-active imagination. Fortunately I was told something a little different. Actually a lot different. No fires. No roll-overs. No explosions. It was nothing more than a big loud bump in the quiet rural night.
But where a few tons of hurried steel stumbling upon a well anchored roadside monstrosity lacked any discernible value, it’s cost landed a legacy through consequence. Simply put, I got “thumped.”
Miserably the “why” didn’t matter much. Energy was much better spent worrying about that which mattered most…
Ain’t no piece of shit Ford Motor Creation gonna shut me up.
And the fact that I’m still around not only speaks of my dedication, but also my love for annoying the hell out of people. What motivation…
Monday, August 5th, 1996 was a warm, muggy early summers morning (I honestly haven’t a clue) out at “Rancho,” when a person, likely me wanted food. So requiring a trip into town another bloke (Lante) and I split for greener pastures.
Now details are vague concerning this, but indications are we crashed.
I’m not sure I will ever learn of how I was lifted out of that wreck to be transported to the first of two hospital’s that morning. All that really matters is I was.
Upon making an appearance at the first hospital, following being assessed, I’d guess I was abruptly “sent” to a second hospital. Right downtown Ontario’s filthy, bloated “colon.”
Stabilization allowed me the honor of spending the next, say 6 to 8 of my 18 week long stint in a partially “induced” coma. But once I awoke, I couldn’t move a muscle. I had what was described to me as “locked-in syndrome.” Which essentially meant, voluntary movement was an ability I had no-longer possessed. I was nearly completely paralyzed. So funny.
But even more hilarious was my contraction of MRSA (Honestly I’ve no clue what I really had or didn’t have, it’s just what people tell me). A wickedly nasty hospital infection. There I lie, locked-in my body, awaiting the remainder of my time there in isolation. I managed to keep busy counting holes in ceiling tiles. An activity that has never received it’s proper recognition.
So on top of it all I only had a most rudimentary means of communication. That being the “batting” of my eyes (one blink meant “yes” and two meant “no”). And as such saying conversation was the least bit stimulating would be only a slight over-statement.
As summer turned to fall, and fall to winter, the holidays were fast approaching. It was, time to go home. Not “home,” as in my house, rather I was “sent” back to the hospital which I originally appeared. So infection in check I bid “competency” a fond farewell and off I went.
Never have I or will I ever be so happy to be in the town I grew up. Even if it was only a tiny room, in an even tinier hospital. It was as close as I could get to where I wanted to be.
I even managed a trip to my house on Christmas day.
Sure I only went home for, say an hour (I’m not entirely sure how long my visit actually was), but the looks my parent’s, sister, grandparent’s and girlfriend, at the time, showed me were some of the most genuine expressions of happiness I’m ever likely to see. That alone was worth every little last bit of suffering I experienced. You’ve no idea what that meant. And I’ll never forget it.
Support is that for which I’ve always had so much. I couldn’t have possibly wished for more. Proven over and over and over again by the people I love and who, thankfully love me right back.
Those three months proved to be most invaluable. I was allowed to observe and understand people’s feelings towards me. That alone gave the struggle I was soon hoping to encounter meaning. If getting healthy wasn’t on my account, it was purely for them. Just to see that look again.
Obviously that time had to end sooner, rather than later. And in mid-March I was transferred, still as an inpatient to a rehabilitation “pavillion.”
I’m still not sure if it was a case of my over-expectation or simply a lack of diligence for the profession (just kidding, it was the latter). But what I encountered was something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. A rampant lack of compassion (putting it politely).
From patients to staff. It seemed like a vicious circle. The worse I felt the more my care suffered. Working there was just a job, no more, some less. I’m still convinced that’s where hope hanged itself. In a maintenance closet. In the fucking basement!
Very long sordid story short, having my fill of “medieval” physiotherapy and cranky staff I was discharged within a week of the one year anniversary of the event that started this unrelenting nightmare. And there I was yet to be pushed in any real direction towards restoring “normality.”
Broken I returned home. This time to stay. It was then that I was finally tested. I was enrolled in an outpatient ABI program at different hospital that delivered what was promised.
I digress, it was over a decade ago that I felt my governments health care system was greatly injured. Yet people today offer our indignant solution as an example of what their system should strive towards. Granted, ideally, on “paper,” a government run healthcare system may be a good idea. But can you really trust those asshole elected officials to actually do what is needed? In case you wonder, no they can’t. Proven over and over again by the current state of the system here in Ontario. Our system may look better than yours, but reality makes certain it’s a long, long way from perfect. Careful what you wish for Mike.
Fuck, that mid-summer morning provided me something I’m sure I’d not have had otherwise. An opportunity to earn this existence.
What began as an eerily sober trip into town didn’t end on that dark sinistral embankment, it merely marked the beginning of one of the most improbable “rides” a kid could never hope to expect…