Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fear of Flying

Yeah…it’s been a while. I’m still alive, but I don’t know how or why.

I've had a fear of flying for most of my life. This has always involved airplanes and helicopters, but lately there's been a new twist. Several years ago, I had an unwanted flight involving a sheet of plywood and a wind gust (see "Freaky" October 5, 2005 post). Last week a ladder was the vehicle.

Our house is 28 years old, built the same year that my daughter was born. Like everything else that age, it needs a little work. With my prosthetic hip, very damaged left elbow and rheumatoid arthritis, my home repair skills are limited. Luckily the house is only a single story.

The wood trim that one of our short gutters is nailed to was rotting. Both gutter and trim are only 10 feet long and about 10 feet off the ground, so I figured I could handle their replacement. After removing the gutter and old trim, I went to the home center, bought a 10 foot section of pressure treated 1 X 6 and some paint. The job was half done, right?

I painted the trim, let it dry and marked on its face where the studs were. Then I started some nails on the marks I had made and prepared to mount the trim board. With the wood positioned, I reached for my hammer, lost my grip on the board and my balance and became earthbound.

My face and right arm landed on a landscape timber that I had installed only the week before. I never lost consciousness, but it did ring my chimes quite loudly. When my senses were restored, I FUCKIN’ HURT!

It took about 10 minutes for me to get on my feet, then I hobbled into the house. “What happened to you?” asked my wife. After telling her the short version of my adventure, she helped me into the bathroom and began assessing my injuries.

My right wrist had begun to swell, I had abrasions from my wrist to my elbow, my forehead and cheek were both badly scraped and my right eye was beginning to blacken. She cleaned out all the cuts and scrapes with peroxide and applied anti-bacterial ointment to them. “I really need to blow my nose,” I said. Bad move.

As soon as I tried to clear my right nostril, my right cheek swelled to about 4 times its natural size. Needless to say, I looked like I had been on the short end of a severe ass whoopin’.

I held off going to the local Urgent Care facility until the following morning. I have no health insurance and my Medicare doesn’t kick in until May 1. But after a sleepless night and awakening to more swelling and a nearly closed right eye, I decided it was time for professional help.

Five X-rays later, it was decided that both my wrist and my cheekbone were broken. Neither bone had been displaced much, so a splint was put on my arm from fingers to elbow. Apparently my cheekbone will mend on its own.

I really don't like to fly.

If my prose does not seem its normal free flowing self, blame it on my having to type left-handed, one key at a time. The vicodin probably doesn't help either.

Later (if there is a later)


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