Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Been Nine Years!

On September 7, 2000, I was working at a place that manufactured wood moulding. I was working down stairs near the Hawg, a mchine that chewed up waste pieces of wood and made it into wood chips. There was a shaking tray that sensed metal. When metal hit that tray the thing would shut down. As far as I know, everyone who worked there knew how to restart the Hawg.

That night the Hawg shut down. I noticed Francis standing next to it. I inquired in normal male lingo as to why he hadn't restarted it. I went and restarted it and came back to BS with Francis, who was somewhat slower than most. His job was a simple one: use an air hose, with a small pipe on the end, called an air wand, to blow saw dust off the lot. I completed the normal male ritual of trading combined good natured insults and bluster and went to go back to work. He called my name. I turned back to see what he wanted. My position was wrong. I was too close, for he held at arm's length the metal air wand, apparently preparing to blow air in my face. The tip of the wand scrped across my eye and eye lid, knocking out my contact and causing more than a little pain.

I dropped to my knees, throwing my gloves off and searching, vainly for the lost contact. I brought my hand dumbly up to my eye and wiped it, only to find blood and tears. I went to the bathroom to inspect the wound. A scrape to my eye. I went upstairs to the bosses. I explained what had happened and that I needed to go home for my glasses. They took a look at me and told me I needed to go to the emergency room. One of them left the room. When he came back Francis had been let go (he wasn't particularly sharp and had made numerous mistakes before this. I think they were waiting for a good reason to be rid of him, too bad it took him poking me in the eye to do it.).

I ended up going to the emergency room with Cora driving, and they said I had a corneal brasion...scratched eye. That was on a Thursday night. I ended up taking the next day off. I began to experience horrible headaches. When I returned to work, I was there for two hours and the movement of my head caused me so much pain, I had to go home. I finally arranged to have the doctor refer me to an eye doctor on the advice of my aunt, a nurse.

I walked into the eye doctor's office at 8AM, a week after my initial injury. He dilated my eye and told me he thought I had a detached retina. I might need to have surgery..."yeah, right," I thought. I called Cora from the Dr. and as I was doing tht the secretary was calling the specialist in the Tri-Cities. She looked up at me and my coffee, of which I had had only a few sips. She took my coffee. "Just in case," I DID go in for surgery.

So, despite my assurances that I would be fine, Cora insisted on taking me down for my exam. We arrived for my emergency exam appointment at 11:30AM. Dr. Sung looked at my eye. He used a sonogram tool thingy. Said, yes, that's a detached retina. You'll be going in for surgery.


That was September 14. At 3:14PM, I was wheeled past the clock. Introduced to my anestesiologist, whose name I have no recollection of, and asked to count backward from one hundred. I reached 98.

That night, I awoke with the intense impression that, somehow, several fishhooks had been embedded in my eyelids. I was instructed to keep my face pointing down because an air bubble had been injected into my eye. There to keep pressure on the newly mended tear. If it were to be anywhere else, other than the back of my eye, I would likely get a cataract. I would have to spend two or three weeks with my face down. I could go on, but the important part has been covered: that surgery on the 14th of September.

On the bright side, my vision has returned to it's former glory, albeit, after correction.

On another note, our phones should have internet on them today!!


Grandma L said...

Ouch!! It sounds painful.

Cora said...

I can't believe that it has been 9 years! Where does the time go?

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

OK...I had to stop reading the details cause I was so grossed out...but I am glad your eye is OK now!

Anonymous said...

I remember being at an appointment with you and the folks and walking outside after hearing you would probably need surgery or would be going into it. I also remember that retaining your vision was not a guarantee.

Glad to know you can see me with both eyes.