Suchen und Finden
Down for the Count
Day 1 - Corsicana, Texas
At the time this all started, I was working for a very large discount retailer that will remain nameless. I am not going to name names because the stories you will hear from me will make you want to boycott them, and then they will come after me with big sticks and lawyers. Maybe it’s the people they hire to run the place. Maybe it’s just the way the company operates, or maybe it’s just the store that I work in. I’m beginning to think it is just your average, typical company anywhere in the world.
My asthma had been acting up for several months, or at least I thought it was my asthma. I had visited Ann at work the day before, and her boss thought I looked under the weather. My color was ashy, which it normally gets that way when my asthma acts up. My skin becomes extremely gray looking when I don’t get enough oxygen and my asthma kicks in. So that is what I thought it was, only my asthma. Later I found out it was double pneumonia along with several other complications.
I didn’t have asthma all of my life. I first noticed the asthma after falling through the ceiling in my house and becoming stuck. I was trying to light my furnace since it was on the fritz again, as it had gone out like this dozens of times in the past.
I climbed into the dusty attic and made my way toward the furnace. I walked past the furnace, stepped on a weak spot, and splat, I fell through the ceiling over the hallway.
As I was falling, crunching my way through insulation and sheetrock, dust from the attic went flying, and millions of particles of insulation went soaring through the air. As I stayed immobile and wasn’t going anywhere, I had nothing better to do, so I watched the dust and insulation floating slowly in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, I could see all of the dust slowly falling and coming to a rest all over me.
This stuff was unbearably itchy and not just from me touching it because I was stuck and surrounded by it, but it was also landing on me, and going up my nose, inside my mouth, and into my eyes.
I hung by my ribs on the ceiling joists, half way in and half way out. I was stuck and could not move. For a good two hours I inhaled the attic insulation. Even though it was only two hours, it seemed like forever and ever and ever. Nobody was around so I didn’t yell for help or scream. No one would have heard me.
There I was, stuck half in and half out. My top half was in the attic and my bottom half was below the ceiling. I finally managed to free an arm and pull myself just enough where I was not entirely stuck. I found the strength enough to pull myself up on the boards. I couldn’t pull myself up all the way into the attic, so I wiggled a little and then had just enough room to release myself. I went tumbling down and dropped to the floor. Ouch! That hurt.
Yummy, here comes more dust and insulation coming down to greet me.
God has taken care of me so many times, I’m afraid I am about to use up all of my life lines.
One guy I work with came over to the house that afternoon. We usually hang out or go to work together. We also run together, and since he is an old army guy, we run cadence. He had come in to help me with some work around the house, so I let him know I fell through the ceiling.
Later that night I went to work. They took me off the floor after I told them what happened, and they sent me to the office to do some paper work. I started having trouble breathing, so I wound up back at the emergency room. They didn’t keep me long. They just gave me breathing treatments as they normally do. That’s when I found out I had asthma. I didn’t know I had asthma until then.
The furnace never did get fixed. I gave up on that old furnace. It is so hard to light, and I don’t know who would put such a big thing up in the attic in a house. So now I just use the little heater in the living room and wear a lot of clothes.
The doctor said the insulation wouldn’t cause asthma, but that is when I first noticed my breathing difficulties. After the doctor said I had asthma, I told him, “I don’t have it, my sister does. She had it all of her life. She was born with it.”
He said, “No, you don’t necessarily have to be born with it. You can get it later on in life.”
Mom always taught me to never go up on the roof when no one else was home, or attempt to saw a tree when no one else was home. Yet there she was doing it herself. She is like the female Tool Time guy, and just like him, she is always getting into trouble.
After the furnace incident, I told mom, no more electrical tools. She always wants some type of power tools whether it is woodworking tools, yard tools, or whatever. If I have to cut the cords on every tool she has in order to keep her from hurting herself, I will. I’ve taken her to the emergency room so many times that she has paid visits to the hospital about three or four times recently.
It was a nice spring day and it felt like a good day to mow the lawn. I was never one to comb the yard for objects before mowing. It didn’t ever seem that there was anything hidden in the grass to pick up anyway. Luck would have it, there was an object hidden in the grass, waiting just for me.
I was just mowing along and I heard a loud clunk. I then felt this sharp, hot sting in my foot. The blade spit out a metal object that shot out like a missile and it speared me. I looked down and saw a coat hanger sticking through my foot.
I could not pull it out, so I hobbled to the inside of the house, dripping blood everywhere. I made it to the phone and managed to keep from passing out. I called Ann to take me to the hospital. Ann picked me up and took me to the emergency room where they pulled the coat hanger out of my foot, patched me up, and sent me on my merry way.
My porch was dilapidated and beyond repair, so I decided to tear it down all by myself. I tend to do these types of projects all the time. I was going to demolish the porch and then rebuild it from scratch. I would have an entirely new porch I could enjoy, and I could say I did it myself. Tearing up the first few boards was a piece of cake, but I got cocky and mistook my head for a piece of dead tree. Ouch!
She was at it again, trying to tear down a porch, slinging a hammer instead of using a pry bar. She slung her hand back, took a full swing, and the hammer came back and cracked her head, splitting it wide open.
When I told the doctor that Ann hit me in the head with a hammer, boy, he was ready to call the police and have her thrown in jail.
Ann yelled, “Mother!”
I had to calm him down, and it did take a while to finally convince him not to call the police and that I was only kidding.
I did not want to go around telling people that I hit myself in the head with a hammer. I was doing some major damage to that porch before I did the major damage to myself. Three or four stitches sealed the crack. I still have a scar on my noggin.
She is just accident prone. This is like adult onset accident prone because I remember as a child, I always thought she was the strongest person and knew everything. Then I became of age, the age of accountability, and I began to notice, “What happened?” “You now hurt yourself all the time.”
I have to give you some background on Patsy being accident prone. In fact, she spends so much time in the emergency room and hospital that they not only have a wing named after her, they have what they call the Patsy stitch in honor of her being constantly sewn back together.
I woke up that morning feeling lousy. I had trouble breathing and my body felt weak and drained. I didn’t think I had the strength to make it to work that day, much less do anything while I was there if I did make it in. So I called my boss to let her know I was sick and wouldn’t be coming in that day. My boss let me know I would suffer the consequences if I didn’t show up to work.
So, I changed my mind. I was determined to go to work. I didn’t want to lose any more time and lose my job. They will fire you in a heartbeat over something like that. At least my store will. I’m riding day to day with them anyway.
They were going to fire me for being sick, of all things. Or maybe they were going to show up at my doorstep with sticks and baseball bats and they weren’t coming over to play baseball. They would let me try on some very nice designer concrete shoes and then teach me how to swim. I didn’t want to take a chance on either of those things happening, so I attempted to make it to work. And guess what? I suffered the consequences anyway.
Maybe it was a good thing that I attempted to make it to work. If I would have stayed home and went back to bed, I might never have woken up again. I would not have called Ann to come and get me.
Ann called Patsy’s boss and told her what had happened. But when she went into the hospital in the condition she was in, her company was freaking out because she was on her way to work.
To keep my asthma in check, I have a home nebulizer. This machine changes liquid medicine into fine droplets that can be inhaled. Through my many doctor visits, I came to realize the following can make an asthma condition worse: a poor immune system, soft drinks, both diet and regular and nutritional deficiencies.
The soft drinks...