Today was my final scheduled appointment with the surgeon who repaired my broken neck. In August, 2016, for those who might have been otherwise occupied, I broke my own neck in a car wreck. C-1 and C-2 were shattered, but did not displace, so I neither died nor fell paralyzed. Ten or so days in ICU, a thoroughly frightened peer group and some great care later, I staggered (one could not call it walking) out of the hospital and into a long recovery.
People who shatter what I shattered do not live to walk away, or, being live, yet do not walk away from their bed.
I have never broken my neck before August, 2016. To break your neck is not all it is cracked up to be.
(Pause to allow for laughter, or a groan).
I have taken some pathetic pleasure in watching the medical people look at my chart, shake their head, look to me again and then to the chart again. Each new one says some variation of these words:
“I have never seen anyone alive with this kind of break.”
Thanks very much.
And, so, I am left to consider how and why this injury did not wrest from me whatever years (months? weeks? moments?) I have left. My drollest wit says, “God does not want me and the devil is scared of me.” Could these be the reasons? One wonders.
Today, I was released by the Surgeon. I can do whatever I can do. They are glad I have been back in the gym, lifting tiny weights repeatedly. I can go back to the court, as well, so long as I do not do too much too soon. I do not know what that means, but they assure me my neck will hold, what with all the rods, pins, plates and screws they put in me. Even my grafted cadaver bones have taken up a happy courtship with the rest of my skeleton. I will probably have to donate my body to science when I do go, just so they can retrieve their bones.
Meanwhile, thank you, Mr. Cadaver, whoever you might be. Your final lap around the formaldehyde pool was not taken in vain.
Turning serious, I have exactly three reasons why I am still here:
God. God. God.
There is no other real explanation. Yes, the First Responders did well. Nurses and doctors really helped, but I was standing when they found me and no one can tell me why. My skin was shredded and my upper spine shattered but I was standing in the road looking back in the ditch at my wrecked truck when they found me. I had all the damage one can imagine but walked away, battered, but not beaten.
God. God. God.
Someone will ask, “If God helped you so much afterward, why didn’t God keep you from the wreck at all?”
I have only this answer. To wit:
Ignorance wears off but Stupid lasts a life time.
I did something to bring this on myself. If I could remember any part of it, I would tell you what I did to get in that road looking down in the ditch at the various pieces of my old truck. I don’t know what I did, but God pulled me through it all.
God brought us all together, each one of the Davis family, around my hospital bed. A family member was present, as calm as the situation would allow, for the duration of my hospital stay. I did not spend one second alone the whole time. God is great. Family is, well, lovely and wonderful and good in all ways.
So, this is all. I do not intend to be one of those old men rocking and spitting and talking about his ailments, his injuries, his sapped vitality. This is it. The surgeon released me. I have another appointment or two with some other medical people who found out I have insurance. This, however, is my last post on the subject.
And, to all, a good night.