Sunday, July 10, 2011

The man in the grey flannel business card

The man in the grey flannel business card

Current mood:tired

I have to admit, it has been a interesting and trying year. For the both of us. Job changes. Huge changes in my personal life. Surgery for me, and with that the complications and marching thru my sick leave, and now with the xyl breaking her wrist, this has to come to an end sometime.

We have been going to Martinsville to the races, twice a year, for ages. Its a chance to get out and enjoy ourselves. I've given up on Nascar on TV because of the commercials. The live events we attend are the only enjoyment we get anymore. At least for me. She will still sit thru the little race coverage we are allowed, that is buried in the avalanche of ads. I tried, but got fed up with the greed of Nascar.

This fall, started out innocent enough. After waiting for the clowns I work for, to figure out my work situation, I found that I would be off for the race, so we made our normal plans. We got a hotel room in South Hill, which is about 3 hours from the track. Close enough of a drive there. Yet, far enough away to make room availability a good bet. Finished up our shopping for the race, when we arrived. Had a nice dinner, and retired. We had stopped at Whitby's, talked with Randy and Rodessa, picked up a box full of hot sauce (trust me, they have the best available). We've known them for years, and it is always good to see them.

That morning started out innocent enough. Headed to the track, parked, and headed for the trailers to do a little walking around and shopping, like we always do. We leave our race stuff (bags and coolers in the truck) do our walk around, and then walk back and pick everything up, drop off our purchases, and head for our seats.

On the way in, I tried to sell a pair of extra tickets we had. The guy offered us a pittance for them, and I declined. We sold them later on, for a little more.

On the walk back, she tripped on some uneven pavement and fell into me. I, walking as I was, stepped thru her attempt to grab onto me, and she collapsed to the pavement, breaking her wrist.

We had a Henry County Sherriff call for the medics, who came over, looked her over and determinded that she needed to go to the hospital.

So the ambulance arrived and she was packaged up for transport. It was then that the little man with the official looking credentials approached me. Turns out he was from Risk Management from Nascar. He expressed his sorrow that she had fallen and told me to call him in about 3 hours and to let him know what was going on. I pocketed his card, and headed out of the track. Our race day was done. I ran into the guy who I had talked to, at first about selling our tickets, and just gave them to him.

I had to drive around town to get to the hospital as traffic in the middle of town was hosed. Got to the ER and found that treatment had started before I got there. X-Rays were ordered, confirming the diagnosis. A ortho guy ws called in, and he told us that surgery was needed, and told us we should go back to NN to have it done.

She was loaded up with demoral, and told we could leave - she could walk out (an incredible breach of protocol), which I vetoed. We got her in the truck and made her as comfortable as the awful roads would let us, and headed back home. stopped to get her a little to eat, so she could take the vicodin that she had been sent out with. She was not tollerating the trip well. I drove as fast as I could, balancing the roads and the police factors, to get back to the house. I figured I had a 4 hour window to get back in, before the vicodin started to wear off.

I had called all of her family, but it being about the time for church, all I got was leaving voicemail. I did talk to one SIL, and she told me that she would start calling herself.

Around South Hill I stopped, gave the xyl 4 motrin, and dug the card out of my pocket. After a couple of calls, I got thru to him, and gave him an update.

Got home and put her to bed, with 2 more vic's, and she slept thru the night.

Got her into our health system, to the ortho docs here, who scheduled surgery for yesterday, The Risk Management guys called again. They were shitless that we were going to sue them. I told him that he had ran into an honest guy and asked for two things. He had offered to put up for out of pocket expences, and our tickets. Being just a simple accident, I declined. I asked him for a letter to be generated from the track, thanking the volunteer department that had treated her, with a copy to me. And I told him that maybe the next time we come, the track and take us on a pit tour, so she could see her drivers pit (Edwards). He said he would see if he could make that happen.

So, yesterday, she had her surgery, and did well. they put in a nerve block, which killed her arm. It was numb, and she could not move or control it. Gave her 2 of the new pain med script, and went to bed.

Well, until 3AM, when she woke up. It had started to hurt. So she woke herself up 3 more times overnight and with that neither of us got much sleep. So, I sit here, with my eyes burning from lack of sleep, trying to write this. She is up and doing OK. It'll be nap time for us in a bit.

Still waiting to get the letter from the track. And not knowing if she will be up to us going to see Brian Wilson tomorrow night. So, our normal trip to the track, turned into an adventure. Just one more piece of a puzzle that has been unfolding in front of us, in a year of other puzzle pieces. I know that GAWD does not give us more than we can handle. But, at this point, a grain of sand would tip the scales over on us.

It costs us money. It cost us a seat in the races. It cost her a trip to surgery. But, in the grand scheme of things, it is not more than we can handle. It is trying. And if it was not that, it would be boring. Life that is.

But, we kept our honor. We did the right thing. I could have lawsuited the track, and would have regretted it for the rest of my life. It was an simple accident. I took the high road. And for that, the both of us are the better for it.

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