Here is a short description of what I remembered at the time and some later conclusions. It was a great day this August 25th, 2012. Nice sunny day with a tint of a Hurricane Isaac in the forecast. I had finish a morning breakfast with the local Lake Marry Amateur Radio Society at Denny’s. Just something some of the members do most every Saturday. Good place to meet and just rag-chew about things going on in Amateur Radio or just next door. I left with a good feeling and thought about my Hurricane preparedness I had been doing. I had went out and gotten bottled water, some canned foods, diesel for the 14.5 Kw generator so that it would be able to run for about 5 days, I only had one thing on my list to finish and that was cutting down some branches that was striking the roof of the front of my house.
After arriving home I get my best buddy Cameron, a Shih-Tzu and Spaniel mix dog. He and I went out and opened up the outside garage (yes there is one attached to the house also) where we obtained an extension ladder. Cameron was mainly my body guard so he kept a watchful eye out for impeding trespassers.. I placed the ladder against a not so firm limb, but should be sufficient for my 5-7 minute job. I then went and obtained an extension cord, gloves and reciprocating saw.
Now having all my tools ready with the exception of engaging brain I preceded to climb the ladder, all gloved and with the plugged in saw. I went up the 14 foot ladder about 11 feet. Then I situated myself on the ladder a bit more comfortable. Taking the saw in my right hand (I am right hand dominate) I sawed a couple 2 inch limbs off. I did notice the ladder was a bit more unsteady than I thought, but I proceeded anyway. I took the saw in my left hand and started cutting about a 2.5 to 3 inch limb and I felt as though I wasn’t going to be able to hold the saw much longer without a rest so I stopped sawing. While I was removing the saw from between the limb, it snapped back and I closed my eyes.
The following is what I felt happened. I got down the ladder quickly and put the saw on the ground and noticed I was in a lot of pain. Since I have had a Triple by-pass surgery and two sets of 2 stints through the years following the by-pass. I thought I might be having a heart attack as the pain made it hard to breath. Cameron and I went into the house and I sat down in my Lazy-Boy Recliner while I thought I had my phone in my hand only to realize it was the TV remote. At this time I could not remember if my mother had moved in or not (she moved in three years earlier) and I was very confused. I know I had taught Cameron to get help if I told him. I called out: Cameron Daddy’s needs help. He started barking out immediately. He went to the master bedroom where my mother was sleeping and he kept barking till she opened the door. He then ran back towards me and barked till she could see that I was in my chair. I told Cameron to stop now as I heard her coming. Mother came in and asked if I was OK and I told her to call am ambulance and that I may be having a heart attack,
I heard her make the call and within 10 seconds I heard the sirens from the fire station that is about 3 blocks away start up. Within moments they had arrived and placed me on a stretcher and off we went. After arriving at Florida Hospital South which is wear my Cardiologist works out of I was rushed in while still in extreme pain. At this time I was coming and going in my consciousness and I did not realize they had brought in an Portable X-Ray machine and I did notice them take it out. The doctor asked me if I had fallen off the ladder and I said I don’t think so. Off he went and the nurse gave me a shot to help with the pain.
After about an hour the doctor came in and told me I did not have a heart attack or any damage to it recently. He did inform me I had fractured my Clavicle on the left side and they would be moving me to a room shortly for over-night observation. The only times I woke the rest of the next 18 hours was to ask for pain meds. The next day the doctor dropped by and told me that even though I did not recall a fall that one had to have happened as /i had scratches over my face and body with a small lump on my forehead.
Later in te day I was released and given two perscriptions, both for pain. Mother took me home by way of the CVS Pharmacy to get medications. After arriving home and sleeping another 5 hours in my Lazy-Boy I got some help and went to the bathroom., While I was sitting relieving myself I turned on the light and saw just how badly my head looked and the bump on it also. Somewhat convincing me that the saw had came down and knocked me out. After struggling to get up I looked in the mirror and saw bruises through my left front side and even more scratches all over my body.
Over the next several days I have concluded the following scenario and I believe it to be very close to what happened: I closed my eyes as I knew the saw was coming for my head. After striking my head and knocking me out it might have contacted my Clavicle and fractured it. At this time I fell the 8-11 feet and I landed on my left side. I have bruises on the front of my shoulder, probable where the Clavicle was injured. I have large dark bruises on my lower back/hips mostly on my left side. Bruises under my left arm on the left side of my chest. I got up while in a daze and not knowing I had fallen, I still had the saw in my hand but it was so painful I dropped it to the ground.
9 days later I walk with a cane, small steps, short breaths while walking. I still can not sleep in my bed as I can not get my left shoulder blade comfortable, but is supported by my chair OK. Most of my pain is in my chest with only minor pains in the Clavicle area. Back and left shoulder has mussel spasms when at this keyboard too long, like now. I still need pain pills about every 4-6 hours and it wakes me from sleeping with pain and spasms,
I am getting better each day, but really slow for the last 3 days.