Sunday, August 11, 2013

Life Changing Events

As a Safety person I talk a lot about life changing events on a regular basis. I try to remind people that it doesn`t mean death or dismemberment but covers a range of changes to what you can do. August 1st I had one of those life changing events when I stepped off a curb while walking to to work

 I`ve walked more to work this year than I have for ages and truly appreciate the time and expense companies take in training their company vehicle users in defensive driving to minimize driving incidents. I also realized that this would be the last year I would walk to work. The intersection I have to cross is poorly controlled in spite of traffic lights and a high impact area. All the defensive driving courses in the world will not protect me from 40 year old drivers swooping around in their pick up trucks and SUVs nor school bus drivers who think they always have the right of way.

But back to August 1st. I had walked to the major intersection I had to cross then waited for the light to change. I always stand well back from the road as there are some big trucks travelling on it. The traffic light had changed and cross traffic had stopped. It was clear for me to go and it seemed that the vehicle beside me was waiting. Stepped off the curb and heard an engine rev to move. I thought I turned and exclaimed but..next thing I knew I was opening my eyes while lying on the ground. I could see through one eye - uh oh, nope clearing good. A woman is apologizing and saying she`s putting pressure on the back of my head to stop bleeding; a man is holding my head still with a towel and a third man is calling an ambulance. As soon as the woman saw I was conscious she asked someone to move her vehicle then changed it to turn off. I tried to call work to say I`d be late - I could see my ankle was irregular but thought it would be better by the afternoon. Police came, ambulance came things proceeded.

It's amazing the things you don't know about your health care system. I've used mine for regular checkups and the odd thing but not much. So about the only things I know are show your health care card for services and don't use the ambulance unless you really need to, it's expensive (or so I've heard). One thing I found really interesting is no one looked for ID (which I had) although I was asked my name. I had been to the hospital before so all my Health Care stuff was on file. I could sign stuff like, yes they can do what's necessary to repair my foot, including ambulance me to Edmonton.

And leaving the hospital, again easy. A doctor says you can leave, you say you want to leave. The nurse will ensure home care is arranged, you have a ride and prescriptions and follow up info info is exchanged then, off you go free, don't forget your stuff. No letters for employers or anything - probably the injury is enough

But what about the life changing part. I'm not worried about being laid off but I won't be able to do my full job for at least 6 months I estimate. As part of my job, I walk a lot, climb ladders, etc. doing inspections. I am also very active outside of work, going to exercise classes, walking dogs, snorkeling and such. I will have arthritis in my ankle after it's healed. I will have to learn to be patient.