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By technician (Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:58:28 AM EST) (all tags)
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

After being in the Army for eight years, and being busted back a stripe for some stupid shit, when his re-up date arrived he told the guys, hey, fuck you (sir) and waited out the time. This was back when there was an East and a West Germany, and he was in West Germany at some Army base, and it was the night before his departure date, and he was drinking. He's one of these skinny little fuckers, mostly bones and gristle, and he can drink. He's up on the third floor of this bar, at a table with Rangers who'd been working with him in signals for the past eighteen months.

They're well into it, neck deep in empties. He's been leaning against this window near the table, looking outside, yammering away...dude can talk your goddamn ear off...and he claims that he doesn't remember why he jumped out the window, but he did.

Landed on his feet (but rolled), brushed himself off, and weaved back to the barracks. That he remembers, sort of.

Middle of the night, he's passed out and needs to take a leak something fierce, and can't get out of bed. There's something wrong with his hips or something, his legs won't bend. Somehow gets his roommate awake and they call for an ambulance.

The MPs get there first, and try to get him on his feet, but now his back is achy and he's lost control of his bladder, so they lay his ass back down and yell at his roommate to get a goddamn mop and a bucket. The Army ambulance arrives, and he explains, look, I may have jumped out of the third floor of the bar, so my legs might be broken. They're like, yeah, dumb ass, that's the least of it. You're swollen damn near twice your size.

They get him into a gurney and take him to the base hospital where they determine that in no way can they treat him, so they package him better and send him to the local city hospital.

"I'm layin' there on this bed, they've cut my clothes off and taken a bunch of Xrays, all I have is this sheet, and the doctor is this knockout German woman. She tells me, you've broken your hips right where the socket fits into the hip, and you've broken your back, and you're lucky you aren't paralyzed. I'm like, yeah, but do you have any pain killers? My back aches something fierce. She says, wait, you didn't get any pain medicine from the Army hospital? And hell no I hadn't. Bastards refused to even ice me up. The German doc just stares at me for a bit, says, on a scale of one to five, how bad is the pain? And I tell her, well, it's about a three, nothing too bad. She shakes her head, mutters something in German, and calls one of the nurses over. They inject something into the IV and I immediately start to feel sluggish."

They open him up and start putting him back together with screws and plates, then into a damn near full body cast. He's past his discharge date so there's all this crazy paperwork that needs to be filed to keep him in Germany legally. Both hips, two vertebra, and some bones in both feet are broken. Takes him four months to get to the point where he can be shipped back to the States.

"The ER doctor told me later, she came by to see me before I left, and she told me that no one believed that I wasn't in gigantic amounts of pain. No nerves were severed, no paralysis, and I should have been screaming. I guess I got lucky. She asked me, how badly did you want out of the Army? I told her, nah, that wasn't it. I was just drunk."

"You Americans," she says. "You drink too much."

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Coda. | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
One imagines by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:14:30 PM EST
this might be relevant.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

Love the hover text in that one. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:12:49 PM EST

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I love it by kwsNI (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:29:11 PM EST
My pain tolerance is so weird - I shattered my right ring finger at the joint with the hand and immediately busted out laughing (namely because my leg was already in a cast from a dislocated kneecap and the irony of going into a second cast wasn't lost me me).  I trashed an ankle warming up for a racquetball league game and finished the 3 games before I hit the ER.  Wrapped a thumb around a lathe and broke it into 17+ pieces and tried to convince the people I was with that I didn't need x-rays.  But damned if I can take a 24-hour flu.  I curl up in a screaming, whiny ball and wait to die. 

So needless to say, the doctors usually give me really funny looks when they ask what my pain level is on some scale.  There's something vaguely sinister in the laugh that usually elicits from me. 

[ Parent ]
scientific pain charts by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed May 11, 2011 at 03:32:05 AM EST
I like the alternative one proposed here.

[ Parent ]
lovely by LoppEar (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:36:09 PM EST

An interesting tale... by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed May 11, 2011 at 02:17:26 AM EST
but we've never stationed a Ranger unit in Germany.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

No, we haven't. by technician (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed May 11, 2011 at 03:01:43 PM EST
They weren't based out of Germany. He was; but he wasn't a Ranger. He just worked with 'em.

[ Parent ]
Coda. | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback